ChiChi at the Calgary Chateau

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Every Corner is full of treasures…this store is for Ladies.

What a beautiful, whimsical, gorgoeus presentation of everything girlie…not just girlie, but elegant…and well…I guess ChiChi.  I am forty’ish and almost every morning of my life…since age 13, I have done my hair, make-up, selected jewelry and sometimes a scarf, to go with the outfit I have put together that day.  I try to match the purse and shoes or boots…depending on the occasion, and the weather…and I have always had a little place in my homes to complete my daily ritual. In my current home where I have lived in for 12 years, I have converted a small bedroom into my dressing room or as I like to call it my “nest”, where all my makeup, hair supplies and clothes are located.

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Fabulous Vignettes that tell a story to attract you to the all the unique pieces in the store.

I have a 70’s era vanity in maple and a 30’s maple and black leather arm chair, (made in Calgary).  I have my Great Grandmother’s Canadiana Heart Pine Dresser, an Italian Wardrobe and a very rare 1900 arrowback side chair…  The nest also houses all my girlie treasures too.  I have lots of Canadiana treasures like Vintage Birks, figurines that belonged to my dearest Mum in law…treasures from my Mother and Grandmother…all housed in my mid- century, (made in Quebec), side board.

A chandelier hangs over head and my 40’s lamp with gothic, gold swirls and crystals light up my make up mirror from France…it is my eden, my very own place and where I do my best decompressing,  I love my nest!

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When I walked into Chateau Country Lace it is like a giant sized nest to me. Basically I love everything in this store! They have such lovely vintage finds, mixed in with new luxury bath and beauty products, accessories, as well as quality garments.  GORGEOUS sweaters, knit ponchos and jewelry galore. This is a ladies paradise.  Nothing trendy here…this store is elegant, traditional and timeless quality. A place to go shopping with you girlfriend, mother, daughter or grandmother! The merchandising is creative genius that has gone into every corner of this store mixing new and vintage pieces together.  The upcycling and artistry is amazing, with museum like presentation.

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There is a very keen and talented eye at work, that LOVES what they do.  I could literally feel it as I walked inside.  Every real lady in Calgary should visit this store and spoil yourself with something special from Chateau Country Lace.  There is quite literally no other store in Calgary like it…maybe even Canada?

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Best part is there are delicious desserts and coffee across the street at Lazy Loaf and Kettle after you have finished shopping!

 

Calgary Parks Winter Wonderland

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My husband and I enjoying a walk in Nose hill with our “boys” Rocky & Julio.

 

Calgary can be freakin’ cold in the winter, but can also almost equally be unseasonally warm due to the Chinooks. For this reason, Calgarians come out to play…wayyyy more than you think, well I know this cause I see them walking the same summer parks…dressed for it and enjoying every step. I cannot explain how the light changes in Calgary in the winter…way less light for sure, but it is rich and golden…the atmosphere is thick with a glow. The sunrises and sunsets in the winter are so dramatic with rich, deep colours. The mountains being white in the distance and crystal clear in the cool air. Driving westward with glances of Mountain Peaks seemingly just a minute away…never gets old for me…never. I always remember how lucky I am to live right beside the glorious Canadian Rockies.

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My bro and I enjoying a break at Barrier Lake off the #40 after a great day skiing at Nakiska.

The highways through Calgary’s Mountain Parks are amazing! The highway through Kananaskis #40 from Morley to Longview in the south connecting to the famous, historic “Cowboy Trail” The mountain vistas are stunning and the mountains hug the highway, never mind driving alongside the Kananaskis Country Mountain Valley known as the “Grizzly Bear Highway” it is so lush with tress and waterfalls, tons of streams and rivers.  Followed by low sandy gulfs, rocky outcrops and foothills as you exit south. 3 hours of pure heaven…45 minutes from Calgary!

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Jasper Highway from Lake Louise a four hour spiritual wonder of mountain beauty like no where…no where…else…on…this… planet.

