Riding the Wave of Shaw’s BlueCurve

If there is anything I’ve been paying more attention to over the past year, it is how much time I spend online. As a writer, blogger and avid social media user, most of my career is spent online. Also, as a mother, once my son goes to bed, I spend a lot of time online, texting or connecting with my friends on social media, watching Netflix or catching up on other shows I’ve saved on the Shaw FreeRange TV app. With so much time spent using the internet, I’ve noticed that sometimes it can lead to internet burnout. It’s not the internet itself that has been burning out, but my energy levels have been. 

Thankfully, Shaw had a line to my inner thoughts as they got in touch earlier this year to give me a trial run of Shaw’s new BlueCurve experience for a couple of months. A few months in, and I’m really impressed by the service. First off, Shaw BlueCurve is an amazing advancement in smart home technology where you can really manage your household’s internet usage, get more coverage (in every room of your home!) and access all sorts of data and controls for every single device that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi. 

From a design standpoint, the new Shaw BlueCurve Gateway modem is a serious upgrade visually. Gone are the awkward, wire-ridden boxes that used to clutter the spot by your TV — instead, say hello to the sleek and sexy box that looks more like a high-end speaker than something you connect to the internet from.  I was also set-up with the new BlueSky TV box that saves all my recordings to the cloud so I can watch them on-the-go using the FreeRange TV app. Again, a beautifully designed product, minimalist in design and slightly reminiscent of a geode in shape. Goodbye oversized, heat-radiating PVRs of the past.

The next most important part of Shaw BlueCurve is the Shaw BlueCurve Home app. It’s essential and extremely helpful for monitoring your internet usage. On this easy-to-use app, you are able to set up different profiles for everyone in your home and link devices to each profile. This helps you organize what devices you use on a regular basis and maybe what you could probably unplug (energy savings are always a plus).

Not only that, but the functionality of Shaw BlueCurve is super ideal for parents who want to manage their children’s internet usage. There is a feature within the Shaw BlueCurve Home app that allows you to turn off Wi-Fi for the different profiles and/or devices, set bedtime schedules or completely remove devices from internet connectivity. This is super ideal for parents of internet-obsessed teens and gamers who really want control over their internet usage and connectivity. 

My son doesn’t have any devices of his own yet but likes to watch Netflix and YouTube on the TV. He briefly used my iPad for games when he was a bit younger but I quickly nipped that in the bud as I noticed how addictive it was for him. He isn’t the type of kid who sits in front of the TV zoned out watching a show; he never stops moving or chatting so I don’t consider this kind of screen-time particularly harmful for him as it is just kind of background noise as he builds his LEGO City sets. 

So, for now, he has access to the TV but doesn’t actually know how to use the remotes yet so essentially it is still all in my control. The Shaw BlueCurve Home app helps me set limits for how much screen time he is actually getting during the day so we can focus on other learning and outdoor activities instead of getting sucked into a content vortex!

Another amazing feature of this internet package is the Shaw BlueCurve Pods. A seriously awesome addition to the regular internet service, these sleek, off-white pods can be placed around your home to further extend your internet connection. This is extremely welcome in my home which is located in a 1912 heritage building complete with thick plaster/lathe walls. I wasn’t actually receiving Wi-Fi coverage in my bedroom until I got a Pod installed in there so I am very happy about that! 

I’m also loving the fact that I am able to restart the Shaw BlueCurve Gateway from the Shaw BlueCurve Home app remotely. No longer do I have to sit at the modem, messing around with cords to make sure that I’ve got the right one disconnected to reboot everything. It simply resets directly from the app. While you are at it, you can also check on the connectivity of your Shaw BlueCurve Pods. 

Overall, the experience has been a pretty big upgrade in terms of internet connectivity. Being able to monitor Jack’s internet usage and hit pause on certain devices is going to be a game-changer as he gets older and starts using more internet resources. As for myself, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on my own internet usage, me and the dozen devices I have currently in use in my profile. 

This post is in partnership with Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that are keeping this blog full of fresh content. 

Life & Wellness with Freedom Mobile + iPhone X

Just over six months ago, I made a big change to my personal finances and connectivity; I switched my phone plan over to Freedom Mobile from one of their major competitors. I had been with that company since I was a teenager but they just weren’t providing me with the service I required anymore and I was overspending on my phone budget every single month. Switching over to Freedom has been a game-changer for me - transitioning my account over was entirely seamless and I’ve never had any issues connecting to their network this whole time. Before I switched to Freedom my phone bill was sometimes upwards of $135 - now it is $65 total. The best part is, I have so much data available I never have to stress out over adding more data to my plan halfway through the month. To help others understand what a change this has been for me, I am sharing some of the ways I use my iPhone in everyday life - for entertainment, fitness, connecting with family and making wellness a priority.

With so many articles and news stories telling us that we need to get off our screens and how harmful it is to constantly be connected on our devices it is hard to imagine that actual good can come from staring at our phones. But I am constantly finding that there are ways that my phone usage can actually contribute POSITIVELY to my life.

