Category Archives: Local

Travel || Banff, Alberta || Explore, Sip & Stay

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If you caught this little couples getaway on my Instagram stories last week, you’d probably have seen this blog post coming a mile away. As a born and raised Edmontonian this isn’t my first visit to Banff National Park by any means. We have frequented the area bi-yearly for decades. Luckily enough being an avid mountain air seeker, I’ve had the pleasure of trying many establishments and I wanted to share a few of our favourites in hopes this read will help you plan out your next escape. Here are my current hotels, restaurants and attractions of mention for Banff in 2018.

Stay

We’ve done the full range of accommodation options for Banff over the years: from rented house, cabins to hotels. I will say when booking a couples trip, I highly prefer a main street Banff hotel to any of the other options. Walking access to restaurants and sips being the main reason. And in all honesty, house keeping when I’m away from kids for some romance is a must.

Elk + Avenue Hotel (formerly the Banff International): Location, location, location… located in main street Banff, this modern and renovated hotel is steps away from nightlife, shopping and eats. We love the decor added in the last update to this hotel, it’s a trendy comfortable “après-ski” kind of vibe with so many cozy touches. Definitely check the website when booking, currently there is a promo that includes gondola and seasonal festival tickets with your room booking. Who doesn’t love some added value?

Honourable Mention Mount Royal HotelAlthough I haven’t stayed at it since it’s new renovations, I can definitely speak to the prime time location in the middle of main street. Visit the website and take a look at the gorgeous updated rooms and that roof top hot tub! Our plan is to try out the new rooms sometime this winter.

Sips & Eats

Let me start off by saying this category is so tough for me. There are almost too many places to mention that are incredible to eat. So to save myself from writing a novel I’m only going to share our current 2 favourites for both taste and experience.

Sky Bistro: Dine at the summit of a mountain. Enough said! We enjoyed a relaxed lunch with the most specular views we’ve ever seen from a restaurant. I highly suggest getting a reservation if you are going for a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

9B0EFF22-D18B-4785-BE8A-BFC598D660B1Chucks: It’s gotta be the Albertan in me but we cannot go to Banff and not get a real Alberta Beef experience. Grass fed, hand picked and aged steaks to choose from this restaurant is a meat lovers dream. You’ll notice we are not the only the ones who think so, you’ll need a reservation during peak dining hours or you will be turned away. We shared the the family style platter, The Cow Boy Trail it had something for everyone.

Experience 

A trip to Banff is not complete without taking in some specular views. Between hikes, strolls along the falls or mountain top visits, everything is majestic in the mountains. Here is one experience you don’t want to miss.874BC68C-DDD7-48A5-86C9-1CA374EF5E6D

Banff Gondola at Sulphur Mountain: For the view along, this gondola ride is definitely worth it. As a little side note, check the website you can save by bundling admission with dining, booking in advance or arriving early currently has free admission for children before a specific time. Approximately 7500 feet above Banff this attraction is a must for a breathtaking experience like no other. At the top experience a state-of-the-art facility offering history, shopping and dining. I suggest bringing layers to take a stroll on the boardwalk. I couldn’t get over the view or the elevation! Continue reading

Fall Favourites || People, Places & Things

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It has been such a busy season, maybe because Autumn is my all time favourite. I always try to jam pack it full with everything Fall has to offer. Lately on Instagram I’ve had so many questions on my stories about the day-to-day lifestyle choices we’ve been loving. From shopping to the spa… you’ve been asking!  I’m going to try my best to start sharing my picks from routines that stood out to our family.

Here’s my September Love It List:

Hansen Pumpkin Spice Liquor: (Local Edmonton Love) This on ice is definitely Fall in a cup. If you haven’t tried it they’ve restocked for the season but it is a limited edition item that goes fast! Fill up your cup and support this amazing local distillery.

Cloud 9 Pajamas: (Local and Canada wide online)  I’ve paid several visits already to my favourite cozy essentials store. The name says it all, it’s a must stop shop for heavenly sleep and lounge wear. With the holidays around the corner and the cool crisp weather… everyone needs come cozy in their life.

H&M Kids at Kingsway Garden Mall: Scored the kids head to toe looks for Fall including that adorable bunny sweater.

Pura: (Local and Canada wide online): their new flagship on 124st is the ultimate experience of luxurious beauty. From the design of the space itself, to the testing wall of all my Pura favorites. Just to name a few the ENTIRE mask section and the baby massage oil are some of my favourites to note.

Soft Moc: Until October 15th score 15% off your entire online ordering… including sake items! I scored Hunter boots for the family. couponkira15off

Lipstick Empire: custom peel protoco, this season treat your skin to exactly what YOUR skin needs. They work with your skin type and goals to customize the perfect peel routine for the fall. And did I mention it smells like a Pumpkin Spice Latte! See their site for more details.

