Home For The Holidays with Emily Smith

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Home for the Holidays 2016

HOLIDAY BEAUTY My favourite products for the beauty-lover in your life.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Twelve days of giveaways on bestofthislife.com - plus gift ideas for everyone on your list!

HOME SWEET HOMEMADE From ornaments to chutney, homemade gifts bring extra joy to those you love.






from the editor The season of giving is upon us! A time to

Many of the items I’ve included in The Best

spread joy, happiness, and love all around -

of this Life’s Gift Guide will also be wrapped

a time of togetherness and gathering with

up under my tree come Christmas morning!

family and friends. The holiday season can be a stressful time for many of us, but only if

And in the true spirit of giving, I’m excited to

we sweat the small stuff (and as the famous

bring you 12 Days of Christmas on

book says, “it’s all small stuff”). I encourage

bestofthislife.com - where I’ll be hosting a

you to connect with the joyfulness of this

new giveaway each day beginning

time of year - finding fun gifts for everyone

December 1st. From beauty gifts to foodie

on your list, getting creative with heartfelt

gifts, there will be some lovely surprises you

DIYs, and rolling up your sleeves to bake

won’t want to miss!

something sweet. With all of my heart, I wish you and your This time of year is about spending time

family a joyful holiday season and a very

with your loved ones - giving presents should

Merry Christmas!

be the cherry on top! To help you get inspired, instead of overwhelmed, this holiday season, I’m sharing with you some of




my favourite gift ideas for 2016.

THE WARM SMOKEY EYE To create a soft, warm smokey eye I used the following: glo minerals Cream Stay Shadow Stick in toast, all over lid, glo minerals Cream Stay Shadow Stick in echo on outer corners and crease, glo minerals Precision Eye Pencil in peach on inner eye corners, as well as to highlight brows and on the waterline and glo minerals Liquid Ink in black along lash line (all included in glo minerals Bold Pursuit Collection). To finish the look, two coats of volumizing mascara and a light touch of highlighter on inner eye corners and brow bones. Add a swipe of light pink blush and gloss and you're all set!

y a d i l o h r u o m a l

celebrity fav!






Snake Eye Cream Rodial $95 Watch my

beauty gifts for her

makeup tutorials on

The Best of this Life's youtube channel!

Sugar Lip Seduction Fresh $90

r e f f u t s g n i stock steals!

Bold Pursuit Collection glo minerals $64

Merry & Glowing Set Murad Canada $125

They're Real Benefit Canada $31

Face Essentials Burt's Bees $22.99

Mini Lip Crayons & Nail Polish

Mini Mask Spa

Skincare Solutions from

Hard Candy $2.97-4.98

Fresh $115

Reversa Canada $23-48

e h t r o f n o i h s a f r e v o l






gifts for the fashionista

Kayla Lace Top lnbf.ca $69.99

JANE bag jeannielottie.com $250

Lace Dress H&M $59.99

PITI Burgundy Pump L'intervalle $109.99

amazing prices on luxury bags

Faux Fur Ball Key Fob Indigo $15

GUCCI Broadway Micro Guccisimma Mauve Clutch (luxury consignment) valamode.com $329

Opal Cluster Necklace strutjewelry.com $78

Piper Sunglasses Warby Parker $150+

e m i t y a pl e h t s i e m i t t bes

THEIR WISH LIST It's not the biggest or most expensive gift that will count this holiday season, it's the one given with love. I'm a mother of two, and my children's wish list is very lengthy - because what child wouldn't want all of their heart's desires on Christmas morning? To teach them the true meaning of the season, we're spending a few minutes at dinner each evening sharing what we are thankful for, how we can help others and what Christmas is all about for our family (the birth of Christ).

That said, our kiddos are excited for presents!! We've discussed at length, that Santa (yes, we believe in him too!) will always try his best to bring each of them 1 toy from their list, and a few surprises too.






5 1

gifts for kids 3






10 8 1. Charley The Chameleon, Cloud B, $39.99 2. Spikes 3D


Helmet, Schwinn 3. Princess 3D Helmet, Schwinn 4. Irish Fairy Door, Irish Fairy Door Company, $39.99 5. Fun in the park, LEGO City, $49.99 6. Dream Buddies, Cloud B, $29.99 7. Tekno Newborn (puppy or kitten), $24.99 8. Kick Scooter, Razor, $59.99 9. So Much Snow, Robert Munsch, $7.99 10.


Essentials Pyjamas, Merino Kids, $79.99-119.99 available at canadasbabystore.com 11. The Squinkies ‘do drops collector packs, $16.99 12. The Squinkies Clubhouse, $34.99 13. Jasmine 16” bicycle, Schwinn 14. Paw Patrol Launch n


Roll Lookout Tower Track Set, $69.99 15. Shopkins Stamper Marker Maker, $19.99

15 14


Men are often the easiest to shop for - socks, check, cologne, check, stylish sweater, check...

But it's fun to switch things up and find more meaningful or just plain unique gifts to give.

I've rounded up some of my favourite ideas to give to the men folk in your life (Gifts for Him on the next page).

the man in your life

celebrity fav!






