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SAKS FIFTH AVENUE NOW OPEN

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Fashion lovers in Calgary will be thrilled to know that Saks Fifth Avenue has officially opened its doors at Chinook Centre. It is the third location to open in Canada and I couldn’t be happier to welcome this luxury retailer to the spot that once housed Target and Zellers. Talk about a transformation!

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Last night I attended a pre-opening tour with Saks Calgary Vice President & Store Manager Lydia Seifert and was blown away by how glamourous the store is. There is truly nothing quite like it here in Calgary and it is so exciting to have such an established brand open its doors right here at Chinook Centre. I attended the opening gala along with some of my lovely friends, fellow media and bloggers and I think everyone was really impressed with the presentation. The people-watching was fabulous; it felt like every fashionista in Calgary was in attendance and everyone REALLY showed up with their own personal style. There was live music, performance artists (more about that later), an artist drawing ten-minute fashion portraits and of course all of the shopping that your heart can handle.

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The 115,000-square-foot location houses women’s and men’s categories, including exclusive brands. One thing I really love about the space is all of the locally sourced artwork that they curated for opening night. Every single detail is flawless; they truly thought of everything. The beauty and fragrance department alone is sprawling with so many exquisite scents, candles and potions – I could spend all day perusing the amazing brands available.

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Beyond the endless shopping experiences throughout the two-floor store, there are many personalized services at Saks that really set them apart from their potential competitors. One being the private shopping suites, which are absolutely stunning and I not-so-secretly wish were my own personal living rooms. Serving up champagne while you shop and try things on, their amazing staff will help you find everything your heart desires.They also have styling services that involve custom creations and in-house alterations, as well as made-to-measure and tailoring experts on hand. If you are a beauty nut like I am, you will love the beauty experiences that they offer. Makeovers, skincare analysis, on-the-go facials and personalized fragrance consultations are all part of the experience. On top of that you can indulge in a facial or massage in one of their private beauty treatment rooms – seriously the dream! There is also plans for an in-store salon opening soon.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you are out shopping, look no further than Buffo at Saks which will be opening soon. Open seven days away, this rustic Italian restaurant is great spot to enjoy dinner or a glass of prosecco.

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One of the really special elements of the night’s festivities was an live art performance by Brooklyn’s The Bumbys where they provided guests with a typed note (on actual typewriters!) giving a Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance. I was thrilled to participate in this and I loved the note they wrote for me. I’m going to frame it!DSC02804-2 DSC02801-2

All in all, I can’t wait to head back to Saks soon and do some shopping!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

PLAYFUL + COLOURFUL FINDS COMING TO IKEA IN FEB 2018

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BURVIK side table $39.99/each Red White Black

Coming this February – IKEA is introducing a range of products that make the everyday more playful. The launch comes in a modern style that’s about colour-blocking, simplicity in shapes and experimenting with materials. I am SO excited about these new products – I can’t wait to see them in person. I will definitely be picking up a few additions for our home. Highlights include two side tables and pendant lamps in attractive, modern designs. Parents can delight in a new baby textile collection and children’s mattresses, all developed with child safety as top priority. For the bathroom there’s a range of water and energy-saving showers. Other highlights include a range of clocks with new functions and products for tea and coffee times — making the everyday a little bit more fun and tasty!

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HÄLLAN series. Cabinet $50/each W45°—D47, H50cm. Cabinet $60/each W45°—D47, H75cm.

Leg $9/each W45°—D2, H28cm.

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GRANBODA nest of tables, set of 3 $59.99

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HÄLLAN cabinet $60 W45°—D47, H75cm.

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KLÄMMIG series. Towel with hood $7.99 Turquoise/red

Duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Red $11.99 Turquoise

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KLÄMMIG towel with hood $11.99 Grey/yellow

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JOHANNE cushion cover $14.99

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KLÄMMIG duvet cover and pillowcase for cot $11.99 Turquoise

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BROGRUND shower set with thermostatic mixer $39.99

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BILLSJÖN hand towel $2.99/each BILLSJÖN bath towel $7.99

LASJÖN shower curtain $9.99

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PANORERA wall clock $24.99 Ø24cm. clock $17.99 Ø15cm. STOLPA wall clock $29.99 Ø32cm.

clock $17.99/each Ø14cm. SNIFFA clock $12.99 Ø9cm.

