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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

TOP PICKS FROM IKEA PS 2017 COLLECTION

Every year I cannot wait for IKEA to release their PS collection. Season after season they’ve truly delivered with standout pieces that are really timeless for anyone who loves great Scandinavian design – and all at an excellent price point. The PS 2012 black armchair is still a favourite as is this perfect metal cabinet in white. The PS 2017 collection is now live on the IKEA Canada site and there is some really great stuff on there. I’ve highlighted a few of my faves below – check ’em out!

 

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3-Piece Self Watering Plant Pot with Stand: I love the minimalist design of this self-watering plant pot; it would look gorgeous both indoors and outdoors. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting someone in to water your plants if you are going away for an extended amount of time.

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White 3 Candlestick Holder: This candlestick holder is simplistic Scandinavian design at its finest. Love this.

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PS 2017 Rocking Chair: How comfy and fun does the new rocking chair look? I just want to sink into it with a ton of blankets and throw pillows – and of course, a great book.

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White Lounging Blanket: Long gone are the days of the “Snuggie” – say hello to this plushy duvet-style wrap blanket. Its like a cozy jacket for lounging on the couch. Sign me up.

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White and Grey Loveseat: I picture this being a great piece in a modern office or studio. Simplistic and stylish, it is a great piece that can transition from space to space.

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Beech Sidetable/Stool: This side table immediately went to the top of my wish list after seeing it. The design is classic and would look great in my living room.

FIND WELLNESS ON 4TH STREET

January is a great time to reset and re-evaluate your personal needs. Beyond the many health practitioners from massage therapists to doctors to psychologists that hold their practice on 4th Street, there are some really unique businesses that focus on wellness and health. Experts at each of these businesses can help you come with a wellness plan for 2017 – whether it be getting on a regular floating/meditation schedule at Clear Float Spa or signing up for a new fitness routine at Method Fitness.

Find Calm: Clear Float Spa #105 – 1800 4 Street SW

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A fairly new concept to Calgary, floating is basically a sensory deprivation experience where you lie down in a float pod filled with water and massive quantities of epsom salts that allows you to float. If you’ve been reading up on meditation, I highly recommend trying a float or two to get you started in a brand-new mindset. Their environment is designed to promote relaxation so if you’ve found yourself extra stressed out about your job, relationships or other external influences it might be time to try something new. The staff is very welcoming and friendly – and will happily answer any questions you may have about the experience of floating.

Find Skincare: Babor Beauty Spa #25 – 2500 4th Street SW

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One of my favourite things about 4th Street is how many great spots there are to treat yourself to some pampering. BABOR Beauty Spa is just one of these amazing spots. For over 60 years, BABOR has been creating luxurious facial and body treatments in Europe. Now available in Calgary, BABOR uses the finest natural active ingredients and provides incredible and innovative skincare solutions. If you’ve been feeling like your skin needs some extra love, this is a great place to start. Some of their groundbreaking experience include Vital O2 Lux Oxygen Treatments, Facials, Body Treatments, Relaxation Massage, DR BABOR Therapies, Make-Up Application, Thermocoagulation, Tint & Hair Removal

Find Natural Remedies: Neal’s Yard Remedies 2207 4th Street SW

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Neal’s Yard Remedies is full of so much organic goodness, sometimes it is hard to describe exactly what this gorgeous little shop is all about. First off, they specialize in amazing skincare, makeup and body products. Their entire collection uses the finest, organic natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Beyond that they also have mother and baby collections, fantastic “cookbooks” for healthy eating and creating your own beauty remedies, as well as raw natural ingredients like dried lavender and teas. They also have partnered with Aloha Healing and Wellness to operate out of their treatment rooms – adding more value to your visits!

Find Strength: Method Fitness #16 – 2500 4th Street SW

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After doing some personal training at Method Fitness in 2016, I noticed such a difference with other studios I had trained at in the past. Their studio is incredibly welcoming, their trainers are educated and helpful – and their programs can be completely tailored to your person needs and desires. They often have great fitness challenges with fantastic prizes and bootcamp classes on the weekends (so I’ve heard – I’ve yet to do a group class – something to work up to one day, haha!). I definitely recommend their services if you are looking to increase or improve on your fitness this year.

Find Nutrition: Amaranth Market 1407 4th Street SW 14650274_1243705805681238_3552060969648968127_n   

Another one of my all-time favourite spots to hit up, Amaranth Foods is a great spot to reset your nutrition goals and try some new methods of eating healthy. Beyond having an amazing selection of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan foods and products, you can also pick up delicious local produce, vitamins, medicine – as well as grab-and-go meal options that are 100x more healthy than stopping at your favourite fast food joint.

 

GLUTEN-FREE EATS ON 4TH STREET

I’ve been gluten-free for about sixteen years now so my trials with finding great gluten-free food while out and about have been lengthy. Luckily, for anyone with Celiac or an intolerance to gluten, the restaurant or grab-and-go options around Calgary have improved immensely. 4th Street in particular has an incredible selection of Celiac-friendly spots where you can eat healthy and still maintain your foodie status. These are a few of my favourite places to grab some gluten-free eats on 4th Street:

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Shokunin is definitely one of my favourite places to eat out on 4th Street not only because they have great gluten-free options but because they always have such delicious, fresh and inventive menu items. Their menu changes often based on the fresh and seasonal ingredients they bring in but you can’t go wrong with their yakitori menu or daily sashimi. 2016 4th Street SW

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Amaranth Market is more than just a grocery store. It is a fantastic and inspiring destination for amazing gluten-free food. I would estimate that 85% of the store is gluten-free making it very easy to shop – especially if you are new at the whole gluten-free thing. Their staff is incredibly knowledgeable and willing to help you find unique and delicious products. 1407 4th Street SW

