Ok, I need your help.
I’m going to a really cool party this Saturday, and I need help deciding what to wear! (Yes, again.)
This year, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art and Soul fundraiser theme is The Lucid Dream - a style that incorporates what Salvador Dali was best known for: surrealist art.
The evening sounds amazing: the Gallery will be outfitted in several different dreamscapes and we’ll be dancing to the beats of Attica Riots, DJ Hunnicut, DJ Co-op, DJ Mamacutsworth and Ashy+Zuky of Jams, and there’s even going to be an Absinthe bar – where things could get quite surreal with a bit of the green elixir!
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is an amazing downtown Winnipeg institution – they have beautiful galleries, feature the largest collection of Inuit art in the world, and they bring in really cool exhibits – like Dali Up Close, so I’m thrilled to support – but I’m nervous to be surrounded by a bunch of creative arty-types in genius costumes, so I want to make sure mine is on point!!!
So. Help me out here, friends. What’s the most lucid-dreamy, surrealist costume you can think of? Shoot me some ideas in the comments section below, or tweet me an example pic on Twitter (@downtownpeggy) and follow and tag @WAGArtandSoul while you’re there. And while you’re brainstorming on my behalf, also be thinking about what you’d wear – because I’ll be making a random draw for two VIP tickets to The Lucid Dream at 3pm on Thursday.
I’m all ears!
…hm, maybe there’s an idea…
So you New Year’s resolution was to up your fitness game in 2015. I’m not here to comment on the originality of your resolution, but I am going to ask us all to be honest with ourselves and each other for one moment here.
How’s that working out for you?
I hope you’re reading this before you’ve completely exchanged your runners for fuzzy slippers and your water bottle for a wine
glass bottle and your towel for a cozy blanket and the comfiest spot on the couch to hibernate until the snow melts and the puddles evaporate. Why? Because it’s not impossible! You can do this. You wanted to and you are going to! And here’s how.
Maybe the incentive you need is a little luxury. This space is beautiful, clean, quiet and features all the workout equipment you need to tone-up…waaayyyy up – with a view of the iconic Portage and Main and The Forks heritage site from the top floor of the downtown hotel. Also take advantage of the 12-metre saltwater pool and hot tub, and unwind in the eucalyptus steam room for a bit to ease those hard-working muscles – all this for $65/month. Bonus: The Fairmont is connected to Winnipeg Square, so you might not even have to set foot outside to get there.
Maybe all you really need is to throw a pair of sneakers in your bag and take to the indoor walkways over your lunch hour. Did you know there’s over 2km of indoor walkways available for the trekking? This option is completely free and weather protected – no excuses! Just download a cool podcast and pop in your headphones – or better yet, grab your cubicle neighbour and get walking!
The YMCA, yes. Bonus points to me if I got you grooving in your seat just now with the mere mention of that one! The Downtown YMCA (301 Vaughan St.) offers all kinds of classes from Tae Kwon Do to adult learn to swim, to TRX to volleyball. And of course if you prefer to just hunker down and work out all by yourself, you can do that too. There are many membership options ranging from $45/month for adults to $79/month for your whole family.
The frozen river in the winter opens up a ton of active transportation and recreation options! Could you walk, skate, ski or snowshoe to work on the river? I say take advantage of that shortcut before it melts away for another year. Otherwise, hop the Downtown Spirit bus to The Forks after work, bring your skates (or rent a pair there for $5) and get your cheeks rosy and your heart rate up by skating the 2.5km of river trail! Bonus: free, family fun!
This brand new technology is the latest and greatest in getting an optimal workout in the absolute least amount of time possible. The vibrations of the Power Plate invigorate your muscles and get your blood pumping faster and harder than your body could on its own in the same amount of time, helping you to achieve a more worthwhile workout in less time. Yoga Public offers private, 30-minute Power Plate sessions, beginning at $99 for your first three sessions. Give it a shot – let me know how you like it!
What’s your trick for keeping on track? I’m sure we could all use a little inspiration from one another. Keep up the good work, friends! :)
The holidays may be over and the “New Year” is getting older by the moment, but I must say one way to keep the merry and bright going is to grant a whole bunch of people’s wishes. I had no idea how fun this would be!
