10 Gifts for People Who are Impossible to Buy For!

Its official! There are only two weeks left until Christmas! Still have a few gifts to get? Have a few people on your list that are impossible to buy for? We have you covered! We have rounded up a gift guide that is sure to please the most difficult person on your list AND everything is under $50! YAY!

  1. For the person who has their foot in many projects! This canvas tote is perfect for that side hustler and is a steal at only $10 Agency Side Hustle
  2. Gadget Lovers can unite over the Google Home Mini for only $39
  3. We are all crazy for masks and what a wonderful treat! Sephora’s Crazy for Clay Face Mask Set is a steal at $28
  4. With the New Year coming up Hydration is so important that’s why we would all be so happy to open up any gift to find a S’Well Water Bottle  $45
  5. Want to be a little more personal in your gift giving? Why not give a framed art print? Minted has some wonderful options for as low as $25
  6. But first cocktails, from Sugarfina of course! $36.95
  7. Who doesn’t love getting a pair of funny socks for christmas? We love these “If you can Read This” pair for $16.00
  8. Planners, designers, artists, etc. will love being the recipient of a Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted Journal! $18.00
  9. One of my favourite must haves for this season is Saje Natural Wellness’ Immune Roll On. This pint sized remedy helps keep germ & viruses away for only $12.95.
  10. Lastly, with the new year approaching why not give an eye catching desk calendar to help anyone escape from their drab desk! This Wanderlust inspired calendar costs $29.90 and features photography from Eye Poetry!

#TravelEssential: Test Driving Before Buying Your Next Car

Over the last few weeks I’ve been scouring Kijiji  looking for a new car. As you know, I’ve partnered with Kijiji to document my car-buying journey and share resources, tips and what I’ve learned when searching for the perfect vehicle. Before settling on the perfect car, I took a few other models narrowing down the features I like and maybe what I would pass on this time around. The vehicles that I took for a test drive ranged from those being sold through a dealership and by private owners. It was important for me to test a few different models to make sure that I made the right decision.

A few weeks ago, I took a hybrid (Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan) for a test drive. I really liked the storage capacity of a 4-door car, the fuel efficiency of a hybrid and the size of a small sedan to navigate around the city. The second car I tested was the Honda Civic; one of the most searched for cars on Kijiji. Although this car is popular, it wasn’t quite the right fit for me, given the sheer number of them on the road in Toronto, if I ended up getting this car I would have likely lost it in a parking lot or two over the years.

After taking a few different models that I was interested in for a spin, I am happy to announce that I’ve found the perfect car for me, a 2017 Chevrolet Spark LT. I was surprised with how many great vehicles I was able to find on Kijiji. In the last 12 months, there have been more than 2.5M vehicles listed on the Kijiji autos section from model years 2013 and onwards. I chose this compact car because of it’s design for downtown living. It is small enough to fit into even the tightest of city parking spots and allows me to parallel park with ease, but built like a sedan that can endure those long trips as well for when I’m on the road for work.

Details included in various listings I reviewed on Kijiji pointed me in the right direction to find a great car and an even better deal. The dealer I ended up buying from has been a trusted user on Kijiji since February 2011.. My Chevrolet Spark LT has only 16,151 km on it and is fully equipped with OnStar Navigation and hands-free calling. All excellent safety features to keep me organized while on the road while remaining focused on my driving. This time around, a hybrid vehicle didn’t end up being right fit, but this little car is extremely fuel efficient as it on average costs $30.00 to fuel up.

I can’t wait to take my new car on an adventure and share the journey with you. Take a peak on Instagram + check back here to see how much I love my new car after my upcoming winter road trip!

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Are you starting your car search? Once you’ve narrowed down the list of your favourite car models, it’s time to take the cars for a test drive. Just like you wouldn’t buy a new pair of jeans without trying them on, it is important to take the car for a drive before you buy it. To help you during your car buying journey, car experts and YouTubers,The Straight Pipes partnered with Kijiji to share their tips for buying a car, including what you should look out for when taking your future car for a test drive on Kijiji Central.


