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: $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: $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: $200 Target Gift Card Giveaway

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One of the many things I missed when I first moved to Toronto from Houston was Target, so when a few stores opened up in the GTA, I was ecstatic! Finally, I would be able to shop the most adorable housewares, loveliest pj sets, and cute clothes all in one place. There’s just something so inviting about Target stores…they are bright, well-organized, and carry a selection of stylish knick-knacks you can’t find anywhere else. AND they do killer designer collabs too. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan!

So today, on day 4 of Style Days of Christmas, we are giving away a $200 gift card from Target, so you can deck your halls, pick up an ugly Christmas sweater or two, and buy a few gifts for the people on your list while you’re at it. Buy whatever you like, spend it however you want. Maybe you’ll choose a TOMS for Target blanket for a friend, with proceeds from this collab going to the ones in need. Your options are pretty much endless. Sounds good? Enter below!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: Cougar Boots Giveaway

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You know what sucks? SNOW! It was on the ground last night as I trekked home from the subway, and as I tried not to wipe out, I wished the boots I wore had better traction. Pretty soon, I won’t be able to get away with my regular ankle booties and will have to switch to my Cougar Boots for proper waterproof warmth, and yes, traction. And because I’m awesome like that, I want you to have a pair of warm boots this winter too…and I’ll even let you choose ANY PAIR OF COUGAR BOOTS your heart desires (valued up to $200)!

I have two pairs of Cougar Boots – one pair of rain boots, and one pair of pillow boots. I’ve worn both for years, and both still look perfect. The quality is truly superb. These boots are designed in Canada, with Canadian winters in mind, and they really do get the job done. So whether you want a new pair of rain boots or winter boots, you know your feet will stay dry and warm no matter the weather. Want a pair? Enter below!

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Shopping: Longchamp to Open First Canadian Location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre!

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Longchamp lovers, rejoice! It’s just been announced that the iconic French luxury brand is opening its first Canadian store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in 2015! The new 1,600 square foot flagship store is going to be open to the public in late spring, and will be opening in the expansion wing, rubbing elbows with the likes of Holt Renfrew, Ted Baker London, and Hugo Boss.

“We are delighted to welcome Longchamp to Canada. Longchamp’s international reputation and must-have bags are already leading fashion items in this market.” said Claire Santamaria, Yorkdale Shopping Centre General Manager. “No other Canadian shopping centre has the proven track record that Yorkdale does in terms of helping launch international retailers in this country.”

What she said. Yet another retailer chooses Yorkdale as their first point of entry into the Canadian market. Not at all surprising. So if you’ve been dying to add an iconic bag to your wardrobe, now you’ll actually have plenty of selection to choose from. Who’s excited?!

More after the jump!
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