Holiday Shopping Guide: handmade & sharable

Today’s holiday guide comes a couple days before Christmas, but who says that gift giving needs to stop on a particular day? I’ve rounded up some of my favourite handmade items from Etsy that can be enjoyed year-round and shared with loved ones!


1 // Black Hearts Bakery: 1 dozen mini donuts ($10)
I got a batch of a dozen Christmas-themed vanilla mini-donuts earlier last month from Black Hearts Bakery. This photo is of the donuts that I received at my doorstep, which came within a couple days! I brought them into the office and everyone loved them! They’re so cute and perfect in their bite-sized form. Super yummy and a treat that would be a sin if it wasn’t shared!

2 // LovelyBody: Hibiscus citrus bath melt ($5.50)
Somehow managed to discover the amazing thing known as a bath in 2013. Yes, it took that long. Bath melts have been on my shopping list on the regular as of late and LovelyBody offers some great natural, organic options. Nothing is better than unwinding after a long day with a warm soak, good book, and a bit of bubbly, don’t you agree?

3 // Sketch Inc: Bear brooch ($21)
Ok, so you don’t have the option to buy these pins in bulk, but brooches are one of the easiest accessories to share with friends!

4 // Pottery Lodge: Set of 3 heart lace ceramic dish ring holders ($45)
This set of ring dishes is absolutely gorgeous! I don’t know about you, but I personally wouldn’t be able to fill all 3 myself. Being a fan of matching accessories with friends, this would be perfect to split with your two bffs!


It was all a blur: stuck in traffic

Hrm, so I love this outfit a ton, but I just couldn’t get my act together with my camera on this particular day. It was extra gloomy (still haven’t managed to figure out my photo-taking schedule with daylight savings time making sunlight difficult with my work schedule) and my lens seemed to be much more interested in everything in the surrounding area except for me. This problem could’ve been fixed pretty easily, I know, but some days the mistakes and blurs are 100% reflective of how the day actually unfolded, so I didn’t bother to reshoot this outfit.

Rakani - full
outfit details:
blouse & purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
jeans: AG jeans (similar pairs)
combat boots: Madden Girl (exact, and on sale!)
Stuck in Traffic watch: c/o RAKANI (exact)

Rakani - details

Speaking of things being a blur, can we talk about this watch for a bit? I can’t even begin to tell you how much of a watch fanatic I’ve become over the last year. Ever since my bff Ines, aka “Tiny Tourist”, convinced me to buy the Vince Camuto boyfriend watch that I sport from time to time in these outfits, I’ve been looking for new interesting wrist pieces. I fell in love with the Fashionably Late collection by RAKANI, which translates universal time-related concepts into clever designs of face plates and movements. There were a lot of favourites in this collection – Running Behind featuring a counter-clockwise movement to go along with the mirrored face is absolutely genius – but I ultimately went with the Stuck in Traffic as this one really sums up the bane of my weekday commutes. The Swarovski crystals in this piece represent the piled-up cars waiting in evening rush hour traffic between the hours of 4-8. Too cute to pass up, that’s for sure!


There are a few other things that I really liked about this watch in particular. I picked the larger-sized face (40mm) for the favoured “boyfriend” style. With other watches, picking a bigger face usually means that the strap is too long for my 6.5″ wrists, but I was pleasantly surprised when this watch fit perfectly! My wrist fits exactly in the size of the last hole on the strap, which is great because I didn’t have to use a shady method of poking an extra hole with a safety pin. haha! (Please tell me I’m not the only one guilty of DIY-ing extra strap holes?)

I actually got a chance to chat with the designer of the line, Chirayu, who really made it clear how much of a labour of love this line turned out to be. After telling him my qualms about other leather strapped watches, it was refreshing to hear that the extra holes in the straps were a design consideration that was made early on in the design process. Through our chat, I also learned that the straps are double-layered, which really explains the cushioning of the piece against the wrist. These subtle things go a long way when it comes to a piece I wear day-long on my wrist.

After understanding the inspiration behind this line and the classic, creative style that Chirayu is building behind the RAKANI brand, I can’t wait to see what the next collection looks like. The effortless styles and translation of concepts to designs are really setting apart this brand from the rest of the watch industry!

Disclosure: Thank you again to Chirayu for the opportunity to learn about this up and coming brand, RAKANI, and for providing this watch for review. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.


