Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir

Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir

Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir

Up until last year, I had never been to the Calgary Stampede. Which, if you’re from Alberta, is a highly unusual feat to have accomplished by 30. Imagine my surprise when, this year, I was asked to attend yet again. This time, GMC Canada extended an invite that sounded much too intriguing to refuse. The itinerary was stacked, so I drove down in a loaned GMC Terrain and never looked back. What ensued was three days of all things western and wild. I rode a horse for the first time, I ate 7/11 pizza at 3am and reviewed it (for your viewing pleasure), and I even drove a couple of trucks! If you want to know what a roadtrip with me is like, definitely watch: Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir. Keep scrolling for photo highlights I managed to take while we were out and about. 🙂 Yehaw!

Gone Country

One cannot attend the Calgary Stampede without the proper attire. Despite being a country noob, I have been preparing to play the role of a country gal my entire life. (My collection of western belts tells that story eloquently) To top off my already cowpoke look, we popped by Lammle’s to boot up. I paired my Mae Cowgirl boots by Dan Post with my Bailey Cowboy hat.

Gourmet Cuisine

Describing the above photographs as Gourmet Cuisine is only half true. While we did dine at some insanely delightful places, (re: Pigeonhole, Proof) fair food and late night 7/11 was also on the menu. I regret nothing. Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir would not be complete without a high / low dining experience. It’s a must. It’s a way of life. I also believe that one must specify both the circumstances and time of day a pizza from 7/11 is consumed because it provides much needed context for questionable choices.

Stampede in 10 Photos or Less

I think this collection of photos accurately depicts the highlights of the Stampede for me. Above is a shot from Nashville North, a large bar tent playing a healthy mix of country and rock music. It’s hard to say, I recognized very little of it. I quickly learned that as long as you had some item of clothing signifying a western style, then you could easily blend in without actually knowing anything. Fortunately, line dancing did not come up so I avoided being revealed as the true western poseur I am.

Sandy Joe Goes to the Stampede: A Memoir

If this wasn’t enough Stampede realness for you, check out my other two posts from last year: Out & About Calgary Stampede and my style feature Sweetheart of the Rodeo – titled after a Gram Parsons tune for The Byrds.

Many thanks to GMC Canada for having me on this amazing trip!

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How to Have a Restful Sleep

How to Have a Restful Sleep

How to Have a Restful Sleep

Ever found yourself enduring the misery of a sleepless night? I am no stranger to the agony of a restless slumber. What if it were possible to avoid a bad sleep? Join me on a zen ride while I share all my tips on how to have THE BEST SLEEP EVERRRRRRRR in this video. Or maybe it is just some tips and tricks on how to have a restful sleep which I suppose could be considered THE BEST SLEEP EVER.


When I decided to fully commit to being an adult (baby blankie and snoopy stuffed animal notwithstanding), incorporating proper bedding was a must. Once I slept on high quality cotton sheets, I could never look back. My current set up includes:

– Four SleepEnvie pillows – two Skyler, two Violet
– Brooklinen Sheets – luxe cotton in Smoke Stripe & Reverse Smoke Stripe 
– Brooklinen Duvet cover – luxe cotton white
– Casper – Duvet
– MUJI – Men’s PJ’s
– MUJI – Slippers
– SLIP – Silk Sleep Mask Navy 
– SLIP – Silk Sleep Mask Pink

For those of you who are curious about Muji or already love it as much as I do, they opened their newest Canadian location in Richmond Centre in Richmond, BC. I will definitely be stopping by on my way to the island this summer to stock up on my FAVOURITE pen in the world.


This one is a hard one, I know. After many attempts and setbacks, I have officially made my bedroom a device-free zone. In addition to that, I avoid electronics 1 hour before bedtime to help my body naturally produce melatonin. Instead of my phone being my alarm clock, I use my Google Home to set alarms. If this sounds preposterous to you, I suggest reading How to Break Up With Your Phone.


The surefire way to help your body relax for bedtime is developing a routine that lets it wind down for the day. I like to start with my skincare routine. Then I either read or meditate, or both! (Not at the same time though 😉 )  I also avoid screens an hour before bed to help my body adjust as well.


