Summer 2022

Geoff and I have decided to ease back into running some events with a couple of fun and free options this summer:

For NOTL, there’s also the option of joining us at the Shaw Festival afterward for the 1922 show.

We’d love to see some friends out. Everyone is welcome.

This is our website 👇
Like our Facebook page 👇
Sign up for email updates 👇
Follow the Instagram account – @steppingoutvintagetoronto 👇

Hope to see you at one or both of these.
Mandi & Geoff

Facebook Jail

On March 29th, ironically just a few days before the closing date for the sale of my social media business, my business account was hacked. It was really terrible and unfortunately, some of my clients lost their advertising accounts.

I am not naive about these things. I’ve always been very conscious about security and use an encrypted password keeper with more complex passwords. But even so, the hackers got to the business account.

This also resulted in my personal account being given an “under review” notice. On April 1st, I was given a 30 days to take action or my account would be shut down. I followed the review process (uploaded my ID for both for my personal account and business account) and actually did have a chance to speak to a Facebook representative on the phone because of the business manager. If it had only been my personal account, it wouldn’t have been possible to get someone on the phone.

Unlike hacking where you’re completely locked out of your account, I’ve actually been able to observe things on Facebook but not participate. This “no man’s land” of Facebook jail allowed me to backup all of my photography and friends lists over the last couple of weeks. I fully expected the account to be deleted because it was taking so long.

By the way, my sister Zoey’s personal account was hacked the same week as my business account. Because she was using a fake birthday on her account, she will probably not get her account back because when you have to upload your ID to prove your identity, there has to be enough data that matches to verify who you really are.

I can’t stress this enough; ensure you have a super strong password and turn on extra authentication for your Facebook and Instagram accounts. I see people being hacked every single week and losing their accounts. My situation was a little different, but it still adds up to the same thing. Go to your Facebook (and Instagram) settings and do a security checkup ASAP.


Friday, April 1st

This is the day I was given my 30 day notice on my personal account. (See the cover image.)


Sunday, April 17th

I was let out of Facebook jail for under 24 hours on Easter Sunday, April 17th, but in under 24 hours my account was restricted again. I guess it was some sort of a glitch that even let me post in the first place. This time I’m able to edit existing posts but I can’t create new posts or comments. Messenger seems to work. I am probably back on the path to having my account deleted by the end of the month.


Wednesday, April 20th

(morning) – I seem to be able to post again. We’ll see how long it lasts.
…And within a few hours:


Friday, April 29th

It’s 5:30pm and I seem to be out of jail again. I tried this morning and was still being restricted. We’ll see if this lasts. If not, my account will be shut down on May 1st, according to the 30 day notice.


On April 29th, without any email notification, I was let out of Facebook jail and it seems to be permanent. So that was 30 days in jail, just a few days shy of the 30 day notice that I received on April 1st. That’s a long time but I did get through it. Such a pain, and I commiserate with anyone who goes through something similar.

My Pandemic Viewing

#PandemicLife = TV Consumption

I’ve been keeping notes about what shows I’ve watched since the pandemic started. Just for my own reference but in case anyone is curious, I’ve rated these based on my level of enjoyment.
The Great – Prime – S1 & S2 – 10/10
Umbrella Academy – Netflix – S1, S2 & S3 – 10/10
Stranger Things – Netflix – S4 10/10
The Boys (most violent & gross ever) – Prime – S1 S2 – 9/10 – S3 in progress
Good Omens – Prime – 9/10
The Queen’s Gambit – Netflix – 9/10
Little Fires Everywhere – Prime – 9/10
Z: The Beginning of Everything – 5.5/10
The Last Tycoon – 5.5/10
Cobra Kai S1 & S2 – Netflix – started 8, reduced to 5/10 in S3 and quit
The Morning Show – Apple – S1 & S2 – 8.5/10
The Marevelous Mrs. Maisel – Prime S1, S2, S3, S4 – 8/10
Homecoming – Prime – 7/10
Big Little Lies – HBO? – S1 & S2 –  7.5/10
Hanna – Prime – S1, S2, S3 – 8.5/10
Upload – Prime – 8.5/10
Emily in Paris – Netflix – S1 – 8/10 , S2 – 8.5/10
Alex Rider – Prime – S1 & S2 – 8.5/10
The Feed – Prime – 7/10
Utopia – Prime – S1 8/10, S2 – 7.5
Bridgerton – Netflix – S1 – 8/10, S2 in progress
Modern Love – Prime – S1 & S2 – 6/10
The Wilds – Prime – S1 & S2 – 8/10
WandaVision – Disney+ – 8.5/10
Mozart in the Jungle – Prime – S1, S2, S3, S4 – 8/10
The Luminaries – Prime – 8/10
The Stand – Prime – 7/10
The Romanoffs – Prime – 8/10
Red Oaks – Prime – 7/10
Panic – Prime – 8.5/10
Jack Ryan – Prime – S1 & S2 – 7.5/10
Catastrophe – Prime – S1, S2, S3, S4 – 7/10
Tales from the Loop – Prime – 6/10
Flack – Prime – S1 & S2 – 5.5/10
The Pursuit of Love – Prime – 6/10
Ted Lasso – Apple – S1 & S2 – 10/10
Nine Perfect Strangers – Prime – 7.5/10
Why Women Kill – Prime – 7.5/10
The Wheel of Time – 10/10 for enthusiasm, 6.8/10 in reality
The Shrink Next Door – Apple – 8.5/10
And Just Like That – Crave – 7.5/10
The White Lotus – Crave – 7.5/10
Station Eleven – Crave – 8.5
Squid Game – Netflix – started off stronger but lost me, didn’t finish
Grace and Frankie – Netflix – various seasons ranging from 6 to 7.5/10
The Gilded Age… didn’t finish
Inventing Anna – Netflix – 9/10
Good Girls – Netflix – all seasons – 8/10
Firefly Lane – Netflix – 7/10
Reacher – 7/10
Updated June 24, 2022

