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HAPPY EARTH MONTH!

Happy Earth Month, everyone! I feel like this April has been extra special for Earth Month – especially in Calgary because of the incredible spring weather we have been having. Typically, we can still have snow at this time of year but it has been nothing but warm days – this week it pretty much feels like summer. Already this year we have been spending much more time outdoors and have been working hard to find green ways of doing things.

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This past weekend we started working on some yard clean-up at our new house. I picked up some of the London Drugs brand paper yard waste bags for all of the old leaves, grass trimmings and weeds from our backyard. The bags are surprisingly very big and fit a lot of yard waste. I love the fact they are 100% Canadian made as well being biodegradable in compost. No sense all of those grass clippings rotting in a plastic bag. I highly recommend these bags.

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I am also a big fan of METHOD cleaning products. I have been using them for several years now and have loved what a great job they do without all of the harmful chemicals and odours that often accompany cleaning products. In our new house we have hardwood floors so I picked up the Method Squirt + Mop Almond Non-Toxic Floor Cleaner which has been a great addition to my cleaning day repertoire.

Speaking of clean-up, with a busy toddler running around the house these days I am constantly wiping things up. I love using the Seventh Generation Free + Clear baby wipes because they hypoallergenic, free of parabens and phthalates and are mostly plant-based.

Another notable eco-friendly collection, Attitude has an all natural air purifier that is ideal for adding to your home when you want to avoid unnecessary synthetic fragrances.  The product uses active coal combine with natural essential oils to create a unique product that scents and purifies the air of your home.

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While browsing the store, I also found these great all-natural bowls and spoons from World Centric – ideal for backyard fun or picnics with Jack and all of his friends. I love the fact that they are one-time use which is great for quick clean-up but they are practically guilt-free because they are made of plant-based materials that will quickly biodegrade in your compost. Plus, they are super cute – I think you could even paint them with all-natural paint to make them look even cuter for parties. The bowls (plates also available) are completely microwavable and freezer-safe and can handle hot liquids up to 220*F. Another great thing is that they don’t soak through – I picture them being perfect for an ice cream sundae party this summer. The spoons are made from corn and are also completely compostable. Who doesn’t love that?

Check out the full Earth Month flyer from London Drugs to take advantage of all sorts of eco-friendly savings until the end of the month!  You should also check  out GreenDeal.ca, London Drugs’ website all about waste diversion, recycling and sustainability. Find out all of the items that can be recycled at London Drugs (like old electronics and ink jet cartridges) as well as really great educational information about what does “green” actually mean.

I love that London Drugs is making such a big effort to make a difference for our Earth.  They are also extending their waste diversion efforts beyond their stores and into Calgary communities by partnering with Community Associations to host Community Cleanups. These events help divert waste from the Calgary’s landfills by encouraging Calgarians to responsibly recycle household items that are either at the end of their usable life or can be donated to local charities.  For more information, visit greendeal.ca/events.

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

THE CALGARY COMIC AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPO + GIVEAWAY

Have you heard the news? The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is back for another explosive weekend of pop culture, cosplayers and visiting celebrities! If you want to get in on the action, join over 100,000 Calgarians on April 28-May 1, 2016 for a krazy weekend of fun. Weekend passes often sell out, so grab your TICKETS now, while you still can! And if you want to try to win some passes – scroll down to the bottom for my great GIVEAWAY!

I still remember the first time I went to the Calgary Expo back in 2008. I had no idea what to expect but it was basically just a big party where everyone wanted to get their photo taken! It was a blast! By the way, in these old photos I am not in costume – that was a sundress I had made based on a vintage pattern. Regardless, everyone I met thought I was dressed up some obscure character or as a vintage Barbie – hilarious! Meeting Ed the Sock was definitely the highlight…

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This year promises to be the best year with amazing celebrities joining the festivities such as Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca!), N’Sync’s Joey Fatone (haha woot!) and Famke Jannsen of X-Men fame! There is a massive list of special guests which you can check out here – plus loads of them will be having photo ops as well.

