HOLIDAY GIFTING - CANADIAN EDITION

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Well society is forcefully pushing Christmas on us, we had barely gotten to Oct 31st and we already saw retailers shifting drastically from Autumn & Halloween to the depths of the “oh so jolly holidays”. I think this is why the holidays, or even more specifically Christmas pisses me off… because they just want us to LOVE it for a far too long period of time. I would appreciate all this holiday has to offer if it was a slower transition. I personally cannot stand already going into the stores and hearing Holiday music… all it really does for me is ruin the spirit I know I have for it since it’s just way too over done.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I can be a little bit of a Grinch, but I actually love the Holidays just not a month and a half in advance - I like it in December a week or so to a few weeks before the 24th. I really do love the joy that the Holidays can bring; I am a huge sucker for all the cute, beautiful, and ornate decorations, not to mention I absolutely adore Nutcrackers. I also love buying gifts for my friends and family, I get a little carried away with that and every year need to remind myself I have a budget. [sorry bank account!] I am also all about the dinners you have with your loved ones with your given and chosen families, the dressing up that comes with it is also totally up my alley. Then we have New Years, I am definitely the type that loves dressing up, finding an awesome event, and just making amazing memories with friends. Sadly these last couple of years haven’t quite gone that way, I still have had some amazing NYE parties with friends but in my heart I always love the big event shebang. So see… I’m not really that Grinch like, I just don’t want to fucking celebrate for a month and half and then not enjoy it. I shall remain a Grinch until were into December, then you can find my Cindy Lou Who vibe.

Anyways, the point of this post is actually to inspire and help you do some Holiday shopping! As you know from previous posts, but more so lately I have really been highlighting that I love working with other entrepreneurs, new businesses and brands, and all that jazz… and the holidays is a wonderful time to show our support to all these boss babes! I will curate a list of my personal favourite from Vancouver and Canada, my focus is to stick to Canadian based people & brands!

In no order of preference here is where my list begins:

1. Bare Skin Bare - I have actually had the opportunity to work with Cynthia a couple of times and she is just a gem. Beyond her being so awesome her products are a must in your bathroom! I have written a previous post regarding her bath bombs, how they work, what their made of and the fact that they don’t give me yeast infections [big plus!!]. An amazing body scrub was also recently released and it left my body feeling like a babies bottom! Amongst other products that you’ll love, you just need to check it out yourself. Side note: I’m a big sucker seeing Cynthias studio address and Vancouver, BC on the packaging!!
If you haven’t read my post: All About Bare Skin Bar
Check them out: Instagram & website

2. Midnight Paloma - I have collaborated with Tayler, she’s lovely! Another Vancouver local, a small curated beauty line, using natural ingredients. I have used a couple of her products and I’m a fan of her original mask. I also have done a blog post on this product, it is highlighting all the various ways you can use it: Midnight Paloma Charcoal Since then she has released several other goodies!
Check them out: Instagram & website

3. The Sleep Shirt - Another collaboration I have done and Vancouver local, this product (being a nighty) is good for various members in the family and they also offer a wide selection of styles. I would say they are oversized, mine being the smallest available was still large on me. But they are very breathable, flowy, cozy and easy to wash.
Check them out; Instagram & website

4. Alicja Confections - They are actually from my hometown, Ottawa [YAY!!]. I had no idea they were Canadian let alone from my neck of the woods… I got to discover Alicja Confections when I did a collaboration with Alt Hotels in Winnipeg and my goodie bag had some of their delicious chocolates. I highly recommend them!
Check them out; Instagram & website

5. Emsay Studios - These beautiful handmade concrete pots and objects are made in Vancouver. I honestly recommend you have a look and I am sure you can knock out a couple people off your list with these babies!
Check them out; Instagram & website

6. Mint and Woolly - Another Vancouver local, but this brand is because I am still a kid at heart and these are just too darn cute. I am sure we all know a baby or two, or a grown ass fucking adult that is just all about these whimsical little characters. They have a bunch of adorable options, including pins!
Check them out; Instagram & website

7. Anto Yukon - Yes, you’re guessing right… this next one is indeed from the Yukon! I have recently discovered this brand, but they offer some amazing products from soaps, to bath salts & muscle rubs, the perfect something to complete a relaxing self-care day. They use 100 % natural ingredients and scents in all the goodies they create. All products are created in small batches in their Yukon studio. Another cool feature; all of their packaging is reusable or recyclable.
Check them out; Instagram & website

