Sponsored post by Shaw BlueSky TV.

There is nothing quite like getting lost in a piece of fiction, whether it is a short story, novel, Netflix original or a feature length film - there is just something so awe-inspiring to be engulfed inside a story that some great creative mind dreamt up one day. I’ve been getting lost in lush and complex fictional worlds thanks to the plethora of quality TV series and movies available lately. And due to the sub-zero temperatures we’ve been experiencing here in Calgary, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it.

I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, which is probably why and how I wound up being a writer for a living. Although I tend to stick to non-fiction editorial work on the regular, my mind is constantly buzzing with ideas for fictional stories that I feel would translate perfectly to the screen. Time to get on those New Year’s writing resolutions, I suppose!

Back to the shows and movies I’ve been swept away by lately, I’ve been continuing my trial of Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix. I have been enjoying so many aspects of it, especially the freedom of FreeRange TV, which is Shaw’s awesome mobile and desktop app where you can watch all of your favourite On Demand shows like Will & Grace, Schitt’s Creek and This Is Us.

I absolutely love FreeRange TV for the ability to watch my favourite shows pretty much - anywhere I want to. Catching up on the best guilty pleasure shows in bed, tuning into a new show while I work, awesome kids shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood on the iPad for Jack or watching classic movies while having a break in the tub - I can do it all with FreeRange TV.

Also, did you know that you can watch LIVE TV as well on your FreeRange TV app? Yup, I’ve been tuning into all of the Pyeongchang Olympics coverage and it has been fantastic. To be completely honest, I can barely turn away from the screen as I watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir make magic across the ice.

The only thing I miss while watching FreeRange TV is the voice-controlled remote and all of the great content not available on FreeRange - but I mean, that simply means walking over to my television instead and hitting play on my favourite show. Now, I must get back to binging my latest obsession - Netflix’ Queer Eye.


This post is sponsored by Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going with fresh content.



For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who enjoyed a good treasure hunt. Raised by two antique-loving parents, many of my childhood Saturdays were spent perusing antique shops and flea markets. Over time, I too, grew to love it as my own hobby - even sourcing out a beautiful mint-condition mid-century sofa for my *future home* while I was still a teenager. During high school and university, I loved hitting up second-hand vintage and thrift shops to find the best vintage clothing. I found some truly incredible pieces over those years, including some highly sought after 1950s Hawaiian dresses that I was able to sell for quite a bit more than I paid for - helping me pay down my student line of credit at the time. I even sold the vintage sofa later on - after realizing that while I loved the aesthetics of it, it wasn’t truly comfortable for my style of lounging.

Over the years, I’ve been able to supplement my income by not only saving on some beautiful pieces, but also later down the line when I resell those items myself. I certainly have found some success over the years - and I don’t even do it as a business.

Nowadays, I’m usually out hunting for home decor and furniture pieces for my heritage apartment. While I still love haunting thrift stores and antique shops, I really love setting keywords and notifications on Kijiji for specific items I am looking for - meaning I can scope out those awesome finds pretty much 24/7 if I want to. I’ve been using it for years now for both buying and selling and because of this,I am thrilled to be partnering with Kijiji over the next year to share my experiences with the second-hand economy.

Kijiji just released their 4th annual Kijiji Second Hand Economy Index 2018 Report in which they study and detail how Canadians are using the second-hand economy, why they are using it and other super interesting facts on how people buy, sell, donate, lend and swap second-hand items across the country. It is so fascinating to me how the second-hand economy generates so much income for people all over Canada while at the same time promoting sustainable methods of reusing and recycling. It is super thorough including everything from the top categories of items sold to how it is impacting the Canadian economy.

For example, in 2017 85% of Canadians participated in the second-hand economy and $28.5 billion was spent on second-hand items. That number alone is so impressive and makes me happy to know that so much waste is being averted by people selling and buying second-hand items. For my fellow Calgarians, average earnings are estimated to be around $659.19 per year in Alberta. Between all of the different outlets I use to participate in the second-hand economy I probably made around $750.00 selling off my second-hand items in the last year.

For the year ahead I have some big plans in the works for using the second-hand economy to both buy and sell. I’m planning to sell off some things that I no longer need - it is always great to do a big spring clean and I’ve already identified all of the things that are just taking up space and not serving a purpose. As I’m always keeping my eyes open for new and unique finds I’m also looking forward to buying some new pieces for my home - including prepping my balcony for the summer. It is currently set up just for my son Jack and I to relax and hang out but I would love to make it a bit more functional to have company over to enjoy the summer days and nights. Kijiji is fantastic for finding furniture so it is no surprise that it is one of the top five categories in the second-hand economy, so I’m confident I’ll find the perfect pieces to make our balcony summer ready.