For additional tips and tricks to help you find your dream car, I recommend visiting Kijiji Central. They have helpful resources on the blog that can help you when looking for a new car, like 8 things to inspect when buying a used car or 7 tips on setting the right asking price for your vehicle.

This article was sponsored by Kijiji.

2017 Winter Bucket List

This year I have been making a “bucket list” per season to make sure I enjoy each season for what it offers. At first I thought I would tackle all of my lists but as I went through each season I realized how hard it is to plan when there are so many responsibilities, and life events that you often forget to do simple things.

As winter is fast approaching I thought I would share my Winter Bucket List!

Trending: Photo Walls

As an artist I have entered countless juried art shows over the years, and I have been lucky enough to act as a convener and curator in a number of them as well. One of the biggest questions I get asked from a lot of my friends is for help with curating gallery walls in their homes. Thanks to Pinterest and all the beautiful pins, one can find a variety of photo wall inspiration but the truth is even with all this inspiration, executing a beautifully curated gallery wall is no easy feat.

The first thing I always do is ask my friends to choose a variety of images, the reason for this is that sometimes the images themselves do not work side by side. Secondly, I suggest finding quite a few landscape and portrait images, this helps build the wall and ensure there are no empty spots. Once a collection of images is sources I then go through the images and determine where each should be places based on direction, colour, and size.

Determining these items first will help planning and layout go much smoother.

Central Focus

There doesn’t always have to be one central image in the focus, but it is an easier approach to most photo walls. If you want to use an image to centralize the wall I would opt for a larger sized photo and let that determine the height of your curated wall. If you choose to go with smaller images as a central focus I would work with an even amount of photos that would fill a “larger void”.

Eclectic

I myself am drawn to a more eclectic approach and love mixing and matching sizes, shapes, colours and most of all metals. I have helped a few friends curate photo walls using decor items to round out shapes and create a flow through the visual approach.

Room to Grow

My biggest tip that I always mention is to remember to leave room for the future, as time passes new memories are made and you will want to add more images to your wall. I always like to leave a few spots available at the ends that would work to add more images to later on.

Frames Matter

Photo Credit: Avenuelifestyle.com

Most importantly, you need to consider your frame sizes, colours, shapes and matting! Some people find it easiest to stick to one frame to use throughout the whole photo wall, my suggestion is to break it up. My justification is that although you LOVE that frame, if you want to add to your wall in the future you may not be able to find that frame or shape. Simplest solution is to stick to one colour and use that tone to be concise. But as I stated above I LOVE ECLECTIC and mixing in different tones makes for a beautifully curated wall.

Feel Good Gift Giving Guide

A couple years ago my mom won Christmas, she did so by literally getting me the best gift ever. A lot of my family and friends know how much I love to volunteer my time and give back as much as I possibly can, so for Christmas that one year my mom decided to donate the money she would have spent of gifts towards a family in need. The following year, as a family we decided to sponsor a Christmas for at risk youth, and every year since as a family we have tried to spread Christmas cheer in different ways.

Now, I know some of these ideas take a lot of initiative and organization to follow through however there are so many ways you can give back and feel good about using your money to make a difference. Here are some easy ways you can give a gift and feel freaking awesome about it too!

 

  1. World Vision – Sports Equipment $10+
  2. Fair + Square Pocket Squares – Handkerchief $20
  3. Shop Love & Above for Jordana’s Rainbows – Wish Bracelet $22
  4. Plan International Gifts of Hope – Back to School Kit – $40
  5. The Dad Project – Gifts for the Cure – $50
  6. Gifts for the Cure – A Wig –  $75
  7. Food for the Hungry – Clean Water Tap $75
  8. The Little Market – Kantha Quilt $200+

After the Wedding Bells

It has been officially over one year that my husband and I tied the knot, and so many people that had gone through the wedding planning experience warned me of the extra time I would be faced with once the wedding was over.

As time passed, I started to realize a lot of newlyweds used their “new found free time” to start businesses together, new hobbies, or just seriously bask in the down time. I myself found that after almost two years of wedding planning I was seriously looking forward to having some time off. But a lot of couples tend to forget about the tasks that still remain after the wedding is over!

