THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE WEST BELTLINE

Breakfasts with endless hashbrowns, parks with public art sculptures, an entire basement filled with crystals and gems; yup, I’m talking about my neighbourhood — the Beltline. This summer I’m partnering with Battistella Developments to showcase the best parts about living in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhoods — notably the West Beltline where they are building their newest condo development: Nude. Keep an eye out for more posts here on the blog as well as sharing some of my favourite spots on Instagram.

I love living in the Beltline, where I’m so close to the action and able to get anywhere I want to go quickly, so today, I’m sharing my Ultimate Guide to the West Beltline, I’m talking spots you cannot pass up!

WHERE TO EAT

Donna Mac: If you love delicious yet inventive comfort food combined with a fresh, flavourful cocktails, a gorgeous interior (designed by my friend Sarah Ward!) and a record player stocked with sweet tunes, then I’m pretty certain you’ll love Donna Mac. They have a fantastic neighbour program for their housemade sourdough and they are very accommodating for vegans and people who eat gluten-free. 1002 9th Street SW

Kona Poke: One of my favourite hit-the-spot eateries, Kona specializes in delicious poke bowls topped with delicious ingredients like ahi tuna, spicy poke or even octopus. My go-to bowl consists of brown rice with mixed greens, cucumber, red cabbage, sweet onion, ahi tuna with the gluten-free Maple Miso dressing and topped off with masago, avocado and furikake. The Hawaiian vibe of the fast casual restaurant is anchored by a kitschy but swoon-worthy framed photo of Tom Selleck. Pop in on Mondays for free 5-cent candies; just one of the cute things this tasty little spot dreamt up. 939 10th Avenue SW

Paros Souvla: I am all about riding this wave of great take-out spots popping up in the West Beltline. Paros Souvla is one of my favourite additions with their incredible Greek food. If you’re going to try anything, may I recommend the Greek Fries which are topped with fresh feta and are dippable in the tasty house tzatziki. The Village salad is the perfect compliment to the fries with delicious Kalamata olives, cucumber, tomatoes and a savoury slab of feta on top. Their menu is also very accomodating for special diets; they are able to make almost everything gluten-free or dairy-free. 1436 8th Street SW

Sucre Patisserie & Cafe: I love to explore and try new places all of the time. I recently popped into Sucre which has a plethora of luxurious pastries and treats as well as fantastic coffee. The interior is so beautiful — you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Paris for your coffee and croissant. 1007 8th Street SW

Galaxie Diner: If you love a good greasy spoon, look no further than the perfectly vintage Galaxie Diner. With bottomless hashbrowns, legendary milkshakes and a certain retro charm that cannot be replicated, this is the best place to meet your pals for breakfast. Be warned that it is a small place so there will be lineups on weekends. Luckily, they give you coffee while you wait in line! 1413 11 Street SW

Calgary Midtown Co-op: Every neighbourhood worth its salt has a great grocery store. Calgary Co-op is a fantastic destination to do your weekly shop but their grab-and-go and pre-prepped meal options really take the cake. It is also one of my favourite spots to pick up house plants and fresh flowers for a great price. 1130 11th Ave SW

WHERE TO SHOP

Nine Times Skate Shop: One of the freshest additions to the Beltline, this cool AF skateshop is my new go-to spot to pick up a new pair of Vans and scope out their awesome selection of cozy sweatshirts and perfect dad caps. This skater-owned shop is super involved in the city’s skate scene and often host events and workshops in store. 1409 11th Street SW

gravitypope + Blackbyrd Music: If you love brutalist architecture as much as I do, there is a good chance you’ve ogled the gravitypope building on 17th Avenue. But what is inside is even better — gravitypope has the BEST selection of shoes in all of the uptown/downtown area and carries amazing garment brands like Commes des Garcons PLAY, WANT Les Essentiels among others. In the basement you’ll find Blackbyrd Music, another Edmonton-offshoot which just happens to be my favourite spot to pick up the latest vinyl releases. 1126 17th Ave SW

