blogging

How to start working with brands (for bloggers/instagramers)

One of the most common questions I get from aspiring bloggers and friends alike is: how can I work with brands? I was struck with this question for months when I was first getting started in the blogging world too. It seemed super intimidating to approach a brand and being approached by a brand myself seemed impossible. Once I got my first few collaborations under my blogging belt I started to get the hang of it and understand the ins and outs of it all. Before we get started, there are two things we have to get sorted. First, by no means am I a collaboration expert and of course I can’t guarantee your success. Second, before reading any further you have to promise to follow my collaboration rules to make sure no one gets hurt here: Sugar and Sam Collaboration Rules I will not agree to a collaboration with a brand I don’t like or am not genuinely excited to support I will not agree to a collaboration if I don’t have any intention of posting or following through with the terms of the collaboration both implicit and written I will not accept a collaboration that could negatively impact another part of […]

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lifestyle

Shop Local Calgary Gift Guide 2017

I think we can all agree that giving is better than receiving but sometimes giving is harder than it seems. I think we can all also agree that supporting local entrepreneurs, #bossbabes, #bossbros, and everything in between is key…but can also be harder than it seems. Before I got into this Calgary blogging world, I honestly had no idea where to go for local items and found trying to keep up with the local scene intimidating. So this year, I got you. I’m so excited to introduce my first ever Shop Local Calgary Gift Guide! Disclosure: None of this is sponsored, these are all brands that I love and believe in. Most of them are based in Calgary and surrounding area with a few gems from our BFFs to the west: Vancouver. And to all the brands listed below: thanks for making shopping local the best way to go.    the Secret Santa Coworker (all under $30) A box of macs from By Ollia and a cute macaron keychain – at least when they stop by your desk the next day and talk at you for 20 min (while missing normal social cues that you’re not interested) they’ll talk about how delicious the macs are. A Bark bandana, […]

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lifestyle

#metoo

Disclaimer: the isn’t the usual sugar and sam blog post that you’re used to. If this brings up the bad and you need to talk there are a lot of great resources in YYC: here. Comments are turned off but if you want to share your thoughts send me an email or DM on Insta.  Our society has a long way to go. The more I read about #metoo and the more I reflect on my own experiences the more angry I get. The part that I find the most infuriating is how many situations I’ve been in where people make subtle, offhand comments that condone unwanted sexual advances. We’ve all heard jokes about it and slowly all of these little comments become engrained in our heads. This starts when we’re young and persists in our grown adult minds.  Let me tell you an example: I was at a party a few years ago and was making small talk with a group (three men, one woman and me). They started telling a story about their friend who is notorious for bringing girls home. One night, he brought home this girl who was so drunk that her bra fell off and she didn’t […]

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lifestyle, travel

Everything you need to know about spray tans in Calgary (and why I love Bronze Baxx)

It wasn’t until my early 20s that I finally accepted that my skin was not made to tan, it was made to burn. I was so envious of my friends who would spend 5 minutes in the sun and emerge as bronze goddesses. Meanwhile, I was applying every tan enhancer in the mall and would spend my summer in two shades: pale and red. While I have embraced my natural skin tone and my inability to tan, my desire to spend my vacations as a bronze goddess never went away…and thanks to spray tans even people who are lighter in complexion can fake it. I put a call out on Instagram for recommendations for where I should go for an amazing spray tan in Calgary. Overwhelmingly, people came back and recommended Bronze Baxx and after spending some time there last week I can completely see why. The first thing you need to know about Bronze Baxx is that it’s more than just a place to go for tanning, they are the ultimate pre/post event prep destination and my new favourite way to treat myself. Of course they offer standing and lay down tanning beds, but they also have a IV […]

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fashion, lifestyle

Novel Supply Co.

