I don’t know about you guys, but this year seems to be the best Stampede I have experienced in a long time! The weather seems to be cooperating and although it’s rained in true Stampede fashion, it was the cool off we needed to get through the last half of the festivities.
Being a self –proclaimed country obsessed gal, I probably look forward to this time of year more than most. However, for me the best part isn’t the two stepping or outrageous midway food, it’s the fabulous street style that hits our streets for 10 days of the year. I love seeing the creative ways that Calgarians incorporate white lace, red gingham, and anything denim into their regular everyday style.
This year I have been working hard to cut down on the size of my wardrobe and invest in items that can be staples all year long. I have even added a few vintage pieces to make room for some diversity and character in my personal style. It’s no capsule wardrobe, but it’s better than it was – TRUST ME!
Luckily for me, many of pieces that make up my Stampede wardrobe are also a part of my everyday street style, just paired in a bit of a different way. This year I am loving baggy silhouettes, paired with hemlines of all lengths, minimalistic colours and anything that will go with a pair of tassel earrings!
Here are a few items that I have carefully curated in my wardrobe that will hopefully help to inspire you when choosing your looks for the last half of the Stampede shenanigans!
That’s right ladies, they aren’t just for men! I was lucky enough to inherit some original ties from my Grandpa that I just absolutely adore. Not only do they have a vintage charm that just ties an outfit together so well, but sans the clip, they can also act as a fun choker. I have also been switching up with a long suede choker or bandana, paired with a bold statement necklace.
This may seem like an obvious one, but for curvy ladies with a bum, like myself, sometimes finding the perfect pair of high-waisted shorts can be a serious CHALLENGE! I have found that the key to this is looking through heaps of refurbished Levis denim and trying on anything that catches your eye, without looking at the number. I scored a pair when I was in Vancouver from a pop-up shop called ARK Reworks, where they actually take the denim and rework it to fit an actual booty. Can’t beat a classic!
I was so happy to see these resurface a few years ago, and of course in true Kristy style, I stocked up on them! In the process of reorganizing of my wardrobe, I have found a few very cute denim options that paired with boots and the right accessories can be a great way to pull off western chic. They are also incredibly comfy and make those 40-degree days on the grounds a little more bearable.
Shoulders bare all!
Seriously, I love it! I am an old lady when it comes to dressing these days, and to be perfectly honest, it was about time that the super low tank top trend took a back seat. Off the shoulder tops are so versatile and can be worn in a variety of different ways, including during stampede. Add a country twist to this shirt by adding a choker, layered necklaces or a pair of tassel earrings, and tuck it into a pair of daisy dukes or a cute jean skirt. I am also a huge fan of these shirts made with extra large bell sleeves, as it makes for an effortless eclectic and dramatic look.
Embroidered Cow-gal Boots
This is one I am still in search of! In my opinion, there is no use wearing a great pair of traditional cowboy boots for only 10 days of the year, especially if you don’t plan to step on a ranch anytime in the near future. Investing in a pair of specialty boots is way more worth your money and will make you standout amongst the crowds down at the grounds. If anyone finds a pair, new or vintage, feel free to let me know!Pieces featured in this article:
Time is a funny thing! It’s bittersweet, to be honest. You have so much of it, yet so little. I for one, am one of those people who perpetually want to do it all in one very moment! My FOMO is literally running out of time and not accomplishing everything I want to see, do and experience. However, as with all things in life, things take time and I consistently have to keep reminding myself that everything happens in the right moment, for the right reasons when the TIME is right.
One thing, I am unfortunately very guilty of, is complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the things! Part of that is probably due to the fact that I can get distracted by something as simple as my pen falling onto the floor, the other is that I am constantly taking on more work than one probably ever should. I am always spending time organizing, trying to get my life and business sorted and planned, and yet it still seems like complete chaos! No matter how much I plan, write lists and buy fancy planners, time still seems to run out and I end up writing articles, such as this one at 2 am.
I had a great conversation with a good friend, who also runs her own small-business, and as we got talking about time, being busy and getting burnt out, she introduced me to this quote, which is actually what inspired me to write this article:
“Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it” – David Duchemin
I know this is not revolutionary, and most of you are probably thinking “well duh Kristy!” However, this perspective has changed my entire way of thinking and it really got me reflecting on the choices I am making and how I am balancing my work versus my life.
Let me give you some perspective on how a typical day in the life of Kristy Archibald generally goes. 9 am, go to one of my part time jobs (yes, I have two!), throughout the day I will reply to the odd email, post on social for a client and even get some work done on an article if I get a break, 6 pm get off work, 7 pm workout, then I procrastinate and try and work for the next few hours, 12 am WRITE, bedtime is 3 am and then I do it all again the next day! As you can see, efficient is not the word someone would use to describe this schedule and it frequently leaves me tired and unable to do my best work the following day – which is something that I take extremely personally!
As a result, of the quote above I am slowly, but surely making some major changes. Why? Because frankly as an extrovert I enjoy having a social life and sleeping, while also making an income and doing what I am passionate about all at the same time. It’s possible, it just needs to be done right and how that may be is different for everyone!
This article is not simply to tell y’all how to succeed at time management; because clearly, I have not got it figured out yet and quite frankly I could use some of your advice! These are a couple of ways that I am shifting my focus, in my life, my business and with my relationships. Because I believe you can have your cake and eat it too, because I love cake, you just have to be strategic about it.
Choosing the right client over making monies AKA saying NO
This one is the main priority! I am a yes girl. My mantra is, say yes and figure it out later. I would say this has been a strategy that has gotten me where I am today in my career, but I hadn’t ever given it any thought that I can be picky with who I work with. Now there is a line with this because at some point one needs to bring in money. However, I have begun to see my client relationships the same as I do a boyfriend. If there is something off, they are simply not a good fit, or we don’t click, then the relationship will never work. Saying no is hard, but I am finding it is crucial for my success and my sanity. I love everyone and I wish I could work with every brand and business, whilst volunteering for everything I am passionate about, but of course that is not possible! Focusing on doing a few things well, rather than spreading myself too thin is what I am aiming for.
