12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 6

Today’s 12 Days of Christmas gift idea is rather illuminating.  Something decorative for the home is always a great idea but even better when it’s practical.

Estandsons_img_0954I was lucky to recently receive an Established & Sons’ FOLD Lamp from Inform Interiors at IDS Vancouver, which lead to today’s gift idea.  The stylish lamp isn’t something I would think to purchase for myself but was a very welcome addition to the living room. Established & Sons, the British design brand curating innovative and contemporary design,  has a wide selection of beautiful, modern and practical pieces for the home, like the FOLD lamp.
Inform Interiors also has a wide selection of pieces in-store and online. From $20 glassware, to extravagant home furnishings, you’ll find inspiration for everyone on your list.


12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 5

Brighten up yours and your loved one’s Holidays with today’s 12 Days of Christmas present idea.

Candles make a great hostess gift, stocking stuffer or bring out the bling for a big gift.

Vancouver Candle Co. has a great new line-up of travel trios of their premium soy candles. These compact travel-sized candles in sleek and stylish tins, can be capped and carried wherever you want some light fragrance and the warm glow of candlelight.  At $58 for the Travel Trio or $20 for single full-size glass candles in a multitude of scents reflecting Vancouver and Toronto neighbourhoods, they make a great gift in their package or stocking stuffers.  Shop online at vancouvercandleco.com or in shops around the city.

Materialism – Quartz
Elements – Air & Earth

Tom Dixon Candles from Inform Interiors are like works of art, beautifully sitting in pride of place even when not lit.  From the handspun metallic vessels with marble lids of the Electric Collection, the brilliant coloured glass canisters of the four Elements Family or the Quartz, Alloy, Stone, and Oil looks of the Materialism line, each of the British designer’s candles are a unique addition to any home. Lighting the candle releases the unique character of each of Tom Dixon’s home scents.  Shop online at tomdixon.net or buy locally instore at Inform Interiors or online at informshop.com


12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 4

They say laughter is the best medicine but it also makes for a great gift! JFL NorthWest Vancouver’s Comedy Festival is perfectly timed to make a great option Day 4 of our 12 Days of Christmas gift ideas.

Sarah Silverman

JFL NorthWest comes to Vancouver stages February 16 – 25, 2017 making tickets for the comedy fest a great gift this Christmas! World renowned names in comedy like Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah, Chris D’Elia and more share the stages with the the “Best of the West” local laughter makers.
High-profile female comics bookend JFL NorthWest, with “Last Comic Standing” alum Iliza at The Vogue on February 17th and Sarah Silverman at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 25th. “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah takes The Queen E stage on February 23rd while “Undateable” star Chris D’Elia is at The Vogue February 24th.  In between are dozens of shows at venues all around the city. JFL NorthWest is not all stand-up either, with magic from “America’s Got Talent” standout Piff The Magic Dragon, a live episode of Game Grumps, or Comedy Short Shorts a comedy short film showcase, all providing a variety of entertainment for the Festival.

Trevor Noah

Tickets for JFL NorthWest are on sale now at jflnorthwest.com, with prices starting at just $10 there are tickets available for all ranges of gift giving from stocking stuffer, hostess gifts or a night out full of laughs with that special someone.

12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 3

We’ve talked about the equipment to make hot drinks, now for Day 3 of our 12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas, lets find something to brew.

TreasureGreenTea_img_0544Recently, I discovered Treasure Green Tea Company in Chinatown. The family run business is celebrating its 35th year, as a provider of premium traditional and rare black and green Chinese teas.  A wholesaler and retailer, Treasure Green Tea Company has been selecting and importing tea from top Chinese suppliers since 1981. TreasureGreenTea_img_0551 In addition to its wide selection of Chinese teas, Treasure Green Tea Company has all the accessories and supplies needed to brew and serve a great tasting cup of tea.  For the Holidays, check out their Seasonal Blends, custom blends created just for this year’s Holidays. With so much to choose from it can be overwhelming to select a gift maybe pick up one of the curated baskets of goodies makes it easy.

TreasureGreenTea_img_0555Treasure Green Tea Company is located at 227 East Georgia Street, in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Shop online,  or in-store where you can ask for a free tea tasting to try before you buy.


