Empress of the Garden: 7 Sweet Rose Treats

Roses have been revered through the ages not just for their showy, complex blooms but also their health and nutritional benefits. Today you can find a plethora of rose treats to consume or slather on your gorgeous bod. About 2,000 years ago roses Greek scholar Pliny declared that roses could cure a minimum of 32 afflictions – everything from urinary tract infections, scurvy and scars. In more modern times, roses are said to have seven different skincare benefits according to the folks at Organic Authority.

Personally, I’m admirer of bloom and smell of Damask roses and Nootka roses. Growing up in rural British Columbia, I drank rose hip tea and at rose hip jelly. My grandmother taught us to chew up a rose hip and smear it on a fresh bee or wasp bite to take away the sting as children.** Major rose producing countries that specialize in distilling down 10,000 stems at a time include are Bulgaria, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and India.

Today, you can find rose essence in everything from cocktails to facial toners. Last summer I was so inspired by the uber fragrant Nootka roses in my neighbourhood, that I distilled them to make a rose elixir to add to everything from soda water to ice cream. I’ve even bathed with rose petals and replenished my skin with rose essence. Since February is the month of love and roses, I’ve decided to share some of my favourite rose-infused or inspired finds. So instead of buying a bunch of roses for your sweetie this February, grab him or her one of these rose treats.  Read more

Travel, Motherhood and A Mad Maids Giveaway

The struggle is REAL: travel, parenthood and a house cleaning giveaway. Photo credit: Pam Loves Pie | Flickr | CC
The struggle is REAL: travel, parenthood and a #YEG house cleaning giveaway. Photo credit: Pam Loves Pie | Flickr | CC

When I used to travel a LOT for work and play, I had a simple rule of thumb: thy shalt not leave a messy house to returnth home to. My house used to be sort of spotless before I trudged away to Fort St. John for work or cavorted away to Mexico City for culture and food.

This little pre-blast off routine helped me avoid trip-ending-comedown – returning to a tidy home was a tiny consolation of saying Hasta Luego to those colourful, mini-umbrella drinks or sweltering safari adventures. Sometimes, I wished I had a cleaning service that could help me out. A company like Alberta-based Mad Maids, who have easy-to-choose pricing that go by house size and type of cleaning (routine, deep or move out).

Now that I’m a mom the work and leisure trips are a bit more dispersed as is the clean-the-house-before-departing routine. Now we’re luck if we can remember to pack our toothbrushes and lock the door on the way out.

Motherhood and the eternal war that is attempting to keep your house clean is a much easier battle thanks to Mad Maids. I love my kid, but these days, the struggle to maintain a clean home is REAL people. He loves to share (throw) everything with gusto on the floor,  ‘clean’ (smear) all glass surfaces with his grubby mitts and drink (spit) his watery juice out of his big boy glass like a wasted college freshmen.  Read more

My First Furniture DIY: A Travel-Inspired Breakfast Table

 A Palm Springs-inspired breakfast table (AKA an upcycled closet door.
A Palm Springs-inspired breakfast table (AKA an upcycled closet door.

A couple weeks back I wrote about the itch I get every January. To scratch that itch, I decided to try out a travel-inspired DIY project. The folks at the Edmonton Renovation Show approached me last year to be one of their local bloggers to participate in this super cool upcycling challenge. We had to pick up a door, any door, from the local Re-Store and renovate it to become whatever we wanted. Some of my fellow up cyclers did some rad stuff with theirs: one made a bean bag toss game, another a galactic inspired door, another a record rack/table.

Here’s my little inspiration blurb that’s accompanying my creation at the Edmonton Renovation Show:

As a huge fan of Palm Springs and the mid-century modern aesthetic found in the homes and hotels of that area, I was hoping to create something that harkens back to the era of Rat Pack parties and pops of colour. I chose a closet door that has a Danish teak look to it. There will be some geometrics involved as an ode to the triangular Albert Frey-designed Palm Springs Tramway gas station that now serves as a tourist destination.

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20 + Reasons Why you Should Visit Edmonton

The Alberta Legislative Buildings and their awesome kid-friendly fountains. See Canada Day note below...
The Alberta Legislative Buildings and their awesome kid-friendly fountains. See Canada Day note below…

You always remember your first time. Your first time visiting Edmonton, that is. I was 14 and a third stringer on the senior girls’ basketball team during my first senior’s tourney. I remember the huge blue skies, biting cold and the world’s biggest mall. We came in third at the tournament, rode the Galaxyland roller coaster and I recorded my first single on a cassette tape (Paula Abdul’s Straight Up, naturally) at the mall. It was a super fun trip that barely even kissed the surface of Alberta’s capital.

Fast forward decade or two and I’m living in Edmonton. It’s not a place I’ve ever considered until meeting my partner. Oh love and it’s convincing ways of taking you on crazy adventures. We left Vancouver on a wet fall day October 2014 and landed in Edmonton on a cool, dry day two days after.

When we first moved people would ask, “Why would you leave Vancouver to move here?” I found it almost insulting, probing and strange question to ask. But then slowly, I started meeting people who said the opposite. “Welcome to Edmonton, how are you finding it so far? Have you tried…..”

Edmontonians are some of the proudest residents and are generally, always eager to share their version of the city with you. So in keeping with the tradition of my new tribe, I thought I’d share some of my favourite Edmonton spots with you dear readers. Herewith are 25 things that I’ve grown to love about Edmonton. So next time a friend from Calgary/Montreal/Vancouver/Victoria asks why they should come visit, I’ll just save my breath and email them this post. So there. I’ve settled in and learned to love where I am, so read below and then book a trip here, you won’t regret it. Read more