March 2014


4 closet essentials for the busy mom

by Erin Nadler

Women are busier than ever. We are mothers, executives, lawyers, and entrepreneurs so it isn’t a surprise that we often face conflicts in juggling our many roles. We constantly strive to find the perfect balance between home-life and career-life. As a result, our fashion-sense and knowledge of the latest trends take a backseat behind children, hockey practice, and a million other household chores. For many of us, picking out what to wear in the morning is a dreaded task as we race the clock to get dressed and out the door within a five-minute timeframe.

Luckily, our mornings can be much less stress filled and our style much more fashion forward with a few simple tips. Here are a few key items that can be mixed and matched and will take you from the boardroom, to the playground, to an evening out for dinner.

A classic and perfect fitting jean 

It seems that every season a new style of jean emerges. Out goes the skinny jean, and enter in wide-legged trousers only to be switched back next season. However, classic boot-cut or straight leg denim remains a timeless item from season to season. Owning a dark-wash, comfortable, and mid to high rise pair of jeans is essential. A jean with ample stretch will provide the comfort and flexibility you need when picking up toddlers or running to make a lunch meeting on time. A dark denim jean can be dressed up or down by pairing them with heels or runners, a casual tee, or a blazer.

Basic black or boyfriend jacket 

A fitted and tailored black suit jacket will be the best item you will ever purchase. Not only are jackets great for whittling away at your waist but a well constructed jacket can take your boring t-shirt to the next level. By rolling up the sleeves you get a more relaxed and chic approach to the basic black jacket. Also perfect for every season this jacket can serve as a spring and fall jacket by layering underneath it, adding a shawl, or a scarf.

Layering tees and tanks 

Owning a couple long-sleeved and short-sleeved tees and tanks in various colours and lengths are a must. You can layer a tank under a long-sleeved tee and look effortlessly put together. Add a fabulous scarf, interesting belt, or a black jacket and this outfit instantly becomes a perfect look for the office.

A wide belt 

Belts are a must-have accessory in every woman’s wardrobe. A wide black belt can become an important item in your accessory collection if you know how to wear it correctly. Tip: look for a belt that is leather and has an elastic back that allows you to easily move the belt up and down onto your waist or hips. Taking a simple t-shirt with jeans and adding a belt can complete your look instantly. Adding the same belt to a straight sheath dress, or to your black jacket and white blouse adds a touch of class and is an easy way to make your ‘look’ more current.

Follow Erin on Twitter at @betterstyled.

Follow Women’s Post at @WomensPost.

The Top 4 Ways That Pilates Can Improve Your Overall Health

When we think of the benefits of Pilates we often think strong abs and a toned backside. But there’s much more to Pilates than a whittled waistline. Check out what else Pilates can do for you to improve your overall health and make you feel better.


Stretch your spine and spread the workload

One of the most common causes of back pain is lack of spinal mobility. When one segment of the spine is stiff and immobile, it forces all the movement into the more mobile segment, creating overwork, strain and often breakdown at those joints. Pilates enhances spinal mobility, creating more movement through the stiffer areas of the spine and spreading the workload. The result is better freedom of movement and a healthier, stronger spine, capable of supporting all your activities.


Stop peeing every time you laugh

Do you sometimes laugh so hard the tears run down your leg? Pelvic floor dysfunction is no joke. Overactive bladder syndrome affects countless women. Pilates creates strength and balance in the muscles of the pelvic floor which is part of the inner unit of “core muscles” that engage in every Pilates exercise. A healthy pelvic floor is necessary to normal sexual function and urinary continence. For those considering surgery for pelvic floor prolapse, PFilates TM a specifically designed pelvic floor rehabilitation program based on Pilates exercises has been clinically proven to help improve surgical outcomes and in some cases avoid surgery altogether.


Build better bones

Osteoporosis and low bone density is not an old lady disease.  It affects active women in their 40s and 50s too. Osteoporosis and low bone density are like the crumbling foundation of a house. It doesn’t matter how strong your muscles are, if the foundation of skeletal bones is porous and unstable, the foundation is going to crumble. Literally, your bones will break. Pilates resistance training, particularly on the Reformer or other spring –based Pilates resistance machines, helps build and maintain bone density keeping our bones healthy and strong.