Heritage Music: If you love crate-digging as much as I do, you’ll be able to spend an entire afternoon at Heritage Music fleshing out your record collection. They’ve got vintage gems to rival your dad’s collection and often do something extra special for Record Store Day. 1316 11th Ave SW

Peaseblossoms Flowers: I’m a big believer in having lots of plants and fresh flowers in our home — it just makes every day more beautiful! Peaseblossoms Flowers is the most darling little shop that carries a gorgeous selection of flora as well as some amazing lifestyle products like notebooks, small objects and decor. 1417 11th Street SW

Earth Gems: My crystal obsession is real and Earth Gems does not disappoint. I could literally spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) in there. Pro-tip: as much as my little guy loves crystals and rocks, I would not recommend bringing your little one there as there is some very expensive pieces all over the place — not worth the risk! #100, 1022 17th Ave SW

Pomp + Circumstance: If you’re looking for beautiful home decor, Pomp & Circumstance is one of the best interior design shops in the West Beltline. With product lines from Norm Architects and Barter, you’ll be sure to find something covetable for your modern, minimalist home. 1204 12th Ave SW

Wild Rose Cleaners: If you need alterations and dry cleaning, Wild Rose is an excellent option. Their attention to detail is impeccable and they actually design and make men’s dress shirts in-house if you are looking for a bespoke option. 1330 15th Ave SW

Hedkandi: My go-to spot for hair is definitely Hedkandi on 8th Street. Not only do they have some of the most talented stylists in the city but they also carry an amazing selection of hair and beauty products from lines such as Bumble & Bumble, Oribe and even their own coffee blend with local coffee company Monogram! #105, 1301 8th Street SW

WHERE TO GO

Beltline Urban Mural Project: One of my favourite local initiatives in the Beltline Urban Mural Project which was started by the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association (Battistella is actually a big sponsor of the  2018 Project) to promote local artists, increase tourism for the neighbourhood (hello, Instagram mecca) and beautify buildings in the area. They are just kicking off year two of the project and I cannot wait to see the finished murals later this year! For more information about the upcoming festival and mural tours check out their website.

Barb Scott Park: Grab a coffee and your frisbee and hit up Barb Scott Park for some sunshine. Artist team Creative Machines created the interactive public art piece Chinook Arch that is best viewed at night. The building located adjacent to the park was the former Central High School and is still a beautiful heritage landmark in the West Beltline. 1219 11th Street SW

Color Me Mine Uptown: Jack and I love getting crafty together and Color Me Mine is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon creating some ceramic masterpieces for our home. They also host kids birthday parties there! 1504 11th Street SW

Commonwealth Bar & Stage: If you love live music, one of the best venues is located right on the edge of the West Beltline. Commonwealth  Bar & Stage has regular programming featuring local DJs and bands but also brings in some of the best shows (think bands like Whitney, Suuns and Tokyo Police Club) every year. You are guaranteed to have a good time at this music scene staple. 731 10th Avenue SW

Thomson Family Park: We love popping by the Thomson Family Park, most notably for their awesome giant slide. With picnic tables, a fantastic playground and fountains it is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. 1236 16th Ave SW

If you want to find out more about Nude by Battistella and keep up to date on news about the project, go to battistella.ca/nude to register!

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Nude by Battistella. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

ZERO EXCUSE GO

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Zero Excuse Go. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

I cannot stress enough how important everyday movement is – not only for general fitness but for your overall wellness. A big part of my lifestyle is that I walk everywhere; I live in inner city Calgary and it suits my lifestyle to just be walking distance from everything that I need.

As someone who has seen their body fluctuate in size and weight (hello pregnancy + the after effects combined with major and stressful life changes) I know how hard it can be to find a path of health, weight loss methods and a fitness routine that works perfectly for you. But as a (fairly) young mom with a growing young boy, I know how important it is to maintain my health through nutrition and exercise.

Zero Excuse Go is a new Canadian E-health online program that uses Telemedicine to work with clients on their major weight loss goals. This isn’t for people who just want to lose a few pounds – it is for people who want to overhaul their entire outlook on weight loss (typically at least 40 lbs) and actually see major results.

