What does “the arts” mean to you? What and who does it include?
My response would be that the arts give one pleasure, triggers emotions and provokes thought and includes creative thinkers, imagination, original ideas to create something whether it be writing , singing, painting, music, photography, poetry, design and so on.
Often the arts is sadly under-promoted and under valued. That is why “Watermark” began. Making the makers known! Watermark promotes and advocates for the Foothills, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the world creatives, to ignite that inner curiosity, inspire and stimulate the imagination.
Watermark needed a funding mechanism to maintain the website and social media. The Great Dash was created!
The Great Dash follows along with the same philosophy as Watermark. Making the makers known. We take teams into the doors of small businesses to give them exposure. We want our teams to return! We wanted it to be creative and playful.
The word DASH means to run or move somewhere quickly, but when you add GREAT to the word DASH, you end up with an over the top, exciting race filled with entertaining challenges, lots of laughs and the makings of extraordinary memories all while exploring awesome local businesses and discovering talented artisans.
The Great Dash is all about solving clues, taking on challenges and having a fun packed adventure! You might have to decorate a cake, solve a puzzle, build a birdhouse, design a wall tile, ride an innertube, figure out a brain teaser or even eat a local delicacy. You never know WHAT challenges and competitions will await you, but you’re guaranteed that you will have a great time completing them!
You can Dash by yourself or with a team, whichever you chose, just plan to spend a good portion of the Dash day having a truly engaging and thrilling experience! The day will culminate in the crowning of The Great Dash Champions and if you’re not overly competitive, don’t worry, there are always lots of additional awesome prizes to be won and of course, cool restaurants, shops and artisans to be discovered!
When you support The Great Dash, you support Watermark and the Foodbank!
Interview with Salvador Dali.
High River is "Da bomb!" We are honestly ecstatic after our day with our fabulous teams, superb local businesses, and our hilarity with our Dash challenges!
Huge hugs to The Great Dash volunteers that have been with me from the get go, you have been an enormous support for keeping my dream alive, thank you to Sean Macallum, Ross Youngblood, Kyla Lewis and Aislinn Taylor.
My supreme gratefulness goes to: Sun Country Radio Station 99.7 FM/Sarah Scott at https://www.highriveronline.com/radio/sun-country The Eagle Radio Station 100.9 FM/Dave Elder at https://okotoksonline.com/eagle-1009 660 News/Cindy White at http://www.660news.com and to Jeff Siffledeen at Boston Pizza, Jeff kindly donated a prize for our winners and was not a destination! https://www.facebook.com/HighRiverBP/
Thank you for spreading the word for The Great Dash, you are, all that and a bag of Fritos, amaze-balls, best thing since sliced bread, bow-chica-wow-wow! I could go on....I won't. You get my drift?
1. Museum of Highwood: The staff here are so friendly, so knowledgeable and the place is a gem to visit, sharing the history of Southern Albert, a place to imagine! http://museumofthehighwood.com
2. Spitzee Post Bar & Grill: We finished our Dash here! Great Service, super friendly staff and you can catch some rays with a cold beer on their outside patio in the summer, or you can warm your tushie up by the fireside on one of our many nippy nights in the winter. Whichever you choose, this is a comfortable place to chill and perhaps play some pool! http://heritageinn.net/locations/high-river-ab/dining-and-drinks/spitzee-post-bar-and-grill
3. Crescent Point Regional Field House: Team "Back To Bed" squaring up for the dunk for their challenge at this amazing facility! Super, duper staff, and they did not hesitate to come up with a great challenge for the Dashers. Pickleball, bubble soccer, volleyball, walking track and so much more, an absolute must to visit. https://cpregionalfieldhouse.com
4. Art Affects: Do you wonder why MJ has been in business for 20 years? Let us tell you why? She is knowledgeable, a keen eye for design, community minded, and all round fantastic, that's why! Now go and visit her today. http://arteffects.ca
5. High River Tennis Club: 5 beautiful courts run by volunteers that are passionate about the game, owned by the Town of High River. You can also play pickleball here! Find out more at https://www.highrivertennis.com
6.High River Brewing Company: So new, so well designed, so great! High River's brand new treasure with great beer and a cray-mazing relaxed vibe, huge rave from our Dash teams, check it out! https://hrbrewco.com
7. Doug Mitchell Photography: Eyecatching! Not just Doug.....his photography and not only that, he makes awesome frames! His love for this area is evident in his work and his passion for travel and the outdoors is undeniable. Doug's new studio in High River is waiting for you to see what he sees through the lens. http://www.dougmitchell.ca
8. Bottled Up: We cannot say enough about this spot! Not only did they do a challenge for our teams... they smashed it out of the park! Kylana and staff are wicked awesome! You feel like you are entering your best friends cozy living room. The food is yummy scrumbos and they host many entertainment nights for the community to enjoy. Drop in, you will not regret! https://www.facebook.com/BottledUpHR/
9. Movement Ink: Ben is personable, an artist, professional and puts you at ease immediately. We love Ben because our teams had a chance to make temporary tattoos on The Great Dash, how cool is that? His work is amazing so when you are ready, give Ben a call, he will talk you through the process and assist you with wonderfully, creative ideas. http://movementink.info
10. Oxford Bakehouse and Sausage Company: Are you salivating yet? Trust us when we say, go, run directly to this place. The aroma wafting from this shop is heavenly. The food is scrumpdillyicious! Suzanne and her staff are second to none! https://www.facebook.com/oxfordbakehouse/
11. Seven Sea's Trading Company: Mary Lou makes you feel immediately welcome when you enter this amazing store. Chock-a-block full of unique, delightful items for your home, garden or tremendous gift ideas for any occasion. Do not leave High River without visiting this gem. https://www.facebook.com/SevenSeasTradingCompany/
12. Literacy For Life: The Great Dash teams challenge here was to spell, "plutonium" with cut out letters. Good thing I know how to spell it, now! One of the many fundraising events Literacy For Life organizes is "The Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee," it is loads of "shitz and giggles" for audience members and the teams. I would highly recommend this event, and a most worthy cause. Help them to help others. http://litforlife.com/index.php