Every now and again I come across a brand that I instantly fall in love with. Novel Supply Co was one of those brands. The Vancouver based, #girlboss run company is the west coast clothing brand of our dreams: beautiful and thoughtful clothing made sustainably. I have so much to say about this brand that I had to add headings, so get ready:   Style Love at first sight does exist when it comes to Novel Supply Co. I was scrolling through Instagram while sitting on the train home after a long day of work when Novel popped up on my feed. Right away I fell in love with their logo featuring a minimalist mountain design and started checking out (read: obsessing over) the rest of their insta feed. Novel occupies a unique niche in the clothing market as their items are truly designed for the urban adventurer. Their designs would fit in perfectly for a hike in the mountains then transition into a relaxed and stylish look for drinks on a rooftop patio downtown. Despite spending this summer in a foot cast, I’ve been wearing Novel everywhere: a music festival, under a blazer at work, out running errands on the […]

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lifestyle

Be a Good Human – Local Laundry’s #CommunityCrew Project

It’s easy to forget what it means to be a good human when we have become so disconnected from each other. I can’t tell you the number of times that I catch myself being so oblivious to the world around me and this is especially true on my commutes to and from work on the train. The second I step out of my car at the station, my noise-cancelling headphones are on, my phone is out, and I could literally be standing next to my BFF and I probably wouldn’t notice. Despite having a fairly public life and being very connected via social media, in real life I’m quite the opposite but I’m far from being the only one. If you’re out in public, chances are the overwhelming majority of people around you are on their phones and disconnected with real life. All this to say, how can we be good humans if we only interact with each other over technology? How can we maintain common courtesies if we are too wrapped up in watching puppy videos to notice when someone needs our help? I was asked to be part of Local Laundry’s Travelling Sweater/#communitycrew campaign a month or so […]

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lifestyle

basd body care

basd body care is a plant based body care company with a passion for promoting self-love and truly feeling good in your skin. I first discovered basd over Instagram and fell for their quirky and fun feed instantly. Their feed is full of models giggling with faces covered in coffee scrub, bright donuts and pineapple pool floats. All this mixed in with photos of their products that have some of the best (can you say insta worthy?) packaging I’ve seen in a long time. I also love that basd was started by a BFF duo based out of Ontario. They were inspired to start their company when they identified a gap in the body care industry. There was an opportunity for a brand to take a leadership voice on self love and pull key values from the supportive LGBTQ community like love, acceptance and transparency. Uhh…are you guys hiring? As for this #powercouples plan for the basd in the future? They have an exciting new scent, surprise product extensions and a focus on brand accessibility. As they  grow their focus is always to stay true to their values, continue to contribute to equality, be thought leaders all while producing a natural […]

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fashion, guest post

K-Style, Two Ways

I’m a sweatpants and boyfriend jeans with a tee type of girl but people who put together well thought-out and purposefully designed outfits amaze me. Christina from Teatime Circus is one of those people. Her and I started chatting about her doing a guest blog a while ago and when she suggested Korean fashion (K-Style) I was beyond excited. This will be hands down the coolest thing to grace my blog.   I’ve been following Christina for a while now and was first wooed with her impressive office yoga. She has a cute and peppy lifestyle blog that’s threaded together with positivity and self expression. Her mandate is that just because you work a 9-5 job, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a fulfilling and meaningful life (aka you don’t have to quit your job and teach English to find meaning – but if that’s how you find meaning then that’s cool too).   K-Style, Two Ways My love affair with Korean fashion began after a short, one-week bus tour to Seoul a few years ago. The closest I’d ever been to Korea was frequenting a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Calgary’s northwest and watching subtitled television shows online. To be […]

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sam's fitness club

Sam’s Fitness Club

My relationship with fitness has changed quite a bit over time. Growing up, I was always involved in sports both at a competitive and a social level. I started playing soccer when I was 5 and didn’t stop until I was 15, I was captain of my high school Field Hockey team, and played volleyball competitively as well. The time after I graduated high school was the first time when I didn’t have a strict schedule of games once or twice a week, practices Monday to Friday, tournaments on Saturday and Sunday off.  I no longer had an obligation to eat relatively healthy before games and to stay fit so I would always get on the starting line. Suddenly I was the only one responsible for my fitness level and I didn’t really know how to manage that. It’s been ~10 years and I’m still trying to figure it out. I go from being hyper-dedicated to working out and have an unstoppable drive to sweat and strengthen to looking for ways to sell my gym membership. I do love fitness but money, time and my lengthy list of legacy sports-related injuries gets in the way. It seems like everytime I […]

