10 Ways To Find A New Year’s Resolution Best for YOU

For most people New Year’s is a party and an excuse to get dressed up and drink copious amounts of champagne. I won’t lie, I do generally take part in the festivities, but for me New Year’s is more about the significance of a great year coming to an end and a fresh beginning as a new year sneaks around the corner. It’s a time to curl up with a cup of tea and re-examine the direction my life + career are headed and make some short/long term goals for what is coming next.

New Year’s resolutions are always thought to be so dramatic and life changing, when we all know they generally only last till the end of January and then are forgotten until the following New Year.

This year I challenge you to break this cycle and begin to focus on the things that make you better and grow as an individual! These things can be in your personal life, your career or even how you see yourself. The best resolution you can make is one that will result in you being healthy, happy and confident in your life and your own skin.

dsc02801

Reflect

Take the time to reflect! Look at where you are now, versus a year ago. Are you happy with where you are in your life and most importantly are you happy with yourself? Reflecting gives us the chance to learn from the past, celebrate successes and see what we would like to do differently in the future.

For all those who think you stop learning once you graduate University – think again! I always say I think I learned more in my first year out of school than I did within the 4 years it took to get my degree. With that being said for a girl who always has a plan, my life has veered pretty far off from what I had pictured it was going to look like. However, I am ok with where I am. You can’t plan when an opportunity is going to arise, you just have to buckle in and go along for the ride. Needless to say I am excited see where life leads me next – plan or no plan!

Keep it short + sweet 

Sometimes less is more! I know this sounds cliche, but in this instance it holds to be true. As C.S Lewis put perfectly:

“ Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”

Think of making smaller changes to your everyday routine and eventually each adjustment will lead to larger accomplishments without you even realizing it. Consider focusing on 1 or 2 goals for the year, instead of creating a laundry list of things you plan on doing within 365 days. Accomplishing a few smaller goals can lead to much larger ones in the future!

Be Specific 

Setting vague goals such as “this year I am going to eat more healthy” or “I am going to be a nicer person” are great things to want to achieve, but difficult to execute. Be specific and create goals that are simple and measurable, such as I will pursue 2 random acts of kindness a day, or I will only have 4 cups of coffee a week instead of 2 a day. Both are attainable and your progress is easily seen – win win!

Write it down 

This may sound silly, but it can be vital to the success of your resolutions. You are creating a contract with yourself and you need to validate it. Write it down somewhere that you will see it daily, such as a note on your bathroom mirror. This will create a daily reminder of where you want to be and allow you to continually check in with yourself to see how you are doing.

dsc02805

Cut the stress!

According to an article written by the Calgary Sun, 25% of Calgarians are stressed, making us the most stressed out region in Alberta. Given the state of our economy I am not surprised in the slightest! However, stress is dangerous to your health and can subsequently make you underperform in your daily tasks. Think of the things that are causing you unnecessary large amounts of stress in your life and create goals that work towards reducing this, or better yet eliminating it!

Declutter 

Purge your life of anything that is no longer providing you with some sort of value. This might sound a little self loathing, but when you have less around you it allows you to appreciate the small things and have a better perspective on your life. I am talking about everything, including your home, career, heart, head and even the people in your social circle. Letting go of relationships that no longer feed you or give you joy allows you to focus and nurture the relationships that do.

Focus on your strengths 

“When you do what you love, everything else falls into place.” 

Figure out what you are good at and find time to focus on this. Generally, we are the happiest when we are doing something that we are truly passionate about. You also never know when a hobby could create a new opportunity, or lead you to discover something new about yourself.

Try something new 

Whether it be something on your bucket list or something you never thought you would be interested in – try it! As Neale Donald Walsch said:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” 

When you are in routine, doing the same things day in and day out, your life can become stagnant and often boring. No longer are you learning new things, meeting new people or experiencing things in life, you’re merely existing. Memories are created when we discover new experiences and do things that give us butterflies. So book that spontaneous trip, sign up for a crazy workout class, volunteer or even try something new in your career!

dsc02809

Keep it positive 

Maybe you don’t need to focus on eliminating something from your life, rather adding to it. In our society we are so focused on dreading Mondays and our upcoming deadlines. Focus on positive goals and they will reflect positively in your life.

