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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Can you believe it is already the end of November? How this has happened I have no idea but I’m excited to start getting settled down for the holidays. The Gilmore Girls revival season launches on Netflix – seems like the perfect timing to pick a new smart tv or computer to binge-watch the full six hours of Gilmore goodness. Couple all of that with delicious snacks and you’ve got a perfect weekend ahead of you.
As the kickoff to Black Friday sales rapidly approach, London Drugs is opening a brand-new location right here in Calgary in the northwest neighbourhood of Sage Hill. I had the opportunity to preview the new store as well as some of the AMAZING Black Friday deals launching tomorrow and I was seriously impressed.
The Sage Hill location is literally a one-stop shop providing an amazing shopping experience for everything you need from cosmetics to tech to computers to pharmacy. The pharmacy is massive and I can see it being a great health hub for the folks in Sage Hill and neighbouring communities. I even got my flu shot while I was getting the tour of the store. That means I helped give a lifesaving vaccine to immunize children in a developing country because for every flu shot administer at London Drugs, a vaccination is donated to UNICEF Canada.
Some of the really cool aspects of the store include a Learning Lab where London Drugs will host their own workshops on topics such as health and wellness to technology and sustainability. One of the great things about this space is that it will actually be available for use by local community groups, educators and experts to host their own events or workshops. I love how they are opening it up to the community and providing a welcoming space!
Okay, now to my favourite part – the amazing Black Friday sales! London Drugs has extremely competitive pricing even against US retailers – you are going to find some incredible deals in store that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. While browsing the store and the advanced preview of the sale I found some seriously incredible deals. You can pick everything from ethical coffee beans for great prices to all of your essentials and home needs to last you through the holidays into the new year. You can view the entire Black Friday flyer here.
I found some truly stand out items while browsing around however – I know each one of these will be a huge hit for this Black Friday.
Another great deal that I’ve been drooling over is the SONY A6000B Kit with 16-50mm Lens. The camera is on sale for $729.97 for Black Friday only and is an excellent deal for anyone wanting a fantastic lightweight camera that takes amazing photos.
I am a huge fan of the Sodastream Jet Mega Pack so when I saw that the Jet Mega Pack is on sale for $59.99 I made a mental note to pick up one for everyone in my family – such an incredible deal for something that actually saves you a ton of money over the year.
If you love Fitbit you won’t want to miss the savings on two models this year! The Fitbit Alta is on sale for $129.95 and the Fitbit Flex2 Fitness Tracker is on sale for $99.95. Both great options for anyone wanting to up their fitness for the new year!
Another exciting addition to London Drugs is the recently launched LDExtras rewards program where you will find some great perks for shopping at the store including things like free gift wrapping, discounts and more! www.ldexttras.com Sign up today to take advantage of all of the membership benefits before you shop on Black Friday!
Visit Sage Hill London Drugs at Sage Hill Crossing (50 Sage Hill Plaza NW).
This post is in partnership with London Drugs and all words are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content!
This post was sponsored by Dove, Nexxus, TRESemmé and Shoppers Drug Mart. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, who is a paid influencer, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dove, Nexxus, TRESemmé and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Anyone else ridiculously excited for the holidays to kick off? Okay, I know it is only November but I can’t wait for all of the celebrations this year. One of my favourite part of this time of year is planning out holiday outfits, glamourous makeup looks and of course, beautiful hairstyles. Since most parties these days have a photobooth of some kind or everyone is using Instagram or Snapchat, it is great to find the perfect hairstyle that will keep you looking on point no matter what.
One of the hottest looks of the season is styling your hair in a 1990s x 1960s half-up/half-down party lob! Okay, I totally just made that name up but I swear it’s got a great thing going for it. I love the voluminous, piled-high locks of movie stars from the 60s combined with the slightly cheeky cheerleader styles from the 90s. Morphed into one hair style, this look is perfect to bring out at all of the parties this season! It has got all of the glamour of an up-do with a softer, more free-flowing vibe to it. Twist in some braids for some added texture or curl your locks for a more vintage feel. Styling your ‘do with a gorgeous vintage rhinestone clip will instantly add that much more glitz and glamour to your look – making this style easily to transition from work party to night party in no time.
For the best products and seasonal beauty inspiration Shoppers Drug Mart is my first and only stop. Their incredible selection for haircare and styling has everything I need and Shoppers Optimum rewards me for experimenting with my hair. To get started I gathered together the following to get working on my holiday look.
Nexxus Lavish Volume Shampoo: with a customized blend of Panthenol (B-5), Green tea extract and concentrated 100% elastin protein, gently cleanses as it adds natural, healthy-looking fullness.
Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo: Absorbs oil between traditional washes so hair looks and feels refreshed. Weightless formula cleans to transform lifeless hair, so you can enjoy fresh, volumized hair, even when you skip your regular wash.
Nexxus Maxximum Super Hold Styling & Finishing Mist: Get long lasting control for hard to hold styles with Maxximum Super Hold Styling and Finishing Mist.