13. Monster Hobbies: How crazool was this for our teams on "The Great Dash!" Racing cars!!! Trevor is passionate, knowledgeable and a great guy! His business is a wee bit off the beaten track but well worth finding him. He hosts game and building nights, and monthly demonstrations. Trevor's store is brimming with leisure time activities from model kits, trains, building blocks and so much more! Get off the ipad and march straight over to "Monster Hobbies," and get those creative juices flowing! Find your inner passion! https://www.facebook.com/Monster-Hobbies-in-High-River-Alberta-Canada-163876670301889/
14. The Hub: So this happened.....Lisa was all set up with her challenge for "The Great Dash" teams and sadly a family emergency came up. Family firs, obviously, we get it! The energy in this place is sizzling! The staff are happy... good sign. The atmosphere is digiboo friendly. Lisa and her staff are super knowledgeable. What more could you ask for? Nothing. Be part of the movement! https://www.facebook.com/thehubpt/
15. The Fringe Salon and Esthetics: These gals are kicking it with their services! You can totally put your trust in their skillfullness and come out feeling like a million bucks! Friendly, gracious, professional and a jewel of a salon. https://www.facebook.com/fringehighriver/
16. JRRR BBQ: The chicken wings smashed it out of the park with our teams! The awesome possum sauces are drool worthy. Ryan is a community minded, cutie patutie with a passion for smoking, not hippie lettuce.... meat! Southern Style Smoked Meats, outstanding flavours, perfectly cooked! Are you to lazy, tired, hungry? Call Ryan, he'll get it ready for you to pick up, he does catering as well! Check this out! http://jrrrbbq.com
17. Big Rock Bouldering: The search is over for the perfect climbing tree! This is way more fun! Vanessa and Chris are wonderful and plugged in to the needs of their clientele. What a gratifying way of working out. Not only does it help your brain function but it is a fantastic full body workout. Our teams loved it! Okay maybe a wee bit achy. http://bigrockbouldering.com
18. Evelyn's Memory Lane Cafe: This hot spot is chock-full of character and a fave for many. The food is yummilicous and Hubert and his staff are exceptional. It was a tough challenge for our teams and they pushed through it! Hubert sent them away with smiles on their faces and a ice cream to boot! Next time in your High River drop by this lively cafe. http://www.mlcafe.ca
19. Picasso's Pizza: One of our team members hamming it up at Picasso's Pizza. The delectable smells wafting outside this place lure you in, especially if you are hungry! Their pizza is super duper, of course, why would their logo be "Masters in the Art of Pizza, duh! They also have a fairly good size menu with some other, yummy in my tummy choices! On top of that, they deliver... also make gluten free items, and..... they are the best at what they do! https://picassoshighriver.com
20. J and D's Attic: Danielle has a warmth to her that you immediately feel at ease, so friendly and kind. This place is a treasure box bursting with great finds! From antiques, vintage, used books to DIY projects just waiting for the right person to embrace. Plan on spending a couple of hours in there, loads to look at. https://www.facebook.com/JandDsAttic2015/
21. Chinook Country Quilt Shop: Jill and her staff are delightful and engaging! They have an enormous supply of high-quality quilting supplies, of course! Not only that! The place is buzzing with classes, long arm services and knowledgeable staff to guide you. These ladies are your best go-to for your sewing needs. https://www.facebook.com/chinookcountryquiltshop/
22. Big Sky Picture Framing: I would not hesitate to send you here for framing your special pieces! Deborah is informed, talented and able to find the perfect fit for your cherished keepsakes or work of art. She has a huge selection, reasonably priced and spot-on customer service. http://bigskypictureframing.vpweb.ca
23. Salvage Soul Sisters Society: Shut the front door! This place is craymazing! Gather your girlfriends and take a ride over to this boutique. They have a plethora of gently used clothing, repurposed or remade furniture and so much more. Joyce and the staff are approachable and so helpful. Just so you know, an added bonus....profits are directed to Narrow Road Home at this time. Narrow Road is a women's recovery home. https://www.facebook.com/salvagesoulsisterssociety/
24. The High River Library: This is no ordinary library, this is the heart of the town! If you want to expand your mind, stimulate your imagination, get connected, or even escape into your own world this is the place to hang out! You are among good people here. http://www.highriverlibrary.ca
24. The High River Performing Arts Foundation/The Venue: Okay, okay the photo is not doing it justice! Use your imagination and picture this! A collaborative performing arts venue in downtown High River, whaaat! Beyond thrilled for High River! Inspired by Mike and Lori Koehler's dream, HRPAF was born. This group of dedicated and enthusiastic people will drive this to fruitation in 2019. In the mean time, this lot will be used for outdoor concerts throughout the summer. Now get your concert chair and stroll/drive there and support these incredible people doing great things for High River! https://www.thevenuehighriver.com
Imagine for a second, what you could do and the places you could go if you had the ability of time travel? Chew on this for a moment, what if we could go back and change the massive flood that happened in High River, what if we could have diverted this disaster somehow? Would it have changed High River for the better?
"Back To The Future" is about dreams. George always wanted to be a successful science fiction writer, Doc had a lifelong dream to build a successful time machine, Marty longed to be the next Van Halen. The entire timeline of their world was written before it began. By going back in time history was rewritten.
History cannot change and time travel cannot exist, otherwise nobody would stick around!
High River is looking to the future by not travelling back but certainly dreaming of what High River will become. The flood has allowed the people of High River to look back and learn. Out of tragedy often, comes strength. To rethink, recreate, and mold the town into something new and exciting. A chance to define who High Riverites are as a community and where they are going! A tenacious, resilient and a close-knit family community working towards their dreams of becoming great! Opening the doors to entrepreneurs, small businesses, technology, agriculture, tourism, the arts and so much more creative growing going on in High River. You're darn right we are proud of you!
