West Edmonton Mall is about to get a new shoe store, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, and it’s being reported that the Sex in the City star is coming to town to open it! Edmonton will be the first standalone retail location of the shoe store in all of Canada.
Weehelp, one of my favourite Edmonton sales for getting second hand kids & baby clothes/shoes/toys/books is coming this Friday and Saturday! Here’s a few reasons why you should check it out:
As a bonafide app nerd I love all the different apps out there from photography and video trip planning and ordering pizza. I love me a good app. That being said, there are a LOT of apps out there for parents, so I’ve compiled my top parenting apps as well as some of the other Alberta Mama’s favourite apps that will help your life and not sit on your screen unused taking up precious storage space.
Apps for Pregnancy
Device: Apple and Android.
About: From the people that helped you plan your wedding at TheKnot.com is The Bump. The best part about this app, is seeing how big your baby is every week, and the development at every stage. Don’t we all want to know what that little avocado is doing this week? What kind of cool stuff are they growing this week? There’s a community forum and contraction calculator, but really, I’m here for what the baby is up to.
Apps for Babies
Device: Apple and Android
Cost: Free & paid.
About: I first learned about My Smart Hands a few years ago when everyone was on Twitter (before Twitter became a place for trolls and Donald Trump) as the founder, Laura Berg was a regular on the Twitter and I’ve seen her speak at an event in Edmonton. There are several apps depending on whether you’re a newbie or an advanced
Device: Apple and Android
About: It’s not a free app, but it’s cheaper than a Starbucks drink! The Wonder Weeks app does what The Bump does, but for babies. Track your babies development and be prepared for when your baby is about to make a developmental leap!
Apps for Saving Money
Device: Apple and Android
About: It’s the flyers… but on your phone. No more cutting out coupons, no more flyers in the recycling!
Device: Apple and Android
About: Take back your wallet! Add all of your rewards cards into this app so you no longer need a giant wallet to hold them all. There’s also an option to view flyers in the app in your neighbourhood!
About: Yummly is a community-based app where you can share recipes and there are LOTS of recipes! You can search by popular or trending recipes, kid-friendly or seasonal recipes or for certain diets. My favourite part of the app is searching in the ingredients. For example, you’ve got chicken breasts and a can of tomatoes (always so many cans of tomatoes) and it will bring up recipes that have those ingredients in them! Boom, dinner is sorted.
Device: Apple and Android
About: Skip the Dishes is a food delivery app, simply chose the restaurant from the app, order your food and boom, now you have dinner. The best part about this app is ordering breakfast from your bed on a Sunday, I thought I deserved some kind of award for that idea and still do.
Device: Apple and Android.
About: Remember in the “olden days” when people used to go to their neighbours for a cup of sugar? Me neither, but my mother said it happened. Well, Olio is that thing that my mum said happened but in the tech age. Olio connects neighbours by food sharing! Grown too many zucchinis’s in your garden? Pop them on Olio. Bought yet another can of tomatoes at the grocery store (I always do this), pop it on Olio and share your food with your neighbours.
Family Organization Apps
Device: Apple and Android.
Cost: Free but has in-app purchases for an ad-free experience, or for premium services like a birthday tracker, importing contact and more notifications.
About: Cozi is the “all in one” family organizer with everything from a calendar, grocery lists, to do lists, recipes and a family journal.
Why we like it: Different colours for family members, the recipe feature and the lists! Lists means no more sticky notes all over the house! The kids can see the calendar from their devices so they know in advance when their dad is traveling for work or that it’s Tuesday and they have soccer.
Device: Apple and Android
About: There is nothing fancy about the Google calendar, especially when you compare it to Cozi, but its simplicity is its genius. Like Cozi, you can add multiple calendars, but what I like is that you can sync your work calendar as well. While I like that my kids can see what’s happening in the upcoming week, they don’t need to see that I have a work meeting at 1pm on a Wednesday, so I can keep that separate from their eyes.