12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 2

Yesterday we paid attention to the tea maker, but the Staub Teapot can also be used with today’s 12 Days of Christmas present idea.

aeropressThe AeroPress Espresso and Coffee Maker is like a combination of a drip coffee maker and a French press, except without any gritty business. The result, or so I’m told by people who drink coffee (I don’t), is a cup as good as any machine brew.
Drip coffee offers inconsistency of the pour, concentrated in the centre of the filter.  Whereas, a French Press is prone to leave grounds in your cup.  The AeroPress, presses the water through the grounds and micro-filter into your cup awaiting below.

The AeroPress Espresso and Coffee Maker is lightweight and portable, easy to travel or keep at the office.  At $45, from Cook Culture,  it makes for an excellent value coffee maker.


Twelve 2015 Christmas Craft Markets

The Holidays are speeding towards us and with that, comes the busy shopping season.  Why not avoid the frustration of the malls, experience one of the fun and festival Christmas Craft Markets to find something unique and handmade.

Check out these Christmas Craft Markets to get you in the festive spirit.

Circle Craft Christmas Market : November 11th – 15th – Vancouver Convention Centre West, the biggest market of them all, kicks off the Christmas Craft Season. Admission $12

River District Winter Craft Fair : Sundays in November and December – the 3rd edition, finds an expanded number of days filled with craft shopping at the River District Centre on Kerr Street. Free admission

Christmas-at-HycroftChristmas at Hycroft : November 19th – 22rd – The Edwardian spendour of Hycroft Manor plays host to decor, artisans, family fun, entertainment and Santa. Admission $15

Vancouver Christmas Market : November 21st – December 24th – The popular Market returns to the Queen Elizabeth Plaza for a sixth season. Admission $8 (includes season pass)

Blim Holiday Market : November 22nd – Heritage Hall on Main Street has 50 artisans, jewellers, bakers and other vendors. Admission by donation

Dunbar-poster-2015Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair : The 33rd edition, on November 28th – Hundreds of artists and vendors at Dunbar Community Centre with crafts, edible gifts, and entertainment. Admission $3 at door / $2 online

Strathcona Winter Fair : November 28th – The 5th Annual Winter Fair finds 50+ neighbourhood artists and non-profit vendors at Strathcona Community Centre – Admission $2

Portobello West Handmade for the Holidays Market : November 28th & 29th – The 9th annual market fills Creekside Community Centre with live music and vendors for all your local shopping needs. Admission $2

Make It! The Handmade Revolution : December 3rd – 6th at PNE Forum, join the handmade revolution with over 250 crafters, artisans and makers. Weekend admission $7

Toque 2015 : December 4th – 6th – The popular Western Front Annual Fundraiser and Craft Sale has added a day for you to show you support for the Wester Front’s year-round arts & music programs while getting your holiday shopping. Admission by donation

VanWinterWonderland15Vancouver Winter Wonderland : December 11th – 20th – A new 10 day Holiday festival takes over PNE Forum with entertainment, crafts, food and family holiday fun. Admission $5

Got Craft? Holiday Market : December 12th – 13th – The Pipe Shop Building is the new space for DIYers, crafters and handmade enthusiasts to come together for the two day sale. Admission $5 at the door / $3 online

Friday Find: feel the urge for URGE Chocolates

2015-01-09 23.55.38It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like Chocolate.  Whether it’s a treat for yourself or a gift for someone special, Chocolates are always a great option. Urge Chocolates is a local artisan chocolate company that specializes in unique flavour combinations. Urge Chocolatier Dirke Botsford blends espresso, peanut butter, pepper, orange flavours with quality dark chocolate in Urge Chocolates’ pocket bars.  Urge also has a selection of other handcrafted chocolates and snacks like beer nuts, salted caramels, chocolate dipped apricots and chocolate buds.

The real find with Urge Chocolates is the great gift boxes, wine or beer pairings assembled with Urge Chocolates and snacks in a rustic wooden box.  I was lucky enough to recieve one of the White Wine boxes, sliding open the custom built box revealed a trio of pocket bars and chocolate buds.  At $65 for wine or $55 for beer the boxes make a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, you can even customize your own box to cater to your own special someone.

Find Urge Chocolates at local chocolate retailers or shop online at urgechocolates.com