UncommonGoods x The Demure Muse (Part 2)

I can’t tell you how fun putting together the second outfit of the lookbook for UncommonGoods was! Every year, a bunch of friends and I like to pick an evening (before it gets too chilly out) to head up to the rooftop and watch the sun set. Fall sunsets are absolutely gorgeous because the clouds turn cotton candy pink and the skyline glows! It’s really surreal having never seen anything like this before back on the east coast! Can’t think of anything more gorgeous than that, to be honest!

outfit details:
dress & belt: Forever 21
sweater: H&M (men’s section, current season!)
houndstooth tights: Gap
platform pumps: Steve Madden
earrings, rings, and necklace: c/o UncommonGoods
boyfriend watch: Vince Camuto


This is, hands down, the one thing I look forward to every year. Who can say no to a night of getting fancied up to hang out with your fav group of people? Not to mention the potluck-styled dessert session! (Of course, my contribution was a bottle of wine and chocolate… hehe)


I really love how easy it was to transition the pieces of jewelry from the casual daytime look to this more formal nighttime outfit. Not to pick favourites – but I guess that’s what I’m totally just about to do – the stacking rings were my favourite pieces to style! I love the mixture of metals, which makes wearing the rings so fun. In my first look, I wore all the rings stacked on a single finger. In this look, I switched it up and wore both the sterling silver rings on one hand and the rose gold-filled one on the other. So many possibilities for how to wear this set!


I hope you guys enjoyed the lookbook as much as I enjoyed shooting photos for it! I can’t thank UncommonGoods enough for the invitation to collaborate on such a fun project.

UncommonGoods winter lookbook x The Demure Muse

I’ve been super excited about this collaboration for a while now and couldn’t wait to share it on the blog! UncommonGoods teamed up with four bloggers to put together a Winter Jewelry Lookbook that features our favourite things to do in the upcoming season. I’m really honoured to be working alongside such fab bloggers (Amy Christie of This Heart of Mine, Katherine of Of Corgies and Cocktials, and Nicole of Rose Runs Wild) to style the impeccably handmade jewelry.


The theme of the lookbook is time spent with loved ones over the late autumn/early winter. For me, this was a no-brainer! My favourite thing to do is go out for early breakfast on a patio when the morning air is still brisk and dry. Being a morning person definitely has its perks– especially when there are no cars out and the only sound is the fresh autumn breeze and rustling leaves.

uncommon goods

The pieces that I styled for the lookbook were the Fern Fond Hoops, stacking ring set, terrarium necklace, and the aquamarine branch ring. Each piece is so beautifully made and one-of-a-kind. Being a jewelry maker/seamstress myself, I really appreciate all the work that goes into creating such well-created, unique pieces. I also love to support handmade during the holiday season, as I feel these gifts are much more unique and personalize-able compared to what can be bought at the mass market.

outfit details:
jacket & t-shirt: H&M
scarf: Forever 21
cocoon sweater: Aeropostale
jeans: AG jeans
riding boots: c/o Cushe (exact)
necklace, earrings, and rings: c/o UncommonGoods
purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

Let me know what you think of the casual look that I put together for the UncommonGoods winter jewelry lookbook! I can’t wait to share a more formal take using the same pieces. Here’s a little sneak peek:


The luckiest one

I’ve been wearing this lucky penny necklace from UncommonGoods, a shop that specializes in personalized, unique jewelry. They have a lot of great handmade items (as seen here) that make shopping on their site super fun. I have been wearing this custom penny necklace by Beatrice Matiash for the past couple of weeks and love it so much. The personalization option for this piece was picking any year for the penny. I picked a year in the 1920s, the birth year of one of my favourite people, who I used to collect pennies with growing up as a child.

outfit details:
jacket: c/o Aeropostale (exact)
blouse: H&M
cardigan: Urban Outfitters
jeans: 7 for all mankind
sneakers: Upper Echelon Shoes
lucky penny necklace: c/o UncommonGoods (exact)
Face a Face glasses: c/o Vizio Optic (similar)

I am a really sentimental person and have kept a lot of the collected coins throughout the years, so this necklace means quite a lot to me. I was pleasantly surprised that the specific year for this penny was accessible for this necklace. The gold chain and sterling silver casting for the frame turn a common piece of copper –that’s often neglected on the sidewalks– into such a beautiful, polished piece.

Never did I think that I would’ve cared so much about coins, but here I am wearing one of the luckiest finds.

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