The new Screen Time feature on the iPhone has been a bit eye-opening in terms of how I’ve spent my time when using my phone. As much as it is disconcerting to see how much time you may have wasted scrolling through social media it is a good tool to change your ways. Phones are an essential part of life, so there is no getting away from that, but setting healthy boundaries and time limits on your screen time is a good way to be more present and avoid feeling guilty when that Screen Time notification rolls around at the end of the week.

One of my favourite ways to use my phone is to discover new music on Spotify. I can get lost on there, going down rabbit holes, from one artist to a new one, discovering beautiful music that speaks to me. In terms of wellness, music is definitely how I unwind and re-centre myself when I am feeling stressed out. I love that thanks to Freedom Mobile’s data plan, I’m able to stream new music wherever I am and not worry about overage charges.

Imagine this, but one of my main uses for my phone is actually one of its intended uses: connecting with family. My son and I use FaceTime everyday to chat with my parents. Even though we all live in the same city, it is so nice to be able to connect daily and see our family. My son loves to call his grandparents every night to say goodnight before bedtime. We also have been using apps like WhatsApp to have a family group text going. My brother was recently in Hong Kong for nearly two months for work and it allowed us to keep in contact, share jokes and see how he was doing despite the 15-hour time difference.

Keeping up with my personal health and wellness is also important to me and I use my phone to constantly track my progress. Using my FitBit watch and app, I am able to keep up with my fitness goals and make sure I am moving enough during the day (a problem for any self-employed person who spends a lot of time in front of a computer). Meditation apps like Headspace are great for creating a calming routine in the evenings before bed or taking a break when things get stressful.

I am always trying to find new ways to use my phone in a way that contributes to my life in a positive way. Ultimately, switching my account over to Freedom Mobile has been a huge part of that. Upgrading my phone to the iPhone X has expanded my creativity and the Freedom Mobile plan has helped me access the tools that I use regularly without worrying about going over my data plan. It is exciting to have so much possibility in the palm of your hands and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore these possibilities with Freedom.

This post is in partnership with Freedom Mobile. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

On The Go With Freedom Mobile

As a self-employed mom, I am constantly on the go and need to be able to access as much of my business as possible while I am out and about with Jack. After years of paying data overage fees and my plan getting more expensive every calendar year, I decided to switch over to Freedom Mobile. In partnership with Freedom, I was also able to upgrade my phone to an iPhone X - which was a big upgrade from my iPhone 6S. The camera alone has revolutionized my phone experience on a daily basis. I can shoot, edit and post my photos while connected to the Freedom network.

Since I switched to Freedom three months ago, I haven’t gone over my data once. I was so used to going over every month with my previous provider that I started to budget for that extra cost every month. That is a bit ridiculous, right? While my phone is essential to my everyday life and business - it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg every single month.

With my new plan, I’ve been able to keep up with all of my work and emails while on the go - instead of returning to my computer to an overwhelming inbox. I’m also able to keep up with my invoicing and finances which is a huge plus as I am often dealing with up to 20 clients at any given time. Every freelancer worth their salt, knows how important it is to keep on top of invoicing. There are so many great apps for self-employed people; I could probably create a giant list of everything that would be beneficial for freelancers to take advantage - ranging from receipt-keeping apps to time management programs. Today I just want to share my top three apps that help me everyday with my business.


As a freelance writer who is constantly working on a variety of projects at any given time and has multiple email addresses for all of those different projects, I need an email platform that keeps things organized and functional for me. I’ve been using Airmail for a couple of years ago and it has definitely changed the way I work. The platform, for both iPhone and OS is super functional, designed beautifully and keeps all of my different emails organized and at the top of my to-do list.

Freshbooks Cloud Accounting

I’ve been using Freshbooks since I started out freelancing and it has saved my life, time and time again. It is the easiest way I can keep track of my incoming and outgoing invoices - making sure I always get paid on time and that I’m in communication with my clients. I also track all of my business expenses and receipts there - which ultimately helps me budget for the next year ahead.

BMO Bank of Montreal

If you don’t have your bank’s app on your phone, you should probably get it right away. I use mine constantly to check on my accounts and make sure I’ve got my savings in order. And now with the functionality to be able to deposit cheques into your account from home - this is a next level benefit for freelancers who are always relying on clients to send payments promptly. To be able to simply deposit your much-needed cheque from home is amazing.

Beyond all of the work I am doing on the go, I no longer worry about watching YouTube videos or streaming music on Spotify while I am out; my plan has more than enough data to keep Jack and I entertained at the same time.

Freedom just launched an amazing offer for the holidays called the 100GB Big Binge Bonus. And it is seriously next level amazing. This special limited-time offer gives customers 100GB of bonus fast LTE data in addition to their monthly data allotment. How incredible is that? This data can be used at anytime and comes at no additional cost to the customer.