Scenting a room for the right vibe is of very great importance to me, I’m that person with a Saje Diffuser in every room. Calming scents truly help my body relax and put me into a great mood. Lately I’ve been loving a giant dose of lavender before bed. If you need more tips on ambience, check out my post 10 Ways to Make Your Home More Spa Like.


I hope some of this tips will help you have the best sleep ever! And like I said in the video, when all else fails, there’s always melatonin! If you have any other tricks for how to have a restful sleep, I would love to hear them! In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re enjoying what you see. 🙂

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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Camping in Kananaskis

Camping in Kananaskis


Join me on a quick camping trip to Kananaskis, Alberta, a gorgeous place to go if you want to avoid tourists and National Park fees. We stayed at the Interlakes campground right on the Lower Kananaskis Lake. We hiked the Upper Kananaskis Lake loop for the better part of the day. I only packed a water bottle, a granola bar, and an orange. This was not nearly enough sustenance in case you were wondering. Click play to check out my camping in Kananaskis vlog! If you like what you’re seeing, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and peep my 24 Hours in Calgary vlog. 😉 THANKS SO MUCH FOR WATCHING!

Big thanks to Ford Canada for loaning us a 2018 Ford Explorer 🙂

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GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

The moment when you realize one of the palettes you just opened for the first time and fell in love with is DISCONTINUED!?! Yeah, that’s what happened when I was linking products and found out Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette is not longer with us…. much like Geoffrey the giraffe from Toy’R’Us (RIP x 2). With that said, get ready with me while I do my every day make up using new-in products and one discontinued favourite (RIP Urban Decay Smoky palette). So here it is: GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites. Won’t you join me?

Be sure to check out My Morning Skincare Routine to see what I do before applying buttloads of make up! JK my make up is very conservative. If you enjoy my videos, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. K thx bye 🙂

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My Morning Skincare Routine

My Morning Skincare Routine

My Morning Skincare Routine

“You’re not wearing foundation?! What do you use on your skin?” are questions I find myself answering quite often. While I usually deflect the compliment and say it’s because of genetics. And while genetics definitely plays a large role in it (thanks mom) a consistent skincare routine has most definitely served me well over the years. Seeing as how some people in this world are interested in my daily habits, I thought I would share My Morning Skincare Routine a la YouTube video. Keep scrolling for more product details. 🙂


I’m a firm believer in the double cleanse. It’s a way of life I have committed to this year after realizing the magic of exfoliating followed by an additional cleanse. It’s truly a dreamy experience. Here are the cleansers I am currently using and loving:

NEUTROGENA Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser
This is the first exfoliant I’ve ever used that I can use daily. The exfoliant is very mild and works well with my sensitive skin!

ORIGINS Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder
I love using this as a face mask! But prior to receiving the Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser, I was using this powder 3-4 times per week as my main exfoliant.

INDIE LEE Brightening Cleanser
This is a face wash that works overtime while smelling so dang good. I’ve sung its praise before on my Night Moves Natural Skincare Routine post. It smells like strawberries! It doubles as a mask when it’s worn for 10 minutes. And it leaves my skin feeling clean, not stripped.


Toning the skin is such an important step, especially if you’re like me and can’t seem to completely wash off all the cleanser. I buy my cotton rounds at Costco. I have yet to find a more sustainable option for these disposable cotton pads. The alternatives such as cloth pads I find absorb a lot of product so I end up using three times as much. I would love to hear if anyone else has discovered something better?

INDIE LEE CoQ-10 Toner
The first thing to celebrate is that it’s alcohol-free (bless). It’s antioxidant rich and includes super hero ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber, sage, and rejuvenating enzymes from papaya. Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?


My morning skincare routine would not be complete without a powerful serum and moisturizer combination. As I discussed in the video, this new line I’ve been trying out is a game changer. Universkin is a base serum with added active ingredients. The active ingredients are picked specifically for each individuals skin by a dermatologist or facial specialist. I received my consultation at Lucere Dermatology in Edmonton.

My “prescription” includes SOD, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3. I cannot stress enough how important Vitamin C is for the skin! If you haven’t watched the video, check there to find out why!

