By: Carly Spears
It’s still sunny and I am enjoying the summer while it’s here, but I am also getting ready for the holidays! I recently attended TPG’s Holiday Workshop, which highlighted some of the latest up and coming trends for holiday gifts this season.
Here are a few of my favourites:
I’ve never been one to spend a lot of money on my bedding. My motto is that as long as they’re remotely comfortable, I’ll probably have an okay sleep. With that said, while chatting with delightful founder and CEO about her products, I literally could not stop touching the eye masks. This was incredibly intriguing because the bright light pouring into my bedroom every morning really gives meaning to the phrase ‘rise and shine,’ and not in a positive way. With that said, I find most eye masks to be extremely uncomfortable, defeating the purpose of being able to go back to sleep once the sun is out! Made from premium 100% mulberry silk charmeuse, these machine-washable, hypoallergenic eye masks are definitely one that I would want in my gift box this season.
Everyone knows that, while your manicure chips in one day, toenail polish tends to last forever, even through the worst of times. Sometimes, you just need a pedicure to shave off that rough skin on the bottom of your feet. This is especially true in the summer when pounding away on those hot flip flops or concrete by the pool. I’ve often had this debate: do I go and pay for a full pedicure or, do I just wait it out until I need new polish. Admittedly, I usually tend to wait it out and I seriously hate every minute of it.
I recently got to try the new Micro Pedi and, I have to say, it’s a wonderful alternative. This battery-run easy-to-use system simply sands off any dead skin building up at the bottom of your feet. While it won’t fully remove any large calluses as the razor at the salon might do, it definitely smoothes out any extra unwanted skin on the surface, tying you over your next necessary polish change.
Strolling on through the workshop, it was impossible to miss the grand spread that Nadege had set up. Ranging from savoury eggplant and goat cheese-filled croissants to a wide variety of French macarons, p’tit choux and dessert tarts, Nadege’s ultra-buttery mini creations should be on everyone’s list for entertaining their guests this season.
To wash down the Nadege pastries, I was offered a glass of Contadi Castaldi – a brand I had not been familiar with prior to the event, and rightfully so! Cavinona is a unique Ontario-based wine agency which imports unique Italian wines not otherwise available for purchase in the LCBO. While commonly serving restaurants exclusively, their online ordering system actually allows consumers to get a taste of Italy, too!
A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the sparkling brut was subtle yet flavourful, without being overly sweet. At only $38.99 per bottle, this is a wonderful and affordable alternative to Champagne for the holiday season.
Finally, I get to take a peak at the brand new watch brand: Medium. While fairly simple in their general design, I absolutely love the look of these watches. As someone who does not own multiple watches, the simpler white and black variations really caught my eye. With that said, for someone who does own a watch for each outfit, interchangeable straps would certainly allow for a wide variety of colour combinations. I particularly love the turquoise paired with the black face and silver accents. Available in a variety of face and strap colours, these sophisticated yet elegant watches are the type of accessory that men, women, watch-wearers and non-watch-wearers can all appreciate as an addition to their wardrobe.
Up for another quick snack, I approach Genuine Health – set up with shots of green supplements and a variety of fermented proteins+ bars. Skeptical of most vegan and meal-replacement protein bars, I was pleasantly surprised at the enjoyable flavour of these, especially since they’re gluten free, soy free and vegan! Obviously opting for the peanut butter chocolate version, my taste buds were almost (not quite, but almost) fooled into thinking it was a sinful chocolate bar-like snack. While these are probably not a holiday gift I would typically think to give to someone, I definitely wouldn’t mind snacking on the peanut butter chocolate bar stashed in my purse for when those banquet-style corporate holiday parties hit.
Carly Spears is a marketing and communications professional who writes about and photographs food from Toronto and on various travels around the world. Follow her on Instagram @thechewreview.