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Dashing Through the Gift List

Posted on December 10, 2015 by

I love shopping. I love gifts. I love Christmas. I love shopping for gifts at Christmas! So, just in time for the holiday season, I am sharing with you some of my holiday tips and tricks for checking off everyone on your list, regardless of if they have been naughty or nice.

  1. Write down everyone on your list that you need to buy for. I keep my list on my phone so I always have it on hand. Avoid the last minute trip to 7-11 on Christmas Day to pick up a gift card for your long lost cousin that you just found out is coming for Christmas this year. I add/edit my list throughout the full year so when someone casually says they would like something, I write it down. It definitely makes Christmas a little easier and people will be surprised that you remembered exactly what they wanted without asking.
  2. Shop online. Around Christmas, tons of suppliers offer free shipping so take advantage! If there is a minimum spend to apply for free shipping, look at your list and see if you can check more people off at one retailer. Beware of the USD if you are shopping at stores in the States – it will be quite a surprise when you look at your credit card bill. Trust me, I made the mistake this year already.
  3. Whenever you find yourself at a store whether it a full mall or just the grocery store, pull out your list quickly to see if there is anything you can quickly pick up to cross someone off. You are already out and about so you might as well make it a productive trip.
  4. If you save money on a gift, don’t feel pressured to spend more money to make up for the savings. That totally defeats the purpose of savings.
  5. If you have a tricky someone on your list and the best option is a gift card – pair it with something small and thoughtful as that instantly makes it a more personal gift. Don’t stress out about the small something – think their favorite chocolate bar, a mini bottle of booze, or a pair of cozy socks, etc.
  6. Shop in small quick batches when you have time here and there. Drop by the mall on the way home from work or at lunch to pick something up. When driving by a store that you know you need to stop at and you are early for your next event, zip in quickly rather than drive by. Not only does this make Christmas less stressful, it balances out your spending so you don’t take a huge hit in one weekend.
  7. As you complete gifts, cross them off your list or mark them as completed on your phone. This is also a great place to keep track of what you bought and how much money you spent. It keeps everything in one spot and is always up to date.

Lastly, if you have no idea what to buy or where to even start, might I suggest my go-to-gift-buying locations – Winners/HomeSense, Chapters/Indigo & Rafters. They have so many unique gifts at these stores and you are sure to find the perfect gift or at the very least, you will be inspired and walk away knowing exactly what to get.

Happy Shopping!

Annual Summer Checklist

Posted on July 30, 2015 by

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The sun is sinking faster every day and there are only 147 days until Christmas – honestly, how does summer come and go so fast?! I always have grand plans for how I am going to spend my summers but every year before I know it, the leaves are gone and W I N T E R is here. Not cool. To make the most of our short summers, there are a few annual activities that I always try to check off my list and I thought I would share them with you in case you are looking for things to do:

  • Float a river hot day
  • Eat an ice cream cone that is so big I can’t finish it before it melts
  • Hit up the Stampede in Calgary for as long as your liver can handle
  • Attend an outdoor concert
  • Go camping and pretend to enjoy the unbearably overheated tent for a weekend
  • Drink as many patio beers as possible before the sun disappears
  • Swim in an outdoor city pool
  • Head to the lake for a day trip

Now you know just exactly what my little summer heart desires every year. So far, I have checked off 5 of these items. Here’s hoping I can complete the rest of the list before the frost bites……

Edmonton Patio Picks

Posted on May 7, 2015 by

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is visit as many patios as I can. In Edmonton, it seems like every year, new little gems pop up and I am always excited to try them all out. Here is a list of my top 10 patios picks in the city for drink and eats.

Drinks

  1. CRAFT Beer Market – Beware of sunburns, they come out of nowhere on this patio.
  2. MKT Fresh Food & Beer Market – Great beer flights and beer blends. Mmmm…Beeeeer.
  3. Julio’s Barrio – Nachos, bulldogs, expanded patio, people watching on Whyte Ave. Enough said.
  4. O’Byrne’s Irish Pub – Great group hangout. If you get the end table, the people and car watching makes for a fun drinking game.
  5. 02’s Taphouse and Grill – Be careful not to drink too many bulldogs or the rooftop air will start to feel thin out. Or else you are getting tipsy.
  6. Local Public Eatery – Boot Caesar’s are a great way to start off a Sunday Funday.
  7. Brewsters Brewing Company – Great atmosphere. Plus the menu is entertaining to read.
  8. The Black Dog Freehouse – You can party the night away in the ‘fresh’ Whyte Avenue air rather than a stinky stuffy bar.
  9. The Next Act Pub – If you are lucky enough to land a spot, don’t move. The best tables are hard to come by.
  10. Casa de Marilee – The drinks are cheap, the view never changes and bed is only a few steps away.