BON Acupressure Mat, $89.99 and Pillow, $49.99 Bed Bath & Beyond

unexpected gifts for him

how fun t? is this ki


My wife always surprises me Dawn Redwood Bonsai Forest

during the holidays with her



unique gift giving. Her presents aren't something I would usually pick out for myself, but I always

Boots with a double shaft H&M $69.99

end up loving her picks for me! They are never just average "guy" gifts but rather are given by someone who has spent time observing me. Each gift tells a

Antica Farmacista

story about what she sees that I

Manhattan Candle

am currently loving & that let's me

PATRICK glasses

know how much she is thinking

Neubau Eyewear

candledelirium.com $59.29

about me. In my opinion, Christmas isn't a time to find the perfect gift for your loved ones but to give them something that you took a moment to truly think about. I cannot wait to see what my wife is going to surprise me with this year, but I can assure you that I have no idea what it is! - David Smith Deluxe Shave Set- Urban Blend inspiredsoapworks.com $36.95

Canyon Tech Jogger mpgsport.com



4 cups of whole milk or canned coconut milk 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or good quality chocolate 1 tsp pure peppermint extract

In a medium-sized pot, over medium heat, warm up milk for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add in chocolate and continue stirring for 5-8 minutes as the chocolate melts into the milk. Add in peppermint extract. Once preferred temperature is achieved, serve right away.

t n i m r e p p e P a o c o c t o Top with favourite whipped

topping (try coconut whipped

cream!) & sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Enjoy!

delicio us flav our!






gifts for foodies Handcrafted Tonic $25 by 3/4oz. Tonic Maison oneofakindonlineshop.com

SWEET & SAVOURY Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Everyone knows a foodie or two


(or in my case, many!!) who

makes a delicious mojito

enjoy discovering new flavours. Surprise your foodie friends & family with treats they'll enjoy throughout the holidays and all year long.

Holiday Sampler Collection, $34.85, stonewallkitchen.com Calvados Boulard

Here I'm sharing my top 7 picks for this year. Food & drink gifts are

Grand Solage LCBO $49.95

definitely part of the merriment of the holiday season and who knows, if you're lucky, your recipient might

Shortbread Cookies $8 Scotch Mountain Shortbread Ltd.

just share! Happy giving. xo


Cask 18 Balsamic $22.95 Director's Reserve EVOO $29.95 shop.olivtr.com

loves my family s! these cookie

RSVP Skinnies guilt-free mixers rsvpskinnies.com $16

CRANBERRY CHUTNEY 1 lb cranberries 1 cup seedless raisins 2/3 cup white sugar 2 tbsp cinnamon 1 tbsp ginger grated 1 cup water

Simmer 15 minutes

Add in:

½ cup onion, chopped 2 apples, peeled and chopped

½ cup celery, chopped finely Simmer 15 minutes, cool and scoop into sterilized jars

Keeps for up to 3 weeks in the

y r r e b n a r c y e n t u h fridge.

Salt Dough Ornaments for

TREES OF HOPE We’ve had our first real snowfall, holiday music is playing all around and if you didn’t already know, Santa’s in town! Christmas must be near and with it comes a time of joy, giving and sharing.

In the spirit of the season, I am pleased to join the Giant Tiger team at this year’s 19th annual Trees of Hope event in support of the children and youth at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The event takes place at the Fairmont Château Laurier on November 28th, 2016 at which time an exciting tree-decorating party will take place.

Giant Tiger is proud to be involved in this charitable event, not only with monetary donations, but also through the gift of employees gathering together and rolling up their sleeves for an important cause that is close to all of our hearts. As a top Canadian employer, Giant Tiger is happy to extend these opportunities to its employees and members of its community.

Trees of Hope is a two-part event where firstly, all the participating teams decorate their own tree according to this year’s one of two themes: A Gold Christmas or Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Then the judges do a walkthrough to begin making their decisions. Once the tree decorating is complete, the second part entails opening doors to the public for viewing as well as a silent auction, where there will be over 150 auction prizes to bid on. All proceeds from the evening go to CHEO.







You too are invited to share in the magic! Visit the Fairmont Château Laurier from November 28, 2016January 4, 2017 to see the beauty of all the holiday trees and vote on your favourite tree while you’re there. I have a feeling it might just be ours – the Giant Tiger team!

you are invited to share in the magic It’s true, I’m not one to shy away from a little healthy competition, especially for a great cause. According to Trees of Hope’s decorating guidelines, extra points are allocated for handmade decorations.

Well, we wouldn’t want to skip the chance at extra points, now would we? So, I asked my children if they wouldn’t mind helping their mama take home gold! They were all too happy to spend time together decorating our homemade salt dough ornaments with glitter and gold.

These are a very simple craft you can make at home with your little ones. It’s as easy as picking up a bag of flour and a box of salt, both available in the grocery department at Giant Tiger, and rolling up your sleeves for some great fun! You can find the full recipe and directions for these ornaments on bestofthislife.com

I can’t wait to add these heartfelt, homemade ornaments to our Trees of Hope Christmas tree, along with all the beautiful Giant Tiger decorations we are planning to use.

I hope you will join us on the evening of November 28th, 2016 for this festive event!

12 Days of Christmas Beginning on December 1st, The Best of this Life will be hosting lots of fun giveaways featuring some of the items in this gift guide!

Along with giveaways, you'll get to learn more about a few of my favourite holiday gifts and why they are a great choice to put under the tree this year!

Make sure you are following The Best of this Life across social media, as well as being a newsletter subscriber (there will be bonus entry options for you).

I look forward to celebrating this joyous season with you my friends and thank you for your continued readership and friendship. xo!

#BOTLjoyfulchristmas The Best of this Life | bestofthislife.com Instagram | instagram.com/best_ofthislife Facebook | facebook.com/bestofthislife Twitter | twitter.com/bestofthislife Email | emily@bestofthislife.com

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