October 31, 2012

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner in Calgary (& October Must-Reads)

Question of the month: What did you eat today?

I'm taking a large and liberal interpretation to this question because I've been dying to share some of the yummy places I've discovered here in Calgary. So let's imagine we're being very unhealthy and eating out for every meal "today" as I give you a run-down/snapshot tour of some new faves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner :)

BREAKFAST: Galaxie Diner

The Galaxie Diner is one of those super tiny retro 1940s-throwback diners where you can actually see the cooks grilling up your food right in front of you in their open kitchen.

In addition to delicious home-made milkshakes, they serve breakfast all-day, and you can easily get the classics or opt for a special like the Montreal Smoked Meat Hash (made, of course, with authentic Montreal Smoked Meat). The diner also offers bottomless hashbrowns. But honestly, they give you so much food anyway that it's hard to eat much more. Still nice to have the option though!

There's always a huge line (as is the case with popular brunch joints), but it moves pretty quickly and I'd say is worth the wait.

Address: 1413 11th St. SW, Calgary, AB
Website: http://www.galaxiediner.com/

LUNCH: Boxwood Cafe

The Boxwood Cafe is hands-down one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Calgary. I actually have dreams about the sandwiches here... kind of sad, haha!

Located in the restored gardens of Central Memorial Park, this cute little restaurant offers a range of sandwiches, soups, and stews made with local and sustainable ingredients. It's also got a great rustic decor and communal tables for a more homey vibe.

The Roast Bite Beef Sirloin sandwich is my favourite item on the menu (and the subject of those aforementioned dreams). It's served on fresh house-made ciabatta bread with arugala and other seasonal ingredients. So. freaking. good.

Address: 340 13th Ave. SW, Calgary, AB
Website: http://www.boxwoodcafe.ca/

DINNER: UNA Pizza + Wine

In Vancouver, fancy pizzerias have been popping up all over the place for the past few years (remember my post on Nicli Antica?), but I think I actually like UNA the best. Too bad it's in Calgary!

The restaurant's decor is modern without being overly trendy and it's a great place to come for a date or girls night.

Since I like my pizzas as plain as can be, I always opt for the Margherita. UNA's version is made with san marzana tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, crushed basil, and the most delicious crust I have ever tasted. I don't know how to describe it properly but it's super crunchy and kind of buttery. Basically I could just eat the crust all day but that would probably result in a very sick and carb-overloaded Alison.

Address: 618 17th Ave. SW, Calgary, AB
Website: http://www.unapizzeria.com/

P.S. Don't forget to check out the other girls' answers to this month's question, as well as their October must-reads!

October 29, 2012

#MKTimeless: Win a Michael Kors Paris Limited Edition Watch

Michael Kors watches have become a classic blogger staple, and for good reason. They are chic, stylish, and come in all sorts of gorgeous colour combinations to suit any outfit. I, for one, wear mine a lot. See hereherehere, and here... and those are only a few examples!

As you can see from those posts, I usually wear my watch alone, but I've noticed many girls rock theirs as part of some seriously amazing arm parties. I can't handle heavy wrists so when I do wear bracelets, it's usually one or two:

Bracelets: Derng / Watch: Michael Kors (here)

On October 15, Michael Kors released a gorgeous new Paris Limited Edition Runway watch rendered in rose gold with an etched Parisian skyline (complete with Eiffel Tower) on the back casing and a 2.5 mm diamond at the number-12 index. Talk about beautiful!

Love your Michael Kors watch? Show us how you wear it! Share your photo on Instagram with the tag #MKTimeless for a chance to win your very own Paris Limited Edition Runway watch.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Michael Kors.

October 27, 2012

Garance Doré for Kate Spade

Kate Spade has some of the cutest clothing and accessories (love this bow bangle and this ostrich-embossed purse), and the brand's recent blogger collaboration with Garance Doré is no exception. Featuring Garance's own illustrations and handwritten slogans, the capsule collection is whimsical, charming, and infused with a signature French style.

