December 7th, 2013
You’d go to the moon and back for your little one.
But would you fly to Barcelona every time she needs a new pair of leggings? Didn’t think so. A quick trip to Leuie will spare you the jetlag. Filled with European-made wares for babes of all sizes, the online boutique turned pop-up shop is now a permanent destination just off South Granville. We love the mod-style dresses for girls, the VW-printed button-ups for boys, and the dreamy mobiles for both.
In fact, you might say we’re over the moon. —Kelsey Dundon
1513 W. 8th Avenue (at South Granville), Vancouver and online at www.leuie.com
December 6th, 2013
Call us old-fashioned but we like our trees to come from the ground, not a box in the basement. Agree? Here are two ways to snag a stunning, all-natural spruce this season.
Start a holiday tradition by choosing - and chopping down! - your own tree at Quinn Farms (from $45, plus admission). Plus, if we play our cards right, a real-life lumberjack just might give us a hand…. (2495 Boul. Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, 514-453-1510)
the home delivery
No fighting the crowds. No backseat strewn with needles. No sticky sap on our parka. Just click “Buy my Fir” and let The 3 Planters do the heavy lifting (from $21.50 plus shipping).
December 5th, 2013
The only thing that feels better than giving a great gift is knowing that proceeds from the purchase are helping others, too. Herewith a selection of gifts (all under $40) that will make you the hero of the gift exchange.
A designer mug? Yes, please! This collaboration between Keurig and Pink Tartan’s Kimberley Newport-Mimran ($19.99) is as chic as can be and all profits go to the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation. At Keurig.ca
The rich cocoa butter formula deeply moisturizes and 100% of the purchase price of Lush Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion ($22.95) goes to support charities around the world. Hello, perfect stocking stuffer! At Lush.ca
We’re pretty much obsessed with mercury glass, so we’re buying Pottery Barn’s Candle Pot ($29.50) and Votive Set ($19.50) in multiples. Hey – we’ve been good. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to children’s hospital charities. At PotteryBarn.com
Almost everyone has a need for a reusable water bottle – but not many help to build wells. This 500ml glass water bottle ($29) from Obakki features a silicone sleeve and 100 per cent of proceeds go to drill water wells in South Sudan. Drink up! At Obakki.com
You've been wearing your heart on your sleeve with Cause We Care bracelets. Now the Vancouver charity has teamed up with La Notte to create this limited edition T-shirt ($35) benefiting local families in need. Now you can wear your heart on your… heart. At Aritzia.com
Tradeworks employs women at risk in their Vancouver Downtown Eastside Women’s Workshop and trains them in life, employment, and carpentry skills. These refillable maple wood pens ($40) are made from reclaimed Canadian hardwoods and include engraving at no extra cost. Give this to someone who can write a story as meaningful as the one behind the pen. At Tradeworks.com
December 4th, 2013
Red and green is so last Christmas.
According to our very trusty sources (hint hint: Debbie Travis), the season’s It colour for holiday décor is berry pink. But don’t go mixing this offbeat hue in with your existing collection of ornaments: Here are Debbie’s top tips for a chic holiday tree.
1. Commit to a colour
Random rarely works – especially when it comes to decorating! Pick a colour and stick to it. (If you’re going berry pink, we love these glitter ball ornaments, $3 at Canadian Tire).
2. Choose your aesthetic
Deciding whether you’re in the mood for a modern, traditional or even whimsical look will help determine your accent colour and shape of your ornaments.
3. Layer the look
Start with lights, then add garlands or ribbon, and follow with ornaments (larger ones first, and smaller ones to fill in the gaps). Finish with sprays, tinsel and your tree topper.
Can’t commit to a single scheme? Debbie has the perfect solution: Make several trees!
Isn’t it good to have options? —Christine Laroche
Find the Debbie Travis collection at www.canadiantire.ca
December 3rd, 2013
Isabel Marant x H&M came and went. Up next? Mélissa Nepton x Target.
Quick recap: The Montreal-based designer won the Target Emerging Designer Award at Montreal Fashion Week last February, taking home a $25K grant and the chance to design a collection to be sold at Target stores in Quebec.
Less than a year later – this Sunday, to be precise – we’ll finally get to shop her creations. True to her aesthetic, the collection features plenty of black and white, playful prints and a handful of party-perfect dresses.
And in true Target style, prices top off at $69.99. — Christine Laroche
Tunic is $39.99, www.target.ca
December 2nd, 2013
We love our beauty products as much as the next girl – maybe even a little bit more. #occupationalhazard
But our beauty routine MVP isn’t mousse or mascara, and the truth is slightly less glamorous: We can’t live without our Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 Electric Toothbrush ($184.99 at Pharmaprix). The built-in timer ensures that we brush for a full two minutes and the deep-cleaning action eliminates plaque like nobody’s business.
And because ‘tis the season (for selfies at holiday parties), we’re throwing two other smile-enhancing products into the mix: Crest 3D White Luxe toothpaste and 1-Hour Whitestrips.