Eats

  1. Doan’s Vietnamese Restaurant – Lunchtime vermicelli in the downtown sun (or shade). Many table options to suit the level of sun you desire.
  2. Nineteen – Great date night location with heaters, windscreens and a fireplace. The food rocks too.
  3. Violino Classic Italian Restaurant – An Italian gem that makes you feel like you are in a different city.
  4. Chianti Café and Restaurant – Large patio that gets great sun. Pasta Tuesday’s are affordable and delicious.
  5. The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar – Whether an afternoon lunch in the sun, or an evening dinner by the fireplace, the ambience won’t disappoint.
  6. Under the High Wheel – Amazing brunch on a small patio. Go on a Saturday so you can shop at the market after.
  7. Urban Diner – Diner food is always delicious. Enjoying it in the sun? Even better.
  8. The Sugarbowl Bar & Café – Great food, awesome atmosphere. Arrive early or you won’t get a seat!
  9. Harvest Room at Hotel Macdonald – The view is amazing and surroundings are quaint. You will leave feeling like royalty, and who doesn’t want live a day in the life of Will and Kate these days?
  10. Casa de Ma & Pa – Mom’s home cooking on a Sunday afternoon. It really doesn’t get better than this!

Happy Patio Picking!

Valentine’s. Day.

Posted on February 12, 2015 by

These two simple words  evoke so many different emotions. Love. Hate. And everything in between. Whether it’s a stranger, friend, family member or significant other – everyone deserves a little extra L-O-V-E this Valentine’s Day.

Here are some easy ways that we can all spread the love a little further this year:

  • Send an anonymous Valentine to someone who needs it
  • Pay for a stranger’s coffee or breakfast
  • Pick up the phone and call someone you love
  • Give a compliment to a cashier or server
  • Buy flowers and hand them out one-by-one on the street or in a mall
  • Leave a six-pack of beer and a hilarious card on your friend’s doorstep. Pair this treat with the perfect DaniPress postcard. Bonus points for bringing pizza and joining in on the carb fest!
  • Make dinner for your family and surprise them with an easy Valentine’s Day dessert
  • Send an old fashioned card in the mail to an old friend. This cute DaniPress card will do the trick
  • Bring a treat to share with your co-workers. My personal favourite work treat includes cinnamon, sugar and more sugar

It’s not hard and it doesn’t need to be sappy – just thoughtful. Everyone always says, ‘it’s the thought that counts’ and this year, I am determined to make my Valentine’s Day thoughts count.

Xoxo (sorry, I just couldn’t resist)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best Holiday Flicks

Posted on November 20, 2014 by

With a chill in the air and snow on the ground, it’s hard not to think about Christmas these days. Santa has arrived at the malls, Christmas promotions are a plenty, and my PVR is starting to fill up with all of my favourite holiday movies. IMDB has a list of the top 100 Christmas movies and after sifting through the list, I am even more excited for the upcoming holidays! My top-10-cheesy-must-see-every-holiday-season picks are:

  1. The Holiday
  2. The Santa Clause
  3. Home Alone
  4. Home Alone – Lost in New York
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  6. Elf
  7. Love Actually
  8. Christmas with the Kranks
  9. Deck the Halls
  10. The Preacher’s Wife

Happy holiday TV watching! And remember – only 35 shopping days left until Christmas!

My New Appreciation for Downtown Edmonton

Posted on September 4, 2014 by

Until recently, I did not frequent downtown Edmonton and was oblivious to the growth and change actually happening. I have spent the majority of my life gazing at the city lights from afar and wondering what the core of the city was actually like. And boy have I been missing out! I can see the change and growth before my eyes every day and I am so excited to watch this city evolve and grow! Here are a few thoughts that I have had over the past few months about downtown:

  • The commute across the river is actually not that bad (knock on wood) yet…
  • Experiencing ‘Purple City’ at the legislature grounds is apparently a well known activity – and it blew my mind. Literally. Well, maybe not literally but it did turn all the lights in the city purple for 30 seconds. Literally. No, it is not a drug – and I wish I could post pictures, but it is actually impossible. That is the beauty of it! Check it out for yourself sometime (it is even #4 on urban dictionary).
  • 108 Street, also known as ‘Capital Boulevard’, has beautiful streetscapes surrounded by picturesque cobblestone and boasts a unique north/south view that you would not expect. It makes for lovely lunchtime walk!

Capital Boulevard, Edmonton, Downtown Capital Boulevard Legislature, Downtown Edmonton

Edmonton is an amazing city to live in and it seems to be getting better and better every day! I’m so excited to be a part of this growth and can’t wait to see what downtown Edmonton looks like in 5 years. And to top it all off, I just read an article that Ronda brought into the office about 40 things made or invented in Edmonton. And it’s really cool so you should read it.

No wonder I love Famoso and Cheemo perogies so much!