I had initially picked up this Georgie pouch (now on sale for only $68!) to stow my iPad in since it fits perfectly but I quickly realized its multi-purpose functions. For example, you could use it as a cosmetics bag or even as a clutch like I've done here. Très chic!

 Dress: Banana Republic / Tights: Primark / Booties: Report (here)
Pouch: Garance Doré for Kate Spade (here) / Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 (here)

October 25, 2012

LUSH Cosmetics Halloween 2012

Last year, I shared some thoughts on LUSH Cosmetics' 2011 Halloween Collection, and thanks again to LUSH, I'm happily able to review some of this year's fun limited edition items as well! I've actually never been one to go all out on Halloween (minus the candy... I just can't say "no" to copious amounts of fun-size treats), but these products have really helped get me into a more seasonal spirit. Although I must say that I've never experienced the Halloween season during a blizzard, but I guess that's just Calgary for you!

Enchanter is a fun bath bomb made with lime and neroli, which is a great citrus/candy scent. It also brings different bursts of colour (orange, then pink, then yellow) while it dissolves. But if you have a light tub, you may find that the pink leaves a residue that you'll have to scrub off after your bath.

This limited edition soap was one of my favourite products last year and I'm so glad it's back again this year. With its lovely pumpkin shape and colour, the soap is packed with the rejuvenating scents of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, spearmint, and fresh pumpkin. It does melt away quickly if you leave it in the shower so I'd recommend storing it in one of those soap containers when it's not in use.

"Calacas" means skeleton in Spanish, so it's fitting that this colourful green jelly is shaped like a sugar skull. The energizing scent of lime and neroli smells just like candy to me, while the aloe vera gel gently softens skin. I've never tried a shower jelly before this one but it basically feels like Jell-O... so much so that it sometimes slips out of my hands! I find it easier to break off smaller pieces to use like a soap or shampoo. LUSH also recommends using Calacas frozen for a sharp shock in the morning.

Check out the rest of the LUSH Halloween 2012 collection online or in stores to get your hands on these limited edition products before it's too late!

October 22, 2012

Day Trips to Banff

One of the benefits of my temporary move to Calgary is that I now have the chance to explore what it's like on this side of the Rockies... Banff National Park, for example, is only a little over an hour drive away! In fact, due to its close proximity, I've already managed to make it up there a couple of times.

My first visit to Banff was when my boyfriend was in town and we decided to do some fun touristy things like exploring the town of Banff and taking the Banff Gondola.

Sweater: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Trench Coat: Talula Babaton (Aritzia)
Faux Fur Vest: H&M (similar) / Bag: Longchamp (here) / Sunglasses: Vogue (here)

The Banff Gondola takes you to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, a staggering elevation of 2,281 m. From the top, you get some really gorgeous views of the land below as well as six different mountain ranges. It's such a spectacular sight!

It was pretty windy up there, as evidenced by my dishevelled hair on the gondola ride back down.

My second visit to Banff was for a 4.5 hour hike from Lake Moraine through Larch Valley/Minnestimma Lakes and up Sentinal Pass. With a 725 m elevation gain, I was totally gasping for air as we scrambled up to the top (where it was both freezing and raining/hailing). 

The group I was with were pretty seasoned hikers, plus my hiking shoes are back in Vancouver so I wasn't even properly equipped. Needless to say, in spite of all my "suffering," I'm pretty proud to check this one off my list of outdoor accomplishments!

October 18, 2012

Microwave Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

This recipe for Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn has been floating around on Pinterest for a while now tempting me with its promise of sweet, chewy deliciousness. I believe it's supposed to be an "easy" microwave version of this recipe, and trust me when I say that it is super quick and simple to make.

Here's what you need: 1 bag of microwave popcorn (natural flavour not butter), 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, and 10 large marshmallows.