We all love the idea of shopping locally, but often we forget how important it is to actually go out there and spend locally! There are so many local businesses in Grande Prairie, but we thought we’d make a list of all the places you can shop locally in Grande Prairie this holiday season.
Spending money in a local business isn’t just about supporting a local family, but it’s good for the economy! It’s known as the Multiplier Effect and Wikipedia can go through the details for you here, but essentially it means that when you spend your money in your community with a locally owned and operated business it circulates the wealth back into your community. It’s a win-win. Really, who doesn’t love their locally owned coffee-shops and boutiques!
In no particular order, here are some places we’ll be shopping this holiday season.
Cute as a Bugs Ear
Address: #104 – 10605 West Side Dr.
What to shop for: Anything kids!
What to shop for: Organic and ethically made baby clothing and toys. We LOVE this little fawn.
Address: Online only
Experience Gift Ideas
What to shop for: Memberships to the art gallery are an inexpensive gift for an art lover or for a unique gift for those that love experiences over things.
What to shop for: Handmade organic bath and beauty products such as bubble bath, lotions and lip balms, perfect for our Northern Albertan climate.
Rustic Little Lamb
What to shop for: Custom homemade signs for your home.
What to shop for: Fun tees, wooden signs furniture.
When I buy Christmas gifts for the women in my life I really like to purchase something unique and local. Little treasures that were lovingly created or designed by other women in Alberta who have far more creative vision then myself. Enter the perfect collab: Twig and Velvet + ANNAËL!
The owners of these two local companies, Monika & Leanne, have actually been working together for quite some time, but have finally made it official with their new online shop, twigandvelvet.com!
Twig and Velvet offers stunning silver, metal & semi precious stone jewellery designed and handcrafted right in Beaumont Alberta. ANNAËL is a creation of wearable art (handwoven silk scarves and cotton shirts), and is the brain child of the owner who is also a professional photographer from Beaumont. Both of their unique designs are sold on their new online platform as well as their newest collaboration and “love child”: Anna’s Velvet. This collection includes wares like modern pearl items, leather wrap bracelets and a to die for 3 way poncho scarf.
Last year, I purchased gifts from both of these companies: sparkly bracelets with gold clasps and a silk infinity scarf with the most beautiful photograph of a flower on it. All were very well received by their happy recipients! What I like most, besides the constantly evolving designs (they really never stop creating, ever), is that these local ladies have a “Chosen Acts of Kindness” program. With this program, they will give back in some way with a random act of kindness that they will be sharing via social media and on their blog. I can not wait to see what creative ways they come up with to give back!
My TOP Gift Picks from www.twigandvelvet.com
- Stockholm Sterling Silver Earrings: Simple, yet elegant with some movement created by the delicate hanging chains.
- Women Uplifting Women in Business Silk Infinity Scarf: A versatile piece with an important message.
- 3 Way Poncho/Scarf in Olive: The pleather trim and wooden stamped buttons on this beauty make it so special and perfect for everyday.
You can shop all 3 collections (Twig & Velvet, ANNAEL and Anna’s Velvet) here! Don’t forget if you are in Beaumont there is free pickup as well. Happy Holiday Shopping!
*This post was brought to you by Twig and Velvet. As always, all opinions stated are my own.
Happy Small Business Saturday friends! Being that we are the Alberta Mamas, we obviously love a lot of things Alberta made. We asked our founders and contributors to tell us their faves and here they are!
|Baby Nell Designs||From Handmade Felt Campfire Smore Sets to bibs to blankets and more this small business out of Canmore has some beautiful products!
|Bamboo Ballroom||This shop of delightful clothing finds for adults & kids can be found in Calgary AND Edmonton.
|Bohemian Dream Décor||Gorgeous dream catchers and more to add beautiful décor to your house.
|Buddhibaby||Know an expecting mama or mama with a babe, these curated boxes always bring a happy mail day!
