Good Bye, February. Hello, March.

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I am both excited and terrified of the next few weeks. I am excited because I will finally be able to take my business full-time. I am terrified because I will take my business full-time. Never in my life have I felt such a diametric opposition. Anybody else ever feel like that?

Every month that passes by feels like a huge step forward, requiring large amounts of hard work, refinement and character development. February was no different. While new fears permeated my brain, there were moments of calm, confidence and confirmation.

Here's a quick recap of what happened on the blog this month, and what you can look forward to in March.

 

Good Bye, February.

This month was all about blogging. I shared my reasons why you should hire a professional writer, curated a list of 12 awesome ideas to keep your blog content fresh, and talked about why you even need a blog.

Thank you ALL for your support and feedback on the Instagram Pods post. This was the most viewed and most engaged post on Bourbon & Honey - EVER! Seriously, your support means so much. Thank you all for continuing to read this content every single week.

Not only was February an awesome month for content, but it was time to take a break. I talked about my recent trip to Montreal in the last blog post. You can read that here.

Hello, March.

I am really looking forward to the next month. My contract full-time job ends at the end of this month, and I will be working on my business full time. I have some great content planned for you all, including why self-care is good business, how to create a buyer persona, creating a productive workflow, decluttering your digital life and more. And I have some more awesome features lined up!

I am also working on a fun project. But it's a secret for now!

If I take away anything from this past month, it's this: your future is shaped by your words. Your words are shaped by your thoughts. And your thoughts are shaped by your mindset. Shifting your mindset is powerful. It can build your business or contract it. It's important to take a step away, refocus and shift your mindset into a position of abundance and confidence.

I hope you all have an amazing March!

 

Good Bye, 2016. Hello, 2017.

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I can't believe it's been nearly 1 YEAR since I bought the domain for this little site. What I originally visioned as a simple lifestyle blog has grown into something simply amazing. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be 25 and running my own business. To those of you reading this right now, I want you to know how unbelievably grateful I am that you are reading this. That you have supported Bourbon & Honey from its simple beginnings as a blog and now through its inception as a business.

Read more: Dear Twenty Five

If you have been keeping up with what's going on around here (or if you have subscribed to B&H), you probably would have come across the letter I wrote to myself. This post essentially sums up my entire year. So I don't want to use valuable words on recapping the lessons learned in 2016. I want to use this first post of 2017 to look forward and set goals for the next 12 months.

The Best of 2016

hello, 2017But first, I want to look back on the year's content and celebrate these posts.  Here are the top nine posts you guys loved the most this year. (Why nine? I wanted to.)

  1. Dear Twenty-Five
  2. Feature Friday: Five Dollar Friday
  3. Your Six Point Blog Checklist
  4. Holiday Recipe Round Up
  5. Behind the Name: The Origin of Bourbon & Honey
  6. The Best Coffee Shops in Calgary to Study
  7. Good Bye, August. Hello, September.
  8. Lemon Zucchini Cake & Earl Gret Buttercream
  9. Urban Exposure: What Makes Calgary Move

To be honest, the most loved posts this last year were the ones about community and authenticity. From my local favs to Feature Friday, the content over 2016 has been fuelled by these two things, and I promise to continue to produce content that resonates and is valuable.

Hello, 2017

hello, 2017

I am one of those people who writes down her goals each year. From health and wellness to professional to financial, I determine what I want to have accomplished by the end of the year. And this year is no different, except that it is. See, 2016 was a year of exceptional change and growth.  Now I have a business. So, now my focus has shifted. And as my focus shifts, so do my priorities and goals. So I wanted to take a moment and share a few of my goals with you guys. (Mostly to keep me accountable!)

Develop the resources section of my blog.

The aim: to have a selection of downloadable social media and marketing resources available for business owners and personal brands.

The work: creating a list of resources, doing the research, developing the content and promoting the resources.

The challenge: manage the time to get it all done and reducing the overwhelm of the project.

Start a podcast.

The aim: to provide little snippets of simple and beautiful in everyday life.

The work: get the necessary equipment, develop the content.

The challenge: find the time to produce exceptional content.

Grow my business.

The aim: to acquire enough business to maintain my lifestyle.

The work: consistently provide value and expert service to my clients, acquire referrals, pursue collaborations.

The challenge: be patient with growth (it'll happen).

Hire someone by the end of the year.

The aim: to be able to grow the business even faster.

The work: acquire enough business to need help.

The challenge: growing the business to afford an employee.

Start a proper self-care routine.

The aim: to take better care of my body, mind and soul.

The work: consciously make small choices that benefit my health over what's comfortable, get more involved with my community, travel somewhere at least once per quarter, and spend more time with Jesus.

The challenge: understanding that health is connected to everything: business, finance, relationships and make health a priority.

What are your goals for 2017?

 

Vegan Eggnog (It's Made With Hazelnuts!)

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Eggnog, a classic holiday drink. Either loved or reviled. If you followed me on Miss Epicure, this recipe might look a little bit familiar. However, it's so good I had to repost it. Enjoy this recipe for Vegan Eggnog!

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This eggnog is a vegan, cleaned up version of the traditional with heavy cream (and little too much rum). Sugar was replaced with maple syrup and medjool dates. I achieved the creamy consistency by blending hazelnuts and water, and running the milk mixture through a cheesecloth.

This recipe makes a great basic drink, so you can spice it up any way your like. I added a splash of bourbon. If that’s not your style, you can use this as a creamer for coffee. Or, if you are feeling adventerous, you can bake or cook with it. (Here are some good recipes.)

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Vegan Eggnog 1

Vegan Eggnog 2

Anyway, enough blabbing. Here’s the recipe. Thanks Well+Good for sharing this.

[recipe title="Vegan Hazelnut Eggnog" servings="3-4" time="15 min"]

Ingredients

1 cup hazelnuts, soaked overnight, drained 3 cups filtered water 3 pitted Medjool dates, if not soft, soak in water until soft and drain 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 Tbsp maple syrup 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 1/8 tsp ground cloves 1/2 cup bourbon, optional

Directions

In a high-speed blender, process hazelnuts and water until creamy and homogeneous, approximately 3 minutes. Press milk through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag into a large bowl. Rinse blender.

Combined strained milk, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, maple, nutmeg, and cloves in blender and process until smooth.

[/recipe]

What's your favorite holiday drink?

Your Delicious Holiday Recipe Round Up

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Oh my goodness....two weeks until Christmas!!!! Who else is beyond excited? I will never outgrow my five-year-old-waking-up-on-Christmas-morning self, running up and down the stairs, eating everything! Seriously, the food my family made during the holidays.....YUM! I mean, I expect nothing less from a chef-trained mom and a baker dad.

To celebrate the upcoming arrival of the holidays, feast your eyes and whet your appetites with these 15 delicious Christmas recipes.