In case you missed it, (and I’m sorry if you did!) I spent the month of December asking people to take photos of items or experiences they found downtown, for themselves or on behalf of someone special, and get them to me via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #downtownwishlist.
I got to sit here, watch the (over 200!!!) entries roll in, and then grant some wishes!
Thank you so much for participating! I loved seeing what you were wishing for and hearing your stories – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one on social media who came away with a bunch of great Christmas gifting ideas!
In the end, and thanks largely to the generosity of the businesses in the downtown, I was able to grant 30 wishes in total!
Here are a handful of highlights:
Special thanks to Carbone Coal Fired Pizza, True North, The Fort Garry Hotel/Ten Spa, Era Bistro, The Fairmont Winnipeg/The Velvet Glove, cityplace, Prairie 360 and the Winnipeg Art Gallery for your generous wish-granting contributions!
Next year I want to grant even more wishes – so keep your eyes peeled and send them my way!
I know there’s a certain handful of you who are slowly awakening from a turkey-coma and are suddenly scrambling to solidify plans for the most fun and glam way to ring in 2015. I have you covered – here are the top downtown NYE parties to choose from. I know I’ll be hoppin’!
Get Hollywood Glam at the RBC Convention Centre and dance the night away with Ron Paley’s Big Band after a red carpet reception and Oscar-worthy meal. Assorted ticket combinations available.
UNO 2015 at Carbone Coal Fired Pizza
Dress in black and gold and party in the new year with DJ MAV_ONE at this exclusive New Years celebration. Text 204-510-2365 for tickets.
Dress up and Get Down at the Radisson this NYE, with dinner and dancing to Ricki Redbone and the Flashbacks with Argentine tango between sets.
Groove to classic dance tracks mixed with contemporary electronic music mixed by Nathan Zahn, Joe Silva and Rick Logic. Get tickets at Soul Survivors, Ticketmaster, Into the Music, or the Pyramid Cabaret.
Party from 9:30 pm – 3:00 am to the jams of Keisha Booker, DJ Spazz, and DJ Rahdil. Tickets available at Aldo Formal Wear, The Met, and Blacklist.
And for the family and all-ages, free favourite, why not ring in the new year at The Forks surrounded by activities, skating, arts and crafts, local talent in the Forks Market, and an amazing fireworks display at 8:00 pm.
Now quick – make your decision and go figure out what you’re going to wear!
And as always, stay warm, stay safe and have the best New Year’s possible! Cheers!
Ready or not, Santa’s coming down the chimney in just over a week. There’s cookies to bake, things to wrap, a turkey to stuff, and only a few hours in between all that to finish your Christmas shopping. Some (I) call this fun. But I understand it can be a stressful time of year so here, let me offer some expert advice.
Before you decide to phone it in completely and just raid that endless selection of gift cards at the checkout stand on your next grocery run, consider these ideas that are a bit more thoughtful, but just as simple (and as always, #finditdowntown!):
For the person on your list who deserves a little down-time:
We all know someone who fits this criteria. Heck, we all fit the bill. Call up Riverstone Spa at the Inn at the Forks or Ten Spa at Fort Garry Hotel and get this person a little me-time treat. And while you can, and I would highly recommend it, don’t feel obligated to go all out – even someone who goes in for a basic manicure or pedicure treatment is entitled to use the steam showers, sauna, and lounge around in a fluffy robe for as long as their hearts desire. But if you can splurge on the mud wrap, massage and/or facial, by all means do.
For the person on your list who is either a kid, Disney fanatic, or kid at heart:
Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy is coming to the MTS Centre in March and there are a whole bunch of kiddos who want to see it. An afternoon out with a miniature Disney fan, mesmerized as their favourite characters and heroes glide and fly across the ice? Priceless (tickets start at 29.99). Also, this is a fantastic cotton candy opp – messy, I know, but worth it.
For the person on your list who’d love a delicious treat:
And again, who wouldn’t? Why not make it an experience with a gift certificate to Prairie 360? As I’m sure you’ve seen on Instagram, the view is stunning and the meal is guaranteed to be tasty. It can be budget friendly too – brunch goes for $20 per person. For a higher-end option, go for a few courses and wine pairings overlooking the twinkly lights of the city below. How romantic!
