We’ve all been there: Slowly peeling back the wrapping paper and seeing an item that makes your brow furrow, and wondering, ‘does this person know me at all’, to ‘what were they thinking?’ Instead, send this link to your loved ones so they can get you what you really want this holiday season.
This is small batch, natural beauty at its finest. As an ex-CBC Marketplace investigative reporter, founder Gaelyne Leslie uncovered the big, bad secrets of the beauty and home product industries, and the baddies they were putting into some of their products. After that, nothing was the same. Determined to find her own ‘clean’ products, she started experimenting with ingredients and developing her own products that were 100 percent natural and wouldn’t irritate her sensitive skin. What’s even better is that all products are made of organic, sustainable fair-trade ingredients, and are bought locally when available.
Aureola Tea set, $200 (on sale!), from Mjolk, Toronto
I’m a sucker for minimal design and this one ticks all of my boxes. The teacups and strainer even stack on top of the teapot, saving on counter space and resembling a Japanese sculpture. Totally. Gorgeous.
Stylish and chic loungewear that we’ve all been waiting for — admit it. Soft Focus Toronto-based designer Sammi Smith has created the softest pj’s (subtle colour block or denim anyone?) and robes (tri-colour and soft shades of white and pastel — sigh) that we def want to wear 24-7.
Binu Binu Holiday Sample 5-Pack, $20 U.S.
We love us a good cold-pressed (in this case, the skin benefitting properties of the oils are retained) soap, and even more when they look this good. Handmade and hand-cut, these cleansing bars are made with 100 percent plant botanicals, essential oils and boricha (Korean roasted barley tea). We know it may be hard choosing just one, so we reco the Holiday sample pack which allows you the opportunity to lather up with Shiso to Seshin to Celadon Tea. Ceremony.
Small Tusker Earring, $225 for a single, $445 for two (available in 14K yellow, white or rose gold), at Haathi House Jewellery
We’re not gonna lie, jewellery is a hard thing to gift. But once we saw the sculptural, tongue-in-cheek, pieces made by Haathi House Jewellery (and made in Canada!), we knew that it spoke to our classic design and ‘in-your-face’ sensibilities. Our fave: The tusker earring that seems part rocker, part spirit animal (especially when you just flaunt one, instead of the obvious pair).
Cookbooks: Three Times a Day by Marilou and Alexandre Champagne, $35, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favourites, by Deb Perelman, $40, The Simple Bites Kitchen, by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, $32, and 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food, by Jamie Oliver, $40.
I’m a sucker for a gorgeous cookbook that has recipes I’ll actually use. These days I’m lining my shelves with only those that offer real-food and mom-friendly solutions. ‘Cause we don’t got room for anything else, am I right?
Double Take Crossbody, $395, Ela Handbags
As I get older I’m realizing that quality def rules over quantity and have begun to pare down my wardrobe and accessories. But, the one thing I realize I’m missing (to those that know me, this is shocking…) is a small (yet big enough to hold more than just my wallet, lipstick and keys) shoulder bag that’s simple, sleek and timeless. Enter this find from designer duo Ela and Martin Aldorsson. The colour is the perfect shade of grey (it also comes in black) and the leather is ridiculously soft. Enough said.
California Surfer, by Christine Flynn, price upon request. Contact email@example.com
Ever since we profiled Toronto artist Christine Flynn on LoveMom.ca we’ve been jonesing to collect a piece of her work. But deciding between her large scale soulful and nostalgic photos of surfers, bison or Italy, are proving harder than we thought. What better time to roll a few birthday and holiday gifts into one and invest in a piece of art?