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Big Day Downtown: Or how to spend $100 on all the bracelets

October 29, 2012

L-A: This year’s Big Day Downtown had a twist: show another blogger your downtown and they’ll show you theirs. Seems like an easy enough plan, but what if your blogger partner doesn’t like to shop? And what if you are a blogger who is focused on the fashunz and loves to shop? Because this was our conundrum. And frankly, shopping is a thing I really do love. I shop when I’m bored. When I don’t have any money. When I just get my hair did. (The latter being the most dangerous time. I’m feeling pretty and witty and ready to drop cash all over town as a way to show off my new cut).

Fortunately, Halifax Broad (aka Cindy) was a total sport. Although she did enforce her time limit when I was low on cash and just happy to keep looking at all the pretty things.

I decided the arm party was the best way to make our shoppping day moderately less painful to her (shorter visits at the store because there’s no waiting to try things on) and way more fun for me (because a good arm party takes work and 100 bones goes a long way on your arm).

Let’s start with why an arm party needs a Big Day Downtown:

1. A good arm party requires maintenance – they’ll get frayed and worn and need to be changed up from time to time.

2. A good arm party periodically needs a refresher – you’re going to get bored of the same bracelet every day.

3. Adding to the party can cost as little or as much as you want it to. Only have $20? Boom! Bracelet. Have $200? Boom! Bracelet.

4. Downtown Halifax is full of bracelets waiting for an invite to your party.

5. Arm parties enjoy company. Like earrings and necklaces.

Now on to the Big Day!


How to Buy All the Bracelets Downtown

or at least a good sample of them

1. J&R Grimsmo

This was a natural first stop because it’s my new favourite in town. Pretty much everything in here is my jam. And while I decided against blowing my entire BDD cash on the first stop, trust me when I say I could have.

J&R Grimsmo arm party magic with one half of the cutest shop owning team in town. The pink bracelet is now mine.


The first purchase was a pink bracelet with a Canadian military button (totally has an anchor on it). It’s adorable and affordable. And it got packaged up all cute.

On to the next one!

If you haven’t visited this store yet, I implore you to do so. It will ease the feeling of loss many of you still feel over Junk & Foibles (I know you feel it. You said so on the Twitter. But it’s okay. The space has a fantastic new owner that also wants you to look awesome and the owners are the nicest).

2. Argyle Fine Art

Surprise home to fun jewelery

I  can guess what some of you are thinking:  “that is an art gallery and this is not an art blog, what up?” Here’s what’s up: this place has art AND accessories!

This was probably the best stop for both of us as we both dug looking at art (there are some small Nick Brunt paintings I wanted to use the rest of my money on, but that would have changed the nature of this post to something along the lines of “One of the bracelets and one of the paintings”). It was also a great stop because Halifax Broad was distracted while I took my time pondering which bracelet to buy.

See that little umbrella charm? It’s mine.


3. Biscuit General Store

I first visited this store 10 years ago and my love for it is going strong.

 Another favourite stop on the Arm Party Express…except this time, I got a little side tracked from my mission. Which is okay. Because that’s kind of my favourite thing about shopping downtown Halifax – I head out with a mission to buy X, Y and Z and end up finding A, B, and Q and the day is still a total success. I never know what I’m going to come across, but I know there’s a 99.9% chance I’m going to love it.

Halifax Broad had a bit of a “but I don’t need it” crisis here. Which may be true. She probably didn’t need the vase she liked or the adorable animal salt and pepper shakers. Just like I really don’t need these guys:

On second thought, I do need one of those guys. I have a collection of luck cats that hasn’t been added to in years.

or these guys

Seriously, who am I kidding? Total want/need right there.


You see, I subscribe to the Sheryl Crow School of “If it Makes You Happy, It Can’t Be That Bad” (off topic, does that song really need to be over 4 minutes long? I totally got bored mid-song). Which is why you should never, ever shop with me unless you are prepared to spend. Because I will enable you to purchase whatever it is that makes you happy – whether or not you actually need it (because let’s be honest with each other – no one needs accessories. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them).

Despite deviating from bracelets, I totally zoned in on accessories. Because friends, I need more ways to over-accessorize and Ally isn’t an arm partier, so she needed a non-bracelet present.

Oh hey there cabinet full of delightful ways to over-accessorize!


What I decided to take away from their cases was neither a bracelet, nor nautical.

Best part of procrastinating on our BDD? We ended up going out on a City Harvest day and I got 25% off my Biscuit purchase for tagging them in my instagram (winning!).

 4. Foreign Affair

I forgot to take pictures. Oops. I blame the cat print sweater and the polka dot Smythe jacket for causing me to lose focus on my attempts to document the day. But as most of my money had been spent at that point, I admired things instead of spending cash here.

5. Bisto Le Coq

Shopping is hard work y’all, even if you love it. Which is why you need this after visiting four stores:

Forget breakfast, THIS is the most important meal of the day.


Brunch was more of the Halifax Broad’s way of spending cash – especially when half the brunch involves duck fat. Since this BDD was about trying something your new blogger friend was a fan of downtown, I tried – for the first time ever – eggs benny (yeah, you read that right. A brunch aficionado who has never tried eggs benny).

The correct answer to “salad or duck fat rösti?” is always “duck fat rösti”.

Verdict on first eggs benny: super tasty, although it won’t replace my other brunch favourites (I’m a pancake or all day eggs over easy type girl). But I am adding Bistro Le Coq to my list of brunch places on Yelp because there are pancakes on that menu and I like any meal that you can kick off with duck fat frites and aioli.


So that’s my Big Day Downtown. And in case you weren’t aware (and you live in Halifax), you need to be following Downtown Halifax on the Twitter because they’re giving away daily $100 gift cards to non-bloggers. And even if you don’t win, I highly recommend planning your own big day downtown – because quite frankly, even if you don’t dig on shopping, you’re going to have fun and you’re going to find ways to treat yo’ self.


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