For the holiday season lover on your list:
If I was on your list, this would be my number one wish (hint hint!!!). The holiday season is absolutely not complete without catching the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker performance (at least once). That’s all there is to it. If there’s someone on your list who hasn’t experienced the Sugar Plumb Fairy in real life, no matter how old or young they are, this is the gift for them.
For the person on your list who enjoys a beer every now and then:
This idea probably has the potential to cover off a bunch of people on your list: Carbone Coal Fired Pizza beer buttons. You might have heard, but there’s this new, delicious pizza place on St. Mary Ave. where you get to pour your own pints. You can purchase the buttons that activate the taps and load ‘em up with as many dollars as you like. Want to try before you buy? Help your neighbours out and post your go-to, last-minute gift ideas and you could win a $25 Carbone beer button. Contest closes Friday, Dec. 19 at 3PM – just in time for you to pick up and re-gift your prize if you’re in that much of a pickle! ;)
It’s my favourite time of year, I think we’ve established that already. But just to remind everyone, I LOVE the holidays. I love getting creative with gift-giving (aka shopping!), indulging in all the delicious treats that seem to come with the season, and I especially love throwing a good holiday party for all my friends.
I know you’ll make great use of these five tips for your next holiday party!
1. Music to set the tone.
To get yourself in the mood, you have to put on some holiday tunes while you get ready. Personally, I like to check out the seasonal collection of CDs at the Millennium Library (2nd floor) for an eclectic mix.
2. A signature scent.
I love working a delectable signature scent into my ensemble – it’s an important accessory! Which is why I could only narrow it down to two favourites. Hermes Rouge ($134) and Des Merveilles Elixir ($145), both from Perfume Paradise. I suggest putting a little dab right behind each ear once you get out of the shower, and let the compliments about your subtle yet sophisticated choice wash over you all night.
For your man, spritz him with Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce ($114) and thank me later.
3. Chic table setting.
It’s coming together. It’s sounding good, you’re smelling fabulous, now it’s time to set the table. This one takes some thought. Will you have a theme? What’s the nature of the event? Classic and classy? Casual and friendly? Upscale cabin in the woods? Whatever you’re looking for, Glucksteinhome at Hudson’s Bay downtown has some beautiful tables set up for inspiration, and some even more beautiful sales. I’m a fan of the Alpine Cabin series – plaid tablecloth (regular 69.99) and napkins (19.99), now 40% off – you can dress them up or down.
4. Make your own floral arrangement
Not a DIY-er, you say? Nonsense. I love leaving it to the experts too, but it feels good to make something beautiful for yourself (or someone special). Plus in this case, the experts at Freshcut Downtown will be guiding you along every step of the way.
What: Create a beautiful centrepiece to take home for the holidays!
When: December 16, 5:30 PM
Where: Freshcut Downtown (Portage Place)
Cost: $25 plus tax, portion of proceeds go to Change for the Better
Space is limited! Call 204-943-6514 to reserve your spot!
Need I say more? Fenton’s Wine Merchants at The Forks has you covered – even if the MLCC strikes this holiday season. I suggest anything red or white, sparkly or pink, frequent re-fills and a plan for a safe ride home.
Wish you had something special for your next holiday party? Snap a photo and put it on your #downtownwishlist by tweeting or Instagramming me (@downtownpeggy) or posting on my Facebook wall! Remember to use the hashtag #downtownwishlist. You have to #finditdowntown!
Thanks so much for sharing your #downtownwishlist wishes with me! I love seeing the products you spot and love downtown!
What do I love more than that? Giving this stuff away! Here’s a roundup of #downtownwishlist winners so far! And remember, if you’ve shared photo of your wish, I’ll contact you if you’ve won, so keep your eyes peeled!
Keep the #downtownwishlist wishes for yourself or someone special coming my way! Get at me on Twitter @downtownpeggy, Instagram @downtownpeggy or post on my Facebook wall, and your wish just might be granted. Remember, you have to find it downtown!