Motivation Monday: Love Where you Are Edmonton Edition

Edmonton's coffee scene is bar none and one of the first things I learned to love here.
Edmonton’s coffee scene is bar none and one of the first things I learned to love here.

So this week I’m focusing on my new hometown: Edmonton. We had a tumultuous beginning, but I feel like we’re settling into an easy relationship. Moving here last winter was tough – it was bitter cold, we lived outside of town, I felt cut off from the world and didn’t have a community. But now that we’re in the city and steps away from a lot of urban-living aspects plus we have friends (yay!!!). I’m falling deeply in love with Edmonton’s parks, playgrounds, croissants, libraries and people. Edmonton is warming up my cold, increasingly less soggy Westcoast heart (hence: photo above at one of my fave coffee shops, Transcend).

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can,” said tennis great Arthur Ashe. 


This week I’ll be taking you on a bit of a journey through Edmonton and tell you how I’m learning to love ‘Dirt City’. It’s a city of fun festivals, friendly people, a supportive creative scene and endless parks. In a couple of blog posts, Thursday to be exact, I’ll even host a little giveaway for you my dear reader(s) as a way to say thanks

One of my travel writing goals is to attract people here and show them the shiny bits of The Chuck, the spots that they won’t find anywhere else. I hope you’ll accompany me on this ride and see what it’s been like to learn to love where I am.


Motivation Monday ~ Good Neighbours

Welcome home macarons our neighbour made for our new baby's homecoming.
Welcome home macarons our neighbour made for our new baby’s homecoming.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good neighbour lately. With what’s happening in Syria, with a recent trip back to my home province to visit my former neighbours (both recently to Vancouver and a few years back on a trip to South Africa) and reflecting on my new neighbours in Edmonton.

Good neighbours are folks in my books are people who smile and wave every time you see them, they help you out with small tasks when called on for help. And in turn you also help them out when needed. Simple, right?  Read more

Artful sleeps: 3 Gallery-esque Hotels in Western Canada

L-R: Hotel Arts, Renaissance Edmonton Airport, Skwachays Lodge
L-R: The stylish lobby of Hotel Arts, peekaboo into Halo Bar & Bistoro Renaissance Edmonton Airport, the exterior of Skwachays Lodge

I love a stylish slumber – a stay at a hip hotel that not only includes the comfort of high quality bedding or considered conveniences (think: bar fridge, room service menu, free wifi), but also curated aesthetics. Hotels might be there to party/sleep/love but they’re also a great place to be inspired/amazed/stimulated.

A artful hotel can be vibrate with the brash, independent art undercurrent of its hometown. Or it can be a homage to the masters. Or maybe it embodies a theme of place via room design and vibe. The three hotels below do all of these easily.

Author Joan Didion once said: “Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.” The three hotels below are mirrors of their city’s arty atmospheres. Whether you’re a winter-loving jet-setter, a honky-tonky hipster or anthropological wanderer, these properties are worth at least a night if not five: The Renaissance Edmonton Airport, Hotel Arts in Calgary and Skwachays Lodge in Vancouver.

When it comes to ooh-la-la factor, each of these art-filled abodes are as different as they come in terms of layout, ethos and locale. Join me for a wee tour of what it’s like to sleep in an art gallery, art hotel.

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How did you get that f*#king awesome job Janine Sebastian?

Flowers: a love language
Flowers: a love language

For many women flowers are the language of love. And lucky for many gals in the Edmonton-area, Janine Sebastian helps them and the people who love them express that sentiment through beautiful florals. Sebastian is the owner of FaBLOOMosity, an award-winning floral atelier located in the funky brick Mercer Warehouse on 104 Street (aka THE place downtown Edmonton to kickstart a creative business).

Sebastian and her team make bouquets, centrepieces and, of course, floral crowns. She started FaBLOOMosity three years ago and hasn’t looked over her shoulder since. Essentially, Sebastian and her team exist to weave love stories out of flowers (including proteas, eep, my all time favourites). When she has a little time to breathe – usually in the slower seasons like spring/winter, Sebastian and her team offer fun workshops like terrarium building. Learn all about Sebastian’s f*#king awesome playing with flowers all day long, errrrday, after the jump.  Read more