The Favourites – March 2016

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So far, 2016 seems to be going by at an exponential rate, each month faster than the last. At least March brought back a few days of sun and warmth, so I have high hopes for April! Once I get some sunshine on my face, I crave tropical scents and feel more interested in taking care of myself. This feeds into my favourites for March, with some tropical vibes and self-care.

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ShopLocal – Merrickville Shopping

For those of you not in the know, Merrickville is a cute little village about 45 minutes outside Ottawa. It is a picturesque spot found along the Rideau canal, which means it is a really happening place in the summer (aka boating) months. However, even in the bleak winter, there is always something exciting going on. One of my favourite things to do is some weekend shopping along their main drag, St. Lawrence Street. Merrickville boasts a collection of unique shops with something for everyone. The below list is just a few of my most loved places to check in when I am visiting.

Wick Witch Candle Company This shop specializes in 100% soy wax candles with uniquely beautiful scents but they also offer bath and body products that make perfect gifts for friends or yourself. I am a complete convert to their candles, which last for ages and provide the perfect amount of fragrance. Their store is delightful and definitely a must-visit when you are in Merrickville. Their spring/summer line is launching soon and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Check it out on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Etsy

Bullets & Bones Nikki Phillips is the woman behind Bullets and Bones’ “handcrafted jewellery inspired by nature”. Located in the same building as Wick Witch, you need to stop in and see the rustic chic jewellery created by Nikki. She also stocks other local jewellery, and does great collaborations with local artists. If you want to #shoplocal, start here. I have my eye on one of the love knot rings next! Check it out on Facebook / Instagram / Etsy

1890 Just off St. Lawrence Street, you can find 1890, Artisan Gifts and Floral Design. I love me any boutique mixed in with flowers, it makes for a heavenly smelling shopping experience. 1890 has a great selection of amazing handmade items like bath bombs, soaps, candles, bubble bath powder.. the possibilities are endless. If you are looking for a treat for someone special, or some natural bath products for yourself, I highly recommend you give 1890 a visit. I for one will be heading in soon to pick up some bath bombs and air plants! Check it out on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Mrs McGarrigles Hands down one of my favourite stops in Merrickville, Mrs McGarrigles has everything you could ever want. From fine food stuffs to home décor, I can’t ever leave without purchasing something. It is one of the few places in the Ottawa area where you can pick up authentic British chips, chocolates and condiments. Curly Wurly’s for the win! And if you like mustard, Mrs McGarrigles offers an array of handmade flavours that will suit any meal. I love to do my Christmas shopping here and just general treat-yo-self buys are a must. Check it out on Facebook / Twitter

I hope you can make a trek out to Merrickville soon, it is definitely worth the gas money!

 

The Gift List – Easter for Her

Now that the snow is FINALLY melting, and the sun is peaking out, it’s time to start dreaming of spring. And spring means Easter! I love Easter for many reasons: chocolates, spring flowers, spending time with family, and more chocolate. Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, you still can enjoy some time off work and take in the fresh air.

I’ve curated a list of fresh gifts for her to celebrate Easter, or the arrival of spring, all under $40 CAD. I am excited to feature two Ottawa boutiques, starting with Boogie and Birdie, located at 256 Elgin Street.

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  • Paddywax Urban Candle in Salted Grapefruit $16-$38 CAD. These candles are amazing on several levels: smell amazing, look amazing, amazing paperweight. The bold graphic concrete pots are my inspiration for an industrial Easter/spring look.
  • Color By Jool in Blush $30 CAD. I adore these cute little necklaces, not only because there is one called Pinot Noir that makes me laugh (any Kimmy Schmidt fans out there?). Made in Toronto, Ontario, there is one for every personality, occasion or outfit. Blush is the perfect pastel Easter gift but I also love Honey, Lake, Peacock and Prosecco (mostly because the necklace descriptions are what I think of myself/wish I was).
  • Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks $22-$24 CAD. Rifle Paper Co (aka Anna Bond) has seriously locked down the gorgeous illustration market. I remember researching wedding invitations in 2012 when Rifle Paper Co hadn’t exploded worldwide, and thinking, this is the stuff dreams are made of. An awesome Easter gift for the lady who has everything, notebooks are always a welcome gift.