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Beyond that there are some seriously talented women this year at the expo. For one, Lianne Moseley. She is a local artist officially at the show this year as one of the Expo’s Cosplay Guests. She creates incredible comic-style body art and it is literally mindblowing. She is constantly going viral on social media and it so no surprise why. Follow her on Instagram – her work is amazing and incredibly inspiring! Love this latest creation inspired by Coachella! https://www.instagram.com/lustredust/

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Another amazing woman is Sam Maggs – she is a girl-geek author who recently moved to Edmonton (from TO) to work for video game company Bioware. She wrote a book called ‘Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy’  – which is basically a manual for young women who want to let out their inner geek. She’s in town for the expo and is participating in a talk with local literary festival Wordfest on April 27. If you are interested check it out here: http://wordfest.com/session/sam-maggs-fangirls-guide-to-the-galaxy-25/

Lastly, I will leave you with this image of our awesome mayor at a previous year’s POW! Parade of Wonders in downtown Calgary. Amazing. Enjoy the show this year!

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 CALGARY EXPO WEEKEND PASSES GIVEAWAY! 

What you get:

A pair of weekend passes ($160 value) to Calgary Expo (April 28 – May 1)!

How to enter:

Leave a comment here telling me who your favourite superhero is! For an extra entry, ‘like’ my Facebook page The Archives of Cool and leave a second comment here saying that you did so!

This giveaway ends on Friday April 22 at 10am MST. Entrants must be able to attend the Calgary Expo, April 28 – May 1. Good luck!

Photos via Calgary Expo + Sam Maggs + Lianne Moseley

9 GLUTEN-FREE SPOTS TO EAT IN VICTORIA

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If you know me personally, it is no secret that Victoria, BC has a little piece of my heart. Some days I just long to be ocean-side, sipping a coffee from Hey Happy, enjoying the spectacular views and breathing in the fresh salty air. Luckily, we try to make it out to the island at least once every year for a taste of all that Victoria is known for – namely for me, all of the amazing gluten-free eats to be had. As a self-proclaimed foodie, landing in Victoria always means seeking out the best coffee, the best brunch, the best seafood and of course, the best treats. Every time I have been pleasantly surprised, finding delicious and healthy meals every where I went in the city. I decided to put together a little guide of my favourite places that I have come across in Victoria in hopes that other Celiacs or folks with a gluten-intolerance will enjoy these incredible spots as much as I do!

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The Fish Store: If you love fish & chips, The Fish Store is an absolute must-stop. Located at Fisherman’s Wharf, The Fish Store is a completely Oceanwise joint serving up piping hot trays of gluten-free fish & chips. As expected with any Oceanwise product (hello – we are saving the world here!) it is on the more expensive side of the scale, but honestly it is so worth it. And you’ll be so full that you can probably skip your next meal. It is worth noting that The Fish Store is also a fishmonger, selling fresh fish and seafood. So if you are staying in an AirBnB or with friends and want to cook your own meal, this is a great place to pick up dinner.

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Origin Bakery: I almost don’t want to tell anyone about Origin Bakery because I want it to be my own little secret. Origin Bakery is a completely 100% gluten-free bakery and let me tell you, it is home to some of the best gluten-free baked goods I’ve ever put in my mouth! This photo for example is of our picnic lunch that we had last summer: a ham + brie baguette sandwich, a blueberry lemon tart and a strawberry danish – oh and a gluten-free ginger ale from Phillips Brewery. Seriously, when was the last time you had anything gluten-free that looked that good? Anyways, you’ll want to get here early in the day and just buy everything because they definitely sell out of everything. Their breads are incredible, the cheese buns delicious and pretty much anything in their baked goods counter is delectable. Just check it out – and bring me back something tasty.

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Tacofino Victoria: If you’ve heard of Tofino, BC you’ve probably heard of Tacofino – the surf town’s infamous taco joint. Well, Victoria has a location now too and it is delicious. While not everything on their menu is gluten-free, they are super helpful in letting you know exactly what you can get off the current offering. It is tasty, quick and has a really cool vibe in their hole-in-the-wall eaterie.

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Cafe Bliss: This vegan restaurant came highly recommended to us and it did not disappoint. Cafe Bliss is a one-stop destination for incredibly fresh, gluten-free, sugar-free and raw dining. Each dish is exquisitely presented and is absolutely delicious. Their menu often changes and always features nutrient-rich ingredients that are in season.

