Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Sponsored Post: Gift Guide

With the holiday around the corner, I have gift giving (and receiving ;) on the mind. Even as a shopping expert, at this time of year, I really make a plan before I hit the shops: set a budget, create a list, and edit down to a little cross-body to keep me hands-free. Because I only carry the absolute essentials: keys, lip balm, phone & bankcard, I typically stick to stores that use Interac® Debit. Stumped for a gift idea? I’ve created my list of the top ten gifts that will make the life of the recipient a little sweeter – all available at retailers that accept Interac® Debit. 

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Hoibo Leather case

I was gifted a leather a chain lariat last Christmas and this T.O.-based design house has been on my radar ever since. I love this pouch as a handsome place to store odds & ends in plain sight.

Available at the 2013 One of a Kind Christmas Show, Toronto; Nov. 28-Dec. 8;


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DavidsTea 24 Days of tea $35 

A clever take on traditional advent calendars, this version by DavidsTea – with a single serving hidden behind each door–  is a tea lovers dream come true.

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Patch NYC Pipe candle $40 

I stumbled on this beautiful boutique on a trip to Boston and was so excited to discover that one of my favourite stores now carries these candles. The warm scent is so perfect for the season and makes a great hostess gift. 

Available at Blackbird Vintage.

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Laduree: Decoration and Inspiration $35

Ladurée is known as much for its beautiful aesthetic as for its historically renown macarons. I’m holding my breath for this gorgeous hardcover to hit shelves in December, this one is on my wish list and I think that anyone interested in design or France would love it.

At Indigo Books.

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Kate Spade All Occasion Card set $33 

This chic handy set is perfect for the multi-tasker professional and mom. I love to send a note and it’s so much easier to do so when you have the perfect one already on hand.

Available at Teatro Verde.

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Faux Fur Throw $105 

Luxe & cozy – who wouldn’t want to cuddle up with this when the temperature drops.

Available at West Elm.

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Tonic 01 : Tuthilltown Bourbon Maple Syrup $39 

A decadent gift for the foodies in your life – I imagine that this would make a leisurely breakfast that much sweeter.

Available at Blackbird Vintage.


Purl Soho Knitting Kit $66 

Crafty types will enjoy time learning, or rediscovering, how to knit. 

Available at West Elm.

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Peppermint Bark $60 

This is a family favourite and we love to have it around over the holidays. It makes a tasty gift for teachers and neighbours. And the cute tin is re-useable. Available at Williams Sonoma.

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Statesman Card box $79 

Games are such a fun way to come together, families and anyone who entertains will really enjoy this.

Available at Bombay Company.


Working the Essentials

Amy Lu