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Shopping: Stay Warm All Winter Long With SHOP.CA

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We are in the final stretch, people! Holidays are just around the corner, and I can almost taste the cocoa. I don’t know about you, but for me, the best part of the holidays is the time I get to spend with my loved ones, indoors and out, watching Christmas movies, sipping hot chocolate playing in the snow, and eating EVERYTHING. And since “baby, it’s cold outside”, I put together some of my must-haves for a warm and enjoyable winter, so that even after the holidays are over, you can still find joy in little things instead of wallowing in misery over the slushy snow and bitter winds.

Kind of a no-brainer, but investing in a high-quality winter jacket is a must for Canadians. Get one with a cozy hood to protect your head and face from the wind. A fun colour will add a bit of joy to otherwise grey days. This Moose Knuckles coat is a great option. Touchscreen gloves is another must-have. You really don’t have to make a choice between keeping your fingers warm and using your smartphone outside. Everyone should have a pair of these handy gloves.

For those days, when going outside is not an option, my winter essentials include a fluffy throw, a cozy sweatshirt, a great movie, and some hot chocolate. On frigid winter evenings, I park myself on the couch between my husband and my cat with all of the above, and enjoy a toasty night in. When I feel especially Martha Stewart-like, I pull out my cast iron pot and make some hot chili, tortilla soup, or something else equally hearty and delicious. Come to think of it, that pot is probably the most used item in my kitchen – you can use it for so many things!

And there you have it, my must-have essentials for staying warm all winter long, no matter what you do. Share yours in the comments!

What I Wore: Welcome to Miami

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It’s Friday, and I’m going to keep it light and indulge in a little #FBF on the site today. This outfit post is from day 1 of our little Miami getaway last week. Yup, just last week, I got to wear a summery dress and shades on a sandy beach. Just last week, I didn’t have to wear tights, or a jacket, or gloves. It was glorious.

On our first day in Miami, le bf and I didn’t do much, except for a little exploring around our hotel, which included a walk on the beach at sunset, window-shopping on Collins Ave, and a dip in our hotel’s rooftop pool at night. It wasn’t very eventful, but we were happy to take it easy after a few hectic weeks at work, and just enjoy each other and this new city that we’ve never visited before. Today, as flurries swirl outside my office window, I am dreaming of warmer days, bare shoulders, and sun in my eyes. I think I need another getaway.

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More after the jump!
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Holidays 2014: Selfies with Fashion Santa at Yorkdale!

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Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re still scrambling to pick up gifts for your loved ones, take a deep breath…it’s not too late! If you’re planning on stopping by Yorkdale to do some shopping this weekend, you should take a much-deserved break and go visit Fashion Santa this Saturday. Who’s Fashion Santa, you ask? Well, he’s the dapper bearded model Paul Mason, who was recently named one of Toronto’s Best Dressed by the Toronto Life, and he’s the adult Santa you never knew you wanted to meet.

Every Saturday in December from noon to 8 p.m. at Yorkdale, shoppers can snap #SelfiesForSickKids with Fashion Santa for $5, with proceeds going to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. You get a priceless holiday shot with the best dressed Santa ever, and do good at the same time. Win-win!

After that Fashion Santa meet and greet, you can continue with your shopping, and this season Yorkdale has launched a full suite of services designed to offer shoppers the most relaxing shopping experience possible. Check out the festive happenings after the jump! Happy Shopping!
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Holidays 2014: Last-Minute Gifts That Don’t Suck

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Christmas is just a week away, but if you still haven’t finished (or start) your gift shopping, don’t panic. You can still come out of this alive and victorious without having to resort to those impersonal gift cards, I promise you. All you need to do is pick up a few of these last-minute gifts that don’t suck, and you’re all set. Extra points for personalizing your gifts with special monograms, but if you’re reading this and it’s Christmas eve, then don’t worry, even sans personalization, these are the gifts that anyone would be happy to open come Christmas morning. Here we go!

