give this! holiday shopping guide

25 Nov

so it’s that time of year. when all you want to do is decompress, and suddenly you’re faced with setting up the house for the holidays, and having to blow your brains out coming up with a gift that your father hasn’t received a thousand times already.

for décor inspiration – check out  my interview with Colin Cowie. for the rest of it, get ready because you’re about to get this job done…at least i hope my gift list will be helpful. let me know!

even if you’re not packing for Paris, Africa or Tokyo, National Geographic’s Adventure Travel Bags collection will inspire! guys will love the ruggedly stylish retro look of the Kontiki collection, which you can find at Bentley. hardcases feature epic images pulled from the NG archives and, depending on a print, are available at Sears and Bentley.

for those with a serious love of wine, the RIMOWA Wine Case will press their grapes. partitioned into two compartments, the lower one can contain up to six bottles of wine with cooler packs, while the upper one is for the storage wine glasses and accessories. essential for long-haul trips, or a simple outdoor picnic.  exclusively available at RIMOWA stores.

want a little piece of luxury? a new collection of Louis Vuitton City Guides was just released last month. each highlight the latest trends and offer original advice aimed at laid-back travelers, frequent business flyers, and city residents themselves. available in LV shops and at

speaking of books, Indigo always does it for me. could spend hours among the shelves and, last time I did, London: Portrait Of A City caught my eye. as “a photographic journey through the history of this epic city” what’s not to love.

for the kiddies, this Wooden Vespa Scooter is just too sweet! the balance bike is a redesigned classic toy with a cool retro European feel. exclusive to Indigo.

back to the books, there’s also Grace – A Memoir on the shelves. the unabashed creative director dishes on her fashionable life at Vogue.

if you live in the US, head to Restoration Hardware for adorable canvas play tents for kids. note: some items, like the customizable wrist cuffs for men and women, can be shipped to Canada.

slaves to comfort will welcome booties by EMU booties. made with the finest Australian sheepskin their Outback Lo is a sturdy sheepskin boot that features an equally durable sole.

for the tech savvy, pick up LG’s newest premium, LTE-enabled smartphones. at the moment I am testing out the Optimus 4X and it’s amazing. the high-end smartphone offers an elegant and sleek design, innovative user experience, longer battery life and powerful performance. in Canada, the LG Optimus G will be available on Bell, Rogers and Telus – and will be available at all retail locations.

the Seiko Astron GPS Solar weighs in at over $2500. the world’s first “global watch” synchs to all 39 time zones. a serious gift indeed.

i very recently met Ela Aldorsson at a house party and fell in love with her studded handbag. turned out she made it! one other guest was actually rocking the hot mirrored ela by ela clutch pictured below. who else is carrying Ela’s bags? Keira Knightly, Florence Welch, Malin Ackerman and Kristin Kreuk. so you’ll be in good company, and the price is definitely right at $198.

for fellas looking for something a bit more intimate for their lady, Fortnight consistently turns out beautifully made lingerie. 

the folks at featured a cute cozy cotton flannel PJ set, by J. Crew, that’s inspired by vintage men’s sleepwear.

this next gift idea pairs perfectly with those pyjamas. if you know anything about me, it’s that I am fully, undeniably, addicted to the Starbucks Green Tea Latte (see, I even gave it caps …it’s that important to my day). so when I caught wind of the Rodarte for Starbucks collection i thought genius! the label on the lips of every starlet, has created a limited-edition holiday collection that us available now. inspired by a custom print design, the collection’s pixelated pattern is super modern.

another tip from “Chopra has broadened his horizons and teamed up with Rachel Roy on a collaboration of jewelry to benefit his Urban Yogi Initiative.” the sword stack ring is really beautiful and can be purchased at

love this gift suggestion i scooped from Goop. agree with GP that a planter is “perfect for the emerging (or established) home cook.” you can send it from Scout Regalia ready-made or as a kit to build, along with essential herbs for a year round herb garden. $250 is a bit precious, but this proper planter is lined with a drainage textile made of 40% post industrial recycled content to help drain soil, and is constructed using FSC certified redwood.

when it comes to gifts that give back, mosquito nets are cool and all, but there are also these lovely handcrafted bangles that help the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). since 1946, UNICEF has advocated for children’s rights to protection, education, health care, shelter and nutrition. there are more items here – all for under $30!