"The Great Dash" volunteers are excited to showcase some of your hidden gems in the neighbourhood, giving our teams a chance with all the great people that have helped and worked hard to build High River up again. Great Scott, why not?
The Great Dash/Watermark is making the makers known throughout the Foothills area. Join us and help support local businesses in a fun, engaging way! Team building, friendly competition, community building, connecting towns, prizes, the winner takes away the coveted trophy with humongous bragging rights! Register at watermarkab.com under Events and you will find The Great Dash/Back To The Future.
"YOUR FUTURE IS WHATEVER YOU MAKE IT SO MAKE IS A GOOD ONE!" Doc Brown
Okay I am definitely no expert and I am not formely educated in the arts, I do however do a lot of research and I am learning lots. I know what I like and love sharing my finds with you all. At times while researching I have come across mind baffling pieces that make no sense to me. The piece above sold for $68.6 million?! Whaaat? I am thinking that my scribbles on the chalk board as a child could have gone for that much, who knew? Life would have been set for me at an early age.
The installation artist here must have been swinging from the rafters after this masterpiece. How does one explain this?
"Andre is a sculptor who neither carves in subtances, nor models forms. His work involves the positioning of raw materials-such as bricks, blocks, ingots, or plates. He uses no fixatives to hold them in place-like stacking up bricks to build a wall." theartstory.org What?
I built a Jenga game for my daughters wedding, who knew I was an artist! Jenga anyone?
Katherine Brooks from huffingpost.ca wrote, "A century later, replicas and photos of "Fountain" are among the most studied objets d'sart. Decades after his death in 1968, Duchamp, dishonoured by a group of artists he saw as hypocritical, was dubbed "the 20th century's cleverst artist." His urinal is considered by many to be "the most influential piece of modern art." The most studied, influential art.... it's a frigging urinal, am I missing something? I have seen people use a toilet in their front yard as a planter, I better stop calling it, "so tacky!"
This sold for a whopping $1.1 million! Holy smokearoo! Now don't get me wrong I love the colour. What a conversation piece!
"The work consists of 90 tin cans, each filled with grams of feces, measuring 4.8 by 6.5 centimetres. A label stating: Artist's Shit, freshly preserved, produced and tinned in May 1961." Wikipedia
In 2000 the Tate Gallery bought a tin purporting to be the excrement of Italian artist Piero Manzoni for $80,000.00 from Sotheby's. Holy Sh-t!
The cans were originally to be valued according to their equivalent weight in gold--$37 each in 1961--with the price fluctuating according to the market. OMG!!
This gives a whole new meaning to "piece of shit." I will now go do my business for the sake of art! I shall call it, "Shitty Art."
We had a blast, and we could not have done it without all of your support. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope that you will consider us for the next Great Dash. A massive shout out and high five to all of you. To the Watermark volunteers, Kyla Lewis, Sean Macallum, Aislinn Taylor, Ross Youngblood you have been more than amazing and are keeping the dream alive! Hugs and kisses, Linda Macallum
A very special thank you goes to:
Aislinn Taylor at Trout and Taylor https://www.troutandtaylor.com
Julie N. Boake at Awedity Creative expect only the best from this gal! She has helped us enormously with social media for "The Great Dash" and volunteered with us at the Halloween Edition. Julie you rock! Thank you! https://www.aweditycreative.com
Monika at All Through the House http://allthroughthehouse.ca
A River Ran Through It Cafe
1. A River Ran Through It Cafe- Carney and Randy graciously opened their space to, "The Great Dash" participants in the morning. You cannot beat the ambiance in this cafe. Great space, awesome friendly staff, scrumptious food. Thank you, you folks rock! https://www.facebook.com/pg/ariverranthroughitcafe/posts/
Bar 13 Soap Works
2. Bar 13 Soapworks- It is written somewhere, “treat your body like a temple and your skin like a flower.” Hearyye, hearye this place is da bomb diggity fo sho! It is all that and a bag of Fritos! Fantastic bath and beauty products. The smells wafting out of there are scrummy. This is a must! Thank you Colin for joining us on "The Great Dash" and for your thoughtful prize donation. https://bar13soapworks.com
Sheena Sweets and Such
3. Sheena Sweets and Such- Sheena, makes our lives sweeter. How can you not visit her? She has everything you crave. Jelly bellies, rad bags, baskets filled with goodies, loot bags, oh and my personal favorite, a filling remover, Mcintosh Toffee…..yummylicious! Thank you Sheena for your support. https://www.facebook.com/SheenasSweets
Peculiar Leather and Jewelery
4. Peculiar Leather and Jewelery- Efrain is a master craftsman and genuinely a sweet man. His passion for art is very evident in his jewelery and his purses are second to none. Stunning, unique jewelery that has some serious bling bling. Efrain will custom make whatever your heart desires. Thank you Efrain for your kindness and your very special prize donations. https://www.facebook.com/Peculiar-Leather-Jewelry-Art-Works-1393814014016658/
5. Pike Studio- Connie and Bob, two incredible artists under the same roof. Connie’s pottery and Bob’s metal work are dazzling pieces made with meticulous expertise and wonderfully creative. If you are in High River, you’d be crazy not to visit their studio. Thank you Connie for your friendship and your lovely prize donations. http://www.pikestudios.com/Home.html
Aisling Furnishings.....Then & Now
6. Aisling Furnishings….Then & Now- Carney has a keen eye for design and specializes in blinds curtains and home décor, even antiques. She wants for you, a space to take your breath away! Carney is a dynamo and will not let you down. Thank you Carney you, are first-rate! https://www.facebook.com/pg/aislinginteriors/community/
Art and Soul Studio
7. Art and Soul Studio- What a marvelous space for a collective of artists, a historical building in High River. The gals I met were Annie Froese and Judi Kemp, together they brought warmth, charm, and creativity. Judi Kemp's speciality is working with crystals, her business inside of this space is called, "Fjorgyn Crystals". Feast your eyes to the local artists and artisans work next time you are there. Thank you Judi for your willingness to share your space and your passion with our participants and your gorgeous prize donation. http://www.artandsoulstudiogallery.com/art-and-soul-studio-gallery---high-river.html
