Enjoy a Staycation in Calgary

By | Calgary, Vacation

Road trips, month-long holidays and weekend getaways are always a fun time, loads of timeless memories, but dang they’re a lot of work! Between packing, planning and executing the adventure (especially if you have kids) there is only a small fraction of time that allows you to actually enjoy the vacation at all.

That’s why we are encouraging you to put on your tourist hat and enjoy an exciting staycation right here in YYC. Our city has a ton of culinary delights, hidden gems and adventures to be had. Even if you think you’ve seen it all we promise you there are still lots of adventures to be had.

In our most recent episode of Homes and Lifestyles our host, Kim Hayden took a mini tour around Calgary and hit up some of her favourite spots around the city. She highlighted a few of her favourite spots, how to get around, where to dine and hotels with amazing amenities that will have you truly believe you’re on vacation!

Here are just a few must-see locations to add to the bucket list this summer without having to spend a pretty penny on a plane ticket!

The Glenbow

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This magnificent place holds some of the greatest art collections and artifacts from Calgary’s history in all the city. Throughout the last 50 years, the Glenbow has entertained many generations and hosted a variety of unique international art exhibitions that works to connect art, culture and the world around us. Giving us a sense character and place, the Glenbow has helped to shape our community, curate creativity throughout the city and connect us on a national and global level. It’s the spot where our city’s story is best told and we can grantee that you’re in for a memorable and personal experience every time you talk a walk through its art-filled hallways. You can always join them for an exhibition tour, behind-the-scenes experience, a film screening or an artist chat, whatever you prefer. Bring the whole family or simply come on a solo adventure – there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

The Calgary Zoo


Travel across the world, without having to leave the city at all! That’s right, the Calgary zoo is split up into continents, so you will feel like you’re in a different climate and country in each exhibit you visit. From red pandas to flamingos to gorillas to lemurs to hippos to penguins, there are lots of animal varieties for you to observe and even interact with, in a safe environment of course. New to the zoo this year re the Giant Panda’s and they have created quite the stir so far. Be sure to check them out more than once in the next few years that they are here. Grab a snack from their many cafés and head out on a safari adventure – YYC style!

See the city on a Segway

 


There are many ways to see the city, but have you seen it on a Segway? If the answer is no, we highly recommend booking on for you and the family this summer. The guides at River Valley Adventure Co will lead the tour, expanding on Calgary’s rich cultural history, while pointing out landmarks and showing you hidden gems that you might have otherwise missed if you were on foot. We can guarantee you this experience is safe, fun and more than memorable. It’s time you saw Calgary from a different angle and fell in love with your city all over again.

The Calgary Tower + SKY 360


It may be cliché, but you have to venture up the tower if you’re spending the day rediscovering Calgary! For most of us that live here, we haven’t actually explored the tower very in-depth. To make your experience even more worth it, this year is the 50th anniversary of our iconic red tower. As a result, they will be hosting a variety of events, contests and fun activities throughout the year in celebration. While you’re there you have to dine at SKY 360 and get a rotating birds-eye view of the city during your meal. This is the truly authentic way to view the city from above!

International Avenue


For a truly unique experience, we highly recommend hitting up the International avenue. This is one of the oldest and original parts of the city and its rich history is still very evident throughout the community. It’s a one-stop shopping stop for all things international! From retail goods, services and food you can find just about any cultural dish here on the ave. We recommend starting at Illichmann’s Sausage Shop Ltd., Begim Uzbekistan Restaurant or Indonesian Kitchen. All are very unique and authentic to the customs and traditions of each culture – especially when it comes to the ingredients. You’ll feel like you’re in a different country at each of these delicious restaurants!

YYC Food Trucks

 

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You’ll see them scattered around the city during lunch hour, along with at the various events, festivals, and activities that happen around the city each summer. The trucks are colourful and each one brings with it, it’s own personality, taste, and experience. They bring people together and hang out in some of the most beautiful corners of our city. Keep an eye out for them this summer and eat your way through Calgary, one food truck at a time!

Shop local


Instead of spending your summer in an air-conditioned mall, head out to the many shopping districts that are scattered around the city. You’ll not only be getting a way better quality product, but you’ll be supporting a small business or the work of local artists or maker while helping to pump up Calgary’s vibrant economy – it all comes full circle. Be sure to hit up Kensington Village, Mission (also known as 4th Street) and Inglewood, just to name a few. Each of these areas holds their own unique character and charm and will have you lost in an adventure all day long!

 

Missed the episode? Watch it here!

In the Bedroom

By | Calgary, Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorised | No Comments

We head to the bedroom on Homes & Lifestyles this week. And we don’t just talk about the best way to decorate this very personal space – we do talk about that and it’s amazing – but we also talk about navigating romantic relationships. Specifically, we talk about making meaningful connections with our partner and with ourselves. Because how we treat ourselves directly relates to how we treat our partners and how we expect them to treat us. Self-care and self-love are often the first steps to connection.

