Manicure’s at McDonalds #SCCTO

I want to thank the Chicken Farmers again for sending me to the She’s Connected conference (SCCTO). Had a great time!

Yesterday morning I set my alarm for 5am to get my butt in gear and make the drive to Toronto. How many times have I said on my blog, it’s never a road trip unless I get lost? The GPS told me to get off onto Dixie (that road will be the death of me, I have so many stories about that road and me driving on it doing u-turns) do a u-turn and come back onto the same highway I got off of. Thankfully I allotted myself a ton of time to navigate the city. After that, everything ran smoothly.

Morgan and I had planned on meet up with one another at SCCTO, and so glad I did. I hadn’t seen her in months and I was overdue for a giggle-fest day with her.

At the first keynote, a few of the SCCTO first-timers (including me) were told to stand up and introduce ourselves. I’m glad I did because as soon as I did, Isabel tweeted me saying she was sitting at the table behind me. I finally met her!

 One of the main sponsors for SCCTO was McDonalds. I had huge plans to spend a lot of my day in their lounge, and so I did.

Nice spot, hey?

McDonalds Canada hired people to do massages and manicures in the relaxing jazz-music-playing lounge. Courtney and I got manicures, while Morgan got a massage. I requested a few hot chocolates throughout the day, and my final one I asked if I could have a pump of their caramel sauce (for coffee’s or lattes) in my hot chocolate. I think it’s something they should totally market, because holy heavens it was delicious.

Here’s my loot from SCCTO:

Yep. A thong in my swag bag.

Maple Leaf Connects was also there. My Dad would be proud of the shirt I scored. Dad makes the best bacon I have ever, and will ever have. I only eat it when I’m home in Newfoundland because of it. Good bacon cooker ;)

The seminars I attended were so great. I have pages of notes to flick through. Morgan ended up speaking on the one of the panels about Brand ambassadorships and community management from the PR perspective.

L-R: @AliciaHCox, Morgan, @CateWritesAgain (Canadians, remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McCloud? Catherine’s with participaction!), and @BigDaddyKreativ!

After SCCTO was over, our stomachs were rumbling. For lunch we all went to Chipotle to grab something to eat. I’ve heard so many people rave about that place, on blogs. But have never been there. It’s basically a mexican-style subway. I wish everything didn’t have onions in it though. Everything was smothered in it, and there was no way around it. Disappointing lol.

Morgan took me to the Queen/Spadina location of Fresh. It’s a vegan/vegetarian restaurant and it was my first time being there! I ordered this tasty dish and polished it right off.

I was then accompanied to my car with Morgan, because I didn’t want to get mugged. She’s my Batman in the bad city of Gotham haha. I dropped her off on some random side street (just kidding) and went on my way back home.

Spadina, the road I needed to make a left on, was shut down due to construction. My plan was ruined to get home (lol). I called the Boyf and he navigated me throughout Toronto for a full 30 minutes until I was finally on Lake Shore Blvd and heading towards home. Moses, what a rats nest I was in.

For the last 25km of the ride home I was feeling a bit unfocused. It was then 10pm, so I blasted the cool air in the car along with radio music. But it didn’t work, I felt like I was getting tired. I ended up talking to myself out loud in the car, about writing this blog post, about She’s Connnected, basically pretending someone was in the car with me but I was doing all the talking. I told my boyfriend this when I arrived home and he jokingly asked me “Have you gone mental?” hahahah!!!

It’s what I had to do. I had a great time hanging out with Morgan, thanks for taking me to some new restaurants! Can’t wait to see everyone again.

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Give me my asthma inhaler, for this one!

After the breakfast was done at the Make Up For Ever event, I was already in my favorite area of Toronto, Yorkville. So I decided to do some shopping at Anthropologie.

I tried on this mullet top. You know, business in the front, party in the back. I bought a few other things while I was there.

I read a blog earlier in August, that Free People finally came to Toronto and headed over there for my next destination. I wasn’t overly thrilled by anything in the store and left quickly.

I ended up popping into the Eaton Centre to kill some time before going to the Fossil head office. I went into another favorite store of mine, Zara. There was a few people hanging around these two blonde ladies, snapping photos. While others circled around and whispered. I knew it was someone famous so I got right in front. Made some questionable faces, trying to figure out who they were, exactly.

I saw this photo being taken by kworku31. Was it The Hiltons? It kinda looked like Nikki Hilton, but the Mother – no, I know her from somewhere. They were wearing huge sunglasses so I couldn’t exactly tell.

