Archive for the 'Fashion Blogger' Category

Anum Khan and James Rubec, PB&J Mag in different parts of Canada

in Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, humourist, NWT, Photography, Toronto and Web Designer


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PB&J

Like the sandwich that is its namesake, this is a quick, tasty and unpretentious blog.  Its bulk – or the bread is in its commitment to quality content which chronicles local/world events and lifestyles in a down to earth tone. The protein – or peanut butter – is the hearty substance behind provocative articles like Three stories that prove racism is alive and well or A grave undertaking.  Last but not least, the flair – that’s the jam – of this online gem is in its entertainment and product reviews, recommendations and musings on the good old days, like When Tim Hortons took only cash.  Individually, the ingredients themselves are humble, but when they come together they create something that is nutritious, delicious and leaves you wanting more.

James Rubec and Anum KhanPB&J Mag is a lifestyle/ political/ social/ scientific/Canadiana blog that aims to “turn frowns upside down and get brains moving.” Founded by Anum Khan and James Rubec, both professional writers and marketers who have an aptitude for unique and buzz-worthy topics, PB&J is a general interest blog full of tips, recipes and useful information. The blog is uniquely Canadian: Anum, a coffee expert, lives in the heart of metropolitan Toronto, where she works as a social media marketer for Spark Internet Marketing Corporation in the biggest and busiest city in the country.  James, a photographer, lives several hundred kilometres below the Arctic Circle in Yellowknife, NWT, where he works in advertising for Kellett Communications Inc.

Anum loves cupcakes and James is into quilting; their interests and skills, which are alike and disparate simultaneously, fuse together to form a blog that is in turns funny, relevant and thought-provoking.

Yellowknife's Beer BargePB&J offers its readers insight into the diversity of Canadian geography and culture. For example, Toronto, often referred to as the New York of Canada, is a far cry from Yellowknife, which, situated so far up North, enjoys summer days where the sun never sets. “This isn’t the Yukon, the story isn’t about the Klondike gold rush that brought fools to stampede to their deaths for hope of riches,” James writes of the Northwest Territories. “It is a story of a community building something from nothing; on and under the hardest land in the world that was and is surrounded by untamed wilderness with winters that are maddeningly long and cold. If the story of the Yukon is about personal exploration and the great gamble that is life, then Yellowknife’s is about balanced risk and teamwork.” James’ posts about life in the NWT, such as Yellowknife’s Beer Barge, contrast between Anum’s coverage of events in the big city such as restaurant openings and Fashion Week. Writes James, “Cities have larger parties, with better beer served in bigger bottles, but they’ll never have an ounce of the unity that has been built in Yellowknife with gold, stone and heart.”

NHL lockout should be stopped by HarperIn addition to recipes from James and product review from Anum, you can count on PB& J to express opinions on politics in posts like NHL lockout should be stopped by Harper (“Why should the government stand by while important money for municipalities, charities and low-income workers is left idly sitting in the arguments of rich whining babies?”), Bruce Mau Design insults all of North America (“Canada has so much to do with Seth Rogen as the United States does with Michael Phelps. You can’t pin a nation on an individual as emblematic, you can only pin the nation on the individual as a factoid.”) and Republicans, Liberals and One Good Book (“I’m jealous of the power that voters actually have in America. I hope Americans feel lucky to be able to vote for their district attorneys, sheriffs and senators. Canadians are lucky if they have a chance to vote for someone once a year.”)

PB&J Mag offers both masculine and feminine perspective, urban and boonies, world news and Canadian content. Since both writers have a background in marketing, these two bloggers are great role models for people just starting out. There aren’t any gimmicks on PB&J; it’s good content on white bread to satisfy the soul.


KD Faustino, the girl with the messy hair in Calgary

in Alberta, Blogging, British Columbia, Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, Personal Blog, Photography, style diary and Web Designer


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thegirlwiththemessyhair.com

KD Faustino is a fashion blogger and ‘style diarist’ based in Calgary, Alberta, who describes herself as ‘a 20-something fashion buyer and social media extraordinaire who left her sunny tropical islander life in the Philippines to live in freezing cold Canada.’  She has a lot of energy and is a prolific blogger; only four months after her arrival her blog was named one of the top fifteen Canadian fashion blogs of 2010*.  Her effortless style and discerning eye for fashion, made her blog an instant hit.

The girl with the messy hair is a style diary that KD (Kristine Diane) Faustino started in April 2009, while still living in Manila, to chronicle her daily outfits.

