Holiday Countdown - Gift Edition Part 3

With Christmas less than ten days away, I hope that the final push to finish up your holiday shopping has not crushed you just yet. To make things a tad easier, I'm providing you with another edition of my curated collection of gifts, this time for the City Sophisticate. She's a stylish woman in her late 20s to mid 30s, a young professional that knows what she likes and what she wants, and who prefers unique, feminine and thoughtful finds that are luxurious but still practical enough to use everyday.

Buy her any of these gems, and you will probably be in her good books forever.

1. Woodlot Re-charge Package - $59 - This lovely Canadian made toxin free bundle includes a coconut wax candle, a nourishing soap bar, and mineral bath soaks. Everything is made out of rosemary + peppermint essential oils, and this little set is the perfect way to help her relax and recharge during the holidays.

2. Ilia Multi Stick - $34 - For the girl on the go, who doesn't need a lot of makeup, nor does she really want to put it on anyways. This magic stick comes in six unique shades, and works on cheeks, eyes and lips, providing a sexy but subtle hint of rosy shine that will enhance any winter complexion.

3. Ring Dish - $32 - This gorgeous little handmade ring dish is made out of porcelain and features a delicate gold rim. Each dish is one of a kind and will look right at home holding her favorite jewelry on her nightstand or dresser.

4. Stone Morter & Pestle - $272 - Almost too pretty to use, this Tom Dixon Morward white marble and brass set is sure to become a family heirloom.

5. Lady Bag - $1350 USD - Mansur Gavriel has been on the top of my wish list for the last couple of years, but only now can you find this extremely hard to find label in Canada. It's currently sold at Holts, and I'm kind of fearful because once things are no longer rare, my deep lust and attraction can sometimes go away. However, this chic carryall shouldn't worry, as it's essentially the perfect IT bag. It's totally sexy and naked, roomy enough for everyday use, and it comes in six colorways.

6. BarreWorks - During any gift giving season, I beg you to never give a girl a gym membership. Unless it's what she wants, trust me, just stay away. But BarreWorks is totally different. With two locations in Toronto, this is a super on trend fun ballet inspired workout that I think any girl would probably be quite happy to get. You can purchase a 5 class pack ($95) or a two weeks of unlimited classes for $40.

7. Lip Gloss - $42 - This has to be my favorite lip gloss ever.  I love that it's all natural, glides on without all that gunky mess, and it provides me with a youthful shine that stays on for hours. Well worth the hefty price tag.

8. Drop Earrings - $1805 - I've never been a big diamond fan, but these drop diamond earrings with a rose gold finish are modern classic. While extremely gorgeous, they are subtle enough to wear everyday.

9. Pillow - $212.50 USD - This luxurious Molto dual sided pillow from DWR features cashmere wool on one side and cotton velvet on the other, each with a slightly different look and feel.

10. Sweater Coat - $595 USD - This simple oatmeal Yak sweater coat from Jenni Kayne is exactly the kind of thing you want to throw on during a cold day. Unfortunately, they don't deliver to Canada, but when there's a will, there's a way...

11. Scarf - This stunning scarf is made from 100% crape silk, and is produced in very limited quantities in the EU. Lucky for us, you can purchase it in store at Ewanika or have it shipped to Canada.

12. Watch - $189 USD. A classic minimalist watch in rose gold and grey leather. You can purchase it online or in store at Likely General.




Wall Hanging Roundup

I don't know about you, but I'm all about 70s decor style coming back. As the old adage goes, everything old is new again, and that is certainly true for retro inspired wall hangings. I've always been wild about hanging textiles, perhaps it's because they remind me of beautiful vintage rugs I would see hanging in houses all over Poland when I was a kid. They can bring so much texture and color to any space, and with a myriad of different styles and color combinations to choose from, chances are you won't make a mistake. Since wall hangings are taking over the world by storm (ok more so the instagram design world), I thought that I would share a few of my favorites.


Based out of Brooklyn, this company makes jewelry, rugs, bags, and other cool stuff. I think I discovered them years ago through the Brick House, and I've been hooked ever since. Below is Blackwater Country, a wall hanging they currently have on sale for $500. I love the contrast between the soft pale silk and navy shag wool, a total winner in my books.

I will forever be kicking myself for not buying this when I spotted it on sale at a shop in Palm Springs last year. BIG MISTAKE. It's no longer in stock, and don't expect it to make a comeback. The blush with the neon green, a touch of's so fresh, alive and playful.  If I had to sum up my personality in a wall hanging, this would probably be it.


