OUT & ABOUT | Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

OUT & ABOUT | Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

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Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

Edmonton shoppers rejoice! The first official outlet mall has finally landed – pun intended! The Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport had its grand opening May 2nd to the excitement of many. The lineup on opening day began at the stroke of midnight and by 8am was wrapping around the building like a fashionable snake. Missed the first day? No worries, the festivities are continuing throughout the opening weekend. Keep scrolling for your first peek of the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport and what you can expect from this fantastic shopping destination.

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The Shops

I’m sure the first question everyone has is: “what stores can I expect to see at the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport?” I’m all about anticipating people’s needs. With that in mind, here are some of my favourite shops I’m excited about. Keep in mind these are the real deal outlets! First off, Levi’s has landed, bless the denim gods! As well as DSW, ALDO, H&M, Forever 21, Nike Factory Store, and Kate Spade (opening this summer!) to name a few. You may also recognize a few local retailers such as Cloud 9 Pajamas and Kelly Wollf.

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SHARE: A RETAIL CONCEPT

One of the standout features within the Premium Outlet Collection EIA is Share, a retail concept designed to host a little marketplace of local goods. It’s a combination of locally made food and items from Edmonton’s makers community. Enjoy a 49th Parallel craft brewed coffee from Square 1. Or delight in a classic Hong Kong dessert from Bubble Cream. Wondering what that is? I’m glad you asked. It’s a fluffy egg waffle paired with ice cream and should not be missed. After buzzing from those two stalls, hit Eat Clean for a nutritious and delicious meal. All while browsing the art and design from local makers. Sounds like the perfect cozy corner to me!

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Location, Location, Location!

It seems as though they have thought of everything in regards to accessibility! Not only is it easy to find off of the QE2, the 747 airport bus from Century Park makes a stop at the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport! There is also a special shuttle from the airport should you have some spare time between flights. I foresee this being my go-to spot when waiting to pick up arriving friends and family members.

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The Amenities

There are many hurdles when travelling. The hauling of things, the security, the general uncomfortableness about the whole process. Wouldn’t it be nice to take some of the grunt work out of it? That’s where the outlet mall amenities enter. To begin with, they have a “refresh room” for travellers to change and regroup. In addition to that, there’s luggage storage, coat and bag checks, cell phone charging stations, and most exciting: DeliverEase, a parcel shipping and delivery service. Ship parcels anywhere without having to figure out how to squash them into an overflowing suitcase. There are even flight status screens and boarding pass printing stations to avoid the anxiety of missing a flight.

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Opening Weekend Festivities

Opening weekend is here and there are a few ongoing events and prizes to be won from May 2nd-6th! Some of the coveted prizes are vacation packages to San Francisco courtesy of Air Canada and EIA, Grey Cup tickets, Oilers tickets, and more! Many shops are offering opening weekend specials such a Levi’s with 25% off their ENTIRE store. See the complete list of the Promotions and Events at the Premium Outlet Collection shops.

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Vote For Your Tote!

Another one of the opening weekend activations is the United Way Tote Bag Contest. Myself along with other local influencers and celebrities took some time to DIY tote bags that you can vote on here: VoteForYourTote.ca. You might see a familiar picture of Saguaro National Park in there! I taught myself how to embroider just for this specific occasion so if you dig my tote, please vote on it! 🙂 For ever vote received, $1 goes to the United Way Alberta and each voter is then entered to win their favourite tote + a $1000 shopping spree from Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport! Tote bags are on display till May 23rd.

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Rest, Relax, and Nosh at The Market

Finally, we have come to my favourite topic: food. To call this area a food court would be a mistake. This eating area is far too bright and airy to evoke the feeling of a classic food court. It’s more akin to being in a really nice kitchen where the furniture is moveable and the seating is comfortable. Not to mention, there’s an array of delightful places to eat and a Starbucks that offers their Nitrogen Cold Brew.