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Pho Daddy is a much-welcomed addition to 4th Street. Serving up only pho on their menu, each bowl is made to order and absolutely delicious. The whole experience is interactive; you get to choose your toppings (limes, basil, hot sauce) and your protein (beef or chicken). And the results are absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this spot – for take-out or dine-in! 1304 4th Street SW

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Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters is definitely a mainstay for great coffee on 4th Street but it also really amazing gluten-free baked goods. I’ve been bought entire cakes there for birthdays! They really make an effort to create quality bakery items that truly no one else in city is doing. Even something as simple as a great chocolate cookie or oat bar! 2207 4th Street SW

blaze pizza

Blaze Pizza is a more recent addition to 4th Street and definitely a welcome one for anyone craving delicious and inexpensive gluten-free pizza. They serve up their individual-sized pizzas in record time and you get to choose all of your toppings. Make sure to let them know if you have Celiac or an allergy to gluten as they will make sure to change their gloves and utensils. 2032 4th Street SW

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Flippn Burgers is another delicious spot to grab a quick bite to eat. They have excellent gluten-free buns for their burgers as well as a few vegan options. And their fries are deadly. Buy extra. 2308 4th Street SW

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR CARDS FROM MINTED

I am a firm believer that New Year’s cards are the best kind of holiday cards to send. Sure, if you are organized sending Christmas cards is a very nice thing to do – but for me with it being an incredibly busy and hectic month I never end up getting around to it. New Year’s cards make so much for sense to me – it is the first mail your friends will receive in the new year. You’ve had time over the Christmas holidays to think about your plans and goals for the year ahead – and you actually have a minute or two to sit down and write those cards to all of your loved ones.

Minted is a design marketplace of independent artists from around the globe. Minted is always my go-to for great cards all year round and their selection of New Years cards is unrivalled. I love all of the great options they have for personalized photo cards. All holiday cards are available with matching custom stamps, envelope designs and FREE recipient addressing. Save time and make your holiday card beautiful from the inside out.

 We just ordered our cards and can’t wait to send them off to all of our family and friends as 2017 approaches. I’ve rounded up the design I chose along with some other really great designs that I fell in love with. Minted’s assortment of stationery, art, home decor and digital offerings is constantly expanding as Minted grows its artist community and hosts ongoing challenges.

Happy New Years, friends!

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Cheer Brush

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Burst of Happy

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Best of the Best

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Geometric Numerals

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A Bold New Year

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Amazing Paint

TELUS CONNECTED EXPERIENCE + GIVEAWAY

It is no secret that I am a sucker for tech gadgets. I am always certain that the latest product is certain to change my life whether it a better camera or something to help track my fitness. When I heard that TELUS was opening the first Connected Experience store in Calgary right downtown at The CORE, I was seriously excited to see all of the amazing connected technology they’d be curating for this new-to-Calgary concept.

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I’ve already been with TELUS since I got my first cell phone when I was a teenager so I was very happy to see the upgraded store. The tiny kiosk they had before was always super busy so it totally made sense for them to open a bigger location with their regular phone lineup combined with a huge selection of connected products.

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These tables at the front of the store have all of the latest, greatest products from incredible sound-proof headphones to the slickest phone cases. They constantly change out the product all of the time – the best thing about it all is that you can actually touch and try out all of the different gadgets. Perfect if you are the kind of person who needs to see a product in action before purchasing.

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At the back of the store there is an amazing living room set-up featuring all of the incredible smart home products that they carry. Everything from Telus Optik TV 4K, internet setup, the full NEST smarthome system and more! It is a great spot to sit down and plan out how to make your home smarter and more efficient!

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And because they are just so awesome, the good folks at TELUS have partnered with me to giveaway this amazing gift package right before Christmas!

 

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The Giveaway Prize Pack includes:
Drop Scale (Smart scale for your kitchen.)
Tangram Jump Rope (Workout Smarter Smart Rope is an LED-embedded jump rope )
Bosign Tablet Stand (a smart iPad stand for all home cooks.)
Crayola Colour Alive Colouring Books

Total value is about $300!

To enter to win, leave a comment here and tell me what gadget you’re most excited to see under the tree this Christmas! Contest ends December 12th!

Visit the TELUS Connected Experience Store at CORE Shopping.

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FROM 4TH STREET

The Christmas shopping season has officially kicked off! Well, maybe it kicked off for you a long time ago but for everyone whose December is flying by, it is definitely time to get shopping.

I was on Breakfast TV here in Calgary this past Monday morning chatting about great gift ideas from 4th Street. Even though I just love 4th Street with an unnatural passion, being the brand ambassador for the street is really fantastic because I am able to spread the word about this incredible street and the wonderful people and shops that inhabit it’s avenues. Plus, shopping local is especially important this year as many small businesses are hurting because of the dampening of the economy over the past year.

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The street is hosting a late night holiday shopping event tonight where most of the shops are open until 8pm! It is a great way to check out the great selection of boutiques and restaurants that you might not have a chance to visit on other days. On December 8th between 4pm and 8pm receive a FREE Christmas Tree when you present a receipt(s) of spending over $100 at a 4th Street Business. All of the details are here! 
Here is the video of our segment showcasing some great gift ideas from up and down 4th Street. All of the stores mentioned are listed below!

 

Marlow Floralworks – 2101 4 St SW

 

Inspirati – 2207 4 St SW

 

Neal’s Yard Remedies – 2207 4 St SW

 

Krickets – 2306 4 St SW

 

Bin 9052311 4 St SW

 

Modern Menswear – 2500 4 St SW

 

Coco + Violet – 2500 4 St SW #17

Babor Beauty Spa 2500 4 St SW #25

 

FieldStudy – 102 – 1812 4 St SW

ShelfLife Books – 1302 4 St SW

 

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