Take a Hike - by Lynda Pianosi

"Take A Hike with Your Children" by: Lynda Pianosi
at Elbow Lake, Kananaskis AB
Remember when you were a kid and your dad used the term, "Take a Hike!"  Well now you can take his words literally!

"Take a Hike with Your Children"
by: Lynda Pianosi
"Take a Hike with Your Children" by Lynda Pianosi is an easy to read book, intended to get families active, outside and interested in nature.  And we certainly have one of the most beautiful playgrounds in our back yard, The Canadian Rockies!  There are more than 40 hikes within a two-hour drive from Calgary.  This is the perfect book for young families wanting to get out and appreciate what Mother Nature has given us! 

In this easy to read guide, there's picture icons that let you know if the trail you and your young family is about to embark on is stroller friendly, if there are bathrooms, fire pits, shelters and more.  Getting ready for your outdoor adventure was never this easy!  Now you know what you and your family are in for.  No more guessing if the hike is suitable for your family!  I love it!  It also gives you an outline for all walking abilities, to competent walkers through to advanced walkers.  Parents are the best judge of their children's walking abilities and you can use these guidelines to help you know where to go! 

"Take A Hike with Your Children" by Lynda Pianosi
at Grassi Lakes, Canmore AB
In this guide ,"Take A Hike with Your Children", Lynda had done extensive research on Banff Hikes, Canmore Hikes, Kananaskis Hikes and Lake Louise Hikes.  Plus there is additional information on other local adventure hikes for your family.  Plus the whole book has photos, so you can actually see what you and your family are getting into!

"Take a Hike with Your Children"
by: Lynda Pianosi
at Larch Valley Hike, Lake Louise AB
Thank you Lynda Pianosi for the tremendous amount of time and energy you put into this outstanding book.  Full of useful information and resources.  Now, no more excuses for not getting out with the kids!  You have one of the most amazing opportunities only minutes away! 

Happy Hiking!!

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Fairmont Hot Springs Resort - GREAT family get away!

Over the long weekend we headed to the mountains to camp at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.  Growing up in BC, I love being able to come back to the mountains with a short 3-4 hour drive from Calgary.  (Of course the drive time depends on how many stops you have to make with two kids in tow!) 

This was my 4 year old second or third time in the mountains, and we found that he gets a little nervous with the mountains so close together.  Especially when you come down the hill into Radium.  But once we were in the valley he was excited.  And we were thrilled that we made it too, as this was only our second trip with our new trailer.  But all went well.  (Except the sudden slam on the breaks as a mountain sheep decided to cross the highway... oh and the black bear on the side of the hwy!) 

Once we set up at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, let the fun begin!!  This was a GREAT place to bring the kids AND the dog! 

From mini golf, to bouncy castles to swimming in the hot springs.  It's was the perfect place for our family of 4!  Plus, for the grown ups there's some of the best golfing around!! So if you're wondering where to take the kids, take them on the short drive into beautiful British Columbia. 

From Radium, Invermere, Windermere to Fairmont, there's so much for a family to do!!  Thanks for the GREAT long weekend Fairmont Hot Springs Resort!

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Calgary West Country Market

There's a new market in town (well... close to town)!  Right across from Calaway Park, the Calgary West Country Market is NOW open.  It's certainly worth the drive!  There's nothing better than seeing local crafts, artists, talent and food!  But it's more than just a Market!  It's a step back in time with a Wild West experience.  You'll be welcomed with riders on horseback!  And select weeks will have gun fights, carriage rides and other entertainment with a wild west flavour.  Plus on select weekends they will provide musical entertainment on the stage as you come in.  Not only that, but you'll see movie props and have a chance to explore sets from movies that have been filmed in and around Calgary!  You can even purchase a piece of cinematic history!

The day we went out, it was a BLAST!  We had a cupcake from Smarty Cakes and only to learn that she even makes Gluten Free Cupcakes!  I know a lot of people will be thrilled with that.  You can see her full collection here.

Even the Tooth Fairy showed up to see what the market had to offer.  Outside we "horsed around", and eventually went back inside to shop for the worlds best pretzle from The Black Forest Bakery.  The Black Forest Bakery is in Olds and you can find out more from their Facebook page here.

From there I needed something sparkly... and I found it from Crystal Creations by Christine!

