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Friday, December 21, 2012

Loving Living Local

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our devoted Pioneer readers! We hope you are keeping your sanity in this busy holiday season. 

We're not usually one to jump on the Christmas gift guide bandwagon, but in this case, there really is a good reason to create the first ever Pioneer Home For the Holidays Gift Guide: it means you don't have to go to a mall or a suburban shopping plaza "designer fashion outlet" to find delicious gifts for your loved ones. Pioneer and Daddy Pioneer took a trip to the new, shiny pop-up shops along Danforth and are living proof that holiday shopping can be done entirely on the Danforth.

Our first stop was Lemon Drop Clothing - a pop up shop so pretty that it brought tears to our eyes when we first saw the window at 1948 Danforth. Although a custom made bespoke frock is an absolutely dreamy idea for this just-returned-to-the-scary-workforce mama (hello, dresses that hide the mummy tummy!), it's a bit of a stretch for a Christmas gift for someone else. However, the oodles of Stella & Dot accessories made our mouth water, including a gorgeous feather brooch that transforms into a necklace and a mixed-metal coral-hued necklace fit for a true east end princess (or great gift ideas for other types of princesses). They are only open until end of day TOMORROW, so get on over!

Our next stop was Tyke Threads in the lobby of the space that was formerly known as Renaissance Cafe. The proprietor of this bespoke kids 'cloth and kicks' pop-up is Grace and she is a dynamo retail machine. Once upon a time, Grace worked in Corporate Communications but now she runs one of the most successful online kids clothing businesses in Canada. From dinner jackets to leather jackets, her pop-up has a collection of interesting and fashionable gifts for that special man in your life (ages birth to preschool that is!). Daddy Pioneer was drooling over a precious plaid fedora and a cozy cable-knit highlander sweater that would make any Jr. Pioneer the most fashionable kid in the sandbox. 

Last but not least, we finally made a visit to LEN (1936 Danforth) where we met owner, local art aficionado and Pioneer devotee David. We fell in love with the cool collection of fun gift ideas, like Maple Syrup Candles ($14 - 17) and whimsical printed greeting card sets (prices vary). The absolute genius of LEN is that you can pick up a genuine piece of Canadian art (for your parents who already have everything) from as little as $199, and throw in a few candles for Aunt Betty and a gorgeous silver serving bowl for your sister in law for $59. We personally loved the birdcage candelabras hanging over the cash - would be on our Christmas list except for Daddy Pioneer's fear that Ye Old East York semi-detached will light up like a matchstick when candles are involved.

 Info on store hours and such can be found over on DECA Diaries here.

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