The Big Binge Bonus is now available for new and existing customers when they sign up for a Big Gig plan starting at $60 per month with a new handset on a two-year term. The additional 100 GB Big Binge Bonus is automatically applied once a customer exceeds their monthly allotment. The data never expires as long as customers remain with Freedom Mobile on an eligible plan. Full terms and conditions of Big Binge Bonus can be found at

In the meantime, I’ll still be working away, balancing the whole freelance motherhood thing. I have another blog post coming out talking about how I like to use the iPhone X to get creative; whether it means writing down ideas as I go, shooting and editing photos on my favourite apps, or creating content for my social media accounts. How do you use your phone to get creative?

This post is in partnership with Freedom Mobile. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.


This hot topic is literally on the lips of just about everyone right now here in Canada; legalization of cannabis usage comes into effect on October 17, 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on June 20th after a century-long prohibition of cannabis. Cannabis will be available for purchase in flower and oil form (sounds like edibles will come in 2019) online and in-store. Just like alcohol, you must be 18 years old (in Alberta and Quebec) or 19 years old in the rest of the country. Here in Calgary, I’ve already been seeing storefronts popping up all over the city waiting for the October 17th launch date.

While it is certainly an exciting time for cannabis entrepreneurism in Canada, the industry still has a long way to go to reduce the stigma of cannabis usage (even medical usage still has stigma) and also make reparations for people who were treated unfairly and charged by police for possession of cannabis. There is actual proof and documentation that the enforcement of cannabis laws in the past, have disproportionately affected marginalized and racialized communities. This article by the Broadbent Institute by Akwasi Owusu-Bempah outlines the very important ways that Canada’s government, police service and cannabis industry stakeholders can work to rectify this unfair treatment of the people and communities affected by the war on drugs. Be sure to read through it - this information is essential as legalization moves forward.

Beyond all of the legislation talk, I have been most fascinated by the aesthetics of cannabis. As someone who is obsessed with cultural trends it is hard not to notice how good-looking this industry is turning out to be.

photo via Tokyo Smoke

My first introduction to the art & design of the cannabis industry was through Tokyo Smoke, a Toronto-based cannabis and coffee lifestyle company. They opened up their first coffee shop in Calgary in the fall of 2017; their marketing director Josh Lyon (he is now Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships at Hiku Brands, the umbrella company for Tokyo Smoke among others) actually spoke at our conference Next Big Thing that October about this changing industry. Tokyo Smoke is slick; its for the modern weed connoisseur - really no different than someone who is super into whiskey or cocktails. Walking into the store, you’ll find all sorts of sculptural objects which turn out to be stylish pipes, 24K gold pre-rolled cones and luxury scented candles. They also happen to have really great coffee and delicious vegan grab-and-go options; all in all its a beautifully designed coffee shop that will soon sell cannabis.

photo via Tokyo Smoke

Tokyo Smoke introduced me to Van Der Pop, which is their sister brand, a women-forward company that is leader in the industry and a huge proponent in reducing stigma against usage by women and parents. Their products are perfectly designed - from their stylish leather zip bags and black glass stash jars. Sign up their newsletter and read their blog which are both always full of interesting facts and studies on the industry, topical discussions about cannabis and general knowledge bombs about cannabis.

photos via Van Der Pop

Since finding out about Tokyo Smoke and Van Der Pop, I started noticing new cannabis product companies popping up all over the place in Canada and beyond. Here are just a few of the brands that I feel are making waves in the aesthetics of cannabis.

Alair Vaporizers: Based out of Toronto, Alair is know for their discreet rechargeable vaporizers. Packaged up in this black and gold box (with tropical florals on the inside) it is easy to why they are becoming such a big player in the industry.

FLEURS:  Hemp derived CBD tea coming right at you - and in the prettiest package ever. FLEURS, which I believe is based in Vancouver, has three teas in their line-up all for different experiences (i.e. DOZE, WOKE, CHILL, CLEAN). Their packaging is fresh and fun - and totally designed for a specific demographic: people who like DavidsTea but also like to get high.

Yew Yew: Yew Yew is not Canadian but this NYC-based designer makes such incredible modern ceramic pipes that are truly mini works of art. The shapes are so sculptural that your grandmother probably wouldn’t know she was looking at a pipe if you had it sitting on your bookshelf - or maybe she would and she’d love her own. Their latest art collaboration is a limited edition collection that features the gorgeously quirky artwork of UK based artists Liv & Dom.

HighNoon: Another pipe company, another Toronto designed product - HighNoon pipes are all made by hand - no two are exactly alike. The pipes come in three different shapes: 8AM, High Noon and 10 After 6. I love all of their product photography - they get kinda weird and experimental and I love all the long polished nails in combination with the pipes.

Mister Green: Again, not a Canadian company but Tokyo Smoke carries a lot of Mister Green products and has even collaborated with them on a few projects. Mister Green is a lifestyle shop in LA and carries everything EVERYTHING for the modern day toker. Their brand is fun and chill with a great sense of humour - i.e. the Bong Water water bottle above is theirs.

