I love to read!

 

 

Peggy books
Beautiful bookshelf at Bison Books

While February has been (as it often is) astoundingly cold and awkwardly situated between the holiday season and the dawn of the spring meltdown, it’s been a month full of activities: the groundhog told us that spring is a-comin’, we ate beautiful dinners and brunches and sipped ultura-cool cocktails on the frozen river at RAW: almond, we celebrated Valentine’s day and Mardi Gras, begrudgingly double tapped the Instagrams of all our hot and sunny vacationing friends’, Festival du Voyageur-ed, and paid homage to our hometown hero Louis Riel (by sleeping in on a Monday!). But to ensure that March comes in like a lamb, as it should, I pledge to spend this last February weekend relaxing with a good book – because between all the other activities, February is “I love to read month”!

There’s some great spots to find words on pages downtown – my top faves are:

Bison Books | 424 Graham Ave.

At first glance it’s a cute, unassuming, full-to-the-brim bookstore, but spend a few moments and notice it doubles as an archives, museum, and grandparents’ basement bookshelf. With the sun streaming in the Graham Ave. windows, this is a great spot to spend a cozy, relaxing lunch hour. Bonus: the amazing staff here will help you track down any/every book you could ever want. They are pros. Double bonus: beautiful Instagram shots waiting to happen.

Book Fair Winnipeg | 340 Portage Ave.

This place is the variety show of bookstores downtown. Everything from comics to novels, you could peruse for days and days. Bonus: it’s connected to the skywalks, so a chilly or rainy day won’t dampen your pages!

Coles cityplace | 234 Donald St.

They’ve got all the bestsellers and everything that’s hot right now – plus you get Plum Rewards points that can go towards…you guessed it – more books! Bonus: if you’re like me and don’t mind a little glass of vino whilst you read, there’s a Liquor Mart right across the hall. One-stop-shop.

Millennium Library | 251 Donald St.

Obviously, right? We have this BEAUTIFUL, huge library right here in the middle of downtown! There’s a giant selection of magazines, large-print books, audio books, and absolutely everything in between – and it’s all free if you sign up for a library card (and return/renew everything on time…!). However, if you’re more of a for-keeps kind of person, they’ve also got a book sale on the third floor – everything’s only a couple bucks.

 

Do you like to take refuge and have a midday reading break? Where’s your favourite spot to do that?

Top 5 must-haves for your next holiday party

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.

Library music

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.

Perfume

For your man, spritz him with Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce ($114) and thank me later.

Abercrombie

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.

Table

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!

FullSizeRender

5. Wine.

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.

Wine

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!

Happy holidays!