I mean everything, but primarily my office! When I am working 24/7, organization goes out the window and I merely end up living out of my home, rather than in it. However, when things get bad and I can’t see my floor amongst all of the clothes, then I know that something needs to be done. When my things are a mess, my head is a mess and that just means that creativity is not going to happen. Minimalizing my life will hopefully allow for more efficient organization, which will result in a more productive Kristy. This is a big project, but slowly but surely I am making my way through it!
Lay it all out in front of me!
This means combining all the sticky notes, calendars, and to-do lists into one sheet that lays out each week for me. Then I can visually see what is coming up, what I need to begin working on and what needs to be prioritized, as well as when I can take a bit of time off. I am a visual person, so I highlight and create a list everything, but the key is having it all in one spot.
Not forcing my work hours
If I am not feeling inspired, or an article is just not coming together at 1 pm, I will either move on to a different task, such as eliminating my inbox or take a break altogether. This is hard, especially when I have multiple looming deadlines, but it’s much more effective to move on to something else rather than wasting 4 hours writing 4 sentences and beating myself up about how I am a terrible writer!
Taking a day off a week!
So far I have only gotten as far as to sleep in till noon on a day that I don’t have to be anywhere. Then I usually get up and dive into my inbox, because by that point it’s usually exploding with keeners who are wildly productive before noon – I wish! Currently, I’m planning in advanced, certain days that I can take off and head to the mountains for a day trip, or just see friends. Then at least I can begin to work my schedule around these days, instead of spending the entire time feeling guilty about all the work sitting waiting for me on my computer.
Put my phone away
As I have mentioned, I am very easily distracted. So when I am working, unless I am posting on Instagram for a client or I have a phone conference, I try my very hardest to “loose” my phone somewhere around my house. I am also finding that unplugging on a day off is key to my rejuvenation. When I have my phone I am always checking my messages, social media, and email. When I see an email come in, it’s my first reaction to is to read and then respond, but then there goes my so-called “day off!”
Working out of coffee shops
Getting dressed and out of the house can do wonders for my creativity. If I am not feeling inspired, heading to a café can be the best thing I can do. The white noise of people is calming for me and allows me to reset and dive right back in to my work. You also never know who you will meet when working in a café, it can be great for networking!
Being more mindful of my time
This can include waking up 10 mins earlier, enjoying the moment while I sip my coffee or being present while I am with my friends + family, rather than having my mind wandering to my work. Specifically mornings and I generally do not get along well and I usually end up getting out of bed at the last possible second, which adds a layer of stress that I don’t need, and sets a terrible tone for the day. Being more mindful of my time, rather than running from place to place will hopefully allow me to spend each moment succeeding at my current task.
If you have any more tips for me in my time management journey then feel free to send me a message! I would love to hear other’s perspectives on this subject!
This look is fantastic, especially if you’re looking for an outfit that serves multiple purposes throughout the day. I can go from a brunch date, to a client meeting, to a board meeting, to an event while still looking polished and put together. Versatility is crucial when freelancing and buying key pieces that can be worn multiple ways is what gets me through my long crazy days – and its hella comfy!
Stay warm, look chic and make these handmade scarfs a part of your everyday look.
With Calgary’s temperamental and unpredictable weather, dressing for winter can be a serious challenge! One moment the wind is numbing my face and I am seriously worried my nose is just going to fall off, and the next it’s above 0 and I’m thoroughly regretting wearing that heavy knit turtleneck under my parka, to the point where I now carry a mini wardrobe in the back of my car – I just can’t win in this season.
To be perfectly honest I really don’t enjoy getting ready when it’s -30 outside, primarily because I end up putting on so many layers that style goes straight out the window! However, layers are key and they can always be removed when it warms up, which is sort of how the mini closet in my car all began.
With not being much of a hat person, due to my thin hair that is prone to kinks, static and stringiness, I tend to rely on oversized knit infinity scarfs to polish off a look and protect me from those horrendous wind chills. Knit scarves are one of my favorite things, because they are a timeless piece that will really never go out of style and they’re so versatile, while maintaining a level of coziness that makes going out in the cold not SO bad. And, if you’re always cold like me, you’ll relish in the fact that if you pair your scarf with the right look, they can look great indoors as well – yay for it being socially acceptable to basically wear a blanket to work!
This is one of my favorite knit brands for three reasons.
They’re a local company based here in Calgary – yay for supporting local!
Founder, maker and local YYC entrepreneur, Pam Morales, crochets all of the products by hand, so the quality of the scarves and cowl’s is unreal!
The scarves come in beautiful neutrals and heather woven yarn, which makes them simple to pair with any look.
“I use super bulky wool blend yarns for their unique softness and drapeability that makes it easy to style without irritating your skin,” says Pam. “As a result, my scarves are designed to be high end, as I use detailed stitches that create textures which have a subtle visual effect. I love minimal lines and colors that match most of your wardrobe and can be your go-to daily staple for the season, which is what inspired me to stick to neutral colors. They can blend in or stand out against a blank colour palette, whatever your personal style may be they’re very easily adaptable.”
I teamed up with Fluff to come up with 3 different looks that are styled with Fluff scarves that are practical, warm and stylish – the best combo!
This look is probably not wise to wear on a -30 below day, but it is great for those random occurrences when Calgary has a warm spell or then those bittersweet Chinook’s hit. This knit turtleneck paired with Fluff’s “Grey Cowl Scarf” and Mackage leather jacket is a good example of strategic layering and the perfect outfit for spending the afternoon at a gallery, taking a stroll by the river or going for Sunday brunch!
This look is a great example of a how these knit scarves can be utilized as not only outdoor wear, but as an indoor accessory as well. The darkness of the scarf compliments the lines on the shirt and the blue jeans help to off set the color scheme, making this the perfect outfit for a client meeting or casual Friday at the office.
This casual look doesn’t differ much from the last outfit, but it’s definitely 5x warmer and comfier! Adding a knit instead of the shirt can be the perfect solution when it gets a little bit colder and the best part is that this sweater looks good with any color of scarves that you may have. We switched up the charcoal scarf with the marble infinity scarf to demonstrate the extreme versatility that these scarves have. You could probably pair any of her colors with this jacket and they would all look great – so ultimately it just comes down to personal preference.
If you would like to invest in one of these wonderful scarves for yourself, you can find them at Crafted Goods in the Calgary Farmers Market, or be sure to check out the Fluff Handcrafted Etsy Store. You will also find a few other crocheted gems on there, such as handmade toques and fluffy afghan throws!
