20 Reasons Calgary is Great

1. The Stampede

The best party of the year! Put you boots on and head down to the grounds to drink and dance all night after checking out the rodeo, rides, and booths. Not to mention the great concerts at the Saddledome or on the Coke Stage.

2. Naheed Nenshi

The best mayor in the whole world. Universally loved, Nenshi makes everyone want to call Calgary home.

3. Sports

We have two hockey teams (the Flames and the Hitmen), a football team (the Stampeders), and a lacrosse team (Roughnecks), as well as tons of amateur sports teams; so there’s always something to go watch.

4. Safety

We have an excellent police force and income disparities rarely force people into crime, so walking the streets and being out late with friends don’t leave you feeling terrified.

5. All four seasons

We get every season (some longer than others) so we can enjoy winter activities as well as summer activities.

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6. No PST

Provincial Sales Tax is the worst. When I lived in BC I would save up all my shopping for the next time I was in Calgary to avoid it.

7. Shopping

Now that we’ve expanded, we no longer need to head south for good shopping. The Core downtown, Southland and Chinook Centre in the south and Market Mall in the north all offer popular stores, while there are also a ton of small boutiques and specialty shops around the city (especially if you hit a popular walking spot like 17th Avenue, Inglewood, or Kensington).

8. Young population

The lure of jobs attracts a young, well educated population which leaves calgary with a median age in the mid-late-thirties. You know what that means if you’re a young professional; there’s always a bunch to do, a great nightlife, and a large dating-pool for the singles out there.

9. Excellent economy

Our economy is (as of right now) among the best in Canada and personal wealth is at an all time high; meaning you can do more money-costing things!

10. Proximity to the mountains

It’s about 45 minutes to an hour to the mountains so you’re never far from some of North America’s best skiing and hiking. Not to mention the energetic and unique mountain towns.

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11. Diverse culture

One of the things I get often from (very ignorant) people when travelling to other parts of Canada is an assumption that everyone in Alberta is a caucasian redneck who wants to destroy the planet. This is obviously very wrong and extremely laughable. People come from around the world for job opportunites, so Calgary is hugely diverse ethnically.

12. Public transit

The C-train is speedy and goes to the far reaches of the city, while busses run ajor routes as well as into smaller neighbourhoods. It’s easy and (relatively) quick to get around without a car and, speaking from experience, it’s a great money-saver.

13. Arts scene

Playhouses, operas, art galleries, Wordfest, ballet… I could go on and on.

14. Parks and pathways

Our parks and bike pathways are beautiful and stretch to all four corners of the (very large) city. Surrounding two beautiful rivers, the scenery is always picturesque.

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15. Great restaurants

In a large city, you’re always lucky enough to find excellent restaurants and Calgary is no exception. From the expensive (and delicious) like Catch, Rouge, Teatro, and Bolero, to the cheap (and delicious) like Peter’s Drive In, or Jimmy’s A A, you’ll always find something awesome to eat.

16. Golf courses

When you get a city as widespread as Calgary, you’re bound to get great golf courses. The city has many public and private courses to choose from.

17. No rats

Alberta is rat free. Hell yeah.

18. The Calgary Public Library

Our libraries are numerous and conveniently located all across the city. You can check out movies, music, books, magazines, etc. and pick them up or drop them off at any location.

19. Quality of life

Work, housing, nightlife, health, etc. are all excellent and people are happy and friendly.

20. Health

There are tons of activities to do both indoors and outdoors all year round. Yoga, swimming, running, rock climbing, skiing, cycling, etc. Plus tons of gyms throughout the city. Add in an educated population with healthy eating habits and you’ve got an (overall) very healthy city.

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Make your own eyelash conditioner

I’m obsessed with my eyelashes. Au natural, I look like a 12 year old boy and my blonde, basically invisible, eyelashes and eyebrows don’t help matters. Thus, I try to play up my feminine features as much as possible.

I tried eyelash extensions in the past but they were too fake for me and bothered me while working out. Now, I try to just keep my natural lashes healthy.

To do this, I wash my mascara off every night (that’s a must) and also use RapidLash.

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Additionally, I’ve recently started conditioning my lashes with a homemade concoction. First, I emptied out an old mascara tube.

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This gets messy and takes a good bit of time. Prepare to dirty a lot of paper towels.

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Once that’s done, I mixed together coconut oil and petroleum jelly. I’ve also heard of people adding castor oil and vitamin E, so those are options as well.

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The end result should be a bit gloopy but still transfer over to your eyelashes fairly easily.

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I put it on before I go to sleep and when I work out. Basically anytime when I’m not wearing make up and don’t need to for awhile. If you put it on before your mascara, it will smudge everywhere.

Happy eye lashing!

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More “pasta” experiments.

I should re-name this blog “Katie Avoids Real Pasta”. Or “Fuck-Ups with Faux Noodles”. I’ll give it some thought.

