All A Girl Wants: A Hot Cheesy Pizza

I’m just a girl looking for a hot cheesy kinda love – correction a hot cheesy pizza! If you knew me during my very brief stint on Tinder, in my opinion, the reason modern romance is dead – but we can save that conversation for another time, you’ll know that this was the only line I ever had on my profile. Screw introducing myself. I simply put it all out there and let any potential suitors know that my love for cheese and warm carbs would always be priority number 1. Let me tell you, the raunchy, hilarious openers I received from it were priceless. I simply couldn’t make some of them up even if I tried. Even though I eventually deleted the app and returned to the real world to spark a storybook romance, I still have some of the best lines recorded in my little black book for those days when I could use a small ego boost and a chuckle – they all got an A+ for trying at least!

Nonetheless, dating life aside, my love for a delicious slice of za has continued on.

What is my ideal slice of pizza you ask? It’s one of two options. It’s either a thick greasy slice of Hawaiian from CPU dripping in cheese, parmesan and ranch dressing or a thin crust delicacy from one of Calgary’s many specialty pizza outlets. For the sake of my overall desire and attempts at being healthy, I try and choose the latter more often than not.

Which brings me to why I am so excited to be writing this article in the first place! One of my very favourite spots to grab a glass of wine and treat my taste buds to a new gourmet pizza flavour, Famoso on 4th just finished renovating their space, and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait!

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Reopened earlier this month, I finally had the chance to sneak down to Mission and check out their upgraded digs. Since I got my love for hot cheesy pizza from my momma, I brought her along for a little mid-week mother-daughter date!

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a room filled with an abundance of natural light and a rustic wooden center bar that drew you into the space. The outskirts of the room was lined with cozy booths against the windows and the center was filled with high tops and plush seating around the bar. There are really no bad seats to be had in the restaurant, which let’s be honest, is a rarity. My favourite part of the décor was the party lights that were strung above the seats in the main restaurant area and the rustic white and black brick mural that adorned the back wall by the stairs that lead to another semi-private dinning area. Altogether the vintage, rustic elements, mixed with the industrial iron accents and homey touches gave the space an ambiance of a traditional pizzeria straight out of Italy mixed with a modern social house.

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My mum and I choose to sit in one of the booths along the windows, because I have a serious attraction to natural lighting and both of us being under 5’4 never usually enjoy having to sit in a high top – we can be a tad extra, I will admit.

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After perusing the menu for a while, I realized they had added quite a few items since the last time I had been in. I love trying new things so I was pretty excited by this, but when it came down to choosing it was a challenging decision, as always. With a recommendation from our lovely server, I landed on the Roasted Cauliflower, which was a seasonal za featuring roasted seasoned cauliflower, green olives, toasted almonds and gorgonzola, topped with honey and house-made chili oil – I’m literally still dreaming of this pizza.

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My mum got one of their classic staples, which is her favourite, the Pepperoni and Roasted Mushrooms. Both of us made our meals into lunch combos, which just means you get a smaller 7” pizza with a side soup or salad. I tried their house Napoli salad, which was light and the perfect compliment to a heavier pizza and my mum tried the Tomato Bisque which she said was creamy and made for a delicious upper scale take on traditional comfort food.

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The best part, or maybe for lack of a better word, the most astonishing part was how quickly our meals came after we ordered. One of the new additions to the restaurant is a signature tiled bell-shaped oven that they imported from Italy and can cook the pizzas in 90 seconds flat. I don’t even know how its possible but our food was at our table within a mere 10 minutes of us ordering, a blissful surprise as neither of us had really eaten much before this, so the quicker the less likely the hangry is to appear. As I said, like mother like daughter.

Filled to the brim and well caffeinated, we proceeded to catch up in the restaurant and then do a little shopping in Mission, which is one of my favourite areas to explore in the city.

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From the location to the bright décor to the authentic Italian pizza, this location is by far my favourite in the city. Probably because it feels as though you have been transported into a pizza joint in the heart of Italy, which makes my adventurous soul so happy! It also reminds me that it’s been far too long since I paid that country a proper visit, so I will definitely be adding that to my long list of flight alerts.

