**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!    


It is a severe understatement when I share that I am beyond thrilled for the new Netflix show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This modern day take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch is produced by the same people behind Riverdale and stars my fave teenager Kiernan Shipka - so you know it is going to dark, moody and glorious - and probably a bit kitschy. It comes out on October 26th and I cannot wait.

Lately, I’ve been spotting the teen witch vibe all over the place - it is totally in the air, riding a broomstick and looking cute. Here are some great finds from Etsy! Just an FYI, this post contains affiliate links.

know your power pin from glitterpunkjewellery

witch hand patch from lunalotusuk

black cat backpack from theshedoutlet

bulgarian rose lip balm from anitako organics

spirit speak tarot deck from spiritspeak

moon child candle from velvetcocos

gold moon bowl from liquoricemoonstudios

vintage candle holder by heartofthehunter

lunar calendar from durido

little witch zine from spiritspeak


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.



I recently came across Babak Ganjei‘s work somewhere on the internet (probably spiraling down a late night rabbit hole of Instagram and Pinterest) and was immediately hooked by his scrawled messages that are simultaneously poignant and bizarre.  Every poster is made to order (in small editions) and is handwritten - not printed. No two poster is alike which is something I’m very into - who wants replicas - I only want originals.

Of course, I instantly fell in love with the “I’m in the bush outside and I really love you” poster because of its perfect combination of desperation, romance and total lack of self awareness.

His online shop is full of gems inspired by real heartfelt messages that maybe everyone feels deep inside but doesn’t really ever say outloud but instead they will frame them and put them on their walls for everyone to see and then all have a good laugh about it.

Beyond the online shop (support artists plz) his website catalogues all of his past shows, installation work and projects - it is all incredibly inspiring. Take a peek - I especially love his YOU ARE ALONE series.

You can even get him to send you or someone else who needs it an “Everything is going to be ok” text message for a small fee.

And of course, he has apparel and of course, it is perfect. I feel like a shirt like this will help the greater good make solid relationship choices moving forward. Yup, let’s all make good choices, folks.

All images via Babak Ganjei.


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.


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

I cannot stress enough how important everyday movement is - not only for general fitness but for your overall wellness. A big part of my lifestyle is that I walk everywhere; I live in inner city Calgary and it suits my lifestyle to just be walking distance from everything that I need.

As someone who has seen their body fluctuate in size and weight (hello pregnancy + the after effects combined with major and stressful life changes) I know how hard it can be to find a path of health, weight loss methods and a fitness routine that works perfectly for you. But as a (fairly) young mom with a growing young boy, I know how important it is to maintain my health through nutrition and exercise.

Zero Excuse Go is a new Canadian E-health online program that uses Telemedicine to work with clients on their major weight loss goals. This isn’t for people who just want to lose a few pounds - it is for people who want to overhaul their entire outlook on weight loss (typically at least 40 lbs) and actually see major results.

Just a quick disclaimer that I have not used Zero Excuse Go (on average it is about a year long process) but wanted to help spread the word about this Canadian-based service that has the possibility of changing people’s lives drastically by improving their movement, nutrition and overall outlook on their health.

So, you are probably wondering what is Telemedicine and how does it work? How do you lose weight using Telemedicine? Essentially, it is the remote diagnosis and treatment with a team of trained health professionals consisting of a psychologist, dietician, fitness trainer and nurse through telecommunication technology. When you sign up for Zero Excuse Go to achieve weight loss by telemedicine you are monitored by their multidisciplinary team that is in contact with you every single day, meaning they can track your weight, physical activity, blood pressure, blood sugar level and beyond. So, how do they get this information? As part of the program, you are sent a scale, fitness tracker, blood pressure measurement device, glucometer among other devices depending on your individual health needs. The data from all of these gadgets is sent directly to the clinic where the team will analyze it in order to make suggestions and provide guidance and coaching to you.

There are two parts to how the team will monitor you: telesurveillance and video conferencing. Telesurveillance is the remote patient monitoring, where they count your steps and other info. The data comes in on a daily basis. Video conferencing is done with a team of professionals on a rotating basis. Each week the patient meets with one health professional (nurse, dietician, psychologist etc) and the topic is around the health professional’s area of expertise. For example, the meeting with the psychologist may be about motivation or how to set goals.