On the show, Kim is joined by Kimberly Nelson, a Registered Provisional Psychologist at Flourish Psychological Services, to dive further into this topic. After the show, we caught up with Kimberly to talk about how to approach counselling, specifically relationship counselling. Kimberly guides us through selecting the right person to talk to, what to expect, and when to seek guidance.

Who is relationship counselling for and who can benefit?

Relationship counselling is for anyone who wants to improve their relationship(s). The quality of our lives is often tied to the quality of our relationships. Even with individual therapy, I want to know about your relationship with yourself – how you treat yourself, how you talk to yourself, and how you ask for and accept care from others. How we treat ourselves plays out in what we accept in other relationships too.

In romantic relationships, we’re looking at how effectively the couple functions together – how well they communicate, handle conflict, and meet one another’s needs, both in and out of the bedroom. Interestingly, happy, stable couples don’t necessarily have less conflict, they’re just generally better at routinely repairing the relationship.

With platonic relationships (i.e. family, friends, business partners), we may still look at communication, conflict, goals, and clarifying roles. In any relationship, trust, effective communication, healthy boundaries, shared values and goals, and managing conflict are potential areas that can be improved through counselling.

What’s the best way to find someone you can connect with?

Speaking to your family doctor, word of mouth, or professional sites, such as Psychology Today, are helpful places to start. Sites like Psychology Today allow users to search potential therapists by location, speciality, therapies offered, and rates. You can also see if they offer online booking, free consultation, or direct billing to insurance companies. Here is my profile on Psychology Today as an example.

More than any one type of therapy, the strength of the therapeutic relationship is the strongest predictor of whether a client will reach their goals in therapy. As such, it’s important to find a good match with your therapist. You can’t be all things to all people and neither can a therapist. This is why therapists typically offer a free initial phone consultation. You can get a sense of whether you might be comfortable working with them and you will also have an opportunity to ask questions about their work, credentials, or therapy in general.

How do you know you need relationship therapy?

The short answer is: if you think you do, you do. Unfortunately, research suggests that, couples often come to therapy six years after the problems started. This can create a big hill to climb. Ideally, we want to address issues early. In fact, even happy couples in the early stages of their relationship can benefit from improved communication or conflict skills when the relationship seems easy, motivation to please one another is high, and there isn’t a closet full of hurts to deal with. Singles can also work with a therapist to review patterns in their dating history and to create goals and improved skills for future relationships.

What are some of the reasons people seek out therapy?

People commonly seek therapy during life transitions and major stressors, such as a new marriage, birth, divorce, a death, or a job change. For example, when raising a young family, couples report the lowest levels of relationship satisfaction.

Sometimes there is a crisis, such as infidelity. Just as often, it is a nagging sense of disappointment. After long hours at work, raising kids, aging, etc., people can find their relationships have lost the spark. They may find themselves fighting over the same issues again and again. Another common complaint for couples is differing levels of sexual desire.

What’s the difference between a therapist and a psychologist? Does it matter for relationship therapy?

The terms therapist and counsellor are not regulated. Anyone can say they are a “counsellor” or a “therapist.” Be sure to review credentials.

A psychologist on the other hand, is a protected professional designation. In Alberta, Psychologists are regulated by the College of Alberta Psychologists and are required to abide by the professional ethics and practice standards of the College. Most insurance companies require counselling to be done with a registered member of the College to be eligible for reimbursement under insurance plans. However, each plan is different and clients must check with their insurance providers to confirm the requirements.

What can patients expect during their first visit?

The first session is an opportunity to meet one another and see if there might be a good fit and to ask any initial questions you may have. Your therapist may ask about basic health information (such as current medications) and take a brief history of the problem that brought you to therapy.

I always ask clients three questions in the first session. I ask why therapy, why now, and why me? This helps me explore what the client’s goals might be, what prompted the appointment, especially if the problem has been long standing. Lastly, it tells me if there is something about my work or my profile that spoke to them and possibly gave them hope for change. For some clients, choosing a therapist may be related to something as simple as the location of the practice, the fee schedule, or office hours.

Is the initial session a couples session or solo session?

That depends. It’s ideal if partners can work on the relationship together. However, that’s not always possible. Individuals can work on their relationships in individual therapy. For example, sometimes one spouse demands that the other attend therapy on their own, if the relationship is to continue. An individual client may want to learn relationship skills to take home and apply to their marriage. Sometimes individual counselling is the first step before couples counselling.

For couple’s therapy, usually the partners attend together. However, each partner may attend occasional individual sessions with the therapist. In this case, individual sessions are meant to supplement the couple’s work and there is usually an explicit agreement that anything discussed in the individual sessions may be brought into the next couple’s session. The purpose of this agreement is to preserve the shared trust and bond between the therapist and the couple.

