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lifestyle

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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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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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, lifestyle

Buy that House

Before buying my house earlier this year, I was feeling painfully overwhelmed by the process to a point where I considered renting forever to avoid it. Between the lawyers, the home inspections, offers and contracts, the whole thing seemed to be incredibly scary and figuring out what came next was truly overwhelming. I know I’m not the only one who feels/felt this way and truthfully maybe if we had spent even a day learning about this in High School, instead of a full month on the quadratic equation, then more of us would be inclined to buy homes. I went through two other Realtors (and a brief stint where we tried to DIY real estate) before finding, Realtor extraordinaire, Nathan Chen. Our first Realtor didn’t seem to have our best interest in mind and he even got mad at us for adding the criteria that our new home can’t be beside any former grow-ops (ask me and I’ll tell you the full story). Our second Realtor was nice but didn’t quite understand our stage of life of being in a relationship but not married and not buying a home in the suburbs just to build a family. Nathan was different because he understood right away what […]

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food, lifestyle

Drink Well Downtown

I work for a large company in downtown Calgary with offices in three buildings that are separated by intersections. During my busiest moments at work, my lunch consists of grabbing food from whatever place along my route from one building to the next has something pre-prepared, or grabbing a salad which I would awkwardly eat in a meeting (lots of responding to questions with the one finger “wait until I finish chewing” action). When I walked into Bow Valley Square a few months ago and saw that a Well would be opening up, I was nothing but excited. Finally a place I can stop to get something healthy, quick and not-awkward to consume. You can find Well all over Canada…literally from Moncton, New Brunswick all the way up to Whitehorse, Yukon and in over 200 locations in between. It isn’t uncommon to see Well downtown already, but you don’t typically see more than one or two flavours which isn’t much considering they have 12 different flavours plus bundled cleanse options. Nut milk (mylk) is my favourite thing. Since I can’t drink regular milk, satisfying cravings for creamy beverages is tough to do. Well’s Mylk is smooth, creamy, sweet and without any dairy. Plus […]

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guest post, lifestyle

Guest Post: Making it all work by Sam from XX balm

I often get asked how I balance a full time blog and a full time job. The truth is, I make work my priority and try to fit in blogging, meetings and photos in my off time. Trying to carve out time can be challenging and requires patience and dedication or nothing will ever get posted. But the best part about blogging is that I’m only accountable to myself. If I don’t want to post for a month, or two months, or a whole year (like I did last year…ooops) then I don’t have to. If work gets crazy busy and I’m exhausted after hours, I can lay on my couch and eat brownies out of the pan while watching Big Brother instead of responding to emails.   Who really amazes me are the people who run small businesses and balance full time jobs. It doesn’t matter how tired they are, it doesn’t matter how busy they are, if there’s a market coming up they have to get to work and if there are customer orders or inquiries, they can’t go unhandled. One person I’m particularly amazed by is Sam from XX Balm. This girl hustles all day, then hustles all […]

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lifestyle

sugar and sam

A little over two years ago I started Sugar and Sam as a way to share my love of baking and making recipes with people in my circles. My Instagram was private and personal at the time, but on a whim I changed it from samceratops to sugarandsam.yyc and just sugarandsam came later. Over the months that followed, life got busy, I got a puppy, changed groups at work, bought a house and eventually baking was something I just didn’t have as much time for. I began to share posts on Instagram about other people’s food, lifestyle, my dog, fashion and a million things in between. While my Instagram grew and changed, my blog stayed the same and soon I knew it was time for little upgrade. For my first ‘official’ post after my relaunch, I thought I’d formally introduce myself for the first time. Here’s some more info about the girl behind the sugar (and the sam?): I was born in Calgary but moved just outside of Toronto when I was 5 and lived there for several years. I came back to Calgary as a teenager right in the middle of Jr. High School and have lived here ever […]

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food, lifestyle

A Downton Abbey evening at Azuridge

Since we moved into our new home things have been busy. We’ve spent our days at work, our evenings building furniture and patching walls, and our weekends trying to find a couch within our budget with the right style. While we have been spending time together, there hasn’t really been much ‘us’ time. When we heard about Azuridge’s Downton Abbey event, we jumped at the chance to go. We had never been to Azuridge before but we had heard nothing but amazing reviews and thought it would be the perfect date night. All we really knew going into the event was that it was Downton Abbey themed, that there would be white gloved butlers, and that we would get to indulge in a five course chefs table dinner. So we got all dressed up, and headed out to Priddis for the us time that we were so overdue for. Azuridge is truly a private venue and while this makes the location perfect for a close-but-not-too-close getaway,getting there can be a struggle for those of us who are navigationally challenged. After a few mistaken turns (I would def recommend budgeting a few extra minutes your first time out there) we found the entrance and drove […]

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