1. Touchscreen Gloves

With the prevalence of smartphones and other smart touchscreen devices, regular gloves just don’t cut it anymore. If your giftee lives in a climate with cold (and long) winters and is never seen without his/her phone, then touchscreen gloves are a perfect gift for them. Pick up a luxurious pair that goes with everything, and you’re all set!

2. Pajamas

I know, I know…pajamas sound kind of boring, but come on…who doesn’t love a new pair of PJs come Christmas morning?! Anything that’s a little fancier than your usual sleepwear will do – Gap and J.Crew do awesome sleep sets, and LaineyGossip just released a super cute line over at eLUXE. Bonus points for luxurious fabrics like silk, personalized monograms, and a pair of cozy slippers to go with those PJs. If you know your giftee’s taste and size to a tee, then a little something special from Agent Provocateur or La Perla would certainly be a hit. And I’m not talking lingerie either, a fancy robe or a silky slip are little luxuries that anyone would appreciate.

3. Booze

This one’s a no-brainer. Everyone loves alcohol, and fancy alcohol is even better. Grab a bottle of deluxe bubbly, designer liqueur, revered scotch, or better yet, a bottle of sparkling icewine, wrap it nicely, and you just picked up an awesome Christmas present.

4. Beauty Sets

This one’s obviously for beauty junkies in your life. On my last visit to Sephora, I spotted a ton of eye-catching, value-packed gift sets. Advent calendars stuffed with beauty must-haves, superstar product packs, sets for skin, hair, eyes, nailslips…you name it! Kiehl’s skincare essentials are always a hit, and those gift sets are usually packed with extras to make it worth your while.  The Body Shop does wonderfully festive seasonal gift sets, and for every specially selected gift you buy, The Body Shop will make a contribution of approximately 6 cents to War Child to fund a class for a child. Get great gifts, and do some good while you’re at it.

5. Cashmere

Last but certainly not least, cashmere is a perfect last-minute gift that people on your list would absolutely adore. We don’t always get the little luxuries for ourselves, so it’s extra nice to receive such a treat for Christmas (or whenever, really). Whether it’s a luxurious sweater, a soft scarf, a pair of cashmere-lined gloves, or a cozy throw – one can never have too much cashmere in their life.

And there you have it, last-minute holiday gifts that don’t suck. Do you agree? Would you be happy to be on the receiving end of these? Share your last-minute gift ideas in the comments!

Style Days of Christmas: Samsung GALAXY Alpha Giveaway

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I can’t believe it’s the last day of Style Days of Christmas giveaways, you guys. Hope you all had fun entering, and perusing some really cool prizes from Style Blog’s most favourite brands. Pretty soon, I’m going to start selecting the winners and emailing them just in time for the holidays. Can’t wait to share the love. But, it’s not over just yet! We still have one more prize to give away, and it’s a good one. A really good one!

As you may have gleaned from the title of this post, today, we are giving away a Samsung GALAXY Alpha phone (valued at $699.95) from our friends over at Samsung Canada. What makes the GALAXY Alpha such a coveted phone? Well, check out some of its fab features below and be amazed:

- Enjoy a premium visual experience: With a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, the Alpha offers richer colours and a vivid experience that will make your festive photos look like professional prints.
– Run your holiday errands in style: Brushed with an aluminum frame and at less than 7 mm thick, the GALAXY Alpha is one of Samsung’s slimmest devices ever.
– Keep all of your holiday surprises secret: The GALAXY Alpha comes with upgraded and personalized security technology. An intuitive finger scanner unlocks the device, ensuring it only works when it’s in the owner’s hands, and can be used to log into your favourite sites and authenticate online purchases.
– Capture kisses under the mistletoe: The 12MP rear camera gives you the power to capture your favourite holiday moments and offers Phase Detection for faster auto focus and Selective Focus for more artistic shots.
– Don’t miss any holiday moment: Ultra Power Saving Mode conserves battery life, helping you stay connected for longer.
-Match any winter wardrobe: The stunning GALAXY Alpha comes in Dazzling White, Charcoal Black and Frosted Gold.