Breakfast

holiday recipe round up

1.//Banana Oat Muffins 2.//World's Easier Cinnamon Rolls 3.//Apple-Stuffed Strata

Image credit: 1. Bourbon & Honey 2. Minimalist Baker 3. All Recipes

Sides

holiday recipe round up

4.//Butternut Squash Bake 5.//The Best Damn Vegan Biscuits 6.//Garlic Lemon Green Beans

Image credit: 4. Bourbon & Honey 5. Minimalist Baker 6. She Wears Many Hats

Main Dishes

holiday recipe round up

7.//1 Hour Vegan Pot Pie 8.//Cauliflower and Ham Gratin 9.//Honey Glazed Ham

Image credit: 7. Minimalist Baker 8. Real Simple 9. All Recipes

Dessert

holiday recipe round up

10.//Mini Bourbon Apple Pies 11.//Holiday-Inspired Trifle 12.//Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Image credit: 10. Bourbon & Honey 11. Bourbon & Honey 12. Bourbon & Honey

Drinks

holiday recipe round up

13.//Bourbon Cocktails 14.// Chai Spice Hot Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Cream 15.//Vegan Hazelnut Eggnog

Image credit: 13. Bourbon & Honey 14. YYC Celiac 15. Bourbon & Honey

Your turn: what's your favorite Christmas recipe?

xo _ britt

The Only Holiday Dessert Recipe You Need

It started with a small group potluck. Then, the inspiration waves came crashing in. Then, the next thing I know, I'm crying over how delicious my creation was. Dramatic, much? Definitely.

But, this recipe is worth the drama (and the work!). And, it really did start out as a small group potluck contribution.

Here's the non-dramatic story:

My roommate was heading out to a small group gathering and decided she wanted to bring a trifle. Before she left, she let me try a bit. She's nice like that. It was delicious. I decided to create a holiday-inspired trifle recipe to share with you guys. And it was good.

But, here's the thing about trifles: they take FOREVER! Especially if you are making it from scratch. Because you have to make the cake. Let it cool. Make the pudding. Try no to eat it while the cake is cooling. Make the whipped cream. Try to not to eat that while everything is setting. Make the topping. Assemble. Make it look pretty. Photograph. Write down the recipes.

PHEW! See, you burn more calories making the darn thing than the dessert contains!

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Anyway, my version had to scream Christmas, and it had to be simple. So I decided to use a spiced cake for the bottom layer. Then, I used a vanilla pudding. (Optional, and highly recommend: adding a splash of bourbon to the pudding.) Then, I used real whipping cream. Like, you have to actually whip it. This isn't that canned stuff. And it's not Cool Whip. The topping needed to be quintessentially Christmas. So baked apple slices with cinnamon and sugar.

This recipe is not gluten free, vegan or refined sugar free. Each recipe contains butter, cream and white/brown sugar. If you require substitutions, use your favorite gluten-free flour, swap oil for butter and whip coconut cream instead of dairy cream.

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Okay, now for the moment of truth. Strap on your seatbelts cause this one is good. I present: THE RECIPES!

SPICE CAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cream sugar and butter.
  2. Add eggs, beat for 1 minute.
  3. Mix dry ingredients.
  4. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  5. Beat for 1 minute.
  6. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan.
  7. Bake at 350* for 40 minutes.

PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at edges.
  2. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into hot milk, a little at a time, stirring to dissolve.
  3. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

WHIPPED CREAM

Whipped cream is pretty basic. Take a small carton of whipping cream and pour into a standing mixer. Sprinkle in some icing sugar and whip. Icing sugar is to taste, so add as much or as little as you like.

BAKED APPLES

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spread the apple slices into the bottom of a small baking dish. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl; pour over the apple slices and gently stir. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the apple slices.
  3. Cook in the preheated oven until the apples are tender, about 15 minutes.

holiday dessert recipe

PUT IT TOGETHER

Once you've made everything and it's cool, it's time to put everything together. The adage is true: this trifle IS greater than the sum of all its parts. Take your cake and crumble it. Place it in the bottom of your serving dish. You can use a traditional trifle dish or any other serving dish you might have. I used drinking glasses here. Spoon a layer of pudding. Repeat if necessary. Top your dessert with whipped cream. The more, the better. Adorn your gorgeous trifle with your freshly baked apples. Dust with cinnamon. Then dig in!

Oh, and I did not use beef sauteed with peas and onions. (ya Friends fans get me?!)

Did you try this recipe? If you did, let me know! 

xo _ britt

Local Holiday Gifts: 10 Gifts You Can Buy In Calgary

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The leaves have fallen off their branches and the snow is starting to fall. Store shelves are stocked with holiday-themed decorations and Christmas tree sugar cookies are on their cooling racks. So it’s now time to start thinking about the holiday season. Whether you are a buy-all-the-Christmas-presents-in-November shopper or an oh-no-it’s-Christmas-Eve-and-I-have-nothing shopper, I have curated a list of 10 local holiday gifts from creatives, designers and businesses to help you get the best present for everyone on your list.

local holiday gifts

Soma Spa & Hammam

Treat your significant other or the relaxation guru in your life to Calgary’s only hammam experience. Hammam is a Turkish cleaning ritual that involves a cleaning foam wash, salt scrub and body massage. This treatment will draw out impurities, increase blood circulation, releases toxins and relaxes your mind and body. (P.S. You can book a Couples Hammam, perfect for Valentine’s Day!) Soma Spa also uses Lowen’s Skin Care in many treatments, so be sure to pick up a couple goodies from this great local company, too!

Find it: http://somacalgary.com

dignify

dignify sells a gorgeous line of ethically-made, fair trade kantha quilts. Kantha quilts are textiles that have been hand-stitched using six layers of reclaimed sari cloth. This company works with a boutique in Bangladesh that employs vulnerable and at-risk women in meaningful, sustainable work.

Find it: http://www.shopdignify.com

Plant

Brighten up a dreary, snowy day with a terrarium from Plant. Located in historic Inglewood, Plant carries products - from terrariums to gardening supplies for green and black thumbs alike. You can also pick up some supplies and vintage goods for the nostalgic person in your life.

Find it: http://www.plantterrariums.ca

local holiday gifts

Femmebroidery

Femmebroidery is a line of hand-stitched goods created by Maria, the embroiderist behind the company. These hoop art pieces are inspired by pop culture, wildlife and lots of humour. You can view her entire collection on Etsy.

Find it: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Femmebroidery

Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.

Is there anything better than enjoying a good cup of coffee on Christmas morning? Other than opening presents and Christmas breakfast, of course not. Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.will delight the coffee lover in your life with single roasted bags to subscriptions to at-home roasting kits.

