#PSBRUNCHCLUB: MOTHERS DAY!

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As I had mentioned previously, my #psbrunchclub menu item launches this Sunday – which just so happens to be Mother’s Day! Since it also happens to be my first Mother’s Day ever, I am so excited for it all to be happening on the same day! Phil & Sebastian‘s brunch menu is now available at their Marda Loop location on Sundays only. Each weekend features a different menu item and I am pleased as punch to be promoting this week’s tasty creation.

The ‘Thanks A Brunch! Hash’ is an absolutely delicious brunch item – bison hash with an over easy egg on top. It is naturally gluten-free but can also be made vegetarian or vegan upon request. It is perfect with a delicious Americano or one of my favourite baby-friendly beverages of the moment – a decaf latte!

The Marda Loop location is a perfect spot to take your Mama for a little celebration this weekend. Brunch starts at 7:30am so be sure to stop in this Sunday, May 10th to grab a bite and a coffee. They don’t take reservations but you’ll be able to grab a couple of seats, no problem!

And just for your listening pleasure, I also created a fun brunch-inspired playlist for you to also enjoy this beautiful weekend. Click here and press play to start enjoying the weekend a little bit early.

Don’t forget to use the promo code ‘sundaybrunchclub’ for 10% off coffee beans at Phil & Sebastian for the month of May.

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#PSBRUNCHCLUB

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Hey Calgary, get ready to get your brunch on! My favourite local coffee makers Phil & Sebastian is kicking off their brand new Sunday Brunch Club this May and I’m here to help spread the word. I’m in great company too – these fabulous bloggers are also part of the club: Katie MarksAnia B, Eleni McMullin and Savaya Shinkaruk.

Each Sunday in May, P&S is launching a new brunch item that’s been conveniently named by all of us. My launch date is coming up soon – I can’t wait to share with you the tasty menu item and some of my other favourite P&S treats! You can also follow along on Instagram at @philandseb and #psbrunchclub to check out all of the amazing and delicious menu items launching!

See you at #PSBrunchClub!

 

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ART OF THE COCKTAIL + GIVEAWAY

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Well, if today’s 27*C weather wasn’t a sign to start mixing and drinking more patio-side cocktails, I’m not sure what is. Oh wait,  The Art of the Cocktail arrives in Calgary this weekend! Perfect timing!

This two day celebration of my favourite kind of beverage – the cocktail – kicks off with the Grand Tasting on May 2nd at the University of Calgary Downtown Campus. The name of the game is ‘Gin, Bourbon, Rye – oh my!‘ and it is promising to be a great way to try out new spirits that you can incorporate into your home bar.

VIP tickets are only $60 (+GST) and get access to the tasting for a whole hour before the general admission ticket-holders are allowed in. Don’t worry about tokens – you can sample and taste away without them. If you are just interested in checking out the Grand Tasting and aren’t looking for the VIP treatment, purchase a regular ticket for $40 (+GST) and get your cocktail on. Or you could enter my giveaway below for free tickets and more…

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May 3rd kicks off with some killer seminars that promise to be a fantastic treat for avid and aspiring home bartenders. Creating Your Home Bar with Jesse Willis is a crash course where you’ll learn everything you need to know about stocking up on home bar essentials so you’ll be ready to whip a tasty cocktail. You’ll also learn about what kind of equipment you’ll need to have on hand that every bartender swears by. Some of the items in my giveaway will be perfect for filling up your bar cart.

Enjoy creating your own one-of-a-kind cocktails at the Bespoke Cocktails seminar with Midnight Rambler’s Chad Solomon. Discover how you can pair flavours together to create pleasing and delicious concoctions. Time to get experimental!

The last seminar of the day initiates you into the world of brown spirits –Bourbon, Rye, The Whiskeys – Oh My! Learn all about the taste profiles of these delightful spirits and what kind of cocktails work best for each one.

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 ART OF THE COCKTAIL BAR CART ESSENTIALS GIVEAWAY! 

What you get:

  • 2 VIP Grand Tasting Tickets for May 2nd
  • Porter’s Tonic
  • Grapefruit Bitters
  • Tiki Bitters
  • Assorted Bar Equipment (muddler, jigger and julep strainer)

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment here telling me what your favourite cocktail to make at home is!
  • For an extra entry, follow me at @kaitkucy and @ArtofCocktail on Twitter and leave another comment here saying that you did!
  • For an EXTRA entry, follow me @kaitkucy on Instagram and leave another comment saying that you did.
  • The giveaway ends on Thursday April 30 at 12pm MST. Open to Calgary residents only! Good luck!

 

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ETSY DESIGN AWARDS – THE BEST OF QUEBEC

The Quebec Etsy Design Awards are here and it’s time for you, the public to vote for your six category favourites! The Etsy Design Awards – ‘The Best of Quebec’ celebrates the people of Quebec who make Etsy.com a destination for design. It is so exciting to see Canadian designers featured on a forum like this – and the fact that we can vote for our favourites, makes it even more exciting.