Bah! It was freaking the reality TV star from The Real Housewives of Vancouver. I saw Jody Claman, and her two daughters. I watched  a few episodes of the show on my iPad, and thought it was pretty nuts so I haven’t watched it since. I also didn’t take a photo, because I get weird in those situations.

A week before going to Toronto for the day, I e-mailed Lori — the PR Manager for Fossil Canada who I’ve been talking to on the phone and via e-mail on a regular basis for a few months. Get this. I asked her if she wanted to meet up.

As soon as I sent the e-mail I started getting winded. I was excited because I knew that she would of course meet up with me. That was a big step, out of my comfort zone, if you knew me in person. I can be quite shy!

I took the subway over to the Fossil Headquarters and when I walked up to the receptionist’s desk who was the sweetest person.  She said she recognized me but didn’t know where from until I told her that I blogged and handed her my business card button, I told her I was meeting Lori for the first time.

The receptionist (Sorry I cannot remember her name. If you’re reading this, I think you’re so sweet and great!) told me after she received my button that Lori sent out my Fossil blog posts to all the Fossil crew in … Canada. Dude. Where’s my asthma inhaler? I also left a few of these buttons around Toronto as well, while I was there. Hee hee.

Lori took me to a local restaurant and we chatted about everything! I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable at all. Once we left the restaurant we walked back up to the Fossil office and I was introduced to (Guys, I can’t even type this with a serious face) the GM of Fossil, Sian.

I may have acted like that Newfoundland lady, from the Ellen show. (Skip to 1:30)

I did a little running dance on the spot, started giggling. Got embarrassed, bent over, and covered my face trying to stop myself from laughing so hard. Then I was asked if I was okay, if I needed to sit down and drink some water.

I’m tellin’ ya. My parents are wondering “Who raised you?” They ask me this all the time.

After I calmed down, the three of us were honestly just having a great conversation in this corner office, made of almost all glass windows in downtown Toronto. I couldn’t believe I was there. I even said during a break in conversation: Oh my LORD. Guys we are having casual chit chat in the FOSSIL. OFFICE! Then I got them roaring laughing again. It’s hard to put into words how amazing it was. Truly. It’s also hard to tell you the kind of vibe that was there, so relaxed. Like, c’mon. Me joking around with the GM, and PR manager! How crazy right?

Sian when she first met me said that SHE felt like she was meting someone famous, since shes been reading my blog. Girl! I feel the exact same way now that I’m actually inside the Fossil Office for real. FOR. REAL. She even asked me if she could hug me. AGH! Hug away!!!!!

I got a tour of Fossil, but unfortunately the show room was unexpectedly taken up so I couldn’t go in and touch the leather goods. I did get to see a sneak peak of what’s in store for the Spring collection. Doubt I can say any more than that so I won’t.

I did get to go in to the “watch room” as I’ll just call it, and scope out some of the other watches Fossil makes (?): Michael Kors, DKNY, Georgio Armani, Burberry, and Diesel! Lori was talking to me, telling me stories and my eyes were just so wide. It was the coolest thing ever, and I was by myself. Little ol’ Nancy, from Newfoundland. Getting a tour of Fossil Canada in downtown Toronto. Can you believe it?

I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask, if I could take photos of the inside of the place. So I didn’t. But I did take a few snaps while I was gazing out the window of Sian’s office.

The location is right in front of the Roy Thompson Hall. The checkered red window you see in the bottom photo, is CBC!

Sian also handed me the second Fall 2012 catalog for Fossil. Cool. I didn’t know companies did that – have multiple catalogs for each season. Remember the inside of the catalog from the first Fall 2012 collection?

I wonder if I can take some photos next time? Oh yes, even after all of my antics, I was invited back. I even gasped a few times when Lori told me to contact her the next time I’m in Toronto! I love new friends, of course I’ll contact you!

Lori ever so generously gave me a brand new Fossil watch, I couldn’t thank her enough. This is the Heather Leather Watch – Sand.

Time for a photo shoot with the watch, yesterday morning! lol

Pretty right? To be honest, I was a little hesitant on the looks of it when I first saw it. But paired with the right outfit (my fav, neutrals), it totally fits, and I really do love it.

I was still in the elevator going up to my apartment, I called my parents and I don’t think I let them have a word in for a good 8 minutes. I was speaking so fast the thoughts were racing through my head, from throughout the day. It was incredible.