|Crafted||Crafted is filled with a wide variety of locally handcrafted items all in one place – inside the Calgary Farmers’ Market.
|Crystal Driedger – Artist||Crystal has a definitive style and pours her heart and soul into every once of a kind piece. A wall would be very lucky to have a CD original hung on it!
|eLiasz & ella Jewlery||I personally have been a fan of E&E since the get-go. Beautiful, classic, one of a kind and not crazy expensive.
|Field Stone Fruit Wines of Strathmore.||We kind of consider wine “Mommy Juice” so naturally, we had to include a local maker.
|Floc Boutique||You always find something fabulous at this shop in Edmonton.
|Frickin Delights||To have one is to fall in love. Their shop is out in Devon and they have people who travel far and wide for their goodies. We dare you to try to just eat one.
|Iron Hide Woodworks||The furniture that comes out of this shop never fails to impress. Well made, quality products and the way they incorporate metal – wow! Check out the copper stitching – it’s amazing!
|Land of Lennon||Handmade head bands, snuggly stuffies and more – lots of unicorn goodness to be had here!
|Lauren Mary Holistics||A private holistic practice + product line including skin care, baby care, teas and more.
|Lettered Glass||With the tagline “Where every glass tells a story!” and a particular mug reading it’s Mother******* Tea Time, we are loving this small biz!
|One Stitch Two Stitch Custom Apparel and Reclaimed Wood Decor||Hailing from Leduc, this small local biz does custom embroidery & their own fun creations that you can check out and buy.
|Organic Solutions||This company in Drayton Valley uses Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, Sustainably Harvested, Ethically Harvested, Fair Trade, ingredients with No Pesticides, Preservatives, growth agents.
|Peak Paper Co||Peak Paper Co. specializes in custom illustrations, chalkboard art, watercolour paintings and brush & pen.
|Prestigious Imagineering||Cutting Boards, wine racks, even stairs are just some of the things you’ll find on this Drayton Valley busines page.
|Portage and Main||No Talky During Hockey is one of our fave tees from this great local company!
|Prairie Chick Prints||Charming & cheeky greeting cards, mugs and more out of Sherwood Park.
|Prairie Couture||A boutique shop in St. Albert with quality clothing, jewelry and footwear at reasonable prices.
|Sawdust and String||This crafty mama out of Fort McMurray makes all kinds of stuff! Socks, signs – even blanket ladders!
|The Bra Lounge||An amazing gem in Red Deer, this shop prides itself on the ultimate in customer service and the most delectable Everyday styles, sports, nursing, maternity, non-underwire, shape wear, fine lingerie, loungewear/sleepwear and accessories.
|The Discovered Cupboard||This company offers beautiful furniture revival and has items for you to purchase but also will take something you have already and make it better.
|The Speckled Freckle||Signs, custom décor, there’s some really fun stuff coming out of this shop in Camrose.
|The Violet Chocolate Company||Ummm, chocolate. We almost don’t need to say more but, Almond toffee? Gingersnap cookie? YUM!
|Wild Prairie Soap Company||A soaperie, manufacturing natural bath and beauty products that are beneficial to both the body and the environment.
Belle + Bliss Boutique Comfortable and stylish, but without a huge price tag!
Tiny Campfire Tiny Campfire is a fun and fashionable online boutique that helps recycle name brand & designer baby & toddler items in great condition.
While She was Dreaming Handmade Wood and Fabric Jewelry.
Share your favourite local biz in the comments below! Let’s share some Alberta love.
One of my favourite things about the holiday season is cozy, snuggly fashion! With all the visiting and celebrating it’s a huge mom time saver to have a few new items in your closet that you can literally grab and put together an outfit in an instant. Thankfully Belle + Bliss, a local online boutique, has just launched their Winter 2017 Collection and we’re in love with pretty much all of it- for ourselves as well as gifts for the stylish women in our life!
