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!

What I Wore: Blue Plaid Coat

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If you live in Toronto, or anywhere else in the world where winters and cold days in general last forever, you really can’t own too many coats. Outerwear is the one thing that people will see on you day after day, and it helps having more than one to spice things up. Which is why I was overjoyed when The Bay generously sent me this blue plaid stunner from Planet to wear and to love this fall.

Obviously, I wore it to dinner the same night, feeling like this new coat injected new life into my simple outfit. And while it looks like it wouldn’t be warm enough for our blistery days, with a little creative layering (a wool sweater over a shirt dress), it does the job splendidly. I will definitely enjoy throwing this coat on, to change things up from my usual wintery parka and to add some colour to my outfits.

So tell me, how do you handle cold weather? Do you reach for your trusty puffer, or do you like to layer and wear a lightweight coat instead? Share in the comments.

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I Wore: Coat – c/o PLANET (The Bay); Shirt Dress – Gap; Hat, Tights – H&M; Boots – Saint Laurent (WINNERS); Bag – CHANEL

Holidays 2014: Gift Guide

For some reason, this year, I am woefully unprepared for winter’s arrival, but since it’s practically end of November and there’s snow on the ground, I guess it’s time to snap out of my denial and start shopping. Full disclosure: I have yet to buy any presents, but I do have some ideas as to what I’ll be picking up for my loved ones this holiday season. And just in case you’re in the same boat, I thought I’d share some of my fave holiday gift ideas with you.

I glimpsed most of these back in July, during the annual holiday previews, and I have to say that this year in particular, those previews came in super handy. I got to learn about the existence of cool adult onesies, played with the Big Love Ball, and tried on the gorgeous Thomas Sabo infinity ring; I self-medicated with the all-natural Saje Pocket Pharmacy, and sipped on Inniskillin sparkling icewine. In short, I got to preview and test out a lot of the picks below, and I hope that this gift guide gives you some ideas for your holiday shopping this season. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and presents for him, her, and the kids, then this is a great place to start! Happy Shopping!

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1. Bombki Russian Christmas Ornaments (Net-A-Porter)
2. FLOWER Beauty Powder Brush (Wal-Mart)
3. TOMS for Target Candle (Target)
4. Falconwright Coin Purse (Falconwright)
5. Drake General Store Mountie Thermos (The Bay)
6. kate spade new york iPhone 5 Lucky Cat Case (Holt Renfrew)
7. Saje Pocket Pharmacy (Saje)
8. Big Love Ball 
9. Gap Calf Hair Tech Gloves (Gap)

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1. The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Doll (The Body Shop)
2. Shupette My Precious Glitter Set (Holt Renfrew)
3. Tiffany T Square Bracelet (Tiffany and Co)
4. Jenny Bird RiRi Collar Tri-tone (Jenny Bird)
5. Balenciaga Florabotanica Rollerball (Sephora)
6. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Indigo)
7. CHANEL Patchwork Shearling Bag (CHANEL)
8. ALDO FAHLSTROM Boots (ALDO)
9. Moschino iPhone 5 Case (Net-A-Porter)
10. Thomas Sabo Glam & Soul Ring (Thomas Sabo)
11. NARS Modern Future Roman Holiday Gift Set (Holt Renfrew)

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1. H&M Oh Deer! Sweater (H&M)
2. ALDO Wallie Shoes (ALDO)
3. 
Yo Sox Burger King Socks (The Bay)
4. KRUPS Barista Espresso/Coffee Machine (The Bay)
5. Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch (Best Buy)
6. Grey Goose VX (LCBO)
7. Jack Black Cobalt Brush (Holt Renfrew)
8. Drake General Store Arborist Mountie Adult Onesie (The Bay)

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1. Indigo Expressions Pillow (Indigo)
2. Oster French Bull Toaster (Target)
3. Louis Vuitton Fashion Photography (Indigo)
4. Holiday Ribbon Dessert Plates (Indigo)
5. Inniskillin Vidal Sparkling Icewine (LCBO)
6. Byredo Parfums Loose Lips Candle (Holt Renfrew)
7. Nadege Pastries (Nadege)
8. David’s Tea for the Tree (David’s Tea)
9. HBC Collection Cuppa Teapot (The Bay)

 

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1. HBC’s Priscilla the Fox (The Bay)
2. Melissa and Doug Felt Food Taco and Burrito Set (SHOP.CA)
3. Tuck Shop Neighbourhood Toques (Mini Mioche)
4. Sugarbooger Doll Teether Set (Mini Mioche)
5. H&M Sweatshirt with Print (H&M)
6. GummyGoods Nightlight (Mini Mioche)
7. Ele and Ela Bib (Etsy)
8. Seedling DIY Snow Globe Kit (Indigo)
9. Uncle Goose Russian ABC Blocks (Uncle Goose)

What I Wore: Grey on Grey

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Ever since I went grey, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the way that I dress. Out went my fave poppy hues like yellow and red, replaced by grey, taupe, white, and black instead. And though once in a while, I am still tempted to pick up something bright, I am really enjoying this subdued palette for now. It makes me feel more grown up and sophisticated.

I thought I’d get bored of this “no colour” phase, but if anything, it just makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze. A few staples like grey cashmere sweaters, slim-cut black pants, and classic black and white dresses, mixed with kitty flats for a bit of whimsy are all I really need lately, and I don’t mind one bit.

