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SHOPPING WEEKENDERS

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The thrill of the hunt is what cross-border shopping is all about. There’s nothing better than coming home duty-free with some serious goods that you either can’t track down in Canada or are available at a better price in the U.S. I love crossing the Canadian border to hit the shops for both well-known American brands as well as those hidden gems that you can only find in small towns. I remember the first time I drove down to Kalispell, Montana to check out what they have to offer and was blown away by the experience.

I’m sharing lots of great spots to stay and shop in Seattle/Bellingham, Kalispell/Whitefish and Coeur d’Alene over on Trivago. You can read more about my cross-border shopping tips over here. With spring right around the corner it is the perfect time to book your first road trip of the year.

HAPPY 2018!

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Happy 2018! Hope you are all off to a great start into this new year – refreshed with hope, creativity and inspiration. I am definitely very excited about the year ahead – I’m planning on pushing myself in exciting new directions and following through on some projects I’ve been dreaming about it for so long.

Thought I would share a new article I recently wrote for Trivago. If you are planning on heading to the mountains you’ll definitely want to check out these destinations – perfect for skiers and non-skiers alike. The mountains are so stunning this time of year – hope you all get a chance to stare up in wonder at those beautiful hills. Have an amazing January!

DISNEY ON ICE IN CALGARY + TICKET GIVEAWAY

Despite all of the distractions of our busy, modern, internet-filled lives, the magic of Disney still lives on – for both children and adults. I still remember going to Disney on Ice for the very first time when I was a kid; a cold, snowy night filled with so much excitement to see some of my favourite Disney characters pirouetting on the ice.

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Well, now that I’m a parent to my own Disney-loving child, the magic and excitement is still there and I can’t wait to see it through his eyes. Disney On Ice has just pulled into Calgary for eleven amazing shows over the next few days. We got a little sneak peek at the action down at the Stampede Corral and met Mickey and Minnie for a little photo-op.

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This new production of Disney On Ice called “Follow Your Heart  is the first one to feature Dory, Nemo, Marlin and Hank (the Octopus from Finding Dory!) which a lot of Nemo/Finding Dory fans will be very excited about. The show also features all of the lovable characters from Frozen (that movie was destined to become an “on ice” live show) as well as all of the Disney classics from Cinderella to the Little Mermaid to Toy Story.  

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Tickets are still available to see the magic of Disney come to life on the ice but you also have a chance to win tickets for four right here on my blog. I am so excited to be sending one lucky family or group of Disney-fanatics to see the show in person.

This giveaway is for FOUR tickets to attend Disney on Ice on one of the following days: Friday November 17, Saturday November 18 or Sunday November 19. To enter the giveaway you must be able to attend a show on one of those days. You must complete the  following steps:

  1. Follow @kaitkucy on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment here saying what day you’d like to attend, your IG handle (so I can double check) and your kids’ (or your own) favourite Disney character.

The giveaway is a quick one and ends at 8pm MST on Thursday November 16th. Winner will be contacted immediately. Thanks for entering and good luck!

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

SUMMER GARDENING WITH #MYPCGARDEN

There is nothing better than the satisfaction of growing your own flowers and vegetables. I recently moved into my dream apartment – a heritage building here in Calgary that is full of character and charm – complete with a gorgeous south-facing balcony that is ideal for starting our first garden in the home. Jack and I went to the PC® Garden Centre at Superstore and stocked up on everything we need for our set-up including great strawberry plants, plant pots and beautiful flowers.

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The experience shopping at the PC® Garden Centre was great with plenty of fantastic PC items that are perfect for our summer gardening plans. I love how they have so many great gardening tools and essentials, as well as cute outdoor furniture and accessories. As if I needed more of a reason to get inspired about summer, the great selection of PC products makes it even easier to plan out our balcony garden and dining area.

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Two of the best essentials we found for our gardening were the PC Magic Grow Single Dose Fertilizer and the PC Magic Grow Hanging Basket and Planter plant food. Working from home and with a busy toddler on the go, I don’t have a ton of time to fuss over gardening, so these are excellent products to help me achieve my summer gardening goals without too much worry

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I found some super inspiring images on Pinterest while doing some planning for what our new balcony garden is going to look like. These are some truly gorgeous outdoor living spaces and it would be amazing to create a vibe like these on our new balcony. I’m going to be following up this post with a before-and-after of the balcony so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I’ll be tending to my new plants and getting everything ready for the rest of the summer!

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This post is in partnership with President’s Choice and all words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content. Follow along online at #MyPCGarden!

