The post presented in partnership with Country Hills Village Shopping Centre

Clever Jody thinks ahead and nabs two takeaways to eat later this week. Top a slice with an egg for a fun breakfast! (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving, can you? It’s one of my favourite holidays, even though so much prep goes into it. The secret, I found, is getting your supplies in one go. And making it fun. No, really. I make a point of sneaking in self-care when I’m running errands. Luckily, this is a total breeze to do at Country Hills Village Shopping Centre. Here’s a game plan. (And be sure to read this entire post for clues on how to win major prizes from Village retailers.)

gift shop country hills village north calgary

Do some people in your family think Thanksgiving and Christmas just magically appear? (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Exploring Country Hills

Do you also head to the shops for something and return home without it? (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

First up, caffeine! I always think I know what I need, but if I don’t review my list before heading out, I’ll forget something important, like wine. Side note: If you like the idea of pumpkin spice lattes, but don’t drink coffee, have them put that syrup in a milk steamer or in a London fog tea latte. Delish!

country hils manicure

I rarely get manicures, but on special occasions and holidays, I make the effort.

I recommend hitting the fun stuff first. You can get a pedicure at Mint Nails & Spa Lounge for the bargain price of $37.50, and it’s only a tenner to add on a manicure. Done and done! The salon is bright and clean with (working!) white leather massage chairs. If chemicals freak you out, they offer bio gel for artificial nails (way less chemicals in that base layer) or choose to do powder dipping. On the spa side of things, they offer eyelash extensions, waxing, threading, facials and chemical peels.

aveda country hills country

Decisions, decisions! (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Diva Salon and Spa has some fantastic deals, but it’s also an Aveda concept salon, so you know the products and service will be amaze. In October, they’re offering a free cut with colour or highlights with a new talent. Facials are on super special at $99 and anytime of year, their blow outs are only $40 or $35 with a new talent. Besides getting your hair done, you can come in for a massage, mani-pedi, waxing, threading and lash extensions. Me, I like to splurge on anything in their Shampure line, then stash it in The Huz’s sox drawer (with explicit instructions he needs to wrap it up for me by Christmas).

aveda concept salon

I love this tea so much! Someone should buy me some for Christmas…(Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Shopping Country Hills Village

No Thanksgiving dinner (well none that I want to attend anyway) should have anything less than half a dozen bottles of wine. The deal with RJ Liquor Store is they have loads of value wines sub $10, which makes them great for cooking (or serving to your most annoying relatives). Wink.

wine shop country hills

You can never have too many bottles on your Thanksgiving table. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Most wines here are in the sweet spot of $10 to $22. You’ll find a range of organic wines, champers, plus spirits, beer, cider and coolers. Best is, they’ll happily order in anything for you – even wine from far flung lands like Romania and Moldova! They order every Sunday and you’ll have it for Tuesday. Pro tip: They offer discounts for large orders.

champagne shopping

Party time! (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Kids, if you’re over the age of 40 and don’t yet have reading glasses, you’re on borrowed time. P.S. I’m so envious of you! The Huz and I both wear (MY!) glasses for reading and because Eve has astigmatism, we’re at our optometrist a couple of times a year. We’ve been going to FYidoctors for over a decade, but not this one at Country Hills Village. We see Dr. Craig at an FYi in South Calgary.

optometrist country hills north calgary

Unsure I can pull these off… (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

But who cares? What I love about FYi is I can pop into any location and they pull up our prescription in seconds. True, it feels a bit like I’m cheating on our regular optometrist, but when your kid tells you they need prescription sunglasses and you’ve been nagging them for years to get a pair, you order those babies when you get the chance.

PSA: Did you know all Alberta children in kindergarten can get a free eye examination? Even if you think there’s no issue with their eyesight, you should get this done. If we hadn’t had Eve’s eyes examined when she was a baby, we wouldn’t have been able to tell she had astigmatism at three-years-old.

phil kessel country hills calgary

You can’t visit Country Hills Village without meeting this adorable dude! (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

We’re always running out of dog food. And poop bags! Just like we have a rule about picking up milk every time we’re at a grocery store, we nab Buddy’s essentials every chance we get. Besides receiving cuddle therapy (Kessel works at this Global Pet Foods location every day and you can follow him on Instagram @thereal_philkessel), I was able to score those blessed scent-free, biodegradable bags.

The deal with this particular pet supply store is they have a massive selection of raw food for dogs and cats at the back of the shop. And they carry those super popular Messy Mutts and Messy Cats pet feeders, should you be in the market for a pet present. There’s even a veterinarian a few doors down, which is super convenient.

Black Earth Floral country hills

My mom always thought mums were underrated. I agree! (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

And what’s a Thanksgiving table without a seasonal centerpiece? I’m no Martha, so this is def something I outsource. I was totally crushing on the spider mums at Black Earth Floral, and they can make any kind of bouquet – all are custom. There’s way more than flowers in here though… All the displays of lovely books, art, bath products and naughty greeting cards are Instagram-worthy.

flower shop country hills calgary

Head here whenever you’re in need of a gift or to pamper yourself. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Did you know anyone can get their first class for free class at Rumble Boxing Studio? Just throw your gym clothes into your vehicle and schedule your shopping around a class time. You’ll feel so much better.

boxing studio country hills calgary

The energy at Rumble is infectious. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

The vibe here is way cool. Think fight club meets nightclub – classes box to the beat. If you’re not into boxing, they have bootcamp classes, too. Check out their schedule here.

pink boxing gloves

Who wants a shot at the title? (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Dry cleaning is very much a necessity in our household. I just can’t iron. And The Huz isn’t exactly stellar at it. Know what I love about Fishman’s? They fix shoes! No more schlepping around to find a cobbler. (I write that like we’re living in jolly old England.) Plus, they have a tailor on site. You know what that means? Hemming while you wait, that’s what! Or in my case, sipping a glass of wine at Famoso down the block.

dry cleaning country hills north calgary

Check, check, check, I’ve almost nailed everything off my to-do list. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

I mentioned earlier, it’s important to treat yourself, so running errands isn’t such a drag. Making a pitstop at an Italian-style pizzeria is no hardship. But it’s their daily specials running all day (not just during happy hour) that gets me most jazzed. Wednesdays are my fave cuz you can snag Prosciutto Mozza Balls for $2.50 each. They taste just like prosciutto pizza, but without the crust – an excellent option if you’re gluten free. Though, they do serve up gluten free crust if you want it.

pizza country hills north calgary

Because… I deserve a break. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Of course there’s loads more shops and services at Country Hills Village – especially in the health and wellness department. They’ve got a dentist, ortho, chiropractor and if you’re feeling a touch under the weather, dash into Medicentre.

Country Hills Village giveaway

Many of the vendors at Country Hills Village Shopping Centre have banded together to give away an amazing gift basket for one Travels with Baggage reader. You could win a $50 gift card for Famoso, a one-hour massage from Country Hills Massage Therapy, plus lots of cool prizes from Country Hills Village retailers.

To enter:

  1. Comment below with what shops you routinely hit up before Thanksgiving. Receive a double entry for liking the Country Hills Village Facebook page. (We cross-check this, natch.)
  2. All comments and likes must be received before midnight, October 7, 2018.
  3. Contest open to residents of Alberta.