Toronto Gift Ideas

Made in Canada Beanbag Chairs

I love sharing products with you that are not only gorgeous and high-quality but 100% Canadian, so I had to tell you about these amazing beanbags chairs. I know, when you think "beanbag chair" you don't exactly think chic decor. They sort of invoke images of dorm rooms and unshowered teenagers lying around playing video games. Not so the fabulous squishy bags from MyBeanBag.ca. I was searching for my son's playroom, because our current ones purchased at the now defunct Target do not have removable covers you can throw in the wash. There is enough unidentifiable food particles hardened on them that they needed to go. A good pile of beanbags chairs are perfect for my little guy and his cousins who enjoy flinging themselves everywhere and expect you to stop and drop at any moment for a big snuggle. The chairs from this Montreal-based company are stylish, high quality and have 100% cotton covers that can be zipped off and machine-washed. I ordered this denim one and having spent a sizable amount of hours in beanbag seats, I can safely say it is the perfect beanbag chair.

Blue bean bag chair

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Koya Edibles: Fruit Bouquets in Toronto

Have you ever received an edible fruit bouquet? It is such a lovely gift idea. We all enjoy eating perfect juicy delicious fruit, but no one wants to chop it up. And no one wants to arrange it in a stunning basket that is delightful to look at. This is why it is the perfect gift. A change from flowers, but just as bright and colourful. Koya Edibles is a local Toronto company that creates personalized fruit gifts for any occasion. Baskets and bouquets start from $30.00 and can be customized for any occasion:

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Not only are these bouquets gorgeous to look at, they are healthy and so delicious. An amazing gift or dessert centerpiece for your next party. For more information and to place an order visit the Koya Edibles website or call 416.997.KOYA. Mention you read about this company on My Toronto Scoop and receive 10% off your order. Rosie :)

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Embella Party Supplies and Giftware- NOW CLOSED

My little man loves balloons, so every year for his birthday we make sure to have a big batch of colourful ones. This year I picked them up from a great shop in my neighbourhood: Embella Party Supplies and Giftware. Not only do they have an excellent balloon selection and helium services, but they have a wonderful selection of gifts particularly if you have little girls to buy for. These tulle skirts and dresses are adorable:

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I love a good hair accessory. All the hairbands and bows will make your eyes pop:

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Most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind, and made by local artisans. These little crocheted shawls and dresses are beautiful.

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There is also a lovely selection of jewelry for mummies, as well as a party room, loot bag service and sewing classes. Embella Party Supplies and Giftware is located at 647 The Queensway in Etobicoke. Rosie :)

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Lampada on Etsy

The floor lamp in our living room finally disintegrated after almost a decade of literally lighting up our lives. I wanted to replace it with something cool, so I went to my online shopping happy place, Etsy. And that's where I found Vilma of Lampada, who made me this out of recycled coffee filters.

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Vilma is a former journalist who lives in New York City. She handcrafts each lamp from scratch, and each one is unique and absolutely stunning. The way the light is reflected by each hand-painted square of coffee filter is amazing. I love how all the colours light up when you turn it on, and I love how it is one-of-a-kind. Thanks Vilma! Rosie :)

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Sweet Olenka's

Every so often, I require an amazing chocolate brownie. I have been hearing about the salted caramel brownies at Sweet Olenka's, a European-style artisan chocolate shop on the Lakeshore just west of Mimico. I went to this place, and found the perfect brownie.

Sweet Olenka's Salted Caramel Brownie

The salted caramel brownie was my favourite, but the double-chocolate brownie, chocolate coconut cluster and other chocolate treats that found their way into my pastry box were also fantastic. So moist and rich, but not too cloyingly sweet.

Sweet Olenka's brownies & clusters

Owner Olenka uses the highest quality all-natural ingredients to bake her brownies, truffles, chocolate bars and other goodies. She bakes several times a day and everything is so fresh. You can taste how pure everything is. There is also ice cream available, with a fun selection of sugar cones.

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If you want to treat a chocolate-lover with something really special, drive to Sweet Olenka's in south Etobicoke and buy what is pictured below. Rosie :)

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Sweet Olenka's on Urbanspoon

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Loving Love Locks

Recently my friend and podcast co-host Toronto Mike took Europe by storm and saw a lot of cool stuff, like the very romantic trend of Love Padlocks which he most recently photographed in Frankfurt. I've been a lot of places around the world but have yet to catch sight of these, and I can't wait to see a fence full of them myself. It's a shame the trend didn't catch on in Toronto. If you've never heard of these locks of love, here's some great info about the history of the tradition from Hotels.com. Rosie :)
The Key to Success in Love… Lock it Up! (via Travel Smart Blog)

Once upon a time, lovers carved their initials in a tree. These days, only iron-clad steel will do, as the phenomenon of "Love Locks" is taking hold of fences, gates and bridges all over the world. Some locks are just plain luggage locks; others have names written on them. Some have a photo of…

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The Legwarmers

I recently bought my little man an adorable new storybook at a book launch at Chapters. It's called The Legwarmers in Plies and Pleases.

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It's published by Two Sisters Press, and the two sisters happen to be Christine and Lisa Brkich, dear friends of mine. They have been working on The Legwarmers for a very long time (it's based on their live dance production by the same name, which they co-wrote and choreographed) and to see this labour of love now a beautifully published book is pretty amazing. They are dance teachers and choreographers who are passionate about teaching dance to kids. No one know how to light up a room like they do. Or, the front entrance of a Chapters at their recent book launch.

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If you would like to purchase an autographed copy of The Legwarmers, get over to Pick of the Crop Toys and Books in Oakville this Saturday December 8th at noon where the girls will be plie-ing around the store. And if you would like to order a book online, visit The Legwarmers official website. Rosie :)

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Eat My Words

Once for my birthday, two former colleagues (and two of the sweetest ladies I know) surprised me with one of the most visually stunning gifts I've ever received. They placed a turquoise hat box on my desk tied up with a pretty brown ribbon. I had no idea what it was and when I opened it, I actually gasped, like people do on TV. Not just because I was relieved it wasn't a hat (they just don't work with my hair) but inside the box were the most beautiful cupcakes I'd ever seen. They were from Eat My Words. It is no secret how much I love a good cupcake, and these were like little works of art, topped with butterflies and flowers. You could barely bring yourself to eat them, but when I did, they were light and sweet and airy, just like perfect cupcakes should be. When the girls told me that sweets from Eat My Words support the Stephen Lewis Foundation it made me love the gift about a million times more. Rosie :)

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