Holiday Gift Guide #1: Self-Care Edition!

Hey everyone!

This week I’m kicking off the first part of my three-piece Holiday segment — Holiday Gift Guides! Each week will have it’s own theme, and comes with plenty of recommendations of all my favourite products and gift ideas! My hope is, for those of you who absolutely hate Christmas shopping, that you’ll be able to find a couple great ideas from this post.

Even at the best of times, Christmas shopping can be an ordeal. Picking out gifts for anyone can be stressful — yet alone those who are simply impossible to buy for. As well, aimlessly walking around crowded malls is unpleasant to say the least. No matter how much you love shopping, when it comes to Christmas crowds, we all have other things we’d rather be doing. Hopefully, with these lists, you’ll be able to go in with a plan, get all the gifts you need — and the reward of seeing how much joy these gifts will bring will make up for all the struggle.

This week’s theme is self-care, so if you have someone in your life who’s been feeling a little overwhelmed this year and really needs to spend time over the holidays relaxing and recuperating before 2020, this list has you covered. Any one of these items would make a great gift, or for a particularly special someone — feel free to package them all together into a little self-care basket!

For Someone Who Loves A Little Luxury

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Candles make the easiest and most ultimate home-decor/self care gift for so many reasons. They’re cute, simple, create a cozy atmosphere in the winter. Plus, they make cute decor even if you don’t want to light them. I personally ADORE Jo Malone candles over any other brand — they may be expensive, but they smell AMAZING, can burn forever. These candles make absolutely stunning additions to any room they’re in, and don’t overwhelm too much with a heavy smell.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here!

For Someone Who Loves Smooth Skin

Okay, we all already know that I adore the Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Body Polish. It makes the perfect gift for anyone in need of a little extra TLC this holiday season for so many reasons. First of all, weekly exfoliation is super important to maintaining clear, soft, healthy skin — especially in the wintertime. As well, this exfoliator smells like lilacs (!!!!), comes loaded with all kinds of hydrating oils, and provides a fantastic exfoliation. It’s not too rough, nor does it dissolve in water as you use it. There’s very few products in the world I would deem completely perfect — but this is definitely one of them.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here and at Sephora here!

For Someone Looking To Decorate

I can’t even count how many times I’ve been referred to as a “plant mom”. My apartment has more plants than any other kind of decoration — I can’t help it, I just love them! Plants make a perfect gift for so many reasons. First of all, as decor, they go with just about everything. As well, plants are great for filtering air in stuffy apartments, and have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. So whether its a little aloe or an extra-large Philodendron, consider plants for anyone in your life who could use a little decor and a pick-me-up!

I’m not going to link to any online shops, but some good plants to consider are aloes, cactuses, snake grass, rubber plants, miniature palms, dracaena, or money trees!

For Someone Who Struggles With Winter Weather

In many places, winter is just a truly brutal time for your skin. Besides the cold, it can often get incredibly dry — leading to all sorts of problems for your skin, face, and lips. Luckily, in Vancouver where it rains all winter, its not too much of a problem — but I still remember how dry winter can get from my years in Toronto very well. So, for anyone who may need a little help tackling winter dryness, I have a couple solutions that would make great gifts!

The first item on this list is the Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm. I’ve been using this lip balm for over a year now, and I’m pretty convinced its the best one there is. This lip balm hits all the necessities for me — it’s ultra hydrating, incredibly smooth, and not a little bit sticky, greasy or heavy. Plus, it smells amazing! I guarantee this lip balm would make a great present for anyone who hates suffering from dry, cracked lips this winter season.

As for those suffering from dry skin in the winter, the “Sleepy” Lush body moisturizer makes a great gift! It’s a little on the heavier side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but it’s not too heavy — and really helps with keeping skin soft if you let it absorb overnight. Plus, it smells like lavender, making it the perfect, relaxing end to any self care night!

As for hand cream, I’ve always been a big fan of Crabtree and Evelyn. Their luxurious hand creams come in all kinds of scents from neutral, to floral, to citrus, to herbal, so there’s guaranteed a scent for everyone on your list. They especially make fantastic add-ons to a gift, or a little gift when you’re gifting for multiple people (ie. teachers, coworkers, etc). Who could ever dislike having silky-smooth hands in the middle of winter, right?

Feeling inspired? Check out the Fresh Sugar Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm here (available in other flavours), the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion here, and the Crabtree and Evelyn hand creams here!