8. Bottled Up- Kylana is all that and a bag of chips! The concept here is so cool and trendy and the décor is so sweeeeet. Pairing wine or beers is so decadent. The icing on the cake is the staff are cramazing! Thank you Kylana and Paula for making this such a special stop for our participants and donating a beautiful basket for our winning teams. https://www.facebook.com/BottledUpHR/
The Room at Home
9. The Room At Home- Located in the historic Bradley building next to Maggie’s Diner. Not only does Pavlina have a pretty name she is in fact a lovely woman in and out. Her love of art, the home, the family, the community, all come into play in this gorgeous space. She is a wonderful advocate of the local artists and represents them with a swanky flare. Thank you Pavlina for the experience you gave our teams. https://www.theroomathome.com
Big Rock Bouldering
10. Big Rock Bouldering- From the get go these guys were on board with us. Now if you are not afraid of heights and want a challenge this place is wicked! Chris and Vanessa are fabulouso and super duper knowledgable. A fantastic, safe place to learn the sport of climbing. Their staff, are well trained and amazing. Thank you for coming on board with us. We have 4 very excited participants that won your prize donation! Bigrockbouldering.com
Colossi's Coffee House
11. Colossi’s Coffeehouse-No grabbing a bevy and leaving here, you want to stay, the ambiance is delightful. The food is made with care and delectable. The gals are warm and friendly. On Friday’s take a chill pill with your latte and lend an ear to the local live music scene. Thank you Diane and staff for making this a memorable stop. Your prize donation was well received! https://www.colossiscoffeehouse.com
1906 Restaurant and Lounge
12. 1906 Restaurant and Lounge- Between you and me this is a hidden gem. Live music and jam nights, darn good food, drinks and super staff. What on earth else do you need? Thank you Andre and staff for pulling it together for us. https://www.facebook.com/1906-restaurantlounge-1583617895228844/
Okotoks Air Ranch Airport
13. Okotoks Air Ranch Airport- Trent is one heck of a guy, the bomb diggity, the big kahuna! The Air Ranch Airport is going to be busting out some pretty cool programs, just hold your horses for a wee bit, let them get sorted. When they are ready we’ll get the scoop! Thank you Trent and staff for testing our teams with the cool quizjizz! You made the team that won your prize donation very happy! http://cfx2.ca
All Through the House
14. All Through the House- Monika and her staff are bang up awesome! You could spend countless hours searching through all the wonderful treasures here. This is DIY heaven. Best ever store for hunting for unique items. We need to double thank Monika and staff for playing along with us and letting us use a blackout room for our, Great Dash creepy challenge! So fun! www.allthroughthehouse.ca
Okotoks Print and Copy Shop
15. Okotoks Print and Copy Shop- Jen is the cat’s meow, so easy to be around. Jen not only did our Great Dash booklets, she printed our posters and did a bang up job at a fair price. Thank you Jen for the activity you gave our teams. http://www.okotoksprintandcopyshop.com
Cha Cha John's
16. Cha Cha John’s- Thomas certainly makes you feel very welcome and special. They offer traditional East Indian cuisine with a twist, yummy, tasty and visually appealing. This restaurant is definitely awesome possum. Thank you Thomas for letting our teams meet you all. http://chachajohns.ca
In Cahoots Bar and Grill
17. InCahoots- Darren and Shaun are two cool beans and more. This place is a kickin’ place to hang out! The staff are fantabulous and the food is pretty darn good, they have live music, wing night, and drink specials. This is an off the hizzle friendly, neighbourhood gathering place. Thank you Shaun and staff for making this a great stopover for The Great Dash teams. Your donation prize was so appreciated. http://incahootsokotoks.com
X's and Oh's Boutique
18. X’s and Oh’s Boutique- Natasha and her staff are the prize in the Cracker Jack’s box. They are so warm and welcoming and make you feel at ease right away. Whatever your needs are, they can help you with knowledge and professionalism. Big thank you to you gals for giving our teams a spiffylicious experience. Loooved the prize donation. http://xandohs.ca
Sector 6 Supplements
19. Andrew is the prime example of healthy living and he wants nothing but the best for you and only offers the very best. He handpicks top grade supplements that will enhance your everyday life and help you to reach your fitness goals. The icing on the cake is, Andrew is a great guy! Go talk to him. Thank you Andrew for your creative, fun activity and your prize donations was super duper. http://www.sector6supplements.ca
20. Miller Automotive- These guys rock! Donovan, a man of few words but very evident that he is honest, a top notch mechanic and consistent. Shane goes out of his way to explain and make you understand what the needs are for your car and why they need to be done. We would not hesitate to send you to Miller Automotive. Thank you Donovan and your staff, you guys slammed it with your challenge for the teams! Hilarious and entertaining! We had loads of happy campers with your prize donation, thank you. https://www.millerautomotive.ca
Riley's Cattle Barn
21. Riley’s Cattle Barn- Once again Nixie is the bomb diggity! This place is so fricken good! They have loads of space for parties, open mic on Thursdays, live music on Saturday’s and flipping good food! The staff are full of awesomeness and the place is so cool! Thank you Nixie for making our experience so wonderful! http://www.ryliescattlebarn.com
While foreign visitors might assume there is only one reason to visit Okotoks (we're not naming any names, but it's big and grey, and literally EVERY person who visits it climbs on it even though we're not supposed to), we have MANY reasons to prove why that is untrue. When we launched "7 Reasons Why" the first time, we had a positive backlash (can backlashes be positive? This one is...) of other reasons why people have big heart-ons (see what we did there) for the tokes. Here's a compilation of our responses, and a few more we really wanted to mention:
Join us on the 28th of October to experience ALL of Okotoks and High River and what makes it awesome too (and let us know what we should add to our next list)! Check out The Great Dash here.