Belle + Bliss Boutique was started by a local mom in 2014 who was looking for alternatives in fashion that suited the busy mom life. It all started with bringing in tunics that paired easily with leggings and since then they have focused on carefully curating women’s fashion that is comfortable, stylish, flattering and affordable. Most of the pieces can be mixed and matched and easily paired with boots or heels and your favourite pair of leggings or jeans (though they do sell those too!).
Since it’s the season for giving, we can’t forget to mention some easy yet thoughtful gifts! Check out my top Christmas Gifts from Belle + Bliss Boutique below:
The Blanket Scarf
This is the perfect gift, women love these! They make a boring outfit on trend instantly, plus add warmth and can be used as a shawl or blanket when travelling. Shop here.
The Slippers & Mittens
These cozy slippers & mittens are guaranteed to keep toes and hands nice and toasty. They are 100% wool with comfy fleece lining and handmade in Nepal. Each pattern is one of a kind!
Adorable and functional, plus the best accessory for a bad hair day! Browse beanies, messy bun toques, classic knits and pom toques here.
Shipping is ALWAYS free on orders over $99 and if you are from the Edmonton Area you can take advantage of local pick up. Available in Beaumont, South Edmonton, and Sherwood Park.
*This post was sponsored by Belle + Bliss Boutique. As always, all opinions are our own.
This past Thanksgiving holiday Monday, I walked into Home Depot in the morning with my two children and was greeted by two cheery employees. We politely returned the greeting with a warm hello and light conversation. I couldn’t help but feel sad for them: why weren’t they home enjoying Thanksgiving with their families? Was it just the luck of the scheduling draw? As we drove home, I felt even worse. It’s because of people like me that shop on holidays all of the time, that they need to be there. If you know me, you know my mind didn’t stop there. I need to question humanity (seriously…) and why I had such strong feelings on the topic. I know that I can’t be the only one who does this!
I’ve believed for a long time now that society has an addiction to convenience and speediness. We live in a fast-paced world of instant connections and do-now desires through apps like facebook, online shopping, and 24hr hours of operation. It’s not that I can’t adapt to changing times, it’s that I believe we’ve lost an integral part of the balance in our lives. A part that used to force us to make other arrangements and plans, shop ahead of time and spend quality time with others or on our own.
When I was little, I remember on days like Christmas and other big holidays, there was usually one grocery store open and even then, it was only open for certain hours. Granted, I haven’t lived in Edmonton my entire life: maybe small towns are different. Stores like Staples, Winners, certain restaurants, etc… were never open. Those days were like driving through a ghost town to and from family visits. These days, it looks like any regular day with the reverse occurring- most stores are open and it’s odd to see one closed.
I used to refuse to go out on holidays, other than to and from family get-togethers. Now, on days like this past Thanksgiving holiday Monday, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to shop on a holiday. For the most part it’s because I can do so alone! My husband doesn’t get much time away from work and we he has some time off on major holidays and I can run a couple of errands sans child circus in tow I’m like that woman in the Ikea commercial yelling, “Start the car!!!” I’ve given in to the convenience of being able to shop on a holiday because I can shop alone and because of my family’s schedule. Life is so busy for everyone that this is our new reality and I’m an enabler. I personally find this horrifying but it’s the world that we’re living in.
So I’d like to know what other people think! As the Christmas holiday season approaches, what are your thoughts?
Why are we as a society being given the opportunity to shop? Are stores open on holidays because of customer demand? Why the heck are stores like Michaels open until midnight some nights prior to Christmas? Midnight! Why?! Do employees want to work holidays? Are stores afraid of the potential income loss of being closed when competitors are open? Are we such a culturally diverse society now that in order to respect everyone’s religions and beliefs that businesses need to be open 24-7 to prevent offending someone? OR have we just lost the value and meaning of holidays and what it means to have to be present in other ways in our holidays.