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)

Styled By Nelia: Mad for Plaid

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Ever since 424 Fifth arrived at Hudson’s Bay, I’ve been obsessed. Ladylike silhouettes, high-quality finishes, and a touch of quirk – sign me up! Well, last month, I got to introduce Yorkdale’s latest lucky shopper Emily to the brand and show her three ways of wearing plaid this fall.

More after the jump!

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Mother’s Day: Gift Guide 2014

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Though it certainly doesn’t feel like it, May is here, and with it – Mother’s Day! If you still haven’t figured out what to buy for your mom, as usual, we have some ideas to help you in your search. From a personalized leather tote, to a fancy perfume, to a bottle of delicious bubbly, to a pair of comfy pajamas, there’s something for every mom (and every budget) on our list.

What will you be picking up for your mom this year? Share in the comments!

1. Monogram Travel Mug – Indigo
2. Atlas Bangle – Tiffany and Co
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear – Best Buy
4. DOLCE & GABBANA Dolce Eau de Parfum – The Bay
5. Nespresso VertuoLine – The Bay
6. Personalized Leather Tote – Cuyana
7. Les 4 Ombres – CHANEL
8. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui – Indigo
9. Pajamas – Joe Fresh
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne – LCBO
11. D/N Bag – ela handbags
12. Orchid Statement Necklace – Banana Republic
13. Embroidered Floral Topper – Ann Taylor
14. Canapile Heels – ALDO
15. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lip Balm – Sephora

More after the jump!

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What I Wore: Bonjour, Mon Amour

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It’s FRIDAY!!! And I am super excited to get my weekend started. This is what I wore last weekend to grab some gelato with le bf, and hang out with my friend (and beauty contributor) Aleyda. The weather was lovely, the sun was shining, and I was feeling elated. Also, something to be happy about are these amazingly comfy boyfriend jeans from Zara that hang just right (though le bf disagrees), and can be dressed up or down. I think I’m going to live in them!

I also got to wear my treasured HBC Converse. They are an instant mood enhancer + conversation starter. People just feel so drawn to them. And no wonder – they are pretty perfect, non?

Anyway…hope y’all have an amazing Friday! Let’s get this weekend started!

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More after the jump!

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What I Wore: The Perks of Wearing Wallpaper

CHANEL Yorkdale Boutique Opening - Nov 28, 2013 (10)

Yesterday, I wrote about the new CHANEL boutique that opened at Yorkdale Shopping Centre last week, and today I will show you what I ended up wearing to the event. When I first saw this Zara ensemble online, I’m pretty sure cartoon hearts started popping up above my head, so of course, order it I did. So when I was standing in front of my closet, fretting about having nothing to wear, this “suit” became my last-minute solution. And better yet, it went perfectly with my treasured CHANEL shoes. Mission accomplished!

After finally putting it all together, I waltzed into le bf’s office to ask for his opinion…only to see his jaw drop to the floor, and hear him beg me…literally beg me not to wear my Zara masterpiece to CHANEL. I believe it sounded something like this: “Oh, hun, no. No, no. Oh, no. Please, no. No.”, all the while covering his mouth with his hands. Undeterred by le bf’s pleas, as you can see, I still wore my wallpaper-like getup to the party…and I am happy to report that I have yet to regret it. It was a fun outfit to wear in a sea of black and white, so who cares if the pattern was a tad (a lot?) wallpaper-ish? I had fun with my blogger friends, made my Christmas (and lifetime) wishlists, and finally took my precious CHANEL shoes out for a spin! What’s not to love? Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to go against the grain.

So what do you think? Are you with le bf on this one, or do you think this is a fun look? Share your honest opinions in the comments.

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CHANEL Yorkdale Boutique Opening - Nov 28, 2013 (10)

I Wore: Shirt, Pants, Necklace – Zara; Velvet Blazer – Denim and Supply (The Bay); Cuff – H&M; Shoes, Bag – CHANEL

Photo Credits: 1 & 3 – George Pimentel

Shopping: The Room at The Bay Fall 2013 Sale!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! The Room sale is almost here, and my heart is going crazy from the excitement. This time, the first markdown of the season is not 40%…it’s 50% off select Fall/Winter clothes, shoes, and accessories, and if you’ve been eyeing something special at The Room, now is the time to scoop it up! The sale starts on November 30th – this Saturday, but it doesn’t hurt to stop by beforehand and make your shopping list…early bird and all that. You know where I’ll be on my lunch break today.

Happy Shopping!

Holidays 2013: Gift Ideas from The Bay

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November is here, which means that the holiday season is just around the corner, which means family dinners, twinkly lights, and PRESENTS! I don’t know about you, but I have already bought a few Christmas gifts, and what made it really easy was attending The Bay’s holiday preview back in July.

At the preview, I got a chance to see all of the awesome gifts that The Bay stores are stocking this holiday season, from an impressive Library of Exotic Chocolate Bars for your favourite chocoholic (umm, that would be me!), to the seriously gorgeous handbags for your BFFs (the one from Zac Posen is a stunner!), to the softest cashmere sweaters that would delight anyone on your list, to the coolest toys any kid could wish for, there are hundreds of covet-worthy presents just waiting for you to scoop them up…all at one place!

As usual, HBC Collection pieces are high on my personal holiday wishlist. I already picked up a pair of HBC Converse sneakers, but I still want to grab a couple of striped Christmas stockings, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Santa will drop off the beautiful retro-inspired HBC Erdem Coat under my tree (pretty please, Santa!).

Apart from the best holiday presents you can give and receive, The Bay also has everything you need for entertaining this holiday season – appliances, cookware (best selection of Le Creuset in town!), showstopping dinnerware and flatware sets, and of course, holiday decorations galore! In short, there will only be a couple of gift-shopping stops on my itinerary this year, and The Bay is definitely one of my faves. Makes my life so easy!

See some of my fave holiday gift ideas below, and let me know which items catch your eye!

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More after the jump!

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Kate Bosworth x Topshop Fall 2013 Collection Now at Hudson’s Bay

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In case you needed another reason to spend your hard-earned pennies, The Collection starring Kate Bosworth for TOPSHOP is now available at The Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada…and it’s pretty great! In her role as a design consultant to TOPSHOP, Kate Bosworth developed the collection alongside the design team. Kate wanted a different tone from the more bohemian inspired Spring Festival range that she starred in, and as a result, a capsule collection of chic modern classics with a twist was created. There are shirt dresses with leather trim, perfect t-shirt dresses, dreamy metallic foil leather (NEED!), sexy stiletto shoes – 46 amazing staple pieces that would complete any wardrobe.

“The collection is tailored and classic. For fall, we wanted to create luxurious pieces with a strong minimalist approach. Slim silhouettes are cloaked in a masculine shape, staying true to the mix of masculine/feminine balance that exists in my personal aesthetic,” shared Kate Bosworth.

What do you think of The Collection? Are there any pieces that you’ll be picking up for yourself? Share in the comments.

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See the entire collection after the jump!

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