Allume Chill Box: The subscription box has officially reached the world of cannabis. The Allume Chill Box is sent out of Montreal and features a curated selection of cannabis accessories like rolling papers, ceramic goods, lighters and accessories.

Levo Oil: Not just for cannabis, LEVO Oil Infuser allows you to infuse butter or oil using herbs, fruit and other ingredients. They even have an app that allows you to control your infusions while you are on the go. As far as kitchen gadgets go, this is one seriously cool one to add to your collection.


Imagine a car subculture that involves building an incredible beast of a vehicle, only to put it to the ultimate rough-and-tumble test; driving it through an intense and dusty obstacle course, popping wheelies and doing backflips. Yep, it isn’t just any car subculture - it is Monster Jam.

Monster Jam is rolling through town for a spectacular return to Calgary on September 8-9, 2018! You’ll get to see some of the world-famous trucks like Grave Digger®, Max-DTM, El Toro Loco®, Monster Mutt® and more race and perform in freestyle competitions. There is really nothing quite like it!

I still remember seeing Monster Jam once as a kid with my family; it was loud as can be and on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of action. It was really cool to go check out the trucks up close and personal after the show. The drivers have some serious skill and put those monster trucks through a lot!  I can’t wait to take Jack there this weekend with my parents and brother to relive the experience through his eyes!

Tickets are still available for September 8 + 9th at the Stampede Grandstand. Get them here now or see below for a chance to win tickets from The Archives of Cool!

Lucky for my readers - I have a great opportunity for my followers to take their family to see the show as well! If you want to win a 4-pack of tickets for this weekend’s show, head over to Twitter, follow me (@kaitkucy) and share this tweet:

Hey @kaitkucy! I want four tickets to see GRAVE DIGGER at @MonsterJam this weekend in #yyc! Details here:

Contest ends on Thursday September 6th at 9pm PST and winner must be able to attend Monster Jam in Calgary on September 8 or 9th. I will be doing a random draw of entries and contacting the winner directly on Twitter. Thanks so much for entering and good luck!


Ah, the whiff of freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebooks, the cooler morning air and the feeling of excitement mixed with a slight uncertainty; I’m talking about back-to-school. This time-honoured September tradition is probably the most nostalgic for me; to this day I can remember the first day of school so clearly. That anticipation of seeing all of your friends after the long summer, wearing a brand-new outfit you’ve been saving for weeks and gearing up a new year of learning.

Now, as a mother, I’ve got the same feeling of uncertain excitement for my child as he starts school (pre-school!) for the very first time. I am so excited for all of the learning Jack will do, the friends he will make and the experiences he will have. I just know that he will love it!

To prep for the busy month ahead, I’ve been checking off our list of all the important back-to-school stuff that we’ve had to get done. First things first was getting a real hair cut for Jack. Jack has been rocking his super sweet surfer guy hair for a while now, but I wanted to get something a bit more cleaned up for the fall. We brought in an inspiration photo (which is recommended if you are looking for something specific) and our stylist did a fantastic job.

Heading into Great Clips, I was really impressed with their service before we even got there. In case you weren’t aware, they have an awesome Online Check-In and App service that make things even easier for parents and busy schedules. First off you don’t need to make an appointment - the Great Clips App makes it super simple for getting your children in last-minute to the salon closest to you.

The App will show you the salon locations closest to you and all you have to do is enter your name, phone number and how many people will be with you. Then, just head on over and you’ll be all set up for getting a great haircut.

Clip Notes are another great feature that all locations have access to; basically, it is all of the information about the customer’s haircut that the stylist took note of for future reference. That means that the next time you head in for an appointment, everything from style, shape, type of hair is available to the stylist so that you don’t feel like you are starting from scratch again.

Another really great thing that Great Clips is doing this year is running a promotion in support of Kids Cancer Care. Spearheaded by Lisa Inman and Jennifer Mooney here in Calgary, this initiative is a really great way to teach your kids about giving back to the community. From August 22nd through to September 30th, Calgary customers have the opportunity to purchase a Kindle Bug for $3. With each sale of a Kindle Bug, $3 will go directly to Kids Cancer Care and with each donation customers will receive a $5 off coupon (expires November 16) for their next haircut at Great Clips!

I am so happy with how Jack’s haircut turned out. Our Great Clips stylist did a great job keeping the laid-back shaggy surfer vibe while cleaning it up into something much tidier for starting school. Now that we’ve got the haircut checked off of our to-do list, we can now focus on making sure we’ve got everything else ready for back-to-school!

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Great Clips. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool!


**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

One of my New Year’s resolutions (which was definitely prompted by the harsh and long winter we had this year here in Calgary) was to truly enjoy every single day of summer in the city. We don’t have any plans to leave town, so this summer is all about exploring our favourite parks, hitting up outdoor pools and splash parks and just being active and enjoying nature. So far, so good; Jack and I have been on the go almost everyday and we’ve got a lot more fun ahead of us!