After searching through all of the finalists, here are some of my favourite Quebec designers and makers that are up for the big win!

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Montreal Map Poster by ILikeMaps in the Art & Illustration Category

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Ice Cream to Memphis Pendant Lamp by madebyild in the Home & Living Category

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Black + White Scribbles Dress by DoubleYellowLine in the Fashion & Accessories Category

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Jumbo Montreal Chalk Mug by AliceinMontreal in the Up + Comers Category

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Mint Tassel + Image Earrings by ChristineBijoux in the Jewellery Category

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Vintage Set of Copper Utensils by Decadisme in the Vintage Category

Here is how to vote: You may vote for one contestant per category and can vote each day up until April 27, 2015. At this time the Gold Prize winners of each category will qualify for the Grand Prize, as selected by our guest judges. Read more about the contest rules and voting process here.

How you should vote: Vote for the finalist whose entry exhibits unique, high-quality design, and craftsmanship in their nominated category

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WESTERN CANADA’S NEXT HOME STYLIST + GIVEAWAY

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Are you Western Canada’s Next Home Stylist? I know I have a lot of very talented readers so I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner is among you – so make sure to enter!

For the first time ever, Marketplace Events, owners and producers of some of the biggest home and design shows in Canada, and Urban Barn are scouring the Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton areas for the next big name in design, entertaining and all things lifestyle. 

The winner will launch into stardom as the official spokesperson for Marketplace Events at this year’s Vancouver Home + Design Show, the Calgary Home + Design Show and the Edmonton Fall Home Show, make connections with Western Living magazine and win a $1,000 shopping spree from Urban Barn.

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Entrants must create a quick and easy audition video (iPhone videos encouraged!), then visit www.nexthomestylist.com to complete the entry process by Thursday, April 30. From there, three finalists will be selected and notified by Tuesday, May 12, then the fun really begins! For full details, visit www.nexthomestylist.com.

Get to it! And while you are at it, be sure to enter my giveaway in partnership with Next Home Stylist here:

 WESTERN CANADA’S NEXT HOME STYLIST GIVEAWAY! 

What you get:

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment here telling me what your favourite item from the Urban Barn Spring 2015 Catalogue!
  • For an extra entry, follow me at @kaitkucy on Twitter and leave another comment here saying that you did!
  • For an EXTRA entry, ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page here and leave another comment saying that you did.
  • The giveaway ends on Wednesday April 22 at 12pm MST. Open to Canadian residents only! Good luck!

Images via Urban Barn Spring 2015 Catalogue

CONGRATS TO LACEY HASKELL! YOU WON THE GIVEAWAY!

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PARKSHOW 2015: LUXURY ART + FASHION SHOW

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Last night I was whisked away in a town car to a top secret locale to reveal the 2015 location of PARKSHOW. Starting the evening at my favourite salon, Butter Beauty Parlour in Mission, we sipped bubbly and got hair/makeup/nail touchups. I had so much fun getting my hair smoothed out a bit, chatting with other writers and bloggers and getting some brow tips! After everyone was sufficiently gussied up, we went off in our town cars to the next location – the mystery spot.

We took wild guesses the whole ride over when we finally reached our destination. Tucked underground, we drove into Chinook Centre‘s parkade, hooked a left and then a right – and ended up at the doors to Nordstrom where we greeted by the entire PARK team. Surprise! PARK is going underground with their May 23rd fashion show – right there in the Chinook Centre parkade!

PARKSHOW Calgary presented by Chinook Centre connects Calgary fashion and art lovers with today’s young talent. This event will transform Chinook Centre’s North Parkade into an ocean-swept paradise with a breathtaking art installation by Jennie Vallis and a fashion show featuring ten exciting up and coming designers from all across Canada.

Chinook Centre‘s exclusive pre-sale is on now! ‘Like’ Chinook Centre on Facebook to receive access to purchase tickets. General sale starts on Thursday, March 19.

PARKSHOW 2015 EVENT INFORMATION:
Saturday, May 23
Chinook Centre
North Parkade P2
6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary AB

Doors Open – 7:00pm
SHOW 1 – 9:00pm (Seated)
SHOW 2 – 10:00pm (Seated)
PARK Pop-up Shops available throughout the evening

TICKETS:
VIP – Tier I: $125*
VIP – Tier II: $100*
General Seating: $60*
Standing Room: $30*
18+ Event

*Early Bird Pricing available until March 31, 2015.