 

 

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Basically the mountains play a role in Calgary more so in winter than summer cause you can see the mountains more clearly. Heat of the summer sun in Calgary will almost always create a steamy effect and it shrouds a clear, sharp view of the mountains in the warmer months here. On a cool, brisk, blue bird winter day…the mountains just pop!  Glowing white, silvery peaks against the deep azure blue skies…and we get lots of those days during Calgary winters, lots of warm sunny days.   I will say to my daughter over and over…”Look Kate! The mountains seem like you can touch them!…to which she sighs…”yes mom…I see…”

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Anyway back to Calgary in the winter. Lots to do, especially winter sports like skating and skiing. COP is an amazing place to learn how to ski or take the kiddies to get their feet wet. Usually a never before skier can take only a weekend in lessons and have the skills to go ski green trails in the mountain resorts. Skating is everywhere!!! Park trails are cleaned and removed of snow and the parks are a lot less busy to enjoy the sights and sounds.

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Get your skates sharpened, skis waxed and get a great snow suit cause you are going to need it!

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Over your head in Calgary…

One thing Calgary always does for me is show me amazing skies…it never ceases to amaze me the wonderous Chinook Arches, the firey sun rises and the tropical, pastel sunsets…the moon a giant white orb in the middle of a Blue Bird afternoon.  Fast moving storms, all types of clouds and even the odd tornado.

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The mountain effect in Calgary truly lives up to the local expression; “If you do not like the weather, wait 20 minutes.” Joke or not, can literally happen…often in Calgary.  The glorious Chinook winds delivery warm, pacific winds during cold winter months…even though Leonardo Dicaprio is convinced that it is a global warming…maybe, but Calgarians have been enjoying warm winter Chinooks, (mountain effect), since the first 500 arrived here…forever.  The sky entertains me more here than anywhere…so vast and beautiful…I can never ignore it, not for even one day.  My daughter always sighs when I say…”Look Kate, look at the sky…”

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Skiing at Sunshine is Sublime

Not just one, but three amazing mountains, (Goat’s Eye, Lookout & Mount Standish)…

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http://www.sunshine-village.com/sunshine-village/…after a 360 degree wowwy wow view up the mountain in the spacious, comfy, high speed gondola.  You can stop and get off at Goat’s Eye to enjoy steep, snowy trails that offer nice longs runs, with a shorter chair ride on the Goat’s Eye Express Quad.  Great trail designs on this mountain.  The natural terrain on top of “The Goat” offers some of the best natural trail lines in North America.  This is elite ski territory.

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Next stop is The Village…truly a family resort with adorable kiddies bombing around, while still offering nice variations in terrain from the 5+ main chairs, basically something for everyone.  Wide, open gentle slopes to some nice challenging chutes off of all the chairs…not to mention the hair raising Delirium Dive, (bring a shovel, beacon and helmet to get through the security gate), cause this is completely natural terrain, true back country experience…and a ride like no other…anywhere…all the while at a bustling ski resort. AMAZING!

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After you get your morning in, you can return to the Day Lodge and enjoy a great lunch!  On a nice day, (which at Sunshine there are many as it always the last resort to close for the year), you can work on your winter tan on one of the patios, while the BBQ’s serving up burgers and dogs.  Live music events and the annual Slush Cup make it one hell of a party on a ski hill, just a great time in one of the most beautiful places on the planet! My brother and I call it paradise on earth..closest you can get to heaven…we love coming to Sunshine and skiing hard…making friends on the lifts, (like Mick our ski buddy for the day visiting Calgary from the Netherlands…he was on his own, so being the Canadians we are…invited him to ski with us for the day, we rode every chair in the resort that day.)  Great times!  The best new treat is the incredible new heated Chair Lift.  Steep double d’son this chair, so ski it in the am!  Sunshine also recently added a new modern sleek Timberframe Lodge on top of the mountain in the village. Only a couple of years ago added the gorgeous base mountain lodge…like Calgary, Sunshine gets better with age.  I love Sunshine…cannot be beat!

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Ride Delirium Dive