making: a new instagram account for sister and i’s travel adventures: @youandmegoeverywhere.

eating: all the incredible food europe has to offer.

drinking: gassy water (as my grandma calls it) aka orange perrier.

wanting: my back to feel less achy.

looking: for all the suggestions to eat, drink (coffee), and play in europe.

enjoying: life.

crushing: on the one i left behind.

waiting: for september 5.

wondering: what happens now?

needing: one more pair of shoes.

hoping: i’ll be able to change my number to something i want. and that i don’t yell at Rogers in frustration.

smelling: campfires – and not in a sad, BC-is-burning type way.

wearing: hats.

knowing: these next few months are going to be a lot of fun.

watching: blue jays games with dad; yes, even if they suck.

listening: to dad’s older neighbours tell me about their travel adventures.

noticing: kindness.

planning: not too far in advance.

feeling: excited.

have you ever hosted a baby shower?

this concept is very new to me, but with many friends pregnant or with newborns (or even on baby #2), i’ve been introduced to the world of baby showers aggressively and all at once.

i had been a guest at a few, but when i found out that Katey was expecting a baby girl, i took the reigns and organized my first baby shower. with input from mama-to-be, some google searching, and a little bit of my very own creativity, i think the end result was a hit!

here are a few tips for planning a baby shower:

make it personal

a pretty, pinterest-worthy party is incredible, but it’s important to add personality and personal touches. this isn’t a magazine spread, after all (just a blog post). ask the mama about the theme of the nursery, if they have found out the sex of the baby, or if there is something specific they’d like to incorporate. knowing Katey’s decorating style, i made sure to have a soft, neutral colour palette that included blush pink, white, and wood. i also asked both grandma’s-to-be for baby pictures of their children. i had them framed and scattered around the house and paid specific attention to the photos that included parents and children. the bond both of them have with their parents is very strong and we were only able to have one grandma with us at the party.

lots of food

trying to appease everyone’s tastebuds can be really difficult. between preferences, allergies, and aversions, you could drive yourself a little bonkers menu planning. i combat this by providing a lot of food, and different types. make sure there is at least one thing for the vegans, vegetarians, gluten-frees, and meat lovers. when you do something like a tea or appetizers, it can become very easy to plan a menu full of different finger foods. everyone will be happy with choices. you also never know how hungry everyone will be. i aim to make more food than needed; leftovers are always better than hungry guests.

listen to mama

when we first talked about it, Katey was adamant on one thing: no ribbon hat. she felt indifferent about one other topic: opening gifts in front of others. there is something about a semi-circle of on-lookers that can be a little unsettling. so when friends started asking if we were going to open presents soon, i went straight to mama. was this something she wanted to do, or did i need to put out the cease and desist? during the party, she warmed up to the idea, and everyone enjoyed seeing the adorable baby girl clothes.

pay attention to the jealous

often this point refers to the other children that might be around. in our case, Katey’s cat Weasley was feeling very jealous that the room full of women was not for him. instead of him hiding away, or curling up in his bed, he had to be in the middle of everything. he was spoiled with many pats and cuddles, and i took a lot of adorable photos of him. i’m sure he got a few extra treats that day, too.

make it fun

baby showers aren’t usually considered “fun”. they are nice, and pretty, and sweet…but mostly, they are quite dry. i didn’t want bored guests, so i incorporated two games – that had nothing to do with dirty diapers or baby food. the first was reminiscent of a game we played at Katey’s bachelorette. i asked her husband a number of questions and made her guess what she thought he’d answer. the bachelorette version involved shots when she got an answer wrong; the shower version just saw me reading the correct answer. the second game was more interactive. i posted eight photos on a board and asked the group just one question: “is this photo labour, or is it porn?” the laughter, conversation and blushing that came next was my favourite part and made those awkward google searches all worth it. i made it hard on purpose, and everyone seems to have a great time guessing – we had 100% involvement.

