Posts filed under Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Heather's Top 5 for Pampering Personal Care Products

I love this time of year in SG – not only for the whimsical window displays and the enticing gingerbread smells emanating from the Williams Sonoma store, but because folks in general seem to smile more.  And why wouldn’t they?  What could be more convenient and pleasant than to shop “the hood”?  Below are my top 5 places on South Granville to pamper your loved ones, as well as suggested gift items (none of which are fruitcake).  Be they for Secret Santa, men, women or children you are sure to be divinely inspired. 

1. The Body Shop – Body Butters and more: 
No Christmas season is complete without something from the Body Shop. I think this harkens back to my first Elderflower Eye Gel, purchased when I was sixteen, so I love to share the experience. Right now, enjoy great prices throughout the entire store such as 3 for $33, 4 for $44 or 5 for $55 (Gift sets, bundles and select items excluded). Stocking stuffers are $6 and under and you’ll find Santa’s list signs with helpful suggestions such as “Babysitter”, “Teacher”, “Parole Officer” (kidding).  Plus, they are all so delightfully packaged it takes the effort out of last minute! 

2. L’OccitaneShea anything and travel sets: Gift sets come and go and often change (make your own!) so inquire within.  There are sets for everyone; be it hand care, body/spa, home, fragrance, men’s products and even mommy and baby. Be sure to ask about ongoing promos such as the current one where you spend $45 and get a gift for an extra $15 in the shape of an adorable illustrated pouch containing lavender foaming bath, 2 tiny clutch sized hand creams in Almond and Shea, Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam and Almond Shower Oil. Perfect for travel if the person’s other gift happens to be a ticket to Paris. A nice touch to the beautiful gift-wrapping is having the tissue paper sprayed with one of their signature scents. The Green Tea one is lovely.  Also, ask for a few sachet samples of other products to be tossed in.   

3. Shoppers Drug Mart gift sets and stocking stuffers: 
As a kid, I always received fancy drug store bubble bath in my stocking. Christmas Eve wouldn’t be the same without the “Shoppers Scramble”. Filled to the brim with no-brainer ideas, it’s your one stop shop for convenient gift sets starring favourite perfume or body care brands, or even mascara, as in the Eye Studio Sampler which can help anyone achieve that "doe-eyed reindeer" look.  Like the box says,  try 'em out, pick your fave, then get a full-size mascara with the enclosed gift certificate.  Play your cards right, you might even get one re-gifted back to you!

 Eye Studio Sampler, $39.00 at Shopper's Drug Mart

Eye Studio Sampler, $39.00 at Shopper's Drug Mart

4. Suki’s and Union Salon - luxury hair care:   
Santa is coming to town and that hair better behave! Show that special someone you care, with the most talked/written about products for lush locks. For Shu Uemura and Kerastase offerings ask at Suki's. You can usually pick up the perfect stocking stuffer sizes in most products. Good things come in small packages! For travel size Oribe anything, inquire within at Union Salon. Hints: Dry Texturizing Hair Spray or Gold Lust Oil…those wise men had it right….prices vary, Oribe Shampoos run at about $46 and up, travel sized finishing sprays from $22.95.

5. House of Knives – luxury shaving accessories for men: 
Shaving is a big deal lately.  I was noticing in the House of Knives that they have a lovely display of shaving brushes, fabulous soaps, luxury colognes and aftershaves, accessories, straight razors etc.  These are old school gorgeous.  I'm sure Saint Nick (pun intended) indulges during the off season... Shaving soaps, for example, run at around $20-$25 and last a long time. Find manly scents like "Eucalyptus", "Lemon and Lime", "Sandalwood", "Natural" etc.  

OK!  Go forth, conquer then pour yourself a stiff one if you have any money left - you're done.
PS – I can’t resist a final note – if buying some small things for someone of the female persuasion, how about a great little whimsically printed pouch from Country Furniture to put it all in!! 

  Large Feather pouch, $22.95, S  mall Feather pouch   $16.95 - both at Country Furniture

Large Feather pouch, $22.95, Small Feather pouch $16.95 - both at Country Furniture

See holiday picks from our other contributors here:

Helena's Holiday Picks for Your Favourite Foodie

Among the many things I love about living in South Granville, is that I can fill most of my shopping needs just steps from my front door. And at this time of year, when it comes to holiday gifts, you can get it all done with a  quick walk up the street. Here are my top 5 picks for your foodie friend.

1.  An inspiring cookbook never goes unwanted by food lovers, and this year, I pick this one. Mimi Thorisson is known for her wonderful blog Manger where she chronicles her idyllic rustic life in the Médoc region of France all while looking like she just stepped out of the pages of Vogue. Her first cookbook, A Kitchen in France, features her favourite French recipes and is beautifully photographed by her photographer husband Oddur Thorisson. With recipes like Grilled Entrecôte à la Bordelaise and Poires à la Médocaine Medicine (red wine poached pears) the lucky recipient won't want to wait to get cooking. And rest assured, with a gift like this, there will always be a place at your friend's table reserved for you.

A Kitchen In France: A Year Of Cooking In My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson, Published by Random House, $46.00 at Chapters

2.  A Beautiful Serving Bowl

Equally perfect for piling with pasta or pine cones, these beautiful examples are made in England with beautiful details like the hand-finished edge and individual markings.

Hermit Serving Bowl 8 1/2 inch $45.00, 6 1/2 inch $24.00 at Bacci's Vancouver

3.  Help with the Washing Up 

A foodie can never have too many tea towels. Fact. This gift will always be appreciated, especially if it's in beautiful linen. Linen drys quickly and wipes lint free and lasts longer than a cheap cotton one. There are selections up and down the street, but I'm quite partial to this one. Perfect for stuffing in a stocking or wrapping a hand-crafted gift of your own making. 

