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Shopping Vancouver

Sweet Souvenirs From Starbucks

By SHERI RADFORD

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver's skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver’s skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Java junkies who are jonesing for both a cuppa joe and a Vancouver souvenir head straight to Starbucks. Hot and cold caffeinated drinks fill the menu, while the city mugs are sure to invoke recollections of a Vancouver vacation over morning coffee back at home.

Buzz-Worthy Jewellery

By SHERI RADFORD

Birks new bee-inspired collection

Birks new bee-inspired collection

The busy bees at Birks have been hard at work. To celebrate its 135th anniversary, the Canadian jeweller created three new collections inspired by honey bees. Crafted from yellow gold, silver, gemstones and diamonds, the pieces pay homage to the hardworking creatures that pollinate one-third of all the food that humans consume. Birks also announced a partnership with Ontario’s Honey Bee Research Centre, as well as an urban beekeeping installation at its flagship boutique in Montreal. Definitely the bee’s knees.

City of Douglas Coupland

By SHERI RADFORD

The local author, artist and visionary is taking over Vancouver, and there’s no sense fighting assimilation when it’s this much fun

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to "straddling the line between collector and hoarder.

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to “straddling the line between collector and hoarder”

Most folks know Douglas Coupland as an author. His first novel, 1991’s international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized the now-ubiquitous term “Generation X.” Since then he has published 13 more novels along with an eclectic assortment of non-fiction works, including City of Glass, a collection of essays about Vancouver; Souvenir of Canada, which covers experiences and objects unique to the True North Strong and Free, from Baffin Island to poutine to zed; and Terry, a pictorial biography of Terry Fox. (more…)

Fabulous Must-Have Beach Accessories

By SHERI RADFORD

Sunglasses? Check. Towel? Check. How about everything else necessary for a long, lazy day at the beach? Don’t forget these warm-weather essentials

Keep your beach umbrella firmly planted with this innovative invention

Keep your beach umbrella firmly planted with this innovative invention

Beach umbrellas provide shade from the hot summer sun, but if gusts of wind make them go airborne, they can cause serious injuries. Fortunately, the ingenious Noblo Umbrella Buddy stops accidents before they happen. Simply fill it with sand, Velcro it to the umbrella and relax.  (more…)

Shop in Style with Posh Tours

By SHERI RADFORD

Get the VIP treatment with Posh Shopping Tours

Get the VIP treatment with Posh Shopping Tours

Shop till you drop? Brandy Kawulka of Posh Shopping Tours has a better idea. Her excursions include VIP pampering, chauffeured transportation, swag bags and discounts, making it easy to keep shopping all day without dropping. Tour options run the gamut from vintage/consignment to Vancouver designers to red-carpet ready. Ladies, warm up your credit cards, because they’re about to get a workout.

Skin Care on the Fly

By SHERI RADFORD

Travel-sized skin care that's perfect for travel

Travel-sized skin care that’s perfect for travel

Savvy travellers avoid checking luggage, which usually means leaving favourite beauty products at home. Not so with Optimera’s new science-based day cream and night cream, which are small enough to slip into a carry-on bag. In addition to reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and enlarged pores, they also improve the skin’s texture, smoothness, radiance and elasticity. Bonus: the unisex scent and packaging avoid the need for separate his ’n’ hers products. Order online at www.mynerium.com.

50 Things We Love About Granville Island

By SHERI RADFORD and JILL VON SPRECKEN

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

1. Commuting via Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

2. SeaVillage, a charming collection of floating homes.

3. Browsing for fresh produce, bread and seafood in the Granville Island Public Market.

4. Spotting orcas with Wild Whales Vancouver.

5. Ocean Concrete, the oldest and largest tenant on the island. It’s been there since 1917.

6. Edible Canada at the Market, with its fresh regional fare on the menu, plus foodie tours and a gourmet artisan retail shop.

7. Watching buskers perform: musicians, jugglers, magicians and more.

8. Hand-pressed, hand-bottled sake from Artisan SakeMaker.

9. Splashing around in the Granville Island Waterpark.

10. Watching artisans hard at work in their studios.

(more…)

Fresh Idea: FarmCity Fresh Cart

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The FarmCity Fresh Cart is part of Vancouver's Street Vending Program

The FarmCity Fresh Cart, part of Vancouver’s Street Vending Program, features a selection of farmed goods

For a shopping stop that always bears fruit, visit FarmCity Fresh Cart. It can be found on city streets with a selection of produce, locally made preserves, cured meats by Re-Up BBQ, pre-packaged salads and even ice cream. It’s a feel-good stop, too: the cart helps support local farmers by giving shoppers regular access to market-fresh produce. If that isn’t reason for an impromptu picnic, we’re not sure what is.

Christopher Bates: Man of Style

By SHERI RADFORD

A naval-inspired blazer from Christopher Bates' new clothing line

A naval-inspired blazer from Christopher Bates’ new clothing line

Christopher Bates never travels without his favourite pair of pants, which he designed himself and describes as “tight, black, Turkish-waxed-denim jeans.” The former Vancouverite says, “They almost look like rubber or leather. They’re really bad-ass. And they look great with a crisp white dress shirt. Or you could go all black with it and be more aggressive.” Bonus: they never wrinkle, even when crammed into overstuffed luggage. (more…)

424 Fifth: Luxe Label, Budget Price

By SHERI RADFORD

Gorgeous and affordable dress from designer 424 Fifth, found at The Bay

Gorgeous and affordable dress from designer 424 Fifth, found at The Bay

Named after Lord & Taylor’s iconic Manhattan address, 424 Fifth launched to much fanfare in the spring. The surprisingly affordable private label, available at The Bay, includes dresses (pictured), skirts, tops, sweaters, pants, outerwear and accessories. Marie Holman-Rao, the label’s chief creative officer, visited Vancouver recently to talk about the summer collection. “Easy to wear” is how she describes it. “Everything that we do, we try to be multipurpose and versatile,” she says. Her favourite design detail is one that customers have been raving about: “We have pockets in everything that we make: every dress, every skirt, every pant. Everybody likes pockets.” (more…)

Jessica Kruger’s Sweet Year

By SHERI RADFORD

Jessica Kruger, beauty ambassador for Lise Watier

Jessica Kruger, beauty ambassador for Lise Watier

According to Jessica Kruger, “Anybody is capable of being beautiful.” The Coquitlam resident, who turns 22 this month, was 15 years old when she fell from a ladder and fractured four neck vertebrae. The resulting quadriplegia didn’t slow her down one bit: she’s travelled the world, and she’s currently completing an English degree at Simon Fraser University and playing wheelchair rugby five days a week. (more…)

American Girl: What a Doll

By SHERI RADFORD

Visit the American Girl boutique, located in Chapters on Robson St.

Canadian tots and tweens flock to the American Girl boutique, located in Chapters on Robson St.

Even if you’ve never heard of American Girl, your tot or tween definitely has. Until a few weeks ago, the uber-popular dolls were sold only in the US. Now Canadian girls can get their hands on the dolls and all of their accompanying clothing, accessories and books both in Toronto and right here in Vancouver, at the Robson Street location of Chapters. Bonus: the in-store boutique features a salon, so dolls can leave with braids, a ponytail, an up-do or pierced ears.