all things lovely…

A blog by the ladies of Barefoot Contessa Vancouver

Category: Gifts

Vancouver Style Bloggers Top Gift Picks

by bfcboutique

You may have seen some of our previous posts featuring the picks and holiday memories of some of our favourite local bloggers (if not, go have a look!) We were planning on doing individual blog posts for each blogger’s picks… but it got busy in the store and our resident blogger (i.e. me) was recruited  to write bills, wrap purchases and generally help out with things that did not pertain to blogging – hence why it is now two days before Christmas and we have yet to write about all our lovely blogger friends! In the interest of time (or lack thereof) we’re posting all the remaining blogger’s top gift picks together.

If you still have a few names to cross off your list, hopefully their picks help to inspire you when finding the perfect gift… or if you’ve finished your present shopping for the year, perhaps they will inspire the people in you life that still have yet to buy for you :)

Ooh, also, if you’d like to see ALL the bloggers’ picks (even those that weren’t featured on our blog) you can check out our Facebook album.  We posted pictures of as many gift ideas as we could, but since we’ve had ‘blogger gift picks’ signs up in the store for a while… some items sold out before we could get pictures of them! What can we say, these ladies have great taste!

Without further ado, here are the final blogger picks…

Jen of Her Waise Choice

Christmas is my favourite time of the year! Family, friends, food, love all around… and the birth of Jesus :)

Volupsa Vervaine Olive Leaf Candles

“My mom doesn’t like overpowering scents – this one smells fresh, clean and cozy. I think she’d love it!”

Did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?

I don’t actually remember a time when I truly believed in Santa. All I remember was pretending that I believed in him for as long as I could so that I would get more presents. Devious child I was!

P.S. I Made This Book

“For essentially any female on my gift list – so much crafty inspiration!”

What is the best gift you got as an adult?

Chanel Gardenia (part of their Les Exclusiifs collection) perfume from my boyfriend David last Christmas. Like Barbies for grown women!

Minuet Grey & Ivory Twirl Dress

“The full bottom and flattering neckline of this dress are prefect for a formal party!”

What is the worst gift you received as a child?

Mandarin oranges and Mentos from the pantry in my stocking at the time when I was still pretending to believe in Santa. I guess my parents saw right through me.

________________________________________

Alexandra of To Vogue or Bust

My favourite holiday tradition is going for high tea and then The Nutcracker with my sisters and mum (my brother and dad get left at home). We’ve been doing it for years: we go to Secret Garden in Kerrisdale and then down to the Queen E.

Gramps Brown Velvet Hat - $32

“My friend Nashlyn has this wonderfully eclectic style – I could totally see her wearing this hat with a big knit scarf and lots of colour.”

Without a doubt, my dad is the hardest person to buy for. Every year his gift list says “Just be good to each other.” Come on, Dad. Make it material.

Melange Roll-On Perfumes - $22

“My best friend Caitlin LOVES all things sweet-scented. She’s always dabbling on perfume or scented lotion. That, and she’s always on the go – the sweet smell of the portable roll-on Blend no.8 would be perfect for her.”

I love Christmas! My family really comes together over Christmas and we’ve always gone overboard with our decorations and celebrations. I hate winter but this one day makes it all worth it!

Bow Waist A-line Skirt

“I’d get this skirt for my sister Isabelle in a heartbeat – the bow detail and soft colour perfectly suit her feminine, 1950’s inspired style.”

I don’t have a memory of sitting on Santa’s knee so much as a horrifying picture. I look like the girl in The Orphan. Santa looks a bit terrified.

_________________________________

Hello Young Revel

Bust DIY Guide to Life - $32.95

“A great guide to inspire & create many wonderful things. Any crafty girl would be giddy with excitement after one look at this book!”

Pontouf Knit Headband - $39

“These hand knit ear warmers would make you the favourite gift giver this season! Not only does the stretch make them one size fits all(often important when trying to find a gift that fits!).. they are so cozy and cute!”

