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It’s no secret that I love to host parties, and there’s no other time of year that gets me more excited to have my girlfriends over than during the holiday season. Saying that, the holidays tend to make my already busy schedule even harder to keep up with, and trying to find the quickest and fastest ways to accommodate everything in my schedule is always top of mind. I know that many of you badass boss babes are in the same boat, so here I’m sharing my 5 Tips to Prep For a Holiday Ladies Night Party In a Pinch, with help from my one of my go-to shopping spots in downtown Toronto, the First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower.

1. Shop Quickly & Conveniently, Even On a Saturday.

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Dealing with insane crowds and long line ups at the mall, especially on a Saturday during the holidays? No thank you! I regularly frequent First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower for convenient shopping (and eating!) between running to the gym, meetings and events, and right now there is an added bonus to shopping there this holiday season. Currently they are open on Saturdays until December 17th, 2016 from 11-5pm, allowing you to shop right downtown on a Saturday, in the middle of the Financial District, and take advantage of FREE parking and FREE coat check while you shop for all your needs! Plus, since First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower is more of week-day hot spot, you can enjoy Saturday shopping without the Saturday shoppers, or stress. YAS.

2. Add Quality, Pre-Prepped Foods to Your Grocery List!

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It’s pretty rare to be able to shop for your groceries in the same place where you can get a blowout, have a power lunch and shop for clothing, shoes and gifts, especially at a mall in downtown Toronto. To me, this a total perk and another major reason why I consider First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower to be a go-to spot to get everything done at once, especially before a dinner party. I normally run through The Market by Longo’s to grab the groceries I need, and stop by places like Belmonte Raw to pick up pre-made healthy sweets such as their raw tartlets for when I need to fib my Martha Stewart-esque hosting abilities.

3. Stock Up On Bubbly

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I don’t know about you, but when my girls come over we can definitely get through some bubbly, so I always make sure I’ve got bottles chilled and waiting for when they arrive. Unfortunately, there isn’t an LCBO that’s in a convenient walking distance from my house, so I love that I can easily pop in to the LCBO at First Canadian Place & Exchange Tower at the end of my shopping tour to take home everything I need for all the bubbly before hopping into an Uber to get home. Note: I think free parking on a Saturday is AMAZING, but I don’t know how to drive (or park), so I Uber. ALSO, remember that you can take advantage of the free parcel check on Saturdays so you don’t have to lug heavy bottles around while you finish shopping. AMAZE.

4. Create Customized Place Settings

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At this point in our lives, my friends and I don’t do any kind of huge gift exchange, but, still, we like to gift each other with small and thoughtful treats, especially at this time of year. Like many busy and professional women, we love getting pampered as a way to unwind, and this year I’ve decided to help give the gift of pampering by bringing it to the table. Bonus: No wrapping is required! As you can see from the table above, I adorned each setting with a mini bottle of champers from the LCBO, a sparkly nail polish in different (it’s the holidays after all!) and fun packs of nail stickers that speak to each of the personalities (I found both at Trade Secrets), Tweezerman nail files (they’re the best!) from Rexall, a gift card each from the many beauty service businesses in First Canada Place and Exchange Tower (such as Blo Blow Dry Bar,Caryl Baker Visage and Portico Hair Salon), and a sprinkle of chocolates from the Lindt boutique. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit down to a spread that looks that good?

5. Get Someone Else To Do The Wrapping

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Although I’ve shown a deconstructed way of gift-giving above, that doesn’t mean that you don’t prefer to have gifts wrapped, or perhaps you’re shopping for bigger ticket items that need to be wrapped up for the ultimate surprise. Personally, I stopped having the patience (or time) for wrapping years ago, and have since tried to make my life easier by shoving things into gift bags. Naturally, I prefer the look of beautifully wrapped gifts, but now I prefer it even more if I can get someone else to do it for me, and for FREE. When shopping on Saturdays, you can receive free gift wrap for items purchased at First Canadian Place and Exchange Tower, while all other items require a minimum donation of $5 per gift (any size) that will be donated directly to SickKids Foundation! If you prefer to get your shopping done during the week you can still have your gifts wrapped with a minimum donation of $5 per gift, any size and of course all donations still going to SickKids Foundation. LOVE.

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I hope this post helps you this holiday season, especially when at the last minute you remember that everyone’s coming over that night! For more information on the perks of shopping at First Canadian Place and Exchange tower on Saturdays during the month of December, please click HERE.

xo

@GracieCarroll

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