Just a quick disclaimer that I have not used Zero Excuse Go (on average it is about a year long process) but wanted to help spread the word about this Canadian-based service that has the possibility of changing people’s lives drastically by improving their movement, nutrition and overall outlook on their health.

So, you are probably wondering what is Telemedicine and how does it work? How do you lose weight using Telemedicine? Essentially, it is the remote diagnosis and treatment with a team of trained health professionals consisting of a psychologist, dietician, fitness trainer and nurse through telecommunication technology. When you sign up for Zero Excuse Go to achieve weight loss by telemedicine you are monitored by their multidisciplinary team that is in contact with you every single day, meaning they can track your weight, physical activity, blood pressure, blood sugar level and beyond. So, how do they get this information? As part of the program, you are sent a scale, fitness tracker, blood pressure measurement device, glucometer among other devices depending on your individual health needs. The data from all of these gadgets is sent directly to the clinic where the team will analyze it in order to make suggestions and provide guidance and coaching to you.

There are two parts to how the team will monitor you: telesurveillance and video conferencing. Telesurveillance is the remote patient monitoring, where they count your steps and other info. The data comes in on a daily basis. Video conferencing is done with a team of professionals on a rotating basis. Each week the patient meets with one health professional (nurse, dietician, psychologist etc) and the topic is around the health professional’s area of expertise. For example, the meeting with the psychologist may be about motivation or how to set goals.

Based on your results, the team will create a weight loss program unique to you complete with a plan for healthy eating and exercise. If you have over 40 lbs to lose, this will be an amazing asset to your weight loss journey. With the constant regular monitoring they are able to check in with you to see where you are at and make changes or adjustments based on your progress. The program can last anywhere from four to 12 months, depending on your needs. Once you meet your target weight, there is an optional maintenance program that works with clients to make sure they don’t regain weight after the initial program is over. Accountability is a huge part of the program; the patient’s accountability to themselves by looking at their progress on their phone and fitbit and the patient’s accountability to their team of health professionals which adds motivation.     

I’ve read and listened to the client testimonials and it is really inspiring and impressive to see how these people have transformed themselves – in really quite a short amount of time. It shows me that when people are being coached and guided by professionals, they are capable of truly improving their health and changing their entire lifestyle – with real results. I also think it is great that it is a Canadian-based company – and actually the first of its kind in Canada.

If you’re looking to lose some weight and revolutionize the way you approach eating and fitness, Zero Excuse Go could be a game-changer for you. To get information about the program, pricing and how it would work for you, simply sign up on their website, or check them out at their Facebook page here.

MY JUNE BEAUTY FAVOURITES

I’m constantly trying out new beauty and hair products so I thought I would start sharing all of my finds here with a short review every month. All products listed here were purchased by me but I will definitely let you guys know in future posts if it is a gifted product or contains an affiliate link. Also, if you have any suggestions for new products I should check out please let me know!

HAIR

Let’s start with hair. I had been noticing this year that I kept breaking out around my hair line while also dealing with a dry itchy scaly; being a Celiac I figured that my shampoos and hair products had gluten in them. After doing some research I decided to switch everything to the completely gluten-free product lineup from VERB. In June, I tried three of their products: verb dry shampoo and verb hydrating shampoo + conditioner   . The powdered dry shampoo was so fantastic that I immediately got rid of any of the other dry shampoos I had collected (especially since none of them said whether they were GF or not). I have pretty dark brown hair so I had to really work the powder into my hair so it wasn’t visible but it didn’t bother me. I picked up their dark hair spray dry shampoo which I will include in my July reviews. The shampoo and conditioner feels so luxurious and beautiful – the scent is super mild and the formula is really hydrating. I bought them in the extra large size pump bottles; Jack and I have barely made a dent in them yet – a little bit goes a long way.

I also had recently picked up the Herbivore sea mist in coconut + sea salt from my friend’s shop here in Calgary, Dept. It is supposed to give you that whole surfer-girl-beachy-waves thing and I can report that it works. I use it on Jack’s hair a lot – it detangles his hair perfectly and the scent is heavenly. In fact, I actually mist it on as a light fragrance pretty regularly – it smells so good! The bottle is only 1/4 empty so I’m quite pleased how far it is going – especially being used on two people daily.