1. River Valley
This feels obvious (OK WE KNOW IT'S OBVIOUS), but it's hard to get more of the warm fuzzies than when you see the river packed with little munchkins making sand-castles and splashin' around in the river. It's. SO. CUTE. For the other 340 days of the year that it is NOT 30 degrees, it's an abnormally-gorgeous walk, and we feel pretty dang privileged to have this smack-dab in the middle of our town.
2. Why would you not shop here?
A cozy, welcoming place to visit and spend some time (can't you tell by their ADORABLE signage?). Natalie greets you with a lovely smile and graciously invites you into her shop, every time. Small towns can sometimes have clothing boutiques that are a little too...niche (ok read between the lines here guys). We are major fans of this little spot- her clothes are actually trendy and affordable as is the accessories and the giftware. Guess what else? You can order online! https://mintandmaple.ca
3. Home Ground Coffee and Roasting House
Freshly roasted organic coffee, organic tea, cinnamon buns to die for, everything else is fresh and spiffylicious and the smells wafting out of this place are ON POINT! Great place for a get together, and the kind of place you just want to support when you walk inside. https://www.facebook.com/HomeGroundCoffeeRoastingHouse
4. Dit and Dat
We don't like calling this a dollar store... in our experience, it's so much more than that! Hunting for something specific? Like, for instance, have you ever heard of Treacle Pie? We thought not! Treacle is a British, thick, syrupy sweet treat used in a pie (see above). We have never seen it anywhere on this side of the pond before so HEYO. We get our fix from Dit n Dat. Have you ever heard of Pontefract Cakes? Yeh nor had we, but dit n' Dat has it! They also have loads of imported items, and the icing on the (literal) cake is that the staff are fantabulous. https://www.facebook.com/Dit-n-Dat-Everyday-Value-and-Family-Fun-Tel-403-995-4627-187821894594779
5. Tribal Connection Market
You know that one friend that is soOoooo difficult to buy gifts for? Well shut the front door, we have news for you. Not only can you meet a friend for a coffee and chit chat, you can also browse through the store and see all the special one-of-a-kind items made from artisans from all over the world all the while you are supporting Fair Trade (the staff even donate their tips to Tribal Orphanage in Tanzania, Africa). It warms our hearts and fills them with admiration, way to go ladies! Oh, one more perk! They now are licensed and have live music, check it out. https://www.facebook.com/fairtradeproduct/
6. Deava Beadz Jewellery Boutique
The most epic house on Elma St.! It has been fully restored (it has over a 100 years of history), so it's a gorgeous space to visit regardless. Now let's move inside and talk about Deava Beadz. Only the most fandamntastic, trending, one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces you will find in Okotoks. Erin custom makes bling and let us tell you, it will make you sing! Gather your chickas and march on over and take a peek, Erin will show you what's new, or guess what? You can take a gander online as well. deavabeadz.ca
7. Light Up Okotoks
How can you not fall in love with Okotoks when you attend "Light Up Okotoks". The small town vibe with a whole lot of spirit! The cold November night air warmed by the happy faces, friendships, the toasty fire pits, yummy hot chocolate and a cracker jack box full of surprises. Not to mention there are fantastic fireworks to end off the evening. It's quite a thing to witness a community coming together to celebrate the coming of the Christmas season. Thank you GM for your kindness and to all the other sponsors that bring the light to Okotoks. Be there or be (in the town) square, November 17.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LIGHT UP OKOTOKS
As always, let us know what YOU think should make the list! It's hard to choose between the amazing, dedicated artisan and small business talent that we have here in Okotoks, so we are all ears when it comes to shedding light on them.
We would LOVE to see you all at The Great Dash (only a few days left for tickets!), where you'll get to experience businesses and artists like these while racing to the finish line. Contact us with questions.
Arts and Culture. I personally believe is of absolute, upmost importance to expose children to culture, arts, entertainment early in their young lives; and most important of all is to instil in them the capacity for creative thinking. Teachers encourage imagination within the classroom through various methods and approaches to the curriculum, as well as experiences with problem solving, the arts and nature. Parents also do well to nurture and develop their children's young growing mind's with activities that allow them to build their understands and expand their wonderings through their five senses; smell, hearing, taste and touch. The more exposed a child is to new experiences that push their thinking, the more imaginative they become and the more ideas they come up with. Open their world to new things. Creativity is learned.
Creativity is important in all realms of human progress as it is what drives big corporations, innovation, entrepreneurs, originality and allows us to generate solutions for real problems affecting people, the environment and so much more. It is the glue that holds our communities together. Beyond enriching our lives in enjoyable ways, creativity holds its value economically as it serves to attract tourism and increase dollars spent in a community.
Parents and caregivers of young minds, must educate and encourage our children to think beyond the tablet, smart phone or T.V for our only source of information and entertainment, we must get them out to explore and experience life first hand and encourage them to ask questions about what they are experiencing. Allow them to make mistakes and, while it can be hard to do so, avoid saving them all the time from failure, perceived danger, or opportunities to get messy. That's how they learn. That's how we all learn.