Find it: http://www.calgaryheritageroastingco.com

Owl’s Nest Books

Have a voracious reader in your family or friend circle? Check out Owl’s Nest Books. Located in Britannia, this bookstore is Calgary’s longest established bookstore. The outfit carries books for both adults and kids.

Find it: http://www.owlsnestbooks.com

Maple and Oak

For the person in your life with a flair for fashion, check out Maple and Oak Designs. Leonie, the talented designer behind this fun brand, creates fashion accessories made from vintage, reclaimed and retro fabrics. Everything is handmade and very unique.

Find it: http://www.mapleandoakdesigns.com

SPUD Calgary

Spread the healthy eating love around with SPUD! SPUD makes it so easy to eat healthy with their online grocery store filled with local, organic foods and products. To send a gift, simply fill out some information about you and the recipient, indicate amount, choose a cool image for the gift and that’s it.

Find it: www.spud.ca

local holiday gifts

Mind the Minimal

For the minimalist lover in your life, Mind the Minimal creates the gorgeous line of hand-crafted concrete home decor pieces. Her collections come in different sizes and shapes and look perfect perched atop a mantle, resting beside your computer or completing your table centrepiece.

Find it: http://www.mindtheminimal.com

Skwiik YYC

Move over heavily-scented and synthetic bath and body products, and say hello to this line of truly natural and effective products from Skwiik (pronounced “squeak”). Products are made with a unique blend of butters and oils and the scent will remind you of last year’s hike through the Rocky Mountains.

Find it: http://skwiik.ca

 

What is on your wishlist this year?

 

xo _ britt

Good Bye, November. Hello, December.

It seems the time between these recap posts gets shorter every month. It's December tomorrow, and I feel like I didn't even have a proper November. Even so, I am very excited for December. Maybe it's the snow. Maybe it's the anticipation of the holiday season. But, during December, it's like the world slows down just enough for us to live presently and soak up every moment. There's something ethereal and lovely about it.

November Recap

Photo source: Digital Spy

I feel like so much as happened this month that I don't know where to start this recap. So, let's start at the beginning.

Month of the Networking

In my world, November 2016 will be known as the Month of the Networking. Between the networking lunches, social media breakfasts and collaboration coffees, I have met so many incredible people this month. So, look for some more stuff happening on the blog and in the business. Lots of sprouts.

Pasta and Oreos

Last week, the lovely ladies at Brookline Public Relations invited Kaitlin and me to the opening of The Old Spaghetti Factory and Brown's Socialhouse in Marlborough Mall. Let's sum it up here: two restaurants, two meals, two very happy girls.

We whet our appetites at The Old Spaghetti Factory where we were treated to a delicious sampling (and by sampling I mean nearly the entire menu) of their food. It was cheese, pasta, cheese, butter, spumoni. It was absolutely heaven. And if you have ever eaten at this restaurant, you know how good it is. My favorite part of this experience: they don't try too hard. They make good food, paired with excellent service and a homey atmosphere. And it feels effortless. It's simple, delicious and comfortable.

We moved over to Brown's Socialhouse where we enjoyed dry ribs, flatbreads, shrimp (I had some, I promise!) and the most decadent Oreo dessert I have ever had. It was a Oreo-crust cheesecake with whipped cream and an oreo stuffed in there. Again, heavenly.

On top of all that, I got to see some of my lovely food blogger friends again!

So thank you to Brookline for inviting us and to The Old Spaghetti Factory and Brown's Socialhouse for hosting our bunch and feeding us amazing food. And if you guys are in the area, I highly recommend go checking both places out!

Gilmore Girls

Oh yes, I'm including this in my recap. Six hours of, well, you can decide for yourself what you think of the revival. (It's Logan's, right? RIGHT?) But, we grabbed our popcorn and coffee and watched all four episodes. A Saturday well spent.

#25

In case you haven't heard, last Saturday, I turned 25! It was such a lovely day. It started with coffee at Luke's Drug Mart, which of course was inspired by the Gilmore Girls revival. And we are cheezy like that. Then, we made bacon and gouda crepes. Following brunch, we grabbed blankets, more coffee and planted our butts on the couch and watched the new Gilmore Girls straight through. We finished off the day at Model Milk, drinking delicious Manhattans, eating succulent wagyu and watching the chef prepare the evening's orders. And cheddar-crusted apple pie. As you do. It was the absolute perfect way to ring in 25.

(And, if a restaurant asks if bar service is okay, take it. It was so much fun watching the kitchen preparing our meals.)

November Best Of

Photo credit: Whitney Cowan Photography

Without a doubt, the best post this month was my Dear Twenty-Five letter to myself. I was reading some your comments on Instagram and Facebook, and I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback. This was one of the most vulnerable, raw posts I've written and I am absolutely floored by the support it received. So, thank YOU all for leaving your comments, sending text messages and supporting in person. I felt so loved and encouraged. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read it here.

Some other posts you guys loved this month:

Feature Friday: 5 Dollar Fridays

Your Six Point Blog Checklist

My Favorite Things: Adorn Boutique Pt. II

Hello December

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I'm hoping to have an easier December this year. But, I will still be blogging! I've got a holiday gift guide coming up, featuring some of my favorite, local gift ideas. You will also be able to find this on amberapproved.ca. I've also got some recipes cooked up for you guys, including a collaboration with a couple of my favorite ladies, holiday-inspired dessert and some hearty comfort food. I will also be taking some time off to celebrate Christmas with my lovely family.

I hope you all have a wonderful December!

xo _ britt

My Favorite Things: Adorn Boutique Pt. II

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I can't visit Inglewood without exploring my favorite little shop, Adorn Boutique. One of my favorite things about supporting local businesses is that you're helping out a person, couple or family pay their mortgage, afford after-school sports for their kids and support community initiatives. And Adorn is no different. I love Adorn Boutique for the style they curate. It's classic with a modern twist and a dash of feminine. It's comfortable, functional and pretty. And more than that: everything is high quality. This means I can buy less, spend the same amount of money, and my pieces will last much longer.

I will admit this: I have an internal battle every time I shop at higher end boutiques. The cost of goods is high. The Dutch kid in me is thinking, "Nope. Go to the mall." I never used to step foot in places like Adorn because I knew I wouldn't be able to afford the clothes. But as I learned more about the fashion industry and grew more frustrated with the lack of quality my clothes had, I had to think: what is the price of quantity over quality?

adorn boutique

Over the last couple of years, I have moved from fast fashion (trendy, inexpensive items that are worn for one season, one occasion or tossed out) to slow fashion. And I'm not the only one. Since 2005, clothing quality has decreased substantially, despite the rise in consumption among Americans. Companies like Everlane focus on manufacturing high-quality staple pieces like t-shirts and button downs that are made ethically and sustainably. I enjoy seeing this shift, especially in Calgary. It makes me excited to support local, sustainable businessess. In turn, this really helps the local economy.

