This post is presented in partnership with Country Hills Village Shopping Centre

Summer, I do love you, but your endless, unstructured days leave me a tad frazzled. I’m legit craving getting back into our fall routine. Thankfully it’s August and school is on the horizon. But you won’t find me dashing across the city going from shop to shop. I need to make it efficient, but also fun. For our family, that means going to Country Hills Village Shopping Centre. Read on to find out why and for chance to win a luxe service from one of my favourite Country Hills Village retailers.

Diva salon and spa calgary

Not only is Diva Salon and Spa offering a luxe service to a lucky reader, but they also dole out gifts to new customers.

Kid’s Haircuts Calgary

Not gonna lie. Back to school shopping can be stressful. It depends on your kid, really. If they’re super into shopping, well, lucky, you! But it doesn’t matter, because at Diva Salon and Spa in Country Hills Village, you get full respite. It’s an AVEDA salon to the hilt, but it’s also one of the best spots for kid’s haircuts in Calgary. Here, haircuts for kids under 10-years-old run $35.

You know your kids need back to school haircuts, so why not go to a salon that totally pampers you? Sip a soothing cup of herbal tea before going on an aroma sensory journey. If your kids are up for it, they can choose a luscious scented oil and have that massaged into their scalp during the complementary head and shoulder massage.

Back to School Prep at Country Hills Village Shopping Centre

Back to school haircuts are a fun rite of passage. And if you do it right, can be a bonding experience.

And because Diva is licensed, they sell snacks. Treat hangry kids to granola bars, trail mix or even chicken salad. Caregivers can nurse a (perhaps much needed) glass of vino, beer or add Baileys to their coffee. Emerge looking great (they’ll even retouch your make up) and feeling even better.

Tip: Be sure to check Diva’s website in August for back to school promotions. 

Optometrist Calgary – FYidoctors

A big part of the back to school routine is getting all those annual appointments taken care of. My daughter, Eve, has worn glasses since she was three years old. We’ve been going to an optometrist at FYidoctors for over a decade now. 

optometrist calgary

Some kids go through glasses like crazy. Fortunately, we’ve only had to buy new when prescriptions change.

If your kids haven’t had an eye exam in Calgary, they should. An annual visit to an optometrist is covered by Alberta Health Care for kids – right up to their 19th birthday. And in Alberta we have the Eye See…Eye Learn® program that provides kindergarten-aged children with a complimentary pair of glasses if needed.


Though we don’t get new glasses every year, we still need annual exams and adjustments (both of which are free for kids).

Black Earth Floral

Admittedly, showing up on the first day of school with a massive flower arrangement is a tad OTT, but arriving with a teacher’s gift is never a bad idea. Black Earth Floral has several lovely succulent arrangements that would go over way better than an apple or a mug. Pick up a card here and you’re good to go. And if your teen is into delicate Meghan Markle-style, they carry Vancouver’s Lovers Tempo line.

terrariums calgary

Not only are terrariums great gifts for the classroom, but also for kids. They love making and tending to them.

Dentist in NW Calgary

Instead of pulling my daughter out of school for her semi-annual teeth cleaning and check up, I schedule one of these appointments in August. If you’re looking for a dentist in NW Calgary, look no further than All Smiles Dental Care. Dr Kim is a fantastic, patient, kid’s dentist (which isn’t always easy to find in Calgary).


I know it sounds ridiculous, but I love the reception at All Smiles so much (there’s a fireplace!), I want to work out of here. So not sterile.

In each examination room there are TVs hooked up with cable, plus headphones to distract anxious wee ones. Children ought to go to the dentist twice a year, but if they have brackets, braces and wires, they could visit quarterly, as it’s more challenging to clean along those areas. Luckily, All Smiles is taking new patients.

Northwest Calgary dentist

Dr. Kim totally puts kids at ease at All Smiles.

Clothing Alterations Calgary

You don’t need me to tell you kids grow like crazy! We always buy Eve’s jeans on the long side so she can grow into them, but as they get older they like to look more polished. Fishman’s is not only Calgary’s only wet cleaner (solvent free + non-toxic), but they have tailors on-site for alternations and repairs. You can even get shoe repairs done here, too.

country hills shopping centre

I don’t even own a sewing machine, so I’m grateful I can easily get alterations done at Fishman’s.

Pet Stores Calgary

Yes, today was all about Eve (get it?) and getting her prepared for back to school. But we couldn’t forget about our adorable pooch, Buddy, now could we? So into Global pet Foods we went for a little toy, so he’d forgive us for leaving him home alone.


Is there such a thing as too many toys for your pet? Nah!

The best part about back to school shopping

To me, this is the best part of summer. The weather is still fantastic, so we’re soaking up every last ounce. Without forcing it, we were able to bond over little things – cute pet toys, glasses that don’t suit and looking like frizz bombs before we had our haircuts. By the time we were finished our errands, we were fading, fast. We could’ve gone for fries and souvlaki at Opa, a vermicelli bowl at Saigon Rex (always a winner) or even thin crust pizza at Famoso, but my girl wanted ice cream. I’m so glad I hit the pause button for a chance to chill on the benches at Country Hills Village with DQ in hand.

Country Hills Village Shopping Centre Calgary

Hitting pause – especially during a busy day puts everything into perspective. At least it does for me.

Country Hills Village Shopping Centre

Even though Calgary is a city of a million, I try to structure my life so it feels more like the small town I grew up in. I like being a regular. When you know the shopkeepers and they know you, it’s so much more pleasant.

rumble boxing studio calgary

Want a cool water bottle for school? You’ll find them at Rumble Boxing Studio.

August is like the Sunday night of summer. It’s a time to get all your ducks in a row, so you can start the school year right. Whether it’s fitness (sweating it out at Rumble), self-care (getting a mani/pedi at Mint), getting at adjustment at the chiropractor or renewing your driver’s license at Calgary Registry, I know I can nail off so many tasks at Country Hills Village.


That feeling you get when you’ve ticked off all the items from you to-do list…

An event to get your back to school groove on

You could go back to school shopping anytime this month, but I recommend hitting up Country Hills Village or WestHills Towne Centre (in Calgary’s southwest) on Saturday, August 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’ll be sidewalks sales and ambassadors circulating each shopping centre with giveaways and coupons. Occupy the littles with face painting or at the balloon artist. At WestHills Towne Centre there’s a free BBQ courtesy of M & M Food Market and Famoso at Country Hills Village will be serving up slices.

For more information about the Back to School event, head to @CHVShopping on Facebook or Instagram, or visit


Diva Salon and Spa at Country Hills Village has generously offered one lucky Travels with Baggage reader a complimentary cut and style!

To enter:

  1. Comment below with the most pressing task on your back to school list.
  2. Receive a double entry for liking the Country Hills Village Facebook page. Receive a third entry for liking their new Instagram account. (We cross-check this, natch.)
  3. All comments and follows must be received before midnight, August 21, 2019.
  4. Contest open to residents of Alberta.