Dear Diary

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It’s that time of year when everything turns pink, hearts take over every shop window, and love is in the air. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is upon us, and though it’s one of my favourite holidays I can’t say I’m really feeling the love this year like I usually am.

That’s why I’ve decided to make Valentine’s 2016 the year of me and my girls (as Selena Gomez would say). This February 14th, I’ll be all about Galentine’s Day.

I’m all about my girl gang, and over the past year I’ve built the most amazing network of women up around me. From the girls at Sophomore to my Instagram pals from all around the world, The Shine Theory is really ruling my 2016, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When Giftagram approached me to curate their new #BFF section I instantly jumped at the opportunity. Pick out gifts for girls, from girls? Um yes please! I quickly got to work choosing my favourite items, and I even got to take some pretty pictures for the app! Here are some of my favourites:

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Dear Diary

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Though many might consider it a downfall or weakness, I am without a doubt a proud romantic. I honestly can’t help it- I just love, well, love, especially when the most wonderful time of the year rolls around. That’s right lovebirds, I’m talking about Christmas!

When Giftagram first approached me to curate some of my favourite holiday gifts for all you lovers out there, I practically jumped out out of my chair at the chance. Not only do I consider myself the most hopeless of all hopeless romantics, but I also specialize in all things Christmas and gifting related (if I do say so myself). I’m the type to keep a list of Christmas gift ideas for my significant other on my phone all year round, the type to start shopping in August and have everything wrapped and under the tree well before December first.

In short, I think I’m a pretty good person to date this time of year, and I’d love to help spread the love by sharing some of my favourite swoon-worthy gifts from all across the continent. If you’re looking to win a heart this holiday season, look no further!

Canada

1. Sweet Woodruff Grande Bouquet
Forget Valentine’s day and send a gorgeous bouquet of fresh blooms over the holidays. Not only are they sure to earn your date’s affection, it they’ll totally earn brownie points with the family too when they ends up being the centerpiece at Christmas dinner.

2. Sloane Mint Chocolate Tea
Nothing says love like a cozy night in sipping freshly steeped tea and baking cookies with your nearest and dearest. Sloane Tea is carefully crafted, locally packaged, and loaded with delicious all-natural flavour.

3. Kitten and the Bear Jam Set
Kitten and the Bear jams are all handcrafted here in Toronto by the sweetest husband and wife duo you can imagine, and anyone who has visited their tiny Parkdale cafe will vouch that all of their products are made with love.

4. Woodlot Recharge Candle jar
Baby it’s cold outside, and what better way to keep warm than over an all-natural coconut wax candle?

5. Gold Apothecary bath Salt Set
Take your Netflix night up a notch by cuddling up with your boo in a bath laced with bergamot and rose petals. It doesn’t get much more classic than a lover’s bubble bath, and it’s a great excuse to get naked right?

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USA

6. Compartes Chocolate Bar Collection One
I’ve had a personal love affair with this incredible LA chocolate company for ages, and I’ll gladly accept pretty much any chance to gift (or receive) any of them! I mean really, a “Donuts and Coffee” chocolate bar? What can possibly compete with that!

7. Flower Crown Home Kit
No one can resist the gift of frolicking around in a beautiful homemade floral crown. I repeat, no one.

8. Thee Spa Day Box
Give your nearest and dearest the gift of relaxation with this amazing kit featuring a hand poured candle by The Little Market, a Dick Taylor Chocolate Bar, Infused Honey, Sugarfina sweets, Herbivore Calm bath salts & soap, Dram Apothecary floral posey tea.

9. The Bouqs Bouquet
Festive, classic, and oh so pretty, you really can’t go wrong with 12 winter-white roses delivered to your bae’s doorstep.

10. Sugarfina Cheers! Gift Set
Treat your sweet with one of Sugarfina’s famous sugary gift sets! Containing three of their best-selling boozy candy creations (champagne bears, champagne bubbles, peach bellini), this set makes snack time a cause for celebration.

Originally published on the Giftagram blog

Dear Diary

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They always say “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, but in my experience that’s just not true. Keeping a friendship alive can be tough as it is, but introduce distance to the mix and it can be hard to stay on top of multiple time zones and rushed phone calls snuck in between appointments. Canada is a massive country, and as a transplant from Vancouver I have struggled for years with maintaining my relationships in both cities. Luckily, Giftagram came along.

There are few things sweeter than handwritten notes and tiny gifts shared between pen pals, especially when long distance is involved, and Giftagram makes sending those special occasion and “thinking of you” favours that much simpler. My best friend Sarah decided to move back to Vancouver after five years with me here in Toronto, and the lifeblood of our relationship pretty much relies on care packages and carefully selected greeting cards mailed back and forth the old fashioned way. When my her birthday rolled around this past month I decided to mix things up and surprise her with a slew of curated “girls night in” themed gifts from Giftagram delivered right to her door. It was pretty fun to watch her confusion and excitement via text as each package found its way to her doorstep!

Here are my BFF picks for birthday bliss:

1. Chardonnay Saves The Day Print

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Yes, I could’ve sent a bottle of wine, but this gold foil print will surely last a lot longer right? That said, I might have to step up my game and opt for a bottle of Moet next year…

2. Woodlot “Recharge” Candle Jar

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I always say you can never have too many candles, and I honestly can’t think of a better gift. Woodlot’s coconut wax blend makes their products extra special, and with notes of rosemary and fresh mint this scent is truly dreamy and uplifting.

3. Mary Macleod’s Shortbreak 6 Pack

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What’s a relaxing evening in without some sugar? This adorable selection of shortbread pairs perfectly with everything from chardonnay to earl grey tea, and it’s so fun to be able to send a taste of Toronto all the way to Vancouver!

Originally published on Giftagram’s blog

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com