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Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

And that concludes our tour of the first outlet mall in Edmonton! I would love to hear about your experience there so drop me a comment or an email! I’m looking forward to seeing what other stores are in the pipeline and cannot wait for Kate Spade to open this summer! 🙂

This post is sponsored by Premium Outlet Collection EIA. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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OUT & ABOUT | Smoky Lake Pumpkin Festival

OUT & ABOUT | Smoky Lake Pumpkin Festival

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There is one brilliant way to ease into the month of October and that’s by attending the annual Smoky Lake Pumpkin Festival. Forget the pumpkin spice lattes, this fair is the real deal. The town of Smoky Lake even has a decorative pumpkin patch roadside attraction, I can add that to my list of roadtrips to the biggest and best kitsch monuments. Do you love autumn so much that you would drive an hour and half out of town to celebrate all things gourd related for a full day? I guess I do since this was my second year attending. From the great pumpkin weigh off to the farmer’s market with endless pumpkin desserts to choose from, this is an event not to be missed, especially since it ends in a giant pumpkin dropping from a crane onto a car… more on that later.

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An autumnal day in the prairies is the perfect weather for a drive. The pale yellow of the harvested wheat fields against the dark and stormy backdrop of the distant skyline creates a certain ambience and general Charlie Brown-esque feeling. This is truly the colour palette of the prairies.

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We arrived just past noon and in time to catch the weigh off of the top 3 pumpkins. The last one, a behemoth of a gourd, beat the longstanding weight record of the 29 year old festival. Weighing in at 1652 lbs, that pumpkin was no joke, I’m surprised it didn’t cause the forklift to topple over as it delicately placed the great pumpkin on the scale. What a day to be alive!

After the weigh-off was the pumpkin auction. That was a raucous event in itself with a large crowd vying for a mutant gourd to take home. I enjoyed the frenzied bids from a distance while sampling the baked goods from the market. Pumpkin cinnamon bun anyone?

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OUTFIT | hat – c/o NOWHERE FAST | aviator sunglasses – RAY-BAN | camo coat – VINTAGE – similar here and here | black denim – c/o FRANK & OAK – and here | white socks (my favourite kind!) – c/o JOE FRESH | authentic runners in pumpkin spiceeee (just kidding) – c/o VANS |

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Ever wondered what it would look like to see a morbidly obese pumpkin drop from the sky on to a car? Today is your lucky day…. below is footage of two smashing pumpkins. Legend has it, the town of Smoky Lake asked the Smashing Pumpkins to play the pumpkin festival. They, allegedly, declined.

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Here’s to another year of ringing in the fall season with the annual pumpkin festival! I’m already looking forward to seeing the pumpkin drop of 2018. I’ll be counting down the days beginning…. now! Perhaps I need to invest in a knitted pumpkin toque? For more information on this wonderful fair, check out the Smoky Lake township site here.

photographs – Jesse Sand // Sandy Joe

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OUT & ABOUT | Culinary Lab Series 02

OUT & ABOUT | Culinary Lab Series 02

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What do you say when a friend offers you two tickets to a pop-up dinner on the 27th floor of a newly opened high rise tower? Yes, emphatically YES. That’s exactly how I found myself at the second Culinary Lab Series atop the Edmonton Tower with my handsome man friend. What a delicious time that was! To celebrate Canada’s 150th, 5 chefs from across the nation were brought together to experiment with Canadian sourced ingredients to make a one off menu for an evening. Sounds pretty rad, right? It was. Our seats were at Chef Mandel Hitzer from the Deer + Almond in Winnipeg. Keep scrolling for some delectable dishes.