As Stella McCartney once said, “I think personal style starts from within, because it’s a philosophy and an attitude. If you’re honest and true to yourself, you will have the best sense of personal style.”
I spend quite a bit of time thinking about personal style. This might be quite lucid, due to the fact that I have built a career around lifestyle and fashion. However, for me ‘personal style’ goes beyond simply what you wear, it’s a candid reflection of who you are and what you aspire to be.
It drives me crazy when I hear people mention that they “have no style” or that “fashion is wasted on them.” I mean, in no way does one need to hold as much interest in the subject as I do, but ultimately everyone has a style, it just comes down to if that style is an appropriate reflection of who you are.
Great style, whether it’s ‘on trend’ or not – doesn’t matter, ultimately is about feeling beautiful and comfortable in your own skin. What you wear should give you the ability to approach each day with poise and confidence. Once you have found this, you have unlocked the gold mine to your very own, unique personal style.
“Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person,” – Oscar de la Renta
How does one find their personal style?
Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step instruction manual to finding your personal style, as it’s, well, personal! With that being said, there are a few tools that you can use to guide you in the right direction.
First of all, as with most things when it comes to soul searching, personal style is always evolving. One day you might love your pair of vintage Levis or Louboutins and the next, you might be chucking them in the giveaway pile. That’s OK! Just because your style changes doesn’t mean you no longer know what your personal style is. It actually means the opposite, that you know yourself well enough to move on from a style or piece of clothing when it no longer suits you – or as Emily Gilmore would say, “if it doesn’t bring you joy!”
What inspires you?
Everyone has interests, hobbies and people they look up to in some way, shape, or form. These are the things that make up a huge part of who you are, so turning to them for style inspiration is warranted. Whether you play soccer, enjoy watercolor painting or diving into a novel makes you giddy, these are all things that will and could be reflective in your everyday style. The soccer player, may have a bit more of an athletic edge to his/her look, the painter may love wearing beautiful colors and the novelist may enjoy a more minimalistic look to compliment their love for mystery and adventure. You get the idea!
Let your lifestyle tell a story
What you do on a regular day-to-day basis is also a large factor that contributes to your style. If you work in a corporate office setting, chances are business attire mixed with practicality will be a huge part of your wardrobe. However, if you are a freelancer, like myself, and work from home or out of coffee shops, you get a bit (and by a bit a mean a lot) more room to play around with different styles and comfort levels. Your career is a part of who you are, as well as, what you choose to do in your spare time. Allowing yourself the freedom take these situations and wear outfits that are appropriate with your own flare, are what will define a very large part of your personal style.
What are you most comfortable in? For me this is sweatpants, leggings, plaid and sneakers – yes that is the definition of lazy. However, I also know women who don’t enjoy going into public without dressing up in a pair of heels and a fitted blazer. For them, the thought of putting on sneakers and leggings is a painful, and vise verse. Now, I realize leggings are not always warranted in every situation. However, scoring a baggy pair of dress pants that flatter your figure, feel like sweats and make it look like you dressed for the occasion, is a perfect instance of combining your style needs with your style wants – especially if they are a staple that you can wear to work every day! Win win!
My least favorite word when it comes to a shopping trip. As much as I wish I could shop at Ted Baker and Kate Spade on a regular basis, it’s just not feasible for my bank account – a girl can dream! However, there is nothing wrong with looking at these labels and drawing inspiration from them. Don’t let your budget be the defining factor of what you wear. Instead, shop smart, set boundaries and look for unique pieces that you can work into your wardrobe and style.
Extenuate your assets
What is your favorite asset about yourself? This could anything from the color of your eyes to your always-toned shoulders to your booty. Regardless, buying clothes that compliment your assets is a sure way to find a style that makes you feel confident and good in your own skin.
The key to finding your style is asking yourself the right questions! Is what I am wearing who I want to convey myself as? Do I feel confident? Am I comfortable? Do I feel beautiful? Do I still have money in the bank since I purchased this piece?
If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions then maybe spend some time reevaluating. Ultimately, your style should tell a story of who you are and accurately represent your personal brand, while allowing you to feel like the best version of yourself each and every day.
“Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others,” – Anna Wintour
What is my personal style?
Well, that is a darn good question! Ultimately being a blogger and freelance writer hugely influences what I wear on a daily basis. Take this outfit, for instance, it’s by far one of the most comfortable outfits in my wardrobe right now, yet it’s something I could get away with wearing to a business meeting.
It took me an eternity to find a pair of boyfriend jeans that actually fit my derrière, and now it’s rare to see me not wearing them. However, they very easily look sloppy and potentially homeless, so I always have to be careful of what I wear on top. This sweater is perfect because it’s cropped, therefore it still gives me a waistline, while balancing the perfect level of baggy – and it’s basically the comfiest sweater I own. I accessorized with a choker and my bow chain. The choker I felt added a bit more complexity and chicness to the outfit, and the bow, well I named my blog ‘floralandbows,’ so there’s your answer to that one. Lastly, my glorious white sneakers I felt just tied the whole outfit together – and they are also SO comfy (are you beginning to see a trend!).
No matter what I have been doing in my life or how much my style has changed, there are a few, for a lack of a better word, trends that have always remained a constant. I would say these are what make up my true personal style, no matter what sort of fashion phase I am going through.
Floral patterns – you can dress it up or down and I always fall in love with the beautiful prints!
Button up shirts – these I find you can wear with any sort of bottoms and are so much fun to accessorize. I even find myself mixing masculine shirts with feminine statement necklaces a lot of the time.
Plaid – oh how I love plaid! It’s perfect for just about any occasion and is great for layering.
Collars – call me crazy, but my dickey is one of my favorite things I own. It can take a crew neck from casual to chic in an instant.
Loafers – through the years these have gone from moccasins, to flats to boat shoes to sneakers. Regardless I try and make sure they are the perfect combination of comfortable and chic.
For inspiration, I would say I pull a lot of styles from the 50’s and 60’s, as those are my favorite fashion eras, along with minimalistic Scandinavian styles and classic Parisian looks. Basically, my personal style is a mix of my life, career, interests and things I have been inspired by throughout my travels – and it’s forever changing and evolving!