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lifestyle

Getting that ‘I woke up like this’ glow in Calgary

One of the best parts of being in this Instagram/blogging world is getting to learn about the best places in YYC to go to get that ‘I woke up like this’ glow. Here are my favourite places to get prettied in Calgary: BEST BROWS – LAURA BROWS Keeping your brows feathered is a personal preference. I typically don’t follow brows trends…we all remember the 90’s. But leaving the hair long and feathered is not permanent and creates a high fashion and youthful look that I am LOVING!! *BOOKING IN BIO * *Eyebrow Wax and Tint Specialist *  A post shared by Laura Frostad (@laurabrows) on May 29, 2017 at 8:01am PDT I found out about Laura Brows 100% through Instagram. I was having a bad brow day and I put a call out on my Instagram story for where the best place to go for brows in Calgary is. Overwhelmingly, people responded with Laura Brows and within a few hours I excitedly booked my first appointment (albeit my appointment was a few weeks away!). At the time, Laura was renting a chair at a hair salon downtown but she has now moved to run a studio of her own in Parkdale. […]

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lifestyle

XX Balm

Sam, the #bossbabe and lip balm guru behind XX Balm, and I go way back. Before XX Balm and Sugar and Sam were even a thought, Sam and I met through her older brother who is friends with my boyfriend. We would see each other casually at events, make small talk and that was about it. Then one day, Sam slid into my DM and asked if I would be interested in trying some of her balms. A few hours later I was at Philosofy and we chatted for hours about her business plan, Instagram and the basics of the Calgary scene. It was my first chance to share the Insta knowledge I had gained through running @sugarandsam and it was amazing to get to help a friend. Since then, Sam has become a good friend and one of my go-to confidents to both praise (and complain) about this strange Instagram/blogging/small business world. I am so thrilled to get to be a part of the launch of XX Balm season 2 and can’t wait to see what’s next for my favourite Drake fan. From the start, Sam has focused on real ingredients that make sense in a lip balm. You […]

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fashion

Crown and Pride Your Life

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, the owner and designer at Crown and Pride, Heather, knew that she would one day become one too. Freshly out of school, she already had dreams of opening up her own clothing store but decided to try the ‘usual’ working way first, persevered for many years, only fighting what she really wanted to do. Heather had drive and ambition to be her own boss but needed the final push to do it. At 26 years old, she had a serious chat with herself and decided that now is the time. With a love of fashion, she always knew that clothing would be entangled in her business but didn’t always know how. Around the same time that she was feeling ready to do her own thing, she was also feeling frustrated with clothing. Heather felt like clothes were either too casual or too dressy, nothing was both casual and sexy. She saw an opportunity to elevate the every day t-shirt and jeans to be something that is still comfy and simple but more chic and confidence-inspiring. When Heather was telling me this I instantly related. My weekend and evening wardrobe is either super casual – jeans, tees […]

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collaborations, food

Banana Coconut Breakfast Cookies

In case you missed it, this is the second post in a two part collaboration series with Rogers Foods and Cooking in my Genes. See our first recipe, Almond Butter Squares, right hurr. I’ve always thought the concept of a breakfast cookie was BS until these Banana Coconut Breakfast Cookies came into my life. The idea of a breakfast cookie always seemed too good to be true. How could I combine the sweet and delicious aspects of a cookie with nutritious food that would keep me full until my 10:00 snack? Good thing my bae, Cooking in my Genes, was full of amazing ideas. We met up and started playing with ingredients and soon we had come together with these cookies. They have all of our favorite things – toasted coconut, banana and Roger’s granola, with the healthy stuff – unsweetened apple sauce, Roger’s oats and ancient grains. These are serious addictive…not to mention delicious dipped in some almond milk! Print Recipe Banana Coconut Breakfast Cookies 100% lactose free breakfast cookies fill you up with Roger’s Ancient Grains and granola Servings cookies Ingredients 3 bananas mashed1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce1 egg1 tsp vanilla2 tbsp honey1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/4 […]

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lifestyle

How to make your lash extensions last

I have short blonde lashes naturally and discovering lash extensions has been a complete game changer. Not only do they make my eyes pop and look larger, but they have simplified and sped up my morning routine (helloooo literal I woke up like this days). I’ve had lash extensions on and off for over 5 years now from a variety of different places but hands down the best place in YYC to get your lashes done is at Doll Headz. Justine at Doll Headz is super knowledgeable about lashes, listens to your requests and knows how to make them last. She was the first person to tell me that I needed to cleanse my lashes and when I told her that no one had ever told me that before she was floored. Justine sees a lot of clients who have gone to well known salons only to have their lashes covered in glue, stuck together or even just feeling really uncomfortable. Definitely trust reviews and word of mouth when it comes to lashes and don’t just go to a ‘brand name’ place because it’s convenient! As I was semi-napping while getting a lash fill, I pseudo interviewed Justine on what […]