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Cowichan Bay Seafood: If you are hanging out in downtown Victoria, Cowichan Bay Seafood is where you should go for more delicious fish & chips. Located in the Victoria Public Market, this is another great place to pick up the ingredients for homemade seafood feast. Their coleslaw was delightful and they also carried that delicious Phillips ginger ale!

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Hey Happy Coffee: This is one of my absolute favourite spots in Victoria. Everything about Hey Happy totally makes me happy. Especially the iced coconut milk lattes and gluten-free cookies! Looking forward to returning here this summer and caffeinating.

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Catalano Restaurant: Last year we stayed in the lovely Magnolia Hotel which is home to Catalano Restaurant. While we only ended up here for breakfasts, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had gluten-free bread and buns on their breakfast menu. They also ensured that any other ingredients used were gluten-free. All in all, a great place to have breakfast if you are staying at the Magnolia or nearby.

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Fernwood Coffee: I’ve been a longtime fan of Fernwood coffee – so much so that I always bring back bags of espresso in my suitcase so that I can keep the Fernwood experience going at home. Fernwood also has gluten-free bread on their menu and will make you the most delicious sandwiches that are perfect for breakfast and lunch. Delicious with an Americano or soy latte.

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The Docks: This is probably the most touristy spot on the list as it is located right in the Inner Harbour but the food is just as fresh and tasty as any of the locals-preferred joints listed above. The Docks was really great for eating gluten-free – not only do they have many menu items that are naturally gluten-free but they are also very accommodating for helping you make your choices. They have a great happy hour special too so be sure to get there on time to take advantage of it!

URBAN CONSERVATORY LAUNCH AT DRAKE GENERAL STORE

Shopping from Canadian boutiques is pretty much one of my favourite hobbies – I love finding unique and beautiful gifts for everyone I know and of course, some goodies for myself. And I love that I don’t have to necessarily leave my house to do so. One of my favourite online Canadian shops is the Drake General Store

They have just partnered with the Toronto-based digital agency Kastor & Pollux to bring a fresh look to spring with gorgeous new products. Launching in-store and online Monday April 11, customers can shop the new collection of unique, quirky and colourful curated curiosities from greenery to fashion and beyond. There are some seriously fabulous Mother’s Day gift ideas – don’t forget Mother’s Day is on May 8th this year…just around the corner!

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Love these gorgeous Mother’s Day greeting cards – they are absolutely so adorable.

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Spring means bright and vibrant succulents. These long-lasting, cute cacti pair perfectly with Drake’s amazing curated collection of planters and accessories, both designed in-house and carefully selected from some of our favourite designers such as the Umbra Shift Pleated Planter or Smiley Terracotta Pots. The Umbra Pleated series was made to accompany a plant through different stages of growth. Each piece is handmade, sporting geometric pleats and a self-watering wick. In-house designed DGS black clay planters come in all sizes featuring fresh minimalist designs that work with all décor! 

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Drake General Store is bringing the Montreal-based small batch preserving company, Preservation Society to foodies everywhere. I’ve long since wished I could participate in their incredible workshops or canned swaps so I am excited for the opportunity to scoop up some of their yummy goods. The lovingly produced fruit-forward jams, jellies, hand-cut marmalades, intoxicating chutneys, and addictive pickles are sure to satisfy any food-lover in your life.

Drake General Store has also partnered with Toronto-based bespoke loose-leaf tea-house, PLUCK, to provide 5 signature DGS blends: Free Spirit (Caffeine-free Red Rooibos Tea); Feminist (Smoky Maple Black Tea Blend); Florist (Green Tea Blend); Femme (Organic Herbal Tea Blend); Foodie (Pu-erh Tea Blend with Natural Chocolate). PLUCK uses the top 10 per cent of premium tea leaves from sustainably-managed gardens and certified organic sources from around the world, then adds unique local ingredients like Prince Edward County Lavender or grape skins from Southbrook Vineyards in the Niagara region. Kastor & Pollux designed the vibrant prints featured on each PLUCK product. As a major tea lover, I can’t wait to try this beautiful new collaboration! Check out the beautiful labels below…

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NEW IKEA FAMILY & CHILDREN COLLECTION

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When IKEA releases a brand new collection, it is always met with great excitement on my part. When they launched their party supplies last year, I was there stocking up on everything. And the Swedish bulk candy? You know I cannot resist it’s charms…