One of my main summer plans was to upgrade Jack from the tricycle that he has totally mastered over the past two years. I’ve heard from plenty of bike-enthusiast parents that a strider/balance bike is a great introduction to getting on an ol’ two-wheeler and learning about balance sans training wheels. For anyone who doesn’t know, a strider bike is a two-wheeler without pedals, simply put it is a self-propelled bike that encourages coordination and balance much earlier than kids typically learn those skills. It must have been my lucky day when I decided to search on Kijiji for a strider bike because amongst the flame-emblazoned kiddie bikes there was the most perfect PUBLIC strider in a retro-inspired pale blue.  

PUBLIC bikes have always had a great reputation - I remember when I was bike shopping years ago for myself I was considering PUBLIC bikes but ended up going with another brand. Anyways, the bike brand-new is only available online from the U.S. for about $200 CAD - it was listed on Kijiji for $50. Definitely one of my best second-hand scores in recent history. It just shows you that you can find really high-quality items, for less, on Kijiji if you keep your eyes out, know your brands and check back often. In fact – according to a recent Kijiji Report, in 2017, Canadians saved an average of $825 from acquiring second-hand goods instead of new.

Jack has been loving the bike so far - he’s really starting to get the hang of it and each day can go a bit further on it. He’s actually inspired me to get my bicycle (which has a Yepp kids seat on the back for him - I bought that second-hand a couple of years ago as well) repaired so we can hit the bike paths ASAP.

Another great thing about shopping second-hand for good quality products like this balance bike is that if you take good care of them, they totally retain their value - meaning once you are done with them there is an opportunity for resell. I’ll be putting his much-loved classic red trike on Kijiji very soon - I love the cycle of the second-hand economy.

One of the other functions of the Kijiji app that I love so much is that I can save my favourite searches and setup alerts for when new items are added. Jack’s interests are constantly changing and there is no point in buying brand-new products at this stage because who knows what will stick and what will be abandoned. It is not surprising considering how quickly children move from one interest to another! Luckily, games, toys and video games are one of the top five most-exchanged items in the second-hand economy,  according to Kijiji’s 2017 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, so I’ll have some good options to choose from.

That being said, there is endless summer fun to be had so I’ve set up a couple new alerts for some sports equipment. One of those being a life jacket in his size. Brand-new life jackets are VERY expensive which is something I had no idea about before becoming a parent. New, they seem to range from $40-$100 but according to my research I’ve done on Kijiji, you can get a second-hand one for about $25, which means you can save nearly 75% from buying used versus new! Once we get one, I will feel much more comfortable about hanging out at my parent’s community lake or down by the river this summer.

Earlier this year, when we were stranded inside the mall during the depths of winter, Jack got inspired by a cool and friendly teenager showing him skateboard tricks at the skater shop and I ended up purchasing a Fish Cruiser Skateboard (complete with a clear deck, pink light-up wheels and embossed skulls) for him. Later in the spring, we hit up the House of Vans skateboarding event and Jack got even more interested in skateboarding. Now that we’ve reached ideal skateboarding conditions, I’ve set up an alert for a full set of skateboarding protective pads because I feel that is a good compromise between full-on bubble wrapping my kid or going without. What is on your summer bucket list? Are your kids trying any new sports or activities this summer? I highly recommend purchasing second-hand for new toys, games and entertainment for your kids this summer. To learn more about the second-hand economy and how you can get involved check out for more information!    


Summer is in full swing and all Jack and I are doing is planning our next inner-city adventure. From natural playgrounds to outdoor pools to the perfect picnic spots, there are endless opportunities to enjoy these beautiful summer days right here in the middle of the city. I’ve partnered with Alberta Blue Cross to share our favourite parks and playgrounds to inspire you to get out and be active with your family this summer. We walk everywhere (and are getting our bike repaired shortly) and love exploring the city by foot. All of these fantastic parks are in easy walking distance of each other so you can make a day of it or come back time and time again for some fun adventures with your family.

A really exciting aspect of Alberta Blue Cross is how they get involved in their local communities by encouraging people to be active and take preventative measures towards a healthier lifestyle. One avenue that they explore this through is the Healthy Communities Grant Program, which is an annual grant program that supports and promotes active living across the province. Five $50,000 grants are awarded each year to support community amenities and facilities that promote active living. That is a LOT of money that could go a long way to impact an entire community.

So, you are probably wondering what is a valid entry for projects that can be entered into the grant program. Some examples include construction or replacement of children’s playgrounds, outdoor adult gyms, cycling paths and recreational facility improvements, but if you have a really great idea for your community there is a good chance you can make a good proposal for their consideration. The deadline for applications is August 31st so you still have plenty of time to get your great ideas into Alberta Blue Cross! Grants will be awarded in December. Apply now or check out their website for more details.