Based on your results, the team will create a weight loss program unique to you complete with a plan for healthy eating and exercise. If you have over 40 lbs to lose, this will be an amazing asset to your weight loss journey. With the constant regular monitoring they are able to check in with you to see where you are at and make changes or adjustments based on your progress. The program can last anywhere from four to 12 months, depending on your needs. Once you meet your target weight, there is an optional maintenance program that works with clients to make sure they don’t regain weight after the initial program is over. Accountability is a huge part of the program; the patient’s accountability to themselves by looking at their progress on their phone and fitbit and the patient’s accountability to their team of health professionals which adds motivation.     

I’ve read and listened to the client testimonials and it is really inspiring and impressive to see how these people have transformed themselves - in really quite a short amount of time. It shows me that when people are being coached and guided by professionals, they are capable of truly improving their health and changing their entire lifestyle - with real results. I also think it is great that it is a Canadian-based company - and actually the first of its kind in Canada.

If you’re looking to lose some weight and revolutionize the way you approach eating and fitness, Zero Excuse Go could be a game-changer for you. To get information about the program, pricing and how it would work for you, simply sign up on their website, or check them out at their Facebook page here.


I’m constantly trying out new beauty and hair products so I thought I would start sharing all of my finds here with a short review every month. All products listed here were purchased by me but I will definitely let you guys know in future posts if it is a gifted product or contains an affiliate link. Also, if you have any suggestions for new products I should check out please let me know!


Let’s start with hair. I had been noticing this year that I kept breaking out around my hair line while also dealing with a dry itchy scaly; being a Celiac I figured that my shampoos and hair products had gluten in them. After doing some research I decided to switch everything to the completely gluten-free product lineup from VERB. In June, I tried three of their products: verb dry shampoo and verb hydrating shampoo + conditioner   . The powdered dry shampoo was so fantastic that I immediately got rid of any of the other dry shampoos I had collected (especially since none of them said whether they were GF or not). I have pretty dark brown hair so I had to really work the powder into my hair so it wasn’t visible but it didn’t bother me. I picked up their dark hair spray dry shampoo which I will include in my July reviews. The shampoo and conditioner feels so luxurious and beautiful - the scent is super mild and the formula is really hydrating. I bought them in the extra large size pump bottles; Jack and I have barely made a dent in them yet - a little bit goes a long way.

I also had recently picked up the Herbivore sea mist in coconut + sea salt from my friend’s shop here in Calgary, Dept. It is supposed to give you that whole surfer-girl-beachy-waves thing and I can report that it works. I use it on Jack’s hair a lot - it detangles his hair perfectly and the scent is heavenly. In fact, I actually mist it on as a light fragrance pretty regularly - it smells so good! The bottle is only 1/4 empty so I’m quite pleased how far it is going - especially being used on two people daily.


Okay, skin care o’clock. I didn’t really try too much *new* this month as I am trying to keep things stable for a bit so I can make sure it is actually working. I did switch up my daily moisturizer and started using schaf facial moisturizer from Toronto. I prefer my facial moisturizers to be fragrance-free and lightweight - especially in the summer. Overall, I really like the formula - my only complaint is that sometimes my skin looks really shiny in the summer heat. Otherwise, it feels great and moisturized. It is also gluten-free. Also, love the pump style of this product - and of course, their branding is to die for.

I also wanted to deal with the breakouts I’ve been experiencing lately (still trying to figure if out if I’m coming in contact with gluten somehow) so I picked up the Saje zap oil for acne prone skin. I don’t have acne prone skin which is why these zits are really annoying so I thought I would give it a shot. It did dry out and get the zits to go away a lot quicker than any of my other methods. The scent is quite strong (tea tree oil, I believe) so it takes a bit of time to get used to it.


I’m always up for trying new mascaras and when I discovered that a booth at the Calgary Farmers Market was carrying the vegan Pacifica lineup, I had to try one of their mascaras. I ended up choosing the Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova (black). Overall, I really love this mascara  - it is a great pure black, the formula is smooth and lightweight (no globs). The brush is long, fat and fluffy - which IMHO is fantastic for getting thick blink-worthy lashes. The only downside is that its not really waterproof so if you’ve got seasonal allergies like I do, you might need to do a makeup touchup every so often. But the fact that it is a vegan formula makes me happy.

