happy birthday, katey! who knew meeting a gal from woodstock in grad school would lead to so much laughter, so many great adventures and me moving across the country? we’re celebrating tonight – along with the first day of stampede – at the cowboy’s tent. yaaaaahoooo! and in good stampede fashion, we’ll be drinking gin in the afternoon to get ready for the madness. while i’m not much of a stampede or country music person (or drinker), i am a birthday person and will always happily celebrate katey.

saying that, i’m actually headed to the grounds at least two more times over the week. monday, irene and i will be testing out some midway food, and ange and i are going to the chuckwagon finals on sunday. yahoo, all over the place! and while my cowboy boots kill my feet – i went for beauty instead of function when purchasing them, stupidly – i’m more concerned about what to wear in the 32-degree heat. i’m not really a daisy dukes and crop top kinda gal, but that’s all the weather is calling for.

i then get to wake up way too early on saturday after my gin-soaked evening to head to the mountains, but to hike i’d happily not sleep. it’s been too long since i’ve been in the rockies and can’t wait to get on the trail with erin and her mum. we have 16km planned, and it’s going to be a scorcher!

on sunday i plan on doing absolutely nothing. besides all the excitement of today and tomorrow, i’m also running on zero sleep for no other reason than my body hates me. think happy sleepy thoughts for me!

what are you up to for the weekend? any locals stampeding?

the cutest land around may just be land of lemurs.

the 1.3-acre feature opens to the public today – july 5 – and is the calgary zoo’s first new major habitat in five years, and Canada’s first immersive lemur experience.

this new habitat is home to 13 lemurs comprised of three species – black-and-white ruffed, ring-tailed and red fronted; some of the world’s most endangered primates.

the group at the calgary zoo is predominantly female, with all seven ring-tailed lemurs being ladies. talk about girl power! at first, this was a concern to the zoo staff, as lemurs are a female-run species. though there hasn’t been a huge fight for power, there is definitely a dominate one. we’ll just nickname her Queen Lee.

when the calgary zoo says immersive, they really mean it – just look at Ryan snapping the perfect pic. this wasn’t special blogger access, every visitor enters the lemurs’ world in a barrier-free setting that brings you up close to the animals.

but don’t forget your canadian politeness when you get it there. zookeepers ask that you stay at least a hula-hoop’s distance away from the lemurs. though, this doesn’t mean the curious creatures won’t come up to you; this group is known for hugging legs and licking toes. and leave the food and drinks out of the inclosure because the lemurs will definitely try to take a nibble, and their sensitive diet doesn’t include cotton candy.

being a cute spectator draw aside, land of lemurs is another act of conservation by the calgary zoo. they are focusing these efforts in Madagascar on habitat restoration, lemur population monitoring, creating sustainable employment opportunities, and improving the overall quality of life.

this is a desperate need as the number of critically endangered lemur species has more than doubled (from 11 to 24) and endangered lemur species rose from 16 to 49. sadly, of the 103 lemur species known to exist, about 94% are at risk of extinction. their status likely makes them the most endangered group of mammals on earth. experts believe that if things don’t change, many lemurs could be extinct in the wild by 2050. that is something we definitely do not want happening!


want to go visit land of lemurs? of course you do! the calgary zoo is giving one s&s reader a family pack of tickets (two adult and two children’s admissions). enter my giveaway below – a winner will be selected at random on tuesday, july 11.

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up until december, i had never owned a television. my parents had one and one was in the living room when i lived with roommates, but i had never purchased one of my own. that means for the last four years i’ve been tv-less; i had netflix on my ipad, what more could a girl need? (well, besides being able to watch the blue jays games, and food network for hours on end?)

though i will admit it has been misinterpreted some. “we can watch a movie at my place,” always seems like netflix & chill, because who takes an ipad seriously as a movie watching device for more than one person not on an airplane? no one! except for me. because i meant it.

now, i’m not trying to be all “holier than thou” about not owning a tv, i just had different priorities for my money. dinners out, entertainment, and anything social always took top billing. that lifestyle is a lot more expensive than a monthly cable bill. with trying to save money, i figured more nights in than out could help my wallet.

but how does one step back into the land of tv after being out of it so long? it’d be like Dorothy stepping into Oz. everything would now be in Technicolor, and remotes were confusing as hell.

that’s when i said hello BlueSkyTV by Shaw. literally. just press the button on the remote, say what you want, then see it. it’s voice-powered tv! i was able to find channels, shows, movies, actors and teams faster than ever and with zero remote fumbling.

as i mentioned, my television viewing wants formed a very small list. i’m a simple girl: i needed cooking channel, food network, and somewhere to watch baseball. movies on W and the occasional binge session of sex and the city on cosmo would round things out quite nicely.

that’s what i thought until i got the BlueSky TV remote into my paws. being able to search by favourite actor, or browse the “viewers also watched” section led me in a deep creep of shows, movies and actor profiles – think creeping your crush’s instagram and somehow ending up on drake’s personal trainer’s page (speaking from experience), but without the fear of accidentally liking a photo.

if something caught my interest that was on while i was out of the house, i’d simply record it. there is the ability to record and watch up to six shows at once, which was perfect for when i wanted to watch long island medium and record the oscars at the same time, or when the blue jays games start before i get home from work.

root, root, root for the home team aside, BlueSky TV is definitely made for the sports watcher. with a sidebar sports app available with the click of a button (C), you can see the scores and standings of every game playing that evening, and when you select a specific matchup you can access a multitude of player and team stats.

i love sports stats. putting together media guides with stats and records was one of my favourite parts of working in the sports world. needless to say, i’ve fallen down the rabbit hole with this app, too.

for those with kiddos: there are parental controls and a whole kids zone section. the voice remote allows kids to easily access their favourite show, too, so you don’t have to worry about finding paw patrol again.

thankfully, i haven’t got pulled into too much mindless television. i will say, though, that there are a plethora of channels i’ve never watched and some really bad programs on tv. why does everything have to be a reality show? why can’t characters be developed and written with substance? it’s just drama and stupidity. it can be quite silly to have hundreds of channels at one’s disposal and still not have anything to watch. this is when i’m really thankful for the PVR abilities and i can just watch something i’ve recorded instead.

thanks Shaw for making this blog post and the last six months of tv binging possible.