SKIN

Okay, skin care o’clock. I didn’t really try too much *new* this month as I am trying to keep things stable for a bit so I can make sure it is actually working. I did switch up my daily moisturizer and started using schaf facial moisturizer from Toronto. I prefer my facial moisturizers to be fragrance-free and lightweight – especially in the summer. Overall, I really like the formula – my only complaint is that sometimes my skin looks really shiny in the summer heat. Otherwise, it feels great and moisturized. It is also gluten-free. Also, love the pump style of this product – and of course, their branding is to die for.

I also wanted to deal with the breakouts I’ve been experiencing lately (still trying to figure if out if I’m coming in contact with gluten somehow) so I picked up the Saje zap oil for acne prone skin. I don’t have acne prone skin which is why these zits are really annoying so I thought I would give it a shot. It did dry out and get the zits to go away a lot quicker than any of my other methods. The scent is quite strong (tea tree oil, I believe) so it takes a bit of time to get used to it.

MAKEUP

I’m always up for trying new mascaras and when I discovered that a booth at the Calgary Farmers Market was carrying the vegan Pacifica lineup, I had to try one of their mascaras. I ended up choosing the Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova (black). Overall, I really love this mascara  – it is a great pure black, the formula is smooth and lightweight (no globs). The brush is long, fat and fluffy – which IMHO is fantastic for getting thick blink-worthy lashes. The only downside is that its not really waterproof so if you’ve got seasonal allergies like I do, you might need to do a makeup touchup every so often. But the fact that it is a vegan formula makes me happy.

I was so stoked to find out about The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation. I had been switching up my foundations when the seasons begun to change but I always find it hard to find the perfect formula for my dry skin. The Ordinary has such a lightweight formula – it doesn’t sit on my skin like so many other foundations – likely because it is serum-based. I’ve been using Colour 1.1 N Fair Neutral.

I purchased a box set of mini Benefit Cosmetics Blushes as I wanted to try a bunch of different colours without buying the full size. It doesn’t look like the kit is available any more but my favourites out of the box are GALifornia, Gold Rush Blush and Dandelion. I’ll definitely be picking those up in full size once I’m done with the minis.

FRAGRANCE

I’ve been using the Saje floral crystal fresh deodorant for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It is perfect for freshening up mid-day or layering with another natural deodorant. I’ve also used it as a light fragrance or to spritz my pillow with.

I picked up this pharmacia rose perfume from Anthropologie and I’ve already gone through an entire bottle of it and started on a second. I can’t find too much information about – I’m assuming it is an Anthro house brand – but for about $28 you really can’t beat it. It captures everything I love about roses – such a delicate scent. The first time I sniffed the bottle, I just about swooned from the nostalgic vibes wafting from it.

AN INSTAGRAM-WORTHY OUTDOOR SPACE ON A BUDGET

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.The dog days of summer are finally here and I am absolutely thrilled to be spending more time outdoors with my son – especially on our balcony which I recently gave an overhaul. Patio season used to mean finding the best perch at my favourite coffee shop or eaterie but now that I’ve created my dream space right here at home, I’m finding myself entertaining more and spending each evening on the balcony.

My son and I moved into our heritage apartment just over a year ago and while last year we did enjoy spending time out there, I didn’t end up putting a lot of effort into making it feel like home. It felt drab and lifeless. This year it was my goal to create an extension of our home out to the balcony, essentially creating another living space that was functional for entertaining, relaxing or eating. I wanted to continue the warmth and colour scheme of the interior of our home into our outdoor living room.

I knew I was going to shop second-hand for almost everything, since saving money is one of the top reasons why people use the second-hand economy and because this space will only be utilized for a small part of the year. According to the latest Second-Hand Economy Index Report, data collected by Kijiji shows that I’m not alone in this. In 2017, a total of 2.3 billion items were given a new life in the second-hand economy while Canadians saved an average of $825 by shopping second-hand versus new.