First, prepare the popcorn and set it aside in a large bowl (if you have time try and remove all the unpopped kernels). Next, mix the butter and sugar in a separate bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Add the marshmallows and stir them around to coat. Microwave again for another 2 minutes.

Stir the melted marshmallows into the mixture to create the caramel sauce. Then pour the mixture onto your popcorn and ensure that it's all properly coated. Eat!

Word of warning: you might want to share this with someone else or you will likely get sick if you eat it all by yourself. Trust me, I speak from experience ;)

October 14, 2012

An Embarrassing Shopping Incident

After my last work wear post, a few of you asked me to post some other looks that I wear to work. Since I don't have to wear suits unless I'm in court/meeting clients, I do have a bit more leeway in terms of what to wear, so I'm always on the look out for pieces that can be worn outside of the office too.

This particular outfit also comes with a totally embarrassing (but hilarious in hindsight) story. My friend Emily and I were on one of our typical shopping trips when I dragged her into Club Monaco. I saw this exact blouse/skirt combination on one of the mannequins and since I love recreating the mannequin looks myself, I instantly snatched up both pieces and headed to the change room where, as luck would have it, I got STUCK. I somehow managed to zip the blouse into the skirt and couldn't get it off! I had all the employees in the store trying to get me out of the outfit and it just wouldn't budge. They ended up having to cut the blouse out! I felt so horrible I bought the outfit. Kind of an apology buy, if you will, but at least I really liked it!

Blouse: Club Monaco (here) / Skirt: Club Monaco (here) / Shoes: Aldo
Wrap Bracelet: Alden Rae / Pearl Earrings: Ann-Louise (similar)

October 8, 2012

Smythe for Holt Renfrew 175th Anniversary Tuxedo Blazer

To commemorate 175 years of being in business as of this past September, a slew of designers created exclusive products for Holt Renfrew, including celebrated Canadian outerwear designer Smythe. I've been wanting a Smythe jacket for ages and decided to make my first this gorgeous one-of-a-kind wool tuxedo blazer. It features embroidery in Holts' signature magenta and as you can see, each blazer is completely unique: I have #147 of the 175 made. As per the quote, it definitely feels like I own a bit of fashion history!

Blazer: Smythe for Holt Renfrew / Top: H&M / Pants: 7 For All Mankind (here)
Shoes: Prada (in navy) / Necklace: Chanel (similar)

October 4, 2012

Fall FOTD: Lise Watier Millésime

Back in June, I had the pleasure of previewing Lise Watier's Fall Collection, Millésime (which I blogged about HERE). As mentioned in that post, Millésime was inspired by vintage wine country and features a whole host of on-trend colours for Fall. Burgundy, for example, is everywhere right now.

With the season change, I've also been making the shift to my cool weather makeup (I tend to wear richer/deeper tones in Fall and Winter as I'm sure do most people). So what better time than now to do a FOTD with the Millésime Collection as the main focus?

- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (here)
- Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation (here)

- Urban Decay Primer Potion (here)
- Lise Watier Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Vins
- Lise Watier Crayon Kajal in Noir Bleu
- Maybelline Volum' Express Turbo Boost Mascara (here)

- NARS Blush in Sin (here)

- Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Lipstick in Shiraz

Millésime by Lise Watier is on sale until the end of this month. See the rest of the collection HERE

October 1, 2012

White Walls

So far I've been really lucky in terms of Calgary weather but apparently this week that's all about to change. The temperature is expected to drop below zero and there is even a snow prediction for Wednesday! What a way to welcome in the upcoming Thanksgiving Long Weekend...

Oh, and for those of you who wanted to see what my Chanel pearls look like on me, here you go! I tend to wear darker tones more often and I personally love how the necklace looks with this type of colour (or lack of, ha ha) palette. It's not super showy, but still remains the statement piece.

Blouse: Olive & Oak / Pants: 7 For All Mankind (here) / Shoes: Hong Kong
Bag: Joe Fresh / Necklace: Chanel / Cuff: gift from Scotland

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