Milk & Cookies Book - $27.95

“For a friend who bakes. Why? With 89 different cookie recipes, this book is a great buy for someone who loves to bake and try new recipes.. there are enough recipes to bake different cookies for every occasion!”

_________________________________

Mila of The Style Gloss

Woodland Rose Shorts

“I’m going away to Mexico for the Christmas holidays and these would look adorable with a white t-shirt, aviators and a tan!”

Barefoot Contessa Candle Trio

“A perfect hostess gift since people rarely buy themselves beautiful candles. These are vintage-esque and classy.”

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Piper of Pontouf

I’m usually pretty holiday neutral, but this year I’m actually sort of excited for Christmas and I think I may have a tree for the first time in 5 years!

Voluspa Frosted Pinecone Candles and Roomspray

“For all my girl cousins because it smells like Christmas!”

I don’t think I ever really believed in Santa. But, I sort of believed one year because my mom took me to see Santa at a department store and I asked for a Fashion Star Fillie (which I had just seen down another aisle) and then on christmas morning I got it and was so excited! But I didn’t think I had seen the real Santa because I thought he was creepy and he tried to tickle me which I thought was gross.

Rabbit Fur Pom Pom Hairband - $28

“It’s a rabbit fur pom pom headband! LOVE!”

What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Reading In Search of Santa, about two Elves who travel all over the world trying to find Santa. It was written by a family friend in Norway and it works as an advent calendar, there’s a chapter for every day in December.

Cath Kidston Mini Notes and Masking Tape

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

When there was that crazy snow storm a few years ago, the future husb and I went for a walk on the beach and the snow went all the way to the edge of the water and we built a little snow man and put him at the edge and watched him melt, then looked at all the cute dogs playing in the snow.

Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends, enjoying all this season has to offer.

Top Gift Picks: Girl and Closet

by bfcboutique

Here are a few gift picks from the wonderful Veronika who is behind the blog Girl and Closet. We love her feminine style and the abundance of dresses and skirts in her wardrobe! Whether you’re a bit shy when it comes to wearing dresses and in need of inspiration to take the plunge, or looking for different ways to style the existing dresses in your wardrobe, we highly recommend you check out Veronika’s blog!

However, not only is she talented when it comes to styling, she had some fabulous gift ideas (and Christmas memories) to share as well…

What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Rum & egg-nog, sitting around the fireplace and chatting with friends & family!

Voluspa Makassar Peach and Ebony Candle

Voluspa Makassar Ebony and Peach Candles

Featuring a gorgeous smelling mix of warm ebony wood, rich mahogany, mirabelle peach and sweet peonies.

I still like to believe that there is a Santa out there somewhere – I love that part of Christmas! 

Cuddle Cups - $26 each

Cuddle Cups

Handmade by a local Vancouver potter, who also felts recycled sweaters to make the cups so, well, cuddly!

What is your tree like this year?

Four feet spruce, and I’m going for rustic cabin style decorations!! I love things that are traditional & homey.

Cute Button Toque - $24

Cute Button Toque

This adorable toque comes in grey, pink, green and brown.

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

The year that my hubby surprised me with a christmas tree (he even cut it down himself!), what an amazing thing to wake up to.

Top gift Picks: Miss Melissa

by bfcboutique

We always love visiting with Melissa of the wonderful blog, appropriately named Miss Melissa. We’ve worked with her quite a few times in the past (you can check out our style video collaboration here) so of course she was one of the first people we thought of her when were dreaming up this blogger collaboration.

Here are a few of Melissa’s top gift picks and Christmas memories…

Christmas: Love it or hate it?  

Love it! It’s just so cheerful! It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when you have gingerbread in one hand and shortbread in the other (oh, I meant family. More time with the family… that’s why I love Christmas… not the delicious baking)

Toodlebunny Pressed Leaf Necklace - $70

“Such a beautiful piece. Your best friend will know how much she means to you when she opens up this stunning necklace.”

Who is the hardest person to buy for in your life?