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VALLAMOSSE riser rail handshower $29.99

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TORRILD rug, low pile $49.99

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BROGRUND 1-spray showerhead + arm chrome-plated $39.99

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KRUX series. Wall lamp $39.99 Work lamp $39.99

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ÖVERST 3-piece metal coffee

filter coffee set $12.99

Stainless steel.

Designer: Nike Karlsson.

TRÅDLÖS honey drip

and tea measure $3.99

Metallized stainless steel.

Designer: N Karlsson/M Axelsson.

SEEING MORE POSSIBILITIES

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I have never taken my eyesight for granted. It feeds my creativity; it is my main source of productivity as a writer, blogger and photographer; I rely on my eyesight constantly as I seek out the best in decor, design and lifestyle trends for my work. As someone who works in a visual field, I couldn’t imagine not maintaining my eye health.

I spend hours behind the camera every month shooting interiors and products – and then more hours editing the photos in Photoshop on my computer. Once the photos are edited, then I am writing the articles or blog posts to accompany them.

Social media also plays a huge role in my job – I not only use it for promoting my work but also for connecting with like-minded individuals. Instagram in particular is where I find a lot of amazing designers, makers and interesting homes to feature in my columns. Without my “good eye” I wouldn’t be able to seek out these incredible sources of inspiration for my articles.

All of this being said, spending a lot of time in front of screens means I need to also spend a lot of time giving my eyes the rest they need. It is so important to take breaks while working – staring at a screen for sometimes four hours with no break can lead to bad headaches, dry eyes and even blurry vision.

Earlier this year I partnered with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society to share their See The Possibilities campaign and I’ve learned SO MUCH about the role of an ophthalmologist and the impact they have on lives of their patients. Most people don’t know the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician. Luckily, they’ve given me the full scoop so I can share it with you:

If you don’t know the difference, ophthalmologists specialize in eye and vision care and are the only eye care professionals who are medical doctors. They are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medications and perform surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. While other eye health professionals can correct vision, only an ophthalmologist can restore it. Ophthalmologists are essentially the medical “quarterbacks” of the eye health team. They work collaboratively with the other eye O’s (opticians and optometrists) and other medical specialists to ensure optimal patient treatment and care.

Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD), but is not a medical doctor.

Opticians use prescriptions written by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to fit and sell eyeglasses and other eyewear.

As part of the See The Possibilities campaign, there are a number of amazing patient stories that share the transformative effect ophthalmologists have on the lives of their patients as well as the lives of their loved ones and family members. It’s so inspiring to see and also such a great reminder to remember how important it is to maintain your vision health. I know I will continue to put an emphasis on my own eye health and also on my son’s eye health. With a family full of people who wear glasses and contacts, I can only expect one day he might have to as well.

 

To learn more and watch inspiring patient videos visit seethepossibilities.ca

 

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This post is in partnership with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

DONNA MAC: THE BELTLINE’S NEWEST EATERIE

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I am always thrilled to hear about new restaurants opening up in the Beltline, my neighbourhood and I was even more excited to find out that Donna Mac was one of the newest spots to open it’s doors before Christmas. This beautiful space was designed by my friend Sarah Ward of Sarah Ward Interiors. The room is stunning – she did a phenomenal job creating a warm, welcoming space with many exquisite details like the lighting, the yellow door with the port-hole and the seamless flow throughout the space.

➔ Donna Mac is the brainchild of industry veterans Jeff Jamieson, Jesse Willis, Amy Turner and Justin Longpre. Located at the base of the Versus building on 10th avenue, the Beltline restaurant is a neighbourhood hub with approachable favourites. Named after Turner’s grandmother, the all-encompassing hospitality concept echoes values of resourcefulness, community, and humility. 

I had the opportunity to try out their gluten-free dishes at a recent media dinner and was absolutely blown away by the incredible flavours, originality and impeccable service. Their cocktail list is pretty fantastic too.

