#yeg Spotlight: KidsFringe!

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is a well known and seriously loved summer festival not just by Edmontonians, but by theatre goers around the world. We had the opportunity to check out the KidsFringe last week, a branch that is fully dedicated to activities and entertainment fit for the 12 and under crowd, and had a great time!

There were drummers from the Booming Tree Taiko Drum Group. These guys were a hit, and Thea has been re-enacting the drumming ever since.

 

There was a craft and coloring area, and a Book Nook where Cinderella and Belle themselves conducted a little story time break. (I really thought I’d have a hard time tearing Thea away from her dream Disney princesses, but that blue balloon was much more interesting to her. Go figure!)

 

And, it’s not pictured here, but there was also a Tent for Tots, which contained a variety of toys and activities for little ones aged five and under. A magnetic attraction drew us to this particular tent, so needless to say, we spent a bit more time in there.

It was really neat to take in the Fringe Festival a little differently this year. It’s a summer attraction that we have enjoyed in the past, with the outdoor vendors and performances being reminiscent of Europe, in a way. The shows, of course, are something to see as well, with incredible talent coming alive on stage. As the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary this summer, it was especially fun to take it all in and see the success of a true, grass-roots Edmonton success story. The KidsFringe runs the full ten days of the entire festival, so there’s still time to check it out (August 11-21).

We will definitely be back!

 

Hope you’re having a great week!

xo

Kassey

We Love the Olympics!

These first couple of days of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games remind me how much I loved watching them as a kid, and even still today, as an adult. They’re exciting, engaging, and there’s just something really cool about the whole world coming together in the name of talent and teamwork.

I have Greek roots to thank for feeling extra proud of this centuries old event, but my love for this showcase of athleticism comes from a true appreciation for those that train long and hard to make it to the Olympics. I vividly remember watching the women’s gymnastics floor routines, finding the top scorers, and then following them along throughout the duration of the games, cheering and admiring them along the way.

I also have a very clear memory of a project I was assigned in Greek School (yep, that was a part of my life, every Saturday morning from the age of five up until I was 16!) where I had to research and present on the Olympic Games – what they were, when they started, and what it all meant. I think I was in grade six, and I made an accompanying poster that I’m still proud of today. You can bet that if I still had that thing, I’d be plastering pictures of it all over here:)

Now, as we watch the games with our two young daughters, I have to wonder if they’ll develop the same fascination as I have. I hope so, because I think it’s also a great learning opportunity – not just of the sports themselves, but also of the participating countries, and especially the host country. And if this video is any indication…

…then we may just have to start dreaming up some floor routines for our future gymnast!

PS: How amazing is this story of the young girl who swam to escape Syria, and is now competing on the first Refugee Olympic Team?! Such a display of determination and hard work.

Have a great week!

Kassey

//Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences \\

Beating the Heat

What a summer! And I’m talking about the heat. It seems like our summers have gotten hotter, in general. Is it just me?! I always say that the really hot days are still too few to justify installing an air conditioning unit in our home. Except that those really hot days are increasing in frequency and temperature, and I’m about ready to bid our fans adieu, and just go for the real deal. I blame a few things for this (my Mediterranean-living, heat-loving friends and family are rolling their eyes right now, I just know it!). One: I think it comes with age. I not only have become less tolerant of heat, but I physically can’t handle it like I used to in my 20s. Gone are the days where I could spend hour after hour being a slave to the sun. I get the shakes, I get weak, and I turn into a big mess if I don’t have a hat, a bottle of water and some shade nearby. Sigh. Two: 95% of my day is now spent running after and keeping up with my two young girls. My pre-kid self might relish in these soaring temperatures a bit more. But kid wrangling and +30 degrees…I’m sweating just thinking about it.

Bottom line: I love summer, I really do. I just love it with cold water and even colder decaf, iced Americanos. Here’s what we’ve been up to and how we’re beating the heat:

A Rocky Mountain getaway back in June. That cool, mountain air was welcomed with open arms.

