Category Archives: on the road

weekend escape


I’m thinking of planning a little winter weekend getaway for Myles and I. Just the two of us.

With sleep deprived days heading our way I think it would be a good idea for us to escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and just spend some time together.

Most people would probably escape to somewhere warm like Mexico or Florida but we’re not sun worshippers (or I should say Myles isn’t – that’s what you get for marrying a redhead). Truthfully, I’m perfectly happy to get find a snowy lodge somewhere, preferably a place with skiing nearby, and just hibernate for a few days.

Here’s a few things I wouldn’t mind doing on our weekend getaway:

- read more than one chapter in a book uninterrupted in front of a fireplace.
- buy a huge stack of magazines and just work my way through them.
- go for a long walk amongst snow covered trees maybe on snowshoes.
- take some long baths – yes, more than one!
- go out for dinner and not worry about getting home to relieve the babysitter.
- explore a town I’ve never been to before.
- sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast with a paper.

Luckily, for us there are many places in Eastern Canada and the North Eastern States where this kind of trip is possible. I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions for places to go or things to do?

Image Credits:
1 – Tara Nearents
2 – Vanessa Rees
Filed under on the road

my week off and a winner!


Last week was my official long goodbye to summer. It’s bittersweet letting go of the freedom and lightness that comes with these warmer months. Of course, Mother Nature blessed us with the goodness of Fall probably as a way to ease us into the harder Winter months. How can you not excited about chunky sweaters, scarves, boots and all of those delicious soups and stews that you haven’t made for at least six months.

Of course, we marked the end of summer with a family getaway that included grandparents, cousins and sisters. It was a time for our family which stretches across Canada from one ocean to the other to see each other and reconnect. It was a truly Canadian experience with campfires and marshmallows, canoe rides, lake swimming, loon calls, and forest walks.

While I love exploring other countries you can’t deny the beauty of the Canadian landscape. There’s a reason why as a nation we are so connected to our land. The other great thing about escaping to the wilderness is there is nothing you feel you should do; no restaurants to try nor museums to visit nor things to buy nor places of interest to visit. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing these things but every now and then you just need a vacation where you completely switch off and just be. I’m totally feeling re-energized and grounded and ready to take on Fall!

Now, on to the winner of the print giveaway from Pure Green Magazine. Congratulations Crystal, you have chosen the leaf guide print as your prize.

I’ll be back here in a few hours with another giveaway! I know…it’s been giveaway crazy around here lately!

Filed under giveaways, on the road

a creative space


Is anyone else out there pining for a mini-vacation? A break from all this snow? I know I am. And while I would love to take off to somewhere warm and summery it’s just not in the cards at the moment. Instead, I’m making do with small jaunts away that just shake up the routine a bit.

Last weekend, Kristin (my Hello! Neighbor photographer and friend) and I left behind our collective four boys with our two husbands and headed east to a small town in Ontario called Orono. We have a mutual friend who moved up there a few months ago who has been renovating an old house. Rachel, is a super talented women who has an eye for detail and as a result has a very specific look. In fact, her downtown Toronto home was the second house I profiled for Hello! Neighbor before Kristin even started shooting for me. In a few weeks, I’ll give you a tour of Rachel’s new house (it is going to knock your socks off!) but today I thought I would you show you a few snapshots from her design studio where she creates amazing illustrations and graphics.

Rachel is a consummate collector. Every time, I visit her home I’m in awe of the things she has gathered around her. It’s a feast for the eyes! Her studio is no exception and is packed floor to ceiling with fabric, ribbon, crafting supplies, magazines, books and interesting collections.

Wouldn’t you just love to have a space like this where you could create and make things? Imagine all the things you could get up too!

I also spotted this teacup in another part of  her house that she made last year for her twin’s 3rd birthday party. It was the topper for their cake. How’s that for impressive? I bet the other moms in Orono dread seeing her at the local bake sale!

Lucky for us, Rachel has a blog where she lets us in on some of her design secrets and crafty solutions. Oh and did I mention she has a way with words. She does! She’ll have you laughing out loud at work – no joke.

A visit to Rachel’s is the next best thing to an island escape!



Filed under on the road

flea market shopping in paris


I hope you don’t mind but we’re heading back to Paris today for a little overview of my flea market shopping experience in that great city.

Going to a brocante was one of the things I was most looking forward to on my trip to France. I had read about Parisian flea markets for years and had a somewhat inflated and mythical image of what they were going to be like in my head. Since my time in Paris was limited and market days only fall on certain days of the week I had to be choosy about which market I went too. I had heard from friends that there were no longer any deals to be had at the large, famous brocante at Clignancourt so I headed to the smaller and more intimate, Vanves.

You’ll probably be surprised to know that I bought only one thing from the flea market. While there were many things I loved, most tended to be on the larger (than your average suitcase) size and I wasn’t prepared to ship anything back (unless it was truly unbelievable). Truth be told, I found the prices to be a bit astronomical. One of the first things I spotted was a table full of vintage cafe au lait bowls. I immediately thought of this image and imagined a burgeoning collection of colourful vessels lining the shelves of my kitchen.

Then, I looked at the prices – 35-40 euros each! Ouch! Even with some good bargaining, I quickly realized that cafe au lait bowls were not in my future. At least, not if I wanted to really kick start my collection. I thought my money could be better used elsewhere.

As I wandered the aisles, I saw many things I could imagine in my home but nothing really jumped out at me. Still, it was interesting to see the forgotten or discarded history of a different city. Flea markets are a fascinating way to get a glimpse inside ordinary people’s lives. You see all of the accoutrements of the home from plates and cutlery to radios and books to chairs and lamp fixtures laid out before you.

I was amazed that the busiest stall at the market was one selling off old cameras and film. There were literally boxes upon boxes of discarded cameras, old film including disc film (do you remember those cameras?), and old lenses.

And what did I buy? An old wire egg basket, maybe a somewhat surprising purchase. They are something I have always admired but I’m not sure it really fits in my house. I guess doing my homework over the next few weeks will let me know. Maybe, it’s just that I haven’t found the right home for it yet.

In the end, the flea market was not exactly what I had envisioned. Perhaps, I should have made the trip up to Clignancourt to see the beautiful antiques and gilded mirrors I imagined. Then again, now I have a reason to go back! Has anyone been to both of these markets? Did I miss out by not going to Clignancourt?

Image credits
1) via bijou kaleidoscope
Filed under beautiful objects, on the road