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Our first course was titled “Manitoba in 3 Bites” which turned out to be more than three bites for me but were all spectacular in their own way and paired with Prospect Sauvignon Blanc. Starting with the front moving clockwise:

  • Elk, buckwheat, pickled blueberries
  • Wild rice, pickerel, flowers
  • Trappist cheese, grilled chantrelles, apples.
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I kept it casual wearing a full look from Frank & Oak because that’s apparently how I roll these days… light cotton top and a pair of high waisted mom jeans. Side note – the top is currently on sale here and basically my favourite thing to wear every. single. day. I could live in light weight cotton!

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The second course was a spin on a classic beat and goat cheese salad with the addition of Artic Char, carrots and sea buckthorn. Fun fact – I use sea buckthorn oil on my face as it is super nourishing for your skin!

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Chef Mendel Hitzer taking the mic

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This soup. There are no words for how ridiculously good this soup was! It included smoked goldeye, gnocchi, whitefish roe, and a crayfish broth. That broth though, it was creamy and salty, but not too salty. I will have dreams about it for years to come. This was paired with Main Squeeze, an Alley Kat beer.

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This was supposed to be a short rib but apparently they did not materialize so this piece of magic pork arrived instead. I was not disappointed in the least. The peas, kennebec potatoes, and swiss chard were a perfect combination of vegetables to accompany it.

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Dessert is always my favourite course without a doubt. Tonight was no exception. We were treated to Manitoba blueberries with sourdough panna cotta and sunflower seeds. This was paired with a sparking wine, Stoneboat Piano Brut. I have recently become quite enamored with panna cotta, the consistency is so interesting – not quite yogurt, not quite jello; just a quiet perfection, much like this whole experience.

Many thanks to Danny Ross of General Concern for creating the space as well as having us!

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OUT & ABOUT | Calgary Stampede

OUT & ABOUT | Calgary Stampede

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There’s a first time for everything and after being a living breathing Albertan for 30 years, I finally made my way down south to experience one of the largest rodeos in the world, the Calgary Stampede. I packed my best looking cowpoke duds and set off down the long dusty road to my rodeo destiny. The following is a photodiary of my wonderful weekend stampedin’.

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I was so impressed by all the riders expertise, I even enjoyed the rodeo clown despite being slightly terrifying. It must take hours of practice to get out there and not ragdoll the entire time! Talent aside, there were some mighty fine fashions parading around; all the cowboy hats and shorts that could be mistaken for denim underwear made for interesting people watching.

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Next on the docket post rodeo was eating our way through the midway. Mushroom gravy poutine, a troll pop, and of course the infamous not to be missed mini doughnuts were all consumed. We took a break momentarily to take a cruise on the Skyride, my new favourite ride of all time. Imagine a chairlift from a ski hill except its summertime and you get to watch the sun slip behind the Calgary skyline while enjoying a mini doughnut. Sigh.

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OUTFIT | hat – c/o SMITHBILT | sunglasses – RAYBAN | lipstick – c/o SMASHBOX | dress – c/o JOE FRESH – currently on sale for $9! | bandana – VINTAGE – similar here | belt – VINTAGE | boots – VINTAGE – similar here |

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I even tried my hand at a few games and won big in a spray gun challenge. This giraffe was the biggest winning I’ve ever had at a fair. I promptly donated it in one of the charity bins leaving the park because the thrill of winning big was enough for me!

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The whole weekend was balmy and 30+ with blue skies for miles. It was essentially the perfect first time experience of the Stampede. Now I finally know what everyone has been raving about all these years.

P.S. All of these dreamy shots were taken on my new Samsung Galaxy S8
photographs – Jesse Sand / Sandy Karpetz

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OUT & ABOUT | A Luxury Weekend

OUT & ABOUT | A Luxury Weekend

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For my 30th birthday weekend I decided to keep it low key; a delicious dinner, a play at the citadel, some drinks at the Lingnan, all of which I was squired around town to in a Lincoln MKC. Having grown up in a car family (my dad has restored vintage vehicles as long as I can remember) I thought there wasn’t anything left to wow me when it came to an automobile. I was very wrong. From the air conditioned seats, the Sirius XM radio (constantly on the 90s on 9), and the lights on the side mirrors to indicate if someone was in your blind spot, it’s not hard to fall in love with this luxury liner.