Straightening Iron + Blow Dryer
Thin black hair elastic
Bobby Pins as needed
Hair Brush and Comb
I love using the Nexxus Lavish Volume Shampoo as it leaves my hair feeling so soft and silky. After washing my hair, I blow dry my hair just using my fingers instead of a brush. My hair is fairly curly when I air dry it so I find that I am able to smooth it out a bit more this way – especially if I’m not planning on doing a full blowout.
After blow drying, I use my heated up straightening iron to smooth out my hair and curl the ends. As I mentioned, I love how movie stars of the 60s always had perfectly twirled wispy ends and it is so easy to recreate that in this fresh holiday look. Once my hair is smoothed and has an adorable bounce to it, I like to add a bit of the Dove Refresh & Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo to my roots around the crown of my head. Instead of using a texturizing spray or teasing my hair, I find that the dry shampoo adds the perfect amount of texture to give it some life for this flirty look. Dove gives the nourishment my hair needs from root to tip. Dove is an expert in nourishment, keeping my hair hydrated and irresistibly smooth.
I’ll define the part on both sides of my head – for this style, symmetrical parts work best. Pulling the top part of my hair back, I smooth it with my fingers into a small ponytail and secure with the thin black hair elastic. Wrapping a small piece of hair around the elastic, I tuck it underneath. To give it some lift, I tighten it and fluff up the ends. At this point, if you want a more glam look you can curl your hair even more. Once I’ve done that, I finish the look with the Nexxus Maxximum Super Hold Styling & Finishing Mist.
This is my absolute favourite product right now – it leaves my hair feeling soft and touchable – while still maintain the shape and curl of the style. Gotta love a product that you don’t have to compromise on. Nexxus was Unilever’s first brand to explore and develop concentrated protein based hair care solutions. Nexxus products have a targeted purpose, custom-crafted to work together as part of a total system. It’s all about bringing hair back to equilibrium so it moves with beautiful fluidity. Nexxus has 30 years of New York salon heritage and pioneering scientific expertise. Nexxus has a strong heritage in wash & care products, and specialty treatments.
Hair experts TRESemmé, Dove, Nexxus and Shoppers Drug Mart presents your “To ’Do List” for picture perfect hairstyles this holiday. Office parties, family get-togethers and any place you’ll be taking pictures this holiday call for The To ’Do List – a girl’s guide to mastering photo-ready looks with seasonal styles, top products and tips for keeping your hair on point in holiday pictures. Find it all at Shoppers Drug Mart, and love every selfie this season.
Find everything you need to love your look this holiday, with TRESemmé, Nexxus and Dove at your local Shoppers Drug Mart. To check out more looks like this one and see what else is on your Holiday To’Do List visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/todolist
It is barely November and I’m already getting into the holiday spirit – dreaming up menus for holiday parties and coming up with delicious cocktail recipes to share with friends.
I was recently introduced to a new-to-Alberta rum called Noxx & Dunn so I immediately started thinking about rum, specifically rum cocktails. After digging through my cocktail cookbooks, Pinterest and recipe cards, I settled on a modern spin on the traditional Mai Tai mixing the rum with tea and infusing it with fresh thyme. Some purists will definitely say this isn’t a mai tai at all, but I think it definitely has all of the characteristics of one and the Noxx & Dunn rum compliments the flavours perfectly.
The Noxx & Dunn 2-4-5 Rum is made from 100% Florida Cane Molasses and aged in American oak barrels. That delicious oaky rum flavour definitely comes across on the first taste and it is incredibly smooth. The numbers 2-4-5 come from the blend of rums aged two, four and five years in the oak barrels. The colour and flavour are both completely natural – making this the perfect spirit to drink on its own or add it to your favourite cocktail recipe – like I did!
I love the vintage look/feel of this recipe and I think that the Noxx & Dunn rum compliments it so well. Even though the rum is a modern label, I feel like the vintage-looking shape of the bottle is a perfect fit for your holiday bar cart selection.
pineapple slices, cherries and fresh thyme for garnish
Time to get down to business! Steep your cherry tea with the thyme springs in hot water for about five minutes – I used these great KORKEN jars from IKEA and made a little extra so that I could have iced tea for the next day. Once the tea had cooled and I removed the tea bags, I filled the jars up with ice to cool them down quickly. If you prepare your tea ahead of time, you can just pop it in the fridge for cocktail convenience anytime. Stir in the maple syrup and mix well. You can also use honey if you don’t have maple syrup.
For your pineapple juice, feel free to juice your own or use pre-bought unsweetened or sweetened juice. They will all do the trick and taste delicious. Add the juice of one lemon to it and stir thoroughly.
Fill your cocktail glasses to the top with ice. Pour in an ounce of the black cherry tea and 1 ½ ounces of the Noxx & Dunn rum. Fill the glass with pineapple juice and gently stir to combine ingredients. Top with a pineapple slice, a couple of cherries and some more fresh thyme.