What can be expected throughout treatment?

As Phoenix Brill, the owner of Flourish, often says, “Sometimes, the water gets murky before it clears.” Some sessions can feel wonderful. It can be a great relief to have a skilled professional listen intently and empathize with you. When is the last time you felt truly listened to and understood? However, change can be hard. Learning new insights and skills takes work, but even small steps can lead to big changes!

How many sessions are needed?

Again, it depends. In private therapy, this tends to be individualized depending on the client’s needs and resources (including time and energy – not just finances) and whether they have achieved their goals or not. Once therapy is completed, clients may return for maintenance sessions or to tackle new goals (PS maintenance isn’t just good for cars!).

In community based programs, there are often set limits, such as 6 or 12 sessions. This can also be true of brief therapies (e.g. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy) or structured and skills based therapies (e.g. manualized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).You can enjoy Kim’s full discussion with Kimberly on the show this Saturday, May 19 at 10:00 a.m. on CTV Calgary. Each week on Homes & Lifestyles, we are joined by inspirational Calgarians who help us dive further into our weekly topics. This week is no different and we thank you for your time Kimberly.

Kimberly has provided additional resources below.

Books:

Getting The Love You Want

Getting The Love You Want Workbook

Getting the Sex You Want

Attached

Passionate Marriage

Come as You Are

Sexual Intelligence

Online Resources:

Esther Perel is a masterful therapist and currently has a fantastic series available on iTunes and audible (free for Audible members). Where Do We Begin explores a variety of couples in a therapy session. It offers a unique opportunity to be a fly on the wall on in couple’s therapy. https://www.estherperel.com/podcast

You can sign up for the marriage minute email with great, science supported tips for making relationships their best. https://www.gottman.com/marriage-minute/

Courses:

Gottman has a wonderful weekend course for couples, yes even happy couples, who want to stay that way!  (https://www.gottman.com/couples/workshops/art-science-of-love/).

 

Garage Sale 411

By | Calgary, Community, Home, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle | No Comments

Just like the smell of fresh cut grass, garage sales are SUMMER. And if you’re like many Calgarians, you’ll be checking a few out or even hosting a sale of your very own; especially now that this warmer weather is here to stay. Garage sales are a fantastic way to shed items you no longer want or have any use for. Remember, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure! Garage sales make an amazing finale to an intense SPRING cleaning project, so it’s best to prep for one now. After a long winter (and wow, this has been a long one), it is energizing to open the windows, bring out ALL the cleaning products, and get scrubbing. Pair your cleaning efforts with the right organization plan and you’ll be set for preparing for a garage sale of your very own.

On the show this week, Kim learns how to clean and organize her space. Just think S.P.A.C.ESort, Purge, Assign, Containerize, and Evaluate. Kim goes through these steps to get the most out of her space but for now let’s tackle PURGE. You’ve picked out what you no longer need and you are ready for your sale. But are you? Not to worry, your garage sale 411 is here to help.

Getting Started

The best place to start is to talk to your neighbours. See if they have anything coming up and if there is a chance to work together on a sale. If nothing is going on, pick your date and time. Try your best to pick something on the weekend and cross your fingers for good weather. You can share your event on Facebook, Kijiji, or even take out an ad in your local community newsletter. If you don’t have enough items to host a sale, you can always use Facebook buy and sell groups, Kijiji, or sites like VarageSale.

Helpful Tips

Weather you host a sale or use one of the sites above, make sure your item is priced appropriately. Don’t be afraid of a little barter but do the research and know what your item is worth. On the day of your sale, make sure to have enough change (minimum $100) broken up into small amounts. Use a pen and paper to keep track of your sales and how much things went for. It helps to have an extension cord on hand so that interested buyers can try out an electronic device before buying. Keep bags and newspaper on hand for wrapping items and packing them up. Don’t forget signage and balloons to help draw in crowds. Pair that with live Tweeting, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live and you’ll be sure to attract a crowd online and in the real world. Last tip, make sure to have lots of help!

Donate!

Not everything is going to sell but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have worth. Take your left-over items to one of the amazing organizations listed below. We’ve broken down what each will take but be sure to check their website or call ahead if you aren’t sure.