Like I mentioned, one of my favourite ways to keep active in the city is to explore all of the amazing public parks that we have. Jack and I have such an amazing time heading out on little adventures; the further the park, the more exercise we get and the more fun we have together. It is a win-win.

I’ve rounded up my favourite parks in the city to visit, in no particular order. Perhaps you’ll make them part of your summer or perhaps they will inspire you for your own Healthy Communities Grant Program application—with fresh and innovative ways to improve your neighbourhood parks.

Central Memorial Park is definitely one of my favourite parks in the city—not just because it is absolutely beautiful. While it doesn’t have a playground on site, it makes up for it in sprawling lawns, pathways, flowering gardens and beautiful fountains—including sidewalk fountains that kids can wade in —and is home to the oldest Calgary Public Library location in the city, Memorial Park Library. We love visiting this park thanks to its close proximity to home but also for the heritage aspect, which I feel is another important element to maintain. Many days we will come here for a picnic, to play in the sidewalk fountains and visit the library. With stunning vistas of downtown and the Calgary Tower, it is easily the most picturesque park in the city.

1221 2nd Street SW

Haultain Park, which is conveniently located across the street from Central Memorial Park is a really great recreational park in the Beltline with a huge playground, tennis courts and a field for kicking a ball around. It is located right around the corner from the City of Calgary Beltline Fitness Centre, which is another great resource in the community for active living. It is also home to the historic Haultain School which is Calgary’s oldest sandstone school and the first public school to have electricity and running water. It is now one of the Parks Foundation Calgary offices.

225 13th Ave SW

St. Patrick’s Island is one of the most popular parks in the city, located just over the St. Patrick’s Island bridge from the East Village and just a stone’s throw from the Calgary Zoo. The Island re-opened in 2015 and quickly became an imaginative home-away-from-home for kids and families of all ages. One of the most magical aspects of the park is their commitment to public art with a beautiful sculpture called Bloom. There is also a seasonal “beach” area for wading and fishing, endless meandering pathways and  the amazing Rise which is a hill built into the park that’s perfect for tobogganing or a carefree roll down. Endless fun can be had at St. Patrick’s Island—there is always something new to discover.

1300 Zoo Road NE

Thomson Family Park is located just a quick walk from the bustling 17th Avenue SW. With a super fun playground complete with a giant slide (that can be accessed by climbing a staircase or a hill) this is a great spot to bring your kids for an afternoon picnic. In the summer, they have sidewalk fountains that are an absolute blast for the kids (and dogs) not to mention they cool everyone right down. There is an open green space for play, which actually used to be home to the Calgary Lawn Bowling Club. It is transformed into an outdoor skating rink in the winter—such a great spot all year round!

1236 16th Ave SW

Riley Park is the absolute best park if you want to feel like you’re on vacation right in the middle of the city. Their wading pool waterpark is the best place to hang out on a hot sunny day with some friends—it is complete with a gorgeous little island in the middle with huge trees that provide ample shade for those of us who want to enjoy the warm weather but stay out of the sun. Riley Park is also home to a huge field for getting active and playing sports in.  The amazing playground on site will certainly spark some imaginative play in your child. One of the secret hidden gem parts of the park is the tiny fairy home that some creative soul installed into the base of one of the older trees on the path leading out of the park; it truly makes you slow down and appreciate the small things.

800 12th Street NW

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Alberta Blue Cross for their Healthy Communities Grant Program. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.



Breakfasts with endless hashbrowns, parks with public art sculptures, an entire basement filled with crystals and gems; yup, I’m talking about my neighbourhood — the Beltline. This summer I’m partnering with Battistella Developments to showcase the best parts about living in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhoods — notably the West Beltline where they are building their newest condo development: Nude. Keep an eye out for more posts here on the blog as well as sharing some of my favourite spots on Instagram.

I love living in the Beltline, where I’m so close to the action and able to get anywhere I want to go quickly, so today, I’m sharing my Ultimate Guide to the West Beltline, I’m talking spots you cannot pass up!


Donna Mac: If you love delicious yet inventive comfort food combined with a fresh, flavourful cocktails, a gorgeous interior (designed by my friend Sarah Ward!) and a record player stocked with sweet tunes, then I’m pretty certain you’ll love Donna Mac. They have a fantastic neighbour program for their housemade sourdough and they are very accommodating for vegans and people who eat gluten-free. 1002 9th Street SW

Kona Poke: One of my favourite hit-the-spot eateries, Kona specializes in delicious poke bowls topped with delicious ingredients like ahi tuna, spicy poke or even octopus. My go-to bowl consists of brown rice with mixed greens, cucumber, red cabbage, sweet onion, ahi tuna with the gluten-free Maple Miso dressing and topped off with masago, avocado and furikake. The Hawaiian vibe of the fast casual restaurant is anchored by a kitschy but swoon-worthy framed photo of Tom Selleck. Pop in on Mondays for free 5-cent candies; just one of the cute things this tasty little spot dreamt up. 939 10th Avenue SW