8. OKAYOK - A Toronto based brand everything they sell is made in Toronto from fabric to finishing. Cool fact: 100% cotton textiles are milled in Toronto and they work closely with a small batch garment dyer to develop unique and unexpected colour stories each season. All the goodies you see are sewn between three local manufacturers and in house. I am sure scrolling through their Instagram you’ll find a great gift for someone!
Check them out; Instagram & website 

9. BIKO - The designer started her jewelry line in Toronto and has blown up on Instagram. Her stuff is very beautiful and still quite affordable when you’re receiving pieces that are about 14k gold & rhodium plating.
Check them out; Instagram & website

10. Le.lou.ula - This brand doesn’t get beat when it comes to creative & quality jewelry at a very good price! All the jewelry is crafted in Calgary, and is made to resemble various bodies of art. Again, quality is great when most of the pieces are offered in 14k gold fill or sterling silver at reasonable prices. This designer is sure to help you gift a unique work of art to someone!
Check them out; Instagram & website

11. Harlow Skin Co - Another local Vancouver beauty brand, they use 12 ingredients or less in all their products. They offer a wide selection, and have some amazing benefits as well as feedback from their audience.
Check them out; Instagram & website

12. TAIKAN - Vancouver based bag brand, focusing on simplicity & functionality. I have some of their products and I am a big fan! The quality is absolutely awesome and were at a good price range for most of their collection, they do have some bags that can go a little pricier if it is leather and such. I think this would be an awesome gift!
Check them out; Instagram & website

13. Taryn Lashes - I got to work with Taryn a few years back on a photoshoot and she is just so damn sweet as well as talented. She is another Ottawa local and has expanded her trade as a makeup artist into an ever growing business including; classes, wedding/beauty makeup, photoshoots and her own collection of lashes. I haven’t yet had the chance of trying these myself but I am a supporter of Taryn and believe the quality of her work will reflect in her lash collection.
Check out her accounts; Taryn Makeup, Taryn Lashes, and her website

I am going to leave it at lucky number 13, so you’ve not got thirteen Canadian brands as ideas for potential holiday gifts. I also want to do a little section and highlight another awesome gift idea and that is for a service instead of a physical product. This is a great way to splurge on someone if you want to gift the entire service or buying a gift certificate to help them pay a part of the service. My friends have done this for me on two of my tattoos and I appreciated it so damn much! For this list I will be remaining only in Vancouver, BC as obviously it’s not as tangible from another city unless you’re traveling.

1. Delilah Summer Rayne Boudoir - Delilah is one of a few that I work with on several occasions, even our office days are spent together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am very open and confident about my body and I believe all women should feel this way. I think this is such an empowering thing to do, or even just such an awesome thing to have in your photo collection for your future self to look back on. I purchased a package for my mom’s 50th and she loved it!
Instagram & website

2. Nessa Pineda Hair - My bestie of 10 years is hella talented when it comes to hair. She is currently working at Field Trip Hair Co on Broadway, a Wes Anderson inspired salon and is killing it. If your friend is looking for a new do she’s your gal! PS don’t wait too long to book appointments she fills up quite quickly!
Instagram

3. Kristy [sluggysnailpoops] - Her skill is amazing, beautiful, feminine, fine, and dainty. She works out of Adrenaline’s Boutique Studio on West 4th and has been building quite a name for herself via Instagram. Her books are currently closed but is someone to keep in mind for a future project!
Instagram (her website is in the making!)

4. Classy Claws - My regular nail studio, mine are done by Jesse and the studio is owned by Bee. Both are absolutely talented women, with a passion for their craft and it’s always such fun times with a full girl gang at the studio. If you have a friend that is in need of some bling in her/his life or goes to the studio a gift certificate would be a wicked gift!
Classy Claws & Jesse

5. Studio Sashiko - Two of my close friends are the owners of this spot so maybe I am biased but they are known to be one of the best in the game… so I mean I think the world has spoken. If you have a friend that is saving her looneys and toonies for some fresh brows why not chip in, similar to a tattoo I am sure they would love the gesture!
Instagram & website

Hope this helps your shopping! Also don’t mind me sharing one of my favourite outfits this fall so far. I have been wearing this blazer in so many awesome ways, I will try to snap more photos and show you various ways you can wear your oversized blazers.

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Two Piece Suit - Minimum,
White Tee - Zara, Colorful Sneakers - Sandro,
Sunglasses - Elizabeth & James, Fanny Pack - Alexander Wang

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Street style photos by Sarah Arsenault
Hair by Nessa Pineda
*All other images are either past images shot for my blog or taken directly from the brands Instagram