Find your dream job! 

I know this sounds easier said than done, but as the mighty Confucius said:

Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”

You may as well begin working on it now and if this is not your year to secure the job of your dreams, at least you’re one step closer!

Lastly,

Create a resolution specific to you

Just because everyone else is giving up wine and loosing weight this year, does not mean you have to as well. Jump off the bandwagon and take the time to examine every aspect of your life and figure out the parts that need work, or that you are not 100% happy with. Maybe you just want to read a good book this year! My point is, the decision is yours and no one else’s. This year make it your mission to become the best possible version of yourself and to create a life that fulfills you, makes you happy and that you are confident and comfortable living, because that is what is most important!

xoxo Kristy

1415122_10156431224740055_8021714616957877385_o
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m Possible” – Audrey Hepburn
Advertisements

Travel Back to 1882- Yeehaw!

Exploring One of Alberta’s Oldest Ranches

One of the things I enjoy most is traveling and gaining inspiration from unique cultures and ways of life, particularly those that are very different from my own. So much so, I often overlook the heritage of my own hometown and find myself taking it for granted. I mean I would definitely say that for the most part, I have embraced my Calgary roots with my unapologetic country style, but traveling to other countries has slowly made me realize just how little I really know about my own culture and how it came to be. As a result, I am making an effort to explore Calgary and Alberta more, searching for hidden gems and being a tourist in my own culture.

One of my favorite places in Alberta, which started it all is the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. My family and I just recently took a trip down memory lane and visited the ranch for my dad’s birthday. Here is a little snippet of our adventure!

First and foremost, story time!

Located, deep within a pocket of the rolling foothills, lies one of Alberta’s best-kept secrets, the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. It was established in 1882, and home to many notable figures in Alberta and Canada’s history, such as George Lane who was one of the big four that established the Calgary Stampede, John Ware a freed American slave who settled in Alberta as a working cowboy, Fred Stimson and the famous Canadian rancher Patrick Burns. The ranch was also visited by some iconic figures in history including Edward, Prince of Wales, the famous oil painter Charlie Russell who created a series of paintings around the Bar U and Guy Weadick who we can thank for persuading the owners of the ranch at the time to fund the first ever Calgary Stampede – Wooohoo!

The ranch was one of the first corporate ranches and predominately known for its large-scale cattle operations, which were at the time extremely modernized. As a result, they proudly fed the workers on the transcontinental railway, immigrants new to the land, `Canadian soldiers during two wars and it sustained our nation throughout the Great Depression. They were also known for their prize stock of 1,000 purebred Percherons, which helped to build our cities and transport goods across the continent. The Bar U was a keystone to the advancement of both Alberta and Canada as a whole, without it who knows where the heck we’d be today!

Learn to be a cowboy, or not!

If you are looking to take a mini road trip somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a relaxing afternoon, the Bar U is a fantastic option.

This place is very near and dear to my heart and it holds some of my fondest childhood memories, as my Dad and I spent copious amounts of time horseback riding throughout the land and exploring the crevices of all the famous old red heritage buildings. If the whole western charade isn’t your thing, there is more fun to be had than just learning the cowboy way. First of all, the views are spectacular; as it is located in the valley with a magnificent backdrop of the rocky mountains- so you can’t forget your camera!

The property itself consists of 366 acres of picturesque landscape poised as a working ranch, with 35 historical structures that give you a hands on experience, transporting you back to a time in history.

One of my favorite places to explore, that never gets old (see what I did there!) is the old post office and RCMP headquarters. This houses the media and newspaper department, along with original Woodward’s and Eaton magazines dating back to the 1800’s – aka fashion magazines, surprise! A little further down the road is another favorite of mine, the old cookhouse. They have a beautiful garden in the back and a Parks Canada employee is usually in the kitchen, dressed the part of course, serving up old-fashioned delicacies, such as apple cake or molasses cookies!

