One of the things I was excited for on my trip to Canada was... shopping! I'm not a massive shopper usually but I do have the occasional urge to treat myself, and where better than somewhere where they have a host of shops unavailable to me in the UK? I didn't end up buying loads for myself (partly because on my very first day I had to buy a new charger for my MacBook, which was a hit to my funds, and partly because most of what I bought were actually gifts for my family), but I did find some things I loved for myself too. I mostly browsed while in Vancouver and then made my purchases in Edmonton as there is a much lower tax rate there (and the West Edmonton mall is also the biggest shopping mall in North America so I had easy access there to everything in one place). Check out my purchases below, divided by beauty, clothes, homeware, food and souvenirs.
BEAUTYI did already mention Bath & Body Works in my October Favourites, but as one of the top shops I was excited to explore in Canada it of course needs to get a mention in here as well. What I love about this place is that they do a huge range of seasonal scents and while pumpkin (which I assumed I'd love) was faaaar too sweet for me, there were plenty of other autumn fragrances, as well as a few general scents, that I fell in love with.
The first time I went into a Bath & Body Works (in Vancouver) their body creams were on offer from $15 CAD for $5 so I bought the above two. I also picked up three hand sanitisers together for $5 (all the same fragrance, for myself and for others) and because I spent $15 I could pick out another product for up to $15 so my friend got the Champagne Apple & Honey Shower Gel (which I ended up getting later on as well as it smells so good).
The second time I visited the shop I just browsed at my leisure and made a mental list of my favourite fragrances, and the third time (in Edmonton) I finally did my big haul of Foaming Hand Soaps (which I absolutely love) which while $7.50 each I picked up for 5 for $25. Additionally I got a Champagne Apple & Honey Shower Gel for $5 for myself this time (and again majorly on offer) and then was able to use a coupon they gave me the previous time, which gave $10 off $30. And so in all, for both Bath & Body Works hauls I paid $35 for over $100 worth of products! Moral of the story? Do not pay full price at B&BW. You can find current offers of the Canada branches on their Facebook page.
The first three items in this section I also covered in my October favourites, so I'll whizz through them quickly. The beautiful (and super comfy) plaids are from Bluenotes (I picked those up as 2 for $40 and got another $5 off so basically got one for free. I was extremely lucky during my trip that so many great offers were on as I planned to buy flannel shirts a Bluenotes anyway!).
The cosy foxy socks are from Old Navy (I paid $6 but they're now marked down to just $3!).
Because I am an absolute sock addict, I also bought this three pack of Canada-themed socks from Bluenotes (because why not!), which I believe were $6 all-together.
And, finally, at the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market in Edmonton I ran into the beautiful, hand-made cross-body bag featured above. It was just $10 and the style and colours are perfect for autumn.
I really don't need more decorative places but when I ran into this beauty at Anthropology I couldn't not buy it. It's in my favourite shade of blue, and the design is stunning. It was $6.95 (marked down from $10).
I love, love, love owls and so when I saw the adorable figure pictured above in the Hallmark store I knew it had to be mine. It reminds me of the Jim Shore Disney collection in design and looks wonderful on my bookshelves. I believe it was $12.95. I ended up browsing the Hallmark store for a good 30 minutes, and I also picked up a gorgeous figurine that says 'for mum' and some Itty Bitty characters for a friend of mine. I love all their cute decorations!
Did I mention I adore owls? Hehe. How cute is this decoration from Hudson's Bay (a traditional department store in Canada)? It's meant for the Christmas tree but because it's not particularly seasonal I will be hanging this in my around all year around. This one was $6.95.
I was surprised, but so delighted when I ran into a Homesense in Vancouver. We have them in the UK too (they're the homeware-only brand of TK Maxx, but nowhere near London so I've also ever been once. I must have browsed for a good hour and eventually walked away with several things, including this gorgeous Yankee Candle for $12.95. It's a 2-wick one and the smell is basically autumn in a jar.
Another thing I picked up at Homesense is maple-flavoured tea, yes really. It might be a stereotype but Canadians do have maple-flavoured everything and since I love it did buy loads with this taste (including the best Saltwater Taffy ever from the gift shop at Capilano Suspension Bridge, but I ate all those before I'd even left the country so there are no pictures, alas. Other things that didn't even make it into my suitcase because I ate it while there: ALL of the bagels and autumn-coloured Jelly Bellies).
I love going to a supermarket in a foreign country and pick up some items that are just a little bit different than what I am used to and so I loved popping by Safeway a few times throughout my trip. Last year I searched everywhere in the UK for pumpkin pie spice for my sister (to no avail) but since I was in Canada around Thanksgiving time I managed to buy it, so I stocked up with 6 cans, for myself, my sister and my mum (they were $2.99 each). I also picked up a bottle of green relish because strangely enough that isn't available in the UK or the Netherlands, yet it is what makes a hotdog tastes so good.
Another thing I picked up at Safeway is even more tea (yet, I've definitely been infected by the Brits!). I've not even opened these packages yet but they already smell super warming so are perfect for the colder winter months rapidly approaching.
The final foodie thing I bought in Canada is loads and loads of candy. Candy corn...
...a massive bag of Reece's Pieces...
...and maple-flavoured Jelly Bellies (I told you they have everything in a maple flavour), yum! I'm going to try to make the candy last as long as possible, but I fear it'll be all gone by the end of November.
Last, but not least, are some lovely souvenirs I picked up. From left to right: maple syrup (of course), a maple-shaped Vancouver magnet (from Gastown), and finally a beautiful wooden-carved maple leaf from the wonderful gift shop at Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Not for me, but I also picked up this beauty at Chapters (a chain of book stores I have fond memories of) for my mum. It looks a little bit different from all the other maple syrup bottles I came across on my trip and I love the design ♥
And that is everything I bought on my trip for myself (minus the last bottle of maple syrup for mum). I also got further gifts for my parents and siblings, as well as a few bits and bobs for friends. And in the end, my suitcase was only over the weight limit of 23kg by almost one kilo, which I was pretty proud of (the Bath & Body Works and candy hauls are particularly heavy and I also picked up some gifts along the way that I was kindly given by friends). Now the fun of using it all starts, and each time I do so it'll remind me of my brilliant holiday in Canada!