Warm hot cocoa, cozy sweaters, the crisp jingle of Christmas music filling the streets, the crackle of the Yule log on Channel 4 and of course the delicate rustic holiday décor, are just a few of my favorite things about the holidays – aside from the brisk subarctic temperatures of course. Under all of the fluff and exquisiteness that becomes part of our everyday lives, there is something so lucidly candor about the Christmas season that is unlike any other time of year. People are kinder, controversies are put aside, people are more supportive of others in need, time is made for family and friends that would otherwise be spent on work or the bustle of our everyday lives, selfishness is subsided and the holiday spirit shines through us making it truly a magical season of giving.
Instead of waiting for the inaugural December 1st, this year my holiday festivities began in early November. As a result of my eagerness, that has been compared to that of Buddy the Elf many times, I have come close to wrapping up my Christmas shopping – literally! Yes, I have entered the gift-wrapping phase, and it’s not yet Christmas Eve – it truly is a miracle.
During my shopping endeavours, I decided that I would completely avoid the insanity at the malls and make a conscious effort to shop local this year. Not only am I supporting local talent and fellow entrepreneurs, but I always manage to find presents that are unique and original for each individual that I am buying for, instead of making laps around the mall and settling on a variation of the same mug at David’s Tea for all my friends and family. Without giving away some of the nifty presents I have already purchased, I have crafted a guide to some of some of Calgary’s best kept local secrets, where you can find the perfect Christmas gift for just about anyone on your list!
Envision decking the halls of your home with bouquets of holly, festive planters, wreaths, and garlands, or having an elegant centerpiece at your Christmas dinner. Even better, provide the hostess in your life with a holiday bouquet of unique, luxurious florals that will be the cherry on top of their Kate Spade inspired Christmas décor. Regardless of the occasion, Jessica, from Antheia Floral will provide you with fresh blooms creatively arranged in a design to suit any of your flower needs. The best part, all her flowers are ethically sourced so you can enjoy a fresh bouquet with a clear conscious.
This beautiful boutique, nestled in the historic De Waal Block in Bridgeland, offers a plethora of stunning gifts curated from over 60 different local artists, along with a British-inspired tea room where you can grab a latte to keep you warm as you shop. Here you can find amazing stocking stuffers, such as freshly roasted coffee beans from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co., hand blended loose leaf tea from Tearrific, holiday scented candles from Lavami, day planners from Wrinkle and Crease, sweet honey from Drizzle, knitwear and jewelry from Salt Water Tea, hilariously mismatched socks from the famous Friday Sock Co., and new to the store, tea and coffee mugs from Hands On Clay Collective from Victoria, BC. You will also find their famous wall of exorbitantly hilarious cards for literally every occasion, including the holidays, along with an array of delicious sweets from The Violet Chocolate Co., Pretty Sweet, and Canada’s Sweet Shop.
Be sure to check out their Holiday Pop-Up series that is happening now until December 18th. Go to their website for more details.
Also! Check their individually curated his + her’s holiday gift guides for more ideas for your special someone!
Originally what was considered just a little red barn, has now been converted into a bustling workshop and retail store for local brands, Camp Brand Goods and CoutuKitsch. This is a captivating space that is truly unique and beautiful, and the sense of community amongst all of the designers is contagious – I could literally hang out here for days!
Be sure to check out Camp’s new 60’s inspired f/w line, The Highwood Collection, as you can never go wrong with one of their tees, toques or popular fleece crewnecks. Pair with one of the many statement earrings or necklaces from CoutuKitsch’s new exquisite Reine collection and you will have a gift that is cozy, sensible, practical and fashionable all at the same time – the best combo! You can also find a variety of other local brands that have a general theme of the great outdoors, perfect for the adventurer in your life.
This concept shop is new to the local shopping scene this holiday season, but man they are killing it! Owned by Heidi Blanchette and Nikki Maas, these two ladies know a thing or two about fashion and they credit their inspiration to the women they named the boutique after – their Grandmothers! Here you can find anything from leather purses, statement necklaces, trendy home décor, sassy collectibles, wine-themed accessories and an array of holiday-themed gifts that make perfect stocking stuffers. If you are struggling to find something for that “person who has everything” on your list, then suggest you head over to this little shop, as I can guarantee you that you will stumble upon something that is uniquely perfect!
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” better than a brand new leather purse, or even better, a new pair of shoes. Okay maybe I just have a shoe problem, but in all seriousness, a leather gift from Poppy and Barley is a gift that your special someone will keep and use for years to come. Choose between custom-made leather shoes, for both men and women, or an array of purses, wallets and other leather accessories that will spice up any wardrobe. I am currently lusting over their brand-new black leather “Nubuck backpack” – just in case anyone was wondering!
Give the gift of healthy! Skin care products can add up to be quite pricey over time, which is why they make the perfect gifts. Visit this brand new, Scandinavian inspired concept shop, located in historic Inglewood and find unique household and bath + body products that are ethically sourced and made with organic ingredients. Shop quality brands, such as Herbivore Botanicals, L:A Bruket, Common Goods Co., Woodlot and my favorite Australian brand, Aesop. This is the best type of gift, as you are getting someone a quality product they may have otherwise put off buying – and they can use it for months to come – win win!
This is the place where cashmere dreams come true! If you are looking for the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life, I can guarantee that you will find it in this trendy boutique on 17th avenue. Set at a bit of a higher price point, Kit and Ace is all about providing quality basics that are made for standing the test of time and suiting your busy lifestyle, while allowing you to be comfortable, practical and stylish all at the same time. If you are on a larger budget, one of their luxurious cashmere scarfs or toque + mitt sets would make an excellent present, considering the vicious winter the Weather Channel has prepared us for this year. Or get their “Willow Brushed Long Sleeve,” which is a double-stacked turtleneck that comes in a variety of different colors and is the perfect piece perfect for layering – the receiver will definitely be able to utilize this gift for many seasons and winters to come.
This year Calgary seems to have a ton of different local markets happening every weekend, now until Christmas. My favorite part about market shopping, especially over the holidays, is that I get to shop my favorite go-to artists and makers, while also discovering new ones I never knew existed. This is the best way to find one-of-a-kind gifts that are special and unique to the individual that you are buying for. You will find vendors that offer products ranging from handmade baby clothes, treats for your pet, stunning jewelry, beautiful photography and even food vendors that offer packaged goods that go great in a basket made for the hostess in your life. Some of the upcoming markets that I would recommend are Market Collective and the Azuridge Christmas Market.