Mimi Jung is a more recent find, but she's definitely in the running to become one of my favorites. Her woven textile designs are modern and light, yet they make such a powerful statements and feel much more like paintings rather than textile art. Her work is smart and sophisticated, and I can see her pieces hanging in a museum or in a gorgeous modern home or loft. You can purchase them straight off of her website.


Now you can't really talk about wall hangings without mentioning Maryanne Moodie. I've been following her work on Instagram for a while, and she makes some incredible pieces. Also based out of Brooklyn, she not only creates wall hangings but also teaches the craft worldwide. I wish I could summarize her work, but since every piece she makes is so incredibly different, you never know what you are going to get, and I like that she keeps things interesting.  She does calm, muted shades just as well as bold, colorful, punchy tones. Follow her on Instagram and Etsy to see more of her work or create a custom piece for your own home.


Native Line is run by artist Justine Ashbee, who combines geometric lines with precious metals to create spectacular shimmering pieces of wall art. Her use of gold and silver makes her work feel truly one of a kind. Her work is inspired by Southwest desert landscapes, where she spent several months, dreaming up her designs. You can find her designs at specialty stores worldwide as well as through her online shop.

The Hip World of Artisan Crafts Featuring Ariele Alasko

If you like unique, handcrafted, charming yet skillfully designed products, you are probably already a fan of Ariele Alasko. And if you are in the design world and religiously follow design blogs or read magazines like DesignSponge or Kinfolk, and you've have never heard of this amazing woodworking artist, you probably live under a rock. For the rest of you, I will give you a pass and hope to inspire you to start following her on Instagram (and join over 369K people that do) immediately.

I stumbled upon her work a couple of years ago, during one of those Instagram binges where one thing led to another, and I ended up following over 20 new feeds. Probably not the kind of binge most people are used to, but in my world, yeah, things got craaaazy.

Besides her immense talents in woodworking, Ariele is a great photographer who knows what her style is and can really speak to her audience. You like teepees? Check. Beautiful horses? Check. Desert scapes? Check . Rustic flowers? Check. Cute Brooklyn apartments? Check. I could go on and on but you get the idea. She also features her new creations as well, and if you don't spot these goodies and scoop them up right away, chances are they will be sold out by the time you look at her website.

Ariele is sculptor by trade, who gathers discarded strips of wood from old NY brownstones, cleans them up, and uses the materials to create intricate patterns that grace tables, headboards, and wall hangings.  In addition to her furniture pieces, she excels at hand carving spoons, trays, and serving bowls, and has inspired many more artisans to start working in this field. But we all know who started this trend. And unlike some of her imitators, you can see the love and time she spends on each item, ensuring it will be a treasured family heirloom hopefully passed down for generations.

Couple of things to keep in mind if you want to score one of her pieces - she doesn't do wholesale, so you have to buy direct. But like I mentioned, if you don't jump at the immediate opportunity to buy it as soon as you spot it on instagram, good luck my friend.

When No. means Yes.

I'm pretty sure ceramic collections are becoming the new jewelry for the well traveled and curated home. They are prized possessions, often costing five times or more than what you would normally pay for a bowl or cup at Homesense. Yes the prices may seem a little extreme, but I can't stop admiring and coveting ceramic shapes, and it's so lovely to support hard working artists who are making beautiful things by hand. And a little treat here and there never hurt anyone, unless we are talking about me reaching for another bowl of hazelnut gelato.

There are quite a few small ceramic studios that I follow on Pinterest and Instagram, but one of my top picks is No., which is located in Long Island and run by Romy Northover.

Trained in European ceramics at the University of London, she has traveled the globe from Hong Kong to Berlin, soaking in many different cultures along the way and undoubtedly inspiring some of her work. She currently uses the Japanese techniques of Kinuneri, Tebineri and Rokuro - none of which I know anything about - but god are they beautiful. The 22 Karat Climax cups above are ridiculous - and I mean that in a good way. Each cup is handmade (and hand painted with 22 Karat Gold) and retails for $62.

I'm also loving the Mountain Bolt collection, with it's geometric lines and speckled finish. These vases would look gorgeous grouped together just about anywhere in a home. And then there are the Moon Tide and Freedom collections, one light and creamy and the other bold with fantastic swirls and plenty of movement.

You can find Romy's work at a lot of specialty shops in the US, including The Line's website. For No.'s Canadian fans, look no further than one of my favorite shops, Likely General.