Top Essentials: Jody Robbins on Multi-Tasking at Willow Park Village

Oh, October! Why are you so bloody busy? This past weekend I returned from a week split between Quebec and the luscious Okanagan. I had two days at home before jetting off again. During those precious 48-hours, I had to unpack and repack, go to a school conference, drive out to the country for horseback riding lessons and deal with a flat tire. Oh, and let’s not forget the shopping! I had to get food (but not too much!), find a new pair of travel shoes, stock up on moisturizer and grab some gifts for those helping me out me out with last minute dog and babysitting. The solution: Willow Park Village.


Going to Willow Park Village is a little treat for me. I can pretend I’m at The Grove in L.A. or some cutesy English high street and leisurely stroll outside between the shops. I had a serious shopping list though and not much time to get ‘er all done, but I knew I could tick off all my to-dos, whilst feeling like a rock star.

Shoes or Boots?


I busted through my trusty flats on my last trip, but given they were going on 8-years old, it was time for an upgrade anyway. I don’t mean to be an old lady, but I love Clark’s shoes if I can find a funky pair. I couldn’t this time, but connected to Clarks is Check-M8 Shoes and they’re flush with fun brands like Fly and Echo. I needed shoes, but I desperately wanted these white winter boots. In the end I went with the flats and feel very responsible, indeed.


Skin Gym

Last fall I signed up for a free facial at Skoah and I ended up buying $200 worth of product after. The huz hates it when I do these “freebies”, but after a month of using Skoah religiously, I started getting a ton of compliments on my face – even from my sister-in-law who’s like, a make-up and skin care specialist! Now just imagine for a moment, what it feels like to get a legit, non passive aggressive compliment from your husband’s side of the family? Kidding! I only dish out and receive lovely words to and from all my relatives.


Anyhoo, I’m now hooked on Skoah, despite the fact that they spell cream with a K. My faves are their skin serum, face kream (sp!) and a really lovely, yet affordable toner.

Gourmet Grub

I love, love, love Second to None Meats. It’s here I stock up on organic, hormone-free chicken and beef, but not this trip. I don’t have time to actually cook this month, you know? So I sauntered into Meez and grabbed a few of their salads like quinoa sweet potato to nosh on during my flight the next day, plus some pre-marinated wings and homemade soup to go. Was tempted by the specialty licorices everyone else was buying, but even impulse shoppers have to draw the line somewhere.

Is it possible for any Calgarian with a sweet tooth to wander by Crave and not nip inside? I know I can’t, but I had a great excuse: I needed to grease my friend who offered to dog-sit last minute. Half dozen of her favourite cupcakes would sweeten the deal. The icing on the cake was being able to stock up on…icing! Yes, Crave sells tubs of their decadent icing and it freezes well.


Because I’m rolling back in Thanksgiving weekend, I picked up a tub of vanilla buttercream in orange for the pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies I fantasize about making sometime before Halloween. And who can resist their chocolate icing? Not I! I’ll slather that calorie bomb between the moist layers of the pumpkin cake I’m making instead of pie this Thanksgiving. Chocolate and pumpkin, it’s like the perfect combo!

The only bummer being so pressed for time, was not being able to pop into my usual standbys: Pipestone Travel Store (great anti-theft bags and travel gadgets), Springbank Cheese Co. and the fish market. North Sea Fish Market has awesome individual frozen entrees that are particularly useful when you anticipate a busy night, but that’s just another excuse for me to visit Willow Park, now isn’t it?

Thank you Willow Park Village for encouraging my recent shopping spree. As always, my opinions are my own.

Have you ever been to Willow Park Village? What are your favourite shops and restaurants you like to hit up?

Want to read more? Like me on Facebook and Tweet me: @Jody_Robbins

This article originally appeared on Travels with Baggage. Copyright 2015.

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