Christmas in Ottawa: 10 ways to celebrate the holiday traditions in our nation’s capital

No, we don’t have the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center, nor do we have Mariah Carey unveiling The Bay’s annual Christmas window display, but by golly, Ottawa’s got some really great community rituals that should become official annual traditions.
I grew up in Toronto, so I am just now creating my Ottawa traditions with my family. Here are some of my faves!

You look forward to the reveal of Flower’s Talk Tivoli Christmas window display.

You start shopping at Tinseltown Christmas Emporium in Hintonburg because it is now acceptable.

Deparent 56! #ottawachristmas #ottawa #department56

A photo posted by Tinseltown Christmas Emporium (@tinseltownchristmas) on

 

You head over to your local farmer’s market to get your Christmas tree

 

You round up the gang and make boxes for the ShoeBox Project

 

You tune into Majic 100.3 on December 1 like clockwork for their all-day Christmas music

You take the family on a slow drive down Taffy Lane in Orleans because it’s warmer in the car and it’s free. You also wonder “who is paying the hydro bill?”

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Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights. 💡 . . Have you been to Taffy Lane in Orleans? It’s the best and cheapest way to get your Christmas light fix🎄Theses are some pretty committed citizens and we thank them for their duty! I saw a house hosting a food drive, so make sure you pay it forward 😇 This is part of our Christmas tradition in Ottawa… what’s yours? . . #myOttawa #ottawa #ottcity #igersOttawa #613 #yow #ottawalife #narcityOttawa #613style #ottawaphoto #yowstyle #ottawastyle #ottawafashion #ottawau #ottawablogger #ottawablog #ottnews #canadianblog #canadianblogger #canadianstyle #canadianfashionblogger #canadianfashionblog #canadianfashion #orleans #taffylane #christmaslightshow #ottawachristmas #thingstodoinottawa

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You take the kids to see Santa at Billings Bridge. It’s tough competition out there, but he’s the best lookin’ one in town!

You take out your copy of “Santa’s coming to Ottawa” and keep it on your kids’ TOP READS list for bedtime stories

You hit up Lansdowne for their tree lighting ceremony and Christmas markets

You pack snacks in the car… “We’re going to Kanata to see the #Magicoflights at Wesley Clover Parks Campground!”

What’s your favourite thing to do in Ottawa at Christmas time?

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#OttawaStyle Update: New shops and designer stores in Ottawa

It’s no surprise that the Ottawa Fashion scene is experiencing a renaissance like no other. Almost every mall is under construction with major renovations ahead. There is no need to cross the border; the US or Quebec’s for that matter. Ottawa shopping has changed, and so should your routine!

I pulled together a handful of new shops that have opened up, and some that will soon!

New stores in Ottawa to visit

  • Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) in Trainyards. The one-destination for all your shoe shopping needs.
  • Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH at Tanger Outlets. A mini department store offering a mix of contemporary and high end brands… but at a fraction of the price!
  • Hudson’s Bay next to the Rideau centre has done a massive overhaul. They have recently opened Ottawa’s first Topshop and Topman. This #LONDSTYLE inspired brand provides a nice variety of trendy pieces at a mid price range.

Coming soon

  • Simons will be opening their second store in the area, inside Rideau Centre sometime this summer (August 2016)
  • Ted Baker London in the Rideau Centre

New in Ottawa Plus-size fashion

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Shoe talk: Build your wide shoe collection this Spring

I know. If the shoe fits, buy them in all the colours, right? I hear you loud and clear and I am guilty as charged!

I suffer from a little shoe obsession, and having wide feet does not stop me from buying shoes. What’s my secret to shopping for wide shoes and taking good care of my shoes?

  • Invest in leather shoes, they are more stretchy, durable, comfortable and breathable
  • Avoid thin straps that go across  the foot or mule type shoes that cover the foot and are not stretchy enough
  • Only wear comfortable shoes, don’t sacrifice your feet for cheap shoes. It’s not worth the pain or residual health problems they can cause
  • Take care of your shoes! Use leather and shoe protectors, wear the right seasonal footwear, brush your suede and clean the inside (yes, the goop) and outside (rinse off salt stains right away).
  • Stick to the brand that is right for you. Personally, I love Michael Kors shoes, Nine West and Louise et Cie. They are made for my feet and sell at a fair price point.
  • Buy the right size and fit, and buy multiples or different colours if you have too
  • Find a cobbler. I go to Moneysworth and Best at Billings Bridge (Ottawa). They do fantastic work!
  • Pimp your shoes with leather insoles and gel padding when needed

Although buying your shoes in one size up is not always the solution, I am happy to report that there are brands like Jessica Simpson and  Louise et Cie who pay close to attention to this very common issue “the wide shoe and wide calf boot“. We already know that heels are bad for our spine and feet, why must we feel the need to squeeze our feet in them too!

Worry not. I found a few wide style shoes, mules, booties, espadrilles, flats and heels to slowly help you build your shoe collection this Spring.

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