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 \\

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Work || Ultimate Upcycle Challenge

I recently wrapped up a project that I am really excited to share here. Part of my excitement comes from the beauty and creativity that came out of this work, and the other part of my excitement stems from the organization that all of the proceeds benefited. Allow me to explain further.

I had the pleasure of coordinating and managing a group of local media and design personalities that were selected to participate in a media challenge for the Edmonton Fall Home Show. Over the course of a couple of months, I worked closely with this group to answer questions, provide guidance and help keep them on deadline. The other big player in this was a branch of Habitat for Humanity (HFH) called Restore, which is the social enterprise part of HFH, accepting donations of gently used pieces of furniture and then reselling them to the public at a greatly reduced price. So, what was the challenge at hand? Our group of locals were tasked with selecting a seat or chair from Restore and, using their creativity and a box of supplies provided by one of the show sponsors – Rust Oleum, they had to upcycle and inject some life and love back into this pre-loved piece. The finished products were up for auction at the Edmonton Fall Home Show (which ran from October 23-25, 2015), with all proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity Northern Alberta.

Like I said, there was so much that I loved about this work! I didn’t participate in the challenge myself, but I felt SO inspired once I saw these creations displayed at the show. Incredible results, with a tie in to a really incredible organization. I keep thinking back to my new friend, Sharon, who works for HFH and who I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with at the show. We bonded over the design and creativity that came out of each individual’s work, but she was also really excited for what this meant for Habitat for Humanity. Thanks to the flurry of activity and buzz this challenge generated on social media, it would no doubt bring more awareness to HFH, Restore, and the endless possibilities that can come out of a bit of time and creative thinking.

The participants ranged from radio personalities to designers and bloggers, and they were just an awesome group to get to know! While I’d love to share everyone’s work here, I have selected a few who are friends of mine, and who gave me the a-ok to gush about their work all over again. And there was one chair in particular that made me shed a tear when I learned I got outbid. Sigh. It wasn’t meant to be, I guess!

Anyway, enough talk! It’s time for some before and after photos. Enjoy!

Justine Ma, Designer
Justine Ma Design & Hand Lettering

So beautiful, right?! It’s a little difficult to see in the “After” picture, but Justine hand lettered a caption, which she then had screen printed onto the fabric that covered the actual seat, and it says “Let Yourself Rest”. A pleasant reminder on any given day.

Christine Shankowsky, Blogger + Designer
Just Bella Blog

Another beauty, but this one also has a bit of sass! The color combination is so fresh and girly at the same time; this is sure to inject a whole lotta personality in a space!

Funnily enough, Christine and Justine both picked the same chair (structure-wise) and created two very different, but equally stunning redesigns!

Diana Tidswell, Blogger + Designer
204 Park

Alas, the one that got away. Diana’s balance of glam, girly, and minimalist was all on point for me here, and it truly was love at first sight when I saw this “After” photo!

All photos thanks to the participants themselves who snapped, tweeted and blogged them.

For more show coverage, you can look back on the hashtag #EFHS15 (on Instagram & Twitter) for some of the other participants’ chairs.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week! xo

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

Modern Crafting with Made Social Co.

A few weeks ago, a pretty little confetti-laden invitation popped into my Inbox, and it was to the launch of Made Social, a modern take on a crafting night out. I was so excited about this, because behind it all are two friends of mine, Andrea and Christine, who are two supremely talented and creative ladies.

These are not your typical how-to kinds of workshops. Think of it more like a beautifully styled night out where you also get to snack, laugh and craft the night away. Have you ever found yourself wanting to gather a group of girls to go out and do something more than grab coffee? Made Social is the perfect answer! Christine and Andrea work to make each workshop equal parts charming and social with no detail overlooked. And, at the end of it all, you walk away with a specially hand-made piece.

This inaugural evening involved making a yarn wall hanging, which you’ll see in some of the pictures below. Now, I don’t consider myself the craftiest of people, but these were simple to make and the outcome is something I love even more. So much so that I actually have the perfect spot in mind to hang it in the new nursery!

I love connecting, and the best part of an evening like this, for me, is the chance to meet fellow bloggers and reconnect with those I’ve had the opportunity to meet since starting this little blog of my own. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this city is FULL of creative and ambitious individuals who are all working on really cool things. To meet and connect with people like this is always really fun and inspiring. Not to mention the wow-factor of the individuals and locally-owned businesses that played a part in making this night happen – our space for the night (the amazing Project Loft), the always stunning floral decor by Fabloomosity, and so many more (all linked at the end of the post) all contributed to making the night feel really special and exclusive.

I saved the best part for last because no party is really complete without a photo booth. And you guys, this one involved confetti!!! Captured below is more of the fun throughout the night, including a group shot of everyone who participated in the launch.

Top row L to R: me, Diana of 204 Park, Jenna of Plum Home & Design, Erinn of Shop the Skinny, Stephanie of All About Ami, Justine of Justine Ma Design. Bottom row L to R: Kelsy of Twirls & Travels, Holly of In the Fun Lane, Amanda of Natural Mommie, Andrea of Andrea Hanki Photography, Christine of Just Bella Blog, Jenna of Hobbs Photography, and Linda of Linda Hoang

I always know it’s a good night when I set out with intentions of taking a bunch of photos, only to come away with one or two decent-quality pictures on my phone because I was too busy chatting. This night was no exception, and I wanted to send a HUGE thanks to Andrea for documenting the evening through these photos you see here, and providing them to us to share with you 🙂

Made Social will be holding their next modern craft workshop on October 24, and registration opens tonight! Stay tuned on Instagram for more details on how to get in on the fun because, trust me, you don’t want to miss out!