I hope this curated article will help you check off some of your Holiday shopping to-do list and allow you to find gifts that are perfect for your loved ones to open on Christmas day!
I am still coming to grips with the sheer reality that the end of summer is merely two weeks away – where did the time go! It feels like yesterday I was packing my backpack and escaping to Europe for a month and a half. With that being said, summer of 2016 has been sheer bliss mixed with a magnitude of memories and it’s going take a heck of a lot more adventuring to top it.
With pumpkin spice lattes and warm comfy sweaters just around the corner, I want to do my best to relish the last two weeks that we have of this beautiful season. Here is my bucket list of things I hope to do and experience within the next two weeks, to put the cherry on an already fabulous summer and transition into my favorite season of the year!
Get active and spend time outdoors
Although Calgary has not had a record hot summer, the past couple of weeks haven’t been too bad! I love being able to sit on my patio as I write this article or do things that I would normally do inside, outside – banking on the premonition that it stays above 15 degrees and doesn’t begin raining daily, or worse snow.
This is also around the time when everyone seems to want to knock off those extra summer pounds they gained indulging in Stampede deep fried goodies or a few too many patio beers. In my case, it’s a situation of months of consuming Italian pasta, French crepes, Belgium waffles and British Cream Tea, none of which I regret in the slightest. However, instead of hitting the gym I want to spend the time being more active outside exploring Calgary, while I still can. Lucky for all of us Calgary has a plethora of free and/or relatively cheap activities happening all around the city within the next two weeks that are easy on the budget and a fun, healthy way to spend an afternoon.
Flow by the Bow: for $10 flow through a Yoga class and celebrate afterward with food trucks and a live DJ held at the RiverWalk Plaza in East Village, hosted by Lululemon.
Outsiders Run Club: meet up with Joanna Magik, of The Sweat Style, in the East Village for a FREE 5-8km run every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30pm.
Barre in the Village: join Barre Body Studio in the East Village Experience Centre on Thursday, August 25th for a lunchtime 60-minute full body workout, beginning at 12pm.
Patrick’s Island Games Station: on Sunday, August 28th grab a group of friends and head down to St. Patrick’s Island for outdoor activities such as Bocce, ladder golf and more between 11am-5pm!
Pokemon Go sesh: Yes I said it! I am not normally one to conform to popular fads, but I have to admit I am glad I inquired about this one, because it’s actually a lot of fun! Find a spot in Calgary where there is lots of Poke action happening and spend an hour or two catching rare Pokémon, fighting a few battles and hatching an egg or two, all while reaping the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors – win win!
Explore Calgary’s newfound culinary scene
The landscape of Calgary’s foodie industry has changed drastically over the past summer months, especially due to the upgraded laws around microbreweries. As a result, there has been a significant growth in new restaurants, patios, concept bars, bakeries, coffee shops and game cafes all over the city. This makes my inner adventurous self so happy, because there is nothing I love more than trying out new local hot spots and finding new places to fall in love with in Calgary. If you haven’t already, make it your mission to try out a new spot every so often and contribute to Calgary’s growing local culture!
Restaurants: Ten Foot Henry, Posto Pizzeria and Bar, Una Takeaway, The Guild, Full Circle Pizza, Royale and Flipp’n Burgers & Breakfast
Coffee Shops/ Bakeries: Little Henry, Wow Bakery, Alforno Bakery & Café, Philosafy Coffee, Vintage Caffeine, Framboise Bakery and Made by Marcus Microcreamery
Game Cafés: Hexagon Café
Cocktail Bars: SS106 Aperitif Bar and Frenchie Wine Bar
Annual pre-fall shopping spree
If you know me even the slightest you won’t be surprised to hear that this is probably one of my favorite parts of this time of year! It’s when summer styles go on sale and fall fashion begins to sneak it’s way in, replacing the crop tops and daisy dukes with turtlenecks, blanket scarfs and baggy knits. The next two weeks are the perfect opportunity to wear your summer looks one last time and do a little pre-fall shopping to get your wardrobe ready for the upcoming season. Some of my favorite local shops I will be checking out for fall are Adorn Boutique, Kit & Ace and The Livery – nothing says fall like a comfy Camp crewneck fleece!
Lastly, even if you aren’t going back-to-school, like myself, it doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the frenzy of beautiful notebooks, agendas and supplies to prepare yourself for fall. Indigo’s new back-to-school line is out and my Visa is already not pleased about it!
Dive into a good book
Summer is all about adventure and there is nothing like immersing yourself into a story and traveling to a world different than your own, without having to actually pay for a plane ticket. Take some time over the next two weeks to relax and read a good book even if it’s a short story and breathe in the last few moments of summer.
Joining a book club is always a good way to force yourself to sit down and actually finish reading a book you have started. I am incredibly guilty for beginning multiple novels at once and getting too busy to pick them back up again. If you don’t have a group of friends who share the same love for books as you do, Dote Magazine has officially launched their new interactive Dote Book Club – check out their first book, Mansfield Park by Jane Austin, for the month of August and stay tuned to their social media for book club updates!
Escape to the mountains
There is nothing like ending the summer by taking a day trip or even spending a weekend basking in our beautiful mountainous backyard. Alberta has some beautiful hikes to offer that are great for experienced hikers or those people like myself who are just looking for a casual stroll with stunning views in the wilderness. Check out Alberta’s 25 best hikes here, according to Explore Magazine!
Campfire + s’mores
Nothing says summer more than a causal evening with friends cozied around a campfire, sharing stories and toasting the perfect golden marshmallow. Unfortunately, due to the lack of nice evenings that Calgary has had this summer this has not been a common weekend activity, which is incredibly disappointing to me. If Mother Nature permits it, plan a night with friends, have a potluck and a couple drinks around the campfire and end the summer of 2016 with a bang!
Arriving in Nimes was an adventure to say the least. To give a little perspective, Nimes is a small city located in the south of France, in the region of Provence, known for its rich Roman heritage, laid back ambiance and quaint stone streets filled with authentic French delicacies – a French lovers dream come true. However, due to our lack of knowledge of the French language, communicating with really anyone became more of a challenge than I had ever experienced. So when we met Inge, a fashion designer that was fluent in, Dutch, French AND English I not only fell in love with her beautiful designs, but I was also so relived to finally be able to communicate successfully with someone!
