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

#yeg Spotlight: Holiday Shopping

The festive spirit has been evident in our home for a few weeks now, but my excitement really amps up the moment Halloween is over. Christmas is, without question, my favourite time of the year, and I have enjoyed holiday shopping this year with my favourite little shopping companion by my side. I really like to support local businesses as much as I can, so I turned to a few of my favourite local makers (and discovered some new ones along the way) when thinking about what we wanted to gift this year. Below, my go-tos and why I like them so much:

1. Justine Ma: Design & Hand Lettering
Can you remember a time when a handwritten note didn’t give you an extra special feeling? I can’t, especially when it’s this level of beautiful and perfect. Justine’s custom hand lettering is appropriate for pretty much all occasions and reasons for gifting, and will make a most heart felt and memorable gift. Her merchandise can be found in various local shops throughout the city, and she is a regular in the craft show scene, the details of which you can keep up with through her Instagram feed. It’s a gorgeous feed, and it’s sprinkled with appearances of her equally gorgeous family. You’re welcome 🙂

2. Sylvia Soo Leather, Art & Design
I haven’t really stopped gushing about Sylvia since I discovered her, and I have equal parts lust for her leather goods as I do her sweet personality. I first learned about her through an interview my friend, Gillian, did on her blog, The Noteworthy (you can read all about Sylvia here), and then I had the chance to meet her at the Make It Show last month. Clean, minimalist and impeccable craftsmanship are but a few of the ways I would describe Sylvia’s work. And while you’re perusing her site, I would encourage you to read about how she got started in leather making. It will move and inspire you in ways you probably won’t expect.

3. Jacek Chocolate Couture
There’s chocolate, and then there’s Jacek Chocolate. More than just a delectable, bite-sized treat, they’re nice to look at, too; I’ve actually heard of these being referred to as edible art! We upped our chocolate giving this year by grabbing a few beautifully boxed goodies, and in turn, we’re supporting a really cool local business. While I haven’t met the master chocolatier behind all of this, I’ve heard Jacqueline’s passion for the art is contagious. And by the evolution of her business, from home-based to storefront in the heart of downtown Edmonton, I’d say this passion injection is a good thing.

4. Duchess Bake Shop
I think all of Canada knows of Duchess Bake Shop by now, as they have truly established themselves as a prominent, top tier, bakery. It also represents all things beautiful and French, from the savoury Croque Monsieur to the pristine decor, it’s as if you’re hanging out in Paris for the day. Their cookbook, released earlier this fall, shares not only recipes, but tips, tricks and beautiful photos to help us recreate our favourites right at home.

5. Plum Home + Design
Beautiful things abound under the roof of Plum. For the antique lover, or the kitchen warrior, the crafting queen, or the office organizing nut, there is something for everyone. Each item in this store is perfectly curated to create the most charming shopping experience (online shopping is available, too!), making it really difficult not to walk out with something for yourself. Or that adorable baby in your life – Baby Plum is an expanding portion of this local business, and it’s a whole lot of soft, cute, and beautiful.

6. Evoolution
The wide variety of infused oils and vinegars available here make gift-giving a very smooth ride. I have been on the receiving end of an Evoolution gift, and I’m always so excited to put the new oil and vinegar pairing to work. For those Jamie Oliver types in your life, a gift set or individually chosen pairing just begs for experimentation. A sure win!

I would love for you to share some of your local favourites with me! I’m always looking to add to my list of local go-tos.

Have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

Images via:
http://www.plumhomeanddesign.com, my own, http://www.jacekchocolate.com, http://www.duchessbakeshop.com, http://www.evoolution.ca

Stuff I Saw & Loved

1. We live in a winter city, which brings with it all sorts of beauty and fun. But this huge snowball fight in an unknown location is going to make it even more awesome. (metronews.ca)

2. Even princesses have stylists. (vogue.com.au)

3. Five words: Kate Spade New York x GapKids! Sorry, credit card. And Alex. (gapcanada.ca)

4. My mom did (and still does) this for me, and I want to do the same for Theodora, always. Here’s some advice I hope to remember when we enter that part of life when little feelings can get hurt. (joannagoddard.blogspot.ca)

5. A good reminder: the ten commandments of skincare. (theluxelife.com)

6. If you’re hoping to start Christmas shopping, and you want to support local artisans, do check out Make It! The Handmade Revolution. It runs from November 20-23 at the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. Discounted early bird tickets are still available! (makeitproductions.com)

Have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

#yeg Spotlight: YEG Love Letters

I like to believe there is more good in the world than there is bad. Last week’s shootings in Ottawa, which claimed the life of an innocent and devoted soldier, tested that faith for Canadians.

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed that day, though, I was reminded of a really heart warming project here in Edmonton – Love Letters to Strangers. The name basically says it all; letters are placed in random and unassuming places throughout the city, containing uplifting messages, and words of love and encouragement. The fairy godmother behind this, Ashley Green, distributes them with no hidden agenda. Just a genuine desire to turn someone’s day around for the better.

Untitled #36

While I have yet to come across one of these letters for myself, I can imagine how good I would feel if I did. And it's these smile-worthy actions that create powerful ripple effects, serving as a reminder that a few words from the heart can really go a long way. Until I find a letter, I will continue to find joy from each Instagram photo I see, snapped just so, so the location remains vague and unknown.