“I blog today simply because it makes me happy,” she says. “As narcissistic as it may sound, I blog for myself. It might seem shallow, but there’s really no hidden agenda behind my blogging, just that dressing up and fashion makes me happy. The compliments/recognition I get, inspiring other people with finding their style and the perks from brands/designers are just a plus for me.”

Faustino is a social media professional, and works as Social Media Head for Fashion Night Out Canada, Fabricated, and a fashion buyer for Citizen’s Planet. Her expertise in social media is apparent throughout her blog, and she’s a PR natural: “I think what makes my blog (or any blog for that matter) unique is the individual behind the blog itself,” she says. “If you stay true to yourself, your style, why you are blogging, your overall brand–it will show. You have to come to terms with the fact that blogging can be a serious business but at the same time, still having fun while doing it!”

Hailing from the tropical Philippines, KD’s had to adjust her style (not just fashion-wise but lifestyle as well) to Canada’s often frigid temperatures. Her islander spirit has brought a fresh new style to Calgary’s fashion scene and she’s embraced the challenges along the way–and posed for many a picture featuring piles of snow in the background instead of a beach. “I live in Calgary and the biggest [influence] it has on my blog is the weather!” she says. “As silly as it may sound, that’s the challenge of dressing in a bipolar city (in terms of weather) like Calgary.

#1 Holts Muse KD Faustino“I think the best thing that ever happened to me due to blogging was being recognized for something that wasn’t meant to be recognized at all,” says KD. “When I started blogging I was just doing my own thing but then I started getting recognized and awarded [Top 15 Canadian Fashion Blogs*, Honorary Blogger of the Year in the 2011 Calgary Fashion Honorary Awards, Top 5 Best Overall Blog & Top 4 Best Personal Blog at the Canadian Blog Awards 2011, 1st Place Holts Muse by Holt Renfrew, MTV Blogger Looks we Love, etc.] by the industry and being on the same lists as the people I look up to, or just by random people in random places (which is more flattering, to say the least). What makes it special is the fact that I started this blog all by myself without the help of anyone–it is certainly my baby, something that I am proud of.” See two of KD’s personal favourite posts: http://www.thegirlwiththemessyhair.com/2011/06/crochet.html, and http://www.thegirlwiththemessyhair.com/2012/01/brown-hues.html. The worst part? “Definitely the haters,” she says. “But you know what they say, you know you’ve made it when you’ve got them.”

KD at workKD isn’t certain whether or not she’ll keep the blog going after her thirtieth birthday in two years. “The good thing about my blog is that I don’t feel pressured,” she says. “I am at this point in my blogging career where I feel like I’m not anxious to get anywhere. I can choose which events I want to go to or not, what brands I want to work with–I don’t need to be everywhere, unlike when I was starting. I must say, it’s a good place to be at. And who knows, maybe after 30 I’ll turn my blog around to a travel blog or something like that!”

In the meantime, however, KD will be focusing on maintaining the high quality of her blog. “The ideal blog for me starts with decent hi-resolution photos,” she reveals. “People tend to look at photos first and then they start to read if your photos are interesting enough. A short, constructive write-up with readable font is a must for me, too. Above all, [the ideal blog is about] keeping your stuff interesting and making people come back for more.”



Niki Blasina is A Haute Mess in Vancouver

in British Columbia, Fashion Blogger and Vancouver


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Niki Blasina write A Haute Mess, fashion blog in Vancouver British Columbia

"It's fashion, and it's fun!" -Niki BlasinaNiki Blasina is a fashion blogger living and working as a freelance writer in Vancouver British Columbia. Her passion for fashion could have taken her to style Meccas like New York or Paris, but she has spread her couture wings and helped build a scene in her own beautiful city. Vancouver has an active textiles, garments industry and many print media and web publishers, and Niki has become a respected local authority on style and fashion; she writes for MTV Canada’s FORA, for Huffington Post Canada as a style blogger, and of course she has her own hit blog.

A Haute Mess is Niki’s fun filled approach to high fashion. She’s got style on page and in her pictures. What’s most interesting about Niki’s blog is how she presents her ideas – she’s got style on style as she blogs in a fun and unpretentious manner; ‘A Haute Mess’ is a blog that stays true to its title. There is plenty of forward-thinking fashion photos for readers to feast their eyes upon, but Niki combines her penchant for profiling trends with an approachable honesty,  earnestly publishing her own anecdotal stores about fashion blunders and the foils that all girls fall prey to: bad hair days, skin irritations and unflattering photographs.