Writing, dance, music, photography, painting, sports and so much more to expose our children to. If you could find that one thing, the spark that ignites the excitement in your child, a little encouragement and the rest will fall into place. That fire will burn forever. You will have given your child the best gift of all. Creativity. By Linda Macallum
According to very official people with clipboards, Turner Valley's population has grown just about 20% in the last 5 years, and Black Diamond isn't far behind with a pretty incredible 14%. With this influx of cool peeps came some pretty incredible entrepreneurs- who have made these outliers a sought-after destination for Albertans and the like. Here's 7 reasons why we visit these two sister towns basically every weekend:
1. Eau Claire Distillery
These guys have it spot on! Great vibe happening inside, super upbeat staff, best darn gin with unique flavours on the market. This is a must-visit so you can get your tour of the distillery and then chill with a fine glass of gin or one of their yummy specialty concoctions.
Featured on "You Gotta Eat Here" the food network television show, these guys have the best dang eggs benny in the West, along with other scrumptious feature items. Superb staff and unfussy, homey atmosphere. be prepared for a wee wait- but it is so worth it.
3. Marv's Classic Soda Shop
A walk down memory lane. The milkshakes, floats, sodas, the hot diggity dogs, fries and incredible hamburgers, oh and the jukebox at the table, 25 cents plays your special tune for all you nostalgic folks. Plus there's Marv, who is possibly the coolest man alive.
4. The Westwood
From a successful food truck in Black Diamond to their new location across the street they have not missed a beat. Locally-sourced produce add to their creative flare with their dishes, and (obviously) a wonderful staff. You cannot go wrong by visiting this place.
5. The Black Diamond Hotel (music and food)
Ok. Peeps. The dance floor here is EPIC, and they have a constant stream of seriously notable local talent. This our fave spot to listen to music and every so often- cut a rug (do people even say that anymore??). Also, there is not a tv to be found in the main area, which, we'll admit, we really friggen like.
Wing night is HELLA popular- the last time we went seeking these spicy beauties there was not a table to be found, so get there early so that you can unbutton the top button of your cowboy jeans.
6. Branch Market + Studio
Watermark is all about creativity, so we feel like kindred spirits with these folks- we (and everyone else) cannot help but love these gals. If you want something special, this is the place to go, if you want to learn something new, try the workshops they offer. Branch Market carries Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and you can sign up for their next workshop on how to use it.
7. The Bluerock Gallery
Specializes in local fine arts and crafts, they have become a cornerstone for supporting local artists and artisans, cultivating and creating an environment for browsing and ultimately scooping up that one-of-a-kind treasure.
Obviously, these 7 reasons are enough to sell any naysayer, but we haven't even touched on the fact that these two towns are gateways to some of the most incredible natural recreational spots and gems. While they aren't technically in either town, we just have to give a shout out to Sheep River Falls, Elbow Falls, Blue Rock, and/or Sandy McNab to name a very small few. We are fortunate to live so close to these amazing spots- and we definitely need to take advantage.
WANT TO EXPERIENCE MORE PLACES LIKE THIS AND IN THE REST OF THE FOOTHILLS? CHECK OUT THIS EVENT (early bird pricing available for a short time!): https://watermarkab.com/events/the-great-dash-halloween
Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we most need them, and creative thinking requires complex cognition yet is completely distinct from the thinking process.
Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. As scientists now understand it, creativity is far more complex than the right-left brain distinction would have us think (the theory being that left brain = rational and analytical, right brain = creative and emotional). In fact, creativity is thought to involve a number of cognitive processes, neural pathways and emotions, and we still don't have the full picture of how the imaginative mind works.
And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they're complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it's not just a stereotype of the "tortured artist" -- artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.
"It's actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self," Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. "The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self ... Imaginative people have messier minds."
While there's no "typical" creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently.
Creative types know, despite what their third-grade teachers may have said, that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time.
According to Kaufman and psychologist Rebecca L. McMillan, who co-authored a paper titled "Ode To Positive Constructive Daydreaming," mind-wandering can aid in the process of "creative incubation." And of course, many of us know from experience that our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are elsewhere.
Although daydreaming may seem mindless, a 2012 study suggested it could actually involve a highly engaged brain state -- daydreaming can lead to sudden connections and insights because it's related to our ability to recall information in the face of distractions. Neuroscientists have also found that daydreaming involves the same brain processes associated with imagination and creativity.
They observe everything.
The world is a creative person's oyster -- they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. As Henry James is widely quoted, a writer is someone on whom "nothing is lost."
The writer Joan Didion kept a notebook with her at all times, and said that she wrote down observations about people and events as, ultimately, a way to better understand the complexities and contradictions of her own mind:
"However dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable 'I,'" Didion wrote in her essay On Keeping A Notebook. "We are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its marker."
They work the hours that work for them.
Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. Vladimir Nabokov started writing immediately after he woke up at 6 or 7 a.m., and Frank Lloyd Wright made a practice of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and working for several hours before heading back to bed. No matter when it is, individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start firing up, and structure their days accordingly.
They take time for solitude.
"In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone," wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May.
Artists and creatives are often stereotyped as being loners, and while this may not actually be the case, solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Kaufman, this links back to daydreaming -- we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.
"You need to get in touch with that inner monologue to be able to express it," he says. "It's hard to find that inner creative voice if you're ... not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself."
They turn life's obstacles around.
Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak -- and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art. An emerging field of psychology called post-traumatic growth is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and early-life trauma for substantial creative growth. Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and -- most importantly for creativity -- seeing new possibilities in life.
"A lot of people are able to use that as the fuel they need to come up with a different perspective on reality," says Kaufman. "What's happened is that their view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered at some point in their life, causing them to go on the periphery and see things in a new, fresh light, and that's very conducive to creativity."
They seek out new experiences.
Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind -- and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output.
"Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement," says Kaufman. "This consists of lots of different facets, but they're all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world."
They "fail up."
Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives -- at least the successful ones -- learn not to take failure so personally.
"Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often," Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece on Einstein's creative genius.
They ask the big questions.
Creative people are insatiably curious -- they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. Whether through intense conversation or solitary mind-wandering, creatives look at the world around them and want to know why, and how, it is the way it is.
Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people-watch -- and they may generate some of their best ideas from it.
"[Marcel] Proust spent almost his whole life people-watching, and he wrote down his observations, and it eventually came out in his books," says Kaufman. "For a lot of writers, people-watching is very important ... They're keen observers of human nature."
They take risks.
Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives.
"There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it's one that's often overlooked," contributor Steven Kotler wrote in Forbes. "Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent -- these are all by-products of creativity gone awry."
They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.
Nietzsche believed that one's life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life.
"Creative expression is self-expression," says Kaufman. "Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness."
They follow their true passions.
Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated -- meaning that they're motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity.
"Eminent creators choose and become passionately involved in challenging, risky problems that provide a powerful sense of power from the ability to use their talents," write M.A. Collins and T.M. Amabile in The Handbook of Creativity.
They get out of their own heads.
Kaufman argues that another purpose of daydreaming is to help us to get out of our own limited perspective and explore other ways of thinking, which can be an important asset to creative work.
"Daydreaming has evolved to allow us to let go of the present," says Kaufman. "The same brain network associated with daydreaming is the brain network associated with theory of mind -- I like calling it the 'imagination brain network' -- it allows you to imagine your future self, but it also allows you to imagine what someone else is thinking."
Research has also suggested that inducing "psychological distance" -- that is, taking another person's perspective or thinking about a question as if it was unreal or unfamiliar -- can boost creative thinking.
They lose track of the time.
Creative types may find that when they're writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in another way, they get "in the zone," or what's known as a flow state, which can help them to create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they're practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance.
You get into the flow state when you're performing an activity you enjoy that you're good at, but that also challenges you -- as any good creative project does.
"[Creative people] have found the thing they love, but they've also built up the skill in it to be able to get into the flow state," says Kaufman. "The flow state requires a match between your skill set and the task or activity you're engaging in."
They surround themselves with beauty.
Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty.
A study recently published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts showed that musicians -- including orchestra musicians, music teachers, and soloists -- exhibit a high sensitivity and responsiveness to artistic beauty.
They connect the dots.
If there's one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it's the ability to see possibilities where others don't -- or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect.
In the words of Steve Jobs:
"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."
They constantly shake things up.
Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity, says Kaufman. Creatives like to shake things up, experience new things, and avoid anything that makes life more monotonous or mundane.
"Creative people have more diversity of experiences, and habit is the killer of diversity of experience," says Kaufman.
They make time for mindfulness.
Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind -- because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers, such as David Lynch, have turned to meditation as a tool for tapping into their most creative state of mind.
And science backs up the idea that mindfulness really can boost your brain power in a number of ways. A 2012 Dutch study suggested that certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking. And mindfulness practices have been linked with improved memory and focus, better emotional well-being, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved mental clarity -- all of which can lead to better creative thought. By senior writer Carolyn Gregoire at Huffington Post
The Big Picture
Draw your stories and share them
About The Big Picture:
The big picture is a collective art project where people in our local area and around the world are collaborating to create a big mosaic picture from thousands of drawings.
This project outlines the connections between individuals from all around the world and can be seen as a giant conversation taking place between all the participants and us through a dynamic and monumental art work.
We are interested in learning more about you: where you are coming from and where you are living now.
We both immigrated from France about 20 years ago. Sophie is from Britany and Sandrine from the Paris area.
We now live on the Canadian West coast in North Vancouver and are surrounded by the beautiful rain forest, it reminds us every day of our strong connection to nature, and inter-dependency with the rest of the world.
Working on this project, we liked the parallel between individuals in a community and trees in a forest and also the idea that we all need to feel rooted in our current location whenever we were born there or not. The mosaic aspect of the final picture reminded us of the mosaic of individual people and their stories that are working together to make up our multi-cultural society.
What will the project look like?
We are building a big panoramic picture from thousands of little squares that you can design at home and upload on this website. One of the many exciting parts about this project is that you will be able to see a close up of your art and zoom out to see how it fits as a part of the whole, a poetic metaphor of our interconnected existences. You will also be able to see all the individual art squares that are making up the picture and their individual design, who designed them, in what country they were living and also what the drawing is representing for the artist who made it. he final print of the picture will be 2 meters high (6 1/2 feet) and a maximum of 22 meters wide (72 feet).
What is going to happen with the project?
- Once the project is completed, we will be looking at exhibiting it in art galleries or museums .
- Monthly prizes by our sponsors to the most interesting contributions.
- We will publish books with a selection of contributions.
- Unique opportunity to share the life stories that are important to you with a wide audience.
Be a part of something big!
Stay tuned for an exclusive reveal of the completed Big Picture on the
The Foothills. So hot right now.
Here at Watermark we ran our first event this past Saturday, and we are seriously stoked. Participants raced all over the foothills competing in challenges to be named the winners of The Great Dash, and have now experienced some of the BEST that the Foothills has to offer. We partnered with our fave local businesses, and we have to say –you people rock! High fives go to:
1. Bali Bling: it’s basically a wonderland full eclectic items- and our racers in were all up in there.
2. Motto Burrito: these gals are fabulous and make a mean burrito that is seriously full of flavor. You’ll find them in Turner Valley!
3. The Country Diner: Kim and Curtis hosted our Great Dash breakfast, and we are so thankful they did. With full bellies our racers were able to focus on what matters- crushing the competition (obviously). They have the best burgers and pizza, and also, they are basically the nicest people ever. Go there now (Turner Valley yo).
4. Branch Market and Studio in Black Diamond: Ok, so this store is AMAZING. We promise you. Just go. These girls are so sweet rand they have the most gorg home décor products, and wicked classes that we would highly recommentd.
5. Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley: Their rep precedes them- they’ve quickly become an Albertan must-see. Their spirits are already winning awards, and the fact that they have wicked, welcoming staff is just the cherry on top.