I started designing the balcony makeover from scratch after I sold some of my older patio pieces on Kijiji; an old bistro set I had been carting around and some festival chairs I no longer had use for. I also repainted my son’s toddler-sized picnic table to give it a fresh new life for resale. For the new design of the balcony I wanted to have a designated eating area, a relaxing spot where we could lounge, read books or work and as a place to house my ever-growing collection of plants. The balcony gets great natural light for most of the day so it is ideal for growing beautiful flowers and we’ve already had three tiny harvests of strawberries!Seating was definitely important to me but I wanted something that was comfortable for just Jack and I or for friends if I was entertaining. I ended up finding a beautiful wooden chaise lounger on Kijiji that fit beneath my balcony window perfectly. My Mom and I sewed a gorgeous custom cushion for it (the mid-century modern-inspired fabric was from IKEA) and added some cute throw pillows (Simons) and cozy blankets (Simons). I like how the second-hand economy gives me the opportunity to create, DIY or upcycle items into something brand new! It turned out beautifully and I love sitting out there reading magazines or writing on my laptop.For our eating area, I found a great long and skinny sofa table that also just happened to fit the space. There wasn’t much DIY to be done but I repainted it a fresh bright white to liven it up and provide a blank canvas for the beautiful outdoor meals to come. While I was able to find pretty much everything on my list on Kijiji, the only must-have I wasn’t able to find was a pair of cute chairs for our little eating bar. After selling my old patio furniture on Kijiji, I had enough extra cash to pick up a pair of white metal chairs that I had my eye on at Structube. The table actually sits four chairs all of the away across but since it is usually just the two of us I opted to only buy two outdoor chairs and bring out chairs from our dining room when we have company.The last furniture piece I found on Kijiji was an unfinished wooden utility shelf to house all of my flowers and plants. Because I’m a sucker for a glowing twinkly patio, I wrapped wire LED twinkle lights around it – it looks gorgeous at night!

Beyond the furniture pieces, I sourced some gorgeous accessories including a blush ceramic plant pot, a metal wall planter and a lovely hanging LED candle lantern – all on Kijiji. All combined, these six pieces cost me less than one brand-new piece of patio furniture. I saved nearly $100 from buying these items second-hand versus brand new! I get really excited thinking about the kind of savings I am taking advantage of by shopping the second-hand economy. If you’re outfitting an outdoor space the savings from buying used over new can be incredible. Outdoor furniture is pretty expensive despite it being of limited use in a place like Calgary so if you are able to save some money on it, it’s a huge win for your bank account. According to Kijiji site data, patio furniture is actually one of the top searched and listed items during the month of June so it really is a great time to start seeking out those deals.I am beyond thrilled with the transformation of the balcony. It feels so welcoming, comfortable and a true extension of the interior of our home. I always describe my personal aesthetic as – Scandinavian Princess Moves to Venice Beach and Learns to Surf – I feel like this space totally embodies that – minus a cool surfboard propped up in the corner! Every time I go out there, surrounded by all of my flowers, I feel so happy and at home. Jack and I can spend hours out there – blowing bubbles, reading books or enjoying a meal together. It is our little happy space and we’ll be taking full advantage of it until the first snow – fingers crossed that won’t be for a long long time.

A few other details from the space:

The wall hanging is a cute rug (Simons) that my Mom added handmade pom-poms to. The outdoor rug is also from Simons.

Many of my plant pots were bought from thrift shops over the years. Kijiji is a great resource for that as well. Always look for showhome furniture sales listed on Kijiji as they often have great accessories for sale – and believe me, they are priced to sell!

My twinkle lights and pink flamingo lights are all from Jysk.

ETSY 13TH BIRTHDAY SALES EVENT!

Did you hear the news? Etsy is officially a teenager – an adorable quirky teenager that sews their own clothes and collects vintage pieces and takes pottery classes on the weekends. It is amazing to think about how much the internet, the maker world and online shopping have changed in the past thirteen years but it is nothing short of inspiring. To celebrate the big 1-3, they are having an amazing sale from today until Friday June 22. Select items are on sale for 10-60% off. Um, hello – YES!