If you love a dining experience that evokes the spirit of home cooked dinners, has a friendly inviting atmosphere and fills you up with comforting and inventive dishes, you’ll definitely want to pop into Donna Mac as soon as possible. ♥♥♥

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Donna Mac will be open every day from 11:00am to 11:00pm, including weekend brunch.

For more information and to make a reservation please visit: https://www.donnamacyyc.ca/ Follow Donna Mac on Twitter twitter.com/donnamacyyc, and Instagram instagram.com/donnamacyyc/

PINK + GOLD HOLIDAY TABLESCAPE STYLING

Tis the season to be sparkly! I’m not sure about you but I am so ready for the Christmas holidays to begin – I’ve had my Christmas tree up since October (I bought a new one this year and wanted to make sure it was going to look good, okay?!) and I’m feeling very festive and excited to settle in for some holiday relaxation. I’ve been dreaming up some beautiful table stylings for the holidays and thought I would finally make it a reality. I love all things gold & pink and decided to forego the traditional red & green decor of Christmas for something a bit more glam and feminine.

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I am a big fan of shopping the secondhand market (thrifting, consignment and Kijiji typically) so when Value Village reached out to me to talk about holiday decor, I got super inspired to go out hunting for some special additions to my pink & gold holiday tablescape. Scroll down to the bottom for a few of my favourite tips on thrifting for decor.

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I set out to do my shopping with a few things in mind. I wanted to find some unique bowls, an ice bucket and some elegant decor touches for my holiday tablescape. I must have been very lucky that day because I found more than a few gems in my hunt.

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I absolutely love these gold poinsetta picks that I found. I clustered them around my candlestick display and also tucked them into the green garland I had purchased from IKEA. They are super versatile (could use them on the Christmas tree next year or as part of a napkin holder) and they add a bit of holiday shine to the tabletop.

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Placecards are always an elegant touch to the table. These sweet Christmas tree cards are actually gift tags I found in my Christmas wrapping stash.

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This sweet little golden sleigh was one of my favourite finds at Value Village that day. It is so gorgeous on its own but I filled it with some of my favourite glitzy Christmas balls for a bit more of that holiday glam essence.

 

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The brass candlestick trio is another one of my favourite finds. Also, I love collecting candles in unique colours from the thrift store. They are very inexpensive (4 for $1.00 in this case) and you can put together some really beautiful arrangements with your finds.

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Another tip I can offer is to look at the silverware – it is definitely an overlooked section of the thrift shop as most people don’t want used cutlery but you can find some really beautiful, quality pieces if you look. I love these silver tongs I found!

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Another amazing find from the day, I have been searching for the perfect ice bucket FOR YEARS. I was so thrilled to find this gold and clear plastic ice bucket in such perfect condition. It works great – kept ice frozen over night – and it matches so much of my decor.

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I love this beautiful glass bowl I found; there is something so elegant and delicate about it. Plus, the colour is perfect for my collection.

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Another special glass find, these candlestick holders are gorgeous additions to my candle collection.

 

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Top 4 Tips for Thrifting for Decor

  1. Set a budget. The whole point of shopping secondhand is to save a couple of bucks so you don’t want to go over budget when you are hitting up the thrift stores. The more you thrift the better you’ll know what is a good price and what is not. If something is a splurge but is on your list, go for it but don’t go over budget just for the sake of finding something.
  2. Don’t get distracted by things you don’t need. Sometimes the thrift store can offer you a plethora of amazing finds on one day and it can be so easy to get distracted and start filling your cart with all sorts of treasures. Stick to what you are looking for and only get distracted if it is something you’ll never be able to find again.
  3. Come with a list. Though I do love to go thrifting just for the heck of it if I don’t have a list I end up forgetting the things I need (picture frames, candlesticks, ceramics – usually!) or end up wandering around aimless, buying things I don’t need.
  4. Take chances. Decorating is supposed to feel good and exciting and if you stick with the same old basics you’ll never fully explore your own creativity. Take some risks and try out something new and beautiful.