If you do decide to venture down to the Bar U one sunny Fall afternoon, which I highly suggest you do, be sure to check out their café + coffee shop. I often do not find coffee here in North America that my picky taste buds enjoy, but their cowboy-roasted coffee is comparable to a café au lait in Paris – ohhh ya!

DSC02403DSC02188DSC02206DSC02214DSC02216DSC02221DSC02224DSC02247DSC02244DSC02377DSC02380DSC02254DSC02262DSC02387DSC02279DSC02264DSC02393DSC02231DSC02234DSC02349DSC02353DSC02356DSC02346DSC02343DSC02341DSC02374DSC02330DSC02333DSC02327DSC02323DSC02283DSC02288DSC02389

XOXO Kristy

Last Days of Summer Bucket List

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!

BVJ82E1ILO

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.
  • Explore Canada Olympic Park’s fun summer activities: for a bit of a higher price try out the Skyline Luge, Summer Bobsled or 500 meter Zipline, or test your luck at Mini Golf.
  • 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!
Trolley 5
Pic via: @Trolley5

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
  • Pubs: Trolley 5 Resurant & Brewery and Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey
  • 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
image009
Pic via: @capturecalgary

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!

Also, check out the Buttercream Clothing Popup Shop at Greater Goods on Saturday, August 27th and the Little Modern Market on September 1st at Starbelly restaurant.

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!

Jane Austen - Dote Book Club
Pic via: Dote Magazine – book cover by Art and Alexander.

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!

CIJ236DRFC

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!

OTUL37OONI

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!

Events happening around the city:

DSC01712
The tan will fade, but memories last forever! ❤

xoxo Kristy

A 1 Year Journey Worth A Million Years in Memories

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!

thumb_IMG_1068_1024
There I am!

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!

thumb_IMG_4719_1024

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!

thumb_IMG_4682_1024

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.

thumb_IMG_4723_1024

Lady Bossin! 

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!

thumb_IMG_4716_1024Personal Style 

“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!”

Relationships 

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

What’s next? 

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!

thumb_IMG_4725_1024
Work hard, stay humble and be kind!

xoxo Kristy

Photo Credit: Jenna Cavanagh

Outfit 1: 

Shorts: Club Monaco

Shirt: Oak and Fort

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Necklace: Coutukitsch

Outfit 2: 

Dress: Aritzia

Necklace: Coutukitsch

Add A Zest Of Flavour To Your Spring Party

When life gives you lemons – make cupcakes!

photo-1454944338482-a69bb95894afCupcakes are so fun and one of my favorite things to bake! I love experimenting with different cakes and icings and also finding new ways to decorate and present them, depending on the occasion. They are incredibly versatile, as they are a great way to sweeten up any event or even satisfy your daily sweet tooth indulgence.

Many people can tell you, I probably have enough recipe books to fill an entire library and I continue to covet them! One of my favorites is a cupcake cookbook from the Primrose Bakery in London, England. Its pages are full of a variety of delicious cupcakes, perfect for any season, celebration, life event or just everyday occasion. Why I love this recipe book, over others, is their focus on the different ways to style and assemble simple, yet delicious recipes, rather than complicating the matter  with hard-to-find ingredients and troublesome process.

FullSizeRender-51

Primrose Bakery was started by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas in 2004 in Primrose Hill, Northern London! It was their goal to create treats that suit the interest of every type of person regardless of their age, gender and background, for every type of occasion, whether it is for an extravagant party or a simple everyday celebration. They strive to create sweet treats that “look different and taste different – it’s about food that smells delicious and that you want to eat.” Since their humble beginnings on Primrose Hill they have now expanded into 3 different bakery locations around London and have provided their treats for designers at Fashion Week, Elton John’s 60th Birthday Party, the Brits Music Awards and more!

This beautiful bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit when I go to London this summer!