I hunted through the thousands of items on sale and found 13 of my favourites! There are some real gems on there (yes, like, actual gems/crystals on sale!) so get browsing! Just an FYI, this post includes affiliate links.

pink incense holder from Nightshift Ceramics

splatter ashtray from BIANCA and SONS

blush espresso mugs from SINDstudio

vintage bath tray from SharonMfortheHome

underneath the stars tea towel from LeahDuncan

the magic is in you wall hanging from SecretHolidayCo

azilal cushion from depeapa

Blush Leather Backpack from MeitaLev

rose quartz pendant from adela rose

Natural Facial Spray from HVER

moon phases print set from 324art

minimalist tarot set from DarkSynevyrStore

jasmine & vetiver candle from brand & iron

TWIK X KATE PUGSLEY COLLAB AT SIMONS

I’ve been quite taken with the art and design collaborations that Quebec-based retailers Simons have been creating over the years – especially since they opened their doors here in Calgary. Their love of supporting artists runs deep and it is clear throughout the entire store with an incredible art collection and attention to detail in every sense of the word.

Their latest women’s collaboration with Chicago-based illustrator Kate Pugsley is truly something out of my dreams. First of all, I love her colour palettes – her bright hues aren’t primary – they are softer, more muted. I love the constant use of soft pink or peach throughout her work – it’s gorgeous. Secondly, the seaside theme to these pieces has me daydreaming for a coastal vacation immediately. How cute would the clam pullover look walking the beach at dusk with an ice cream cone in hand?

Everything is a fun, whimsical spin on traditional nautical wear – I want the whole collection. Kate Pugsley was interviewed by Simons on their blog which you can read  here – I always find it so fascinating to hear the artistic process – especially when an artist is approached with the task of working with a major brand like Maison Simons. You can shop the whole collection here.

photos via Maison Simons

Tackling the Big Spring Clean

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

Spring has finally arrived – and along with green grass sprouting and leaves budding on the trees, the urge to do some heavy-duty spring cleaning has also arrived. I’m not sure who invented spring cleaning but the feeling of being indoors with your belongings for an extended period of time just inspires some sort of purging mode when the warmer weather rolls around. And what better way to get rid of unwanted items than to trade them for cash?

kijiji_1

My parents are in the midst of reconfiguring their home to make it more functional for their lifestyle – downsizing without moving, if you will. In order to do this they’ve been working on getting rid of excess furniture and belongings that they just don’t use anymore. Making each room in their house work for them, they’ve been able to maximize the space they have as well as create rooms and workspaces for everything they love to do – like entertain, listen to music, sew and create artwork. As they started clearing out their basement and garage, I offered to help them list items on Kijiji as I had so much success with the platform in the past. Beyond being able to clear out these rooms and live more minimally, they are also earning some extra cash through selling off the items – two motivations behind why people use the second-hand economy in the first place – which is always welcome for feeding all of those great hobbies and side projects that they enjoy so much.

kijiji_2

One of the hardest ways to get through a spur of spring cleaning is actually identifying what you want to keep and what you want to sell, trade or giveaway for free. In my parents’ case, they love beautiful design, antiques and objects – so while they may want to get rid of things, they still see the value and beauty in them which often makes them hard to give up. Something I identify with 100% as someone who also loves seeking out gorgeous vintage pieces, artwork and designer furniture. That being said, people like us are on Kijiji looking for these items too! Furniture was one of the top five categories for most exchanged goods last year, according to Kijiji’s 2018 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, and sellers like my parents can make an average earning of $1,436 from selling their old and unused furniture pieces. Who wouldn’t want to have an extra $1400 rather than unused furniture sitting around in your basement or storage space?! As we prep to list a big batch of their items in the coming weeks, they’ve already got a bit of a head start clearing out some unwanted items from their garage like old tools and accessories for cars they no longer have. The grand total in earnings so far is $185 – and we are just getting started!

kijiji_3

Spring is an especially great time of year to start listing your unwanted goods on Kijiji as people are in the mood to spruce things up.  According to Kijiji Site Data, spring is a great time to sell on Kijiji as it tends to provide more interested buyers who are looking at some of the top searched items on Kijiji in the spring, like patio furniture, sectionals, tables and dressers. People love digging into a great DIY project in the spring before enjoying the lazy days of summer. Even smaller entertainment items like CDs and DVDs are a top-selling category with the average annual earnings coming in around $1,185, according to the 2018 Report. Once you start looking around at your unused or unwanted items, you may realize you are basically sitting on cold hard cash.