1. Finalize all Things Wedding

First thing is first, within the first week of being a newlywed make sure you pay any remaining vendors, return any rentals, and drop off the grooms suit and brides dress to be professionally cleaned!

2. Thanks You’s are Important!

The day after the wedding I ordered thank you cards and received them within the week, we had postponed the honeymoon for a few months so I was able to get this done immediately. Once I received them I took my pen and tackled 10 cards a night minimum – I truly believe in hand written thank you cards, but my hands were so tired I totally understood why people opt for a non-personalized response! This is a personal choice and either way ensuring you send Thank You Cards within the first 2 months of the wedding is super important!

3. Honeymooning

I was SO happy that we planned our honeymoon for a couple months after the wedding because truthfully I was exhausted immediately after the wedding and don’t think I would have properly enjoyed our honeymoon. However, we did take a few days off and headed to Niagara on the Lake to relax before going back to “real life,” but we still had a wonderful honeymoon to look forward too. It was such a personal choice for us to take a little breather before we left, but I wouldn’t have changed that because I was able to fully enjoy our 3 week honeymoon. Ya I am crazy but we had decided to go across the world and I wanted as much time as possible with my new hubby!

4. If You are Changing your name!

There is a LOT of things that need to be handled before you can change your name, so check with your province for the protocols in order to fulfill this. However, after the wedding you do need to wait a period of time before you can request a copy of your marriage licence which is needed to change your name. Also ensure you have a minimum of 2 forms of id as well as your birth certificate when applying to change your name.

 

#CREATOR: Florian Innerkofler of Innerkofler Photography

1. What first inspired you to pursue photography professionally?

I was always interested in arts, my mother is from Amsterdam and every time we visited family there we would go to a museum or an exhibit, so I was always exposed to art. I was inspired to go into photography right before I graduated architecture school in 1996. I decided to volunteer as the official photographer of a class fieldtrip to Paris and ended up falling in love with capturing the beauty of the city. After that trip, I read every monthly fashion magazine from cover to cover, which is how I then got into fashion, beauty and travel photography.

2. Can you describe your approach to photography? or aesthetic? 

I look for simple, graphic lines that have a clear message in the picture. Not too many distracting factors, not too noisy and not too overloaded. This also translates into my portraits, and in the lighting of my work. If you look at my travel photographs they are in colour, but are always reduced to two or three colours, which translates my look. In my commercial work this is something my clients appreciate as the image always embodies one statement.

Simple of Working and Dining set Modern / 3D rendering

3. Has there been a particular assignment or photoshoot in your career that you’re the most proud of?

Shortly after I moved to New York in 2007 I had an assignment for a special supplement issue for the biggest newspaper in Austria. The assignment was to shoot looks from American designers, Heatherette, who were headlining the Vienna Life Ball fashion show (the biggest charity event in Europe supporting people with HIV and AIDS). For the shoot, I wanted the model to be surrounded by people, so I decided to shoot the cover and the editorial in Times Square on a Saturday. The model we choose was Supermodel Omahyra Mota. It was a lot of fun to shoot with her, as many people recognized her on the street so I had this big amazing crowd of people watching us behind the camera. We were all proud to shoot that story in support of Life Ball and people living with HIV and AIDS. My favourite image from this shoot will be on displayed at GLOBUS, as well as on my website www.INNERKOFLER.net.

4. What do you enjoy most about capturing Toronto in images?

I enjoy winter and the different neighbourhoods, the most. I love winter days in Toronto when there’s an overcast and the city is covered in snow, it brings back that very reduced look I prefer. Walking around downtown Toronto you can find some unexpected views, especially once you incorporate the waterfront. From exploring Toronto over the last couple of years I’ve found interesting neighbourhoods with pockets of global multi-ethnic life that really add so much character to the city.

mock up blank poster on the wall of bedroom, 3D illustration background

5. What can we expect to see at GLOBUS?

It is a curated exhibition from my works over the last 20 years. I am showing a lot of my travel photographs, which were captured around the world. During my travels, I’ve shot stunning Landscapes and Cityscapes from China to the Arctic circle. You will see spontaneous moments of kids playing on a beach in Portugal and a mystical image of a Geisha walking the streets of Kyoto. A portion of the exhibition also includes some of my fashion and beauty work.

