I did a guest post for the hilarious gifting blog Shit Girls Want. What do girls want? I dunno. My sister lives and dies for anything heart-shaped with diamonds, I have a friend who is used to limousines and shopping sprees at Holt Renfrew and me, I just want to get out of town. Always with the getting out of town. You can read my suggestions for the perfect getaway here.
There’s no such thing as weekends over Christmas, amirite? It’s still nice that it’s Friday and people get a couple of days off from going into the office, but there’s still work to do, i.e: buy gifts, decorate, schedule in appts before all your hairdressers/RMT’s/whathaveyou’s go black for the holidays. I’m purposefully not making a list of shit I need to get done because I know it will overwhelm me and cause me to on purpose ignore it (can’t tell me what to do ‘tall).
So, this weekend is strictly for Christmas shopping. I want to get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible, but I also want to find cool stuff and support local businesses. So, I’ve mapped out some spots and decided to share them here*.
Consumerism is lame, I know, but just think about how good it feels to give someone you care about a really awesome gift. So good.
*Toronto-centric but most all these places have online stores that ship
1. Pop-Up Shops
These rule because they combine multiple vendors in one location. This weekend there’s Popify in Kensington (165 Augusta Ave) where you’ll find a cool assortment of gifts, including one of my fave Toronto’s jewellery designers, Biko.
If you’re looking to gift yourself or a pal with some beautiful vintage apparel, shoes and accessories, go to Holiday Warm Up on Dundas West (317 Dundas St W). It combines some of the best vintage vendors in the city and it’s a carefully curated selection of goods, which I appreciate since I hate to dig. There’s also some beautiful stuff for dudes (plaid bow ties – cute) and locally made greeting cards.
Check out this sweet coat I scored there. Thanks again, Violet Crown Vintage!
2. Booze/Stuff that goes with booze
Alcohol is the easiest gift ever. Also, the easiest to re-gift. It’s not very personal, though (except really nice champagne. That is a totally thoughtful gift buy me champagne please). So along with that bottle of whatever, head to BYOB Cocktail Emporium (972 Queen St. W). (Yes, I know this is my best friend’s store and this may seem somewhat nepotistic but have you been there? Have you seen all the awesome shit she has? This is a no-brainer, people.)
Look, I’m not going to tell you not to shop at The Bay because it rules and I shop there all the damn time. There are alternatives, however, if you’re looking for somewhere that has everything in one place, but is still local. Blue Banana (250 Augusta Ave) in Kensington is a go-to of mine, especially when I have no idea what to get for someone. There are some gems but also a lot of weird and wacky stuff. Perfect for office’s Secret Santa or your strangest relatives.
Finally, if you’re buying for a lady-friend, romantic or otherwise, and have zero clue what she’d like, check out Shit Girls Want, a hilarious blog from the ladies of Fitzroy Boutique that spells out exactly what a lady would like.
Happy spending. XO
I have no idea what Christmas gifts you should get for your Mom or your brother or your quirky boyfriend who already has all the mustache combs and indie records he could ever need. Sorry! I do know everything that I want though, so if you have anyone in your life you think is the absolute coolest person you’ve ever met, they might like this stuff too.
I need a globe. Or a World map. Something, anything to help me be less ignorant about geography. It’s like a mental block! Some people stutter, I can’t tell you where most countries are. Available on Etsy, $54.95
I love this watch, although it’s not fashionable to say you want a watch because PHONES! Whatever. Watches are chic. Daniel Wellington St. Andrew Lady watch $199
All the jewelry I wear is special to me. It’s mostly vintage and costume and I feel like perhaps it’s time to start collecting some test-of-time pieces. This tiny bangle with Neil’s lyrics on the inside is a good place to start. Kate Spade, $33 (via Cup of Jo)
The Art Gallery of Ontario had some incredible exhibitions this year and I always griped about how much it cost to go. A year-long membership would not only allow me to check out everything that comes through, but it means I can also go to the AGO to hang out. It’s just a nice place to be, you know? AGO Membership $100
I didn’t always want or care to know how to knit but it’s something I think it would be really handy, mainly because I’m picky and allergic to most wool. This kit wins because merino wool is soft and I think the knitting needles would look cool poked through my messy bun while I read in my (imaginary) rocking chair. Purl Soho Learn to Knit Kit, $62 (via Cup of Jo)
My The Wild Unknown Songwriters 2011 calendar is still hanging on my wall because it’s too pretty to take down. This Tarot Calendar is the only thing I want to put in its place. I bought my first one from Catbird in NYC so I’ll also accept a round-trip ticket there to grab it myself. Thanks Santa! The Wild Unknown Tarot Calendar, $30
I live in a condo high in the sky and it gets super dry up there. This is the mother of all humidifiers that blows both cool and warm mist. Goodbye static cling and dry skin. Air-O-Swiss Digital Warm & Cool Mist Ultrasonic humidifier, $199
So really and truly I don’t need any of this shit. Getting gifts is fun but it doesn’t really matter what I unwrap as long as I get to be with my fam here in NFLD! I wouldn’t say no to a bunch of chocolate from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company, though.
Sometimes I get bored of the Internet. Other times I can’t believe how much awesome there is online. Here’s a list of links I’ve recently checked out that I think you might like too:
My favourite new music video (the song is pretty great too).
The trailer for Ethel – a fantastic HBO documentary about the wife of Robert Kennedy. So fascinating to think what America would have been like if Bobby hadn’t been killed.