 

SPRING CLEANING FOR MINIMALISTS

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year going through my personal belongings and really figuring out how much meaning I place on each of those material possessions. After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and watching the film Minimalism: A Documentary on Netflix, it is easy to see how a life with less means a lot less stress. I’ve been applying these concepts and strategies to my surroundings and it really is quite life changing.  Now, with spring finally here and summer just around the corner, I’ve got the itch to do some more spring cleaning and really define what I want objects I want to keep around.

As a mom of a young child, we definitely have a bit of a revolving door in terms of clothing, toys and household things that he requires as he grows. As someone who is both sentimental but also distracted by clutter and mess, it means constantly sorting through our stuff and deciding whether it is to keep, sell or donate to charity.

As a reformed semi-hoarder (hey – I love collecting things!), I especially love how much easier it is to clean my home when there isn’t shelves of tchotchkes to dust or wipe down regularly. We keep out exactly what we need. That being said, I am definitely not 100% minimalist. I still love to have books, art and interesting objects featured throughout my home but I am definitely going for the “less is more” vibe these days.

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Since I love to make any experience (even cleaning) fun and beautiful, I was elated to use the new Spring Blossom Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner when getting down to work. The scent is lovely and actually smells like real flowers – which was a treat since so many household cleaners smell very toxic to me. I love that it cleans and deodorizes at the same time. It is available at grocery and discount retailers all over Canada priced at $4.49 for 1.4L (a little bit goes a LONG way).

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Here are some tips that I use to keep myself in check while spring cleaning and decluttering my space.

Only keep objects on your kitchen counters that you reach for often. I used to keep out certain appliances on the counter because I thought I would use them more if I did or that they looked nice. Nope. It is so much easier to quickly wipe down your countertops with Pine-Sol when you don’t have to constantly move things out of the way.

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Clean bathrooms often. I’m not saying this because I love cleaning bathrooms – in fact, I hate cleaning them. However, neglecting showers, floors, tile, sinks and toilets only leads to more work down the line. I’d rather to spot maintenance care each week instead of having to spend an entire day scrubbing. Pine-Sol Spring Blossom is great for spot cleaning as you don’t even need to dilute it with water.

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Choose quality over quantity. I’m trying to be more intentional about my household purchases; everything new I bring into the house must meet certain quality standards. When I was younger, I often purchased things just because they were less expensive – not because they would last decades or that the materials were all-natural or ethical. I definitely make a conscious choice these days to really research what I’m bringing home before impulse buying.    Kait-18 Kait-29

This post is in partnership with Pine-Sol and all words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content. Follow along online at #YesitsPineSol!

 

Photos by Modern Nest Photography

 

 

Late Night Thursday at Contemporary Calgary

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If you love film, thought-provoking discussion, wine, art and snacks, you’ll want to pop into Late Night Thursdays at Contemporary Calgary. A monthly event to bring people a bit of art and culture on a Thursday night is definitely my idea of a perfect night out. Wrangling my photographer friend and fellow-mama Amy, we recently headed out to attend the first ever Late Night Thursday in April featuring the iconic film Metropolis.

I’ve been to Contemporary Calgary several times now and I love the atmosphere in the gallery; it is a very calm and contemplative space – ideal for checking out their exhibitions. But it was really great to see it at night with a bit of buzz and festivity on the top floor in the Utopia Lounge. Set-up like a theatre, the space quickly filled up with eager film lovers excited to see Metropolis screened. I hadn’t seen the film since my university days when I took a full year film studies course but was surprised at how relevant it truly is in our modern society – especially with everything currently going on in the United States. Exceptionally poignant and visually stunning; for a film made in 1927 it really stands the test of time.

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The event was a blast. They had the Kaffeeklatsch Coffee Cart where we enjoyed a delicious freshly made Americano. They also had a delicious candy bar set up that we totally took advantage of like small children in a candy store. Of course, we smartened up enough to have a glass of wine from their bar – with a side of popcorn.

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There are more than a couple reasons why it was such a great night but I really loved the idea of being able to get up from the film (it was a long one), chat with friends for a bit, even wander around the gallery and then head back to the film.

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Contemporary Calgary hosts the Late Night Thursdays event every single month and the next one is coming up at the end of May, featuring the documentary Urbanized. Urbanized is a feature-length documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policy makers, builders and thinkers. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

Jordan Allen, founding partner of Bioi Design + Build will introduce Urbanized. He will discuss the challenges that face the city in terms of creating and sustaining the urban realm in Calgary.

The next Late Night Thursday is on May 18th from 6:00-9:00pm. The gallery recommends registering to claim your spot here. Upcoming events are on June 8 featuring a Patio Party and July 27 (film TBD). It is going to be a great summer full of film, art and architecture – hope you will join in the festivities at Contemporary Calgary. See you there!

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This post is in partnership with Contemporary Calgary and all words are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the amazing organizations that keep this blog full of fresh content!