Adorn Boutique is one of those shops that, for me, embody the "quality over quantity" philosophy. So here are a few of my favorite things from my recent visit.

Read more: My Favorite Things: Adorn Boutique

Gentlefawn Everyday Tee

I love this t-shirt. Not only is it the most comfortable shirt I own, but it is also functional and versatile. I wear this top with a skirt and blazer perfect for the office. For the weekend, I swap out the skirt and blazer for jeans and cardigan. It washes well, lightweight and moveable. I've paired mine here with a pair of jeans, beige scarf, moto jacket and my signature "Be Free" necklace from NG.

Find it: GentleFawn

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Yerse "The Beauty Surrounds" Sweater

This sweater is the PERFECT fall sweater. Its warm army green color and extra fine wool make it the perfect accessory for fireplace evenings with a movie and a cup of tea. For those chilly-in-the-morning-warm-in-the-afternoon Canadian days, I pair mine with some sneakers and black pants. There's plenty of embellishment on the sweater's pattern, so I keep accessories minimal, usually a black watch or gold bracelets.

Find it: Yerse

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NOA NOA Feather Print Silk Skirt

Does anything feel better than silk? Cashmere maybe. This piece is so silky soft; you'll never want to take it off. It is a very versatile piece. I'll wear it in the office with some black heels and a sweater. In the fall, I add some tights and black booties. In the summer, I throw on my white Keds and a lightweight t-shirt.

Find it: Adorn Boutique

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What is your favorite slow fashion retailer?

xo _ britt

The Sweet Spot: 8 Delectable Dessert Places In Calgary

Let's talk about dessert. It's no secret I love dessert. Well, all sweet things. Growing up in a bakery, I had access to all the donuts. And cookies. And cake slices. My parents made this dessert called a vanilla slice. If you have never had a vanilla slice, let me just tease you. It's a layered dessert with flaky pastry on the bottom, topped with vanilla custard. Then, there is another layer of pastry and vanilla custard. Then, there's a third layer of pastry. It's finished with a thin layer of icing glaze and a chocolate drizzle. HEAVEN!

I've spent the better part of four years in Calgary sourcing the best places for dessert. I think that after four years, I finally have a list to share with you. Without further ado, I present the eight delectable dessert places in Calgary.

Ollia Tea & Macarons

dessert places in calgary

If you live in Calgary and you haven't been here, you are missing out. This little, French-inspired shop nestled on 16th Ave makes the best macarons I have ever had. Grab just a couple or a box of 7, and you can enjoy a sweet treat with some hand-blended tea. Ollia also offers some excellent classes, including Macaron Baking 101 and Tea Blending perfect for a girl's night or even a fun date.

My only caution: try NOT to eat an entire box in one sitting. I bet you can't.

Find it: www.byollia.com

Little Tucker

dessert places in calgary

Little Tucker has hit the sweet spot when it comes to healthy snacks and desserts. If you follow her on Instagram (@littletuckeryyc), you know how drool-worthy her products are. Carrot cake with cream "cheese" frosting anyone? Yes, please! You can find Little Tucker all over the city. Some of my favorite places to pick up these sweet sensations include Wild and Raw, Monogram and Philosafy.

Find it: www.littletucker.ca

Manuel Latruwe

 

dessert places in calgary

If you blink, you might miss this little gem. Tucked away in the same building as Cococo's chocolate factory, Manuel Latruwe has some the prettiest and most delicious Belgian pastries, desserts and sweet snacks. This cafe has become a staple in the Victoria Park community of the city since it opened its doors in 1998. I recommend...well...getting one of everything! No shame.

Find it: www.manuellatruwe.com

Village Ice Cream

dessert places in calgary

Okay, so I wanted to include all three of my favorite ice cream shops in town, but this list would be way too long. So for the sake of convenience, I am listing Village Ice Cream as my go-to for my frozen treat fix.

Seriously, this place is five minutes from my house. It's dangerous.

What makes this place so special to me is the number of memories associated with it. The 11 pm ice cream cravings. The weekly post-church catch up. And they use natural and organic ingredients when possible, and everything is hand made - with love.

Find it: www.villageicecream.com

A Ladybug Bakery & Cafe

dessert places in calgary

Probably one of my favorite French cafes in the city. I remember visiting The Ladybug & Cafe for the first time. My roommate planned a surprise birthday brunch for me, and it was a great morning of amazing quiche and lots of laughs.

The one thing I can never leave without is the mini palmiers. And if you have never had a palmier before, these are cookies baked with butter and dusted with sugar. I also recommend the lemon tart and vanilla crème brûlée.

Find it: LadyBug and Cafe

Sidewalk Citizen

dessert places in calgary

The unofficial supplier of Bourbon & Honey's blogging sessions. From enjoying a croissant at any Phil & Sebastien location to grabbing a veggie sandwich in Sunnyside, I have had more than my fair share of sweet treats from here. I am in love with their rotating sweet scone flavors. I also recommend the blueberry tart.

Find it: www.sidewalkcitizenbakery.com

Crave Cupcakes

dessert places in calgary

Cause you can't not love cupcakes. This shop has been making the world a better place with cupcakes for over ten years! Every cupcake, cake, and cookie is handcrafted with real ingredients, passion, and love. I love their classics: I can't get enough of the Red Velvet Elvis or the Lovely Bunch of Coconuts Vanilla. You can find these guys whipping up these baby cakes at four locations in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon.

Find it: www.cravecupcakes.ca

Alforno Bakery

dessert places in calgary

This bakery is still one of my favorite spots in the city. It's a great place to catch up with friends or even meet new people over a lime tart or earl grey tea cake. Every time I stop by, I end up picking up four desserts because I can't decide on one! And I end up eating them all. I highly recommend the lime tart - not too tart or sweet with the perfect crust.

Find it: www.alforno.ca

Honorable Mentions

Calgary has so many great places to grab a dessert or sweet snack that to include them all would make this a very long blog post so here are some honorable mentions. These are places that I've heard some great things about, but have never had the opportunity to visit.

  • Burnt to Order
  • Yann Haute Patisserie
  • A Cookie Occasion
  • Sweet Relief

What are your favorite sweet spots where you live?

xo _ britt

 

What's In My Bag?

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I love big bags, and I cannot lie. Seriously though. I am always carrying my big black tote bag. It's the perfect size to carrying around the essentials, plus a camera for capturing those moments, snacks for hangry attacks, planners for keeping my day organized and water for staying hydrated. So here's a little sneak peak into my trusty side kick. These items don't really change from day to day. They are everyday essentials. What's in your bag?

what's in my bag

Wallet

This little guy from Aldo has been with me for a long time. It's classically stylish, sturdy and effective. It's big enough to take out on its own, but small enough that it often gets lost in my mammoth bag!

