Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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One of my favourite things about the holiday season is the shopping. I love giving back to local charities and organizations, like CHEO and The Shoebox Project, and I enjoy buying presents for my family (especially my boys!) and my friends. December is the busiest month of all, with work, social events, and hosting parties, so I try to plan ahead as much as I can, and check things off my to-do list daily. 

Here are my holiday shopping tips and some great gift ideas to help you get through this hectic season with ease:

One-Stop Shopping

I can spend countless hours in Chapters-Indigo with my children selecting new books to add to our 'to-read' pile. Chapters-Indigo is the best one-stop shop for holiday gifts, too.

They have something for everyone on your list, including technology, like Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones, to home decor, journals, toys, accessories, and stylish items like purses, scarves, and hats. Whether you're shopping in-store or online at, your holiday shopping will be a breeze.

Gifts for the Beauty Lover

A company I've fallen in love with is top-shelf beauty brand, Bastide, from France. They have a variety of beautiful bath and body gifts, including fragrances, and bath oil. You can find Bastide at Holt Renfrew, or online. These products make perfect gifts and smell delicious. 

Head to Sephora (or shop Sephora online) to find everything you need for the beauty lover on your list–and for yourself, too. After all, we all need some glitter during the holiday season! Sephora carries skincare, fragrance, and make-up, from every brand I love, including Nars, Clarins, and Dior.

Another great idea for the beauty lover? The gift of Elizabeth Arden. My favourite beauty products are Elizabeth Arden's Advanced Ceramide Capsules and the new Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line-Erasing Night Serum. I use one in the morning and one at night, and my skin has never looked better. I also love the Prevage line, and use the Anti-Aging Moisture Cream with SPF 30 during the day. 

Monat also has some beautiful and delicious (the body oil is perfection!) gift packages; my personal favourite is the Bring on the Magic gift set which includes dry oil body spray, cleansing body oil, and nourishing body cream. These products will leave your skin smelling delicious and feeling smooth and soft. 

Shop Online

A great place to shop for all your gifts is through the eStore, because Aeroplan has a special 12 Days of Gifting event taking place until December 14th. Aeroplan members can earn up to 10 times the miles through participating stores like Chapters-Indigo, Sephora, The Gap, Amazon, Easy, and more.

All you have to do is shop and earn miles as you go–basically giving yourself a present, too, because the more miles you collect, the closer you will be to booking your sunny vacation down south.

For the Hostess

December is all about entertaining, and enjoying the company of family and friends at holiday parties. Keep it simple when gifting the hostess a gift–everyone is happy with a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates.

My favourite bubbly to give is La Marca Prosecco. Pair the Prosecco with fine chocolates from Chocolats Favoris or Purdy's Chocolats, and your hostess will love you even more. 

Shop Local

Ottawa is full of amazing local businesses, so make it your mission to buy some gifts from local stores this year. Here are my picks:

Roadtrip: Roadtrip is located in the Byword Market, and carries a wide variety of excellent brands, including my favourite, BB Dakota. You'll find all your holiday festive wear at this store, as well as jeans, sweaters, and accessories.

Katye Landry Designs: This local jewelry designer makes the most precious pieces of handcrafted jewelry, from necklaces to earrings and bracelets, that can be customized with initials, names, or special dates. I received the Edge necklace with my children's initials, and the Tag necklace, with the letter L for Loukia. I wear both together.

BB Collection: Give the gift of glitter with BB Collection. For the cutest t-shirts an festive sweaters, you'll love everything you see when you shop BB Collection online. Heads up: December 17th is the deadline for delivery and pick-up orders in Ottawa.

Koyman Galleries: Buying original pieces of art is a gift that never goes out of style; in fact, it's a gift that increases in value over time, and it's a gift, when properly selected, that is cherished forever. 

My favourite local artists is Katerina Mertikas, of course—my mother. Her paintings light up any room, and grace the walls of thought of homes across Canada. 

Need more ideas? Pick up the holiday issue of Ottawa At Home Magazine, where you'll find tons of great gift ideas, including my article on the perfect toys to give kids (of all ages!) this holiday season.  
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