IKEA just announced a brand-new family + children’s collection debuting in stores this April and I cannot be more thrilled about this new family of designs. The FLISAT series features a product line of small furniture and storage for children aged 3 -12, made entirely of pine. The FLISAT series is truly the epitome of IKEA‘s Scandinavian roots with clean, modern lines, simple construction and practical, functional solutions. The products have been designed to withstand everyday use and grow together with the child. For example, the child’s desk can be tilted and adjusted to three heights and when the doll house is outgrown, it can be used as a wall storage solution to display favourite treasures – though I kind of want the dollhouse for a shelf in my room! Many other FLISAT products feature holders for TROFAST storage boxes, for example the children’s table and desk, so it’s easier to keep the room tidy once the day of play is done. Watch for these in store this April…

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FLISAT collection. Toy storage with wheels $39.99 Children’s desk $99 Children’s stool $19.99

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FLISAT book display $24.99

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FLISAT collection. Toy storage with wheels $39.99 Children’s desk $99 Wall storage $19.99 Children’s stool $19.99 Book display $24.99 Doll house/wall shelf $39.99 Children’s table $74.99PH133033

FLISAT doll house/wall shelf $39.99

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Another new product line is a grouping of baby textiles that are absolutely darling. The HIMMELSK baby series features beautiful patterns with stars, clouds and dots in vibrant colours – the new products designed for dressing the nursery to sleeping and feeding times. Made with lyocell, cotton from more sustainable sources and polyester, all products have undergone tough and extensive IKEA tests so they are both safe and healthy. From bibs to blankets and a bed canopy, these baby textiles are sure to stimulate the littlest one and inspire a good night’s sleep. PH132904

DRÖMLAND duvet cover and pillowcase for crib $14.99 STJÄRNBILD duvet cover and pillowcase for crib $8.99 PH132905

KLADDIG bib $5.99 STJÄRNBILD bib $4.99/2 pack

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STJÄRNBILD blanket $6.99   PH133037

KLADDIG bib $5.99

Photos via IKEA Canada

SPRING SKINCARE TIPS

Have you ever noticed how quickly spring suddenly appears? Maybe it is just this year, thanks to El Niño – but I feel like spring seriously snuck up on me. Before we know it, it will be summer! As with any seasonal transition, my skin is currently dealing with all of the changes in humidity, wild spring winds and the odd chilly day. As much as I love return to warmer weather, having to change up my whole skincare regime a couple times a year. If you have the same issues as me you know exactly what I am talking about.

I’ve partnered with London Drugs to showcase some of my favourite products to keep my skin feeling fresh, hydrated and smooth well into the summer. I would love to hear your must-haves too – please share in the comments!LondonDrugs_SpringSkincare

StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum, $99.00

After using the Intensive Illuminating Serum for just a few weeks I have already noticed my skin feeling a lot smoother and brighter. I love the lightweight texture of the serum – it works great smoothed on my freshly cleansed skin. The patented NIA-114 technology minimizes the effect of environmental aggressors while encapsulated skin-brightening ingredients target the key causes of discolouration. Over time, dark spots, age spots and discolouration are less visible for a more even complexion. Skin texture is smoother and more refined with a radiant, youthful glow. I am a huge fan now – not sure I can live without it!

La Roche Posay’s BB Blur SPF 24, $30.00

While you should be wearing sunscreen all year round, I find that La Roche’s BB Blur SPF 24 is a great transition sunscreen. In the spring and summer, I prefer to tone my makeup regime down a bit so finding the perfect tinted BB cream is much better than loading on tons of concealer and foundation. It is great for mattifying your skin too if you are dealing with a little extra shine in the warmer months.

La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP Plus, $33.00

I have talked about this lotion before and I still stand by it. It cleared up Jack’s cradle cap when he was a newborn in no time. I use it all of the time on my elbows, knees and hands. It is amazing how quickly this stuff works. It is also an anti-scratch formula, so I also find it soothing on bug bites – because you know those are coming soon too!