Anyway, I have been experimenting with more pasta substitutes recently. My favourite so far is using sweet potatoes. They’re denser than zucchini so I find myself less annoyed with them overall.

First things first, I spiralled one whole potato straight into a pan. Next time I will cut it in half as I found it a bit heavy for the spiralled to hold (you can find this spiralled online here or in Williams Sonoma stores).

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I added a very small amount of water along with Yves Ground Round in order to essentially steam the potato and make it easier to eat.

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After that I simply added Hunts tomato sauce. If I’m too lazy to make pasta sauce from scratch (which happens more frequently than not living alone) I’ll always use Hunts wether or not I add extra veggies. It’s the only sauce I’ve been able to find which doesn’t add sugar. My biggest pet peeve is when companies add sugar to things that don’t need it, be it pasta sauce, salsa, juice, I could go on and on.

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I was impressed with the final result, it proved much more fruitful than my foray into brown rice noodles. However, I think the next time I try my hand at sweet potato noodles I’ll skip the sauce and “meat” and instead use steamed veggies and chopped tomatoes.

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Washing silk yourself

All my life I have believed that you have to dry clean silk. It’s a rule.

However, a friend of mine recently told me she washes all her own silk. I was all like “what? Shut the front door!” And she was all like “no for realsies, it’s so much cheaper than the dry cleaner!” And so I began the practice myself.

It’s much easier than you might think, you just need to be careful.

First, wash your silk piece in cold water with a very small amount of detergent.

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When you pull it out if the water, let it drip for a minute or two.

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Then roll the garment in a towel and dab it lightly to absorb excess water.

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Finally, hang it to dry somewhere indoors. Keep it out if direct sunlight as it could damage colour or shape.

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It will likely dry rather wrinkled, depending on the style and shape of the garment. If you have a steamer, this is your best option. If you must iron, keep it in a low setting and place a light towel between the garment and the iron.

Voila!

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I fixed my boots!

I have some black leather boots that are a few years old and I thought I had completely destroyed.

I walk everywhere year-round, which gives me terrible salt and water stains on my shoes during the winter months.

However, I was surfing Pinterest one day (best time ever) and came across a blurb on how to clean leather.

These particular boots have gone through two winters of ice, snow, and salt without proper cleaning, polishing, or protecting so I figured it wouldn’t work, but I decided to try anyway.

All I needed to do was dilute about an ounce of white vinegar with about two and a half cups of water.

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I washed each boot three times, letting them dry for about 20 minutes in-between scrubbings. Low and behold it actually worked!

I polished them with some black polish to ensure they were as bright as could be.

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Then I sprayed them with leather protector (a product I will no longer foolishly live without). And now? They’re looking great!

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Try it yourselves! Don’t throw those salt-stained boots away!

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Leaving Las Vegas

My post title isn’t completely correct on account of the fact that I’ve technically left Las Vegas at the time if this posting. Unfortunately, the wifi at McCarran was pretty shotty.

Anyway, I’m home now in Cowtown after a late Sunday night flight and basking in the crisp (seems like an apartment descriptor, right) Calgary air.

I posted last right before Canada won against USA, so let’s just throw in a AWWWWW yeah for the USA and Sweden wins and our men’s and women’s bringing home gold.

I also have to say I am sad to be home and away from Britney and Celine, my angels. I went to see Celine Dion perform at Caesars on Friday night and Britney Spears perform at Planet Hollywood on Saturday night.

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All I have to say is that they were both amazing and my life is now complete. We were in the second mezzanine for Celine, but right in the centre.

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And she slayed it. I am pretty sure she is immortal and insane and I love her. I obviously didn’t take photos of the show because I am polite and Queen Celine deserves more respect than that. I did take excited selfies before it started though, because I am apparently twelve on the inside.

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For Britney, we were closer to the stage, but off to the side. The how was clearly quite different than Celine, and Brit Brit killed it. Best lip-syncher in the business by far.

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Again, I have more class than to take photos during the show, but pre-show selfies are a must.

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And of course during the days, we kept busy with lots of walking the strip, drinking, and eating. All my favs, since I’m not a gambler. Some highlights: the insane buffet at the Mirage.

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The always wonderful Bellagio fountains.

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And the giant margaritas, which I was too busy drinking to snap any pictures of.

Waking up to -27 was definitely not fun. The countdown to summer is officially on.

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Vegas days

Hey friends! Who’s watching the Canada vs. USA game? I have the blessing if watching it from the comfort if the sports bar in the Mirage.

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I felt it was time to leave Calgary (again) and the weather in Las Vegas agreed.

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We got in last night and did a little drinking and a little gambling. I’m not much of a gambler, I think it’s silly when you know you’ll lose and just find no pleasure in it, so I cashed out as soon as I hit above my $20 bet. Score.

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And this morning we’re watching the game with a breakfast of champions.

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Go Team Canada!!

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