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guest post, travel

5 Instaworthy Sweet Stops Totally Worth the Calories

I discovered Carly on Instagram a few years ago and couldn’t hit follow fast enough. First, we need to talk about her usename/blog name: Dim Sum Diet. Are you kidding me? Is there a better blog name out there? Doubt it. Second, we need to talk about her photos. She is the definition of a foodie and is constantly eating out and exploring the culinary world. I truly don’t think there is anything she won’t eat (but only after photographing, of course). Third, let’s talk about her life. Carly is a Calgary girl who spent time in Hong Kong travelling, working and eating. During this time she developed a love for, obviously, dim sum and began photographing her journeys. Her love of food brought her briefly back to Calgary just to pack up and move all the way to the London to pursue her culinary school dreams. As much as I miss seeing Carly’s adventures in Calgary, I’m loving this look into the food scene in London. I invited her onto the blog to share her favourite instal-worthy dessert spots in her new home all the way in the UK. Okay sugar addicts, let me cut to the chase. Being an avid […]

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food

My First Date with First Date Confections

When I set up a tea date with Tatiana of First Date Confections I was anticipating that I would be writing this blog about the ingredients of her delicious date-filled and dairy-free (aka Sam-friendly) chocolates, or about the process of developing new flavours. In reality, I’m going to talk about Tatiana herself. I met her on a sunny afternoon on a patio in the middle of the suburbs. Tatiana instantly dove into stories about her life and how First Date came to be. She shared with me her journey of getting a Bachelors degree in Circus (I had no idea that was a thing) and how she pushed herself and her body every day to be the best she could be. It wasn’t family pressure, dreams of getting into a fancy post-grad program or another external pressure that drove her to work so hard, it was entirely her own personal drive. In addition to physically training all day in hand standing, she was also completing yoga teacher certification AND doing her nightly academic courses. Four years of this later she graduated and landed her dream job being a performer in Europe. There’s a certain attitude that comes with being young and passionately pursuing […]

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food

Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cookies

What is it about coconut that makes every food that much better? I swear you could put coconut on something gross like, say cilantro, and it would somehow become enjoyable. But when you put coconut on something that’s already delicious, like cookies, then it’s next level. Chewy chocolate cookies are a classic that we all love and the coconut kick just makes it that much better.

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collaborations, food

A Spice Affair

When we think of ginger cookies we usually think about Christmas and cute little gingerbread (wo)men standing next to candy-coated houses. But on one sunny August day, I decided to make thick, chewy, spicy ginger cookies and share them with friends. After that day, I had people who had never used an oven (literally) asking me for the recipe. The next time I made them for a different group of friends the same thing happened – I then realized that these cookies were good, better than the regular and at first I had no idea why. What made these cookies better than a buttery chocolate chip cookie or classic oatmeal raisin? It had to be the richness in flavor that came from quality spices.  After that I gained a new respect for taste and understanding of people’s appreciation for food having a deep flavor and not just a sweet flavor. Adding spices to my baking and cooking, when appropriate, elevated the meal and took it from bland and so-so to “omg, this is so good”. I’ve been experimenting ever since with spicing up my baking and I’ve been loving the results! When I first starting talking with A Spice Affair I […]

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food, guest post

Dark Chocolate & Marzipan Rooibos: Tea and Chocolate Pairings

I just googled what the literal definition of sommelier is and it’s a “wine steward”. I’m not sure if there is an official name for a tea steward, but if there is that title belongs to Sam from Tearrific. She’s the #bossbabe behind the YYC Tea Wagon (the wagon itself is for sale BTW!) and the entire Tearrific brand. Not only does she hand blend the teas individually, she also manages the shipping, logistics, marketing and every other job required to keep her small business running. I invited Sam to the blog to share her extensive tea steward knowledge with us and talk about food pairings with tea. She invited Jolene, the chocolate mastermind behind Old Coal, to join her in their tea/chocolate exploration. I’m confident that there was no better place in Calgary to be than with them during their afternoon of chocolate/tea tasting! BFF: Tea and Chocolate Pairings Jolene from Old Coal and I got together recently to do a tea and chocolate tasting. There are not too many things in life I love as much as tea, but chocolate is one of those things. Sam kindly invited me to write about our experiment for her blog, so I’m excited […]

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