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First stop on the birthday train was Uccellino. If you live in Edmonton, you must go as soon as possible. The pasta tastes as if you were back in Italy enjoying a meal on a terrace people watching. We started off with cocktails and smoked olives followed by the Pumpkin Agrodolce, Ricotta & Pistachio Crositini that just melts in your mouth. Who knew I could ever like pumpkin served in a savory way? Next we shared the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe Salty Roman Pecorino & Black Pepper pasta and the Pici San Marzano Tomato Sugo, Basil, Pecorino & Parmigiano Reggiano – both were fantastic. The fresh pasta was served al dente and the perfect amount of chewy. I’m becoming hungry reliving this meal.

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Post dinner we headed to the Citadel Theatre to catch Gershwin’s Crazy About You, a fun romantic comedy musical. I hadn’t been to the theatre in a long time so it was a real treat to have a reason to dress up and watch some live entertainment.

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After polishing off a few tiki cocktails at The Lingnan, we headed back to Crash, Edmonton’s new boutique hotel right in the heart of the Ice District, for a nightcap and a snooze. The white tiled bathroom in our room was impossible not to photograph in a myriad of angles. Gotta love that diffused lighting.

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On Sunday, we decided to really test out the luxuriousness of the Lincoln MKC by driving to Elk Island Park. It was exceptional on the highway; I can’t remember the last time I rode in something so smooth and quiet. The scenery was pretty easy on the eyes too!

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Many thanks to Lincoln Motors and Pumpkin Pr for lending me this sweet whip for the weekend!

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OUT & ABOUT | The Rec Room

OUT & ABOUT | The Rec Room

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Last week I had the ultimate thrill of experiencing the newly opened The Rec Room. This 60,000 sq ft entertainment center is the first of its kind in Canada! Located in South Edmonton Common, The Rec Room is a one stop destination for a truly stellar outing boasting amenities such as three restaurants, bowling, axe throwing, a concert venue, pool, arcade games, not to mention a soon to be opened virtual reality experience – this fun center really has it all.

 

 

 

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We started our evening off at The Alley to try our hand at 10 pin bowling. I’ve never graduated from the granny style of bowling despite having been on a league briefly in Junior High. Having retained little to no muscle memory for the sport, our scores were brutal but we had a blast rolling the technicolor balls anyway.

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Next we hit up The Shed for the ultimate poutine experience. I started with the lobster poutine which was mind blowing. The gravy was perfection and the cheese curds were lightly melted. We also tried the porchetta (pictured below) – it did not disappoint.

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If that wasn’t enough, saddled up next to the poutinerie was a doughnut stand. First you picked your doughnut (s’mores for me!) then you picked your stuffing, naturally I went with maple, and to send this dessert over the top – you were able to infuse it with three different options of alcohol – maple whiskey, Kahlua, or Baileys.

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Heading over to The Yards to check out all the arcade games, but not before taking a peek at The Hall, a music venue within The Rec Room.

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I’m a little bit of a vintage enthusiast so pinball is always my number one choice when it comes to arcade games. There were so many options – jumbo connect four, a giant piano, Mario Kart, basketball…. the list goes on! I especially enjoyed the clown ball toss and skee ball (like I said, always drawn to the classics).

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To finish off the evening, we had to try out the last two restaurants of course. Firstly we hit up The Loft for some handcrafted traditional wood oven pizzas that are cooked in 90 seconds!!!

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Lastly, we popped by Three10 for some salads, steak, and The Rec Room’s signature cocktail – The Sweet & Sour Martini.

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It was an unbelievable evening that I hope to repeat again soon! Check out The Rec Room on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and of course their website for more information.

photographs – Michael Borchert

This post was sponsored by The Rec Room.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.