My Dad. He asks for golf balls or black socks every single year. Maybe this year I’ll buy him black golfing socks and mix it up a bit

Expressionist Maxi Skirt - $69

“If your sister loves clothes, she’ll love this maxi. The colours are perfect for fall and winter!”

Christmas Tree: fake or real?

Fake. I’m allergic to the real thing. Sad right?

Red Bug Bijoux Locket - $58

“Lockets are such a classic symbol of love. Any mom would feel so special wearing this delicate locket.”

What is your favourite holiday movie?

ELF! A funny Christmas movie? Heck yes!

 

And good news, Melissa is currently doing a giveaway on her blog for a $50 Barefoot Contessa Gift Certificate!

…it ends very soon, so find out how to enter now!

A Very Merry BFC Cookie Party

by bfcboutique

A Very Merry Cookie Party

A little while ago we received one of our most favourite books of the season – A Very Merry Cookie Party. If you like baking cookies, parties or eating cookies, you’ll probably like this book. It’s filled with tons of yummy recipes (about 120!) for pretty much every type of cookie you can imagine. There are also tips for decorating, planning and hosting to help ensure your party is a huge success.

We took inspiration from the book and planned our own little party recently – it was a huge success. Although we didn’t all make cookies from recipes in the book, everything was delicious and we all left with a scrumptious assortment of cookies. Below are some of the cookies that we made, and too see a few more photos from the night you can visit Piper’s blog Pontouf (ooh and more on the adorable mice cookies she made is there too!)

mmmmm.... cookies.

Admittedly, it’s now a wee bit late to plan a cookie exchange before Christmas (unless you’re superwoman with superwoman friends) but even if you don’t exchange any cookies this year, the book is still filled with lots of great recipes that will be delicious all year round – besides, it’s always good to be prepared for the 2012 holiday season!

Do you have a favourite type of holiday cookie?

Top Gift Giving Picks: Haus of Hybrid

by bfcboutique

It was also great to meet Erin of the awesome blog Haus of Hybrid recently when she visited our Main Street store to share her gift-giving expertise. She has a great sense of humour, which when coupled with her great sense of style made working with her a blast!

Here are a few of her top gift ideas for this year…

Pyrrha "Forever Friends" necklace - $150

My BFF lives in New Zealand and before that London. It’s always difficult (and expensive!) to send her gifts, but this is perfect!

Creative Inc Book - $18.95

My day job isn’t my passion, so I’m always trying to find a way to be creative and do something I love. So why not try to profit from doing what you love?

cozy knit turban/ear warmer - $28

A must-have for winter. The sequin detailing really fits in with the holiday season.

Love the knit turban/ear warmer as much as Erin? You can win it! She’s doing a give-away on her blog right now – go check it out for how to enter!

Top Gift Picks: Elisse’s Pieces

by bfcboutique

It was wonderful to meet Elisse, a great up-and-coming Vancouver blogger, for this blogger collaboration. Despite having a full time job as a social worker, she still finds the time to maintain not one, but two blogs! One, Elisse’s Pieces, is more fashion driven, while the other, Fur Elisse, is more of a personal/lifestyle blog – both equally as fun.

Elisse had a ton of great gift ideas (perhaps the most out of everyone!) and here are just a few, along with some of her Christmas memories…

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
Silver Bells – I remember waiting at the Edmonton airport years ago to board a flight home to Vancouver, and the airline crew challenged the passengers to sing a Christmas carol in front of the entire waiting area.  I sang this song and won a bottle Calvin Klein perfume for busting out my vocal chops!

hoot hoot lip glosses – $6.95 each

These would be great stocking stuffers… for both me and my friends :)

What is the worst gift you received as an adult?

I got this scarf from an old co-worker that apparently could be doubled as a “tube top”” as well.  Yeah, I don’t think so.

Can’t Sleep Right Now Journal – $17.95

Sometimes I think of the best blog post ideas just as I’m drifting off to sleep. I’m keeping this at my bedside so I can be inspired to jot my ideas down before they drift away too!

What is the best gift you got as a child?