This post is not sponsored however I was gifted $50 store credit to Value Village to find these holiday decor items. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

THE DEFINITION OF HYGGE: IKEA WINTER COLLECTION

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I don’t know about you but I’m totally ready for the holidays to arrive. I’m totally in the mood to dig out the Christmas decorations, fur blankets and twinkle lights – so I just might. I actually just ordered a new artificial Christmas tree for our new home (more about that in another post) and I can’t wait to pick up some new decorations to go with it. I’m super inspired by IKEA’s holiday collection this year, VINTER 2017. The hygge vibes are seriously strong and I can easily picture myself in all of these cozy spaces.

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Inspired by the rugged beauty of Iceland, this timeless collection is all about adding a touch of nature to your home through natural materials and warm muted tones. Holiday décor is spotlighted throughout including seasonal textiles, lighting, stoneware and festive decorations. Gift giving inspiration includes cosy slippers, baked goods, gift wrap/boxes and a unique DIY take on the Advent calendar.  The Winter kit also introduces the VÄSSAD collection, a new range from IKEA with an industrial feel inspired by the factory floor and IKEA products from the 1980s. The raw, authentic line includes a table, bench, chairs, textiles, chandeliers, lighting  and accessories in shades of black/ash, white,  green-blue and brown-red.

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These Bakglad Pastry Cutters are so whimsical and fun.

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Love these VINTER 2017 hanging decorations. And at $7.99 each it is hard to say no.

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The Stråla star pendants are my favourite thing at IKEA every holiday but surprisingly I don’t own any. I’ll definitely be picking up a few for some instant-holiday charm in my dining room.

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I love the VINTER 2017 series stoneware in a soft grey knitted pattern that reminds me of cozy winter sweaters. These would be perfect for Christmas Day breakfast. I love IKEA’s gold flatware as well.

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I am completely obsessed with these VINTER 2017 unscented block candles that come in a set of 3. The gem shape and translucent ombre is absolutely gorgeous.

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I love how simplistic the VÄSSAD table and VASSAD bench is. They provide the perfect blank canvas for creating a beautiful holiday spread.

DESIGN SHOPS + IDEA HUNTING IN INGLEWOOD

I feel really lucky to know some truly incredible shop owners in this city. I don’t know if it is just because of the line of work I am in or if I’m just drawn to people who simultaneously create welcoming and beautiful curated spaces, but I still feel lucky to know them. Funnily enough, most of them have chosen Inglewood as the home for their shops so I tend to frequent that neighbourhood quite often, visiting their lovely boutiques. I really love shopping but I also really love window shopping. I get so inspired seeing how my friends have built their shops up and created inspiring spaces that invoke all sorts of idea percolation.

DADELOFT: I first met Greg and Darcy years ago when I worked at Art Central and they ran a gallery in the space. It has been so amazing to watch them grow their business and transform it into something truly unique, inspiring and exciting. I wrote about DadeLoft in Avenue Magazine and if you click the link to see the images I took, you’ll see just how cool this interactive show room slash liveable shop really is. You need to see if for yourself though – the art you will see is worth the trip alone. But you’ll also want to buy all of the amazing design objects and home accessories. Sorry – not sorry.

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The UNCMNS: I also met Lisa and Ian Davies, sister-brother-team-extraordinaire, when I was basically a teenager. I think they were the first graphic designers I knew! I have seen them go through various formations of retail shops, studios and amazing freelance work. When they opened The UNCMNS in Inglewood several years ago, I knew they were really on to something. Since then, the store has been cutting edge of cool accessories for yourself and your home. It is my go-to shop for amazing gifts for just about anyone! They are always hosting really interesting art shows in the back of the store so make sure you check out every square inch.

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Fresh Laundry: Fresh Laundry is Lisa and Ian’s other shop just down and across the road from The UNCMNS. While Fresh Laundry is mainly a skincare shop, the whole space is utterly inspiring – from the living moss wall to the touches of gold dotted throughout the pure white store. They also carry a small selection of beautiful home items that will get you inspired to live a more refined lifestyle, only surrounding yourself with things you truly love – like gorgeous ceramics and design magazines.