Say cheese! —Christine Laroche
3861 St-Laurent Blvd, Montreal, 514-844-3550, www.pharmaprix.ca
December 2nd, 2013
If you’ve ever found yourself in the drugstore aisle completely perplexed by the ingredients in face cream, this app is for you. Think Dirty helps us see past the label (because sometimes, “natural” is a bit of a misnomer) and get the real dirt on what’s in our favourite beauty products. Simply scan the barcode (there’s over 12,000 products in their database) and you’ll instantly get a level rating that examines toxicity and allergens. Don’t see your go-to shampoo? Send them the label, and they’ll do the research for you.
Style.com has long been the online authority of all things fashionable. Live streaming of fashion shows, photos from the most fabulous parties in all the land, and detailed trend reports and street style dissection makes this an invaluable sartorial resource.
We never want to miss a big story, but we don’t always have time to scour the web for trending stories. Enter Zite, which invites you cherry pick the topics that pique your interest, and they do the rest. It’s like a carefully curated magazine delivered right to your smartphone.
How long is that layover? And what time does your flight leave? Avoid the mad dash to the airport for with Tripit, a mobile travel assistant that saves all of your arrangements (flight times, car service, hotel reservations, calendar sync) in one place, so you aren’t stressing about missing that 7 a.m. breakfast meeting.
Dining:Best Buy Mobile offers the best choice of phones and networks, informed and impartial advice, and a free upgrade check. You can now find Best Buy Mobile at all Best Buy stores and as standalone stores in malls across the country. Learn more at BestBuyMobile.ca
When it comes to finding the best dishes in the city, no one loves dishing more than chefs. The most celebrate chefs in North America (Mario Batali, David Boulud, Vij, David Hawksworth) pinpoint specific meals at their favourite restaurants, from noodle bars to fine dining Italian, for Chefs Feed. Warning: don’t browse on an empty stomach.
November 30th, 2013
We’re thinking if the kids are dressed in super cute pajamas, we might be that much more excited to wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning.
This editor is kind of obsessed with Om Home’s Jasper pajama set in yellow. We love that it is not treated with any chemicals, they are a Toronto company, and you can hand these down to the next child regardless of gender. Sizes 6 months to 10 years, $39 at Om Home.
Danish brand Popupshop does a mini version of adult pajamas complete with button down front and piping. If Mom and Dad can find matching versions, the pictures will be too cute. Sizes 1 to 10 years, $78 from Sweet William.
Another great Vancouver brand, Parade makes super cute printed rompers and this owl motif is one of our favourites. They are made from organic cotton and wash very well (we know from experience) this is a great sleeper for the family member whose going to wake you up at 4 a.m., Christmas morning or not. Sizes 6 to 18 months, $28 at Parade. http://paradebaby.com
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
November 29th, 2013
A while back, we dismissed anything on Crescent as a tourist trap.
So when Wienstein & Gavino’s, one of the street’s landmark restaurants (it’s been around for 17 years!) invited us to sample their new menu, we accepted with some trepidation.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a charcuterie platter, antipasti, and bubbles. So far, so good. Next, Executive Chef Giuseppe Sacchetti enthusiastically welcomed us and explained his vision for the new menu. In a nutshell? Italian classics with a modern twist.
And then came more food: Succulent meatballs, homemade pasta, gorgeous pizza… Everything fresh, homemade and, needless to say, delicious.
We left pleasantly surprised, completely stuffed and happy as can be. —Christine Laroche
1434 Crescent St., Montreal, 514-288-2231, Montreal, www.wgmtl.com
November 28th, 2013
The Orlando airport is one of the busiest in the world and guess what: Not everyone is heading to the theme parks. So what unique experiences are in-the-know travelers going for? Here’s the inside scoop.
the culture lover
As home to Rollins, one of the United States’ top regional colleges, Orlando’s upscale Winter Park district offers plenty of culture. The hands down must-see is the Morse Museum, home to the most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the world.
the food fanatic
To please a refined palate, a reservation at Luma, in Winter Park (pictured), won’t disappoint: A menu featuring locally sourced ingredients that changes daily guarantees an inspired, memorable meal. Street food lovers will be well served at Hawker’s, a bustling spot in downtown Orlando that specializes in Asian fare. (We’re still dreaming about the curry sauce served with the Malaysian flatbreads). And the buzz-iest opening on the Orlando foodie scene is East End Market, which has brought the area’s top artisan food producers and farmers under one roof.
the thrill seeker
For an adrenaline rush, look beyond the obvious roller coasters: Think space shuttle liftoff simulation at the Kennedy Space Center, where you can also get up-close-and-personal with Space Shuttle Atlantis, or a few exhilarating laps on a race track with the Richard Petty Driving Experience. And for the ultimate hair-raising Florida experience? Boggy Creek’s hour-long airboat ride… at night. If hundreds of gator eyes peering at you doesn’t get your heart racing, we don’t know what will.
all of the above
Tick everything off your wish list in one fabulous hotel stay – yes, really! The newly opened Alfond Inn (from $169) is decorated with modern art supplied by students and alumni of Rollins College, is home to Hamilton’s Kitchen (acclaimed chef Christopher Windus is at the helm) and is a stone’s throw from Winter Park’s historic channels – perfect for paddleboard exploration with Paddleboard Orlando. The cherry on top? The Alfond Inn is owned by Rollins and profits go directly to funding scholarships for top students.
Who needs theme parks, anyway? —Christine Laroche