Paros Souvla: I am all about riding this wave of great take-out spots popping up in the West Beltline. Paros Souvla is one of my favourite additions with their incredible Greek food. If you’re going to try anything, may I recommend the Greek Fries which are topped with fresh feta and are dippable in the tasty house tzatziki. The Village salad is the perfect compliment to the fries with delicious Kalamata olives, cucumber, tomatoes and a savoury slab of feta on top. Their menu is also very accomodating for special diets; they are able to make almost everything gluten-free or dairy-free. 1436 8th Street SW

Sucre Patisserie & Cafe: I love to explore and try new places all of the time. I recently popped into Sucre which has a plethora of luxurious pastries and treats as well as fantastic coffee. The interior is so beautiful — you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Paris for your coffee and croissant. 1007 8th Street SW

Galaxie Diner: If you love a good greasy spoon, look no further than the perfectly vintage Galaxie Diner. With bottomless hashbrowns, legendary milkshakes and a certain retro charm that cannot be replicated, this is the best place to meet your pals for breakfast. Be warned that it is a small place so there will be lineups on weekends. Luckily, they give you coffee while you wait in line! 1413 11 Street SW

Calgary Midtown Co-op: Every neighbourhood worth its salt has a great grocery store. Calgary Co-op is a fantastic destination to do your weekly shop but their grab-and-go and pre-prepped meal options really take the cake. It is also one of my favourite spots to pick up house plants and fresh flowers for a great price. 1130 11th Ave SW


Nine Times Skate Shop: One of the freshest additions to the Beltline, this cool AF skateshop is my new go-to spot to pick up a new pair of Vans and scope out their awesome selection of cozy sweatshirts and perfect dad caps. This skater-owned shop is super involved in the city’s skate scene and often host events and workshops in store. 1409 11th Street SW

gravitypope + Blackbyrd Music: If you love brutalist architecture as much as I do, there is a good chance you’ve ogled the gravitypope building on 17th Avenue. But what is inside is even better — gravitypope has the BEST selection of shoes in all of the uptown/downtown area and carries amazing garment brands like Commes des Garcons PLAY, WANT Les Essentiels among others. In the basement you’ll find Blackbyrd Music, another Edmonton-offshoot which just happens to be my favourite spot to pick up the latest vinyl releases. 1126 17th Ave SW

Heritage Music: If you love crate-digging as much as I do, you’ll be able to spend an entire afternoon at Heritage Music fleshing out your record collection. They’ve got vintage gems to rival your dad’s collection and often do something extra special for Record Store Day. 1316 11th Ave SW

Peaseblossoms Flowers: I’m a big believer in having lots of plants and fresh flowers in our home — it just makes every day more beautiful! Peaseblossoms Flowers is the most darling little shop that carries a gorgeous selection of flora as well as some amazing lifestyle products like notebooks, small objects and decor. 1417 11th Street SW

Earth Gems: My crystal obsession is real and Earth Gems does not disappoint. I could literally spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) in there. Pro-tip: as much as my little guy loves crystals and rocks, I would not recommend bringing your little one there as there is some very expensive pieces all over the place — not worth the risk! #100, 1022 17th Ave SW

Pomp + Circumstance: If you’re looking for beautiful home decor, Pomp & Circumstance is one of the best interior design shops in the West Beltline. With product lines from Norm Architects and Barter, you’ll be sure to find something covetable for your modern, minimalist home. 1204 12th Ave SW

Wild Rose Cleaners: If you need alterations and dry cleaning, Wild Rose is an excellent option. Their attention to detail is impeccable and they actually design and make men’s dress shirts in-house if you are looking for a bespoke option. 1330 15th Ave SW

Hedkandi: My go-to spot for hair is definitely Hedkandi on 8th Street. Not only do they have some of the most talented stylists in the city but they also carry an amazing selection of hair and beauty products from lines such as Bumble & Bumble, Oribe and even their own coffee blend with local coffee company Monogram! #105, 1301 8th Street SW


Beltline Urban Mural Project: One of my favourite local initiatives in the Beltline Urban Mural Project which was started by the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association (Battistella is actually a big sponsor of the  2018 Project) to promote local artists, increase tourism for the neighbourhood (hello, Instagram mecca) and beautify buildings in the area. They are just kicking off year two of the project and I cannot wait to see the finished murals later this year! For more information about the upcoming festival and mural tours check out their website.