Make Up Bag

I always carry Maybelline Fit me! powder, blush and concealer, travel-sized Benefit mascara and Sephora eyeliner for those quick touch ups or when I forget to take my makeup bag with me on an overnight trip.

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EOS Lip Balm

Girls, you can never have enough lip balms. I don't know about you, but I go through these like cupcakes on my birthday. I love my EOS lip balm. Pictured is the vanilla mint.

Sunglasses

I always carry sunglasses with me. You gotta protect those eyes. The ones in my bag currently are from Old Navy.

Book

I'm early for everything. Literally everything. And not by five minutes or so. Like 20 minutes early. So I bring a book for those awkward times I spend in my car waiting. I also grab a book to read on my lunch break. Right now I'm reading The Dangerous Act of Worship by Mark Labberton.

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Notebook

I always carry a notebook on me to capture those ideas, jot down notes during client meetings or get in some creative writing.

Planner

I'll be the first to admit I am not the most organized person. So having a day planner is essential to keeping my schedule straight. Mine is from Peter Pauper Press.

what's in a bag

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is so important, so I always carry a water bottle with me. I bought this blue one from WalMart.

Business Cards

You never know who you are going to meet. So I carry business cards with me everywhere ready to give out to everyone.

what's in my bagwhat's in my bag

Good Bye, October. Hello, November.

Does anyone else feel like this year is going by just a bit too fast? I can't believe it's almost November! However, November is one of my favorite months. It is now firmly appropriate to wear boots and scarves every single day until the snow melts. Drinking hot coffee at all hours of the day is equally appropriate and staying home and watching The Holiday and Love Actually (probably the only two rom-com films I will watch - ever) on repeat.

Oh, and it's my birthday month. More on that later.

Here's a little recap of October and what I'm looking forward to in November.

October Recap

Photo credit: Next Big Thing

This past month was a whirlwind. October brought a mountain of changes and change's best friend, anxiety. If you remember my post on breaking busy and doing more by doing less, I had to make some serious decision regarding my business. I realized that nobody can work 100 hours per week and give 100% to every task on the to-do list. I worked myself to a near breakdown. I made these decisions to create space and margin in my life for what really matters. I'm taking this focus into the final two months of this year, and throughout my 25th year.

I attended Leftovers Calgary Harvest Fundraiser, which was incredible. We were treated to bottomless kombucha from True Buch, delicious scoops from Village Ice Cream, fantastic coffee from KaffeeKlatsch and some great local musicians. It was great to see so many people come out for an amazing cause and help raise enough funds for a much-needed truck for Leftovers. I encourage you to learn more about this great organization and what they do to combat food waste in Calgary.

Learn More: Leftovers Calgary

I had the opportunity to attend Next Big Thing on October 15. This one-day event was an incredibly inspiring and educational experience. Creatives, including branding strategists, photographers, graphic designers, influencers, artisans and entrepreneurs, gathered at The Commons, a gorgeous coworking space in Ramsay.  The day was packed with speakers, breakout sessions and a constant supply of coffee. Huge thanks to Kait Kucy and Mike Morrison for curating such a fun event with a fresh take on social media, marketing and business.  Here are some highlights for me:

  • The best way to get better is to fail over and over again. (Fairgoods)
  • There are WAY too many photo and video editing apps than my brain can handle. (Chris Dowsett)
  • There's a lot to know about budgeting for your freelance business, but it's doable and extremely important. (Janine Rogan, tax specialist and blogger at My Pennies, My Thoughts.)
  • Your inner critic is a big jerk. Learn to make friends with him or her. (Danielle Krysa of The Jealous Curator, keynote speaker)
  • Creative entrepreneurship is really, really, really hard. But worth it. (Panel discussion featuring Kyle Chow of Plant, Sarah Ward of Sarah Ward Interiors, Ian and Lisa Davies of Fresh Laundry and The Uncommons, and Jeremy Ho of Monogram Coffee)

Finally, my parents came to Calgary and we celebrated my mom's birthday. We met up for some dinner and drinks after the Stampeders game. (I didn't go...sad face.)

October Best Of

pumpkin coconut curry soup

As this has become tradition, here are some posts that you guys really loved.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

This is truly the perfect fall soup, and you guys loved it and shared the heck out this post.

Behind the Name: The Origin of Bourbon & Honey

The story behind the storyteller. Thanks to all of you for your support of Bourbon & Honey over the past few months!

Feature Friday: United Way Calgary Gen Next Rouge and ChicFlicks

I truly love sharing these stories of incredible businesses and non-profits in this awesome city.

Hello, November

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After this October, I am looking forward to November. I've got some great things up my sleeve for you. I've got a few "sweet" posts for you, some decluttering tips and ideas to make Christmas gifts easy this year. I will also be featuring more incredible businesses, non-profits and individuals.

I am teaming up with another blogger to put together a little workshop for you guys, but I can't release any details yet! Stay tuned for that.

I am also starting a Simple & Beautiful newsletter. Get the latest tips, tricks and inspiration (and few extras not included on the blog) on creating a simple and beautiful life. If you want to receive this newsletter, sign up using the form on the right-hand column of this page.

Stay tuned for some great content and Instagram stories filled with coffee mugs, scarves and boots.

Have a happy November, everyone!

xo _ britt

 

Winter Hair Care Tips For Gorgeous Hair (Even In Calgary)

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Hair needs just a little extra TLC in the winter time, especially in Calgary's dry climate. I teamed up with the lovely ladies at DK Envy to bring you a few tips and some of their favorite products to keep your hair soft and manageable during the cold, dry months.

The Wet Brush

winter hair care tips

Detangling is the bane of hair car. It's messy. It hurts. And you end up with a chunk of hair at the end of it. Gross. The Wet Brush is a wonderful hair brush that uses a patented technology on its bristles called IntelliFlex®. These glide through your hair making detangling simple and painless. This brush also uses SofTips to stimulate circulation at the hair follicle. No more tangles, tears or clumps of hair.

GET THE LOOK: Simple run the brush through your hair while wet or dry to detangle.

Kevin Murphy REPAIR-ME.WASH and REPAIR-ME.RINSE

Photo credit: Kevin Murphy

Winter weather can do a number on our hair strands, including excessive dryness and damage. Hair care guru, Kevin Murphy developed REPAIR-ME.WASH and REPAIR-ME.RINSE to repair, strengthen and nourish damaged strands. The shea butter and aloe vera based product also gives your hair a gorgeous shine and more manageability.

GET THE LOOK: Wash hair using REPAIR-ME.WASH. Apply REPAIR-ME.RINSE. Leave on 1-2 minutes. Rinse.

