See & Do in #yeg || Holiday Edition

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a good friend asking me for recommendations on what to see and do in the city over the holidays. A friend of hers will be bringing her boyfriend to Edmonton for Christmas, and she wanted my “expert” advice. I laughed when I read that part, because…expert?! Despite being born and raised in Edmonton and area (my friend is a former Edmontonian, too; now Calgarian), I hardly consider myself an expert. More suitable titles I’d be quick to claim could include city lover, fun seeker, or even cheerleader (because I’m always trying to sing our city’s praises to whoever will listen!) But I was up for the challenge and excited to share some of the things that pop into my mind when prompted with a question like this. (love ya, MT! I really enjoyed putting this together!)

Exploring the city, whether by day or night, has changed for us a little bit since becoming parents, but I tried to include spots that would appeal to all kinds of people, children in tow or not. Most of the places below are ones we have experienced and can attest to why they’re on this list, and others are here because they’re on our radar and we hope to tackle them in the near future. I know I’ve probably missed a few as well, but to fill that gap, I like to stay informed through my favourite, go-to sites like Explore Edmonton, Share Edmonton, Where.ca, and Twitter.

So here it goes! I hope you like it, and please do share your favourites with me!

Image: Iconoclast Coffee via Vue Weekly

You can tell something ranks highly with me when I create a category for it all on its own! There’s something I love about incorporating a delicious and warm coffee or hot chocolate on a cold winter day, and even more so when you can make it social and meet with friends for a catch up. My picks below include places that boast an abundance of charm, a really fun atmosphere, and that showcase really cool parts of Edmonton.

Rosso
Leva
Little Brick
Transcend
Credo
Remedy Cafe
Iconoclast
Lockstock
Coffee Bureau
DaCapo
Duchess
Elm Cafe
District Coffee
Burrow
Cafe Bicyclette

Image: Parlor Italian Kitchen & Bar via Explore Edmonton

My late night suggestions will surely differ from those coming from someone who’s evening is not dictated by a toddler (and a soon-to-be newborn in five short weeks!) 🙂 But a lot of the restaurants listed here spill over into late night spots, anyway, so it’s a win-win in my mind – great food plus a great night all around.

Rosso
Leva
The Marc
Tres Carnales
Rostizado
Woodwork
North 53
The Common
Parlor Italian Kitchen & Bar
Corso 32
Three Boars
Cibo Bistro
Bar Bricco
Dovetail Deli
Farrow Sandwich

Image: skating at City Hall via Explore Edmonton

I continue to learn and get excited about really cool, outdoor activities to take in throughout the winter months. Not knowing what these friends of my friend were into, I took a more broad approach in recommending holiday activities. You could call them more winter-friendly as opposed to holiday-specific, but a fresh white blanket of snow and some twinkling lights give me the warm holiday fuzzies any day!

River Valley Adventure Co – snow shoe tours through the river valley
Sleigh shuttle in Old Strathcona – five pick up locations throughout the area
Outdoor skating – various locations
Tobogganing – fun for adults and kids alike
Skiing – Edmonton Ski Club, Rabbit Hill, Snow Valley, Sunridge Ski Area
Cross-country skiing – various locations

Hope your week is off to a great start! xo

Kassey

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

#yeg Spotlight: HUNT AMOR

Do you ever think about the days when it was common to visit the tailor or seamstress for a bespoke garment? Or to the well-known shoemaker who could fix anything and everything, and also whip up a pair of custom made shoes? There’s also the jewelry maker, who will sit and listen to the intricate and personal details and create an individualized piece of jewelry that will adorn your body and tell a story for years to come. Blame it on the nostalgia in me, or the fact that, deep inside, I have actually been an 80 year old since I was about five, but I find myself wishing for these things to be commonplace again.

Thanks to Edmonton being awesome and hugely supportive of grassroots and entrepreneurial initiatives, there are a couple of local businesses that are making new again what was once considered old. Slated for a #yeg Spotlight on here in the not-too-distant future, Poppy Barley is taking Canada and the world by storm with their made-to-measure footwear; Todoruk Design is elegantly bringing back couture, bespoke and the atelier; and then there’s HUNT AMOR, a local jewelry designer who is showcasing their talents through four different lines: custom, utility, fashion, and the newly released Kindred collections.

A few HUNT AMOR originals that I have my eye on

Clockwise: Hex Cuff, Kindred Vera, Baby V Drop Earrings

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the most ultimate and cool party which celebrated the release of the new Kindred collection. I will let the photos below do the talking, but everything about the night was perfectly suited to the brand that Amor Carandang and Chris Provins have created: the venue (Tomnuk Design Studio) the music, and the crowd. It’s so evident these two have garnered a lot of well-deserved love and support through their hard, dedicated work and genuine, down-to-earth personalities.

// Party photos are all captured by Jody Bailey \\

I’m keeping an eye on what Amor & Chris release next, because without a doubt, I will love it and I will shop it!

Happy mid-week! xo,

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

#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

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.

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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

#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/

#yeg Spotlight: Harlow

There’s a charming and beloved spot in Edmonton, known to many as High Street, that is currently undergoing a few changes. For many years, the area’s European charm has attracted various demographics: young, old, families, foodies, coffee lovers, cheese connoisseurs, collectors, and crafters. With the sad news of main fixture, Notables , closing its doors at the end of May, and Tin Box having closed earlier in 2014, the way has been paved for new tenants to begin the next generation, so to speak.

Enter Harlow. I came across this poster a couple of weeks ago, and immediately began my research to find out more about this mysterious “H”. What I have uncovered so far is that it is a lifestyle boutique that will be featuring a variety of brands in gifts, clothing, and home decor.

Harlow’s sister store, Lyndale Accents, lends a bit of a trailer to what we can expect when Harlow opens its doors later this spring. This silver bangle by Alex and Ani made it home with me after an afternoon outing that Theodora and I took to the pretty gift shop last Monday.

With the information that has been made public so far, it seems that Harlow will be a most welcomed addition to the area famously known for perfect and leisurely weekend strolls. I am anxiously awaiting the big reveal, and can’t wait to see what else moves into the vacant spots in the area!

Xo,
Kassey