How to Prepare for a New Erstwilder Brooch Release


Erstwilder Brooches, Tips & Tricks


If you’re an Erstwilder brooch fan, you’ve probably noticed that they’ve been growing in popularity! Many of their new releases sell out within SECONDS. So how can you buy your favourite brooches before they quickly disappear?

I’ve only been an Erstwilder broochie for a year, and the above photo doesn’t include three orders that are still in the mail, but even as a newbie I’ve never missed anything I’ve wanted on release day so I thought I’d share what’s worked for me.

With a little preparation–and speed–I’ve bought everything I’ve wanted including from the ever-so-popular Pete Cromer release. Since I see a lot of people have been struggling, I thought I’d share a few of my tips!

12+ Erswilder Brooch Buying Tips

1. Know the release time and double check it for your timezone! Check the counter they put on their website and triple check that you know the time for your location.

2. Know what you want to order and have your list ready. There will be no time to ponder this. Be ready!

3. Login to your account or create an account and login well in advance. I’m always at my computer at least 20 minutes early. Make sure that your address and all of the details are correct for your account.

4. Use a computer, not a phone. It’s possible to checkout quickly on a phone I guess but I would personally never trust it.

5. Do a couple of test checkouts to practice your speed. Try adding some items to your cart so you know what the process will be and take the checkout right to the last step when it asks for payment so that you’ll know what to expect.

6. If you’re going to apply any points to your order, you can prepare this in advance in your test checkout and have the code copied to your clipboard as a backup in the unlikely event that your points coupon code disappears. (I tested this several times and it never disappeared once I’d applied the coupon early, but better to be safe.)

7. Use the “add to bag” button that appears right below each item. Don’t slow down by opening up the individual product page. If you’ll be buying more than one item (you’re allowed to buy up to two of the same item for you and a friend) then you can increase the number to 2 in the sidebar that appears, which shows the items in your cart.

8. Know your payment method. Even though my payment method is usually automatically populated because I usually use Google Pay, on the last release that didn’t work for some reason so I quickly had to switch to Paypal or populating my credit card information. I decided in a split second that Paypal would be faster so I went with that. But have your payment options ready to go. Items *do* disappear from people’s carts even at this late stage of checkout so you must be speedy and prepared.

9. Have a stockist website (or two) open on your computer in separate tabs as backup. If for any reason you can’t get what you want from Erstwilder, immediately flip over to the stockist website. Follow all the same steps to prepare yourself on the stockist websites; login and familiarize yourself with their checkout process so that you’ll be able to be super speedy.

10. Go to the  NEW collections page and start watching the timer. Like a hawk. Don’t get distracted! Be ready to refresh the page as soon as it’s time.

11. When the items start to appear, you’ll have no idea what order they will appear in so it can be a bit of a panic. In the last release, the items actually pushed on to two pages because the essentials (earrings) ended up showing in the middle of the collection. Try to keep your cool but be quick. Click add to bag for each and as soon as the sidebar for your cart appears, you’ll need to “x” it to close it so that you can add the next item. It’s seriously always an adrenaline rush but with practice and preparation, you can do it!

12. Keep going! If anything disappears from your cart, which has happened to other people, don’t lose the opportunity to buy the others. Stay focused. Keep going through your checkout as quickly as possible. Then turn to the stockist websites you’ve had ready to grab what you missed.

