HELLO Moo

Dear Frugalbits readers,

It’s hard to believe that four years have passed since we first launched this little adventure in online publishing, but they have. And through all that time, while we were concentrating on content, magazine-style websites like ours were changing in the way they look and function.

They got wider, pictures got bigger, and “responsive” design, which looks great on any screen size, became the new normal. By last fall, once charming Frugalbits had begun to look more and more out of the loop; clearly it needed a makeover.

And this is precisely what we’ve gotten. Thanks to the talented team at Vanhit.com we have a wonderful new logo, a gorgeous new homepage, and a lovely minimalist design that is dead easy to navigate.

So please take a few minutes to test drive our new model, and then if you would, let us know what you think of it at editors@frugalbits.com.

—XO Team Frugalbits

Postcard image: via moo.com

P3160642-Edit

Your inspiration for no-bake bird’s nest cookies for Easter

These chocolate and peanut  butter cookies are the easiest thing you’ll make this Easter.

Bird's Nest Easter Cookies - C. Rule

 

 

EASY & DELISH | If you’re casting around for an Easter adventure to share with the junior cooks in your life, these quick-made no-bake chocolate-and-peanut butter bird’s nest cookies are a slam dunk.

Read more

About Us

 

 

Allison J. Emery, Stealing Beauty columnistAllison J. Emery
Stealing Beauty Columnist
ajemery@frugalbits.com

Passionate about fashion and cosmetics from an early age, AJ credits her mother—and Barbie—for encouraging her development as a make-up artist.

Trained at the Blanche Macdonald Centre for Applied Design, where she received a diploma in 2003, AJ has subsequently honed her considerable skills working in the cosmetics industry for a variety of well-known companies.

AJ prides herself on remaining brand neutral when it comes to recommending products. “It’s really not about the product name; it’s about what a product can do for your particular set of issues. Sometimes something inexpensive will work; sometimes it won’t.” Contact Allison at aemery@frugalbits.com.

Favourite free things to do in Vancouver: Bike rides, star-gazing, Scrabble, DIY pedicures.

Won’t scrimp on: Skin care, shoes, haircuts.
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Brendan Power, D.I.Y. ColumnistBrendan Power
D.I.Y. Columnist
bpower@frugalbits.com

Trained as a professional interior designer (applied arts grad from Ryerson University in Toronto), Brendan was chief editorial stylist at Western Living magazine for 13 years, leaving his distinctive mark on the publication by creating and setting up photo-worthy environments, overseeing everything from flower arranging and interior accessorizing to total home makeovers.

In his current position as art director for a major international art publisher, he develops concepts with artists and selects pieces from major collections around the world for the home décor industry. His work involves travelling extensively to trend spot at major international art and interior design shows. Contact Brendan at bpower@frugalbits.com.

Current reading: Living in Style without Losing Your Mind, by Marco Pasanella. “Great source for finding your inner designer using the things you already have—very frugal.”

Current thinking: Collecting can be frugal if you like objects that aren’t necessarily precious. “I love quirky vases—some of my favourites cost a toonie. They look great grouped together, with or without flowers.”

_______________________________________________

Carolann ruleCarolann Rule
EiC
carolannrule@frugalbits.com

Carolann spent two decades in the magazine biz, much of that time at Western Living magazine where she started out as homes and design editor and wound up as editor-in-chief, a position she held for seven years. As a freelancer, she has written for The Globe and Mail, National Post, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, Azure et al. Carolann describes herself as incurably curious, definitely intense, mostly happy and a little on the quirky side. Contact Carolann at crule@frugalbits.com.

Favourite free things to do in Vancouver: Going to movies outdoors, looking around in galleries and exploring the city’s neighbourhoods on foot.

Won’t scrimp on: Morning joe at Crema in West Van, where the idea for Frugalbits was hatched (thanks, Bill Keary and Tarry Giannakos and fam).

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Casey PhaisalakaniCasey Phaisalakani
Photographer, Photo Editor
cphaisalakani@frugalbits.com

Casey moved from Hong Kong to Vancouver in 2006 to study photography at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Having recently graduated this spring, she started taking pictures at age seven as an assistant to her mum, a talented amateur photographer. When she was 15, her dad gave her his old Nikon film camera; Casey says shooting with it felt like coming home. “I knew then that I wanted learn everything I could about how to take really good pictures.”

While she prefers working with film because it allows for more personal expression, Casey says shooting for Frugalbits has opened her eyes to the possibilities—not to mention the economy—of working in the digital format. While she loves photography she also can’t get enough of food and constantly blogs of her food adventures at www.fingerlickineats.com. Contact Casey at cphaisalakani@frugalbits.com.