I remember eying this this pink stuffed bear at the toy store, and I was so surprised to find it under the Christmas tree that year!  I mean, how did Santa know?

World of Thanks Kits for Kids – $16.95

I love this – let’s teach our little ones how to pay it forward by sending thank-you cards for all their Christmas presents (Santa included!)

How are you decorating your tree this year?
No joke – it’s “caffeinated.”  I’ve been collecting Christmas ornaments for the past few years from Starbucks and (most recently) Tim Hortons and I don’t think there’s room for anything else – Lol!

Top Gift Picks: Alicia Fashionista

by bfcboutique

We have been fortunate enough to know Alicia, from the fabulous blog Alicia Fashionista, for quite some time now. At first she was a favourite and frequent visitor to our stores and then we joined forces and she was one of the bloggers that styled our shop windows last holiday season. Alicia has such a fun, exuberant energy and great sense of style that it’s always a treat to work with her and this time it was no different.

 Here are a few of her top gift giving picks for this year…

toodles by Toodlebunny bow and pearl earrings - $22

A lovely pair of earrings great for a girlfriend!

Minuet Sequin Sparkle Dress - $159

This season is all about SPARKLE! This dress is perfect to wear to a Christmas party or on New Years Eve.

Cupcake Recipe Book - $19.95 and Cupcake Kit - $23.95

Love the cupcake kit for a hostess gift – it would be even better paired with the ‘cupcakes’ recipe book.

And since this is the season of giving, Alicia is currently doing a giveaway for a $50 Barefoot Contessa gift certificate on her blog right now!

As you can see from the items listed above, $50 could get an adorable pre-Christmas treat (or two) for yourself – and it would go a long way for a post-Christmas treat in our annual boxing day sale… so go find out how to enter!

Top Gift Giving Picks: Style Struck

by bfcboutique

The always lovely Olivia, of the popular Vancouver fashion blog Style Struck, visited us for a little holiday gift selecting as well. As some of you may remember that Olivia was one of the bloggers that took part in styling our shop windows last year, and we were delighted that she was able to take part in this year’s collaboration too.

We are also delighted to now be carrying Olivia’s fabulous line of LOVE +MARK’D greeting cards in our stores!  We have both single cards and the packs of four for sale – so exciting! Keep an eye out for a future blog featuring our wonderful locally designed cards… but for now it’s all about the gifts. So without further ado, here are a few of Olivia’s top gift giving picks this year, along with some of her fun holiday memories…

What was the best gift you got as a child?

My Zeddy bike. It was from Zellers and about a foot high. My first two wheeler at age five. Oh! And when I was six I received a teeny working sewing machine to make my own purses. And the Easy Bake Oven, and Surprise Hat Suzie! Last year I got cooking utensils… no comparison.

Barefoot Contessa Peony Bouquet Candle - $24

“A little piece of glamour, it’s the perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer or treat for yourself! (2 for them, 1 for you = ‘The Christmas Ratio’)

Did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?

Sure did! I thought he was real until I was about 10. Some bully in fifth grade informed me that it was my parents leaving the presents out and eating the cookies and milk… Jerk.

'Write Now' eco-friendly journals - $8.95

“A chic reminder that your ideas are definitely worth something!”

Any memorable ‘sitting on Santa’s knee’ experiences?

About three years ago Santa told me I was a babe, last time I sat on Santa’s knee.

adorable 100% angora beret - $36

“Because who doesn’t love a cozy beret with a bow?”

Would you like to win this adorable beret? Well you can, because Olivia is doing a giveaway for one on her blog right now!

 (Enter quickly – the giveaway ends tomorrow!)

Top Gift Giving Picks: Coco and Vera

by bfcboutique

We were fortunate to meet the lovely Cee from the blog Coco and Vera recently when she popped by our Main Street store to share some of her gift giving wisdom. We had a great time and it was fun to see how her feminine and classic style translated in to her top gift giving ideas as well. Here are just a few of Cee’s picks…

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

I don’t know if that this is magical, but it is the story of my most memorable Christmas; when I was fifteen, we went to Mexico for the first time to spend the holiday with some of my family who live there. Christmas day was ill-fated from the start. The dog tried to pee on the Christmas tree and knocked it over, smashing all the ornaments… then when we tried to turn the oven on to cook the turkey, nothing happened. It turned out that the propane tank had run out, so for Christmas dinner we ate pastrami sandwiches and drank V8 Splash by the pool!