One recipe that I tried a few weeks ago for my family’s Easter Dinner celebration, that was a huge hit, was Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting – the key: freshly squeezed lemon and lots of it! I think I tripled the amount of lemon that I put in both the cake and in the frosting. Excessive I know, but they had such a sweet pungent zing that it was well worth the extra squeeze.

thumb_IMG_9703_1024Check out the recipe here:

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature

1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup self-rising flour

¾ + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/3 cup milk

2 (more like 5!) tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until mixture is pale and smooth.
  3. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time allowing for some time in between each egg.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flours together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the milk, lemon juice and sour cream together.
  6. Alternating between the flour and the milk add both to the creamed mixture, 1/3 of each mixture at a time.
  7. If the mixture begins to curdle, simply add a spoonful of flour and beat well.
  8. Spoon the mixture into muffin pan, lined with cupcake liners – fill them approx. 2/3 full.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and let completely cool before icing.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

2-3 (or 5-6) tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon

4 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter, half of your lemon juice and half the confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl, until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the rest of the lemon juice and confectioners sugar.
  3. Continue adding confectioners sugar until it is your desired consistency for icing – the extra lemon juice will cause the icing to be more liquid than it is supposed to, so the extra sugar will make up for this.
  4. DECORATE!

Enjoy!thumb_IMG_9693_1024

xoxo Kristy

Note: both recipes and background research is from the cookbook “Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.” Learn more about the adorable Primrose Bakery here!

Somethin’ Bout A Truck

Revealing Ford’s all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor SuperCrew and Super Duty

Being a bona fide country girl, naturally and true to the cliché, I do enjoy a shiny pick-up with a little mud on the tires – and a man in a plaid shirt sitting in the driver’s seat doesn’t hurt!

Growing up it was a well-known fact in my household that you were either a Chevy or a Ford family – there was no in between. I have fond memories chumming around with my dad at car shows, or admiring a vintage beauty in the parking lot of the supermarket. I would also play the “mechanics’ assistant” and hand him a wrench or hold the flashlight as he changed the oil or did maintenance on our vehicles. As a result, I picked up on a bit of the lingo and can semi navigate my way under the hood – however let’s not put that knowledge to the test!

Needless to say, my family are true Ford fans through and through, so when I got the invitation to attend the unveiling of Ford’s new 2017 trucks I was definitely giddy!

The unveiling was held at the WinSport event tent at COP and was done particularly well. They had the crowd waiting in suspense as they cued the Jurassic Park theme song to build up the anticipation as they announced each truck. We also had the chance to hear from Ford’s Gerald Wood and Mike Sinuita who shared some of the special new features of each truck!

F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

Ford is calling this a “beast off road and on” and trust me, they’re not kidding! The all-new Raptor is built tough for the off road and is relentless on any terrain. Some features that make this the number one pickup are it’s fully boxed frame made from high-strength steel, all-new EcoBoost engine technology, 3.0-inch FOX racing shocks, 10-speed transmission, torque-on-demand and an improved power distribution between the front and back wheels that works to enhance the Raptor’s off-road agility. The performance on this pickup is incredible – I would kill to take one of these for a test drive!

F-150 Super Duty

#BuiltFordTough North America’s work truck is back and better than ever! The new Super Duty has a new look this year along with a ton of fancy new features making it the toughest, most capable Super Duty yet. What I found incredibly interesting about this truck is that it comes equipped with 7 cameras on its exterior, four of which are HD and work to give the driver a 360-degree view of their surroundings. This feature is there primarily to put your towing fears at ease, but I can imagine it would make driving in general a breeze, as this is no small toy truck

Drugged and Driving – one of these things doesn’t belong!

In addition to showing off their two new pickup’s, Ford also brought with them their all-new “Drugged Driving Suit.” This unique suit has been engineered to give users the effects of being on illegal drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin and show them the harmful effects of driving under the influence of any of these substances. The suit simulates certain side affects of these drugs, such as distorted vision, hand tremors, poor coordination and slower reaction time, all of which are the causes of many motor vehicle accidents.

Cc_b55ZUUAATDrI.jpg-large
Photo Credit: Brookline PR’s Doug Self

According to NHTSA, approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine.” – This is a scary number and it is amazing to see such a large and influential corporation taking this kind of initiative to tackle this important issue.