6. Cotton Candy Store in Black Diamond: Flavoured popcorn- check. 1000 gillion candies- check. Fluffy coloured floss- check. What more could you ask for? Nothing. That’s what. The sugar high we got from this fuelled us in the race.
7. Vogel Rustic Re-Creations in Turner Valley: Chelsey is creating art from super different material and she does unique paintings, also up-doing furniture.
8. Route 40 Soup Company/Studio Me in Okotoks: a gym for your mind, body and soul, this is a place you MUST visit. Mark and Jody will welcome you with open arms.
9. Unwind Wool Shop in Okotoks: Kathleen is offering a wide variety of yarns, patterns and tools, and our racers got to learn how to knit a row. DEF visit this place.
10. Freshii in Okotoks: If you don’t know about Freshii, you’ve basically been missing out on life. Are you busy? Ya probably- who isn’t? You literally couldn’t ask for a better quick, healthy option, and our racers got to go behind the scenes and
learn how to use a juicer with the awesome owners
11. Bistro 1882 in Okotoks: This historic gem was something we just HAD to have on our Great Dash route. They specialize in homemade cuisine (like… awesome, amazing cuisine), they have the friendliest staff, and to cap it off the atmosphere issssssss perfect.
12. X’s and O’s Boutique in Okotoks: a premier love shop, with awesome, knowledgeable staff to help you enhance your intimacy and sexual well being.
13. Okotoks Film Festival in Okotoks, a group of passionate, creative individuals ready to knock your socks off with their vision for film in this area. Let’s support, and drive their incredible dream.
14. Emporium of Impossible Things in Okotoks has an array of gifts, household items including vintage, upcycled, consignment and handmade artisan items.
15. On Tap Oil and vinegar in Okotoks, stocks more than 65 flavors of oil and vinegar, these delicious oils and vinegars can be used in many different ways in or with your food. tap
16. Rylie’s Cattle Barn in Okotoks, is the place for all occasions, amazing atmosphere, great staff, good food and cocktails, and fantastic local live music.
Special thank you to the Western Wheel and The Eagle for promoting The Great Dash. You all are amazing! Watermark would like to challenge you to get a team in from your group for our next Great Dash in October! What'd ya say?
Also to Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Food for kindly donating prizes for our winners of The Great Dash, you are amazing!
After an amazing response to our article on what makes Okotoks seriously, seriously amazing- we wanted to shed some light on our sister from another mister, High River. Walkable, bikeable, drivable, and generally just a splendid place to be, High River takes the cake and (bonus) it has a beautiful river running through it (obviously). 40% urban and 60% rural*, it has everything you need without the rage-inducing traffic jams you'll find in the downtown core of a city. Here's 7 things we think make this a kick-ass place.
*Highly scientific numbers from a study done by no one, but believed full-heartedly by Watermark.
1. THE HITCHIN' POST
Essentially a beautified shack, The Hitchin' Post is a local legend that has been around for- wait for it- 40. Fricken. Years. It's basically a trademark spot in High River with the best dang shakes and burgers in the West, which is a statement backed up by their thousands of followers on Facebook.
2. THE HIGHWOOD RIVER
An obvious but still essential piece to mention is The Highwood River. Not only is it gorgeous, it is also a not-so-secret spot for local fly fisherman looking for a bountiful spot.
3. THE PIKE DESIGN STUDIO
This hidden gem (and we mean hidden- using google maps will get you close, but you may need to ask a friendly local) is home to the ridiculously awesome clay-master Connie Pike and her hubby Bob Pike. If you are interested in fine art and/or pottery, this is basically your nirvana (sans any greasy-haired hoarse-voiced Kurts). TIP: if you ever get a chance to take a class or workshop with Connie, do it. You will not be disappointed.
4. THE LITTLE BRITCHES PARADE AND RODEO
This picture is a perfect representation of the level of cuteness involved in number 4. This rodeo gets the kiddies involved in challenges like calf roping, sheep riding, and barrel busting. The parade that starts off the day is legit- then comes the music festival, and then it finishes off in the stands of the rodeo grounds.
5. CARLSON'S ON MACLEOD
Aside from the music, general ambiance, and seriously awesome people, the building itself is worth a visit. Tracing back to 1931, it now houses a wine bar, a gallery of amazing art, and a small live music venue featuring incredible local talent and out-of-town musicians. DEFINITELY, stop by this place while galavanting around this cool street.
6. THE GIFT OF MUSIC SOCIETY
Run by a group of generous volunteers, this non-profit's mandate is to bring classical music to the town. They are renowned for their seriously impressive and inspiring concerts and are giving the musicians a chance able to perform in such a lovely space. We'd recommend following them on twitter to keep up on the daily: https://twitter.com/hrgiftofmusic.
7. COLOSSI'S COFFEE HOUSE
In the heart of downtown High River, this is a wicked place to catch up with old friends, do a bit of work in a fab space, or just take a chill pill and sip on a great coffee. On top of that, they have a jam night for music enthusiasts. We are MAJ fans of this place and the people that run it- you will be too. #allthefeels
Extremely Noteworthy Mentions
With a population of just over 13,584 it's pretty shocking many seriously amazing people High River has raised. Here's a small sampling of noteworthy mentions:
George Canyon/musician (honestly... how cool is THAT) https://www.georgecanyon.com
Calum Graham/musician (ok... but seriously check this guy out) https://calumgraham.com
Joe Clark/politician https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Clark
To stay in the loop with Foothills musicians, join this group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/257874511341090
WANT TO EXPERIENCE MORE PLACES LIKE THIS IN THE FOOTHILLS? THE GREAT DASH IS A WICKED EVENT YOU SHOULD COME TO (you might just catch the final days of the early bird pricing). Check it out here: https://watermarkab.com/events/the-great-dash
Comments? Other ideas that you think should make the list? Put your suggestions in the comments- can't wait to hear from ya.