UNPLUG TO CONNECT

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In celebration of Earth Day, Saje invites you to unplug and relax with their brand-new limited edition Unplug to Connect Candlelight Game & Diffuser Set.  This is the perfect way to spend earth day, going offline and enjoying a deeper connection with those around you. The recyclable gift box connection collection includes:

  • #Nofilter Cardgame – developed by Saje, 100 questions to inspire unfiltered conversation
  • Unearthed Cement Stone Candle Diffuser
  • 100% soy wax tealights
  • Liquid Sunshine Cheerful Diffuser Blend (5ML) and Tranquility Relaxing Diffuser Blend (5ML)

This limited edition collection is available in-store from April 14th – 30th for only $30 with a $30 purchase (regularly $59.95).

 I also spoke with a rep from Saje about some new ways to help unplug on a regular basis – I think these tips are really great and can be applied to anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a screen.

What is the best way for people to “unplug” throughout the work day? Especially, if you don’t have time to fully unplug?

•         Get outside! Take a wellness break by going for a device-free stroll for 15 minutes

•         Take a minute to be mindful – close your eyes and take three deep breaths

•         Meet a coworker for a lunchtime workout – leave your phones in the locker room and spend 30 minutes catching up face to face

•         Set a reminder in your calendar at the same time every day to stretch for 10 minutes

What are three essential products to help you decompress after a day spent on computers and phones and tablets?

•         Pocket Farmacy – five natural remedies to help you decompress from whatever your day threw at you. We love rolling on Peppermint Halo for immediate soothing relief on the neck and head, and Pain Release to ease tension in the shoulders from hunching over the keyboard.

•         Stress Release Mist – close your eyes, mist this over your head and breath in this calming, balancing blend.

•         aromaOm Ultrasonic Diffuser and Peaceful Diffuser Blend Kit – turn it on as soon as you come on to help you return to a state of calm

I work as a writer and photographer, so I am constantly surrounded by screens and tech on a daily basis – any advice for people working in jobs where you are constantly stuck in a loop of social media, email and work stuff?

•         Allocate time in your schedule to unplug and connect with those around you – ten minutes in the morning and afternoon will help you be more productive in the long run

•         Keep notes on your computer to remind you to breath throughout the day, we can get so caught up and forget about it breathing deeply in moments of heightened anxiety

•         Commit to time away from your screen – make sure to spend at least the last half hour of your day screen free

MAKE IT! SHOW COMES TO CALGARY + GIVEAWAY

After five years, Make It! The Handmade Revolution is returning to Calgary and I couldn’t be more excited. This three-day art and design market, founded in Vancouver, now hosts shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, is finally back in #YYC and promises to be an amazing shopping experience.

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More than 175 friendly, passionate Makies (that is what they call their vendors – how cute, right?!) are bringing their beautiful, handcrafted products directly to you – 4o of them are from Calgary. I love supporting independent crafters, artists and designers; it truly is a passion of mine which is why I cannot wait to see what this year’s show will bring. Everything from accessories, jewellery, clothing, art, home decor, food and children’s items will be available – so pretty much it will be hard for you to leave empty-handed. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite vendors that I am so excited to see at the show:

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Dixie & Twine: I love Amber’s quirky and cute party supplies – all made right here in Calgary. She is literally the queen of confetti and I am always so excited to see what new and fun goodies she has up her sleeve.

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Wrinkle and Crease Paper Products: Wrinkle and Crease make my absolute favourite notebooks and calendars. This local company keeps my desk and never-ending to-do lists looking amazing at all times thanks to their stylish designs. Can’t wait to pop by and pick up some new stationary for the summer.

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Lace Brick Design: Jackie at LBD has created an absolutely amazing lifestyle brand right here in Calgary and it has been so inspiring to watch her business grow! Everything she creates – from cute tees to jewellery to mugs – is so original and fun.

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BARK: Another one of my favourite local Makies is Rhonda from BARK, an adorable accessory line for dogs. What special pooch doesn’t deserve a Drake bandana or Beyonce dog biscuits?!
There will also be delicious food trucks and a beer garden will keep you happy and hydrated so make sure you come hungry n’ thirsty!

Friday, April 7: 11am-9pm
Saturday, April 8: 10am-6pm
Sunday, April 9: 11am-5pm

Big Four at Stampede Park
1410 Olympic Way SE

$5 at the door, kids 12 and under are free.
Buy your tickets early to save $2:
https://www.picatic.com/makeitcalgary2017

To see the full lineup of amazing Makies check out www.makeitshow.ca

GIVEAWAY!

And because they are just so awesome, the good folks at Make It! have partnered with me to giveaway a few pairs of tickets to the show this coming April 7-9!