Bioderma Hydrabio Cream, $29.50

I am a huge fan of Bioderma products so when I first experienced the Hydrabio Cream I was ridiculously excited. I have sensitive skin yet in terms of skin type it is normal to combination skin that gets quite dry every time the weather changes. The Hydrabio Cream felt like I had just injected a bottle of water into my super dry skin – it instantly felt so hydrated and smooth. I highly recommend layering this with your favourite SPF.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, $7.99

The biggest thing I have noticed this year is how dry my cuticles have gotten. Despite constantly moisturizing I have found that I needed something a little stronger for my fingernails and toenail cuticles. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream has been a really great addition to my skincare regime. And I love the packaging – it is perfect for toting in my handbag for on-the-go moisturizing.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub, $11.99

When I was looking for a great exfoliator several people recommended the Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub to me. I was pleasantly surprised by how great it was. Not only was it super gentle on my sensitive skin but it actually sloughed away a lot of that awful winter skin which I was really happy about.

Evian Facial Spray, $15.00

The Evan Facial Spray is my absolute favourite product that I use all year round. It definitely helps me stay cool in the warmer months and really hydrated when my skin is feeling dry. I usually mist some on just before I moisturize my face.

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This post is in partnership with London Drugs. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content!

WISHLIST: NATIVE SILVER CERAMIC CRYSTALS

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I fell in love with these ceramic crystals made by Native Silver a couple of months ago and I still have them on my mind. I keep revisiting them on my Pinterest boards so I thought I would share them here on the blog finally and give them some love.

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I love how she created something so beautiful and organic yet kept it ultra-whimsical. The colours are perfectly sci-fi and candy-like all at the same time. They kind of remind me of something you might find at Fraggle Rock. I love how she has styled them on a mirror in the group – absolutely other-worldy. At home, I think they would be perfect styled on a mirrored tray next to a bedside with perfumes and jewellery.

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Snatch yours up soon – she is selling out of them left, right and centre!

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photos via native silver

GO SEE IT: BODYSWORLDS AT TELUS SPARK

If you have any interest in learning about the human body, I highly recommend that you visit Telus Spark here in Calgary to see the BODY WORLDS Vital exhibit. Spark invited us down to see BodyWorlds in person and I am so happy that I finally got to see this incredibly thought-provoking and informative exhibit. In case you haven’t heard of BODY WORLDS before, it is an exhibition that features real human bodies that have been donated to scientific research. The bodies go through a plastination process that allows us to see every working party of the human body – pretty incredible, right?! As you can see from my photos here the bodies are displayed in a certain way for us to understand more about how each part of our bodies work, especially when we are in movement.

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While Jack isn’t old enough to quite understand what the bodies and displays were all about, he did seem very interested in everything as Byron and I walked throughout the centre. There were plenty of other children at the exhibit which was great to see since I had previously heard that sometimes parents have stayed away from BODY WORLDS due to the perceived graphic nature of the displays. I think it is very important for us all to learn how our bodies work and what they look like inside and out. When you are looking at the displays from scientific angle there is absolutely nothing shocking or scary about it – in fact it is rather thrilling to think about how our bodies are made up of so many tiny parts that each have their own job. All of the families that we came across during our visit were enthralled with the exhibit and were all enjoying the educational component to these complex displays.

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If you want to check out BODY WORLDS without kids, you have your chance on May 12th for the Future Humans Adults Only Night event. This is the last adult night during the Vital exhibition and they will be talking about the future of biomedical tech and how it could impact our future. Make sure to buy your ticket early – these night’s often sell out!

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Go see BodyWorlds at Telus Spark! The exhibition runs until May 31st so make sure you pop in to see it before it is gone! Tickets to the exhibition include admission to the rest of Telus Spark – make a fun day out of it with your friends and family.

A VISIT TO SOMA HAMMAM + SPA

There is nothing quite like a day of pampering when you’ve been run off your feet between work, life and family. A day to yourself; to meditate, to relax and to reconnect with yourself. Pampering is a luxury that I certainly took for granted before having my son. I could go to the salon and get a blow-out anytime I wanted. Mani-pedis with girlfriends or my Mom was a regular thing. Now, I am lucky if I have a shower longer than five minutes.

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I recently had the chance to visit Soma Hammam + Spa in the new South Calgary neighbourhood of Seton. This beautiful spa features Calgary’s only Hammam and I got to experience the full deal. So, what is a Hammam, you ask?

According to Soma, a Hammam is traditionally a Turkish cleansing ritual that typically starts in a warm room where bathers are able to perspire naturally – all part of the healing process. The experience traditionally includes a sauna, a massage, and invigorating skin exfoliating treatments. The Hammam is typically finished off with a final rinse and final reflection.

