Christmas Gift Guide 2016!

Christmas is coming! After such a grueling month of November, I am overly excited for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to doing nothing over the holidays. Yeah, that’s right, just lounging in my pj’s with my family and my cat. Glorious days are coming!

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Christmas is a great opportunity to give people you love things that they need or enjoy. So, I thought I would give you some recommendations. These gifts are made by passionate people and in ethical ways. I’m also including ideas for your minimalist friends because that’s pretty cool too. My advice when Christmas shopping: don’t go overboard. Keep things simple. I will also be posting a handmade Christmas gift guide pretty soon, so stay posted for that!

Books

You can’t go wrong by giving a good book for Christmas. After all, there is nothing better than staying in bed with some good reading. Here is my selection of great books to give this year!

  1. The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: I love her recipes! Every single one that I tried (and that’s a lot) turned out delicious and crowd pleasers. They are often very simple to prepare, yet extremely satisfying and amazing. I have to say this book is very exciting: beautiful pictures, fun recipes and more down-to-earth advice from the vegan queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you have a cook in the family, this is the book to gift them.
  2. Deliciously Ella Every Day, by Ella Woodward: This is a staple in my kitchen. I love Ella’s plant-based (she uses honey, which I replace by maple syrup) and gluten-free recipes because they are made with whole foods that are easily found. Her recipes are very simple to prepare but always look incredibly sophisticated. I’m really excited to see her next book, Deliciously Ella with Friends, but as it is only coming out in 2017, this one is a great one to cook from as we are waiting.
  3. Wanderlust, by Jeff Krasno: For all yoga or wellness lovers on your list, this book is filled with exercises, mindfulness tips, yoga sequences and very interesting articles written by a variety of passionate individuals. It’s perfect if you are just getting into yoga or want to take your life in a different direction because it offers advice and guidance to find your true self. Sounds like an ambitious project, right? Well, this book is also greatly put together and features wonderful inspiring quotes and photograph. For that reason alone, it makes me feel happy everytime I look at time.
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the illustrated edition, by J.K. Rowling: For all the Potterheads out there, this is a must! The beloved story is beautifully illustrated by Jim Kay and is just so wonderful to read. This would also make a great gift for parents of story-telling-aged children. But really, I bought one for myself and love to look at it. They have released the second book, The Chamber of Secrets, this year and the others are coming. You could make this a gift for the years to come!

Art and clothing

Art and clothing, or art for clothing!

  1. Vegan weaving by FarFromtheSeaQc: This Montreal-based visual artist is exploring textures and colours in her very original and fun woven wall hangings. These beautiful and unique pieces are also vegan! They would make a great addition to any decor.
  2. LiveNLetLive T-Shirts: Based in Laval, Quebec, this team makes wonderfully cute t-shirts with the powerful “Live and let live” quote. I bought one last year and love it! I received so many compliments when wearing it. The images are printed on soft coton shirts that are easily washed and so comfortable to wear. Great piece to give to your vegan activist friend!
  3. T-shirt, hoodies or accessories by Anabel Roy: Another Montreal-based artist! Anabel makes wonderfully witty and funny pieces from her drawings. I bought one of her sweaters last year (can you guess which one?), and I love it. It’s my go-to piece for when I’m feeling cold or in need for comfortable and easy to wear clothes. The quality is also very high, but really, will you look at these designs?

For your minimalist friend

Minimalism and Christmas might seem like an oxymoron. However, there are plenty of things you can gift your minimalist (or any, really) friend.

