I always love seeing what Nashville designer Annie Williams will come up with next. I’ve been a big fan of her work ever since her collaborator and my good friend Nicole Irene first introduced me to her beautiful leather goods. I’ve been following her work throughout the years and have always fallen in love with what ever she creates – from the home line to her early collections.
Of course, finding out that she has a new collection just in time for autumn featuring the natural essex hide. This leather wears well and she even gives her own testimonial of using the tin cloth tote as a diaper bag for the past couple of months, which gets me pretty excited about picking out my own diaper bag in the near future. This new collection looks soft, timeless and understated; totes and clutches that can effortlessly become season-less in your wardrobe.
Looking to whittle down that mid-section this summer? Being mid-August you might have already missed the prime of bikini season, but this is Calgary after all, so you’re likely already planning your first tropical getaway of the dreary season. Picking up a hula hoop is one of the easiest ways to start trimming down the waistline. If we are judging by this 1977 commercial for Hula Hoops [featuring Mat Plendl], multi-tasking while hooping was perfectly acceptable behaviour. Forget trying to waitress or fix your car at the same time—modern hooping deserves your undivided attention! It may take you awhile to get a hang of the technique, but once your hips start swaying in the right direction you will be slimming down in no time. I can’t tell who is cooler really? Is it the 1950s greaser combing his hair while hooping? Or perhaps the shaggy-haired ‘70s teen whose hooping skills rival the best at Shambhala? He may look like the kid from Almost Famous, but I would almost bet he was one of the leaders of the ‘90s rave scene.
I always seem to have endless stack of books next to my bed. I’ve either got a mind that cannot be satiated by one or two good books per year or I have a serious book buying addiction. It is actually a combination between the two. I’ve always been a bit of a bookstore junkie and I can blame this trait completely on my book-loving parents. My Mom and Dad have always expressed the importance of a well-rounded home library and I’ve since curated my own to be a reflection of my personality and interests.
As much as I love a good used book (finding the previous owner’s margin notes are one of my favourite things about picking up a pre-loved book) there seems to be all sorts of amazing authors launching new books all of the time – essentially forcing me to add them to my Chapters shopping cart and wait patiently for that new book smell to arrive on my doorstep.
As my third trimester will be taking up the entire fall, I’m designating my spare time to spent indulging in some great new books as opposed to the Netflix marathons I’ve been subjecting myself to all summer. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of different categories so I can keep things interesting in case non-fiction or fiction isn’t doing it for me 100% of the time. To be honest, I always have a couple of those books on my bedside table bookmarked or dog-eared – I am terrible for starting a new book before I’ve finished the last one.
My list is lengthy but a worthy one, full of precious literary gems (and some serious pop culture thrown in there for good measure) that will keep both you and I busy and away from the TV. Any books I should be adding to my stack? Please send me any recommendations! Like I said, I have an addiction, so please feed it!
We just returned home after a nice week long camping getaway to the Okanagan. It was a much-needed vacation for both of us – we both had a bit of the wanderlust after such a crazy long winter. The fresh fruit, the supremely hot weather, the lakes, the wine (for Byron) and the slower pace of life was all so wonderful. I love being able to live outdoors for entire week – it totally changes your perspective on how you live your life indoors. When I am home, I always feel so lazy – I get caught up working on my laptop or Netflix instead of spending more time outdoors.
The best part of going away on vacation is returning with a fresher, brighter mind. We definitely had a lot of time to contemplate life and get excited for our little baby. I’ll be spending the week catching up on emails and working on new projects. It was really amazing that we were able to unplug for (almost) the entire trip and I even left my phone dead for a couple of days. But now that I am back at it – I can’t wait to get rollin’. See you on here more soon!
Who doesn’t need an amazing night out once and awhile? I’m just about four months along now and I can definitely use a girls night! I have been feeling super boring since I am tired all of the time and love lounging around in my cozy PJs! Okay, so it’s not that bad – lounging around is kind of the best. But still, getting a bit glammed up and heading out with my girlfriends is something I have been missing so I cannot wait to hit up Cowboys Dance Hall on Wednesday Night for TOPSHOP‘s Girls Night Out! My good friend and style blogger Ania B will be co-hosting a Stampede style presentation with Much Music’s Liz Trinnear! Get down there for 8:00pm because some lucky ladies will walk away with brand new outfits from TOPSHOP that are perfect for wearing to the Stampede. There will be plenty of other fabulous prizes including an awesome TOPSHOP gift card giveaway!
Since I won’t be fitting into very many regular TOPSHOP threads over the next six months, I was super excited to see that they are now carrying TOPSHOP Maternity at the Chinook Centre store now. The section isn’t huge but what they have is fantastic – not only do they have great staples like chambray shirts and skinny black pants but they also have some great trendy pieces that you can work into your maternity wardrobe as well.
I started hunting for some great summer pieces as my bump grows over July and August and found so many perfect items. But I also realized how much of the maternity line would be perfect for creating the ideal Stampede wardrobe. Of course, instead of doing shots at Nashville North, a leisurely stroll with a candy apple around the fair grounds is more a pregnant lady’s style so comfort is key. I found three great looks that are so cute while still spinning a bit of the Western vibe that the Calgary Stampede is so famous for.
Check out these adorable outfits that will work with your sweet baby bump and look great for Stampede. And stop by the TOPSHOP Maternity section at Chinook Centre this week to pick out some great looks for the TOPSHOP party on Wednesday. Hope to see you there…
Since our awesome party with Poppy Barley last month at Phil & Sebastian, I have been absolutely loving my blue jean baby flats and my city boots. Completely custom to my feet and legs, these are such a dream! Since it is still such a fabulous and somewhat new product to most Canadian gals, I thought I would let you know about two upcoming opportunities to get your hands on some sweet Poppy Barley gear!