A Haute Mess at home“I started blogging because I was a fan of fashion blogs, and a dear friend and fashion blogger said ‘Why don’t you start your own blog’,” says Niki. But “…the idea of putting pictures of myself on the internet seemed like a horror movie waiting to be written, and was way more narcissism than I could be comfortable with. But I did it anyway!” And she doesn’t regret it. Niki’s blog is stronger because readers can see her wearing the duds and leading the charge. Her posts often acrue twenty or more comments and a great many from other bloggers.

Niki, already a PR representative, found out immediately that writing a blog is a great way to open new doors. Within a year of writing her first post, opportunities were pouring in from all directions: “I owe so much to blogging and A Haute Mess,” she says. “It’s been a life-changing experience for me and I’ve had so many interesting and fun opportunities because of it.”

Niki Blasina as web star on the cover of Flare Magazine

Mixing cool prints with leather

Niki Blasina is profiled in FLARE magazine, February 2012

Niki’s adventures in blogging have connected her to a larger fashion community, and her readers have the pleasure of sharing this new found fame with her. In her recent post Sit DOWN Mayan Calendar: These Fashion Folk have Bigger Plans for 2012, Niki asked some of fashion’s darlings to spill their New Year’s resolutions, giving her readers an inside scoop into the thought processes of some of her contacts in the industry.

Style-wise, Niki likes to try everything–glam, retro, boho, rock ‘n roll–and her readers wait hungrily to see what she’ll be wearing next; in fact, Niki admits that she can’t keep up with requests. Most readers beg to to see her personal style diaries. She features two popular recurring series on her blog, Outfits and Outtakes, “which is basically a self-deprecating blooper reel of my personal style photos,” she says, and Terms in Fashion that Make Me Uncomfortable, “which is a vocab lesson on awkward terminology in fashion.” Of the series she says: “Like most of my blog, they serve as a reminder that fashion doesn’t need to be taken so seriously and that people do need to lighten up! It’s fashion, and it’s fun!”

sunny in hawaii, niki blasina relaxes by the ocean, author, haute messNiki has a Tumblr blog too which she uses like a reader’s digest version of her own domain to highlight her best pictures and call attention to the more significant journalism found there. Her Twitter persona @AHauteMess follows the same strategy but is peppered with celebrity gossip and cute photos and videos and is no doubt the source of some inspiration for her blog.

Niki Blasina, A Haute Mess on Facebook

A Haute Mess is a great resource for fashionistas and fresh apprentices – because its fun and flirty!

“I just want [my blog] to continue growing its audience and get bigger and better!” says Niki. “2012 is going to be a good year for me and me wee blog, and I have a lot of exciting projects in the works that I can’t disclose yet, but I am really looking forward to sharing soon.”


 


Mary Bratko is Wedding Girl in Ontario

in Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, event blogger, Fashion Blogger, niche blogs, Ontario, Professional Service and visual arts


Mary Bratko, wedding planner in TorontoMary Bratko eats, sleeps and blogs about weddings in southern Ontario. She shares her décor ideas, menu ideas, insights into popular traditions, decorating tricks and sweet thoughts about marital bliss to a growing following of daily readers. She’s an expert wedding planner with a seemingly endless flow of original ideas for making brides’ dreams come true. Funny thing is, she isn’t married.

WeddingGirl.ca believes that every bride should be able to afford a wedding planner. Her business is all about creating luxury on a budget and sharing her hard won knowledge on where to spend cash, how to save cash, what to skip, and when to splurge. The blog is built to both inspire and educate brides to make smart spending choices and turn their wedding planning dreams into happily ever after memories {swoon}.

wedding girl, cartoon character, polka dot dressMary came to this blog calling from an unusual angle. Through-out school she studied sciences and if you’d asked anyone of her university classmates they would have guessed that Mary was bound for a career as a surgeon, or a cancer researcher, or something that required her to keep her head buried in scientific journals, medical charts and diagrams. But when she was at school, she was also a bride, and she spent hours, days weeks months planning a beautiful wedding on a seemingly endless budget.