Arena of Nîmes
We met Inge at a night market that is held every Thursday in the streets of Nimes, beside the Maison Carrée. The market consisted of local artisans from around the South of France selling jewelry, clothing and other handmade gems unique to the area – so naturally I had my eyes peeled for local fashion.
Inge de Jonge
“Inge de Jong” is a French clothing brand created by Inge herself, that focuses primarily on women’s apparel, and also on kids + mens fashion, along with jewelry and home décor. She began her journey in the fashion world by studying textiles + sewing at the School of Fine Arts in Rotterdam. She then worked as a model for many years, winning numerous awards for her creative fashion designs, which later inspired her to create a collection under her own name. She now operates a successful boutique, atelier and workshop in the south of France.
“A story of the love of yesterday’s garment re-imagined for today.”
Inge has a passion for reusing + recycling as she aims to give a “second life to beautiful materials that would otherwise be wasted, discarded or forgotten” – She calls her garments “Messages d’Armour.” Her collections are all produced locally and handmade from unique European fabrics with lace and pearls from old milliners that are all primarily recycled or reclaimed. The narrative around her brand is a direct reflection of her frustration with consumerism and belief that “today’s market favors mass production that is executed in a crude manner and limits the traditional quality and conventions of pret-a-porter.” As a result, she manufactures her designs in a much simpler way, collaborating with local seamstresses, which allows her to pay extreme attention to all the details of her designs, while working closely with her clients to produce personalized pieces that celebrate the quality and history of the material.
What first drew me to Inge’s stand were all of the brightly colored, vintage patterns and the eclectic feel of the clothing, + jewelry hanging on display. Inge creates her collections to reflect her personal style, consisting of bohemian and romantic silhouettes that are made of “fluid fabrics that evoke elegance and well-being.” Her ready-to-wear line is meant to bring confidence and beauty to her client’s wardrobes, as she curates fabrics that are transferable to both summer and winter.
The most unique aspect of her line is not only that it is fashionable and chic everyday wear, but that each piece is “painted with memories of old” that tells a narrative. As I picked up some of the pieces that caught my eye, Inge had a story to tell about each one of them, usually mentioning where she got the fabric and the era it came from. I adored how each piece was a part of history that was now reworked into something beautiful and different from other ready-to-wear designers.
Choosing what to purchase was so hard, as there were so many options and pieces I loved to choose from. I ended up purchasing a beautiful pink lace bracelet and a pendulum white cotton tee with 3/4 sleeves and lace fringe, from her 2015 spring/summer collection.
Check out Inge’s full Spring/Summer liner here and stay up-to-date on her current collections and fashion shows by signing up for her newsletter!
It was exactly one year ago today I walked across the stage at the University of Calgary, and two years ago today that I had the pleasure of breaking my foot in a foreign country, but ill leave that story for another time!
When I walked across that stage I had no idea what the next year was going to look like, which was both terrifying and exciting all at the same time! I was leaving that auditorium with a degree and a full sense of accomplishment and motivation to go out and conquer the world. I still have that drive, but throughout the past year it changed, I changed, my path changed – basically everything changed. Some for the good and some not so much, but life would be pretty boring if it was all smooth sailing.
Needless to say, I followed a very different path than I ever could have anticipated and every experience I have had along the way has led me to where I am now. I still don’t know where I am headed, but this year has given me the confidence to be able to say that I am excited and ready for the adventure.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent some serious time reflecting on the past year, looking at what I have accomplished, what I haven’t, what I feel I have fallen short on and on the person I am and who I want to be. In reality, I am just winging it, crossing my fingers and my toes, hoping that I come out somewhat smoothly on the other side – but let’s be honest it won’t be graceful, nothing ever is with me!
Who am I, Kristy Archibald
Well, I am not too sure, but I am looking to find her! The past year showed that I am a creative being and I need to capitalize on that and pursue life in a creative way, in both my work and personal life. Sitting down and reading a great book, going for a beautiful walk or watching a documentary on the legends that created the world as we know it, feed my soul and inspire in so many ways. Yes, I am aware I sound like an incredibly old lady, but I love seeing how things were started and what it took for people to truly ‘make it.’
What does this look like for me? I have no idea, but I know that in every documentary and story I have read it’s very obvious that you can’t follow the crowd. I know that sounds incredibly cliché and cheesy, but it’s true! Bill Cunningham didn’t just photograph someone because they were the present ‘it girl’, he photographed them because they had true style and if they didn’t, he didn’t bother. This was something that at the time had never been done, but he paved the way for street style to be what it is today!
As much as I love my alone time, I am a true extrovert and as a result, I also value and cherish the time I spend with my friends and family. Checking out the newest local hotspot, going for brunch and being a tourist in my own city with the people that I love is extremely valuable to me. More importantly, having that network behind me to support me and encourage me in everything that I do and vise versa.
I am an avid adventurer, passionate learner and I try to embrace every new opportunity with open arms in order to experience everything around me. I think I can truly say that over the past year this has been the key to aligning myself onto the right road.
I also learned that: I am still late for life – 24 years later, I don’t need to shower every day, but every second day is a must, good quality skin products are not a hoax, I can cook more than just cupcakes and mac & cheese, I still love fashion, I love to write, I am an ‘entrepreneur’ – scary, I still don’t like bananas, olives , mayo or mushrooms and I will never stop learning – my education didn’t end when I finished school that’s for sure!
Creativity: from crafting to creating new ideas
As a creative you must always be looking for the next way to become inspired. I had no idea that I was already doing this until this year. Since I was a little kid I have always enjoyed looking and experiencing everything around me, finding a way to document my experiences in some way shape or form.
Working from home has proven to be a huge challenge for me over the past year. It’s something I never thought that I would do and it can be tough some days to become inspired. Trust me it’s not easy to work in your PJ’s, naps are a serious problem! Here are just a few ways that help me keep that creativity flowing and work to give my brain a refresh!
Working out: usually, I go to Barre Body Studio. It’s a full body workout that only takes an hour and it leaves you feeling refreshed and energized for the day.