 

Lots of lake walks, refreshing slurpees every once in a while, and playing tour guide for my cousin who recently visited from North Carolina

I have also made it my goal to experiment with some different dinner recipes to limit my oven use on the exceptionally scorching days. So far, I’ve tried these summer rolls (a new family hit!) and a summer vegetable soup (very similar to this recipe).

Hope you’re enjoying the summer! Tell me about the ways your beating the heat and any tasty, summer dinner recipes you love:)

xo,

Kassey

Mother’s Day

Motherhood has been, and continues to be, the most beautiful and incredible ride. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, it’s feeling and expressing a love you didn’t quite know existed, and it requires you to develop a thick skin pretty quickly in order to roll with the learning curves along the way. This Mother’s Day, my wishlist consists of things that are totally basic and simple, but are tied to the experiences I enjoy and look forward to having more of with my little family. Below is a round up of every day things, but things that take on new meaning once you become a mom.

Clockwise L to R: Oversized vegan weekender, Explore Alberta HoodieNike Juvenate, Signature home scent, Sugared & Spiced cake, Mug, Love Fresh lotion

Photo credits: Sole Society, Ole Originals, Nike, Anthropologie, Sugared & Spiced, Jillian Schecher, Love Fresh

Packing up and running off with my family for a few days is what my dreams are made of, especially as life gets busier and we get caught in the day-to-day of things. Everything I would need for a mountain getaway, tossed into this beautiful weekender bag, and off we go!

A mountain getaway needs this Explore Alberta hoodie. It’s casual and cute and just what I need to run around with my girls (also makes me feel Alberta proud)

As the girls get older and more active, I look forward to keeping pace right there with them. Why not do it in a pair of cute kicks?!

I love a signature scent for my family to associate with a warm and cozy home. This Capri Blue candle from Anthropologie is perfection.

The sweet tooth runs strong in this family. And just look at this cake…need I say more?!

Coffee is a necessary treat that I look forward to each day, and I absolutely love this mug that my dear friend, Justine Ma, designed with another sweet and talented gal, Miss Chrissy Charms.

By the end of each day, my hands are in need of some beautifully scented TLC, and this Lavender lotion from Love Fresh is just what my skin needs and loves.

Wishing a very happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of the moms and moms-to-be, and especially to my favourite – my own mom❤

xo

//Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences \\

Say a Little Prayer for Fort McMurray

I’ve been working on a fun Mother’s Day post to share with you, but with yesterday’s news of the devastating fires in Fort McMurray, I felt compelled to switch gears a little bit.

Rarely do I engage in conversations around politics or environment, mainly because there are such strong views and opinions on the subjects, neither of which I am particularly savvy. I feel more comfortable keeping my opinions to myself, while also being aware of the conversations that are taking place to keep myself informed. Fort McMurray is often at the centre of discussions and reports surrounding environment and politics, for understandable reasons.

Yesterday, though, my heart broke as I heard of a city and it’s people being completely ravaged by wildfires that spread through a place more than 60 000 people call home. Natural disasters such as these can and have occurred anywhere and at any time, but this one struck a personal cord with me. Fort McMurray is the place my parents call home away from home. For the last 20+ years, my dad has worked in the oil sands, and in more recent years, it gained one of its newer residents, my mom, who decided to make the move and share in the life and commute that had become so familiar to him. One of my favourite things has been the reactions of people when they hear that my parents live in Fort Mac. “Do they like it?” I often hear in bewilderment, or “Oh, I could never live there”. There was definitely a time when I shared in those sentiments, but then I actually started spending some time up there, and I started asking my parents about their life up there. I learned very quickly that not only did they love it, but I understood why they loved it.