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More after the jump!

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You Are Invited: Grand Re-Opening of Gap Store at Yorkdale!

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After a couple of months of renovations, Gap Yorkdale is finally ready to unveil its shiny new store, and you’re invited to celebrate this special occasion on Thursday, November 13! To make this party truly special, Gap is going all out with yummy treats, fun giveaways, discounts, mini makeovers, and a DJ spinning fresh tunes. Seriously, guys, this party is going to have EVERYTHING!

So on November 13th, grab a few friends, and stop by Yorkdale Shopping Centre to check out the new Gap store. You may just score a Mystery Gift Card Makeover…and we’ll bond over our mutual love of stripes. See you there?

COME CELEBRATE THE NEW GAP STORE
YORKDALE MALL – 3401 DUFFERIN STREET
HOSTED BY NELIA BELKOVA OF STYLEBLOG.CA
DJ + FASHION + REFRESHMENTS + GIVEAWAYS + DISCOUNTS
THURSDAY, NOV. 13TH, 5PM – 9PM

What I Wore: Share a Coke

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You may have heard of Share a Coke, or have seen the many “named” Coca Cola bottles in stores, but what you may not know is that you can actually get your very own Coca Cola can personalized with your not-so-popular name on it. Sure, you can probably find the most common names at your local grocery store, but what about the Nelias and the Hawleys of the world? Well, if your name is not on the list, you can stop by one of these locations and get your name or the name of your loved ones printed on a Coke can. Pretty cool, non?

This is not an advertorial, in case you were wondering. Growing up, I never could find a single thing with my name on it…not keychains, not t-shirts, and definitely not one of those mint boxes, so having my own personalized Coke bottle felt pretty special. So if, like me, you want to see your unusual name promptly displayed on something, now’s your chance!

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Styled By Nelia: Putting Fit in Fitness

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Did you know that by January 17th most people that made resolutions on January 1st will have dropped theirs? 17 days is all it takes to lose all resolve and get back to bad habits. Last month, I hit up Yorkdale in search of people who made New Year’s resolutions, hoping to help at least one shopper stick to her resolution for a little while longer.

When I met Faiza, she shared that she made a couple of resolutions this year, including going to the gym more often, and traveling more. And while I couldn’t help her get another stamp in her passport, the “going to the gym” resolution seemed like one I could tackle.

Knowing how motivating a new set of gym clothes can be, I took Faiza to Gap Yorkdale, where she got to try on a variety of cool workout looks from the brand’s new and improved Gap Fit line. Faiza’s shopping experience is below!

Full post and workout gear tips on Yorkdale.com!

What I Wore: Pattern Play

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Not too long ago even the thought of pairing printed pants with a striped top would make me uncomfortable, and look at me now – mixing not one, not two, but three different patterns in one outfit. I consider this progress, while my husband probably thinks  that I am one step closer to crazy-old-lady-dressing. Either way, this pattern play thing isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so he may as well get used to it.

If you’ve always wanted to try mixing different patterns and prints into one outfit, I follow a couple of simple rules/tips to avoid looking cray.

1. Patterns from the same colour family are the easiest to mix, so make sure that there’s a common theme when it comes to the colour of the garments you are trying to pair up.
2. Combine prints of different sizes to create a more balanced look. Large flowers with thin stripes, tiny houndstooth with loud graphic prints, etc.
3. Stripes, dots, and leopard print are basically neutrals, so don’t be afraid to throw those into the mix.
4. When in doubt – add a splash of colour. Jacket, bag, shoes, whatever…just make it pop!

So tell me, do you mix prints often…or ever? What are your fave combos? Share in the comments!

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Style Days of Christmas: Gap Canada Giveaway

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I have a very soft spot for Gap and their jeans. Every year I pick up a new pair (or a couple) and end up wearing them obsessively. This season, I had a particularly tough time choosing…there are velvet skinnies that look luxurious and sleek, there’s a cool-looking camo pair, fun snakeskin print pair, one with patches…and that’s on top of all the “regular” pairs that are available.  And the best thing is – Gap jeans are super flattering, but comfy too. A perfect combination of function and style!

So because I love Gap and I love my readers, today we’ll be giving away not one, but TWO pairs of Gap jeans of your choice! Perhaps a pair for yourself, and a pair for the BFF? Or a pair for yourself and a pair for your mom? Or perhaps…both pairs for yourself? Either way, we won’t judge!

But that’s not all! Because you’ve been so awesome to us this year, today’s gift pack will also include two adorable leather mini clutches, making today’s giveaway worth $230!

Interested? Enter below!

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What I Wore: Perfect Leather Pants

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In case you didn’t know…the perfect leather pants do exist! And they are from the Isabel Marant for H&M collection. I am so glad that I braved the crowds in order to snag these, because now that I have them, I want to wear them all the time! Luckily, these don’t make me feel like I have to use a bottle of baby powder to put them on – these leather pants are as comfy as pajama bottoms. Well…nearly. How do you feel about leather pants? Share in the comments.

I Wore: Sweater – Gap; Leather Pants – Isabel Marant for H&M; Shoes – Valentino; Necklace – Zara

Photo Credits: Max Kopanygin