A Toronto Transformation


Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Bare English & Co lip balms make a perfectly sweet stocking stuffer

While 2014 has been a year of getting my budget on track and lassoing my idle consumerism (my clothing spending has been limited to a couple of pairs of underwear and socks and a Halloween costume I put together for $20 since I wrote this, btw!), I do love finding little treats for my loved ones this time of year.

As always, my family will probably do some charitable giving in each other’s names. The Stephen Lewis Foundation, the David Suzuki Foundation and of course, my near, dear, Mother Nature Partnership are all worthwhile organizations (that do not discriminate against the LGBT community like the Salvation Army and their ubiquitous bell-ringers), if you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, but it’s still fun to have some things to unwrap under the tree on Christmas morning.

Here are a few ideas for those of you who are stumped for stocking stuffers:

Help your pals stay mistletoe-ready year-round with Toronto company Bare English & Co’s Tea-infused vegan lip balms (pictured above). I love their Vanilla Coconut flavour and am obsessed with the way it smells like popcorn jelly bellys (another excellent stocking stuffer)!

David’s Tea has pretty little gift boxes this time of year along with the regular one-off bags of the stuff in case you’re not sure what insanely tasty flavour to choose! I’m partial to the red velvet cake tea myself.

Bananagrams – I remain obsessed with this game. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s like scrabble without all the waiting around. If this doesn’t help me stave off Alzheimer’s, well, I mean, I’ll just continue playing it, because I am bananas about it. Yeah, I said it. Bananas.

In case you need to spike the aforementioned tea with something sweet (say, for example if you needed a little extra courage to attempt to best me at Bananagrams), Quebec’s way-too delicious Sortilège Whiskey Liquer has you covered.

Give the gift of Canadiana with this adorable mounties toque from the Drake General Store

Help your loved one organize the change having a party in the bottom of her purse with a beautiful changepurse from Scout & Catalogue. If you feel the need to also buy her a full-sized clutch in that gorgeous marbled leather, I’m sure she’d stop drooling at least long enough to thank you profusely!

Have a pal who’s trying to lighten their environmental footprint? Lush solid shampoos are a great way to cut down on the amount of plastic packaging in their shower! Oh, and the Godiva one will make them smell scrumptious!

For more last-minute gift ideas check out my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide board on Pinterest, or last year’s Toronto Christmas Gift Guide.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever found in your stocking (or stashed in someone else’s)?


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A Toronto Holiday Gift Guide

Love these Christmas in Toronto streetcar cards by Paper E. Clips from the Paper Place. via metamorphocity.com

Love these Christmas in Toronto cards by Paper E. Clips I picked up at the Paper Place.

My family makes a pretty solid attempt to not focus too much on the presents part of the holidays. Especially now that my brother and I are grown, it’s a lot easier to just bask in each other’s company and the warm glow of being home together.

We are also lucky enough to all have work, so when it comes to stuff, there’s not a lot we need (not to mention, none of us live in gigantic places with room for too much excess.

We also try to be mindful of how lucky we are, and we do a fair bit of charitable giving in each other’s names. It’s a habit we developed years ago, and I really love taking some time every year to think about the people our donations to amazing organizations like the City of Joy, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and of course, the near and dear to my heart,  Mother Nature Partnership will help.

That said, I really love wrapping up a few little parcels and squirreling them away under the tree and watching my family open them Christmas morning. I also really love the idea of shopping locally whenever possible, so I’ve been amassing gift ideas that can all be purchased in Toronto to create an up-to-date Toronto holiday gift guide over on Pinterest, and thought I’d share a few here in case any of my fellow Torontonians (or anyone else, really) need some inspiration!

I think my top three have to be these guys:

Christmas Brew from Bellwoods Brewery via Metamorphocity.com

Christmas Brew! via Bellwoods Brewery


Gorgeous, cozy Ontario pullover sweater from The Drake General Store via metamorphocity.com

Gorgeous, cozy Ontario pullover sweater via The Drake General Store

holiday macarons from nadege via metamorphocity.com

A holiday pack of macarons via Nadege (so I don’t have to bake them myself!)

Check out my pinterest board here for more awesome local gift ideas!

Though nothing’s going to top last year’s Christmas gift to my dad.

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