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At Soma, they encompassed the importance of heat and detoxification, and transformed the Hammam experience into an awe-inspiring relaxing treatment. Their experienced and trained RMT’s and Certified Aestheticians understand the strong priority of cleansing and healing. As you lay on top of our heated stone table, they will perform exfoliating treatments with the water rinse,  hair and scalp cleanse, and massage therapy, leaving your skin feeling soft, and your body and mind feeling refreshed and relaxed. 

And let me tell you I felt so refreshed and relaxed after experiencing the Grand Hammam. I don’t think my skin has ever been so clean and soft. The Grand Hammam is a great service to book throughout the winter since we all accumulate so much dry skin thanks to the cold, dry air. I wasn’t sure if lying straight on the stone table was going to be comfortable but it actually was incredibly relaxing, detoxifying and – addicting. I definitely need to head back to the spa before the hot summer months kick in. A friend and I have even been chatting about doing a social hammam (girls trip the spa!) like she had experienced in Europe.

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Beyond offering all of the usual spa treatments like manicures, pedicures and massage, Soma in Seton is the only place to experience the Hammam in Calgary. It is entirely worth the drive if you don’t live near the south – the entire ambience of the spa is so calming and refreshing.

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And lucky for you –    Soma Hammam and Spa has teamed up with Barrebelle. After a session at the barre we know that day to day troubles can ware you down. So what’s a greater way of treating your body and feet to some much needed rest and relaxation then a “put your feet up” package. Grande Hammam and Pedicure for only $228 down from $298.

Visit Soma Hammam + Spa // 3710 Market Street SE

 

HOW TO PLAN A GIRLS TRIP TO EDMONTON

If you are looking for a quick getaway with your girlfriends and are not in the mood to fork over cash for airfare or the all-mighty American dollar, a super speedy trip is up to Edmonton. Not only is Calgary’s closest neighbouring major city, but they also have amazing shopping (not only at West Ed!), great cocktails and an incredible food scene. I recently adventured up to the city with one of my best girls (@theoriginal10cent) and we got to know the more feminine side of this northern city.

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Lori + Kait

TREATS + EATS

Breakfast, brunch, coffee dates and lunch; you’ll need to book these essential meals in between gallivanting all over YEG. Luckily, there are plenty of truly Instagrammable spots all over the city that will keep you coming back for more.

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Duchess Bake Shop + Provisions: Duchess is now Internet-famous thanks to their amazing bake shop, self-published cookbook and attached general store (Provisions). You could literally spend all day (though you might have to keep buying pastries and cappuccinos to keep your spot) at this adorable bakery – it is that delicious. People drive from all over Edmonton (and sometimes Calgary!) to line-up and get first dibs on their amazing pastries, cakes and baked goods. A must on any girl-powered vacation.

City Farmer’s Market: Outdoors in the summer, indoors in the winter, The City Farmer’s Market is a must for any group of gals that want to sample as much food as possible! My personal favourite is Moonshine Doughnuts that happens to have gluten-free doughnuts on occasion!

Café Bicyclette: It appears that Edmonton is full of truly photo-worthy spots. Café Bicyclette is one of those photogenic places. Known for their fantastic and delicious eats, this café is the perfect spot to dish on gossip about last night…

Tres Carnales: If you love tacos as much as I do then you will love Tres Carnales. It is a quick and easy joint to get great gourmet tacos in a fast casual environment. They also have plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options to please just about everyone.

Urbano Pizza Co.: Another fast casual option, this tiny pizza shop is super tasty and full of great flavour. They make each pizza fresh to order, including press the pizza dough right in front of your eyes. I tried the Piri Squared pizza and it was a delight. Definitely a great spot to grab lunch if you want to eat something delicious and be off on your adventure again in no time.

And of course, you’ll need your caffeine fix; check out my post about my favourite #YEG coffee shops. You’ll want to try them all.