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To celebrate the reopening of their 4th street location I have partnered with Famoso to give away a $100 gift card so you can treat your partner, friend, parent or even yourself (no judgement here, I take myself for pizza all the time) to a gourmet pizza experience in their fresh new space. Head on over to my Instagram for more details and for a chance to enter!

Pinkie’s Up!

11 Reasons + Ways to Make Tea Your Summer Fix

Collaboration Between Tearrific + Antheia Floral + FloralandBows

I live for those tiny moments when you take the first sip of freshly steeped tea and you get that warm tingly feeling inside. Tea is one of those delicious beverages that can quench your thirst at any given time of the day, while being adapted in fun different ways to match the weather or circumstance. There is also always a flavour that conveniently goes perfectly with each season. Ahem, pumpkin chai!

Truth be told, it’s a rare thing to see me without a cup of tea in my hand, especially when I am writing. A bold Earl Grey or English Breakfast has the magical power to relax me after a long day and get the creative juices flowing. Needless to say, I have a charcoal teeth-whitener that I use on a regular basis!

Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade
Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade

However, with it being summer and the hottest Calgary has been in years, drinking a cup of steaming hot tea may not be everyone’s idea of refreshing, but an iced tea on the other hand is a whole different story.

Since it’s officially patio season, having a pitcher of iced tea on hand at all times is essentially a must, for more reasons than one. Aside from the fact that it is truly scrumptious, tea actually has a variety of health benefits that you can reap the results from in just one cup. Talk about a win win!

I partnered with Tearrific, a loose-leaf tea blender and café, along with Antheia Floral, a local florist, to come up with 11 reasons why you need to hop on the tea bandwagon and to get you inspired when making this refreshing hot weather elixir this summer!

Sencha Green Tearrific
Tearrific Sencha Green
  1. It’s a delicious alternative to water!

Canada’s food guide recommends that we drink approximately 1.5 liters of water in a regular day and even more when it’s hot out. Now I don’t know about you, but with my busy lifestyle and love of coffee, and other beverages, that is a lot of water to consume in one 24-hour period. However, since tea is essentially free of sugar, fat and calories, having a cup or two a day can help you hit that target, while quenching your thirst and keeping you hydrated in the heat of summer!

Tearrific Summer Daze
Tearrific Summer Daze
  1. Can be a natural and herbal remedy

Aside from providing a ton antioxidants, which is no secret, the individual ingredients that tea is made up of contains various vitamins that are crucial in our daily consumption. Certain teas can also act as a natural, drug free remedy to specific conditions or can at least help reduce symptoms. However, it does not replace the need for prescribed medication.

  • Hibiscus: contains a high level of Vitamin C, which works to boost your immune system and lower blood pressure in those people with an elevated one.
  • Licorice: has been known to help reduce the symptoms of Vertigo
  • Ginger: provides relief to a nauseous stomach – hello hangover cure!
  • Chamomile: has been known to also help with an upset stomach, while also successfully treating different sleep disorders.
  • Green + White Tea: both tea’s contain a ton of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in your body.
  1. I HEART Tea

It’s a common belief that drinking specifically, black teas can help keep your ticker in a well-maintained condition. Some studies even go as far to say that it helps reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Now I am no scientist, so don’t quote me on this, but hey if drinking a cup or two of tea will allow me to continue to go on awesome adventures then I will gladly cooperate!

Tearrific Sencha Green
Tearrific Sencha Green
  1. 0 Calorie Cocktail Mix

What I would like to know is where was this info back when I was in University? Imagine all of the pizza’s I could have consumed instead! Samantha from Tearrific recommends mixing Gin and Earl Grey together, for a delicious energy booster to get the night started. You can also try mixing a fruity tea with prosecco or sparkling wine for a fun and refreshing summertime cocktail.

If you enjoy a good ol’ Pimms Cup, then I recommend trying the ‘Summer Daze’ tea from Tearrific, as it has been compared to this classic English beverage on more than one occasion. Make this tea iced and add some Pimms for an instant replicate of the original beverage, without the hassle of preparing a ton of ingredients. OR have it sans alcohol for a mocktail that still has the flavour of the real deal!

Tearrific Blueberry Burst
Tearrific Blueberry Burst
  1. Homemade Iced Tea

As I have mentioned, having a batch of cold-brewed tea is an excellent idea to have on hand for when we are in the midst of heat-wave and in need of a thirst quencher. But how does one go about making it? Trust me it’s easy, if I can do it so can you!