Ford had this suit set up for everyone to try at the event and I must say it was incredibly eyeopening to see how it affected people in different ways and how limited people were when they had the suit on – there is no better way to spread a message than to let people experience it first hand!

Styled

One could never expect me to attend such an event and not include fashion in some way, shape or form! This was a tough one, as I had never been to the unveiling of a new truck before, therefore I had no idea if everyone would be in blue jeans and plaid shirts, or dressed up cocktail style. I saw this as a great opportunity to do neither and went with a more edgy in-between look. I wore my new favorite black high-waisted Levis ($80 from Artizia!) that I rarely leave the house without these days, along with a heather gray, long sleeved crop and my classic Mackage leather jacket. A simple, comfortable yet chic look!

thumb_IMG_9161_1024

XOXO Kristy

A Fashionable Perspective: Kaleidoscopic Animalia

Kaleidoscopic: made up of a complex mix of elements, multifaceted

Animalia: animals are organisms within the kingdom of Animalia – Latin

Currently, the Glenbow’s Artist in Residence is a Canadian-born, internationally acclaimed fashion designer, Paul Hardy. His collection, Kaleidoscopic Animalia, brings a new layer of complexity to Calgary’s ever evolving and flourishing fashion + arts scene. It transports you back to significant eras of time within a whimsical metaphoric dimension, addressing man’s complex relationship with animals and it’s societal and cultural influences.

The exhibit is laid out to represent a metropolitan city street with 15 unique window installations for viewers to stroll past and ponder, such as one of Tiffany’s or Bergdorf Goodman’s window displays on 5th Avenue in New York. Each window is labeled with a witty pun and contains elegant couture, historical artifacts and animals juxtaposed in a cultural setting representing a powerful symbolic connection between humans and animals as art, fashion and culture. Some of the different themes that Hardy explores and plays around with in his work is Pop Culture, the Fur Trade, Children’s Toys, Hunting game and Fashion Accessories.

Hardy does a fantastic job of pulling from his Canadian roots in this exhibit, taking the term ‘multiculturalism’ to a whole other level. You begin with the exhibit “Trapped in Tradition” which includes a map of Canada, products produced in each province/ territory and a mannequin dressed in an elegant gown created out of the classic Hudson’s Bay wool blanket. Through his exploration of different time periods and cultures he always ties in Canadian heritage to each window and theme, representing our diverse and unique traditions that have been crafted over time.

At the heart of each story that is told, is a beautiful piece of couture fashion; designed and curated by Hardy himself. Each fashion piece helps to tie the story together through the material it is made out of, the print on the textile or even the way the mannequin is positioned within a plethora of rich colors and textures. Hardy used many different types of textiles to show the influence that animals have had on the fashion industry and how they have been utilized in items, such as a beaver top hat, leather moccasins, skirts made out of feathers and fur jackets. The amount of detail that is accounted for is incredible, making each look luxurious and chic as if the mannequins just stepped out of a time capsule and onto the runway.

What I loved most about this exhibit, other than the stunning couture fashion pieces, was each exhibit’s ability to tell a different story, sparking different conversations and prompting challenging questions about time and culture. It was exhilarating to stand in front of each window and be taken on a thought provoking journey to a different time and place.

If you have not had the chance to check out this glorious exhibit I suggest you do before September 5th, 2016 you will definitely not regret it.

Trapped In Tradition

thumb_IMG_7896_1024

Artificial Tundra

thumb_IMG_7889_1024

Beyond The Looking Glass

thumb_IMG_7909_1024

Everything Isn’t Always Black And White

thumb_IMG_7921_1024

 

Harvie’s Blue Plate Special

On With The Show…

thumb_IMG_7972_1024

Homestretch

thumb_IMG_7997_1024

G’ma’s Curio Cupboard

thumb_IMG_8003_1024

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”- Edgar Degas 

xoxo Kristy

Photos by Kristy Archibald

To write this article I used different documents and descriptions provided by the Glenbow Museum. Read more on each individual window and the exhibit overall here.

Learn more about Paul Hardy and the other unique fashion lines and collaborations he has done here.