Traveling: This is a big one! I tend to get antsy every 7 or 8 months and I have a strong urge to see new things, experience new cultures, learn about people and discover AMAZING foods I never knew existed. I visited Montreal, Toronto and New York last year, 3 of the best cities to venture to if you are looking for any sort of inspiration within your work or in your life in general.
Drives& long walks: these work to clear my head and help me to become focused when I get too many things on the go – which is often!
Collaborating: whether this be with like-minded people or not, working together with passionate individuals allows me to discover new things and develop different perspectives. I truly believe that we work better when we collaborate and build each other up, rather than compete against each other. I always find it amazing when I bounce thoughts back and forth with someone else, as we always end up brainstorming things I would have never thought of on my own – it’s a magical process. As I said we are better together people!
People watching: I know it sounds creepy, but I love to see how others interact and how they are unique when they are put in a position to truly be themselves.
Writing about new things: when I receive an assignment from one of my editors to write about something I know nothing about I get giddy! This is an opportunity to research and learn about something I would have otherwise never known about and find a way to creatively put it together for a client.
My career is my baby and the thing I live and breathe, without it I would be lost! This is probably the main thing that has affected my entire life and steered me down an incredible journey. From starting this blog, to becoming a freelance writer, to working in social media, to joining a professional association board, to meeting a whole slew of new people, the learning, growth and self-discovery that has taken place is a whirlwind. Such as, apparently I love to write – seriously who knew!
I have learned so much on how to create my own work schedule, work independently, prioritize projects and create my own deadlines – I would be a pro- University Student now. Before I began freelancing I struggled with online courses, let alone being my own boss!
“It’s very important to take risks. I think that research is very important, but in the end you have to work from your instinct and feeling and take those risks and be fearless.” – Anna Wintour
Taking risks has been huge for me over the past year. Going from a 9-5 job to contracting within the span of a couple weeks was both exhilarating and scary- lets just say I have had more than one stressed out sleepless night. Beginning my blog was also a huge risk that I took. Putting yourself and your skills out there is tough and has been something that I really struggled with at first, and I still do occasionally. However, through time, experience and having an incredible support system behind me, I have developed the confidence to feel good about putting my work and who I am out there for the world to see!
Give them what they never knew they wanted! – Diana Vreeland
My version of success does not mean making a lot of money – although it would be nice in order to sustain my shopping habits and severe travel bug. I value quality and hard work. It doesn’t matter how many people know your name, if you don’t produce something that makes people stop and go WOW, then you haven’t arrived yet. I decided a long time ago I want to be known for the quality of my work, not how many events I can attend. It’s so easy to get caught up with social media, perusing people’s Instagram’s and comparing yourself to others, but something I have learned is that you can’t look at someone’s success and compare it to your own, especially if you are just starting out.
Social media, friend or foe?
We are millennials, so therefore it’s a natural habit to obsess over followers, likes and posting the right things to give our life a glazed over look that is not true to who we are. The social media marketer in me fights me on this, but regardless I believe that whether you are working for a company or on your personal brand, authenticity is most important. Why live in a world that is completely fake when you can be out exploring and experiencing everything first hand, and thus sharing these amazing adventures with your following. My social media is me, and what I post is who I am. If you follow me you’ll get the sincere pleasure of seeing the good, bad and the ugly – enjoy!
“Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Anna Wintour
Fashion is something I have loved since I was 12 years old – before that I just wore overalls! If the past year has taught me nothing, it has taught me to be even more confident within my own personal style and embrace my love for eclectic pieces and to push the boundaries. Through my research and getting the opportunity to attend various fashion events since starting this blog, I have molded my style into something that is much more true to myself. If I am going to talk about the style to others, I must have an identifiable one of my own! My hemlines continue to get longer and my necklines higher. I have spent more time this year playing around with different prints, color blocking and bold accessories, while adding some sporty, boxier and more edgy pieces to my wardrobe. The one rule I have when it comes to my style is to always wear something that allows you to be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t wear something because it’s “in,” wear it because it makes you feel like a better version of yourself. As Bill Cunningham said, “If you like it, wear it!”
I have learned a TON about myself over the past year and I have done that through learning about others. I have learned to cherish the relationships that are already in my life and to take the time to nourish them and allow them to grow. Sometimes this means growing apart and sometimes this means growing closer. I have dated, networked and introduced myself to some extraordinary people over the past year and through every interaction I have learned or experienced something new that has given me years worth of great stories and valuable memories.
Be in love with your life!
Without fun, life doesn’t have substance. Spending time laughing, gathering moments and being truly happy is most important. I always have some sort of photographic device on me to capture moments as they are happening. I honestly think the older I get the more fun I have!
Life is about moments – don’t wait for them, create them.
However, when it comes to having fun something I have learned one too many times is that I am no longer 18, therefore I can’t party like I am and frankly I don’t want to. It takes less to feel worse the next day and unfortunately I have yet to find a cure or remedy for that. Maybe I will have that for next year’s blog post!
Things I am still working on:
My work life balance
Becoming a morning person – I am attempting at least!
Creating a career I love while also being monetarily secure
Always finding something to laugh about – even on Tuesdays
Juggling a million things at once
Letting the little things go and not being such a perfectionist
Continuing to nurture my relationships and make room for quality time spent with family and friends
Being a leader, rather than a boss
Life the life that people write novels about!
Some very exciting things! I still don’t know what my entire future looks like, let alone a 5-year plan, but I have a rough idea on how I want it to go. Frankly, I am just along for the ride!
Traveling to Europe for just over a month – I am beyond excited for this adventure! The ideas, inspirations and the stories I plan on creating and bringing back with me are going to be amazing I just know it.
I plan on enhancing my blog and molding it even more to who I am and what I envision it to be.
An entrepreneurial venture – STAY TUNED!
Then who no’s- but I can tell you this it won’t be boring!
Cheers to a new year full of fresh starts, new experiences, memorable adventures, grand opportunities, new friendships and growing into the woman I am meant to be. I am extremely excited to see where life leads me next!
Once again PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture) blew everyone’s expectations out of the park with their two-day Miami themed, fashion event featuring an array of Canada’s best artists and fashion designers. The event was held at CF Chinook Centre right outside of Nordstrom’s and as you walked up you were greeted with a lively red carpet, photo-op and glass of rose champagne – talk about fabulous!