Kevin Murphy YOUNG.AGAIN Hair Masque

winter hair care tips

Think skincare for your hair. This is a deep conditioning masque made from a complex of 20 amino acids, quiona protein, rice protein, immortelle, lotus flower and boabab seed oils. The YOUNG.AGAIN masque restores damaged, dry and brittle locks and reinvigorates your hair to give it a beautiful shine.

GET THE LOOK: After washing hair, apply a small amount of product. It's important to do this before using any other styling product.

L’OREAL Professionel Wild Stylers 60's Babe

winter hair care tips

This is a dry texturizing spray with mineral micro-powders. This gives your hair long-lasting volume and extreme texturisation. The best part: no rough touch.

GET THE LOOK: Simply spray on hair to lift and texturize.

L’OREAL Professionnel TECHNI.ART Air Fix Hairspray

winter hair care tips

This hairspray uses the Iconic Neutralizing System to tame the frizz. It's manageable yet maintains a strong hold, ensuring your style will last all day or all night.

GET THE LOOK: Apply to dry or slightly wet hair. Style as usual.

L’Oreal Professionnel French Girl Hair Messy Cliché

winter hair care tips

Designed for normal and fine hair, this styling spray bring a textured, messy, French chic to flat hair. Effortless French girl style. C'est parfait.

GET THE LOOK: Use on 90% dry hair, scrunching or twisting sections as you complete your blow dry.

L’Oreal Professionnel French Girl Hair French Froissé

winter hair care tips

If Messy Cliché is designed for fine hair, French Froissé is for all you thick-haired girls. This is a styling cream that provides the same messy texture, shine and "chicness".

GET THE LOOK: Braid the hair in several sections and dry off or run straighteners over the plait.

SMARTBOND by L'OREAL Professionnel

winter hair care tips

This is a complete protective and strengthening system designed for use during coloring services. This system protects and strengthens your hair during the coloring or bleaching process. There are three components of the system: your salon uses two and you take one home to complete the process. This system is perfect for dry, brittle, bleached, colored, dry, sensitized, and highlighted hair.

GET THE LOOK: You can find the system at any L'OREAL Professionnel salon.

Quick and Dirty Winter Hair Care Tips

Give your hair some extra care during the harsh winter months with these quick tips.

  • Shampoo less. Shampooing every day strips the natural oils in your hair, leaving your hair more dry and brittle.
  • Use salfate-free washing and conditioning products to mitigate the damaged caused by cold temperatures and whipping winds.
  • Protect your hair from the sun. Just like your skin can experience some damage throughout the winter months, your hair needs some extra care and protection. This can be as simple as wearing a scarf or hat. (Read more: Protect Your Hair From the Sun)
  • Think about getting a humidifier. A humidifier adds a little extra moisture to the air, reducing the dryness of your hair.

What are your winter hair care tips?

xo _ britt

Fall Inspired Roasted Veggies

This dish is one of my all-time favorite fall recipes! It is packed with veggies and infused with the best autumn-esque herbs and spices. It's a filling, comforting dish, perfect for those chilly days when you don't want to cook, but still want to eat something warming and healthy.

fall inspired roasted veggiesfall inspired roasted veggiesfall inspired roasted veggiesfall inspired roasted veggies

The great thing about these roasted veggies is the versatility. You can use whatever veggies are in your fridge. Even better, go to your local farmer's market to source vegetables that are in season. Not only are you getting the best produce, but you will be supporting local farmers and contributing to the local food system.

For this iteration of the recipe, I used a few of my favorite root vegetables, including potatoes, carrots and onions. Root vegetables work the best because they tend to hold up well roasting. You can also use any squash variation parsnips, sweet potatoes, beets, rutabagas, turnips, yams, or any other root vegetable. I also added some mushrooms (you can use broccoli or cauliflower, too) for a little something extra.

fall inspired roast veggiesfall inspired roast veggiesfall inspired roast veggies

But the magic of this recipe is in the herbs - er, herb. The star of this dish is the rosemary. Just a few sprigs infuses the veggies with a warm, earthy flavor. And depending on how earthy you like your food, you can use as much or as little as you like.

The only other ingredient you need is some salt and pepper. This adds simple, slight flavor that takes a great backseat to the rosemary.

This dish is so easy to make. Chop veggies. Top with rosemary. Roast. Eat.

Seriously, it takes no time, is super healthy and, most of all, is incredibly delicious.

Here's the recipe.

fall inspired roast veggiesfall inspired roast veggies

[recipe title="Fall Inspired Roasted Veggies" servings="4-6" time="1 hour"]

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs potatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 cups mushrooms, left whole
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced into large(ish) chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Chop potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and onion.
  3. Arrange in 9" x 13" roasting or baking pan.
  4. Arrange a few sprigs of rosemary on top of the veggies and use the rest of the sprigs around the edges of the pan.
  5. Roasted veggies for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the veggies. Roast again until veggies are tender, but retain their crunch.
  6. Let cool, and then enjoy!

[/recipe]

 

XO _ britt

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

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Let's talk about pumpkin. Do you love it? This winter squash is one of the few vegetables that I can only tolerate in small doses. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing I'd rather do than sit a home carving out pumpkins that will rot on your doorstep. Scratch that. There's plenty I'd rather be doing.  And I feel as though I am doing a disservice to all food bloggers out there who have spent months creating the most delectable pumpkin-inspired recipes, but I digress. I just don't love it. I like it, but I don't love it.

pumpkin coconut curry souppumpkin coconut curry souppumpkin coconut curry soup

That said, this is one pumpkin dish that I will eat over and over again. It's warm, comforting, creamy and best of all, coconutty. I found the original recipe on Naturally Ella back when I was preparing to do my 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge (circa 2012 Miss Epicure). I was browsing the site for fall recipes and this one popped up. Intrigued by the "coconut" in the recipe title, I decided to give it a whirl. Turns out, it wasn't so bad. The coconut milk gives the soup a perfect creaminess, while the pumpkin adds some depth. The curry is the most suitable spice for this dish and the scallions add just a touch of fresh.

pumpkin coconut curry souppumpkin coconut curry soup

One of  my favorite things about this recipe is it's quick, easy and simple. It takes maybe 20 minutes to prepare (if you take the easy way like I do - hello, pumpkin puree!). The soup contains only five ingredients, not including olive oil and salt.

The curry has a warming flavour that makes it a perfect dish for these chilly days. And the coconut milk provides you with some great healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied.

The recipe I have included here is slightly modified from the original one on Naturally Ella.