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Guildhall Home: There literally is no shortage of lovely design shops in Inglewood and Guildhall Home is one of the newest. Guildhall carries everything from furniture to linens and pillows to housewares – and everything in between. The way owner Carey Jones has designed the store speaks to the level of expertise he has in the design field and every inch of the Inglewood shop has decor inspiration for you to incorporate into your own home. Another thing I love about Guildhall is that while they carry investment pieces there are also a number of lines and collections that are very affordable – meaning you can begin your design journey on a budget if you want to.

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Stash Needle Art Lounge: Stash just opened up their brand new location on the corner of 9th Ave SE and 12th Street and it is utterly stunning. This is one crafty business that keeps growing and growing. Stash is a one stop shop for yarn, accessories and classes for knitters and crafters here in Calgary. The store is beautifully designed by owner and expert knitter Veronica Murphy who has grown the business since opening the shop years ago. The shop is filled with so much inspiration – it is literally like a candy store for anyone who loves textiles and DIY projects.

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PLANT: Lastly, PLANT is my number one stop in the city for amazing plants, succulents and home accessories (ie. plant pots, vases, cute prints and more). PLANT owner Kyle Chow first became well-known for his amazing terrariums and knowledge about succulents, airplants and cacti but now he has definitely become the city’s go-to guy for everything plant related. I’m constantly popping into PLANT for home decor inspiration and dream up my next plant purchase.

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FAVE GLUTEN-FREE EATS IN INGLEWOOD

It is no secret that Inglewood is one of my favourite places to hang out in the city. I love the boutiques, the people, the views of downtown – and I also actually really love the food. I’ve been sharing some of my favourite spots in Inglewood on social media all month long in support of #inInglewood and I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite spots to grab a gluten-free meal. There tons of other great restaurants in the area – this is just a list of the ones I return to time and time again!

Inglewood Pizza: Hands-down the BEST greasy, thick crust extra tasty gluten-free pizza in all of Calgary, Inglewood Pizza is a must-eat when in the neighbourhood. Between their iconic pizza boxes, their cute little eaterie is a great spot to put up your feet an enjoy a personal pizza with a friend. There are only like four seats so you might have to take your pizza to go – but with the river only blocks away eating outdoors has never looked so good. Maybe I am basic but I seriously love the gluten-free pepperoni and cheese. Also, as a forewarning, the first time you have Inglewood Pizza you will probably go back and be like “this can’t possibly gluten-free; its so chewy and fluffy”. But it is and it is the best!

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Inglewood Drive-in: This is one of Inglewood’s cutest, most legendary spots that also happens to get overlooked all of the time. Don’t wander past this delicious and inexpensive eaterie! They carry gluten-free buns for their burgers and veggie burgers – both of which are absolutely delicious. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll be blown away by their selection of milkshakes – they even have a mouthwatering lavender milkshake. Unreal. The dairy-free pineapple Dole Whip is a huge hit as well. Also just as an FYI, their fries are not gluten-free as I sadly mistook them for being gluten-free (not fun.). All in all, the service is excellent and its a cute spot to grab a bite.

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Without Papers Pizza: If you are more of a thin crust pizza type of person, I would recommend checking out Without Papers Pizza. I love the ambiance of WOP; it has a great bustling vibe with views over 9th Avenue. They also often screen movies projected on their walls which I love. Their classic Margherita pizza is my fave with the Hawaiian coming in at a close second.

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Well Juicery: While Well Juicery is not a restaurant it is a great place to pick up drinks and snacks while on the go. One of my fave vegan and gluten-free companies Little Tucker operates out of Well Juicery and I can always count on them to have delicious bite-sized treats to share with Jack. Their “snickers bar” is seriously legendary – I can’t even handle how good it is – I always pick one up to throw in the freezer for when I need to “eat my feelings” but don’t want to feel guilty about it, haha.