I was so stoked to find out about The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation. I had been switching up my foundations when the seasons begun to change but I always find it hard to find the perfect formula for my dry skin. The Ordinary has such a lightweight formula - it doesn’t sit on my skin like so many other foundations - likely because it is serum-based. I’ve been using Colour 1.1 N Fair Neutral.

I purchased a box set of mini Benefit Cosmetics Blushes as I wanted to try a bunch of different colours without buying the full size. It doesn’t look like the kit is available any more but my favourites out of the box are GALifornia, Gold Rush Blush and Dandelion. I’ll definitely be picking those up in full size once I’m done with the minis.


I’ve been using the Saje floral crystal fresh deodorant for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It is perfect for freshening up mid-day or layering with another natural deodorant. I’ve also used it as a light fragrance or to spritz my pillow with.

I picked up this pharmacia rose perfume from Anthropologie and I’ve already gone through an entire bottle of it and started on a second. I can’t find too much information about - I’m assuming it is an Anthro house brand - but for about $28 you really can’t beat it. It captures everything I love about roses - such a delicate scent. The first time I sniffed the bottle, I just about swooned from the nostalgic vibes wafting from it.


**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.The dog days of summer are finally here and I am absolutely thrilled to be spending more time outdoors with my son - especially on our balcony which I recently gave an overhaul. Patio season used to mean finding the best perch at my favourite coffee shop or eaterie but now that I’ve created my dream space right here at home, I’m finding myself entertaining more and spending each evening on the balcony.

My son and I moved into our heritage apartment just over a year ago and while last year we did enjoy spending time out there, I didn’t end up putting a lot of effort into making it feel like home. It felt drab and lifeless. This year it was my goal to create an extension of our home out to the balcony, essentially creating another living space that was functional for entertaining, relaxing or eating. I wanted to continue the warmth and colour scheme of the interior of our home into our outdoor living room.

I knew I was going to shop second-hand for almost everything, since saving money is one of the top reasons why people use the second-hand economy and because this space will only be utilized for a small part of the year. According to the latest Second-Hand Economy Index Report, data collected by Kijiji shows that I’m not alone in this. In 2017, a total of 2.3 billion items were given a new life in the second-hand economy while Canadians saved an average of $825 by shopping second-hand versus new.

I started designing the balcony makeover from scratch after I sold some of my older patio pieces on Kijiji; an old bistro set I had been carting around and some festival chairs I no longer had use for. I also repainted my son’s toddler-sized picnic table to give it a fresh new life for resale. For the new design of the balcony I wanted to have a designated eating area, a relaxing spot where we could lounge, read books or work and as a place to house my ever-growing collection of plants. The balcony gets great natural light for most of the day so it is ideal for growing beautiful flowers and we’ve already had three tiny harvests of strawberries!Seating was definitely important to me but I wanted something that was comfortable for just Jack and I or for friends if I was entertaining. I ended up finding a beautiful wooden chaise lounger on Kijiji that fit beneath my balcony window perfectly. My Mom and I sewed a gorgeous custom cushion for it (the mid-century modern-inspired fabric was from IKEA) and added some cute throw pillows (Simons) and cozy blankets (Simons). I like how the second-hand economy gives me the opportunity to create, DIY or upcycle items into something brand new! It turned out beautifully and I love sitting out there reading magazines or writing on my laptop.For our eating area, I found a great long and skinny sofa table that also just happened to fit the space. There wasn’t much DIY to be done but I repainted it a fresh bright white to liven it up and provide a blank canvas for the beautiful outdoor meals to come. While I was able to find pretty much everything on my list on Kijiji, the only must-have I wasn’t able to find was a pair of cute chairs for our little eating bar. After selling my old patio furniture on Kijiji, I had enough extra cash to pick up a pair of white metal chairs that I had my eye on at Structube. The table actually sits four chairs all of the away across but since it is usually just the two of us I opted to only buy two outdoor chairs and bring out chairs from our dining room when we have company.The last furniture piece I found on Kijiji was an unfinished wooden utility shelf to house all of my flowers and plants. Because I’m a sucker for a glowing twinkly patio, I wrapped wire LED twinkle lights around it - it looks gorgeous at night!