You're gonna want to save this one and pull it out on a chilly night with some toasted bread or biscuits.

pumpkin coconut curry soup

[recipe title="Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup" servings="3-4" time="20 minutes"]

INGREDIENTS

  • one can pumpkin puree (NOTES: If you are using pumpkin puree, make sure you DON'T get pumpkin pie filling. I made that mistake once. If you not using puree, roast your pumpkin first. Cut pumpkin into chunks. Roast for 40-45 minutes. Remove pumpkin from its shell. It should be soft already. If it isn't, puree it in a blender, or use an immersion blender. Set packed pumpkin aside.)
  • 1 bunch scallions, diced
  • curry powder, to taste, but you'll want at least 2 TBSP
  • 2-3 cups veggie broth
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (I use the full fat version to make it extra creamy)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  If you are roasting your pumpkin, do that now.
  2.  Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Sautee scallions for 3-5 minutes.
  3.  Add curry powder. Cook for a few seconds, until you can smell the curry.
  4.  Add pureed pumpkin and veggie broth. (This is where you can use that immersion blender.)
  5.  Add in coconut milk.
  6.  Add salt if needed.
  7.  Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and a swirl of coconut milk.

[/recipe]

xo _ britt

GIVEAWAY - Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

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Hey friends! I have a special blog post for you today. The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is back in town, and I am giving away two tickets! This year's festival is looking good with tons of gourmet food samples from restaurants around Calgary and sips of wine, beer and spirits from around the world. I hope you are ready for a weekend of enjoying old favorites, exploring new favorites and having a grand time sampling some of the best food and wine.

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Here are the details of the giveaway and options to enter. I will announce the winner on October 11.

Giveaway Details

  • The prize is one pair of entry tickets to the festival.
  • The pair of tickets will be for the afternoon session on Saturday, October 15 from 12-4 p.m.
  • You must be 18 years or older in order to win.

To Enter

Leave a comment below, tagging the bestie you'd bring along to the event. For more chances to enter, visit my Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

xo _ britt

 

 

Good Bye, September. Hello, October.

Ahhhh, October. The season where rust-colored leaves find a home on the ground, chunky scarves find their way to the front of the closet and pumpkin spice lattes find eager hands.  And I'll join the throngs of people who say that fall is their favorite season. I'm not sure what it is, but there seems to be a little magic in the air. Things just feel fresher, newer. I'm really excited for Fall 2016! This season has brought some really interesting things. From starting a business to planning weddings, this has been a whirlwind month.

Bourbon & Honey: The Business and Feature Friday

feature friday

If you caught my Hello September post, I made two announcements: I started a social media consulting company and I added a new section to the blog called Feature Friday. Over the past month, these have both blossomed! Feature Friday is very popular - and for good reason, too. These stories are wildly positive, bold and encouraging. Something I firmly believe we as a city really need. When we build our communities - whether online or offline - and share each other's stories, we spur each other on, encouraging one another and making a difference in our lives.

The business has been growing steadily, and with a few collaborations locked in, things are only getting better. Lots to come this year!

Bourbon & Honey: The Blog

the best coffee shops in calgary to study

Feature Friday was a huge hit with you guys! Here are a few of your favorite posts this month:

Feature Friday: The Travelling Artisan

Best Coffee Shops in Calgary to Study

Feature Friday: Leftovers Foundation

My Favorite Things: My 6 Favorite Fall Essentials

Black Tassel Bliss {PLUS 7 Ways to Style Your Scarf}

I want to know: what do you want to see more of? Do you want more food, fitness, business, style? Let me know!

Hello, October

hello october september recap post

October is bringing some really fun things. I will be attending the Next Big Thing social media conference on October 15. Expect a recap of the day, which is sure to be jam-packed with information! I will also be attending the

I will also be attending the Harvest Fundraiser for Leftovers Foundation. You may recall the feature I posted on this great organization. If not, see the link above! Leftovers is a special organization. They solve a unique problem in our city. Many services agencies such as poverty agencies that provide the people they serve with food struggle with tight budgets and rising food costs. Leftovers rescues food from markets, grocery stores and restaurants to help alleviate some of the stress these service agencies face to provide enough food. I'm excited to be supporting this organization, and I highly recommend that you all head on over to Eventbrite and grab your ticket.

I've also been saving some delicious fall recipes to share with you guys this month, so be on the lookout for those. I will also be featuring four more incredible people and organizations as part of Feature Friday.

What are you up to this month?

xo _ britt

Feature Friday: Amber Approved

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I met Amber at a YYC Pizza Week meeting in January, and over the months we got to know each other. I love her no nonsense, sassy approach to life. She tells it like it is and works incredibly hard to help her clients take control of their health and live their best life. Read on to find out a little bit more about my friend, and amazing boss babe, Amber Romaniuk. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your work. Where are you from? What do you do?

amber approved

Hello! I am Amber Romaniuk, CEO of Amber Approved Inc., leading health food expert, Holistic Nutritionist, Host of Fresh Health on Shaw TV Calgary and the Author of Amber Approved Cookbooks.

I specialize in supporting my clients locally in Calgary and around the world with their struggles with food addiction, emotional eating, body image and physical imbalances like hormones, metabolism, digestive struggles and food allergies. I also help my clients to identify what blocks may be in the way of them losing weight and reaching their optimal health. I feel kind of like a health detective, but it’s important for me to investigate someone’s current state of health, and then use foods, supplements and lifestyle recommendations to make the changes they desire.

I also host “Fresh Health” on Shaw TV and we go to great local restaurants that serve healthy food and can cater to allergies, as well as recipe tutorials in the kitchen and much more.

There’s also the No Sugarcoating Podcast which is all about female health and really there is NO sugar coating around our topics and what we have to share. I have a lot of fun with my work.

What inspires you to do what you do? How did you start doing this work?

amber approved

I specialize in the above because I personally struggled with a food addiction as well as tons of physical imbalances, weight ups and downs, and a real disconnect from my body image, loving and taking care of myself. So once I started to take action on my own health, and recovered from my food addiction and started to balance my body, I was inspired to start my own business and help as many people as possible to overcome their own struggles.

They say 90% of women and lots of men struggle with body image issues and are constantly dieting and hate their body. I really strive to help people to fall in love with themselves, and accept themselves as they are knowing they can always take steps to take better care of themselves and live a more healthy lifestyle.

Also educating people on the quality of our food, and why supporting the local farmer’s markets and food is so important. Big business food, lots of sugar, processed foods and articifial sweeteners are contributing to lots of health imbalances, both emotionally and physically and I truly believe that everyone has the right to be educated to they can make better choices for themselves.

I never used to understand what an impact what I ate had on my health, so it’s been so fascinating to learn all about the food industry and how it can impact our health.

I don’t like to see people suffer, so it inspires me to see them want to take action for their health. Or know that they aren’t the only one struggling and that there is hope to overcome it all, and people like me and others who are here to guide them and help them along.

What inspires you most about your community (city, group of friends, etc.)?

amber approved

What I love about Calgary is in the business world, people WANT to collaborate and work together. And I think that is one of the most important parts about local business. I am all for supporting people who are growing great food, which supports mine and other’s health, and then that supports their business and livelihood.

