News / Ottawa

No sex tips here: New Ottawa women's blog turns page on stereotypical mag material

Gossip, fashion and how-to-please-your-man are common front-page fodder for women’s magazines, but two Ottawa bloggers have started a new online website that aims to go beyond that.

Heather MacDonald and Ashleigh VanHouten officially launched milieu magazine on Wednesday night at Wunderkammer Boutique on Dalhousie Street. Their women’s lifestyle blog promises profiles on successful female business owners, health features and beauty product reviews.

“Gone are the days where the focus is on boyfriends and just fashion,” said MacDonald, a 29-year-old who works in communications for the federal government. “I think women are interested in reading, women are interested in local politics, women are interested in so many more diverse things and we just don’t see that that’s what’s represented in a lot of women’s magazines.”

Milieu targets women in their 20s to early 40s with topics in the “eating, living, primping and sweating” categories. The tagline: “the discerning woman’s magazine”.

MacDonald and VanHouten, who met in a public relations program at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, said they wanted to start something more in line with their interests, which seem completely opposite.

VanHouten is a 30-year-old PR consultant who’s based in Ottawa, but mostly works in New York. She’s training for a fitness competition and blogging about her exercise and diet.

Those who don’t take interest in her bodybuilding routine might want to read MacDonald’s article on DIY pillow-making or her recipe for coconut cream pie.

“It’s kind of a nice juxtaposition,” said MacDonald. “She’ll talk about protein shakes and I’ll talk about the latest wine trend.”

The duo is hoping to score more advertisers and bring in more bloggers, but for now milieu magazine is a hobby venture.

“There’s so many celebrity gossip sites and I’m fine with that and I read them,” MacDonald said. “But I want something a little bit more – something that can guide me in my day-to-day life.”

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