after work, i headed home and performed magic: i packed a weekend bag in 20-minutes flat.

i can’t say i’ve ever done that before, and i am hoping that when i go to get dressed tomorrow morning i haven’t forgotten anything.

running out the door, i caught my shuttle and 20-minutes later i was at my destination – the new international terminal at the calgary airport.

sadly, i’m not catching a flight anywhere exotic, but i am spending the weekend at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel.

i brought my passport just in case the travel bug takes over from watching planes take off all day. i can see both the air canada and west jet boarding gates, and my first trip of 2018 sounds pretty tempting! though, a city staycation is also blissful. Marriott Hotels have some of the most comfortable beds amongst hotel chains, and if you like a good shower, you’re in the right place.

when i got to my room i was greeted with a personalized note (my favourite) and an itinerary of what to expect for the weekend. i checked my watch, i had to get changed and head down to the mezzanine; it was cocktail time!

if you’ve been kicking around here for a while, you’ll know i don’t drink much. heck, i went out for a bachelorette party night in vegas sober, and strictly high on life.

i don’t know much about alcohol, so when i found out that the first activity of the weekend was actually a competition to create a signature cocktail, my heart started to flutter. have i mentioned my anxiety doesn’t do well with the word “competition” either?

thankfully, i was paired with SamiJoe, who used to bartend and is pretty creative when it comes to mixing a drink. and as a mother to preteens, she’s pretty darn good at calming anxiety, too.

we made a deal, she’d mix the drink, i’d take the photos, and i’d help brainstorm what to name it.

i think i held up my end of the bargain!

the base of all the cocktails was Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon. from there we had an array of liquors, bitters, spices, herbs, fruits, pureés and the like to experiment with.

after taking a look at all the ingredients, we had 30 minutes to create our cocktail. SamiJoe knew she wanted to start with rosemary and built the rest of her flavour profile from there.

the end result, named Merlin’s Magic, included Maker’s Mark, absinthe, angostura bitters, rosemary and bourbon soaked cherries, stirred with ice, strained and served in a martini glass, manhattan-style.


our cocktail didn’t win, but neither of us thought that it may.

after the competition, i was drawn to the table of snacks laid out by the talented staff from YAKIMA kitchen + bar – the restaurant in the lobby of the hotel.

mini beef sliders, homemade jerky, freshly baked buns and bacon jam, charcuterie, chicken wings, and so much more.

nibbles will always win me over and make me happy (especially if i haven’t eaten dinner and it’s 9 p.m.!).

i excused myself from the gathering to head up to the private M Club lounge on the seventh floor of the hotel. it’s very private and requires keycard access. i knew i could come blog in a quiet space. bonus: there is sparkling water on tap and a jar of freshly baked cookies.

it’s far too late, and we have a full day of events planned tomorrow. this kitten needs her beauty sleep!

thank you, Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel for inviting me to stay and enjoy this weekend. 

i’ve been inviting all sorts of positivity into my life for a while now and with each passing day, i can actually see how it has been affecting my outlook and daily energy. there is just far too much negativity out there and it seems complaining is the popular thing to do nowadays. no thanks, i have no interest in that! i’m all about smiling, and laughing, and twirling, and hugging, and telling people how much i adore them. i have plenty of time for all of that good stuff!

saying that, this week has shown me that i need a lesson in managing my expectations. all this positivity allowed me to get my hopes too high for a few things. as sister says, “low expectations.” maybe even a bit lower than that. i’m feeling a bit emotional about it all today, but know the only option is to just keep being me.

do you name things? last night at the barre body studio’s five-year anniversary party, i planted a succulent – that included a buried intention and a crystal of my choosing – with the help of one of their great instructors. “her name’s Ophelia,” Hilary exclaimed! yes, that’s definitely her name. it made me think, i have named my vehicles (Suby and Mable) and named my laptop and phone (Otis and Goldie), why haven’t i named my plants? how unlike me. now that i’ve welcomed Ophelia to the family, i’ll have to go back and name my three other plants in the living room.

i have a few very fun days ahead of me. i’m checking into the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel tonight for a weekend staycation, and then going to The Bash wedding event with H and more of her lovely girlfriends on sunday – after brunch, of course.

what are you up to this weekend?

looking back at photos of san francisco are both warming and cruel. but when it feels like -32 you have to daydream a little. it also has me looking at flights.

have you defrosted, friends? this week has been all frozen boogers and eyelash icicles (which, i must admit, are rather pretty).

this cold weather has me craving mac&cheese so badly. the homemade kind that i haven’t made in years, but probably should because it’s so delicious, but you know, not the healthiest, and there is absolutely no way to enjoy it in moderation. you can’t. you just can’t. you have to make the largest pot of it and eat it until you need to take a nap. maybe it’s for the best the forecast is warming up. let me know if you want to come over for mac&cheese.

to be honest, since being home all i can think of is really great food. calgary is catching up in terms of new and different restaurants, but the abundance of killer cuisine available in toronto makes me so happy. i ate very well with friends during my visit. i think my favourite combination is talking to great people while eating delicious food. that’s the kind of stuff that fills my tank.

are you a new year goal setter? i’m not, but i did take some time as the calendar switched over to reflect on the year and set my sights forward. i’m feeling a lot of pleasure from slowing things down, keeping things simple and embracing the ride. i’ve got my positive pants on, but they are still realistic pants. tres fashionable and maybe the only pair of pants that still fit me.

poor erin is sick again, which means no catching up nor scrumptious french food tonight, but we’ll take a raincheck. this weekend is made for resting, finishing the numerous organizing projects i started during the week, some friend time and some baby cuddling. i know, i know but when it belongs to one of your dearest friends, babies might be kinda cute.

what are you up to this weekend?