It’s a community just like any other with residents and locals, it’s own vibrancy and quirks, and a genuine desire to shed light and truth on the many criticisms and stigmas that exist about the city. It has a certain beauty year round (yes, even in the winter!) with its vast and rolling hills and an outdoors that deserves to be boasted. I had the privilege of hearing Mayor Melissa Blake speak at a conference I attended in Fort Mac about five years ago, and was so inspired by her passion and dedication to make Fort McMurray the best place to live and work. I don’t think they’re too far off from achieving that, as she talked about the initiatives and developments they were working on to really build that sense of community and make it an attractive place for people of all ages and families of all sizes to make it their home. My parents have engaged in this community, making a great circle of friends and participating in things they love – old and new – and the community has met them with a big warm hug. My parents aren’t true locals of Fort McMurray, but it doesn’t care; it has treated them as though they are. Now that I think about it, the transience of the city is maybe a beam of light in this situation – home is elsewhere for many of the people affected.

Grateful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel that my parents are not currently in Fort McMurray during this overwhelming time. Thanks to some travel plans that brought them back through Edmonton, they narrowly escaped having to evacuate and face the gridlock that took place on Highway 63. We still don’t know the state of their home up there, and while it doesn’t sound promising, we’re counting all blessings that our situation isn’t much worse. Because, for many residents of Fort McMurray, the situation is that nightmare you hope you never have to experience.

It’s at times like these that I am reminded of the kindness of people; complete strangers willing to open their doors and help one another. This CBC news report talks about the various supports that are being made available, as well as how and where you can donate if you are looking to do so (Red Cross ).

My heart and my thoughts are with this city during such a difficult time.

Happy mid-week!

xo

//Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences \\

And Then There Were Four

We have been a family of four now for the last two and a half months (or if you’re counting the nine months of pregnancy, that would make it 11 and a half months!) and it’s been a whirlwind of embracing our newest family member with more love than we ever imagined our hearts capable of. It really has felt like Emmanuela has been part of the family forever, and it’s hard to believe she was only ten days old in these pictures. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Our newborn/family pictures with Kelsy Nielson started out with a mini-shoot of Thea playing with her headbands and bracelets (this happens on the daily around here!) These, coupled with the images of us all in our early days with Emma, are ones I will treasure forever. A million thanks to Kelsy for capturing these special moments for us again. She’s just the best!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy mid-week!

xo

Kassey

//Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences\\

A Giveaway & Some Bathroom Envy

The Edmonton Home and Garden Show is rolling into town this week! This means leading experts in all things home improvement will be at your fingertips from March 17-20 to help answer your most puzzling questions and provide suggestions or ideas to beautify your space, whether indoors or outdoors. I’m excited to say that I have two pairs of tickets to give away, so head on over to my Instagram account to enter!

Speaking of beautifying spaces, my family seems to be in the business of buying and renovating homes that have been in our family for many years. I shared our renovation story here a while ago, so I didn’t want to revisit that (although, it continues to be an ongoing thing around here, so I will have more updates in the future!). But my sister and brother in law recently bought my grandpa’s house as he was downsizing and they were moving back from Dubai and beginning their life as newlyweds. It worked out to be the perfect place for them to call their first home, and also turn into a bit of a project. While they work on updating it to their tastes, it’s worth mentioning that this house holds a ton of memories for not only my sisters and I, but also my mom and her brothers, and many other friends and family that have come through the doors over the years.

Without getting sappy about it, I thought I would share the beautiful bathroom renovation they completed; one that has me drooling over the marble and perfectly thought out details throughout. Take a look at a couple of before pictures:

 

 

And here is the “after”:

 

 

 

Thea and her teddy bear approve!

 

I’m a huge lover of classic materials such as the white subway tile they used throughout the entire space. Clean and fresh, and sure to stand the test of time. And I can’t end this post without professing my love for the mini hexagon tile they used on the floor – just so good!!

Home projects are always a huge undertaking, but always SO worth the time and money. My sister and brother in law have already set the bar pretty high with this beauty. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Have a great week!

xo

Kassey

// This post is in collaboration with the Edmonton Home and Garden Show \\