Barb Scott Park: Grab a coffee and your frisbee and hit up Barb Scott Park for some sunshine. Artist team Creative Machines created the interactive public art piece Chinook Arch that is best viewed at night. The building located adjacent to the park was the former Central High School and is still a beautiful heritage landmark in the West Beltline. 1219 11th Street SW

Color Me Mine Uptown: Jack and I love getting crafty together and Color Me Mine is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon creating some ceramic masterpieces for our home. They also host kids birthday parties there! 1504 11th Street SW

Commonwealth Bar & Stage: If you love live music, one of the best venues is located right on the edge of the West Beltline. Commonwealth  Bar & Stage has regular programming featuring local DJs and bands but also brings in some of the best shows (think bands like Whitney, Suuns and Tokyo Police Club) every year. You are guaranteed to have a good time at this music scene staple. 731 10th Avenue SW

Thomson Family Park: We love popping by the Thomson Family Park, most notably for their awesome giant slide. With picnic tables, a fantastic playground and fountains it is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. 1236 16th Ave SW

If you want to find out more about Nude by Battistella and keep up to date on news about the project, go to to register!

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Nude by Battistella. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

Tackling the Big Spring Clean

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

Spring has finally arrived - and along with green grass sprouting and leaves budding on the trees, the urge to do some heavy-duty spring cleaning has also arrived. I’m not sure who invented spring cleaning but the feeling of being indoors with your belongings for an extended period of time just inspires some sort of purging mode when the warmer weather rolls around. And what better way to get rid of unwanted items than to trade them for cash?

My parents are in the midst of reconfiguring their home to make it more functional for their lifestyle - downsizing without moving, if you will. In order to do this they’ve been working on getting rid of excess furniture and belongings that they just don’t use anymore. Making each room in their house work for them, they’ve been able to maximize the space they have as well as create rooms and workspaces for everything they love to do - like entertain, listen to music, sew and create artwork. As they started clearing out their basement and garage, I offered to help them list items on Kijiji as I had so much success with the platform in the past. Beyond being able to clear out these rooms and live more minimally, they are also earning some extra cash through selling off the items – two motivations behind why people use the second-hand economy in the first place – which is always welcome for feeding all of those great hobbies and side projects that they enjoy so much.

One of the hardest ways to get through a spur of spring cleaning is actually identifying what you want to keep and what you want to sell, trade or giveaway for free. In my parents’ case, they love beautiful design, antiques and objects - so while they may want to get rid of things, they still see the value and beauty in them which often makes them hard to give up. Something I identify with 100% as someone who also loves seeking out gorgeous vintage pieces, artwork and designer furniture. That being said, people like us are on Kijiji looking for these items too! Furniture was one of the top five categories for most exchanged goods last year, according to Kijiji’s 2018 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, and sellers like my parents can make an average earning of $1,436 from selling their old and unused furniture pieces. Who wouldn’t want to have an extra $1400 rather than unused furniture sitting around in your basement or storage space?! As we prep to list a big batch of their items in the coming weeks, they’ve already got a bit of a head start clearing out some unwanted items from their garage like old tools and accessories for cars they no longer have. The grand total in earnings so far is $185 - and we are just getting started!

Spring is an especially great time of year to start listing your unwanted goods on Kijiji as people are in the mood to spruce things up.  According to Kijiji Site Data, spring is a great time to sell on Kijiji as it tends to provide more interested buyers who are looking at some of the top searched items on Kijiji in the spring, like patio furniture, sectionals, tables and dressers. People love digging into a great DIY project in the spring before enjoying the lazy days of summer. Even smaller entertainment items like CDs and DVDs are a top-selling category with the average annual earnings coming in around $1,185, according to the 2018 Report. Once you start looking around at your unused or unwanted items, you may realize you are basically sitting on cold hard cash.

As you tackle your own spring cleaning, I want to offer my tips for crafting the perfect Kijiji listing:

  • Photos: I recommend taking your photos in natural light and taking about 3-5 photos that show all angles of your object.
  • Descriptions: I’ve noticed that a lot of listings on Kijiji are pretty bare bones in terms of descriptions but I prefer to put as much information as possible. If you are selling something like a treadmill or bike, make sure to list the year, make, model and what condition it is in. For furniture, I always make sure to note any imperfections, damages or even minor wear and tears.
  • Pricing: If there is an item that I am particularly motivated to get rid of quickly, I often include “Price is negotiable. Please message with best offer.” in the listing. Chances are you’ll get a few people completely lowballing you or even asking for the item for free but if you are trying to get rid of it quick (i.e. an old sofa that you need moved out before your new one arrives) you can use your own discretion to decide how low of an offer you will accept.
  • Promoting: And lastly, I definitely recommend including in the listing that you have other items for sale as potential buyers can click through to all of your listings and potentially buy multiple items from you. Kijiji also offers a variety of ad features that can help with increasing the visibility of your ads to make them sell quicker!    

As I continue to help out with my parents’ spring cleaning tasks, I’ve also been working on a bit of spring cleaning at my own house too. My parents are passing along some beautiful antique furniture pieces (these ones are staying in the family - not going up for sale) my way in the midst of their purging. So, now to make room for them I’m also making sure I’m not hanging onto any items that no longer serve a purpose for me. It is amazing how much easier and more fun it is to tackle all of these projects when the sun is shining, birds are chirping and you can let all that gorgeous fresh spring air in. Happy spring cleaning!