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The 4 Modes of Freelance Life

One of the most common questions (or comments for that matter) I get about my job as a freelance lifestyle writer and blogger is – what the heck does that job title even mean?!  I totally understand why it is a topic of discussion – I mean, I have a career that involves a lot of internet time, a lot of social media interaction – and a lot of being a bit of a trend-hunter. Sounds fun, right? To tell you the truth, there is no way I could have ever predicted that I’d be doing a job like this, even five years ago. I feel really lucky to be doing what I do for a living – it allows me to be at home with my newborn son, I have the freedom to express my creativity – and one of the best parts? I get to work and meet and feature some of the most talented, creative and intelligent people on the planet.

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I’ve partnered with HP x360 #BendTheRules + Meghan Trainor “That Bass Tour” to share my personal take on The 4 Modes of Freelance Life. Meghan Trainor’s tour just kicked off this month and it is looking amazing so far. I love her great energy and how she has such a creative vision behind her videos – and now her “That Bass Tour”. I’m following her Behind the Scenes videos throughout her whole tour here.

Inspired by the 4 modes of the HP x360, I’m sharing how as a freelancer I like to #BendTheRules. One of the most important things about working for yourself in any sort of creative field is to maintain a very flexible attitude – just like the extremely flexible HP x360!

Mode 1: Research | Stand Mode

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I spend a lot of my days brainstorming and researching new topics to write about. I’m constantly looking for the ‘next big thing’ as a columnist for a local magazine so setting up my computer in the stand mode makes it easy for me to swipe and swish around the web with ease. With the keyboard neatly tucked away, I have room for taking notes and looking through reference materials while I work.

Mode 2: Trend Hunting | Tablet Mode

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Something that a lot of writers and bloggers often forget to do is READ! It is so important to read other blogs, publications and newspapers everyday to keep your mind fresh with ideas and language. I know a lot of writers often get scared of being too influenced by other writers but personally I feel that keeping informed in the daily news is much more important. One tip, I’d like to add is to follow your favourite writers on Twitter – even if you don’t have time to hit up your favourite news sites or blog rolls everyday, you can take a few minutes out of your day to swipe through your Twitter feed and read what they have to say.

Mode 3: Execution (aka WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!) | Laptop Mode

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Ah yes, getting down to brass tacks. Writing is obviously the most important part of my work day. I do all of my writing and editing on the computer, though I do keep a notebook on hand in case I need to jot down some quick ideas. I love the flexibility of a laptop because I am often on the go, even more now with my little baby boy. One of the things I like most about the HP x360 is the fact that I can switch between touch screen and keyboard seamlessly.

Mode 4: Inspiration/Procrastination | Tent Mode

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Ah yes, the part that totally applies to the whole ‘freelancers live in their pajamas’ notion. It is slightly true – but it is all in the name of work. Some days I work until the early early morning but I will take off the afternoon the next day to take some online webinars or watch some videos. Sometimes just watching new movies and documentaries gets me inspired to take on some new work or send out some pitches. The tent mode of the HP x360 is perfect for hands-free entertainment as you multi-task on other projects or you know #BendTheRules a bit by staying in bed until noon!

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You can see more about the HP x360 and the 4 modes here, as well as check out all of the goods from HP + Meghan Trainor’s “That Bass Tour”. There are some pretty cool episodes from the fan-generated documentary made using the HP x360 convertible PC.

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This post is in partnership with HP. Make sure to stay in the know on the Meghan Trainor tour by checking out Behind The Scenes episodes or following HP for updates. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog on the go!

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TOP 3 SPRING TRENDS WITH HEATHER DRAPER + GIVEAWAY

Spring is just around the corner! Well, maybe not if you are living on the East Coast (sorry!) but here in Calgary the weather has been fantastic. I have my fingers crossed that we don’t get another cold snap in the next few weeks. Being able to get out of the house with baby Jack has been so great – I was totally ready to spend the whole winter hibernating with baby.

Anyways, spring is coming and so is the Calgary Home & Garden Show! In anticipation of the upcoming four day show, I got in touch with Heather Draper, owner of The Heather Co. and Home Show presenter, to share her top three trends for spring and summer. I love these trends – check ‘em out below and also enter my giveaway with the Calgary Home & Garden Show for some seriously sweet swag!

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1. Watercolors and Florals

We are currently crushing on watercolors, floral prints and abstracts. The colour schemes of these prints are beautiful, capturing a mix of soft pastels with muted greys, and soft colors with a bold pop of colour – just enough to give the print a modern feel. As always, scale plays a key factor in upping the modern ante; a cushion with an entire cabbage rose? Swoon!

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2. Classic Wallpaper

Wallpaper continues to be a strong trend this year – however, we are seeing more of a timeless-minded approach, using classic and geometric patterns over daring prints, and incorporating lots of texture around the rooms. Bold wall statements are becoming less popular as the classic trend takes over.