6. Do you have any advice for any aspiring photographers or artists?

With technology, it has become very easy nowadays to create images, even an iPhone can take good pictures. I find photography is a very self-educational progress, you see the image and can correct it or delete it within seconds. Today, I think young people are more aware of what they shoot. My one and only advice is to be critical and edit your work, don’t show, post or publish hundreds of pictures. It takes time to build a portfolio of really outstanding images. Try to think outside the box and be creative.

Mock up poster, exsibion room, 3d illustration

For more information, visit: www.INNERKOFLER.net

2018 Wedding Trends

2017 was a year full of wedding innovation, brides tended to get a little more personal and challenge traditional norms. As we begin to approach 2018 we are looking forward to see these new wedding trends play out for us.

Photo Credit: Feather and Twine

Wedding Wreaths

Move over chalkboard and wooden signs, this year we will be treated with the wedding wreath. Botanical trends have been climbing for a few years now, and we can’t complain because who doesn’t love the ethereal look of fresh greens?

Photo Credit: Haniel Singh Photography

Marble Accents & Bold Flowers

2017 was the year of metallic accents, and opposite of this trend we are going to start to see marble accents make their way into wedding trends. From cake plates, to charges, candle holders, tables, etc. Opposite the marble, we will see a huge rise in bold florals from shapes to colours! We are talking deep violets, burgundies, corals and royal blue!

Photo Credit: Love That Smile Photography

Velvet Everything

Not only are we seeing a rising trend in velvet in fashion but this bold and rich fabric is creeping its way right into the wedding industry through clothing and decor. Over the past few years menswear has been leaning towards rich blue suits, 2018 we will see a rise in textured fabrics including velvet!

Photo Credit: Andy Roberts Photography

Cascading Bouquets

Last season was all about the wild gathered look, and that will remain in the new age cascading bouquets. Don’t think about the perfectly stylized bouquets from the 80’s but a more natural approach to this bouquet style. Dahlias, cabbage roses and proteas will continue to be focal flowers but don’t count out the fillers! Brides will be paying a lot of attention to the filler flowers and greenery than ever before.

Photo Credit – Pinterest – Tatejohnsonn

High Neck Lines

2017 higher neck lines started to emerge but long sleeves were a much bigger deal. 2018 Designers are taking the high neck to new levels of beading, lace, and stylized approaches.

Photo Credit: Ted and Li Photography

Neon Props

Let’s talk about how neon signs are having a MAJOR moment. These kitschy signs have found their way into wedding dream plans and add a perfect amount of flair to any day! Now I just need to figure out how to get my hands on one!

 

#TravelEssential: Finding the Perfect Car

This December marks the start of my third year as a freelance travel journalist and travel television expert. While this job looks flashy online and on television, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t see. Over the last few years I’ve driven countless kilometres to and from destinations for an article and back and forth from Ottawa, Montreal and once Halifax for television interviews. That’s why I’ve decided to take the plunge and purchase a vehicle of my very own.

Since I need something compact for my travels, and would like a newer vehicle, I decided to visit  Kijiji to start my search as they have a wide range of high-quality and newer inventory to choose from and have begun to narrow down the things that matter most to me in a vehicle. I turned to Kijiji because of its inventory of over 400,000 cars and vehicles listings at any given time! With that, the odds of me finding the perfect car are extremely likely.

I’ll be documenting my car-buying journey over the next few months, so you’ll see me checking out and test driving vehicles, going through the full process from my research to driving away with my new ride! Follow along on Instagram + on www.creatorscommune.com to see what I find on Kijiji!

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Looking for a vehicle too? Here are my three tips to help you start your car-buying journey!