Breath in. Breath out. Repeat.

If you are going to keep going at this crazy pace and not lose your mind, you have to find a way to deal with stress. We are pulled in a million directions – work, kids, family, community. The stresses are never ending, cumulative and hazardous to your health. Pilates teaches you to focus on the task at hand while letting go of the extraneous tension in your body and your mind. This mind-body connection, practiced over and over in your Pilates workout, transfers into your everyday life creating calm and control.



Barbara Grant is the President and Founder of Retrofit Pilates, a full-service studio located in Toronto’s Bloor West Village.




Busy relationships in Toronto can feel like long distance in the same city

Toronto is a city of neighborhoods, and as wonderful as this is when you live in a fantastic community like King West it can sometimes make seeing people who live in different parts of the city nearly impossible. I haven’t seen Boyfriend in almost two weeks and a part of me feels like we’re in a long distance relationship even though we live within 45 minutes of each other by transit.

The past couple of weeks have been busy for me at work and Boyfriend has been working on his new short film which means that as much as we’ve wanted to see each other it just hasn’t been possible. When I finish work I rush home to walk the pup and then I’ve always got something to do; whether it’s my unbreakable date with my boys on Monday nights, my Wednesday night workouts, work events or social media events – it’s been BUSY.

We’ve got a date scheduled for Friday night but after that he has to run off to a monthly meeting of the minds for those trying to make it in the film and television industry; this meeting has proved lucrative for him in the past so I can’t ask him to skip it any more than he can ask me to skip out on something for my work.

I realize that I’m basically complaining about being too young, too successful and too in love with my partner, I really do; and it’s not that I’m ungrateful Toronto has given me opportunities that I could have never imagined before I left Kingston for bigger and better things. I see friends on Facebook who have quiet lives in the small town I left behind and while they seem happy it just isn’t something I’d ever want for myself. I wanted my career to be the number one thing in my life and I’m not ashamed of that, not even a little, but sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in.

This is how people fall into the Toronto trap; this is how couples move in together too soon and it’s just easier to see your partner when you know they will be waiting for you at home. I see myself starting to think this way already thinking that it would just be easier if we got a place together and then it wouldn’t feel so much like I was in a not-so-long-distance-relationship. If we’d just move our relationship faster everything would be easier but that’s not the answer. I’ve always said that I wanted to wait until we’d been together for two years, I don’t want to move fast just because I get lonely at night sometimes, I don’t want to push us before we’re ready. Yes, I want to live with Boyfriend in 2014 but it’s going to have to wait a little longer before we’re emotionally and financially ready.

Thinking about all of this moving in stuff sure ages a girl suddenly I feel like an actual real-life grown up.

Makeup tutorial for abused women goes viral

For most people the realities of domestic violence are hard to put into every day terms. The violence faced at home and the fear and anxiety that comes with violent partnerships seems so far removed — that is, until they see a video like this.

Refuge for Women and Children Against Domestic Violence puts a victim of abuse in a setting familiar to many women: a makeup tutorial. The only difference is that she isn’t trying to achieve the Beyonce or Gaga look, she’s trying to cover her bruises before her abusive partner comes home.

Did this clip help you gain some perspective?

Continuing education: Should you go back to school?

I come from a family of school lovers. I’ve been raised with a deep respect for education and the role it plays in career success. My parents have about four or five Master’s degrees between them, and my little sisters have followed suit, taking every opportunity to gain as much knowledge as possible through different avenues.

I’m pretty sure this thirst for knowledge has played a big role in any success I’ve had in business – not only my post-secondary education, but more specifically the importance I’ve placed on continuing education in my fields.  It’s not always possible or efficient to take a full degree program, and really, it’s not always necessary either. I’ve found that especially in a city like Toronto, the options we have for furthering our skills and knowledge set are numerous. I’ve taken single university classes according to my preferences and enrolled in continuing education courses, online seminars, or weekend workshops to learn more as I’ve taken on different roles within my company or different projects as they come.

What it comes down to is having a good grasp on your strengths and your weaknesses. My strength has always been marketing and communications, but in starting a business from the ground up, I’ve had to learn other skill sets as well. I’ve taken additional courses in accounting and management to build a foundation for skills that I knew were imperative to the functioning of a business.