If you still couldn’t get what you wanted, make sure you’ve joined all of the many Erstwilder groups on Facebook. As people’s orders start to arrive, sometimes people find that they are not as in love with an item as they thought they were. These groups are a good place to try to find your DISO (desperately in search of) items.

eBay Tips

As I said before, try all of the Erstwilder swap and sell groups on Facebook before turning to eBay. But as a last resort, you might choose to use eBay, or evilbay as many broochies call it, to snag your most wanted items. If you aren’t familiar with eBay auctions, here are my tips:

a) My first tip is probably obvious but I’ll say it anyways: Never ever bid on an item before the end of an auction. You’ll just drive the price up.

b) Use a bidnapper program. You will never win a popular auction manually. If it’s an in-demand item, like many popular Erstwilder items, you must use a bidnapper. These programs automatically do super speedy bidding within the last 60 seconds of an auction so if you’ve ever lost something in an auction at the very last second, you have almost certainly lost to a bidnapper program. This is the one I use but I’m sure there are many of them.


I think these are all of my tips for the moment but if I think of anything else, I’ll update this!

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any tips I’ve missed.



Who’s Kale – Best Creamy Kale Salad

If you’re looking for the best kale salad, this is it! I became hooked on kale salad when I first discovered this recipe at the Whole Foods near a dance event in Washington, DC. It was so good, I ate it for 3 days in a row.

I immediately looked it up on the internet and was not surprised to learn that other people were as keen on the same kale salad that I was. I found the recipe, though I’ve since made my own tweaks to improve it. Credit to the original internet source:

How this salad got its name

Last Sunday at Niagara VegFest I picked up a couple of I “heart” kale pieces of merchandise–a bag as well as a couple of buttons. Two days later, I was riding the subway in Toronto late at night and a guy asked me, “Who’s Kale?” which became a running joke among my other kale-loving friends. The name stuck.

Who’s Kale?

The Kale Recipe everyone’s talking about – Who’s Kale? 

  • 1 bunch raw curly kale, washed, de-stemmed and dried
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos, tamari, or salt to taste (I actually use soy-free miso to taste lately)
  • 6 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (or more – yum!)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 – 2 cloves of garlic, when I’m lazy I use garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard (optional)
  • a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out to the thickness of your choice
  1. Wash, dry and remove the stems from your kale. Rip into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Puree all ingredients (except kale) in a blender or food processor to blend the dressing.
  3. You can make this dressing thinner by adding more water in which case you can pour it directly on to your kale and massage it in. However, I’ve since changed to keeping my dressing thick with only a couple of tablespoons of water so it’s more like a paste, and then adding my kale to it and massaging it in that way. It gives more flavour punch and sticks to the leaves better.
  4. Eat it right away, or let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour or so to marinate. You can skip this step if you need to eat right away, but allowing some time to marinate will wilt the kale a bit and make it a little softer – particularly for those who are skeptical about eating raw kale.


Wikipedia has this to say about kale:

Kale or borecole (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group) is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbagethan most domesticated forms. The species Brassica oleracea contains a wide array of vegetables, including broccolicauliflowercollard greens, and brussels sprouts. The cultivar groupAcephala also includes spring greens and collard greens, which are extremely similar genetically.

Want to know more about the various varieties of kale? Check out


Shhh… it’s a surprise!

For Geoff’s birthday, which will be just a few days before our trip to Disney World, I’ve had these custom t-shirts designed for him. I hope they arrive in time!

These are sort of “black market” custom Disney t-shirts, highlighting our own favourite inside moments at the parks. There’s a Haunted Mansion t-shirt, Haunted Mansion t-shirt, Enchanted Tiki Room t-shirt, and Carousel of Progress t-shirt.

Inspiration: Haunted Mansion /  Text: We’re assembling for a swingin’ wake



Inspiration: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror / Text: This, as you may recognize, is a maintenance service elevator still in operation, waiting for you.



Inspiration: Carousel of Progress / Text: You know that pilot fellah… Charles Lindberg? He’s about to fly a single winged airplane all the way across the Atlantic. He’s never gonna’ make it.
Inspiration: Enchanted Tikki Room / Text: My siestas are getting shorter and shorter

And they’re in! They came out great. I can’t wait to see Geoff wearing them at Disney World!

And here he is, happy as pie at the Enchanted Tiki Room.

And at the Haunted Mansion:

More Dresses for Sale

I’m selling some dresses. Open to offers. The prices are listed in USD but I’m open to offers in CAD.

Prices do not include shipping from Canada. Shipping to US destinations is $17 USD. Shipping to Canadian destinations is $18.50 CAD. If you’re Canadian and would like to make an offer for everything in CAD, just give me a shout.

“Alice” Dress – L – $25 USD


“Summer of Love” Dress – L – $25 USD

Eva Franco Dress – size 10 – $30 USD

No longer has the belt, therefore the great price.

Charming Blue Dress – XL – $25

Damzels Seahorse Dress – L – $25

Please contact me if you’re interested in any of these items.

Click here to see more dresses.