kijiji_5

kijiji_4

As you tackle your own spring cleaning, I want to offer my tips for crafting the perfect Kijiji listing:

  • Photos: I recommend taking your photos in natural light and taking about 3-5 photos that show all angles of your object.
  • Descriptions: I’ve noticed that a lot of listings on Kijiji are pretty bare bones in terms of descriptions but I prefer to put as much information as possible. If you are selling something like a treadmill or bike, make sure to list the year, make, model and what condition it is in. For furniture, I always make sure to note any imperfections, damages or even minor wear and tears.
  • Pricing: If there is an item that I am particularly motivated to get rid of quickly, I often include “Price is negotiable. Please message with best offer.” in the listing. Chances are you’ll get a few people completely lowballing you or even asking for the item for free but if you are trying to get rid of it quick (i.e. an old sofa that you need moved out before your new one arrives) you can use your own discretion to decide how low of an offer you will accept.
  • Promoting: And lastly, I definitely recommend including in the listing that you have other items for sale as potential buyers can click through to all of your listings and potentially buy multiple items from you. Kijiji also offers a variety of ad features that can help with increasing the visibility of your ads to make them sell quicker!    

kijiji_6

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetAs I continue to help out with my parents’ spring cleaning tasks, I’ve also been working on a bit of spring cleaning at my own house too. My parents are passing along some beautiful antique furniture pieces (these ones are staying in the family – not going up for sale) my way in the midst of their purging. So, now to make room for them I’m also making sure I’m not hanging onto any items that no longer serve a purpose for me. It is amazing how much easier and more fun it is to tackle all of these projects when the sun is shining, birds are chirping and you can let all that gorgeous fresh spring air in. Happy spring cleaning!

EQ3 Spring/Summer 2018 collection

All of this warm weather is inspiring me to dream up fantasy vacation homes near beautiful lakes and deserts. Lucky for me EQ3‘s new collection did all of dreaming for me so now I’m just sitting here drooling over these images. The EQ3 Spring/Summer 2018 collection presents an assortment of pieces inspired by mid-century female designers consisting of a palette contrasted by bold monochromatic textiles, diverse materials and simple shapes.  At the core of the collection is the newly envisioned Replay Sofa (love how comfy and cozy it looks), the Cape Outdoor Collection and the Place Collection –  all designed by British Columbia based designer Shawn Place. I’m also swooning over all of the stunning accessories – mostly the stunning all glass coffee pour-over. It is perfection! 

Enjoy the inspiration! xx

ss_2018_replay_sofa_ls_01ss_2018_sage_end_table_lsss_2018_sage_rectangular_coffee_table_lsss_2018_skye_sofa_ls_01ss_2018_suite_chair_lsss_2018_place_dining_lyla_ash_lsss_2018_eve_daybed_lsss_2018_monarch_bedroom_lsss_2018_linen_throw_lsss_2018_block_rug_lsss_2018_grove_flatware_lsss_2018_garrido_tableware_lsss_2018_posey_vase_lsss_2018_cone_pendant_lsss_2018_austin_mirror_lsss_2018_pour_over_lsss_2018_metro_floor_lamp_lsss_2018_cape_lounger_ls_01 ss_2018_cape_lounger_ls_02 ss_2018_cape_outdoor_ls_01 ss_2018_cape_outdoor_ls_02

BECAUSE KINDNESS STICKS

Let’s end bullying in schools – once and for all. It sounds like a daunting yet inspiring task, doesn’t it? The idea of quashing the kind of negativity that SO many of us were faced with (if not all of us) during our formative school years is downright thrilling. My son won’t be in school full-time for a couple more years, but I’m already wondering what things will be like then. Hopefully our schools will be more than equipped with bullying prevention programs and it won’t be an issue anymore but we still have a long way to go to get to that point.