  1. Food: Think fancy chocolates, or a basket of their favorite nuts and spreads. Extra points if you can make it zero waste! If they are into healthy foods, you can also buy them items they go through a lot like a rich raw cacao powder or an extra-virgin coconut oil. They will love these as they won’t be cluttering their homes, and they’ll think of you every time they eat!
  2. Gift cards: Get to know what items they do still consume and get them gift cards to relevant stores. For example, if your friend is an artist and goes through a lot of paper or pens, give them a gift card to an art supply store.
  3. Events: Instead of gifting them something, why not pamper them to the luxury of an afternoon in your company? I have to say, I have a soft spot for this kind of gift because it means that I’ll get to spend time with someone I like doing something fun! Why not channel your inner Dowager Countess of Grantham and try out the afternoon tea at The Parloir? Their vegan option is apparently divine!

For your pampering-obsessed friend

  1. Soins Materia: I raved about these products a few posts ago, and I’m still completely obsessed with them. Very luxurious and incredibly rich, these products are made locally and are completely vegan! Cheers to that!
  2. Outer Happiness: These products are so much fun and completely vegan! I raved about them too, but since then, new amazing products have been created! The bath salts are incredible!
  3. Northern Delights herbal teas: Because there really isn’t anything better than lounging in a hot bath with a good book and a cup of herbal tea. Especially when the tea is made locally and fairly by Inuit communities. These are incredibly delicious and come in beautiful wooden boxes that are perfect for gifting.
  4. Oneka products: If your friend is a shower-lover, why not try out Oneka products? Again these are locally made and completely vegan. They are also made by the cutest couple in a beautiful village. Make a day out of it! I really love their shampoos, but they have just came up with new soap bars, so that’s something new to try out!

I hope this list gives you some gift ideas. If you are looking for greeting cards, I’ll be selling some at the Concordia Greenhouse this Wednesday, but also on Etsy starting next week.

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Fun holiday times! Remember that time and attention are the greatest gifts there are and don’t go overboard!

 

 

 

Summer is coming!

With the warm weather coming back, I have but one thing on my mind: TRAVEL! Every time I hop in the car or on the bus, I feel like shouting, “To infinity and beyond!”

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However, as we don’t have any trips planned for this summer, I’m starting to think that exploring our province would be a good alternative. To help me in my quest for the perfect outing, I have selected four books. I hope they might inspire you to check out your piece of map a little this summer too!

  1. Prenez le champ! by Julie Aubé: This is a new one coming out this week. I was so intrigued by this book that I decided to go check out the book release and bought it there on Monday night. I really didn’t feel too cool with my bright orange raincoat while everyone else was cruising along with drinks in their hands, but the book is amazing! It is filled with itineraries regrouping different farms and local producers. I’m really excited to go explore Québec’s countryside, coasting from food stop farm to farm. The book in itself is also really well made with hand-drawn maps, amazing pictures and descriptions that really make you want to leave right away to go taste Mr Poncelet’s asparagus or go wine tasting on Orleans Island.
  2. Le Montréal Gourmand de Philippe Mollé, Ulysse: Philippe Mollé used to have a cooking show that I would religiously watch with my mom. Our excitement when meeting him last winter at the Salon des Métiers d’Art, where he was selling a really nice maple syrup, was just ridiculous. He was charming, and so we bought maple syrup, and I took out this book again. Filled with restaurant and café recommendations all in Montreal, this is a great companion for those week-ends when you don’t feel like going out too far. Some suggestions are even vegan!
  3. Escapades au Québec, La Presse: This is a really beautiful book filled with amazing pictures of the nicest places to visit in the province. There’s something for everyone: lovers, kids, hermits (traveling separately), beach enthusiasts, foodies and more. I wish I had enough time to visit each one of these wonderful spots!
  4. Randonnée pédestre au Québec, Ulysse: Because I will probably double in size this summer (I blame the incredible food all the other books are promoting), I want to select some hikes too. Québec has a great variety of landscapes ranging from fields to beaches, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of the great outdoors during the summer! This book is really well put together with tips, maps and difficulty levels for each hike.

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I feel like it will be impossible to choose from the amazing selection these books bring forward! I’m really excited to skim through them and to discover new favourites. Let me know if you have any recommendations, or if you have fun travel plans for the summer!