What I’m obsessed with today… macarons!

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Lately I have been seeing macarons everywhere! They’re all over my instagram feed and they look so darn tasty. Who doesn’t want to eat a little pastry that has filling and comes in every color of the rainbow. I think they’re the new frozen yogurt, which was the new doughnut, which was the new cupcake, etc. etc.. I feel like there are more places in Calgary offering macarons. Either that or I was totally oblivious to them before. Since I currently can’t get enough of them I thought I’d share two places I’ve tried macarons and two places that are tops on my list to try, all in Calgary.

Ollia Macarons & Tea

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I’ve seen photos of Ollia macarons on instagram and they always looked lovely, just like the store just off 17th ave, where you can purchase them! I tried three varieties and my favourite was Earl Grey. They also sell tea but I was only interested in the pastries. Ollia also offers a macaron baking class in their kitchen which sounds like a great girls night activity! Photos from www.byollia.com

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Monplaisir

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Monplaisir is located in the food court in The Core, which is a shopping center in downtown Calgary. It’s kind of hidden away so I wouldn’t be surprised if most people don’t know it’s there. They sell macarons and Belgian chocolate. Even thought these macarons are cost more the Ollia’s ($2.50 compared to $2.00 each) I must say I did like them a teensy bit more. The cookie was more dense and chewy, which I enjoyed. Below is a photo of the three varieties I tried. Rose lychee, peanut butter and jelly, and lavender honey which was my favourite. Top photo from www.monplaisir.ca

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Made by Marcus

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I’ve heard lots of good things about Made by Marcus macarons and am excited to try some out! They are sold in different venues across Calgary. the closest to me is Bridgeland Market, so it looks like I’ll be taking a stroll over there soon! All the venues are listed on his website. Photos from www.madebymarcus.ca

Yann Haute Patisserie

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Yann Haute Patisserie is located in a sweet yellow house in the Mission neighbourhood. I’ve also heard great things about their macarons. Looking at the flavours on their website www.yannboutique.com, blackcurrant and Irish coffee are two that I would be interested in tasting!  Photos are from  www.pinterest.com/yannboutique

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conclusion

Where are your top places to get macarons in your town and what’s your favourite flavour?

What I’m listening to today… Birdy

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I just started listening to Birdy this week after her version of Skinny Love came up on a playlist I was listening to on Spotify (Love Spotify btw). Her beautiful voice and lovely piano music had me coming back to it again and again, so imagine my surprise when I found out Birdy is just 18! Born in 1996, Birdy’s full name is Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde. This talented indie folk/pop singer/songwriter has 2 albums out and has contributed three songs to the soundtrack for the movie The Fault in Our Stars. Find out more about Birdy at officialbirdy.com and enjoy these songs!

CONCLUSION

Birdy’s music is the perfect accompaniment to working in my sewing room and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

Sartoria: comfy and cosy upcycled

Last night the city was covered in a snow blanket. A reminder that even though it is spring I live in Calgary where it can be sunny, snowy, and rainy all in one day. The urge to hibernate in warm and comfy clothes with a hot drink is strong. This reminded me of a great brand that I discovered at the Art Market here in Calgary last November. Sartoria upcycles cashmere and merino wool sweaters into one of a kind pieces. Based and created in Toronto, they embrace “slow fashion” and it shows in the eye catching color combos and fantastic quality. At the Art Market the designer was even on hand to custom make select pieces! Sartoria will be back next year and I’m glad for the heads up so I can put some dollars aside for luxurious long johns. You can also shop from the Sartoria website www.sartoria.ca.

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All photos from www.sartoria.ca

CONCLUSION

Snow isn’t so bad. Especially when you have something warm and cosy to snuggle up in.

My way to remember Lulu

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This past summer my family’s beloved pet of 14 years passed away. She had been sick for awhile and it was time to let her go. Lulu, a Shar pei mix, was a loyal and loving dog. I can remember going with my Mom to help pick her out from her litter. I held her on my lap on the way home and was so excited to have such a cute and cuddly addition to the family.

In no time she grew up and loved to leap in the air, fetch sticks, give kisses and dance. I always felt safe when Lulu was around. She had a loud bark and could look very fierce if she wanted to. I think her favourite thing was just to be around her family. We never had to worry about her wandering off, she always came when called, and you could always find her taking a snooze wherever our family was gathered.

My sister and I never tired of trying to get her to wear hats and outfits, which she hated but tolerated up to a point. Earlier posts that featured Lulu are a video we made of her, Homage to keyboard cat, and the one summer we buried her in the sand, What I’m obsessed with today… 2 dogs and a cat.

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Before Lulu passed away I got my Mom to get some modeling clay and make an impression of Lulu’s paw. I work for Peartree Impressions, a company that specializes in transforming delicate hand, foot, and pet impressions into stunning, one-of-a-kind keepsakes. They have a fantastic natural-clay kit to make the impressions in, but since I couldn’t get one to Lulu in time they were able to take a duplicate from the modeling clay. I had impressions made for me as well as my brother and sister. I choose to do mine in Aqua and have Lulu’s name written in script.

I wanted to figure out a way to display the impression with photos of Lulu and this was my solution. I got the frames and embroidery floss from Michaels and the twine from Target. My parents live beside a huge lake and Lulu loved the water so I incorporated the driftwood I collected there last summer. Hot glue helped to make sure everything stayed in place. I used a picture of her as a wrinkly puppy and another from her later years and I’m very pleased with the outcome!

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Peartree Impressions is running a great spring giveaway until April 10, 2014. You can enter for a chance to win two of their impressions kits. Share with a friend or keep them both for yourself. They also make great gifts! Click to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY. Check out more examples of what Peartree offers on their website, Facebook and twitter pages.

 

CONCLUSION

Now every time I sit at my desk I’m reminded of all the good memories and fun times I had with Lulu. I feel like I have a little piece of her with me and that makes me smile.