ShawKindnessSticks_2

That’s why I’m partnering with Shaw to bring attention to their Kindness Sticks Grant Program, which rewards youth who want to make a difference in their school. From now until April 30th, students across Canada can apply to earn 1 of 10 grants of up to $5,000 to bring a positive initiative to life. Working together to apply for the grant is a great way to get your kids involved in making their school a better place and encourage them to spread positivity in their community.

There are endless possibilities for your kids to dream up – all it takes is some creative brainstorming! I’ve been dreaming up a few ideas myself that I would have loved to see at my school when I was a kid:

  • How inspiring would it be to bring in some live music for a concert centered around positivity and kindness? Getting the school band involved would be a great way to get everyone participating in the event.
  • Another fun idea would be to have a ‘free lunch’ day and organize a school-wide picnic, encouraging students to bring a picnic blanket, make new friends over delicious snacks and enjoy some sunshine during the day.
  • Why not start a kindness club whose members perform random acts of kindness throughout the year? Those acts of kindness could be anything from providing students with some great snacks to get them through busy exam time, or small thoughtful gifts like flowers in the cafeteria – there are so many ways to make someone’s day!

ShawKindnessSticks_1

If you are looking for a way to help inspire positivity and bullying prevention at home, it can be as simple as creating daily initiatives that bring happiness to your child’s life or even for your own well-being and self-care. You can then take those ideas out into the world and implement them at work, school or anywhere you go. My idea is to leave little notes with daily affirmations and positive thoughts around to brighten the day of anyone who might see them.

ShawKindnessSticks_3 ShawKindnessSticks_4   ShawKindnessSticks_7 ShawKindnessSticks_8 ShawKindnessSticks_9 ShawKindnessSticks_10

There is a lot of opportunity to spread good will just through words or actions. I looked on Pinterest and started collecting inspiring quotes and affirmations that I knew would help me start the day with a positive outlook and inspire others to pass on the good vibes. I used the sticky notes Shaw sent me for Pink Shirt Day in February (another great bullying prevention initiative!), but any sticky note will do. If your kids can’t read/write yet, you can help them practice writing words like LOVE, KINDNESS, GENTLE, NICE, or simply draw symbols like hearts, happy faces and rainbows. It is a super fun way to get them involved and spreading positivity in their own way.

ShawKindnessSticks_5

ShawKindnessSticks_6

If you’re interested in learning more about the program and entering your child’s great idea for creating inclusive, supportive environments at their school, be sure to read more about the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant Program here! Don’t forget that the deadline for entries is April 30th so be sure to enter soon to be considered.

ARTIST TEE +COLLAB SERIES AT DRAKE GENERAL STORE

There was a long period of time when I decided to eschew the beloved graphic tee. I think it was post-high school when I perhaps overdid it on the cute and witty t-shirts that were so popular in the early 2000s – picture a Threadless addiction x 1000.

Now fifteen years later (*cries*) I think I’m finally coming back round to the idea of a bold yet simple design to add an otherwise boring outfit.  I instantly fell in love with The Drake General Store’s +collaboration series, where they partnered with Toronto-based creators to design an exclusive, limited edition capsule collection. The tees are all made using ethically sourced, fine twisted combed cotton that is knit, cut and sewn in Toronto – which makes this crush even harder.

talulah_fontaine_tee

This sweet and springy design is by artist and illustrator Tallulah Fontaine and features her beautiful, minimal style on the Shared Women’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00). I can’t say no to anything blush and floral so this is an instant winner in my book.

josh_pong_tee

This beautiful piece is by graphic designer Joshua Pong, echoes the bold pop images and logos that inspire his work. The design is embroidered on a Shared Men’s Relaxed Tee ($55.00).

guyx3_tee

And lastly this tee ($55.00) by designer GuyGuyGuy is inspired by a spread found in a vintage spelling book – tho I think optometrist and glasses-loving folks would also be appreciative of this tee.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Drake General Store, Shared returns with a capsule collection that celebrates authenticity, quality craftsmanship, art and design. Originally established in 2004 with a line of ethically sourced, Canadian-made modern classics and extraordinary essentials that are fit for everyone. All of the tees are proudly made in Toronto.