  • Add 4 heaping teaspoons of tea in 1L of water
  • You can use an empty mason jar or empty container you have lying around the house
  • Refrigerate over night and strain the tea leaves in the morning – if you are not in a rush to drink it.
  • If you plan on consuming the day you make the tea steep it in hot water and then pour it over ice when you go to serve the tea – this can also make a stronger tea if that is how you like it.
  • ENJOY!
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Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade
  1. Sweet as can BEE

If you do require a bit of sweetener in your tea, honey would probably be your healthiest option, as it is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, making it good for your stomach and tasty to consume. My honey of choice is a local honey brand called “Drizzle” that you can get at the cutest shop in Bridgeland, Greater Goods, or various other locations throughout the city!

  1. Picky Tea Drinker?

Are you looking looking for a tea that is high in health benefits, but also has a bit of a caffeine kick for those early mornings? An Oolong tea is the perfect solution! It’s a great choice for people who don’t particularly enjoy the taste of black or green tea, as it’s in the middle on the flavour and oxidization scale.

Tearrific Orchard Oolong
Tearrific Orchard Oolong
  1. Kick that coffee addiction!

We all love coffee, but it’s also not always the healthiest option, especially if we are drinking 3 or 4 cups a day – guilty as charged! If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake, there are a variety of herbal decaffeinated teas out there that are bound to quench your thirst. From spicy to nutty flavours, herbal teas are deemed one of the most flavourful so you will be replacing your cup of joe for something equally if not more tasty.

  1. Tea Baking

At Tearrific, they sell Brown Butter Oatmeal cookie sandwiches with Chai tea infused Buttecream – YUM! Tea is a great no calorie additive that is super simple to bake with and will give your baked goods the most scrumptious aroma. Head over to the Tearrific blog for some tips on baking with tea!

Tearrific Summer Daze
Tearrific Summer Daze
  1. Tea-o-licious Popcicles

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than treating yourself to an iced cold popsicle! I am licking my lips for one of these as I write this article to be honest! To make them, brew a cold batch of your favourite tea and pour it into popsicle molds and freeze – EASY! If you want to add more flavour or mix it up you can always add slices of fruit, mint or other fun ingredients to your pops.

  1. The more tea you drink the healthier you will be – Truth!

There have been various studies that show drinking tea can help reduce the risk of getting dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other terrible diseases. It also helps to increase your overall health, as it is contributes to your body’s daily nutrient and vitamin consumption, while also keeping you hydrated! Now that is definitely a good reason to start drinking tea if you don’t already!

Tearrific Orchard Oolong
Tearrific Orchard Oolong

Tearrific: is a local tea blending company, formally known as the “Tea Wagon” and now located in Granary Road.

Antheia Floral: is a local florist that specializes in ethically sourced flowers. Be sure to check her out if you ave any floral needs, she makes the PRETTIEST bouquets!

Tea’s featured in this post:

ENJOY your ice tea endeavours this summer. Feel free to tag me, Antheia or Tearrific in any of your pretty recreations and inspirations on social media!

XO Kristy

Redefining Time in One’s Life and Work

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Decluttering

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!

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Outfit details

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!

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy

The Aesthetic of Personal Style

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.

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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!”

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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!blog-43-fb

Budget
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!).

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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.

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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!blog-64-fb

Outfit details:

Choker – Salt Water Tea

Bow Chain – Bronze & Butterflies

Sweater – Community from Aritzia

Jeans – AGOLDE from Aritzia

Sneakers – Adidas Stan Smith Sneaker 

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy

A Christmas Shopping Guide to YYC’s Local Treasures

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!

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Antheia Floral 

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.

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Greater Goods

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.

floralandbows-gg2Be 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!

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The Livery Shop

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!

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Photo via @LiveryShop

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.

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Liz and Lottie

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!

 

Poppy Barley

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!

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Fresh Laundry

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!

Kit and Ace

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.

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Photo via @true_buch

Market Hopping

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!

Happy Shopping!

xoxo Kristy

Feature Image:

Photography: @rianalisbethphoto

Knitwear: @fluffhandcrafted