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.

Out & About | Sonic Boom 2016

Out & About | Sonic Boom 2016

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Every Labour Day weekend Sonic radio hosts a two day music festival chalk full of great bands. Over the years Sonic Boom has helped me check off quite a few of my bucket list bands I’ve wanted to see: Weezer, the Descendants, Blink-182, and Jack White. The 2016 lineup was all about being current.

On Saturday I headed down to the grounds with Emmber (see left) with not nearly enough layers for the unfortunate weather conditions. My camera, apparently as squeamish about cold weather as I am, decided it was going to be fussy about working so here’s a minimal glimpse of our day there. My two stand out acts are of course July Talk and Halsey both of which were sports about the unseasonably dreary day.

 

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So I guess this is the official goodbye to summer festival and what a way to wrap up the season!

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STYLE | Festival City Style + Manulife Giveaway

STYLE | Festival City Style + Manulife Giveaway

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We’re half way through summer and Festival City is in full swing! Whenever I get tickets for a show, my thoughts immediately go straight to what I will be wearing to the event. This year was made easy thanks to Manulife Place and their bevy of exceptional retailers! They take the art of retail to the next level with valet parking, personal shoppers, and easy access to neighbouring office towers by way of a network of pedways. I’ve put together two festival looks that are Exclusively Edmonton featuring Holt Renfrew, Blu’s, and Kissara.

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First up: The Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Any excuse to connect with my flower child self is reason enough for me to bust out a pair of bell bottom jeans and a peasant blouse! I love bringing a large scarf which can double for a blanket to sit on while perched high on the hill in Gallagher Park enjoying the music. A floppy oversized hat is also key for lasting the whole day wandering from stage to stage.

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OUTFIT | hat – Holt Renfrew | sunglasses – CELINE via Holt Renfrew | blouse – JOSEPH RIBKOFF via Kissara | denim – SEE BY CHLOE via Holt Renfrew | scarf via Blu’s | handbag – 3.1 PHILLIP LIM via Holt Renfrew |

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Next up: The Edmonton Fringe Festival – two weeks of plays, food trucks, and street performances makes for a lot of good people watching! When I dress for the fringe, I make sure to bring a jacket because you always end up seeing a friend you need to catch up with in the beer garden. Whyte Avenue has an edgier feel to it so leather upon leather seems appropriate all the time.

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OUTFIT | sunglasses – DIOR via Holt Renfrew | leather jacket – ACNE STUDIOS via Holt Renfrew | dress – EILEEN FISHER via Blu’s | leather coin belt – MOROCCO via Kissara | bag – 3.1 PHILLIP LIM via Holt Renfrew | boots – ALEXANDER WANG via Holt Renfrew |

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Now for the best part: I’ve partnered with Manulife Place for an epic summer festival giveaway! Enter for the chance to win two weekend passes to Edmonton’s Folk Festival and a $150 Manulife Place gift card – entrees must live in Edmonton and the contest runs July 23rd – 27th 2016. Good luck! For more stylish updates from Manulife Place follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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

Photographs – Michael Borchert

Out & About | Sled Island 2016

Out & About | Sled Island 2016

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Last weekend I headed south to Calgary for Sled Island, one of my favourite music festivals in Alberta. Sled is a multi venue festival in downtown Calgary. Each year, the line up is carefully curated and spread out over five days of fun. This year we were only able to go for the weekend but we packed in as much as we could.

My highlights were:

Switches – an Edmontonian garage-y girl fronted party band that always gets the crowd dancing and Friday night at the Legion was no exception. At times it felt as though the floor was going to collapse under us.

Dream Whip – a new favourite of mine from Calgary! They’re a poppy garage band who look like they belong in the 60s. Cute cute cute.

Guided by Voices – My lo-fi dream come true standing in the mist at Olympic Plaza letting their music drift over me. It was delightful. If you love Pavement, you’ll love GBV.

PEACHES – truly the most stunning performance I have ever seen at Sled Island and that’s saying a lot, the Black Lips were HIGHLY entertaining back in 2010, but Peaches ruled Flames Central. Between all the costume changes (shout out to Discount Universe sequin matching separates!) and her epic back up dancers, I will most definitely be making a point of seeing her again when she’s in town this fall.

Scroll through for a photodiary of Sled Island highlights.

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