Vancouver Silver Trumpet Charm Bracelet – $50

For a Close Girlfriend: Parisian themed charm bracelet by local Vancouver designer Silver Trumpet:

“I’m a sucker for all things Parisian themed… the Eiffel Tower and ‘oui’ charms on this bracelet stole my heart! It would be the perfect gift for my blog BFF, Bec, who I’m travelling to Paris with next year.”

What is the best gift you got as a child?

When I was two I asked for a xylophone. In spite of all the noise that would inevitably ensue, my parents bought it for me! That’s real love.

Ready, Set, Novel! book - $19.95

“The perfect gift for all creative writing graduates (i.e. me). Maybe this book could actually give me the push I need to finish my novel? A girl can dream :)

Fruitcake: Yay or Nay?

Yay. My grandma, and my mom, make the lightest, fluffiest, most moist fruitcake you’ve ever tasted. It has converted more than a few fruitcake haters over the years!

Voluspa Vacarro Orange and Myrhh Candle (price varies)

“Smells so good… I just couldn’t resist! I love Christmas oranges.” 

Voluspa is a popular line of gorgeous candles known for their amazing scents. For example, this scent, Vacarro Orange and Myrhh, is a delicious smelling blend of sweet vacarro orange peel and a hint of cassis with exotic spiced myrhh.

Would you like to win a beautiful Voluspa ceramic topped pillar candle?

Cee is doing a giveaway on her blog right now! Check out Coco and Vera with how to enter  (and hurry – today is the last day!)

Top Gift Giving Picks: The Doctor’s Closet

by bfcboutique

As we mentioned before, we’ve had several local bloggers pop by our shops recently to share their fabulous taste and select their ‘top gift giving picks’ for 2011. Hopefully their picks and holiday memories will not only inspire you all when it comes to your own holiday gift shopping this year, but also give you a more personal glimpse at some of Vancouver’s style leaders.

First up  was Monika from The Doctor’s Closet. It was our first time working with Monika, and we have to say she’s just as lovely and stylish in real life as she seems on her blog!  So without further delay, here are a few of her picks (to see the rest, you’ll have to come visit us in the stores ;) )

What is your favourite Christmas Carol?

 Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” It gets me singing at the top of my lungs every time!”

French Shoe Buckle Cuffs: made from faceted and polished steel studs, these buckles became a fashion in France as a replacement for the fine diamond jewelry the French monarchy confiscated to pay for the seven year war in 1759 - they are all real and from 1760-1900. - $225

“My mom’s dad was a shoe maker, so this cuff says “FOR MY MOM” all over it! I love the vintage show buckle and how classy it looks… I KNOW she would love it!  It’s so easy to wear – Dresses up or Dresses down! PLUS I love the History behind the buckle, 1790… WOW!

What was the best present you received as a child?

“My very first pair of black patent leather ‘party shoes’

Bejewelled Black Flat - $65

“I ADORE these little ballet flats! I feel like they are edgy and pretty all at the same time. The sparly beaded heart caught my eye right away!  They would be the perfect Christmas gift for my little sister, PLUS I would totally end up borrowing them here and there!”

What does your tree look like this year?

Gold, black, silver and a bit more gold; with lots of sparkles, white lights, keys, antlers, sparkly twigs and tons and tons of gorgeous bulbs!

P.S. I Made This... $22.95

“Every girl should own this book! It’s fun to leave around on your coffee table or get amazing ideas for a last minute outfit for a night out on the town!  A perfect Christmas gift for any girlfriend!”

Want to win a copy of P.S. I Made This? We’re sponsoring a giveaway on the Doctor’s Closet Blog!

Check out her blog for details about how to enter!

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