Feather Tea Towel, $14.95 at Country Furniture.

5.  A beautiful, functional work of art

This beautiful hand-made rolling pin It will last forever and will be passed on for generations. And there's always the bonus that you will be repaid by the recipient with a beautiful pie with an exquisite pastry crust. I found this one at Bacci's and there are several different colours to choose from. This is the Maple version.

Lostine Large Maple Rolling Pin $97.50 at Bacci's Vancouver


5. Give the Gift of Caffeine. What could be more festive on Christmas morning than this jolly Italian-style coffee pot in Pantone 186 otherwise known as Red. And just as Santa always left batteries with your toys, it's only right  to throw in some coffee so this gift is ready for immediate use. Local roasters, 49th Parallel's French Roast Organic is my own personal favourite and in my opinion perfectly matched to this method of coffee making. Finally because Santa may have eaten all the cookies, these Cranberry & Orange Shortbread from local artisan makers Péché Mignon, will keep your foodie friend sustained until the turkey is ready.

Pantone Coffee Maker in Pantone 186, $49.95 at Moulé, 49th Parallel French Roast Organic $12.69 and Péché Mignon Cranberry Orange Shortbread, $7.95 both at Meinhardt


Photos by Helena McMurdo except for Mimi Thorisson Book Cover by Odder Thorisson/Random House.


Louisa's Guy Gift Guide

As the lone singleton of the SGI blog I reserve the right to take artistic license with Vancouver men this holiday season; and though this artistic license only occurs in my brain – a girl can dream. And I do…. Which is probably the issue with finding a proper man in this town - but we can save that for another blog post.So as I meander the streets of South Granville – I have come up with my picture perfect gift guide for my future boyfriend: 

1. A cozy (and insanely beautiful) Missoni cardigan ($1,795.00) from Boboli is the kind of gift you give your man, allow him to wear for approximately six months – and then, you slowly make it yours (hopefully with his glorious cologne laced man-scent all over it). Truly though, the gift of a quality sweater is a beautiful thing. They hang around for years (often longer than the actual relationships) Really; it’s a win-win for whomever's box of stuff it ends up in. Were I actually buying this sweater for my man – I’d like to see him wear it with pair of crisp dark denim jeans, and some fresh Golden Goose sneakers, also available at Boboli.

2. My perfect beau also has exceptional hygiene… and therefore a classic Dopp Kit ($200.00), like this one from WANT Apothecary is essential. Inside I would love to see Marvis toothpaste (in jasmine-mint, of course), proper shaving tools, a handmade horn comb, and of course a love-note or two from moi. This is a great gift for a man on the go, a business traveller, or a fella who knows that his lady deserves more shelf space in the washroom than he does. 

3. Yes, I am going to say it – “Couples that play together – stay together” and I think that applies to fitness… You’ve been spinning your tushie off this year and its about time he joins you. Get him a 20 pack ($400.00) of classes at Cadence Cycling Studio… he’ll whine like a baby on the way there - but the music, group energy, and amazing instructors will have his ass back for more of those 45 minute workouts in no time. (Cadence also happens to be around the corner from Beaucoup Bakery… just saying, it’s convenient.) 

4. Since my man is successful in business, but also in braun – he’ s obviously outside chopping wood right now growing a nice thick scruff. I like a man that can grow a beard (are you guys starting to build a profile yet…maybe someone you know?!) Anyways, a manly man deserves some luxuriating as much as you deserve some soft cheeks to smooch… That’s why a 3 piece Shaving Set by Edwin Jagger ($150.00) is a perfect and most classic gift. Available at Atkinson’s. (Where we’ll be registering for our nuptials, of course).

5. And finally, I think it’s pretty sexy to treat your man to a good meal. An evening at VJ’s is always a classic and dining out is always a beautiful gift… you go, you enjoy the lamb popsicles, the chai, the cocktails, you pretend you are Gwyneth Paltrow when she was in Vancouver, you schmooze with Vikram and his eyeliner – all in a good night. Then go home with the man you love…

See holiday picks from our other contributors here:

Zenija's Gift Picks for Him, Her, Them & It.

Everyone knows it, Christmas is one massive pain in the ass. Gifts, cheer and obligatory social gatherings. Wretched. Here's my way of helping you through the retail jungle of SG. Below are suggestions* that if worst case scenario, are accidentally re-gifted back to you it'll be pretty rad. 

1. Hilarity will ensue no matter what age. Whether it’s baby’s first “something under the bed is drooling” or a collector’s box set for the devoted fan – this will elicit smiles from the whole family.
Complete Calvin and Hobbes box set $60.00 at Chapters Indigo

2. We’re all attached to our mobile devices, some of us more than others. Help those friends that think they’re photographers, by giving them a fighting chance at a better selfie.
Tripod with remote shutter for iPhone $49.00 at Restoration Hardware 

3. It lasts forever (as long as it doesn’t fall in the tub) and as the name implies, smells like a dream. 
Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap $6.00 at West Elm Market

4. Super cool & uber slick geometric pouch by Issey Miyake. Hide it in your bag to house your cigarettes and lipstick, keep it at your desk as a slick compartment for misc supplies or take it out for a night on the town in place of a traditional clutch.
Baobao pouch $225.00 at Boboli

5. Can't help it, I'm surrounded by babies. This means you probably are too. Star printed suede mary-janes for that special little one. Painfully cute, and no need to bronze, just hang them on your Christmas tree when they’re outgrown.
Tocoto Vintage baby shoes $60.00 at Leuie


Happy shopping folks. South Granville is a miniature gold mine - except instead of gold there are things.

*Honorable mention: Pretty much anything at Country Furniture from cards to candles.

See holiday picks from our other contributors here: