NKPR Gift Guide: Comfort & Joy

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We’ve had gift guides on the brain since at least mid-July, so it’s time we shared our carefully curated list of festive finds. We’ll be sharing a few of our faves every day this week, so be sure to check back! Today: Comfort and Joy. That’s what the holidays are all about!

David’s Tea for the Tree
Perfect for: Your Frazzled Friend
Because: She’s used to scheduling sips of her hot bevvie between emails, meetings and texts, so setting her up to decompress during the holidays will be the best gift you can give. These adorable little ornaments come pre-filled with one of three seasonal teas and are the best-smelling way to dress up a gift.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $4.50 each/ 3 for $12
Where to Get It: DavidsTea.com and in store

We-Vibe 3
Perfect for: Your Lover (who else?)
Because: Mistletoe will only get you so far. If you really want to spice things up in your relationship, gift your love with something that will bring a whole new vibe to the bedroom. Or the shower. Or the kitchen floor. You get the point.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $159.99
Where to Get It: Leading drugstores, boutiques and adult novelty stores worldwide, and we-vibe.com

Obusforme Personalized Comfort Driver’s Seat
Perfect for: Your Favourite Chauffeur
Because: If you’ve ever been packed in the family van en route to Christmas dinner at Grandma’s, you know this holiday travel scenario is destined for the farthest place from comfort or joy. Actually, driving anywhere during the holiday season – mall parking lots: we’re looking at you – can turn even the most Zen merrymaker into a road rage-aholic. All it takes to dispel holiday driving stress is a few moments with the soothing heat and massage built into this driver’s seat. Bonus: inflatable lumbar support ensures greater comfort while you’re battling it out for a parking spot.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $89.99
Where to Get It: Major retailers across Canada

 

      

A Donation to Artists for Peace & Justice and Camp Oochigeas
Perfect for: Making Your Holiday Budget Count
Because: “Gifts that give back” isn’t just a catchphrase. Even a small donation can make a life-changing difference. NKPR’s charities of choice have several budget-friendly options that make it easy to add charitable giving to your holiday to do list. Artists for Peace & Justice builds schools to serve the poorest areas of Haiti, providing an education, hot meals, clean drinking water and regular medical treatments to the children living in the slums. A donation of $120 buys a child’s books for year (that’s only $10 per month!).

NKPR is also proud to support Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer that also offers year-round programs for children affected by childhood cancer at their site in Muskoka, at SickKids Hospital, at the Ooch Downtown facility in Toronto and in the community. A few donation options: $25 buys sunscreen and bug spray to help keep campers protected. $100 buys art and crafts supplies for 10 kids who are on 8B, the bone marrow transplant ward at SickKids Hospital.

Worth Every Festive Penny: Wouldn’t you agree?
Where to Make A Donation: apjnow.org / campooch.org

NKPR Gift Guide: All That Glitters

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We’ve had gift guides on the brain since at least mid-July, so it’s time we shared our carefully curated list of festive finds. We’ll be sharing a few of our faves every day this week, so be sure to check back! Today: all that glitters. Since everything seems to sparkle during the holidays, we rounded up a few of the brightest gifts for kids, sisters, glam girlfriends and more.

 

Gogo’s Crazy Bones Gold Series Gold Tins
Perfect for: The Wee Ones
Because: Limited-edition toys trump all other Christmas toys. Packed in a shimmery gold tin, Gogo’s Crazy Bones Gold Series includes 10 super-shiny collectable Gogo’s that are sure to be a holiday hit with the littles in your life. Pair them with a Gogo’s play mat ($12.99) or carrier bag to up your cool Aunt/Uncle factor.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $19.99 CDN
Where to Get It: Mass toy and speciality retailers

 


Classic Creations 18K White Gold Grey Slice Diamond Earrings
Perfect for: The One Woman You Need to Impress
Because: Let’s face it, nothing impresses like diamonds. These gorgeous earrings are definitely a luxury, but when you do a little cost-per-wear math, keeping in mind that she’ll likely wear these for every New Year’s Eve party, birthday, wedding and other major celebratory event for the next 20 years, she’s worth the splurge. Plus, a gift like this pretty much guarantees you a spot on her “nice” list for the rest of your life.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $10,500
Where to Get Them: Classic Creations

Stila Cosmetics Holiday Lip Glaze Set
Perfect for: Your Sassy Sister
Because: When you were kids, her pouting bouts were legendary, but these days her pout is about looking mistletoe-ready. With four existing Stila classics and four holiday exclusive shades, these super high-shine glosses are guaranteed to deliver long into the New Year.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $33 CDN
Where to Get It: Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques and Murale


essie Cocktail Bling Collection
Perfect for: The Glam Girl
Because: Her jewellery box is stacked with enough bling; it’s time to trick out her nails. If she isn’t already coveting the season’s It shade (Bobbing for Baubles, second from the right up there), chances are there’s another shade from this collection on her wish list. Perfect in her stocking or as a glam little gift topper.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $9.99 CDN
Where to Get It: Shoppers Drug Mart, salons and other major leading retailers

Tomorrow in our gift guide series: Comfort and Joy! Missed yesterday’s Gift GUYde? We found the best gifts for boys (and men).

NKPR Holiday Gift GUYde

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We’ve had gift guides on the brain since at least mid-July, so it’s time we shared our carefully curated list of festive finds. We’ll be sharing a few of our faves every day this week, so be sure to check back! First up: what to buy for the boys


House of Marley Exodus Headphones
Perfect for: Your Music-Snob Brother
Because: If anyone’s tired of holiday muzak, it’s him. Not only will he dig the superior sound-quality (bass-tastic!) and eco-cool styling, $1 from every House of Marley purchase goes to local charity MusiCounts, who work toward bringing music education to all Canadian children, regardless of socio-economic backround. That’s like two gifts in one.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $169.99
Where to Get It: FutureShop.ca

 

 


Stratusphere Living Fit Gloves
Perfect for: The Jock
Because: He may balk at the idea of wearing a piddly one-pound weighted glove, but let’s see how Mr. Tough Guy feels after adding them to his regular workout routine. Developed by former WWE champion Trish Stratus, these weighted gloves are a muscle-toning game changer (even if you’re just sitting on the sidelines). Pair them with a Stratusphere Living yoga classes and he’ll be feeling the burn before the New Year.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $24.99
Where to Get Them: Available at Sears, GNC, Home Outfitters, Sportchek, London Drugs and www.trishstratus.com.

 

Campari
Perfect for: The Wannabe Mixologist
Because: You can count on others to offer up mainstays like whiskey and rum, but if you want your gift to stand apart, you’ve got to look beyond bar basics. Not only is Campari the perfect shade of holiday red, it’s the foundation for classic cocktails such as a Campari and Soda garnished with orange peel, or the Negroni, made with equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth.
Worth Every Festive Penny: Approximately $25 (750 mL)
Where to Get ItAvailable internationally


Kiehl’s Facial Fuel SPF 15 and No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm
Perfect for: The Boyf Who “Borrows” Your Moisturizer
Because: He may argue he doesn’t need products (even though your beloved Creme de Corps disappears on the regular), but you know your dude’s skin needs just as much TLC as your own. Stock him with a selection of goods from Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Collection in macho-macho-man blue packaging, and say hello to more smoochable skin. It’s a win-win. Two great options: NKPR Guy André swears by Facial Fuel SPF 15 and No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm.
Worth Every Festive Penny: Facial Fuel SPF 15, from $35; No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, $12
Where to Get It: Kiehl’s.ca and Kiehl’s Since 1851 Stores


TEVA Bishop Peak Chukka
Perfect for: Any man still wearing those horrible rubber, slip-on galoshes.
Because: There’s nothing redeemable about the aforementioned affront to style, but slush-filled shoes are hardly a favourable alternative. These hard-working TEVAs will keep his tootsies toasty, even if he won’t admit it.
Worth Every Festive Penny: $170
Where to Get ItTEVA.com

 

Tomorrow in our gift guide: All That Glitters! 

The IT List: December 1

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A guaranteed way to get your smooch on under the mistletoe? With a super-slick, hot holiday red. And we’re not talking about wine. Try Stila’s Liquid Long Wear Lip Color in Fiery. [ BeautyBooty411 ]

Right on schedule, the snow began to fly in Toronto this week, which had everyone hunkered down eating soup for lunch and wishing they’d worn more seasonably-appropriate accoutrements. Time to start taking cues from this collection of cozy knits, featuring a delicious caramel fave from RW&CO. [ ELLE Canada ]

Of course, a few of the team were in Winnipeg, so we really had nothing to complain about. Fortunately, they were safely inside Winnipeg’s Polo Park helping to open the city’s first Kiehl’s location with a special Shop for the Cause event benefitting the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation. [ ChrisD.ca ]

Already feeling the holiday time crunch? If you’re checking your watch a few more times a day an hour, you might as well have something pretty to look at. Jeanne Beker’s top timepieces have us scheduling a stop at Classic Creations and amending our wish lists… [ Post City ]

We-Vibe Toronto launch event

Josey Vogels Helps Launch We-Vibe 3

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Some people refer to NKPRers as buzz builders. And a couple of week ago things got really literal when we helped launch the new We-Vibe 3 – the latest version of the world’s most popular vibrator for couples. See? We weren’t kidding about the buzz.

The thing is, most of us aren’t talking about our sex lives, at least not in a real way, and we’re definitely not talking about our vibrators. Seriously: when was the last time you and your girlfriends (or, for that matter, your boyfriends) had an honest conversation about your sex lives over Sunday brunch?

If your answer, like us, is “never” or “I can’t remember”, you’ll understand why we invited sexpert, syndicated advice columnist, TV & radio host, and author Josey Vogels to spend the day with us talking about bad sex, good sex and even better sex with the We-Vibe 3 . Once dubbed “Canada’s Carrie Bradshaw”, Josey’s been leading frank, refreshing and really really real conversation about sex for more than 20 years. If anyone could get the conversation going, we knew it would be her.

And not only was the conversation great (as one journalist tweeted: “That was so fun that I need a smoke”) we learned A LOT about relationships, intimacy and yes, S-E-X. Plus, we got a chance to ask Josey a few questions of our own:

We already know men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. What else can you tell us about how men’s and women’s sexual needs differ?
“Men have sex to create intimacy. Women need intimacy to have sex. Women are generally nervous about introducing a sex toy into the relationship, because they think their partner will be threatened. What’s great about the We-Vibe in particular is that it’s designed for couples, so it may be less of an ego-blow for a guy. It addresses a woman’s need (and desire!) for dual stimulation, but it’s something you can both enjoy. And for guys, it can actually open him to the idea that there’s more to sex than he thought.”

Where are people buying sex toys? Are people shopping online because it’s more discreet?
“Even if it’s their first, most people prefer to buy a toy at a sex store because people who work in sex stores tend to be incredibly knowledgeable about what’s available to fit your needs and what’s worth spending money on. The idea of sex shops being ‘smutty’ or ‘dirty’ places isn’t very accurate any more.”

Since most of us have holiday shopping on the brain, how do you recommend giving a sex toy as a gift?
“Nobody wants to wake up Christmas morning and find a huge 3’ dildo under the tree. If you’re considering giving your partner a sex toy, no matter what time of year, you need to set the mood – especially if it will be a new experience for both of you. Candles, champagne, romance. Be open and honest about why you want to add this to the relationship. The We-Vibe 3 enhances intimacy and helps bring couples closer together. So maybe don’t put it under the tree with the kid’s toys…”

The IT List: November 24

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This week was all about gift guides, gift guides, gift guides as our friends in the media dished out their annual collection of expertly edited wish list wonders. Our vote for the most innovative goes to 2: The Magazine for Couples who rounded-up 101 Amazing Gifts in an app. Not only does it look great, it makes it super-easy to share your must-haves with loved ones, and view-touch-shop your way to perfect presents. Our top pick from the “Gizmos and Gadgets” section? The We-Vibe 3, of course. [ 2: The Magazine for Couples ]

We also loved Sweetspot.ca’s gift guide for Health & Fitness fans, full of gear that will keep us moving through the holidays and beyond. Don’t miss Fila Flex Jeans: a stylish alternative to sweatpants when you’re suffering from Christmas cookie-itis. [ Sweetspot.ca ]

And while holiday party season hasn’t quite started, there were no shortage of twirly party dress-worthy fêtes this week, including the official launch of Intermix on Bloor St. where our friends at FIJI Water kept guests cool. [ NKPR on Flickr ]

Male Monday: Movember Madness

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Fact: When pre-pubescent moustaches grow up, they want to be Tom Selleck’s moustache.

We couldn’t let the entire month of November Movember pass without a little tribute to the men who partake in this newish annual tradition. While the ladies of NKPR remain divided on the subject of dudes with lip shawls, we can definitely get behind the creativity of the Movember movement and the cause it supports (that’s prostate cancer, in case you’ve been distracted by Mr. Selleck up there).

Canadian girls apparently have their pick of the furry litter, with our home and native land leading the Movember charge at the half-way point of the campaign, with more than $16 million raised in the fight against prostate cancer. The initiative seems to have reached critical mass, with everyone from our friends in the media, to NHL players and our MPs growing a mo.

Also helping Movember grow from grassroots Australian initiative to inspired international charitable cause? No shortage of hilarious Movember-related web goodies.

Here’s some of the best we’ve seen this month:

• “Have Sex With A Guy With A Moustache” Day  was last week, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching and laughing (out loud, even) at this promo video from Asylum. Totally NSFW, so headphones on friends.

• TOROMagazine.com’s #TOROStacheoftheDay tweets. Featuring everyone from Mr. Selleck to Ron Jeremy to Albert Einstein. December’s looking a little dull without the prospect of this daily gold.

NKPR doesn’t have a Movember team (maybe next year!), so if you haven’t already donated Team TOROMag could use your support.

Are you growing a stache this Movember, or have you donated to a Mo Bro? Who’s your fave celebrity stache? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @natashankpr.

IT List Alexander McQueen shoes

The IT List: November 17

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If you’re like us, you pretty much live for updates to The Coveteur. (You know: that little site that takes a peek inside some of the world’s most fashionable – and beautiful – closets?) This week, NKPRers definitely helped to boost their site traffic as we all clickety-clicked on over to get a peek inside Natasha’s closet, which (duh) didn’t disappoint. It’s a study in fab footwear, double C’s and chic living. Go get your style drool on. [ The Coveteur ]

Speaking of closets, this pretty teal number from RW&CO. would certainly help to boost the glamour factor, not that it’ll spend a lot of time hanging around during your holiday party-hopping. The perfect topper: a classic pair of diamond studs from our new fave sparkle provider, Classic Creations [ 24 Hours, page 16 ]

As far as glamour girls go, no one quite tops the list like Marilyn Monroe. Which is why we can’t wait to catch My Week With Marilyn. You can win free tickets to an advance screening courtesy of SKYY Vodka! [ SKYY Vodka ]

Saturday night will be all about the sparkle in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood: their annual Holiday Magic lighting ceremony kicks off the festive season and, in our opinion, not a moment too soon. It’s one of our favourite events of the year, because a) it’s free and b) it’s guaranteed to leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling that wards off the chilly evening temp. [ Bloor-Yorkville BIA ]

Lighting Up The Neighbourhood

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Getting excited for the holidays? If you’re like me, it doesn’t feel quite like the holiday season until there’s snow on the ground and glittering lights lining the neighbourhood.

While I can wait for the snow (late December perhaps?), I won’t have to wait long for the lights! This weekend, I’m headed to Holiday Magic, an amazing event kicking off the festive season in Bloor-Yorkville.

Taking place on Saturday, November 19 between 5 and 6 p.m. in The Village of Yorkville Park (Cumberland and Bellair Streets), Holiday Magic will feature a special performance by Juno Award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson, as well as the Official Flick the Switch Lighting Ceremony! In the holiday spirit of giving, this spectacular annual community event supports the Toys and Games Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Molly will perform tracks off her upcoming album, The Molly Johnson Songbook, featuring some of her most beloved and well-known recordings including the unreleased track, Still Water. And to remind you just how good the holidays taste, Whole Foods Market Yorkville will be there to provide freshly baked cookies and hot apple cider. Yum! Oh, and did I mention the entire event is completely free?

After the concert, be sure to take a stroll through Bloor-Yorkville and take in the magnificent holiday light display and seasonal storefront windows (and maybe get a headstart on your shopping… or your wish list!). Don’t forget to stop by the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets to view the dazzling 20-foot tree with more than 22,000 LED lights!

Are you checking out Holiday Magic this weekend? How do you kick-off the holiday season? Started your shopping yet? What’s on your wish list? Tell us in the comments or tweet @natashankpr!

– Kristin Newbigging

The IT List: November 10

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Too early to chat holiday? Doubtful. We’ve been planning since July.

The December issue of Glamour features their annual 31 days of giving, and we’re paying special attention to day 26. A $40 donation to Artists for Peace and Justice will pay a Haitian student’s bus fare to school for two months. [Glamour]

It will only be a few more weeks until holiday party invites start stacking up. Start planning your ensembles now. We like the one dress/fun accessories approach. [The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide]

And speaking of getting dressed, The Man Repeller‘s visit to Holts earlier this week had the city’s harem pant set abuzz. We spotted a couple of familiar faces in recaps from She Does The City and Fashion Magazine.