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magniqueSpring is in the air and with the arrival of this much-anticipated season comes, for many, a renewed commitment to getting organized at home. In some ways, it’s like the new year; a fresh start, a new beginning. And these days, getting organized has never been easier or more stylish. There are all kinds of tools on the market to help making home organization easier than ever before. But getting organized doesn’t have to mean huge at-home overhauls involving new built-in closets or large-scale pieces of furniture. Sometimes the key is to start with the little things, like bills, paperwork, odds and ends. I recently discovered these magnetic boards from Magnique, a fabulous Canadian company. All of the Magnique boards and gorgeous glass magnets are handmade in Toronto. These customizable boards come in a variety of colours of leather and suede and can be used all over the house to organize paper, create vision boards, keep track of grocery lists and to-dos or even display photos. I love the colourful magnets, handmade in Canada with glass imported from Italy. You may want to buy some extras for your fridge.
Visit magnique.com for more information.

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sumoI’ll be the first to admit that I don’t need another bag. Like any good girly-girl, I’ve got too many bags and too many pairs of shoes. My mother tells me that my obsession with shoes began at a very young age so it was only natural that when I got my first job as a teenager, it was at a shoe store at the mall up the street from our house. But the obsession, I think, isn’t so much about quantity as it is about quality. And by quality, I don’t mean outrageously expensive, hand-crafted, imported Italian leather. I’m talking more about utility. For years, my favourite boots were a pair of synthetic platforms that cost about $40. But they were so versatile, they were the perfect pair. And so it is with my new favourite bag. The SUMO women’s laptop purse is so stylish and utilitarian, it was love at first sight. And then, as I began to use it, I really fell hard. It’s sleek, which I love; it doesn’t look like a laptop bag at all. And inside, there’s a cozy, corduroy-lined pouch for my computer. It fits sveltely inside, with plenty of room to spare for all the other odds and ends I lug around town. This bag is big on the details (did I mention the corduroy-lined pouch that I love?) – it’s got a printed interior and the fuchsia stitching on the exterior is the perfect finishing touch. The bag itself is nylon but the straps are a soft, pliable leather. Exterior pockets provide easy access to your phone or iPod. It’s stylish for toting about town and super-functional for traveling with.

Available at: mobileedge.com
Price: $129.99

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jetaimeDid you ever read Jane magazine? I went through a period in the late ‘90s when I was positively obsessed with both the magazine and the forums on their website. Anyway, I loved the brand and their very real approach to love, life and everything in between. Sadly, the magazine and website are no more but I’ve just learned that the former founding art director of the magazine has just launched bestowboutique.com, a fab new online shop where you’ll find chic stuff for the house along with unique gift ideas. My fave item? This Jan Constantine wool felt pillow. You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to give or get one of these. Decorating your home with amour is stylish any time of year!

Available at: bestowboutique.com
Price: $120

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Kate Spade sells gorgeous Christmas ornaments, too! Shocking! My sister is pining over a gorgeous Kate Spade bag (she likes the white; I like the black) and while I was checking out its specs online, I came across these pretty ornaments. The candy-coloured ceramic ornaments come packaged in a beautiful hatbox and will look stunning on your tree. Or, if you’re hosting a dinner party, put one on each guest’s plate with their name and let them keep it. (This means, of course, that you’ll have to buy extra for yourself!)

Price: $75 for a set of 5
For more information: visit katespade.com

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Delight your guests with a table that looks perfectly pulled together. It’s really not that hard. Pretty placemats, tablecloths and table runners instantly dress up a table and at trendexhome.com, you’ll find a huge assortment of styles, colours and patterns to choose from. The simple gesture of dressing your table will let your guests know that you care enough to go to a bit of trouble for them (though it’s really no trouble at all!).  Or if you’re dining solo, it’s nice to do something special for yourself and set a pretty table before you sit down to eat. Boldly patterned pieces, like the ones pictured here, are a whimsical way to liven up stark white dishware. If your crockery is bold enough on its own, choose from simple but elegant solid colours – trendexhome.com has a wide assortment; you’re sure to find something that’ll suit your table just right!

These products also make a great Christmas present. Order by December 1 for delivery by December 22 in Canada and the United States.

For more information, visit trendexhome.com. For inspiring ideas for dressing your table in style, check out Style at Home’s tabletop section.

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When it comes to both fashion and decor, the fall and winter months are often a time for going dark. We tend to cast aside our bright, white, spring- and summer-coloured accessories and trade them in for warm, dark, cozy coloured ones. Light cottons make way for heavy wools and pastels step aside for charcoals and rusts. But when you think about it, what says winter more than white? These pure ceramic vases from West Elm are bright and inviting, and summon a feeling of crisp brisk winter days. There’s a real textural appeal to these and I love the contrast a cluster produces against a coloured wall.

Prices:
Woodland whites set: $59; Honeycomb cylinder vase: $29 each; Honeycomb bud vase: $9 each; Wood-grain planter: $29 each

Available at: West Elm, visit westelm.com for more information

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You just can’t go wrong with the gift of food. Well … okay, maybe that’s not true. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled if someone showed up at my house with a cabbage casserole. They say it’s the thought that counts but I’d just be thinking, Wow. This person really doesn’t like me. So let me rephrase. You just can’t go wrong with the gift of baked goodies. And if you don’t have time to whip up some tasty treats yourself, then just leave it to the professionals. Frostineedibles.com is an online Canadian bakery that makes a vast assortment of cookies and other baked treats and offers overnight shipping to anywhere in Canada and the United States. So next time you’re looking for a hostess gift or housewarming present, a birthday gift or just something to satisfy your own sweet tooth, then consider Frostines Edibles. My favourite part is how they’re packaged – beautiful, re-useable boxes that come in a variety of colours and truly look like something special. Here at my office, we sampled the cookies and here’s what my colleagues had to say:

“Soft and crumbly. It dissolves in your mouth – delicious!”
Alaina Chapman

“These yummy cookies were truly delightful, melting away in my mouth. The butterscotch ripple was my fave — a simply sweet treat to cap off my lunch. If this is the way the cookie crumbles, I want more!”
Lauren McPhillips

“I had the chocolate brownie cookie … very chocolate brownie like! It was really rich and quite tasty, but somewhat dry. Would be perfect with a cold glass of milk. I imagine a serious chocolate lover would be very grateful to receive some of these to feed their craving.”
Daniela Payne

“This cookie makes a valiant effort to be all things to all people – it’s got shortbread, it has a modest filling, it has cranberries and who knows what else. That said, the holiday hubris pays off: In several sweetly satisfying bites, you get an essential taste of Christmases past, updated for the present. The verdict:  A-. The minus is for leaving out the chocolate. Now, can I have another one?”
John Kuipers

Good to know: All flavours of Frostines Edibles cookies are nut- and peanut-free.

For more information, visit: frostinesedibles.com

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