Homesense has partnered with the Canadian Women’s Foundation in a Hosting for Hope campaign. HfH is a national program that supports local women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. the charity concept: raise money for your local shelter by putting on a party before December 31st. more details here. you can also by gifts at Winners and Homesense – like the piggy bank pictured below – and the net proceeds will be used to support local shelters and violence prevention programs in your community.

Conde Nast Traveler recommended this Scratch Map from Uncommon Goods and I want it for myself! get one for your frequent flyer so they can have fun documenting every country, state and province visited.

can’t get to The Detox Market in LA or on King Street, Toronto? head to their online shop to pick up the greenest of green products, sourced from around the world. am addicted to Hurraw! lip balm that is exclusive to TDM and comes in a variety of gluten-free flavours – love Earl Grey, while the Italian digs Coconut. from Paris-based Kusmi Tea and soaps crafted in the south of France, to Taza Stone Ground Chocolate and products by Ria Ray that encourage you to “live your truth”…there is something for everyone.

from detox to retox (’tis the season) – Bacardi 8 is a aged for more than eight years in carefully selected oak barrels. after which,  the rum is blended to feature notes of prunes, apricots, nutmeg and vanilla over a clean woody background. pour as an after-dinner digestif while you all relax by the fire. available at most liquor stores.

for those on the fly, there is a new shop at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
WANT PASSPORT is an original retail concept that has been specifically conceived for Toronto City Airport by the purveyors of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie and The WANT Apothecary. shoppers will find a curated exhibition of new and iconic products created by designers from around the globe who have considered travel, and its inherent need for utility, mobility and packability, in their brands ethos.  from Aesop body products to Leica cameras to WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie travel essentials, the shop’s mission is to embrace and enhance the travel experience through a novel and refined environment that encourages design, architecture, sustainability and technology.

stuff these!

CAKE Beauty has come up with a decadent sampler set of their best-selling products. a must for the girl on the go. Inside she’ll find Milk Made™ nourishing bath & shower bubbles, Milk Made™ nourishing body butter, Desserted Island™ supremely rich bath & shower bubbles, Desserted Island™ supreme body mousse, limited edition Sugar Cookie™ decadent bath & shower bubbles plus limited edition Sugar Cookie™ decadent body lotion. SHOP ONLINE @ using “travelpresse” as your promo code for 20% off from now until Dec 25th.

i’ve seen some dirty a$$ computer screens in my travels with other writers. always whip out my arsenal of cleansing towlettes from Well-Kept   and, viola, everything is clear again! I think I appreciate it more than they do sometimes, but whatev. Get. them. now.

can’t think of a better gift for the frequent female flyer than these fold-able ballerinas. Damn Heels has release their Damn Glamorous collection. each style comes in sizes 6-10 and in three different colours – champagne gold (love!), gunmetal glitz and black diamonds. best of all, the chic clutch comes with the flats!

personally i would love to see one of Garance Doré’s illustrations rolled up and ready for framing. the style blogger has finally launched an online shop so we can make our homes prettier with her posters.

ENTER TO WIN! not too long ago i interviewed Bernard Mariette – the exuberant owner of Lole. the activewear brand caters to women who “live out loud everyday”. whether it’s a warm winter coat (adore their London Jacket!), a yoga pant or a cute scarf, each piece is as functional as it is feminine.  they also have a fantastic Yellow Label Program that takes old coats and sells them to benefit food banks.

one lucky reader will receive a gift card for $100 so they can shop @ or at a Lole Atelier.*to enter simply email your favourite travel snapshot to by 5PM on December 9th 2012. all photos will be published (with first names only) and a random draw will take place on December 10th. the winner will be notified the following day… ps. would be lovely if you could ‘like’ The Travel Presse on Facebook  & follow on Twitter, but not necessary to win.