Calgary Drop-In Centre

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Small appliances
  • Books

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

  • Large appliances (less than 10 years old)
  • Furniture
  • Home décor
  • Lighting
  • Electrical supplies
  • Unopened paint, primer, stain
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Showers and bathtubs
  • Cabinets
  • Unopened flooring
  • Hardware and tools
  • Building materials
  • Microwaves

WINS – Women in Need Society Thrift Stores

  • Baby and Children’s Clothes and Toys
  • Women’s Clothes, Shoes and Accessories
  • Men’s Clothes, Suits and Shoes
  • Jewelry and Collectibles
  • Furniture
  • Household Items and Home Décor
  • Sporting Equipment

Electronic Recycling Association (ERA)

  • Unwanted electronics

Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Bedding, linens, drapes
  • Housewares

WorldServe

  • Bedding, linens, towels
  • Books, CDs, DVDs, games
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Craft items
  • Furniture
  • Home furnishings
  • Antiques
  • Kitchenware
  • Sporting goods (no mechanized exercise equipment)
  • Small appliances
  • Yard/garden items
  • Seasonal items
  • Shopping bags

Calgary Inter-Faith Furniture Society

  • Furniture
  • Kitchenware
  • Small appliances
  • Toys and games
  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Music

Goodwill

  • Clothing
  • Home décor
  • Small appliances
  • Tvs, stereos, small electronics
  • Small tools
  • Sporting equipment
  • Toys, games
  • Books, movies, music
  • Household goods
  • Linens

Cornerstone Youth Centre

  • School supplies
  • Art/Craft supplies

Food Bank

  • Canned food
  • Juice
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Baby food and formula
  • Diapers

Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank

  • Sporting equipment

Two Wheel View

  • Tools
  • Bike pannier sets
  • Bikes

Kidseat Recyclers:

  • Take your old carseat in to be recycled

Best of luck getting prepared this spring!  Download our Garage Sale 411 PDF for a quick breakdown to help you make the most out of your garage sale. Catch us this Wednesday May 9 at 8:30 a.m. on CTV Two or Saturday May 12 at 10 a.m. on CTV Calgary to catch our full Spring episode.

Home Automation: The Future is Here

By | Calgary, Design, Entertainment, Home, Home Maintenance, Home Security | No Comments

Picture this. You come home after a long day and your home is ready for you. The door is unlocked, the lights are on, blinds are drawn, the temperature is set to where you like it, and that package you ordered is waiting for you on the counter. No, you didn’t forget to turn everything off before leaving and no, you didn’t forget to lock your door, your home is smart. A quick trip over to your wall mounted, touch-screen control panel reveals the time that package was dropped off, how many times your door was opened during the day, and any motion that happened within your home.

Home automation may seem like science fiction, who can forget the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL? Okay, let’s forget about HAL, please! But home automation is exactly what it sounds like, the ability to control devices and things around the home. And it really isn’t the far off futuristic concept you might think it is. At its core, home automation is about setting up your home environment to adapt to what you do and how you live your life. You can do this remotely with the simple push of a button, you can program things in advance by using your touch-screen panel, and you can even control things with your voice once you are home.

On the show this week, we learned the best ways to keep our home secure. We teamed up with the experts at Adera Technologies learn the best ways to use home automation to complement a home security system to give added piece of mind.

Panel Touch-screen

This main access panel provides control over all automated aspects of the home. Think of it as your central control station. You can make changes instantly or program things in advance – like having your lights come on at a certain time of day or having your doors unlock just before you arrive home. A processor is at the core of every home automation system and this processor sets the customized system apart. Think of the processor as the brains of the operation – it keeps everything in check and allows you to add in features like voice activation or apps on your smart phone to control your system in different ways. When paired with an app on your phone, as long as you have access to the internet, you are able to control things when you’re away from home – however far away that might be.


Alexa or Google Home for Voice Command

Step up your home automation by adding in voice command system like Alexa or Google Home. Imagine walking into your home and using your voice to control the TV going on, the blinds going up, and the doors unlocking. It’s as easy as asking.


IP Cameras

In simple terms, these are cameras that can be accessed over a network connect. Read: as long as you have access to the internet, you can check on your home while you’re away. This digital video camera is commonly used for surveillance, which can be professionally set up to take your security system to the next level.


Automated Blinds

This is just want it sounds like, blinds that go up and down automatically. Step it up a notch with a device like Alexa or Google Home and use your own voice to command the blinds. These can also be controlled from a distance or programed in advance when tied into an overall system, giving you the ability to heighten your home security.


Door Stations

Have a nagging feeling that you forgot to lock the front door? Not a problem. Imagine being able to lock and unlock the doors to your home from a distance. You can take it a step further and monitor how many times the door has been opened during a specific timeframe. If something is being delivered to your home and you’d like it brought inside, check in on your front door IP camera, let the delivery person in, and then lock the door behind them – all from a distance.


Motion and Flood Monitors

Track motion throughout the home while you are away and use a flood monitor to ensure no problems arise while you are on vacation. When added to your home security system, these two monitoring system will take your security to the next level.

If you have any questions about home automation, check in with the experts at Adera Technologies.
ANA Interiors tours us through Adera Technologies on Homes & Lifestyles this Saturday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m. on CTV Calgary.