Thanks again, Christine and Andrea, for including me in the launch of your exciting new endeavor! Can’t wait to attend the next one!

Happy crafting, and have a great week…xo!

All photos courtesy of Andrea Hanki
Shout out to the local creative businesses involved (although not all pictured above):

Amanada Nogier, Industrial Designer
Carousel Paper Co.
Confetti Sweets
Contessa Macarons
Fabloomosity
I Love the Moon
Justine Ma Design
Plum Home & Design
Pura Botanicals
Uppercase Press
The Project Loft

Oscar de la Renta

I feel it’s timely and appropriate to follow up my previous post on weddings with a commemoration for Oscar de la Renta, who passed away on October 20, 2014. What better way to do so than to take another look at the stunning bride, Amal Clooney, who wore his last creation.

Oscar de la Renta

A man who seems as elegant as each and every piece of perfection he handcrafted. Rest in peace, Oscar.

Also – a few words from Anna Wintour on her very special friendship with the highly esteemed designer.

Weddings, weddings everywhere!

While this is not what is typically known as “wedding season”, all things wedding have been on my mind. With my little sister getting married next fall, and another good friend soon after that, I can’t help but pour over the never ending inspiration that exists on blogs, websites and, of course, Pinterest. Hearing about another friend’s exciting engagement news last night (congrats MW!!) just confirmed for me that I don’t only love weddings when someone close to me is about to walk down the aisle; I just love them all the time! Here is where some of my excitement and inspiration comes from:

Kelsy Nielson Photographer

Kelsy Nielson Photography

Nicole Ashley

Nicole Ashley Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Katch Studios

Katch Studios

There will be sprinkles of wedding beauty on here as we near my sister’s big day, cause, I mean, I can’t just keep this dazzling and fun stuff to myself!

Also – the best of fall bridal 2015 and my favourite wedding website.

Have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

Inspired || How’s My Down Dog?

In light of my recent giveaway with Sandy, I thought this would be a good opportunity to begin, yet, another series where I feature cool people doing cool things all on their own. There is so much of this that goes on under the radar, why not spread the word as best as you can?! Here’s a little more about Sandy, how she got the idea for the yoga tanks, and a little more about her fabulous self!

Tell us a bit more about these cool tanks. How did you get started and why?

The idea for the shirts is inspired by my yoga teacher – Jeff Mah. His classes really focus on the foundation of yoga poses and how to refine your practice to avoid long term injury. We spend a lot of time in class talking about the foundation of downdog. So, while in downdog one day, I thought it would be cute to print “how’s my downdog?” on a shirt, like “how’s my driving?”. Then I started giggling to myself and people stared…

Has yoga always played a role in your life? If not, what is it that keeps you going and loving it?

I started practising yoga (seriously) about 5 years ago. Depending on where I’m at in life, I practice anywhere from one to five times a week.

I love yoga because you can really craft your practice to make it work for you. For instance, I was training for a leg of the Canadian Death Race with my sister this year, so instead of my normal Vinyasa/power flow practice I opted for Yin or Restorative.

It’s also a major challenge and never gets stale. There’s always a something new to learn, whether it be a new pose or how to get your hamstrings to stop feeling like they’re going to snap like a twig (I’m still working on this).

You balance this, plus your day job as Principal at Bassett Digital Consulting. Any tips or tricks to making it all happen so smoothly?

If you have the luxury of working for yourself from home, I would suggest that … You don’t have to wear pants!

Seriously though, it’s a matter of prioritizing. What are you going to do today that will help you achieve your goals? Then sort out what needs to get done and what can wait.

Also, don’t over extend yourself, be realistic, and manage expectations. I have worked in a project management capacity for many years so I am able to set fairly realistic deadlines for projects that I’m working on.

Favourite spots to do yoga in Calgary and in Edmonton?

Calgary – One More Breath (see jeffmah.com for more details on where and when), Bodhi Tree, Yoga Mandala

Edmonton – Moksha Yoga (go see Meghan Butler), Noorish Yoga in Garneau

If you’re ever in Canmore check out the Yoga Lounge

Favourite indulgence?

Cheese, wine and beer.

I actually read a book about cheese mongering once, called “Living Life on the Wedge”

Best piece of advice for someone looking to start yoga, or take their practice to a more serious level?

For someone wanting to start I would suggest a yoga sampler. Try a bunch of classes and different studios. See what you like and what you don’t like. It’s fairly cost effective to check out new studios. Most intro passes will get you an unlimited week or month for pretty cheap. Know that there is a yoga out there for almost anyone, you just have to find your sweet spot.

Also, don’t get discouraged. It’s called a yoga “practice” for a reason. Some poses will come naturally and some will not. If you keep at it and practice regularly, you’ll be amazed at your progress. I know people who, when they started, weren’t able to touch their toes and now they’re in full hanumanasana (full splits).

Let’s all try and say hanumanasana three times fast! It was so fun working with you, Sandy, and getting a bit more of an inside scoop on how this all came to be! And for you, dear readers, don’t forget you still have a few days left to enter for a chance to win one of these yoga tanks. Just follow the link below to enter your information:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and have a great week!

xo,
Kassey