mama, guests, and i were all happy at the end of the day. and as long as the first one is, that’s all that matters -an added bonus with the others. good luck if you’re throwing a baby shower in the future, and let me know if you want any of those google photos ;)

it’s no secret that i get out to the mountains any chance i get. without a vehicle, it has become few and far between but thankfully i’ve found a few different transit options to get my fix.

both on-it regional transit and brewster express take you into the heart of canmore from calgary before they continue on to their final destinations.

in less than an hour, you’ll be enjoying the fresh air of the rockies. and while canmore makes an easy day trip, why wouldn’t you want to extend your stay?

the lamphouse hotel is the perfect place to do it!

situated at the beginning of canmore’s bustling main street, the newly renovated 25-suite hotel occupies the space previously held by the bow valley motel. it has been completely transformed into a high-end destination for the modern mountain adventure traveller. (hello, that’s me!)

the lamphouse hotel is named after one of the last remaining buildings from canmore’s coal mining era. built in 1916, the original lamphouse was a check-in/out site where miners would collect lamps before heading into the mines for the day.

in the new space, a blend of retro-chic and rustic contemporary is style displayed throughout. the king, queen and double queen rooms feature tufted leather headboards contrasted against ship-lapped walls and unique, trendy artwork. floor-to-ceiling windows open to stunning views of the canadian rocky mountains. an incredible view as you sip a coffee in the morning, made in your in-room nespresso.

i fondly named that fellow on the wall Bruce. Bruce the Moose.

each suite also features a digital concierge. what’s that? your room code will be emailed to you before your stay. when you arrive, proceed straight to your room and enter the code into the keypad. you no longer have to wait in line at a reception desk or worry about misplacing a key. it’s a perfect fit for the digitally-savvy, independent traveller. if you would rather talk to a real person, there is still a staffed front desk.

all units come equipped with a flat-screen 55-inch tv, complimentary wifi, and one free parking stall per unit – a luxury in downtown canmore!

local is present in every feature of the hotel, including the bathroom amenities. rocky mountain soap co. is a canmore-based company that draws inspiration from the raw and natural beauty that surrounds them in the snow-capped rockies every day. handmade in small batches using only 100% natural, simple ingredients, they work with growers sourcing the highest quality natural products.

the lemongrass scent is my favourite of theirs, and i happily washed my hands far too many times and then smothered them in lotion to get the delightfully calming smell in the air.

policeman’s creek boardwalk is a short stroll from the hotel. the walking trail follows the creek and is accessible off main street near spring creek drive. once you reach the end of the trail, cross the bridge into the spring creek community and follow the road back downtown.

the lamphouse hotel property also features a soon-to-open creekside hot tub so guests can be fully immersed in the nature of canmore while still accessing downtown amenities.

the best of the town’s restaurants and shops are a mere hop down the road. in in the evening, i suggest taking the short walk to where the buffalo roam saloon for a unique, well-researched quality craft cocktail, and amazing comfort foods designed for sharing. the pops and cracks from vintage records help create an intimate vibe in a well-designed environment, accented by wood and warm lighting.

stumble back to your home away from home and rest for the night in plush linens, on top of the line mattresses.

when you wake – at your leisure, of course – you’ll find a complimentary continental breakfast always waiting for you in your mini-fridge. a crate of yogurt and granola, apples, oranges, lara bars and orange juice are ready to be devoured.

happily welcome the knock at your door in the morning, as you’ll be greeted by a  staff member with a tray of delicious treats to choose from to complete your breakfast. if you’re up early, or miss the knock, you can find the fresh-baked breakfast accompaniments at the main reception desk.

like check-in, when you’re ready to check out of the hotel, simply place the supplied door tag on the room’s outside handle and close the door behind you. it couldn’t be easier!

lamphouse is just one of the new properties in canmore opened by basecamp. enjoy high-end comforts and amenities at affordable prices in the canmore area at basecamp resorts, basecamp lodge, and basecamp residencies (opening later this year).