  1. Do your research I started off by doing my research. From customer feedback to safety inspection results, it is important to know all of the facts even before test driving a car. Whether you are buying used or new, you want to make sure the vehicle you are getting scored high on performance testing. Kijiji Central is a great place to start your research. You can browse hundreds of articles like 8 mistakes first-time car-buyers make and How to Find the Perfect Car on Kijiji that can help you throughout the process!
  2. Set a budget Once I realized how much the cars I was looking for cost, I set a budget to figure out how much I would need to set aside in order to purchase this vehicle. Gas? Insurance? Repairs? Be sure to factor in all upfront and additional costs when developing your budget.
  3. Take it for a test drive And most importantly, before you buy a car make sure you take it for a test drive. See how it drives, performs and even understand the layout of the vehicle. Is this something you can see yourself in for a few years? Be honest, what do you like about it and what do you not like about it? This is a big purchase, so be sure to take your time thinking about every detail.

It’s important to find a car that will suit your needs. To kick off my search, I am browsing on the Kijiji App, filtering by some of my top preferences to get a sense of what is available and was shocked at the wide range of options in my area.


Here is my checklist for what I’ll be looking for in a vehicle:

  • Good trunk space (to fit all my TV props and luggage)
  • Compact (to fit into downtown city spots and condo parking)
  • Low mileage -4 door / 5 seater
  • 2014 or newer
  • Bonus: A hybrid or something that is very efficient on gas

Follow along as I share more throughout my car-buying journey here on the www.creatorscommune.com and share live updates on my #KijijiFind on Instagram.

This article was sponsored by Kijiji. 

What Toronto Millennials Renovating Should Know

My husband and I recently purchased a fixer upper and with the ups and downs of taking on a home renovation I haven’t had much time to stop and breathe. There are so many details to constantly keep track of and through the process we have learned quite a bit about ourselves, each other and our home. Thankfully we did quite a bit of research before and had a solid plan in place – both of us come from construction background jobs so this definitely helped us. However, as much as we thought we knew going into this, there was a lot more we didn’t realize we would have to factor in!

Here is our list of home renovations must knows before you begin!

  1.  Obviously create a budget! So, you decided you want to renovate. The first thing we started to do once we realized we wanted to renovate the home was talk to our friends who had done similar renovations and looked at realistic pricing, costs, and other factors that would affect our budget. Secondly, we started to “window shop” by getting quotes or looking at costs of items and formulating a list. Lastly, whatever that budget is factor in an additional 10-20% for any issues that may arise. Even if you think there will be no issues, I promise you there will be! If there isn’t you have some savings at the end.
  2. Ceiling Plans are just as relevant as Flooring Plans! We knew immediately what we wanted to tackle when it came to the room designs and layouts, but a great point my husband brought up was lighting. Since the house was empty we were able to get an electrician in first. We had quite the electrical list which included moving and adding lights, outlets, switches. It was so important for the electrician to go in first because of access through walls and ceilings was simpler and any holes could be patched before paint.
  3.  Take Before Photos! A few of our friends have done major renovations to their houses and the first regrets they mentioned were not taking before or progress photos. The first thing I made sure I did was get those before photos, and we have been taking progress photos throughout the renovation as well.
  4. EMAIL! If you are working with contractors or sub-trades always try to communicate by email as much as possible. This way there is a record of conversations and little details shouldn’t fall through the cracks.
  5. 10% Hold Back – FYI many people do not know this but you can hold 10% back from contractors until the job is complete and any deficiencies have been taken care of.
  6. Review your Invoices & Receipts – always review any invoices prior to paying them, and ensure you have documentation on any work or transactions done in the home. Keep copies of all the invoices as well. We made a renovation binder where all receipts are kept just in case we need to verify something, this also helps us stay on “budget”.
  7. Don’t forget the style of the house! Everyone has different preferences, but the one thing we were very clear on was keeping in mind the type of home we purchased. My husband loves modern looks and I find myself more drawn to contemporary. Our house, well it is more on the traditional side so we have been working on blending our personal preferences with the style of the home as well.