You can learn more about Love Letters to Strangers by visiting the website (there’s even a way to donate to the cause!), or see what Ashley is up to more regularly through Instagram. A larger scale projects exists, as well, if you’d like to reach out to strangers internationally: The World Needs More Love Letters.

Enjoy, and have a great week!

xo,
Kassey

Proud Little Moment

Way back in the spring, I started writing for a local lifestyle blog, City and Dale. This was a blog I had followed and enjoyed for the last few years, so I was excited and honored when I was chosen as one of their new contributors. Never would I have thought that little, old, amateur blogger me would be selected from their call for contributors (it was my sister who gave me the extra push to submit, so THANK YOU, SOPHIA!!) but it has been an absolute joy being part of this team and getting to know some of the ladies behind it.

Earlier this week, I snagged a spot on the About page, so it just became more real and official! You can check out my bio and the rest of the writers here.

message

If you’re ever on the fence about trying something new or dabbling in some territory that excites and inspires you, but is unfamiliar at the same time, I say just go for it. You have nothing to lose by giving it an honest shot. Chances are, you’re going to learn and have fun along the way!

Happy almost weekend!

xo,
Kassey

Family Photos

Earlier this summer, we had family photos done, and I’m so excited to share some of them here with you. I thought it would be so fun to get a little fancied up for a few of the shots, and mix it up with a slightly more casual style. We worked with the ever so talented and fun Nicole Ashley and her team of ladies, Janna Huget and Stefanie Carlson. You may remember a mention of Nicole and her team in one of my very early posts where I shared our mother-daughter photos. Needless to say, I was so excited to work with these girls again. Not only do they produce photos meant for cherishing, but a few minutes with this crew is a guaranteed ab workout from all of the laughs!

While I initially took inspiration from my style icons (the Beckhams, the Royals, and Blake Lively), it was with the help of Janna’s savvy styling skills that helped the whole look and feel of our photos come together. Combine that with Stef’s mad skills in hair and makeup, my delicate and sparkly dress, a sharp suit and a tiny gold crown and we had all of the necessary ingredients to cook up the photos I had been dreaming of. And if I can just talk about this dress for a minute – I had every intention of leaving the tags on and returning it once we were done with the shoot. Until I tried it on. Seriously, every girl needs a dress like this in her life! I can’t wait to wear this beauty again.

It was hard not to post all of them here, because with every single one I say “No, THIS is my favourite”. So here are a few more. And so begins my task of deciding which ones to print for framing. It’s going to be a tough one…

Our Family

(dress by Adrianna Papell, no longer available. Similar here and here)

Hope you all are enjoying what marks the last of the summer long weekends! Have a great week.

xo,
Kassey

And the winners are…

Happy Friday, guys! I’m so excited to announce the winners today. Without further delay…

Giveaway

EMILY S. & CATHY M.

Congratulations, and thanks for your support! You will soon have one of these hot tanks in your hot little hands, so stay tuned for an email from me.

If last week’s interview with Sandy sparked an interest, and you’d like to stay in the loop of what’s next for How’s My Down Dog, give her a follow over on Instagram and Facebook.

Wishing all of you a wonderful long weekend!

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

Giveaway || How’s My Downdog?

Giveaway

Happy Thursday and Happy Giveaway Day!

I’ve teamed up with my friend Sandy, the cool and talented gal behind How’s My Downdog? yoga tanks, and we’re giving away not one, but two to two lucky readers!

I had the good fortune of meeting Sandy (that’s her ^) many years ago through a childhood friend, and we have crossed paths and caught up many times since. When we started chatting about joining forces and putting this giveaway together, I was all too excited. Without saying too much here, as I’ve got a fun spotlight post coming up on her and all of her coolness next week, I’ll get straight to the good stuff – entry details!

It’s quick and easy – follow the link below and enter your information, and then cross all of your fingers and toes that your name is drawn! This contest runs until August 28, so don’t let the week get away from you. Winners will be chosen on August 29, at which point I will get in touch with you directly to obtain further details and information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to you all, and allow me to be the first to wish you a lovely weekend!

xo,
Kassey

#yeg Spotlight: MEAT

Earlier this summer, we checked out MEAT, a cool and smoky new eatery on Whyte Avenue. If you’re familiar with The Next Act Pub, which is located just down the street, then you will find comfort and familiarity in that the same owners have branched out to call MEAT their next successful venture.

Smoked meats have never really been my thing, but our dining experience at MEAT was a game changer. I ended up deciding on the beef brisket and garlic fries, and it has left me thinking back often and dreaming of this savoury dish. They seriously set the bar pretty high!

Alex and I were in brisket heaven – every bite had the right amount of smoky flavor and the garlic fries were completely divine!

One of our favourite things about MEAT, besides the delightful food of course, is that it’s family friendly. It’s busy and bustling, but welcoming all at the same time, so we are definitely looking forward to going back. As with any locally owned and operated restaurant, we were excited to check out and support MEAT, but they’ve also got an interesting story about how they got up and running – and it wasn’t easy. Click here to read about the obstacles they encountered and how with the help of Make Something Edmonton, surpassed these hurdles and became the hot spot they are today.

I can guarantee that MEAT will satisfy your next carnivorous craving. Or the next time you need a healthy dose of garlic!

MEAT
8216 – 104 Street
http://meatfordinner.com/