NEXULTRA #3 Moisturizer
This is a light weight moisturizer that I use both day and night. It works in conjunction with the Universkin serum and is from the same product line 🙂

Des Yeux

Lest we forget the most delicate part of the visage! The eyes of course. Moisturizing those peepers both day and night is a MUST! Especially if maintaining the integrity of the skin is a priority.

IT COSMETICS Confidence In An Eye Cream
These last couple of years have been real hard on my eyes. This is one of the few eye products I’ve used and actually noticed a visible difference in the plumpness around my eyes. Those dark circles appeared lightened and I was elated. I love piling this cream on at nighttime as well.

TATA HARPER Illuminating Eye Cream
The magic ingredient of the hour is hyaluronic Acid and this cream’s got it! It provides an abundance of moisture to the area all while brightening effects with the gold shimmer in it. It’s light, it smells good, and it does what it says it’s going to do: ILLUMINATE!

Protect Your Neck!

We must remember our beloved epidermis south of our chin. It wants attention, it needs love, it should never be left out! Keep that moisture coming!

IT COSMETICS Secret Sauce 
Besides the name being hilarious and accurate, this cream is a true dream. It’s a fantastic moisturizer without being overwhelmingly thick. Spoiler alert: this also contains my favourites hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C!

INDIE LEE Squalane Oil
If you’re unfamiliar with squalane, it’s an oil derived from the olive. And it’s a real bad ass when it comes to moisturizing. Be sure to add some of it to your top shelf asap!

SPF It Up!

All of those other steps are wonderful but will only have noticeable effects if the skin is being protected by the sun DAILY. It’s easy to assume that if it’s an overcast day that SPF is unneeded. WRONG! About 80% of those UV rays are able to pass through clouds and are secretly burning us. That’s why SPF is a non-negotiable in My Morning Skincare Routine!

SKINCEUTICALS Physical Fusion SPF 50
This weightless and tinted SPF option is one of my favourites. Since it’s so lightweight, it’s excellent to use on a day when I wear make-up. Not to mention, a little goes a long way!

NEUTROGENA Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50
Another lightweight option that soaks in fast but does not have a tint. I love using this one when I’m out and about without make-up. Or when I’m engaging in physical activities outside since it’s waterproof.

And that concludes My Morning Skincare Routine! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 I would love to hear what your favourite products are in your morning routine so please leave a comment below!

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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24 Hours in Calgary

24 Hours in Calgary


As a long time resident of Edmonton, it’s only natural that I make the trek down south to Calgary a few times a year. It’s a pit stop on the way to the boarder and the mountains. Not only by function of its location is it a place I frequent, but it’s also a pretty rad place to go as a destination. Every time I’m in town, there’s always somewhere new to eat or a piece of public art to discover. I even collaborated with Calgary Tourism a couple years back on an unforgettable weekend trip. (Read The Best Autumn Weekend in Calgary).  I’ve also spent a fair amount of time obsessing over Dinner at 10 Foot Henry. For this 24 Hours in Calgary though, I have a few specific highlights. With that said, join me for a quick jaunt to the city known for it’s Stampede.


While there’s only so much one can do when driving in for the day, we were sure to check a couple of things off on our to-do list. First off, browsing the stacks of records at Recordland. If you only have 24 hours in Calgary and you love vinyl, this is a MUST. It’s easy to lose track of time flipping through new and old records. Inglewood, the neighbourhood it’s located in, is fun to stroll around too.


This whole trip started as an idea around getting a bowl of ramen at a place that came highly recommended to me. I was looking for an excuse to go to Calgary and almost as if it were meant to be, the stars aligned and a media trip fell into my lap. BOOM! My ramen quest was in full swing. Since going to Japan, I have found it hard to get excited about ramen in North America but Jinya really delivered with their Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen. I can confirm it lives up to the statement “creamy.” It was incredible.


This quick trip was all thanks to the Hyatt Regency who so graciously showed us their newly renovated suites. I had the pleasure of staying there before a couple of years ago during Sled Island. Not only is it located right next to the c-train, it’s a walkable distance to all the best downtown has to offer. If you’re curious about my previous stay, check out my post from the Hyatt Regency Calgary. Spoiler alert: this hotel is what inspired my essential oil infused face cloths for my post 10 Ways to Make Your Home More Spa Like.

If you’re enjoying my videos be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for all the latest & greatest.

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