As a young adult, when she wasn’t reading brainy texts, Mary Bratko was thumbing through bridal magazines and developing an expensive taste for exquisite things, like high end linens, fancy embellishments, and couture designs. A twist of fate left her grand affair wedding canceled and her expensive taste became extensive debt. The rookie mistakes she made inspired her to create Wedding Girl.

diamond ring, wedding day bethrothalWith her own nuptials canceled, Mary hoped she could give away what she’d already bought to another bride, and dreamed up Wedding Girl after spotting a cry-for-help from a bride that had become pregnant during her engagement and was medically ill. The couples’ wedding budget was spent on keeping her and her unborn baby alive. She was desperate to have a wedding to one day show her baby that “Mommy and Daddy got married”. The ad was looking for anyone who could help her with décor, flowers, food, anything to create a wedding. At this moment Mary decided that no bride should ever have to beg for a wedding, or settle for second hand, or second best, and that every bride should be able to ask for, and get help.

Mary Bratko is Toronto Wedding GirlAs Wedding Girl, Mary Bratko’s goal is to help brides resolve their own unyielding desires for high-end, fancy, and couture, with a limited budget. While most of the wedding industry tends to focus on how to spend, her website is more about when to save and when to splurge and what to skip all together (and still make your wedding nothing short of FABULOUS!) What began as a hobby has now become her full time job.

Mary’s blog showcases the most recent wedding she planned and coordinated – alongside two professionals, Rick and Jay – and talks candidly about a sassy promotion with these two characters, and all the events surrounding their infamous Wedding Threesome contest.

Wedding Day Threesome, Rick Mary and JayLast year, Rick, Jay and Mary got together to create the Wedding Day Threesome contest. The inspiration behind the idea was to join forces and give one lucky bride and groom an amazing wedding package that included photography, cinema, and event design and planning. With some clever marketing, our creative talent, and lots of time, effort, the Threesome Contest was born. And as the things went swimmingly right up until the end. The trio was supposed to announce the winner on that particular day, but unfortunately one of the crew had an emergency; a child was in the hospital. The group didn’t get a chance to confirm and thereby publish their final pick for the grand prize winner.  Mary writes that “…The contest had grown a strong Facebook following and when we didn’t announce the winner (or have the chance to explain why), our Facebook followers lost their minds. We were being accused of having faked all three businesses …. of being scams, but yet we hadn’t even asked for any money!”   Mary wrote a comprehensive reply to squash the backlash and resolve the Wedding Day Threesome contest.

Wedding kiss, wedding dance, song, Stoney Creek, photographer

In less than three years, Wedding Girl has already made an impressive start and hopes to grow even bigger in 2012 with more guest blogging, content sharing, text link and banner advertising, site sponsorship and great articles about weddings, school for girls.  This blogger has found her niche.

Mary writes, ‘On a personal note – 2011 was a year for me to make mistakes, learn lessons, create new relationships, and indulge in new experiences. I’ve grown stronger as a woman, more creative as an entrepreneur, and more resilient as a business-owner. I’m thankful for every favour I placed, detail I tweaked, and bustle I bustled. Each and every bride I’ve been fortunate enough to meet has given me more than I could ever thank them for – and I’m honoured to have been a part of their big day.


Casie Stewart in Toronto

in Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, Fashion Blogger, Ontario, Personal Blog, Toronto and Tourism

Casie Stewart Banner

Casie Stewart is a blog nerdCasie Diana Stewart is a restless 26 year old artist, poet and blogger. She documents urban charity events, shopping excursions, and fashion parties. She writes about herself mostly, and describes her adventures cycling in Toronto, surfing (online & on waves), her art and assorted photography projects, sewing & making clothes, funky local stores, and twitter. She’s a pretty girl with a good sense of humour, and a very popular blogspot.

Casie Stewart: this is my life has the byline, people . places . things . thoughts: in attempt to keep more memories, and that’s a good honest motivation for starting and maintaining a personal blog. This writer puts vanity aside and impresses readers with her candor, and her ability to relate details and get specific alongside her innermost thoughts.

Casie StewartIt all started in June 2006. Casie needed something to do while her boss was away. “I posted a bunch of stuff one day, and the rest is history.” Her first posts were CGI cartoons she drew herself and short rants about her life and the things she was doing.  “When I started blogging, I wanted to create a place where I could keep memories and record things as they happened. I’ve got so many thoughts and not the best memory. I created my blog in attempt to keep more memories. It’s worked really well. I often look back to remember what I did, wore, and said.”