Usually my girlfriends and I opt in and just get general seating tickets, but this time we decided to splurge and go with VIP – they were more than worth it. The VIP lounge had a variety of different appetizers and drinks, with an exclusive photo booth and large sitting area to take a break from the crowds. All-in-all I highly recommend going all in and spending a little extra on your tickets for the full fashion-night-out experience, especially if you get the chance to sit front row like we did!
One of the things I love about the PARK fashion shows is that they are not merely a show, but a collaborative creative experience. The walls were decorated with artwork done by David Brunning, a former graffiti artist turned fine art abstract artist, highlighting pieces from his latest show “Lost in Translation.” You could even take home a little piece of this event by purchasing one of his paintings after the show was over.
Another neat aspect to this event was the partnership that PARK formed with Microsoft and together they created the PARK x Microsoft Illustrator Project. The project aimed to combine art + fashion + technology by having a few very talented artists, such as Michelle Hoogveld, roam the floor throughout the night and live sketch the event it as it happened on Microsoft Tablets – they even had a few tablets set up for party goers to try!
As per usual they had designer pop-up-shops set up throughout the event space, featuring designers that had walked on both nights, which was nice if you missed one or the other. In-between the designers were other great partners that that were set up, making it almost like a trendy night market. Some notable vendors that I personally enjoyed were Fiasco Gelato featuring a delicious new gelato flavor, Ollia Macaroons featuring their signature Lavender Lemonade and sweet macaron treats, Barre Body Studio, Saje Natural Wellness and Nespresso Coffee who provided me with a delightful shot of espresso to keep me going!
The adrenaline rush that I get when the first model steps onto the runway is indescribable! Although I was only able to attend Saturday night’s show, I was pleased at the line-up of designers that were being featured. I found it to be a good combination of designers from past shows mixed with some new names that introduced some fresh talent and looks to the show. There were so many different looks that I absolutely adored, here are a few of my favorites!
The fashion show begun with this big, bold and beautiful accessory line that made a large statement – literally! These unique and timeless handmade accessories are made from a variety of natural elements, such as wood, shell, resin, cow horns and stone. From large chains to wooden neck braces, these accessories are diverse and different, which adds originality to any outfit and completes your look with confidence and personality – taking your outfit from good to great!
This line of quality, stylish outwear stole the show on Saturday night! Each jacket that we saw on the runway is carefully curated, designed and handmade by Anneka Forbes herself, right here in Calgary! I have had the pleasure of getting to know Anneka a little bit at past shows, and her passion and energy for creating these jackets is incredible and is reflected in the detail in each and every piece. These jackets are figure flattering and come in both colorful and neutral options making them great for a casual lunch date, or night out on the town. They are an investment piece that act as a great staple for any season and will be part of your wardrobe for years to come.
Designer Malika, grew up in India, which has been one of her main sources of inspiration. As a result, her line is filled with vibrant colors, luxury fabric and stunning embroidered details created around 3 core values of quality, affordability and social consciousness. On the runway, we saw primarily suede and leather pieces done in dresses, tops, skirts and jackets. Some of the leather looks had patterned cutouts in them, which added an element of complexity to the level of detail that was displayed in the design of each garment, giving them a charm of modern elegance. I loved the entire line, but my favorite piece was a suede top that had fringe from the waist down. Paired with high waisted shorts this would make a great trendy stampede outfit!
This luxurious ready-to-wear line has hit the Calgary fashion scene with a bang within the past year. Founder Nina Kharey, draws inspiration from her Eastern roots and men’s suit-wear, creating pieces with minimalistic lines and light flowy fabric. On the runway we saw a variety of looser fit dresses, light jackets, tunics and wide leg pants, with flattering waistlines and a neutral color palette. Each piece is a great basic staple for any wardrobe, perfect for a chic office look or attending a fancy cocktail party.
The “first Monday in May,” also known as the Met Gala, is fashion’s most anticipated event of the year! For those who don’t know, this gala is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fundraising event that celebrates the grand opening of the new fashion exhibit in the Costume Institute.
For me, the Met Gala is what the Super Bowl is to Football fans! I adore watching the star-studded red carpet come alive on the steps of the Met and seeing the stunning unique fashion that the event attracts. It’s such an elegant and elaborate affair, and with the help of social media I feel like I actually attended the event – oh the joys of modern technology! Ironically, this fits perfectly into this year’s exhibit!
In past years you may recall exhibits such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), Punk: Chaos to Culture (2013), Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (2001), American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (2010) and most recently China: Through the Looking Glass (2015).
This year’s theme is, Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. With over 150 pieces, this exhibit explores the complex relationship between man and technology, and it’s influence on fashion, dating back to the early 1900’s. Two different approaches are explored within the term “technology” in the fashion world. The first, is the increased popularity for tech companies to create devices that are coined as ‘fashionable.’ A good example of this is the Apple Watch. This is something that you can customize, make personal and wear on a daily basis – technological fashion.
The other approach that this exhibit explores is the dichotomy between handmade and machine-made garments, assessing the quality stigma around both of these methods and the influence it has over the creative process. Fashion is always one of the first to embrace technology, even in the early years with the introduction of the sewing machine and mass production. In this case, what makes Haute Couture? A hand-sewn piece or one made with a machine or both? Anna Wintour says she sees very little difference between the detail in both methods – so I am going to go ahead and agree with the Queen of Fashion.
The fashion at the Gala represented this very modernized, technological theme and the guests did an amazing job of adapting to this techy, futurist vibe through shimmering rhinestone frocks, chrome hearts, body cut-outs and illuminating dresses. The two red carpet looks that stole the show and did an amazing job of taking wearable technological fashion quite literally to another level were:
Karolina Kurkova shone in this “Cognitive Dress” created by IBM in partnership with the Design House of Marchesa, using emotional intelligence. Learn more about this dress here.
Clare Danes was the belle of the ball in this modern day Cinderella “Starry Night” dress designed with fiber optic lighting by Zac Posen. Learn more about this fabulous dress from Zac Posen himself on the Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert here.
Here are a few of my other favorite looks from this year’s Met Gala!
The fashion, the Gala and the exhibit are all stunning – I can’t wait to see it for myself someday! Learn more about the theme and the pieces you can find throughout the exhibit here!