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Delightful Donuts & Cafe: Another hole-in-the-wall type of spot, chances are you’ve walked by Delightful Cafe a dozen times without even noticing it. While the name advertises donuts, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a donut in the cafe. I go there to get the best Vietnamese food in Inglewood. The owners are very kind and have built such a loyal clientele. I love walking into places like this where everyone seems to be a regular and people are chatting from table to table. I like to get their classic lemongrass chicken rice vermicelli without any spring rolls – delicious.

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The Nash: While the Nash is decidedly higher-end than the rest of the spots on this list, I’ve managed to find the best gluten-free take-out deal. Their Happy Chicken wood roasted whole chicken is $25 and seriously the most flavourful roasted chicken ever! Get it with fries and their house-made jus and you’ve got a gourmet dinner to go for less than $40. Any leftovers go towards making homemade chicken soup so it’s actually like two meals in one! Winning.

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SUMMER SKIN WITH EMPOWER

First things first; when it comes to self-care, health and wellness, one of the most important elements is taking care of your skin. That means regularly cleansing your skin, making sure you protect with sunscreen and moderate sun exposure and moisturizing it daily. Paying attention to your skin type and how your skin reacts to different foods, environments, seasons etc. is all part of that self-care that will ensure your skin feels and looks great.

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I recently was introduced to Empower, a Calgary-based skincare company that creates not only beautiful products but also creates business opportunities for women who are looking to get their start at entrepreneurism. First off, I love that the products include such great ingredients like organic aloe. It really makes a difference when a company cares about their ingredients.

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I tried out five different Empower products: Radiate Body Butter, Nurture am/pm Moisturizer, Organic Aloe Night Treatment with probiotics, Renew Natural Enzyme Exfoliant with Organic Aloe and the Clean Foaming Cleanser.  I was really impressed with all of the products – especially the Organic Aloe Night Treatment; it is so light and fresh feeling and you know it is working some great healing magic on your skin overnight.

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Empower has made it really easy to follow a skincare routine that is fairly simple and uncomplicated while also feeling great on your skin. Their three-step program starts with the Foaming Cleanser which is loaded with all natural plant and fruit based ingredients. After you gently cleanse your skin you move on to the Natural Enzyme Exfoliant with Organic Aloe. Natural enzymes from ingredients like papaya and pineapple give your skin a youthful glow as you exfoliate. Lastly the am/pm Moisturizer is going to hydrate and smooth out your skin. The formula is creamy without feeling heavy or greasy. It absorbs into your skin very quickly, leaving your face feeling light and hydrated. Overall the whole lineup is fantastic and I can see why this company has gained such growth.

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I caught up with the amazing entrepreneur behind this great company, Deb Bateman, to chat about how she started Empower and some of the amazing things about her journey in entrepreneurship, skincare and working with women. Empower is more than just a skincare product line, it is also a company that allows women to become their own boss, work from home and sell the product themselves.

Tell me a bit about how you got started with Empower.

I was a single mom with two small children, running hotels and I wanted more balance in my life. I wanted to find my passion. I quit my job in 2000, three weeks before Christmas and decided that I was going to start a training company based on my love of working with people. My company was called The Affinities Group. Over the next ten years, I was really fortunate to have the privilege to meet and work with many First Nations people through my work. I always wanted to create something that would help women start their own business.

I met with several groups of women that I knew well and trusted with my business ideas, and I said “if I were to start this company – what do you think it would take to be successful?”. They responded with: confidence, strength and honour. That is what I ended up calling our three Empower collections. Our skincare is confidence, bodycare is honour and haircare is strength – the last one out of respect to First Nations people and the importance of hair in their culture.

What was most important to you when starting Empower?

I wanted to create a company that would empower women to run their own businesses that don’t have the initial skills to start their own company. I wanted to help them get from point A to point B. A lot of people want to be entrepreneurs but they don’t know where to start. We’ve grown a lot since we’ve started – I believe that our company’s vision is truly powerful. Our focus is definitely helping people with the entrepreneurial side of things with amazing skincare and bodycare products. We have some amazing women who are working with us doing amazing things for themselves and their families. It is truly awe-inspiring to see.

If you are interested in getting involved with Empower and becoming an Independent Business Owner simply click through and sign up for more information or call 1-855-465-0819.

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