Beyond the furniture pieces, I sourced some gorgeous accessories including a blush ceramic plant pot, a metal wall planter and a lovely hanging LED candle lantern - all on Kijiji. All combined, these six pieces cost me less than one brand-new piece of patio furniture. I saved nearly $100 from buying these items second-hand versus brand new! I get really excited thinking about the kind of savings I am taking advantage of by shopping the second-hand economy. If you’re outfitting an outdoor space the savings from buying used over new can be incredible. Outdoor furniture is pretty expensive despite it being of limited use in a place like Calgary so if you are able to save some money on it, it’s a huge win for your bank account. According to Kijiji site data, patio furniture is actually one of the top searched and listed items during the month of June so it really is a great time to start seeking out those deals.I am beyond thrilled with the transformation of the balcony. It feels so welcoming, comfortable and a true extension of the interior of our home. I always describe my personal aesthetic as - Scandinavian Princess Moves to Venice Beach and Learns to Surf - I feel like this space totally embodies that - minus a cool surfboard propped up in the corner! Every time I go out there, surrounded by all of my flowers, I feel so happy and at home. Jack and I can spend hours out there - blowing bubbles, reading books or enjoying a meal together. It is our little happy space and we’ll be taking full advantage of it until the first snow - fingers crossed that won’t be for a long long time.

A few other details from the space:

The wall hanging is a cute rug (Simons) that my Mom added handmade pom-poms to. The outdoor rug is also from Simons.

Many of my plant pots were bought from thrift shops over the years. Kijiji is a great resource for that as well. Always look for showhome furniture sales listed on Kijiji as they often have great accessories for sale - and believe me, they are priced to sell!

My twinkle lights and pink flamingo lights are all from Jysk.


Did you hear the news? Etsy is officially a teenager - an adorable quirky teenager that sews their own clothes and collects vintage pieces and takes pottery classes on the weekends. It is amazing to think about how much the internet, the maker world and online shopping have changed in the past thirteen years but it is nothing short of inspiring. To celebrate the big 1-3, they are having an amazing sale from today until Friday June 22. Select items are on sale for 10-60% off. Um, hello - YES!

I hunted through the thousands of items on sale and found 13 of my favourites! There are some real gems on there (yes, like, actual gems/crystals on sale!) so get browsing! Just an FYI, this post includes affiliate links.

pink incense holder from Nightshift Ceramics

splatter ashtray from BIANCA and SONS

blush espresso mugs from SINDstudio

vintage bath tray from SharonMfortheHome

underneath the stars tea towel from LeahDuncan

the magic is in you wall hanging from SecretHolidayCo

azilal cushion from depeapa

Blush Leather Backpack from MeitaLev

rose quartz pendant from adela rose

Natural Facial Spray from HVER

moon phases print set from 324art

minimalist tarot set from DarkSynevyrStore

jasmine & vetiver candle from brand & iron


I’ve been quite taken with the art and design collaborations that Quebec-based retailers Simons have been creating over the years - especially since they opened their doors here in Calgary. Their love of supporting artists runs deep and it is clear throughout the entire store with an incredible art collection and attention to detail in every sense of the word.

Their latest women’s collaboration with Chicago-based illustrator Kate Pugsley is truly something out of my dreams. First of all, I love her colour palettes - her bright hues aren’t primary - they are softer, more muted. I love the constant use of soft pink or peach throughout her work - it’s gorgeous. Secondly, the seaside theme to these pieces has me daydreaming for a coastal vacation immediately. How cute would the clam pullover look walking the beach at dusk with an ice cream cone in hand?

Everything is a fun, whimsical spin on traditional nautical wear - I want the whole collection. Kate Pugsley was interviewed by Simons on their blog which you can read  here - I always find it so fascinating to hear the artistic process - especially when an artist is approached with the task of working with a major brand like Maison Simons. You can shop the whole collection here.

photos via Maison Simons