Up next we have Purple Urchin, a handmade soap company located at 884 Somerset West.

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  • Coconut Lemongrass Body Butter $19.99 CAD. A luxurious body butter with real ingredients, made close to home. What’s not to love! The coconut and lemongrass scent reminds me of travelling down South for March break, which is just what you need by the time Easter rolls around.
  • Lilac Attack Candle $19.99 CAD. Not often is someone able to capture the gorgeous fragrance of lilacs in bloom. This soy candle does just that. For me the scent of lilac is the epitome of spring!
  • Chocolate Face Mask $11.99 CAD. Whats an easter gift list without some chocolate? This mask, rich with antioxidants, can be used weekly. If you can stop yourself from eating it first.

Sephora, while not a local or Canadian company, is still my favourite place on earth!

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  • Farmacy Lip Bloom in Strawberry Basil $21 CAD. Once the weather warms up over 0 degrees Celsius, I want fresh fruit smells for everything. This lip balm has a high end price but the texture and scent are worth it. So fresh and mouth watering!
  • Replica Beach Walk Roller Ball $30 CAD. This time of year I am dreaming of beaches, sunshine and being anywhere but here. Maison Martin Margiela has bottled those dreams and calls it “Beach Walk”. The perfect fragrance to take you into the summer months.
  • Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Cushy Blusher in Beach Break $27.60 CAD. The packaging for this line from Too Cool For School is too much for me, I need them all. A dinosaur on a surfboard? Yes please! This blush is perfect for a spring vacation, easy to apply and no mess packaging. Use it like a bingo dabber for a sun kissed flush. If you try one Korean beauty product this year, definitely make it this one.

To mix up my usual David’s Tea ravings, I looked to Teavana for some unique Easter gifts.teaaaapeachmatcha33029_tumbler20ozstrawgrn

  • Serenity Wellness Tea $12.50 CAD for 2 oz. Besides fresh fruit, spring is also embodied by flowers. They finally return, and things smell nice again! Teavana has created a new line of wellness teas and this blend of flowers, herbs and fruit is like a warm breeze on your face: heaven.
  • Organic Peach Matcha Singles 10 pack $19.95 CAD. Peach matcha? Shut up Teavana, take my money! My new obsession, matcha, amped up with fruit flavour is a must try. The Easter Bunny would get all the points leaving this for someone.
  • Shake & Go Tumbler $14.95 CAD. And with matcha, you need a super cute and versatile tumbler. This shake & go tumbler by Contigo has a removable straw so you can easily shake your iced matcha and enjoy.

Zone is a Canadian boutique store that sells all sorts of things from furniture to jewellery. It is one of my favourite stores and you can find something for everyone there.

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  • Anigram Ring Holder $8 CAD. How cute is this little guy? In keeping with the Easter theme, this ring holder is a great seasonal gift. I especially love the rose gold finish, a nice departure from the usual silver ring holders.
  • Nicole Large Pouch $32 CAD. Everything about this little vegan clutch screams spring. The white PVC top and floral cork bottom makes for an adorable gift.
  • Lucia Soap Gift Box $22 CAD. What is better than one bar of soap? 8 deliciously scented bars of soap! Lucia products are a bit of a boutique shop staple here in Canada, as they are made in Montreal. They are cruelty-free, and made with organic and natural ingredients. With their adorable wrapping and spring scents like wild ginger & fresh fig, and thyme flower & coriander soap, this set is a guaranteed hit.

Hope you see something to make someone’s Easter special!

xx C

(Note: All photos in this article are not my own)