 

It is simple to win, leave a comment here and tell me what you love most about shopping from local makers! Contest ends Wednesday April 5th at 12pm MST. More chances to win a pair of tickets over on my Instagram.

This post is in partnership with Make It and all words are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content!

Shopping Second-hand for Great Design

There is nothing I love more than the thrill of the hunt. Stumbling across a perfect piece of furniture or discovering an amazing painting by a mystery artist is all part of the magic of shopping second-hand.

I’ve been shopping second-hand in one form or another for as long as I can remember; my parents have always collected antiques, books and art, and brought us to antique shows and flea markets since my brother and I were tiny. I loved finding great vintage clothing from the 1950s when I was in high school, always something unique and beautiful to be found and reworked into a modern wardrobe.

Nowadays, I’m mostly on the hunt for beautiful furniture and home accessories  –  that’s where Kijiji comes in. While spending a day hunting out treasure in second-hand shops and markets is a lot of fun, as a busy mom, I don’t really have time for such epic expeditions anymore. Not only that but I am a lot more specific in my pursuit which is why I love Kijiji. I can search for exactly what I want.

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I am so excited to have partnered with Kijiji to show you some of the amazing things about the second-hand economy. Kijiji just released their third-annual Second-Hand Economy (SHE) Index which reveals Canadian’s second-hand practices. The report found that the average Canadian earned an average of $1,037 in 2016 by selling second-hand items. Kinda makes you want to get to listing all of that unwanted stuff you have sitting in your house, right?!

Last Thursday, I joined the Kijiji team for a really fun and interactive event in downtown Calgary, spreading the word about the benefits of buying and selling second-hand  and giving away tons of free cash.  Representing the average number of items exchanged per person in Calgary’s second-hand economy last year, the first 104 guests that joined us had the chance to carve out between $5 and $1,037 from a large ice wall installation!

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CTV Chipping Away for a Chance to Win

The reaction was so amazing and I loved hearing people’s responses to the stats from the SHE index – people were really excited about the money-making potential they have on Kijiji. One of the things I found the most interesting was the fact that Calgary is leading the country as the number one city for using the second-hand economy.

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I think Kijiji Calgary has an amazing range of great finds in so many different categories. In fact, some of my favourite purchases from the past couple of years have been from Kijiji – for example, our Bugaboo Cameleon stroller is a second-hand purchase I made on Kijiji. When purchased brand-new those strollers are usually around $1,300. I managed to track one down just before Jack was born for about $250!! I purchased a new fabric cover for it, a cup holder and it was as good as new, all with an extra thousand bucks in my pocket from the savings. I expect to resell it back on Kijiji once he has grown out it in the next couple of years. It makes perfect sense as the average total spend on Kijiji for baby clothes and accessories was $2,071 while Canadians think that they would have spent 1.3 times more to buy those items new. That is nearly $800 in savings. It is truly a great way to shop for your children.

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Big Winners in Calgary

I did some hunting this week on Kijiji to find some really cool furniture pieces that would make a great addition to any living space looking for some fresh additions – at great prices.

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Vintage Lounge Chair: I love the original upholstery of this great mid-century lounge chair but it has such a great shape I think you could also recover it in a soft velvet (I’m envisioning mint or blush pink) for a new look.

Small Teak Dresser: You can’t go wrong with vintage teak pieces – they always stay on trend and are easily resold on Kijiji if you want to change up your loo. This small dresser is in great shape and would make a beautiful addition to a bedroom or office.

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Eames Shell Chair: While I’d prefer to stumble upon a real Eames chair rather than a replica, this adorable orange chair is too cute to resist. Would look great in an office or for a pop of colour in a living room.

Vintage Boho Rug: How cool is this rug?! I can already think of a zillion places that it would be perfect for – including the wall. I love how vintage rugs can become instant art when you hang them up.

Happy hunting!

PLANT PARENTHOOD

I’m pretty sure that I have spring fever at the moment. I can’t stop thinking about the snow finally stopping and revealing beautiful green lawns everywhere I look. I want to get my hands dirty and get planting seeds. I’ve also been overwhelmed by the amazing selection of plant vessels and pots, everywhere I look online. There are so many creative applications to add greenery to your space; I’ve rounded up a few of my current favourite vessels that are absolutely swoon-worthy, even if you have a black thumb. Also, just as an FYI, the #plantparenthood hashtag on Instagram is pure gold.

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Ellis Double Hanging Planter, Urban Outfitters

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Trigg White Vase, UMBRA

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Dear Human Paper Baskets, Objetik

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Pastel Small Colours Pot, Chic & Basta

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Pleated Plant Pot Series, Guildhall Home

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KURE Large Black Metal Planter, Rove Concepts

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Brass Plant Mister, Goods Shop

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Wallflower Plants, The Uncommons

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