Casie Stewart up wallCasie has dual citizenship; Canadian and New Zealand. She once lived in Sydney Australia (Bondi Beach), Indiana, and New York. Her parents emigrated to Canada to raise their children, and Casie grew up in Cambridge, Ont.  Casie says she’s always been artistic and entrepreneurial; when she was 14 she co-wrote an anthology of poetry and prose called Jeans. In 1996 she won the Miss Teen Pageant in Cambridge and the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in part because she was a founding member of the Cambridge Youth Council that opened a skate park, a drop-in center, and now celebrates the 11th year of the Rock the Mill festival.

Casie spent two years working in the head office of “a large private retail organization,” and “had a great career as a Queen West hipster and party girl which lead to knowing alot of really cool & interesting people.” After she got tired of the party life Casie got into the Toronto tech community and joined forces with other tech-minded people to organize events such as #genyTO, Twestival, and Pay it Back Toronto.

Casie Stewart Do GooderCasie Stewart’s most popular post was born last October when she explained her famous Toronto Sun September, 2001 Sunshine Girl appearance, and that’s understandable, check out the picture. This splash occurred about four months after her second most celebrated post, Blackberry Message Pending Problem which brought mass Google search traffic as thousands of other Canadians struggled with the same issue. And please check out Steamrolled By Drunkards because its easy to see why’s she’s loved as she relates a great story about visiting an event at the Steam Whistle Brewery to meet people she knows on Twitter.

I’ll get you my pretty. “I’ve had a few surprises with people recognizing me because they read my blog. That’s a huge compliment and change from being a party animal when people recognize you for other stuff.”

Casie Stewart for charityOops he did it again. “I was surprised when the owner of Well Hung, a postering company postered some stuff from my blog on Queen Street in bright neon. Toronto b&b that was a pretty rad surprise! He’s done it a couple times now too!”

Casie’s Twitter

Casie’s Facebook When I asked Casie Stewart about the future of her blog, she replied, “The goal of keeping more memories is still the same. However, now I’m working more on creating a brand, and a following. No one besides me really read it for the first two years. Then, I went through some drama and said one day, ‘Hey, I’m a writer and I can do this. I’m gonna share this with everyone. I’m a blogger now’.

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Zucket in Toronto

in Blogging, Fashion Blogger, niche blogs, Personal Blog, Toronto and Tourism

Sass Zucket is a twenty three year old Asian girl from Hong Kong who grew up in Vancouver before coming east to go to school. She’s smart. The girl was enrolled in the University of Toronto at age 16 and graduated at 21 with a degree in human biology and genetics. So what’s she doing now? She’s a party girl, and a world famous blogger.

Zucket is a sneak peek inside Toronto’s hottest parties from a slightly jaded female perspective. The blog is fun to read like e-talk is fun to watch, but it’s meaner and grungier than anything on television, and kind of dirty. Each post images some form of consumption and chronicles rock stars, fashion models, booze, bands and bar fights.

Zucket is a great blog because of the author’s narrative insights into these candid photos. Her readers Laugh Out Loud in comments when she reminds them that a certain friend wore the same shirt two Saturdays in a row (with photo links to prove it) or who paid for who’s drinks all night. She has meaningful conversations with celebrities, and only very occasionally writes about shopping, clothes and cosmetics and Toronto party rentals no you’re more likely to find posts detailing the nutritional value of her favourite Chinese foods.

Sass fraternizes with professional photographers, including Kavin from Shark vs Bear, and Pete Nema, Dana Richardson, Raymi’s boyfriend Phil, and Carl W. Heindl of eroder.com . When these talented artists snap shots of Sass enjoying Toronto, she hunts them down and copies them from their Flickr pages, and Facebook galleries to repost on her own blog. That way her readers can enjoy seeing her mocking boys upstairs at the Drake Hotel, or rocking out on dance floor of the Wrong Bar, or even recovering in the sunlight of a Sunday at the Lakeview Lunch.

She’s part of a community. Momentary glimpses inside Toronto’s west end nightclubs is just one of the things that makes Zucket such a premier online attraction. LG Fashion Week Finale Party: Atop the Top of the Burroughes hooked this subscriber. That post is an exciting behind-the-scenes look at a fashion party meltdown. Zucket’s descriptions are brief and leave me hungry for more details, and her friends are beautiful and candid. Readers can’t find this stuff anywhere else, except perhaps on other blogs… like Raymi The Minx ?

Zucket spawned from Raymi; she’s a spin-off. When I asked Sass about the similarities she replied: Yes, I know Raymi, she is one of my closest friends. I started reading her blog and then figured out that she lived within a 2 block radius from me. Stalked her and the rest is history. Today the keyword Raymi the Minx is the fifth largest tag in Zucket’s sidebar; the first four being Alcohol, Party, Toronto, and Babes. It’s not hard to see why this blog is so popular.