Crystal Creations by Christine also has beautiful bracelets that give back.  In the Spring of 2011, Christine wanted to give back to the community and began making a difference in Cancer patients lives one bracelet at a time by creating the Colors of Cancer bracelets. The awareness bracelets are made with 20 Swarovski Crystals and each represents a different type of cancer. She sells the bracelets for $40.00 and donates $25.00 directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation from the sale of each bracelet. Since May 2, 2011 Christine has sold 124 bracelets and donated over $3,000.00 to Cancer research and treatment in our local hospitals. All of Crystal Creation designs can be found at Calgary West Country Market on Saturday's.  You can also see the collection on her Facebook page here.

Next time I go back, I'm picking up a Wristlet from On The Go Creativity.  What's that you ask?  Something every busy mom NEEDS!  If you're like me and just can't seem to find your keys in your purse, or you just need an extra hand, a Wristlet is a cool wrist band that you attach your keys to.  What I usually do is clip my keys to my pant loop. Well, that proved to be the wrong thing to do... I lost my car key in the process and couldn't get home.  So On The Go Creativity, I'll be back to the Calgary West Country Market for my Wristlet!!  You can also visit On The Go Creativity on Facebook here.  They also offer belts, dog door bells, soother straps and dog accessories.

And last, but not least, we made a stop for some fresh LOCAL veggies!  Thank you!  It made our salsa the best it's been yet!  I LOVE local produce!

And these are just a few of the AMAZING vendors at Calgary West Country Market.  Find out for yourself!  Every Saturday from 8:30am to 1pm.  Take Hwy 1 West.  They're right across from Calaway Park.  Here's a map.  The Calgary West Country Market is full of Great Ideas and Amazing People!

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Cancer Chic

Cancer.  It’s a word that just won’t go away.  And there is more than just one type of cancer.  Cancer affects everyone.  In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to not find someone who knows someone who has cancer.  As health care professionals and medical scientists work tirelessly to find a cure, and to understand this beast, all we can do is wait.  Some will beat it, and some will succumb to it.  And those who live it will SURVIVE it.  It’s a journey that will change your life forever. 

Just ask Heather Alvas and Karla Laing.  Two gorgeous women who survive this on a daily basis.  By looking at them, you would NEVER know the suffering they’ve both been through.  In 1999 Heather was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the appendix stage 4.  At first, the diagnosis was not positive and they didn’t think she’d see her next birthday.  But through medical and natural treatments, and the amazing support of her family and friends she survived.  Four years later, after the birth of her son, the cancer reappeared in her left lung, and she had her lung removed in May 2004.  Karla was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009, one year after the birth of her second daughter.  While working to get into the best physical shape she’d been in 20 years, she knew her body well enough to know that something just wasn’t right.  And after a series of tests, she was given the diagnosis.  Both women are currently cancer free, but continue to SURVIVE cancer on a daily basis. 

Both Heather and Karla have always been there for each other.  They met in University in Saskatchewan in 1992, and then both made Calgary home shortly after, to follow their dreams and start their careers.  And today, together, they created Cancer Chic in December 2011.

Heather is married with one child and works part-time as an IT Project Manager.  A self-described “girly girl” who loves make-up and beauty and who is passionate about being chemical-free, Heather enjoys bringing her knowledge and ideas to women living with cancer through Cancer Chic.

Karla is a married, stay-at-home Mom with 2 young daughters and she finished cancer treatments just under 2 years ago.  Karla adores fashion and is fanatical about fitness.  She is often busy trying new activities and encouraging her family and friends to get active and live in the moment.  Bringing Cancer Chic to life has been a labour of love for Karla and she looks forward to growing the scope of the organization.

With their huge hearts and understanding of living with cancer, Cancer Chic offers a workshop every 2 months held at the Wellspring Calgary.  The workshops are targeted to women living with cancer who are between the ages of 18 and 45 years old, and are interested in any or all of the following three areas:  chemical free make-up and skincare, hair loss strategies, and fitness.  Their overall goal is to inspire and support women who are living with cancer to feel stronger and more confident for life.  

Visit their website and be inspired and moved.  They share their story through pictures that will take your breath away and give you goosebumps.  And through Cancer Chic, they can give back the strength that was given to them while they went through their own life changing moments.  Two beautiful women who define Courage, Hope, Health and LOVE.  Thank you Heather and Karla for touching our lives.  

Be sure to check back for the launch of their big fundraiser November 2012.

To empower and support young women living with cancer through beauty, fashion and fitness.  

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