This weekend is going to be pretty incredible with fantastic rock shows all over the city as part of Sled Island. There will also be some pretty epic shopping opportunities – namely Parksale over in Haultain Park. Poppy Barley is setting up their booth there from 10am til 8pm on Saturday June 21st. You can check out their brand-new product, ask questions about these amazing custom-made shoes and also get your feet/legs measured for a custom pair of boots or shoes! All of the vendors and more information on Parksale here.
ALSO! My lovely friend Ania from the amazing Ania.B blog is hosting a Stampede-themede giveaway with Poppy Barley and ATB Financial! You can win $500 in custom shoes made just for you. Just pin 2 win! More details over at Ania’s blog.
The past few months have been so busy that I haven’t had much time to stop by here and work on the blog. Not only have I been working away on freelance projects but I’ve also been busy working on an exciting little personal project of my own with Byron!
Well, the news is officially out! We are expecting a baby this December. We are beyond elated for this incredible news and we cannot wait to meet our new best friend later this year. I still can’t believe that we are going to be parents THIS YEAR! What an amazing feeling – and of course, a bit nerve-wracking too – thinking about all of the work we need to do and prepare for the baby.
I have had such hardcore fatigue during the first trimester it was hard to get myself motivated to get things rollin’ but we managed to start purging some junk that we’ve been carting around for the last four years in our spare bedroom! I can’t wait to start freshening it and making it a beautiful new space that will hopefully be inspiring and interesting for brand-new little person.
We are already planning the adventures we will have with our new family – I feel like somewhere on the West Coast with insanely good sushi will be in order. I am already going through massive withdrawal!
Anyways, I am SO happy to share our big news with you all. It means a lot to still have readers after I haven’t been around much the last few months! Stay tuned for more baby updates coming soon! xoxo
I am so excited to be a sponsor of this season’s New Craft Coalition. A fantastic show + sale of some of the best talent in the city, this local art market will take you through all kinds of mediums including photography, ceramics, textiles and jewellery! My favourite thing about this show is that I have been introduced to some of the best artists I’ve ever come across.
At New Craft Coalition it is guaranteed that you will find something incredibly well-crafted and beautiful. From White Owl Ceramic Studio to Dear Pony designs, I can’t wait to get my shop on this weekend!
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the 424 Fifth’s Chief Creative Officer and Senior VP of Design Marie Holman-Rao one afternoon at Hotel Le Germain. It was absolutely wonderful to chat with her and hear all about how the collection came together, her inspiration behind the pieces and her must-have wardrobe pieces.
KK: I am so excited to have this new brand here in Canada. Can you tell me a bit about how the line came to be?
Marie Holman-Rao (MHR): It has been so exciting! The whole idea behind 424 Fifth was to create a exclusive private label brand that was more aspirational than just a commodity product. Bonnie and Richard Baker had wanted to elevate the idea of a private label and since it was Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay together, it had to be something that appealed a lot of different people and different areas. The style really changes across the landscape of Canada but the line is very international. It is also coming from an age-less point of view – we don’t want to just appeal to a demographic but we want to appeal to a certain sociographic. This woman loves fashion and she knows quality value but doesn’t want to spend a fortune.
KK: What will we see at 424 Fifth for each season?
MHR: We wanted classics in the collection as well as pieces that are of-the-moment as well as have a distinct sense of humour. Those are the things you are usually attracted to.
KK: What kind of pieces will be in every collection?
MHR: We will always have a great fitting black pant. We will always have a luxury leather item – like a pant. We will always have the skirt silhouette of the moment. We were really lucky for Spring 2014 that skirts were back in fashion – especially the mid-length skirt which is so elegant!
KK: What are your top five staples for every woman’s wardrobe?
MHR: Definitely a long skirt, for this season. We have it in so many gorgeous colours. A great little cropped jacket, like our striped one is perfect with the long skirts. Coats are a must-have. Our long jacket toppers are fantastic. A classic white boyfriend shirt is key. I like the coming-and-going sweaters as well – a great detail.
The 424 Fifth line is available at all Hudson’s Bay locations in Canada as well as Lord & Taylor in the USA! The collection is absolutely stunning - you can check out the Spring lookbook here! Shop the looks below from Hudson’s Bay – this line is super affordable already but a lot of the items have recently been reduced! What an amazing deal for such gorgeous pieces for the spring.
I love miniatures. I’ve always been fascinated by tiny things and imagining tiny worlds. In another life I think I would have been one of those people with the elaborate train sets, building amazing to-scale landscapes and getting lost in it all. So, of course, when I discovered Projecteo last year, I instantly fell in love.
Projecteo is a tiny analog projector that displays your Instagram photos in a whole new way. It is so much fun to go through old travel photos this way. I love choosing my favourite nine images to add to a reel. Below I chose photos from my trips last year to Austin, Texas; Okanagan, BC; and Palm Springs, California. It is pretty magical when you turn on your Projecteo for the first time. This is also a super fun gift idea for kids – it is actually perfect size for the IKEA furniture set or for playing with Barbies!
Enter to win your own by visiting Projecteo and commenting on this post! I would love to hear about what photos you would put on your reel! Giveaway ends on Wednesday April 23rd at 12MST. This giveaway is open for residents world-wide!
If you can’t wait to win, use my friends code to order your own: FRIEND07L3. Oh, and they have free shipping worldwide. A win-win, no?