For Someone In Need Of An At-Home Spa Day

Nothing says “self care time” like a long, relaxing bath. For anyone in need of a good night off to unwind, consider bath bombs as a gift!

An absolute classic is the Lush bath bombs, you really can’t go wrong with these. They smell amazing and come in so many fun colours, there’s absolutely one for everyone here. A couple of my personal favourites are “Big Blue” and “Avobath“, but really, you can’t go wrong with any bath bomb from Lush. Plus, they have plenty of holiday-themed options to choose from!

These next two I haven’t tried personally, but I’ve been dying to get my hands on them and both look like they would make absolutely fantastic gifts. For someone looking for a true spa experience, Ouai’s new Chill Pills make the perfect gift! Not only are they supposed to smell amazing, but they’re formulated with Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil, making them fantastic for your skin. As well, I’ve tried a number of other Ouai bath products and all of them were incredible — so I doubt you can go wrong here.

For someone looking for an insta-worthy soak, consider a bath bomb from WWFCO! I’ve been following them on Instagram for ages, and not only are their bath bombs beautiful — they’re handmade, and come loaded with unique and great ingredients in every bag. They have all kinds of rave reviews, so I’d be willing to put my money on these making an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who needs a good, relaxing night off.

Feeling inspired? Check out Lush’s line here, Ouai’s Chill Pills here, and WWFCO on Instagram here!

For Someone Needing To Feel Special

This one is a particularly special one for me, as it was actually a Christmas gift I received last year from my little sister that I wear absolutely every day.

Kate Spade necklaces are so beautiful and simple, all of them make a fantastic gift. However, what makes this one in particular so special is how personalized it is. On the front, it’s engraved with an “M” (for Meredith!) and the back reads “one in a million”. Something this personalized is so sweet and special, and I can tell you firsthand makes an incredible gift for someone who needs to feel a little special this holiday season.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here (and other Kate Spade necklaces here)!

For Someone You Want To Spend Time With

@element5digital on Unsplash

A manicure day is a great gift because it can also offer the gift of spending time with the person you give it to! A great way to pull this gift off is to make a little coupon to give to whomever you’re sharing it with, make plans to go sometime in January, and enjoy hanging out while pampering yourselves! This gift is also great because it works for just about everyone — whether its for an extra AF friend who want long, blinged out acrylics, someone who never gets their nails done and could use a pick-me-up and a bit of polish, or for guys who like to take good care of their hands. For an added cute touch, if you and the person you’re buying the manicure for are both getting polish, get matching nails!

As An Extra Little Add-On

@julianamalta on Unsplash

Gift cards can seem like a bit of a cop-out as a standalone gift, but when added in addition with something else can seem like a nice extra touch. Plus, I don’t know about you guys but I love online shopping — when it arrives it’s like a little gift to yourself, plus you don’t have to deal with crowded stores. For an extra special touch, add a note with something along the lines of “treat yourself to something nice” or anything else you feel works! Some great ideas for gift cards to add on can be Amazon, Sephora, FashionNova, Nordstrom, Aritzia, Glossier, The Bay, or UrbanOutfitters! Obviously, it all depends on who you’re buying for, but hopefully these options give you some ideas.

Hopefully some of you guys got some great inspiration from this post for your Christmas shopping this year, or at least got a little more in the Holiday spirit! Stay tuned for next weeks list — with a new theme and all kinds of new ideas!

Hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend, and are gearing up for a productive week!

Much Love,

Meredith

Aritzia Warehouse Sale Haul!

Hey guys! Hope you’re all gearing up to have a great week!

First of all, I know this post is super late. As I discussed last week, I’ve been feeling crazy overwhelmed lately and haven’t been able to keep up with blogging regularly. But honestly, better late than never!

For those of you lucky enough to live in Vancouver, you may have already heard of, or been to, the annual Aritzia Warehouse Sale. Every year around labour day, Ariztia hosts a multi-week sale featuring 50-90% off an entire warehouse worth of their products, and it’s as crazy as it sounds. People have been known to line up for hours to get in, or even camp outside the venue in the days leading up. It’s THAT good.

Now, unfortunately, I don’t really have the time to sit around in line all day, so my best friend Nylah and I opted to check it out on the last day. Even then, it was still crazy and overwhelming, with thousands of discounted options for offer.

