I’m Loving These Soaps and Scrubs

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 7.21.12 PM

I love fancy soap, so when I recently visited the amazing Cabbagetown shop Labour of Love, I picked up a bar of Eucalyptus Mint soap by Toronto company Leaves of Trees. Whoa. It is the best. Even Ian totally loves it. I had to have more, so I placed an order on their website, and also picked up the Lavender Sugar Scrub and Lavender Argan Oil.

Leaves of Trees is run by a medical doctor who makes everything herself. The product is wonderful, the packaging is gorgeous, and it’s well priced. I’m hooked.

Photo from Labour of Love’s Instagram feed

I Always Get Compliments When I Wear This Scarf


This gorgeous linen scarf is by my pal Avril Loreti. I get compliments every time I wear it, including earlier today. She makes the most wonderful things (remember these pillows?). Would you believe we went to high school together?

PS- I know I’ve been away for a while. But I’m back to blogging now!

Super Hip New Store Coming to Leslieville


Ooooooh this is good. The shop next to Leslieville Pumps (at 935 Queen Street East) has had a sign saying “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” in its windows for a long time. Apparently the wait is almost over, because the new shop, called Good Neighbour, is opening as soon as this weekend (according to blogTO).

The boutique will have a “dedicated mini-store” for the Drake General Store and feature collaborations with Love the Design. Swoon!

I Went Clothes Shopping And Didn’t Hate It!


I don’t often talk about fashion here on the blog (except the occasional post about shoes and boots). I don’t dislike fashion… I’m just a bit indifferent to it. Probably because I don’t enjoy shopping for clothing, and honestly struggle to find something to wear that fits, is appropriate for the occasion, and isn’t totally hideous looking.

AND THEN SOMETHING (or more accurately, SOMEONE) CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME.  Debra McLaughlin, an image consultant, came to one of my Camp Tech classes a few weeks ago and we really got along (must have been our mutual love for illustrator Alanna Cavanagh). I learned more about what Debra does, and booked an appointment to see her at Images That Suit, a firm that allows women to shop in a private showroom.  No more hideous change rooms in stores in the mall… this is a cozy environment with one-on-one service.

Debra and I spent time discussing my wardrobe needs (business appropriate pieces that aren’t boring please… I am a designer after all), and what colours and fits will actually suit my body. Then she brought out a whole bunch of different pieces, all by Toronto and Montreal designers.  I tried on a lot of stuff in 2 hours, but Debra was so supportive and helpful that the whole experience was actually fun, and not a soul-crushing cry fest like shopping for clothes can sometimes be.

In the end, I walked away with a suit jacket and legging trousers by Franco Mirabelli that actually fits me (I’m notoriously hard to fit in suit jackets), a beautiful cozy/sophisticated sweater also by Mirabelli, a sassy sweater by Vex, and a gorgeous blouse by Periphery. Debra doesn’t charge a fee for her services – her fee is built into the price of the clothing, which is the same as if I had purchased in a boutique.

This experience really has changed how I think about shopping.  I’m sure I’ll keep buying casual clothes at the usual discount places (hello Joe Fresh with online shopping!).  But for my business attire, I will most definitely be going back to Debra.

[illustration above by Alanna Cavanagh]

Pocket Squares by Gary Taxali

Gary Taxali Pocket Squares

I really like Gary Taxali. And I really like these Canadian cities pocket squares he made for Harry Rosen. Of course, they’re expensive, and I have no use for them (I don’t usually wear suits, not to mention pocket squares). But I can admire from afar, right?  Or I could buy giclee prints of the pieces. But somehow hanging art on the wall just isn’t as cool as wearing it.

[via Toronto Life]


Covet Garden’s Holiday Gift Guide on Etsy

My pals at Covet Garden are featured tastemakers on Etsy. They’ve put together a few different collections of their favourite finds, including one called Holiday 2013 Gift Guide.  The best part is, every item in their gift guide collection is under $50. I love that they included the winter blocks by Toronto-based Fidoodle (pictured above).  Clara already has two Fidoodle wooden block sets, and I would love to add these ones into the mix!

They’re adding more items often, so click the “follow” button to get updates as the gift guide grows.

Drake General Store Pop-Up Shop at The Bay


Last week Ian and I had to meet our insurance agent downtown (thrilling, I know), so we decided to do some shopping while we were in the area.  I remembered reading that there was a Drake General Store pop-up shop in the lower level of The Bay on Queen Street, so we had a look.  It’s fantastic, and fairly big, considering it’s kind of temporary (the retail clerk told me they’d be there through the summer, but then who knows). After debating with Ian about whether it was cool (good) or too hip (bad), I decided to go for it and picked up a Toronto Public Library t-shirt, and a funny book.  I also pointed out this iPhone alarm clock to Ian, as a note for future birthday present ideas.  It’s the same one I blogged about over a year ago, and I still like it.

[photo of the Drake General Store pop-up shop via Toronto Shopaholic Blog]

Do You Ever Buy Presents for Yourself?


I just ordered a 6-month Tattly gift subscription for myself (and no, Tattly’s not a dirty magazine – it’s a cool company that makes designy temporary tattoos).  I love Tattly, and they’re hard to find in Toronto (tip: go to the Drake General Store).  So I bought myself a prezzie – to me, from me.

Have you ever bought a present for yourself, just for the fun of it?  I obviously think it’s a great idea, and you should try it sometime.

[image via Tattly]