What I wouldn’t give to have been at this concert.
Finally, the best beauty advice there is:
(print by Lisa Congdon)
Here’s a photo wrap-up of my little trip to Austin. This town has a reputation for being The Coolest and I’m so glad I finally got to see what all the (well deserved) fuss is about. Highlights include: Hiking up Mt. Bonnell to watch my first Austin sunset, meeting the weirdest (read: Best) locals, Tex-Mex everything, Hey Rosetta! in concert (best random coincidence ever) and, of course, spending quality time with my much missed friends.
My Austin picks:
- JM Dry Goods + Spartan - Beautiful local and imported textiles, jewllery, ceramics and more.
- Laced With Romance - Mix of new and reworked pieces and vintage. Amazing jewllery. I’m a little obsessed.
- New Bohemia - Less pricy Vintage clothing and a HUGE selection to boot. Take your time here.
- Feathers Boutique - Vintage dresses galore and grouped by era.
- Flashback - Huge selection of vintage – healthy men’s section too.
- Uncommon Objects - for treasures.
- South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery (get Torchy’s).
- Elizabeth St. Cafe - Sit on the patio and order a bottle of Stumptown.
- Yellow Jacket Social Club - Scene.
- Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar - Possibly the only place in Texas to get a Caesar. Awesome seafood.
- Ruta Maya (Yoga at 8 a.m. Mon-Fri)
- Roadhouse Relics (more on this soon!)
- Barton Springs/Creek - laze for days.
- Zilker Park – Get situated under one of the big trees and people watch.
- A walk/bike/run along the Greenbelt - Apparently it’s flowing for the first time in years right now!
Without further adieu:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)
Santa doesn’t really come to my house anymore. Still, his name ends up on a few of my gifts and, while I love my comic books (Dad) and novelty socks (Mom), maybe it’s time I start making lists again, or take Santa-ing into my own hands. Here are some of the things I’ve got my eye on this year.
A juicer! This is the Omega Mega Mouth Juicer ($269) and from what I’ve read, it’s one of the best. I’m big on fruit and greens juices and I feel like if I owned this baby, I’d be mad nutritious.
This next one is also for the mornings: the Tivoli Audio Model One Radio ($179.99). Growing up, I’d wake up to the hourly chime of CBC Radio coming from the kitchen. It’s comforting to have the radio going in the morning, but it cannot be the alarm clock radio. I’d rather stick needles in my ears than listen to radio from an alarm clock. Traumatized, clearly.
As much as I try, I can’t go digital with my appointments. It’s so much better to have everything laid out, right in front of me. Nobody does organization better than Moleskin ($7).
I only just found out that Fieldguided designed a new tote for Summerland featuring lyrics from Stevie Nick’s Wild Heart (you know how much I love). This is coming my way, Santa or no Santa. Must. Have. (And pretty much everything else from the Summerland shop).
Books for Christmas are always welcome under my tree, although I usually get comics from my Pops (sweet). Diane Keaton is kind of the coolest and I want to read about her. Simps. ($30)
I’ve been on the hunt for a tea cozy ever since Kristen gave me my beautiful new teapot. Nothing beats a homemade knit, now I just need to find someone to make one for me (or a sweet vintage shop that sells them!). (Image via The Selby)
A new 2012 calendar from The Wild Unknown featuring KITTENS. Obviously. $30 from Catbird.
A Modern Friendship Bracelet from Biko ($85) would really add to my arm party, not to mention I’ve met the designer a couple of times now and she’s delightful. I love supporting local talent!
Is that too much? Am I super greedy?
I wasn’t joking about the comics.
I have been MIA for the last little while but for good reason – BYOB opened!!!
The store looks incredible and I couldn’t be prouder of my BFF for making her dream come true. When I haven’t been there, I’ve been thinking about being there. And trying to use my publicity skillz to help spread the word about this wicked awesome shop.
Your eyes are not deceiving you – that is a neon light straight outta Cocktail. Plus Emporium because when you’re a big deal, you use big words.
If you live in Toronto you need to get down and check it out (972 Queen St. West – right at Queen and Ossington). Open 7 days a week because really, when you get to spend your time in a store as cool as this one, why would you wanna be anywhere else? People who love their jobs and are happy to being doing them, what an interesting concept.
Those are closing time G&Ts. BYOB isn’t about being proper, it’s about drinks from pretty glasses. Raising Toronto’s good looking quotient, one cocktail at a time.
See you in the store. Cheers!
When I was home from University one summer I babysat a six-month old girl and when she would fuss I’d put on this song and we’d twirl around the room together. I got a lot of exercise doing that.
Last installment of Valentine’s Day gifts!
Vintage. Retro. Cocktail. 1940s. Check, check, check, check. Buy on Etsy
I don’t really do lingerie..especially not in February, but boys like it and they don’t notice when your skin is the colour/consistency of kneaded dough. I actually really like the selection from Faire Frou Frou.(via Rue)
Many a drunken time I have exclaimed that dark chocolate tastes like vanilla when you pair it with red wine. In fact, chocolate and wine might be my favourite desert (lush) so Gayle’s Chocolate’s wine pairing box is like a confirmation of what I knew all along: wine makes everything better. Buy online at Uncommon Goods (via Design Blagh).
Don’t let the fact that this book was in the Sex and the City movie (massive disappointment, right?) deter you. Or do. Because this book has the capacity to topple relationships (“Why don’t YOU ever write me love letters?”). A gift for the non emotional cripples, then.