When you arrive at the sale, you have to be ready for the hunt. Chances are, it’ll be near impossible to find anything in your size, or cute things in your size, or anything at all amidst the sea of people without some serious dedication. After a couple of hours, I collected a couple of purchases I was quite happy with. The biggest success, however, is the savings: I managed to buy $400 of clothing for just $170 (plus a couple accessories which lack the original price tags).

So, without further ado, I figured I’d share my findings with you, modelled with a few accessories! (Not too many though, so you can still get an idea of what each garment looks like). I hope you enjoy, and when next year’s sale rolls around, you’re able to check it out for yourself!

**LIL DISCLAIMER** — I’m hoping to get a better camera/photoset up (/photographer?) soon, so I apologize for the quality of these photos (read: mirror selfies in my empty bedroom) — I hope you still get the idea!

Item #1: White Pantsuit by Little Moon

Original Price: $178.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

Personally, I’m crazy about the bodysuit/pantsuit trend — it looks so classy and professional! This item, more so than any of the others I bought, is clearly a summer piece — but at this discount, it’s worth stashing it away in my closet for a year! I love this because it COULD be worn to a fancier event — but can also make a great everyday outfit as well.

Item #2: Red Bodysuit by Wilfred

Original Price: $50.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $20.00

Okay. I am LIVING for this bodysuit. Hands down, this was my favourite purchase this year. I was a little worried it would be too small, but the fabric is so stretchy it fits perfectly. The best part about this is it has a somewhat classic look to it — I’m not too worried about it looking dated by next summer. Plus, it’s not so strongly tied to summer that I won’t be able to get some use out of it before then!

Item #3: Yellow Dress by Wilfred

Original Price: $138.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

I’m pretty excited for this dress because as a blonde, I shied away from yellow for so long. It really didn’t suit me all too well, and for years I didn’t own a single yellow item of clothing. But as a brunette, I find yellow suits me much better. I love this dress, both because it’s ADORABLE, something totally new for me, but the mustard shade of this yellow means I may be able to pull off this dress in the fall! It’s all a win-win-win, really.

Item #4: Blue Skirt by Babaton

Original Price: $98.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $30.00

Okay, I know I already apologized for my poor-quality photos, but I really do apologize for this one. I really loved this skirt, so I went ahead and bought it even though it was a little large. It’s super cute, so I’m happy I did, but I haven’t gotten the chance to tailor it yet. No worries, though — I’m sure it’ll be ready in time for spring! Plus, tailoring a cheap skirt is SO much better than buying the same thing full price in a few months.

Item #5: White Shirt by Babaton

Original Price: $35.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $15.00

Lately, I’ve been noticing how my closet is missing a lot of basics. I feel like I’m always losing a battle between having basics and statement pieces — when I have all sorts of one, I have none of the other. This shirt is great because it’s simple, but still super cute! Plus, it fits so perfectly — if Babaton still carries these, I’d definitely be down to buy more. (I really do have a thing for shirts that are meant to be tied, though, so maybe it’s just my bias).

Items #6 & 7: Accessories

And last but not least — accessories! By the last day of the Aritzia Warehouse Sale, the accessories are super picked over — while they ensure that the sale is restocked daily, some items sell out FAST. A lot of people go on the first day and load up on cute accessories (especially the blanket scarves), so by the last day the pickings are awfully slim (compared to, say, the Super Puff jackets, which there was still plenty of. To be fair, it is a little depressing to spend the last days of summer investing in a winter coat).

All that being said, I still found this cap and belt! I love plain caps, especially for when I’m having a bad hair day (we’ve all been there, right?) but I don’t really have a whole lot of them — many of mine are colourful, or come embellished with logos and the like. Needless to say, I’m super glad I found this one!

As for the belt — I’ve recently become obsessed with how quickly you can turn an outfit from average to adorable simply by adding a belt, so I leapt at the chance to add one to my collection! (You really can’t say no when the prices are THAT good).

And that’s my little haul! Overall, I saved about $230 overall at this sale, and I got some super cute stuff. If you ever get the chance to attend this sale, I couldn’t recommend it more! Yes, it’s crazy, and even a little overwhelming — but it’s also pretty much an experience unlike any other and you’re bound to find some amazing steals if you’re willing to dig through the rest.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post, especially considering how long it took me to prepare it for y’all! In better news, I’m starting to get my life a little more on track and have plenty of exciting posts planned for the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Meredith