It was my Mom’s bed time since I got home late, Newfoundland’s timezone is a head of us here in Ontario. So I chatted with my dad further. He explained to me that one year for Christmas (I’m thinking between 1-3 years ago) that I gave him a Fossil wallet. I have no idea what that wallet looks like, and I cannot remember for the life of me buying it for him, but I did. Either way, he was telling me that — get this, in his 78 years of living he honestly says that this (his own words):  “F-U-S-S-I-L imprinted on the wallet” (it’s Fossil, Dad!)  “is the best one yet“. Ha, score brownie points!

I have to say, this whole day on Thursday was like a dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, spent with so many amazing people new friends! 

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Saturday solo trip

What did your weekend look like?

I got my Boyf to drop me off at the bus station bright and early on Saturday morning, so I could take a day and just explore shop Toronto. I love navigating the big city and taking the subway and feeling super independent. Sometimes I do get lost, but everyone’s friendly and will help you out if you ask. Though I didn’t feel like asking anyone on Saturday… and of course, got lost.

I snapped a bunch of photos with my blackberry. So let’s just go in for a re-cap!

First stop: Luminato Vichy “tent”.  I met up with Priya, a friend I’ve met online as she previously worked at Glymm in Montreal. Now she’s with L’Oreal and we finally had a chance to meet!

Vichy booth (courtesy of Vichy’s FaceBook page)

I got my skin analyzed. It was interesting to find out that I have dehydrated skin, and not dry. My skin’s moisture level was at 30.6% and should be anywhere between 40-50%! I also got a UV filter snap shot of my face. It was scary looking, but I didn’t have any sun damage on my face, luckily. Since I tanned for about 5 years in tanning beds a number of years ago.

Priya and I went for iced coffees together, spotted the Beibs singing at Much Music, and giggled about how he was actually here and we don’t even like him! Ok, I lied. I like one song. His newest, where he sounds like Justin Timberlake.I wonder if that was really Sarah McLachlan singing next to the Vichy booth after all? Some random guy walked up to me and asked who was practicing singing. I blurted out immediately that it was her, but I got the strangest what the f look from the guy. I laughed so hard, but I mean it sounded just like her! Who knows.

I thought this stage was set up especially for the Lil’ Beibs but apparently the Much Music Video Awards was about to happen that weekend. I got yelled at for going back and stopping to take this photo. On this side of the street, you weren’t allowed to stop and look. Had to keep on keepin’ on. The other side was filled up with teeny-boppers screaming.

One of my favorite places in Toronto: Young and Dundas Square. It’s always soo busy. There was even a 8 foot Spock (from Star Treck) standing around. I jumped a little off to the side when I saw him, and he just stared. Stared! I wanted to take a photo but I didn’t. I have to admit. The only reason I snapped this photo was because I saw a CrossFit billboard :)

Next I went to Forever 21. Sure I may be classified by some as being too old to shop in this store. But I have to disagree. I can’t help but get sucked in. They have such nice, trendy, inexpensive clothes. I have some expensive clothes, mixed in with some not-so-expensive clothes. I like my style and pairing things to make a good outfit. It’s not like I’m shopping at Hollister or Abercrombie plastered all over my t-shirt. Forever 21 has some really nice pieces, without it looking like it’s from there. Know what I mean? If you can make it work, shop there. I wear my Forever 21 jeans way more often than my $100 jeans from Fidelity. I love their $11.30 jeans. I wear them every Friday to work, including yesterday to Toronto. May I repeat myself? They were $11.80.

I spotted some Nike Free’s 3.0 at the Nike store in Toronto. I kind of want them. They’re not as nice as the one’s I already own though ;)

I did a bit of browsing around at Urban Outfitters for the first time in a really long while. There was a band playing upstairs called Young Magic. The music definitely wasn’t for everyone. But I enjoyed it while I was there, and contemplated buying their CD. You can listen to their music on the link I provided just above.

After doing some shopping I grabbed some food…

That was basically it. My entire day revolved around mostly the Young/Dundas area. I had a quick bite at the Food Court (chicken ceasar crepe) and hopped on the greyhound back home. 

What did your weekend look like?

I’ll have another blog post coming up this week of what’s inside those two shopping bags above! I must sort through all of my receipts from the past few months and shred them. Looking for paper shredder ratings is silly. I don’t know why I’m doing it. All shredders really are pretty much the same.

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