I’ve also found that not all education takes place in a classroom environment, so I make sure to keep myself open to furthering my development through networking with other professionals to exchange knowledge and advance learning as well. I’ve attended trade shows, conferences, and other industry-specific events that have done wonders in helping me to be more confident in knowledge of any facet of my business. The Internet is also an amazing resource, as are books that provide a convenient way to advance knowledge.

If you’re a business owner who wants to keep learning, through the busy schedules and the demanding itineraries, it is absolutely possible to find a way.  Whether it’s through getting an actual degree or taking short-term courses to bolster my knowledge, in my personal experience, continuing education helps in achieving my ultimate vision of success.

Even the toughest folks will be terrified by this short film — you’ve been warned

I like to think I don’t scare very easily, especially in the office in the middle of the afternoon. Boy was I wrong.

I will certainly be sleeping with the lights on tonight.

If you’re a fan of frights this 3 minute video should be right up your alley. The short won David F Sandburg the honour of best director at the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge, so you know it will leave you up at night.

If you’re less adventurous you might want to sit this one out.

You’ve been warned.

Women share experiences with “random acts of feminism”

Redditors today shared some of their experiences with what they called “random acts of feminism” — unexpected moments where the feminist actions of others impacted their everyday lives.

Check out some of the experiences and share your own in the comments below!


“I had a really awesome high school history teacher. He was a pretty chill dude, really big into government and civics, and helped our Debate Team be one of the most respected and recognized organizations at our sports-excelling high school. It was AP US History year 2 (everything after the Civil War) and we were spending the day learning about various social movements. We had a few very machismo-filled dudes in our class who loved to promote the traditional, nuclear American family and spar off with my teacher in debates. That day, my teacher casually started the discussion with, “Raise your hand if you think a woman should be paid the same as a man instead of $0.70 to the dollar”, “Raise your hand if you think it’s silly that women didn’t have the right to vote at one time”, “Raise your hand if you think a woman should be able to freely pursue a career and raise a family”.

As the questions kept coming up, everyone’s hands shot up for every question to agree with it. Even the pretty conservative dudes’ hands went up, with a smirk on their face that read, “Hey, it’s the 00’s, these are really stupid questions”. The last question my teacher said was, “Raise your hand if you raised your hand to all these questions”. Not a single person in the room had their hand down.

Then my teacher, without skipping a beat, responded with, “Congratulations to all of you who have your hands up. You are all feminists.” All the social conservatives were sitting their with their hands up, in shock, which opened up the floor to an awesome discussion about how feminists weren’t just stereotypical bra-burners in the 60’s. It’s been 11 years and I still remember how important those realizations were to all of us in that class to this day.”



“After being on the organizing committee for an International Women’s Day event in my hometown (and working my ass off), I get this text from my boyfriend: “You are an amazing woman, And I mean that as you are amazing and a woman, not amazing by some imagined stereotypical standard of what a woman should be.”‘
— elizabethjaneanne


“In highschool they have those days where colleges or army recruiters can set up booths for kids to grab brochures etc. So the army booth is having this competition where you see how many push ups you can do in a minute. All these guys were doing it and I decided I’m doing it too. I was the only girl and the recruiter told me I could go on my knees instead of my toes. All of a sudden a bunch of the guys just say “No believe me man…she doesn’t need it” I won doing full push ups and got a free T-shirt and an apologetic handshake. Waterpolo pays off.”
— Deja_Vu_For_You


“I was part of a student organization interviewing new board members. It was a very professional atmosphere (grad school) so candidates were expected to wear suits to the interview. One of the candidates showed up in one of those suits that have long shorts that were popular for women briefly a few years ago. During deliberations, some of the guys kept bringing it back to her attire. I assured them that, yes, her outfit was a common sight in women’s professional clothing stores. Then one of my colleagues came up us away with the perfect response: “Why are we focusing on what she was wearing? We should be talking about her credentials. I thought she was well qualified.”

To be fair to the guys though, an interview for a traditional organization was not the proper place for showing off a new style.”
— brainmuffin


Share your own experiences with random acts of feminism!