Sounds like a phone you’d like to win for the holidays? Enter below!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: $200 Forever 21 Gift Card

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Here’s the thing, I’m not 21, nor have I been 21 in quite a while now, but the truth is…I shop at Forever 21all the time. The site is bookmarked on my laptop, and once a week or so, I click through and browse their selection of trendy, affordable wares. I’ve been a fan of the brand for many years now – ever since I was first introduced to it in Texas (which come to think of it, was over 10 years ago!) – and still have pieces I bought a while back. Not everything from Forever 21 lasts forever, but a lot of pieces do. I love their stores for printed tees, cheap and cheerful jewelry, and their fun summer dresses. And I couldn’t be more excited about Forever 21 opening at Yorkdale on December 20th at 9am! First customers in line on grand opening day will receive $21 gift cards. And because we’re cool like that, we are also giving away a $200 Forever 21 gift card right here, so you can buy whatever your heart desires at their brand new store. Don’t miss out, and enter below!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: Starbucks Giveaway

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As you probably know already, I am not a fan of winters, but seeing those red Starbucks cups for the first time each season, makes me super giddy. It may sound funny, but for me, the arrival of the red cups signals the arrival of the holiday season. And since those Starbucks line-ups are always long, I know I’m not the only one. Which is why I’m super excited to be giving away a whopping $200 Starbucks gift card to my amazing readers. This should provide you with at least a few months’ supply of energizing and yummy drinks, or if you’re still on the hunt for holiday gifts, you can purchase some of those fun mugs from the Dot Collection! Either way, I know you won’t have any problems figuring out how to use that gift card this winter. Sounds good? Enter below!

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Details after the jump!

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Style Days of Christmas: $250 H&M Gift Card Giveaway

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I have a confession to make…I may or may not have an H&M addiction. Since Canada still doesn’t have the online shopping option, I find myself going to H&M more often than to any other store, waiting for certain pieces to arrive, always finding gems that later on people will ask me incessantly about. I love H&M! And if you’ve been reading long enough, this is not news to you. So of course, thanks to their amazing Canadian team, we are once again partnering up for a holiday giveaway.

Right now, they have some truly beautiful dresses that are perfect for the holiday parties, ugly sweaters for him, her, and the kids, pizza-printed onesies, sparkly jewelry, and so much more. So to help you with your holiday outfit, or your Christmas shopping, or both, we are giving away one $250 H&M gift card, as well as The First Ten Years, an exclusive book about H&M’s design collaborations, from Karl Lagerfeld in 2004 to Alexander Wang in 2014. You definitely don’t want to miss this one, so enter below!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: $300 Bench Gift Card Giveaway

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One of my favouritest things to do in the winter is snowboarding. I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy it a lot! Even if I fall down all the time, I still dust myself off and try again. Participating in outdoor activities, and making the best of Canadian winters is probably the best way to take advantage of those copious snow days, instead of hiding indoors and wishing the winter away. Which is why I’m so excited that Bench.  Canada partnered up with Style Blog to give away a $300 gift card, so that you can be ready for your next winter adventure too! Even if that adventure is simply going for a stroll around your neighbourhood, or a walk to the coffee shop.

Sounds like something you’d like to win? Enter below!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris Giveaway

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Holiday season can be a stressful time, which is why I’m especially excited about today’s giveaway. I’ve written about my love of Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris before, and now it’s time to pay it forward and let one of my amazing readers try it out for themselves! Today’s prize is a Hammam, Gommage, and Rhassoul Clay Masque Treatment package valued at $235! Not sure what to expect? You can read all about my Hammam and Gommage treatment here, but in a few words – it’s the most relaxing and pampering experience. One, I’m sure you won’t soon forget.

Located in the luxurious Shangri-La hotel, the Miraj Hammam spa is a must-visit Toronto gem. I’m actually a little jealous, and will be booking my own treatment this holiday season too.

Enter now, for a chance to win this amazing prize!

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Details after the jump!
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