Funky Petals: everyone needs an amazing florist in their life! They create this custom arrangement from 2 Pinterest photos I found… completely creating my vision. They also have tons of prearranges flowers instore you can take home.

Dallas Curow: although I have a lot of photos taken of our family, it’s usually for a ad campaign for a brand. I rarely have photos of all of us or sans ad imagery. Luckily Dallas is offering at home family sessions. It was amazing to have her some and rage photos in our natural habitat. REAL photos. We racked leaves, played with toys inside and let the kids take a bubble bath. And she captured it all. I highly recommend this type of session, you will get so many gems in there that are memories worth printing or putting on a holiday card.

 

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Travel || Radium British Columbia || Bighorn Meadows Resort #Sponsor

8DD6C0C3-CD6A-4425-849A-1DD2A7AC2201As you may have seen on my Instagram a week ago, we had the pleasure of staying at The Residences at Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. They are a collection of 44 vacation homes for sale, boasting cozy interiors, fantastic views, and an abundance of recreational activities right at your doorstep. We took a family friendly hike, followed by lunch at the cutest Mexican restaurant and finally a swim at the popular Radium Hot springs. Whether you’re looking to own a vacation home for weekend getaways with the family, or purchasing a rental income property, The Residences at Bighorn Meadows are the perfect investment.

B5BF0308-FDEC-418A-9C13-1CFB864245A1Bighorn Meadows Resort is unique in that it offers luxury and comfort while maintaining highly competitive rates in a breathtaking area of the Columbia Valley. Situated on an expansive 9-acre site surrounded by the prestigious Springs Golf Course, Bighorn Meadows is a resort community that provides the comforts of home while setting you worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of city life. Bighorn Meadows has sold out of ten phases, and is a second home to over 1000 families. Phase 1-10 have sold out, and Phase 11 of these incredible duplex vacation homes are now available for sale. Over 80% of their buyers are from Alberta, and I can see why, it’s such a beautiful area of BC with lots of recreational activities right at your doorstep. Another great plus is that these vacation homes are in an area of BC that are speculation tax exempt. If you’re an Albertan looking for a great vacation getaway home, you don’t have to worry about that tax.

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Help Food Banks of Canada End Summer Hunger With The #SummerHungerChallenge

NS-169With close to one million Canadians in need of food banks during the summer months, while the winter holidays are the traditional season of giving, food banks also need support in the summer. Food insecurity doesn’t take a summer break. Food bank organizations across Canada are relying on the support of donors to help end summer hunger.

The Every Plate Full began on May 28 and aims to raise awareness and donations to fill this seasonal gap. Are you up for the challenge? Are you up for the challenge? Could you feed yourself on just $1.00 a day? This is something food banks can do thanks to their partnerships with sponsors across the country, and the strong purchasing power they hold.

At food banks across the country, a $1 donation provides three meals.We challenge Canadians to feed themselves on $1 a day. Need ideas? Check out www.everyplatefull.ca to get you started, and even if you can’t make it work share your story on social media. Word of mouth matters! Continue reading

Microbladed Brows || Before & After #beautytrend #yeg

I know you’ve definitely heard about this brow trend. I know I started seeing microbladed brow salons pop up about 5 years ago but it’s really gained popularity in the last two years. You’ll find the service offered at so many places now, which is always nice to see availablity. For myself, I couldn’t receive the treatment pregnant or breastfeeding, so I didn’t get to try this trend until recently. And in all honesty I was a bit hesitant, I LOVE brows. Plus, this is a razor cutting your skin, so I knew it would take me a while to find a repairable place for health and safety reasons. In my makeup routine, it’s easily one of my favorite steps daily. It took me a while to find a tech that did fine hair like strokes and a natural shape. I had see some “after” photos of brows and I knew I really wanted to get that natural hair like look opposed to the powered or tattooed brow look. I have full brows, so for me it was correcting a handful of trouble spots I have from over plucking in the early 2000’s. I visited Amber from Lipstick Empire here in Edmonton. I loved seeing her work ahead of time and I know she did the type of detail I wanted in this procedure. Below you’ll see one month after the treatment with minor makeup. Highlighter under the brow and a stroke of a pomade based brow pencil. This is for sure a process update, because I will go for a touch up at 6 months. I cant that appointment add more strokes and go darker with the colour if I choose.

Here are my tips and tricks with Lipstick Empire to help heal those brows post procedure:

 Tip #1: Research the place of business and the tech that will be doing your brows. Not all places and people are created equal. For health and safety reasons do your research… and for your brow look preference find a tech that fits your aesthetic and expected results.

Tip #2: Have realistic expectations of recovery time and what brows will look like after healing. As you can see below, it took me a full two weeks to have fully healed brows. And the colour of the strokes significantly faded from first day to a fully healed brow.

C02F8-E65F-459C-BFCE-CB1AFB2E84FB1D6DFD43-F3DE-42FC-8AAD-442846E3203D Continue reading