Near the beginning of Sass Zucket’s weblog, I came across something very personal, a key to understanding the origins of her blog. And when I asked Sass why she started blogging she replied, …I started blogging because I hated my ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend with a raging passion. I had so many mean, awful things to say about them that I also thought were really funny. My friends were tired of hearing me whine but I wasn’t tired of whining and needed a venue to vent. I’m also kind of a megalomaniac so I decided a blog was a good way to delude myself into a sense of celebrity. My attention seeking tendencies haven’t changed, so I’m still blogging. It has become such a large part of my lifestyle and routine, that I’d rather blog before bed than wash the make-up off of my face.

Follow Sass on Twitter?

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Urban Native Girl Stuff in Toronto

in Fashion Blogger, Ontario, Personal Blog and Toronto

Lisa CharleyboyLisa Charleyboy is a very talented twenty something First Nations girl of the Tsilhqot’in (Dene) Raven Clan. Born and raised in the mountain wilderness of Williams Lake British Columbia, Lisa now lives in Toronto Ontario where she’s working hard to complete her Bachelor of Honours Degree in Professional Writing at York University.

Urban Native Girl Stuff echoes the culture shock of her paradox.  Slightly more polished than an online diary, Lisa’s personal blog details her existence in downtown Toronto. She writes about clothes, new beauty products, and native cultural events like the Toronto Pow Wows.

Lisa writes about issues and topics that might appeal to girls of any race, but especially Canadian aboriginal teenagers and young adults.  Urban Native Girl Stuff is a pastiche of the usual ‘single female topics’ including fashion, beauty, and nightclubs, but this urban girl is different because of her unique origins. Her best posts explore relationship dynamics and dating; here’s where we most often glimpse the girl from Williams Lake BC.

Clever readers might deduce that Lisa Charleyboy attended Ryerson University in Toronto for Fashion Communication, as well as John Casablancas Institute of Applied Arts in Vancouver for Fashion Arts. She reports her new career strategy is to work as a journalist documenting Native Canadian fashion, arts and entertainment, while sculpting her gifts as an actress in film and television. It’s a good plan. She’s a great writer and will certainly be recognized as such in time, and her beauty and ‘stage presence’ suggest we’ll be seeing more of her on TV in the future.

As a professional writer, Lisa Charleyboy is off to a great start. Before school she was a contributing fashion & beauty columnist at Williams Lake Tribune (she pitched the editor and was paid). In her first year at York University she was the Contributing Arts Editor at Spirit Magazine and has subsequently written & sold articles to Inside Stunts Magazine, Spirit Magazine, and Redskins Magazine. In second year she was the Fashion & Lifestyle Editor at Excalibur Newspaper. During her first and second years she assisted with creating IndigeNEWS Newsletter for the Aboriginal Services Office at York University.

As an actress Lisa Charleyboy co-starred in the short film ‘Rezolution’ in the 2008 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival. She also has a role in the soon to be released ‘You Are Here’, and she tells readers that she’s excited about filming an new indie feature ‘The Rainbow Farm’ in Toronto this winter.

Lisa Charleyboy in earth tonesNow here’s where this Canada Blog Friends profile gets really interesting. I wrote to Lisa and asked her which of her posts that she thinks is her best. This was her reply,

Decade Dating has probably been the post that has been discussed the most to date. It is a reflection on May-December relationships, of which I had recently just ended one such relationship. I think the topic is fairly controversial and also very interesting and intriguing to people as to why girls in their 20s enter these types of relationships. I even walked into a local eatery where the owner, an acquaintance of mine, was involved in a May-December relationship and said that his young wife had read this post. It was a little awkward, since my stance at the end of the blog was that these types of relationships are beneficial to only one party.

My favorite is Red Cred: Joseph (Dega) Lazare . Red Cred is a series of profiles that I will be doing to showcase Native artists. I want to highlight modern, talented, progressive Native/Indigenous artists who are paving the way to be role models for youth and who are otherwise just cool peeps that deserve a little spotlight on them. I really want the non-Native community to see other Native people who are successful, educated and superbly gifted in order to challenge stereotypes that still haunt Native people. I also want other Native people who are not necessarily tapped into the Native arts community to realize the significant contributions we’re making all across Canada and the U.S.