Kait

Lori

 

DINNER

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Sabor Restaurant: What happens when you combined Portuguese and Spanish flavours with the best OceanWise seafood in Alberta? You get Sabor, a sophisticated and down-right mouthwatering eaterie. We popped in here for an incredible dinner (you must try their Piri Piri Prawns – they are a house favourite!) full of incredible seafood and fish. One of the best parts for me was the fact that their whole menu is OceanWise, meaning that all of the seafood is sustainably and ethically raised and caught. They also were able to make every dish gluten-free for us which was a real treat. We had the special of the evening (I feel like you just can’t go wrong with the special, right?) which involved delicious scallops, prawns, risotto and a main fish course that was to die for.

While we dined and sipped on bubbly, this hoppin’ joint was full of joyous people enjoying their Friday night out. They had a musician in house which was a great accompaniment to the meal – one of the owners even took the mic for a song which was an awesome surprise!

They also have a little cocktail lounge near the front lobby where you can hang out after your dinner – also hopping, it is a great place to socialize before you head out for the rest of your evening!

 

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Of course, now you must have cocktails!

North 53: More than one person recommended North 53 to me as THE place to have cocktails in Edmonton. These people are ridiculously hip (their website is off the hook) and their cocktails are even more amazing in person. Order the Northern Touch for something truly unique; Bacardi Superior, Linnie Aqua Vite, Yellow Chartreuse, Lime, Fenugreek Syrup and Maple Syrup!

Woodwork: Known for their amazing bartenders and cocktail menu, Woodwork is a must-stop on your cocktail adventure. They have everything from the classics like the Old Fashioned to handcrafted cocktails with fresh ingredients made in house.

Rostizado: This is the sister restaurant to Tres Carnales and it has a seriously delicious menu as well and I would totally recommend you pop in here for dinner as well. But if you’ve already eaten, there is no shame in enjoying the wonderful cocktails Rostizado serves up. This place is magical inside and the drinks are just as special. Try the El Emerador – made with Tequila Anejo and amaro laced with fresh basil, vanilla and manzanilla tea syrup. Yum.

SHOPPING

Red Ribbon

Red Ribbon – A Place for Style: We happened upon Red Ribbon by chance and I am so glad we did. This adorable boutique is stocked to the brim with great clothing for men and women, home accessories like beautiful smelling candles and great paper products like letterpress greeting cards!

Plum Home

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Plum Home + Design: Another shop perfected by their amazing curation of items from across Canada. I pretty much would buy everything in Plum if I could – from the beautiful woolen blankets to the amazing selection of apothecary items to the cutest baby and toddler items that flank a whole wall. I feel like this shop is a great stop if you have a group of gals who love home décor and design.

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Salgado Fenwick: I mentioned this gem of a place in my Coffee Tour post but I had to give them another shout-out! Pretty much everything in Salgado Fenwick is handmade right in house – their t-shirts make seriously great gifts so check them out. And it is just so adorably awesome in there – their good vibes are infectious.

Habitat Etc: Hmm, another shop specializing in the wonderous talents of Canadian makers – are you seeing a theme? Edmonton is a massive supporter of small businesses, makers and creators and Canadian talent – I am absolutely loving it. This shop is the ultimate in Canadiana high design – expect warm blankets, handmade candles, adventure inspiration and more.

TREAT YO’SELF

Nail It Spa: I have it on high record from a reputable Edmonton style blogger (Adventures in Fashion!) that Nail It Spa is the number one spot in town to get some serious manicure action happening. In fact, Vickie says they are a great salon if you are looking for some epic nail art to go along with your manicure. Sounds like a win to me!

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Pura Botanicals: This gem of a business was one of the main reasons for visiting Edmonton – Pura Botanicals is a lovely apothecary and perfumery that is dedicated to making eco-conscious, natural products for the entire body. Lane Edwards, the visionary behind Pura gave us the full scoop on how she built this business from the ground up and is now sharing her plant-based concoctions with women all over the world.

Make sure to note that Pura is only open to the public on Wednesday’s so you will want to plan your trip around that so you can ensure scooping up some of their beautifully fragrant items for yourself!

WHERE TO STAY

Matrix Hotel: We stayed at the Matrix Hotel and found its central location really great when we wanted to explore the city by foot. We were very close to many great spots and had a Starbucks in the same building for early morning coffees.

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald: You can’t go wrong with a Fairmount Hotel property! Hotel Macdonald is a glamourous spot to spend your girl’s trip. Hit up the spa for some ultimate pampering or enjoy some handcrafted cocktails in the Confederation Lounge.

Edmonton

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