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Shopping Vancouver

Chocolate Chronicle

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Delicious Crunchetti clusters from Brockmann's Chocolates

Delicious Crunchetti clusters from Brockmann’s Chocolates

Once upon a time there was a chocolate-maker named Willy. Only in this particular story, his tempting confections were brought from Europe to Canada, where they were crafted with care for another 30 years. The third-generation chocolatiers now offer two locally made treats: the creamy Truffini truffles, which are available in 11 flavours, including Canadian maple; and the addictive Crunchetti clusters, with toasted almonds and cranberries. Indulge your sweet tooth with treats by Brockmann’s Chocolates at Urban Fare and Nesters.

Ice Ice Baby

By SHERI RADFORD

The Inverse Hair Conditioning System

The Inverse Hair Conditioning System

If frizz is the name of the game, then it’s time to free your follicles from years of heat damage. The Inverse Hair Conditioning System uses ice to lock in hydration, resulting in stronger, healthier, shinier hair. The simple system consists of ice cores that pop out to go in the freezer, a sleek body, ice mist spray and a carrying bag. The best part? No nasty chemicals and no cord. Buy online at ca.inversehair.com.

Purely Canadian Apparel

By SHERI RADFORD

Get cozy and Canadian with a Mary Maxim sweater from Roots.

Get cozy and Canadian with a Mary Maxim sweater from Roots.

Hand-knit from warm and cozy tri-blend yarn, the Mary Maxim sweater for men is decorated with a friendly beaver and a series of maple leaves. The only way the sweater could be more Canadian is if it came with maple syrup, a side of poutine and a hockey stick. Pick up this comfy Canuck creation at Roots, eh.

Nice by Nature

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Absolut Face & Body Lotion

Absolut Face & Body Lotion

Save face—and hair and body—with United & Free’s natural products, which are packed with good-enough-to-eat ingredients. Founded by a Vancouver-based brother and sister duo, the beauty brand’s gender-neutral products appeal to both men and women. Take the Absolut Face & Body Lotion, for instance: hemp- and raspberry-seed oils leave skin hydrated, while a fragrant blend of citrus and cedar appeals to ladies and gents alike. What’s missing? Most notably, sulfates, parabens and harsh chemicals. Now that’s a beautiful thing. Stock up at Below the Belt.

Presents for Pets

By SHERI RADFORD

Healthy goodies from The Granville Island Pet Treatery.

Healthy goodies from The Granville Island Pet Treatery.

Treat Fido or Fluffy to something special under the tree this year.

1. Healthy, tasty treats from The Granville Island Pet Treatery are handmade in-house using no chemicals, no additives and no preservatives.

2. Cool cats like to chill out in a pod-style pet bed from HomeSense.

3. A doughnut-shaped dog toy from Marshalls leads to hours of chewing.

4. A Winners elf hat adds some festive flair to any dapper dog.

Happily Ever After

By SHERI RADFORD

The four limited edition tins of Nivea Creme

The four limited edition tins of Nivea Creme

Once upon a time, a beloved moisturizer company met a talented author and a gifted illustrator, and it was love at first sight. Udo Weigelt wrote four stories that Joelle Tourionias illustrated, and these winter-themed tales inspired four charming limited-edition tins of Nivea Creme, available in December at stores such as London Drugs and Shoppers Drug Mart. Read the digitally animated stories online, and prepare to fall in love, too.

Perfectly Packed

By SHERI RADFORD

A set of Mumi's packing cubes.

A set of Mumi packing cubes.

Tidy up your travel gear with a five-piece set of packing cubes from Mumi. Available in an array of bright colours, these lightweight but durable cubes help you maximize suitcase space by keeping everything organized, from socks and underwear to toiletries and electronics. Buy online at www.mumidesign.com.

Gift Rapt: Circle Craft Christmas Market

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Felted bowls by Hold

Felted bowls by Hold

It’s never too early to start making your list and checking it twice. The Circle Craft Christmas Market (Nov. 9 to 13, 2016) makes gift-giving merry and bright with handmade pieces perfect for everyone on your list—naughty or nice. The event showcases over 300 artisans and their wares, including wraps by Chloë Angus Design, wooden toys by Fidoodle, textiles by Hold (pictured) and everything in-between. It’s holiday shopping, all wrapped up.

Sweet Shop: Kiss and Makeup

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Clothing and accessories at Kiss and Makeup

Clothing and accessories at Kiss and Makeup

Fighting the urge to splurge? Make peace with your impulses at Kiss and Makeup. These one-stop-shops for beauty mavens brim with covetable accessories, apparel and beauty products, all curated and vetted by owner Heather Huntingford. The two seriously stylish boutiques stock international items, but we’re partial to the local lines, including tees and tanks by Good Husbands Apparel, sweet-smelling tapers by Vancouver Candle Co. and organic make-up by Ilia. Now that’s retail therapy.

Perfect Souvenirs at Hudson’s Bay

By SHERI RADFORD

Show your true stripes with this jacket from Hudson's Bay

Show your true stripes with this jacket from Hudson’s Bay

Looking for a truly Canadian souvenir? At Hudson’s Bay, you’ll find the iconic HBC stripes on everything from towels, tote bags and mugs to blankets, earmuffs and packable down jackets for kids (pictured). The earliest HBC blankets in stripes of green, red, yellow and indigo date back to around 1800—long before Canada even became a country, in 1867—and today it’s difficult to imagine a Canadian household that doesn’t own at least one item with the beloved pattern.

Ghouls’ Night Out

By SHERI RADFORD

Get into the Halloween spirit with an assortment of seasonal goodies

bat mug1 Serve witches’ potions and brews in a bat-shaped mug. Available at HomeSense. (more…)

Cute Collections From Paul & Joe

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Powder compact from the Looney Tunes & Tom and Jerry collection

Powder compact from the Looney Tunes & Tom and Jerry collection

It’s what’s inside that counts, but Paul & Joe’s fall collections have us smitten with the pretty-as-a-picture packaging. The limited-edition Looney Tunes & Tom and Jerry collaboration adds animation to make-up bags, with cases and compacts that detail the characters’ exploits. For fresh-faced colour palettes in Louvre-worthy packages, swoon over the A Stroll in the Park in Paris collection. The best part: the cases are customizable; just pop in your favourite product. At Shoppers Drug Mart.