I love that more and more the health food movement is growing in Calgary. We have great farmer’s markets, restaurants focusing on farm to table and local food and chefs that are super knowledgeable in that area and want to create delicious healthy food for their customers.

I love seeing so many great people creating healthy food product as well, it’s so nice to be able to enjoy and have such variety in the local community, and again be supporting the local business owners and economy.

I also love the drive I see here, I love the fact that people create such amazing things, and don’t take no for an answer.

I also lastly, love being so close to the mountains, which really is my backyard!

If you could give anyone who is starting out in your field (business, non-profit, etc.) one piece of advice, what would it be?

amber approved

Be ready to work your ass off. Seriously, it takes consistent hard work, dedication, motivation and a I won’t take no for an answer attitude. When I got started, so many people told me there was no way I would be able to create a full time business with what I do, or that it was going to take 5 years until I could go full time. I like to challenge the odds and not go with the flow.

If you want, tell me three fun facts about yourself or your organization.

  1. I have become fascinated with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain and the conspiracy surrounding his death.
  2. I love visiting the zoo and watching the penguins. They happen to be my favorite!
  3. I didn’t intend 11 years ago when I moved here to get into health but instead to be a sports anchor on TSN with my education from SAIT for Broadcast News. Well that definitely turned a 180!

Get in Touch

Website: www.amberapproved.ca

Twitter:  @AmberApproved

Facebook: Amber Approved

Instagram: @amberromaniuk

Do you know of a person, business, non-profit or other organization doing amazing work in Calgary? Tell me about it! Visit the Feature Friday page for more information!

XO _ britt

My Favorite Things: My 6 Favorite Fall Essentials

Ahhh, fall. From the crisp air to fluffy blankets to the endless lattes, fall is one of my favorite seasons! Here are my 6 favorite fall essentials to make this your comfiest fall yet!

Refreshing Bath Salts

6 favorite fall essentials

Sometimes there’s nothing better than coming home and letting the stress and the chill in your bones melt away with a hot bath. I love using the entire line of bath products from Mint & Daisy to relax after a chilly day. Her products are 100% natural, free of synthetics and available on her website. (www.mintanddaisy.com)

Chunky Scarf

6 favorite fall essentials

Fall and scarves go together like peanut butter and jelly. I love the chunky knit scarves from Knitatude, a local knitter and entrepreneur. In addition to her scarves, she creates the most adorable toques and blankets. And if you are into knitting at all, she hosts a Knit Night every Thursday. (www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Knitatude)

Fun Socks

6 favorite fall essentials

When the mercury drops, don’t let your toes get a chill. Designed and made by a local entrepreneur, these fun, mismatched socks from Friday Sock Co. will keep your toes warm and cozy. These guys also offer a monthly subscription, which makes a great Christmas gift (if you’ve started shopping already!). And, they donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. (www.fridaysock.co)

Ceramic Mug

6 favorite fall essentials

Whether you prefer coffee, tea or even hot chocolate, a ceramic mug is a must have for fall. One of my favorite ceramic artists in Calgary creates these incredible dishes, including these gorgeous mugs. She focuses on simple and beautiful design, perfect for fall. All you need is some good tea from YYC Tea Wagon! (www.as-ceramics.ca)

Crystal Candles

6 favorite fall essentials

When the weather starts to get frightful, one of my favorite things to do is light a couple candles, grab my favorite book and read the afternoon away. I love the crystal candles from Salt Water Tea, a local jewelry designer and candle maker. These soy candles are hand poured, scented with essential oils and contain a lovely gemstone. She has five varieties and are available on her website. (www.saltawatertea.com)

Throw Pillows

favorite fall essentials

Fall is all about comfort for me. Comfy boots, chunky scarves, warm lattes and soft pillows. I love piling up the pillows on the bed, snuggling under the covers and curling up with a good movie when things get a little blustery outside. I love local artisan, Elle Bee Tree, who makes these beautiful custom throw pillows. You can find her line of beautiful, hand-sewn products on Etsy. (www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ellebeetree)

*The original article for this post was written for my wonderful friend, Amber, the fabulous entrepreneur behind Amber Approved. Amber releases a quarterly magazine, packed with content from her friends in the business, health and lifestyle. Read the fall edition of Amber Approved Magazine here.

XO _ britt

 

13 Workouts To Do in Your Dorm Room

Between your class schedule, homework and social schedule, it seems like there is no time to workout. However, getting in 30 minutes of activity every day is so important. It can reduce blood pressure, help manage weight and improve cognitive function. And if you live in a dorm, it can be super tough to get your workout in. So with no time and small space, what's a girl to do? Simple, 5-15 minutes body weight exercises that take virtually no space!

I did Blogilates while I was in university. Her workouts are tough, but super fun. Here are 10 quick burn workouts you can do in your dorm room from the wonderful Cassey Ho.

Black Tassel Bliss {PLUS 7 Tips to Style Your Scarf}

I'm a huge scarf wearer! If  you took a peek inside my closet, you would find every scarf I have ever purchased. I have, like, at least a couple dozen. Some of them come from my high school days, while some have wonderful memories attached, including strolling down the Champs-Elysees, eating all the croissants and shopping for souvenirs.

One of my favorite things about fall is that scarves are appropriate every day! I like the big, comfy ones you can bury your face in.

And they are so easy. It is so simple to grab a scarf and make whatever outfit you're wearing super comfy and chic.

tips to style your scarftips to style your scarfDSC_4282

The black tassel scarf I'm wearing here is from local online retailer, Western Bliss. The woman behind this great company, Michelle, combined a love for shopping and a desire to help woman find great pieces that look great every time. Michelle focused on finding soft pieces with a western flair, which for this Alberta-born, slightly bohemian dreamer is perfect.

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I love the soft texture of this scarf. The loosely woven fabric feels wonderfully soft and cozy. And the pattern is so pretty. I love the neutral color scheme: the black and white complements everything in my closet (BONUS!). But the best part: it's so big! Parts of the scarf are a little thicker, adding bulk (read: comfort) to the piece. It's a perfect addition to an autumn day spent brunching at YYC's best or curling up with a intriguing novel and hot tea.

This style is also available in baby blue.

Get scarf details (and find more style inspiration) at westernbliss.ca.

tips to style your scarftips to style your scarf

Tips To Style Your Scarf

  1. Tuck your scarf under a belt over a t-shirt for a chic look.
  2. Simply wrap the scarf around your neck.
  3. Tie the ends of your scarf together and make your own infinity scarf.
  4. Drape your scarf over both shoulders for a chic shawl look.
  5. Try wearing your scarf as a vest.
  6. Get fancy and tie your scarf into a bow.
  7. Use a lighter scarf as an interesting headpiece or hair accessory.

*Tutorials can be found here.

What's your favorite fall style essential?

tips to style your scarf

XO _ britt