Well done Lisa, that’s the perfect synopsis. Welcome to Canada Blog Friends.

On many levels, Lisa Charleyboy is a beacon of hope and a great role model for indigenous women that too often must sacrifice something for education and personal empowerment.  Canada Blog Friends has no doubt that Urban Native Girl Stuff will someday help unite the entire Native community all across North America. Everyone can share in her blog’s journey as she continues the Native storytelling tradition learned on the distant shores of Williams Lake, British Columbia.

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Temporarily Me in Toronto

in Blogging, Fashion Blogger, Mom Social, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog, Toronto and Web Designer

temporarily me blog bannerSamantha is a 27 year old married mother-of-two that works in the construction industry. During the day she (sometimes) wears a hard hat, coveralls and steel toed boots on downtown Toronto construction sites. But at home, in the evenings, she gently constructs beautiful social nets – she blogs and builds pretty web buttons that bind together a potent roster of rookie moms.

Designing TemptationTemporarily Me is the blog portal associated with a design shop called Designing Temptation. This is a textbook design firm / blog model and the synergy is obvious and powerful. But look closer, there’s more going on here. Go back to Temporarily Me and check the links page and see buttons for Mom Pack, Blogamama, Mom Blog Network, etc and of course Blogher. Suddenly I understand; this author is a participator, and she is so positively charged by the ‘mom genre’ networks that she has hit on an innovation and started her own club! Her husband is a commercial roofer, and now she uses her design skills to weave her own network called Being a Rookie Mom Ain’t So Bad. This is styled as a photo challenge, but Samantha will be the first to tell you its really just another great way for young moms to share pictures and socialize.

Upset cat is Tempting MamaSam is ahead of the curve in social networking, and her techniques are worth studying – her Tempting Mama Twitter account now has 380 followers, due in part to the brilliant avatar. One thing I noticed right away is how her blog incorporates lots of popular social networking buttons. Her Stumble Page is focused on motherhood, but assembled from lots of diverse source material.

When it comes to actually writing her own signature brand of Temporarily Me daily content, Samantha is very prolific and demonstrates good time management skills. Common themes include sleep deprivation and coffee appreciation, and experiences surrounding a summer of motherhood. I chuckled when I read in July about her taking a week off to have a 2nd baby, and promising an immediate return to readers one week later… this doesn’t sound like a rookie mom to me!

SamanthaOkay now the real reason why I love Samantha – she puts it on the line. She is genuine and open and writes from the heart. I remember reading the post she wrote back in January under her blog’s Marriage tag where she opened up about her own marital problems. I marveled at the honesty and the bravery of her self documentation – she had the courage to step out from behind the façade and face reality in confessional writing that becomes the ultimate public self exploration. The next day she started dismantling the facade and her readership helped.

Coming from broken homes, we have both witnessed parental fights, resentment and divorce. Over the past eight years, we’ve unintentionally fallen into the same pattern. Recently, our marriage has consisted of a constant barrage of verbal assaults, emotional abuse and constant reminders of the others faults.

This post caught my heart. It impacted me and now I will never forget this author, and her story. It compels me to follow her on Twitter and bookmark her prodigiously – she has opened up a new genre to me. Sam begins that landmark March 11th, 2008 post by saying that although the subject is taboo, she found the courage to write this by reading Mama Loves ‘the post I might delete later’ which encourages people who are suffering social discomfort to write about their plight. Mama Loves and Samantha both believe that taboo topics are finally seeing the light of day because of blogs. And so Temporarily Me is evolving into a wonderful animal. Because of her own hardships, Sam is the perfect host for a blog based social network that provides information and emotional support.

Being a rookie mom aint so bad

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Five Blondes in London

in Fashion Blogger, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog and Photography

Five Blondes header

Erica grew up on a farm in western Ontario with four younger sisters – they are all blondes. Throughout their childhood, they’ve always been ‘the family of five blonde girls’ and that fact defined them. Today things are different. They don’t live together in an old farm house and share one bathroom anymore. Now Erica, Micaela, Kate, Leah and Lauren share their lives online. This is how they stay in touch with each other.

