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Ideas to help you find the perfect gift!

I’ll start by saying that this is not a guide, because, honestly, who am I to guide you in your shopping? Andrew and I don’t even exchange gifts this time of year, but we know how important it is to certain families and we know how important it is to small businesses.

So here’s a list of things that we use/have and love.

1. Wildcraft Skin products

There are many reasons why I love Wildcraft. I first purchased them because I wanted to change to natural skin products.

The reviews were great, the price was super affordable and a HUGE plus for me, they have a step-by-step routine based on your skin type.

I use it everyday and I feel like my skin is gorgeous and smooth - while I was reading this out loud Andrew makes a comment: "I agree".

Wildcraft is owned and led by an indigenous woman and they are based in Toronto. They recently launched their low-waste options for containers and they are also part of the 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of their sales to environmental causes.

2. L.U.S. Brands

Now I get not everyone has curly hair, but if you do, you know the struggle! My hair is super curly, and my mother fought with it since I was little.

For over 20 years, I’ve had a really short haircut, so short it almost didn’t curl anymore, but during the pandemic it grew and it curled and I had no idea what I was doing with it! Until L.U.S.!

I took a leap of faith into the ads I kept seeing on social media and I bought their 3-step treatment. Oh my oh my! The shine of my curls, the definition! And they lasted so long!!

I highly recommend it to anyone with any type of curls, because that’s the other cool thing about L.U.S. - they have a whole community of "curlies", with tips, how-to’s, FAQs, videos, etc. And they are also from Toronto!!

3. The Kimono Store

If you have been following us on IG you know I wear a kimono. I have sort of an obsession with robes - if I could live like Hugh Hefner (in a robe all day - no parties please), I would.

The Kimono store has beautiful kimonos for all moments of the day, whether you're staying in or going out, she's got you covered.

The Kimono Store

4. Kvas Fine Beverage Co + Stir Crazy Bitters + Salty Paloma

Three brands, because all of them complement each other in the making of cocktails or mocktails if you prefer.

4A. Kvas is Zac and Amy Kvas. They are from Niagara and friends of ours. They make flavoured simple syrups, that although meant for cocktails, you can use on, tea, coffee, pancakes, even Cheese Dots! They use local honey or maple syrup as the source of sugar and they source all the other ingredients locally. The Muskoka Cranberry Rosemary syrup might be one of my favourites. It has a recipe on the back with gin that is great!!

4B. Stir Crazy Bitters is also from Niagara and like Zac Kvas, he is also a great mixologist. His thing is crafting citrus and floral bitters to add to your cocktails and baked goods. All made by hand, in small batches, with careful selection of dried roots and fresh fruits.

4C. Salty Paloma is from Toronto, and I don't know them, but c'mon! How could I not like a brand that's called Salty Paloma?! They make cocktail rimmers, all different and unique flavours designed by award-winning cocktail master Evelyn Chick.

Now maybe you love this gift set but you don't know how to make here's my other inspiration:

5. A field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Victoria Welsh & Scott Mccallum

I think the title says it all. Over 100 recipes from all places in Canada, paying homage to famous bartenders, homegrown ingredients and cultural references.

Now on the book note, I have 2 more:

6. The Essential Fondue Cookbook by Erin Harris

Erin is a Canadian Chef, food writer and cheese specialist. If you follow her on Instagram (@thecheesepoet) you have probably drooled over her cheese posts many times.

Here she offers us 75 recipes of fondue, from classic to completely unconventional. Now just think of dipping Cheese Dots in a pot of hot, melting cheese I need to say more?

7. The Hunter Chef Cookbook by Michael Hunter

This was Andrew's pick. If you don't know, Michael Hunter is a wild-game hunter and Chef of Antler restaurant in Toronto.

This book features 100 recipes and butchery guides and includes recipes with not so common types of meat, like wild boar and moose. Sure, this book is for a select crowd, but their dessert section isn' has incredibly delicious maple inspired recipes that will make you drool!

8. Steel City Sauce Co

Steel City, like the name says, is from Hamilton and they make hot sauces. Delicious hot sauces! Andrew has a crazy spice tolerance, so he's into anything spicy. I'm not like heat tolerance is on the lower side, so my thing is flavour and Steel City Sauces hits the mark for both of us!

Our favourite is the Meco Viper Chipotle Maple, but the Badger Bite and Jade Jaguar are all delicious. While these are all on the mild spice level, they do have spicier sauces too!

9. Crafty Ramen Subscription

I don't know about you, but we love ramen in this house-hold and Crafty Ramen, from Guelph, really hits the spot. Their slogan is similar to ours, Japanese Inspired, Locally Influenced, House Made. Which means they make almost everything in-house, using local ingredients, but bringing a Japanese tradition to life. All their ramens are super flavourful and fresh and they too try as much as they can to be environmentally friendly!

Now this is not Gluten Free, but maybe you have a ramen lover in your life that deserves a subscription plan for a few months!

10. Verdant Paper Co

All these gifts are cool, but what's a gift without a card? Verdant is my recommendation. Their cards are all made in 100% post-consumer recycled paper in Shelburne, ON, hand-drawn by Lisa, one of the founders and it comes with seed papers to grow wildflowers.

I hope these items helped a little bit with your gift giving, whether it's Christmas, birthday or a middle of the week gift.

And thanks for reading :)

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