There are so many ways to participate in the second-hand economy and I’m only really just scratching the surface of what Kijiji can do for you in terms of generating cash flow, protecting the environment, finding amazing treasures and giving new life to old items. I am looking forward to sharing more ways to utilize the second-hand economy and join 85% of Canadians who are already doing it.

This post is in partnership with Kijiji Canada however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing brand like Kijiji here on The Archives of Cool.

Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix

Sponsored post by Shaw BlueSky TV.
If you know me personally, you know that I love TV and movies - a lot. I am that person who starts a show and HAS to finish it. I watch The Office seasonally, meaning I watch the entirety of all ten seasons in spring, summer, fall and winter. I am a sucker for Hallmark movies - my mom and I binge on all of the Christmas specials every year.

Full disclosure: despite my innate love of all things technicolor, I cancelled cable almost two years ago when I made some deep cuts in my monthly budget and (almost) never looked back. I lived off of Netflix and YouTube, so it wasn’t like I was some purist “I don’t have a TV” type. I was still consuming television as we’ve come to know it. Just not in the same way. Fast forward to having the opportunity to try out and review Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix. I had heard amazing things about the product but when they told me that I could watch just about any show or movie on demand, my jaw dropped.

I was in, of course. I started making mental lists of all the shows I had been missing during my cable-free stint. All of the movies that never made it to Netflix but you could easily find on the movie networks.

Lucky for me, my installation occurred just before the Christmas holidays, meaning I had some time, some unadulterated, stress-free television time to indulge in. One of the features of BlueSky TV that immediately hooked me was the fact that Netflix is completely integrated into the programming. Meaning you don’t have to switch out of your cable to connect to Netflix anymore - you can sign in within BlueSky TV and flip back and forth between Netflix content and cable programming to your heart’s content.

My all-time favourite feature of BlueSky TV, which will help you flip back and forth with ease, is the voice-activated remote. No more searching for shows by using the up and down arrows - now you can simply say the show you are looking for into the remote and it will display all results on the screen. I use it frequently to go to my recordings and check out what shows I’ve recorded or have coming up this week. You can even say actors’ names into the remote and BlueSky TV will come up with a listing of every single film or TV show that is available currently - such a great tool if you have your favourites.

I also use the remote to throw on a fun kid’s show for my three-year- old son in a hurry. When he’s having a tough day, nothing cures his mood faster than putting Little Baby Bum on Netflix for him. Something about those saccharine lullabies combined with big-eyed animated characters just works - I won’t question it.

For myself however, I’ve been blown away and overwhelmed with the sheer expanse of the media library at my fingertips. The first thing I did was get caught up on The Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC. Thanks to Shaw On Demand, all of the episodes I had previously missed were available for me to watch at my leisure. If you haven’t watched it or its predecessor, The Great British Baking Show, I highly recommend you catch up. The Canadian version is co-hosted by one of my favourite Canadian actors, Dan Levy, as well as Julia Chan and features some seriously amazing desserts created by talented bakers from across the country. It is a mouthwatering show to say the least.

Speaking of Dan Levy, Season 4 of his show Schitt’s Creek just debuted. This hilarious show features a wild cast of characters, with the previously very wealthy but now impoverished Rose Family at the heart of it. The show showcases Levy’s talents as well as his father, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. The first three seasons are also available on Netflix so you can catch up in no time.

Another surprising thing about BlueSky TV is that it encompasses a lot of HBO and CraveTV content, meaning I could catch up on shows I had never had an opportunity to watch before. Broad City is one such show, an HBO comedy production featuring two lovable-if- slightly- problematic misfits, Ilana and Abbi, whose main ambitions include getting high, coming up with ridiculously implausible schemes and perpetually trying to get by as modern women in NYC.

Lastly, BlueSky TV is a great way to discover new shows or new-to- you shows. I recently got into Big Little Lies, as it was trending on Twitter because of the Golden Globe Awards. When you say “What’s on now” to your remote, it will show a list of a programs that are on right that minute but also show what is currently trending as a topic on Twitter. Never will I be left behind again! I’m excited to continue to dig into this new form of television technology - the addition of voice control and a multi-platform experience is truly revolutionizing how I watch TV. Can’t wait to see what’s next…

This post is sponsored by Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going with fresh content.