Erica BlondeFive Blondes was born in July 2007 in a Facebook message from Erica asking her sisters if they would like to contribute to a collaborative blog. Over the course of the next two days, the clan picked a project name (that wasn’t hard) and registered the domain. Erica promptly installed a WordPress engine, and in just over one year they’ve all worked together and built a terrific portal that’s both entertaining and informative. The writing is as diversified as the authors, Kate might post about assembling a new barbecue, while Erika describes innovative cell phone marketing strategies. Michaela and Lauren might write about fashion and new social trends in university, and I wish Leah would update us on her life in Calgary more often.  The comment box echoes a chorus of questions and opinions, and evidences a wide readership – sometimes mom and dad chime in to offer insights and support.

I read in Micaela’s First Week of School where she describes her anxiety at the prospect of starting teacher’s college in Windsor, alone.  But she goes on to describe how today that loneliness is mitigated by the popularity of Facebook.  Imagine that – now its easy to hook up with old friends on a new campus. How has Facebook changed Frosh week? The internet keeps all the girls together. Sometimes the group meets in chat rooms to play Cheeky Bingo, or other games of skill, with strangers. There are 12000 winners every week on Mecca bingo in the UK.

The five sisters’ blog contains a wonderful flickr widget that showcases some genuinely proud moments in their lives. Readers will notice engagement rings, fiances, lemon blueberry muffins and hay bale athletics. The Flickr photos contain descriptive text. Each sister has a slightly different writing style, and it takes a while to figure them out and put them into perspective. Flickr helps, and here’s what I get:

Erica is the oldest and the leader of the pack. She has a degree in film theory, and is scheduled for marriage in Spring 2009. She lives in London Ontario and rides a bike to work everyday. You can find her on Twitter.

Five Bloneds familyMicaela just entered teachers college at the University of Windsor.

Kate is the middle child. She went to the University of Guelph and studied agriculture, following in her mom’s footsteps. Kate married her sweetie Scott in October of 2007 and together they bought a farm. Kate is also on Twitter.

Leah moved to Calgary with her boyfriend and relies on the blog for updates on her sisters back in Ontario. She works in the non-profit sector and has a degree in Gerontology.

And Lauren, the youngest of the five is a criminology student in Ottawa.

Five Blondes is a fascinating look at the lives of five farm girls filling a technological conduit with fragments of the Canadian female experience.


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The Conveyor Belt in Vancouver

in British Columbia, Fashion Blogger and Vancouver

The Conveyor Belt
Terri Potratz started her blog back in September 2007 to post portfolio pictures online and attract potential employers. After seeing the surprising daily traffic stats, she decided to continue and rebrand the site as her own blog. Eight months later, she’s glad she did.

The Conveyor Belt is not a personal web log. It’s fashion business management consulting in so much as its a fusion of art, fashion and beauty tips from a refreshingly down-to-earth West Coast female perspective. Terri keeps it Canadian by awarding kudos to prominent designers and keeping her nationwide audience informed with unique and intelligent insights on popular trends.

Terri PotratzWhile Terri Potratz is the founder and editor-in-chief of the site, her team of talents keeps it fresh. Carleen McLeod is the Beauty Editor, and she’s an experienced make-up artist that provides natural skin care and how to find and use organic cosmetics and uber healthy styling tips for the readers; Pariya Kaligi is a Contributing Writer with a day job as a public relations consultant; Kris Krug is a well known photographer. All together they’re the driving force behind this powerful West Coast fashion blog.

As an informative reader-driven site, The Converyor Belt runs through a wide variety of interesting subjects. This is the place to find make-up advice, and thrift store strategies, event coverage and designer/artist profiles. Terri hopes her readers “laugh, learn something new, [are] inspired, and leave with a positive experience or impression”.

Terri Potratz feeds off her readers. Like most bloggers she gets a real kick out of reading the comments. She tells me that when she writes for a print publication, she has no idea who is reading her work, or what they are thinking about her ideas… But with The Conveyor Belt, she can track readership and collect remarks and use these metrics to improve her own communicative abilities. Blogging has also opened doors. She’s meeting more people, networking, and attending more exclusive events that have relevance to her readership.

larry - clothing labelTerri’s clothing line, “larry.” uses all natural, local products for its scarves and shawls. Each item is hand-knit by Terri herself, using alpaca and sheep’s wool. And while she will mention “larry.” in her blog from time to time, she likes to keep them as separate entities. The Conveyor Belt is not a promotional blog for her entrepreneurial endeavors.

Here’s a wonderful example of Terri’s work, titled Vancouver Thrift Store Scores. This is shopping advice with a personal voice that makes readers feel like they’re listening to a close friend. And if you read The Conveyor Belt everyday, Terri Potratz will probably become a close friend.


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