December has finally arrived, and with it is the season of gift giving. Personally, I always find Christmas shopping – or shopping for any reason – very difficult and very frustrating. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but there just seems to be so many stores and so many sales that I always get pretty overwhelmed, especially when it comes to shopping for children. In an attempt to ease the pain of holiday shopping, I have reached out to three local businesses around Regina to tell me a little about who they are and what they have going on this holiday season. Have you ever visited these locations? Let me know about it in the comments below!
1. Kids Trading Company
Located in the south end of Regina, Kids Trading Company has been a part of the Regina community for the past 15 years. Here you can find a mixture of new and gently used children's clothing, shoes, toys and accessories.
Enjoy shopping in a local store where the friendly staff knows the products and can help you find what you need, like warm winter boots from Kamik or waterproof mittens and fleecy hats. Brands like Desigual, Hatley, Yogini, Billabong and Mexx will give you lots of options for great quality clothes in the latest styles. Need a baby gift? Shop their baby section for the cutest sleepers and practical accessories like Amber teething necklaces and muslin blankets.
For Christmas their Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, Aloka Sleepy Lights or maybe a pair of Padraig slippers will make someone on your list very happy! While you shop, your child will have fun playing with their train table, or reading a book in our big, comfy chair.
You might be interested in their consignment program, where you can earn money from your child's outgrown clothes, shoes and toys. Shopping their second hand section makes so much sense too, with great quality brands at affordable prices that were outgrown long before they were worn out.
While you're here, be sure to sign up for their free rewards program! They will give you a store credit worth 10% of what you spend in the store after only six visits - and did I mention that your member card stays in the store so you don't have to give up any wallet space?
Dessart Sweets is a retro candy and ice cream store in the heart of the Cathedral area. They specialize in retro candy (remember Lucky Elephant popcorn?), Dutch licorice, imported candy from the UK and the US and they have the largest selection of Jelly Bellys in Regina.
Christmas is a fun time of year to visit to get unusual stocking stuffer ideas. They carry Dutch specialty items like Taai Taai and Speculaas cookies as well as a huge selection of Dutch licorice.
Be sure to check out their soda selection too! You'll find over 20 different kinds of root beers and sarsaparillas, Pop Shoppe sodas and the whole line of Boylan's sodas.
Grace Avery-Parkman is a traditional and digital illustrator based out of Regina, Saskatchewan. Grace graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina in 2015, and is currently busy creating all kinds of original artwork and running her little shop, “Forest Floor Arts”. She loves making plush toys, art prints and other small goodies and sells her work across western Canada at farmer's markets, art sales and comic conventions. Grace also teaches art classes, and enjoys crocheting and playing ukulele.
In 2014, Grace began selling her work locally and has since attended numerous events with her handmade goods. Watercolor painting has become her medium of choice in recent years, and she currently has a catalogue of over 50 original art prints. The subjects of her paintings range from mermaids to monsters, and she loves fantasy.
Most recently, Grace has begun designing and sewing original handmade art dolls. She sells both printed dolls- which are adorned with cute watercolor characters, and entirely hand-painted dolls. Grace also self-published her first full-length graphic novel in May 2016, titled “Lesser Beasts”. She hopes to publish a new book in 2017, alongside a slew of new dolls and prints.
Most people know how to ride a bicycle. They learned sometime as a child and never forgot. I am not one of those people. I tried learning when I was a child, a teenager and an adult, and I have never mastered the two-wheel contraption. Whenever I see a child zip past me on a bike, I get a little jealous inside. I've always wanted to learn, but it's just something I've never been able to do.
On my recent trip to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Alberta, I explored several of the many biking paths that wind through the area. The paths are also hikable, so I walked them instead. Although I've visited Cypress Hills several times, I never get used to the hills and lakes throughout the area. With dozens of kilometres of trails, you can spend a weekend there and never do the same thing twice. Although hiking around the park was incredible, I imagine it would be a lot more fun, and a lot easier, to bike it instead.
For many of us in Saskatchewan, summer means it's time for an Alberta road trip. Although the endless stretches of prairie have their appeal, there is nothing quite like seeing the mountains rising over the horizon.
One challenge that comes with taking a summer road trip is the heat. Much like on this side of the border, it isn't uncommon for summer temperatures to get to the extreme. I know a few people who have had car problems in the heat, and my family is one of them. Nothing ruins a trip more than an unexpected visit to the mechanic.
Thankfully, Alberta has a myriad of places to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or fishing. This not only gives your vehicle time to cool off, but also gives you a chance to escape the heat as well.
I don't often take blog requests, but a friend approached me recently and asked about Venice. He's traveling to Italy for a wedding this summer and is stopping in Venice for few days. He asked me if I knew what he could do in the Floating City, so I racked up a list of ten things for him to see.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything, what your favorite thing to see in Venice was, or if you plan to go visit Venice after reading this!