Favourite little money saver: Shopping at Daiso for its cheap housewares, art and book supplies.

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Eve Johnson
Five-Minute Yoga Columnist
gjohnson@frugalbits.com

Eve is passionate about yoga, writing and food, pretty much in that order.
She fell in love with Iyengar yoga in 1987, began to teach in 2000 and traveled to India to study with the Iyengar family in 2008. If you count her two years as a CPAir flight attendant, teaching yoga is her third career.
She wrote for the Vancouver Sun for 20 years, the last 10 of them in the food section, where she authored two cookbooks with the Sun’s test kitchen, Five-Star Food and Six O’Clock Solutions. After leaving the newspaper, she published Eating My Words, a book of food essays and recipes.

For the past eight years Eve has co-directed and taught at the Yoga on 7th studio (http://www.yogaon7th.com/) at 7th and Main. She is currently blending writing and yoga on her blog, Five-Minute Yoga (http://myfiveminuteyoga.com/). One of these days she plans to start a food blog, to write about her new yogurt maker and other pressing topics.

Favorite money-saving activity: Growing a summer’s supply of basil in pots on the back deck.

Favorite free thing to do in Vancouver: Walk to the beach and look at birds.

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Felicity Stone, Green Within Reason ColumnistFelicity Stone
Green Within Reason Columnist
fstone@frugalbits.com

Like many accidental environmentalists, Felicity started out more cheap than green. This veteran writer and editor deplores waste; what she values is enduring style, quality and beauty.

Influenced by parents who experienced the Depression and wartime rationing, she repaired, reused, renovated and restored long before it was trendy. She is currently reviving a classic 1949 post-and-beam home and woodland garden in North Vancouver. Contact Felicity at fstone@frugalbits.com.

Favourite cheap, green find: A second-hand sculptural teak sofa at Value Village for $80. The matching chair was recently for sale at a vintage modern store for $800.

Words to shop by: Do I love it? Do I need it? Can I afford it?”
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Glenys Morgan, Brand X ColumnistGlenys Morgan
Brand X Columnist
gmorgan@frugalbits.com

While thriving in a nicely composted mix of life here in Vancouver, Glenys’s roots are in Saskatchewan, where farmers’ daughters have a reputation that demands attention. Culinary school in Europe nurtured her love of food, but her passion for cooking, eating and teaching grew out of her memories of great meals from farm kitchens.

What began as an opportunity to develop a program of classes at Calgary’s Culinary Arts led Glenys to a career in teaching and consulting. In Vancouver, she has shared her considerable expertise with the best restaurants and retailers, among them Granville Island’s Market Kitchen and Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.

Every day Glenys tries to learn at least one new thing about cooking. She will never eat a fried egg in her life. Contact Glenys at gmorgan@frugalbits.com.

Best mini-vacation: Shopping for food in a new haunt-it’s like taking a trip without leaving the farm.

Words to cook by: Grind your spices from whole and always eat with those you love.

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Natasha Irvine
Editorial Assistant
nirvine@frugalbits.com

After earning a degree in English and Theatre, Natasha spent a few years globetrotting before settling in Vancouver in 2007. During her travels she picked up a passion for public bathing and writes about her adventures on http://hotsprung.wordpress.com. She loves that spas in Canada are picking up on the hydrotherapy trend, which mean longer days at the spa for a fraction of the price. One day Natasha will do a soaking tour of the world and write about it; for now she just wishes that she had a bigger tub.

Natasha loves to spend rainy Vancouver days curled up with a book and a cup of coffee and the sunny ones outside at her community garden.

Won’t scrimp on: Shampoo and Conditioner

Words to shop by: “I am too poor to buy cheap S#!T.”

 

Melissa LawsonMelissa Lawson
SaleSpotter Columnist
mlawson@frugalbits.com

Since reading her first issue of Vogue at the impressionable age of 12, Melissa has devoured the latest issues of fashion magazines. When her favourite pastime became scouring the shelves in the magazine section at Indigo, she knew she wanted to become a fashion writer.

After graduating from Blanche Macdonald, she travelled for a year to gain a true appreciation for global fashion. Upon her return she attended Capilano University and obtained a business diploma, retail marketing certificate and magazine publishing certificate. As a student she lived the frugal life so joining Frugalbits as a fashion columnist was a match made in heaven.

Guilty Pleasures: French macaroons from Thomas Haas and people watching, usually at the same time.

Won’t scrimp on: Makeup, Sunday brunch and facials at Spa Utopia.

 

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