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3. Geometric Shapes

In addition to wallpaper, we are seeing geometric shapes moving through to furniture and lighting. This trend is extremely versatile, and is often very subtle on the base, which alludes to style over trend. Pair your favourite geometric piece with an ever-classic marble tabletop, and you are guaranteed a piece that is of the moment…and will most likely be that way for years! As with all trends, I recommend investing in one piece in a home, because the higher the quality is, the greater chance it will continue on to become a classic.

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CALGARY HOME & GARDEN SHOW GIVEAWAY! 

What you get:

  • AspenClean Professional Edition Whole House Cleaning Kit ($69.95)
  • AspenClean Super Scrub Powder ($9.95)
  • AspenClean Service Gift Card ($30)
  • IKEA Gift Card ($50)
  • 4 x tickets to the Calgary Home + Garden Show

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment here telling me what spring trend from this post you like the most!
  • For an extra entry, follow me at @kaitkucy on Twitter and leave another comment here saying that you did!
  • For an EXTRA entry, ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page here and leave another comment saying that you did.
  • The giveaway ends on Sunday February 22nd at 12pm MST. Open to Albertan residents only! Good luck!
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J.Crew Fall/Winter 2015 NYFW Presentation

Who else is obsessing over The Sartorialist and other street style blogs right now? In case you aren’t currently taking notes on what trends are hitting the streets, I’ll fill you in – it is Fashion Week in New York right now! It is not a secret that I am slightly envious of all the fashion bloggers I know that are out there right now, hitting up the shows and parties and soaking up every inch of the fashion and lifestyle of NYC. I love following along on my friend Ania B’s travels – you can catch her blog here and live NYFW goodness right on her instagram.

I saw a couple of Ania’s shots from the J.Crew Fall/Winter Presentation and absolutely fell in love with the new pieces. More classics styles that we have come to know and love from J.Crew but that added quirk that Women’s Designer Tom Mora (see my interview with him here!) is known for. Here are a couple of outfits that really caught my eye:

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The women’s Fall/Winter ’15 collection was inspired by Peter Schlesinger’s book “Checkered Past”. He captured his friends, including David Hockney, Tina Chow, Paloma Picasso, Eric Boman and Cecil Beaton in the 1960’s and 70’s. The energy of London and these iconic friends inspired the texture, color and silhouettes of the collection – intense yellow, blue violet, pale pinks and lush heather greys paired with textures like faux fur, gorgeous knitwear, burnished shearling, denim and fringe.

-Tom Mora, Head of J.Crew Women’s Design

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The main theme for the men’s collection started with a trip I took to a vintage army/navy show in the south of England. The army supplies, tents, vintage blankets and surplus inherently inspired these pieces with their functionality, but we’ve made them sophisticated. I have an image of Montgomery Clift in a great overcoat which helped inspire the tailoring and fabrications to modernize the clothes for today’s man. Like vintage utility pieces, each of our pieces are functional and have a purpose; every inch of the piece is considered.

-Frank Muytjens, Head of J.Crew Men’s Design

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The full collection will be available to view on Style.com shortly!

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SEVEN WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU

Who is excited for Valentine’s Day this weekend? I sure am – Valentine’s Day is certainly a glowing beacon of pink + red light amidst the mid-winter gloom of February. Between the chocolates and cinnamon hearts and messages of love, you just can’t go wrong this weekend!

I’ve rounded up seven ways to say I Love You with some incredible handmade items found on Etsy. I think it is the best place to find a unique gift for your true love – there are so many amazing designers out there! These products are really just a teensy scratch at the surface of amazing gifts you’ll find on Etsy.

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This My Girl Pillow from BrightJuly is so adorable and a great way to remind your girl (whether it be your love or daughter or pet!) that you love her.

Blink blink blink! This Sleepy Clay Dish from BadgersHollow is so much fun! Perfect for eating tasty Valentine candies out of or stashing away your V-Day jewels!

Put an arrow right through your Valentine’s heart – figuratively! The Rose Gold Arrows from Mineral and Matter are so pretty and would look great as Valentine decor or displayed all year round.

This card is too much!  I Wuff You Card from Quill & Fox is a cute and cheeky way to get across what is really on your mind.

 

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Treat your Valentine to a spa-like experience at home with the Coconut Milk Bath Soak from Herbivore Botanicals. This soak will be sure to pamper them in the best way possible – get ready for plenty of smooches post-bath!

A bit of a funny choice for a Valentine’s gift but this Guacamole T-Shirt from StupidFashion is absolutely perfect for your funny Valentine.

And lastly, if you are really looking to impress your true love (and get something awesome for your home at the same time) this Geodesic Pendant Lamp from Britta Gould is STUNNING. Plus, you can say something really corny and lovey about how each point on the pendant represents a different that you love about them.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend full of love + wonder! I’ll be celebrating with my little family – looking forward to the amazing weather!

 

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