Category Archives: Canada

Oh, Canada!

I’m so excited to finally be able to share more of our trip to Michigan & Canada with you! One of the ways I prepped for this trip was by collecting, if you will, shops and places to visit via the Instagram accounts of the makers and shakers of those who reside in those cities. One such creative is Megan Campagnolo, the designer behind Rosehound Apparel. Her sweatshirts, totes, & dresses make my heart race, and her Twin Peaks-inspired collection pretty much did me in this season. Through her account, I was hipped to Toronto store Victoire, one of the shops that carries her wares. Victoire also stocks such lines as Yo Sick and Falconwright, two other labels of which I can’t get enough. It was difficult to not go into straight fan-girl mode, as we walked into Victoire, but I tried to play it cool. The Birds of North America and Samantha Pleet dresses had me salivating, any of which would be perfect paired with the ‘Mild at Heart’ tote by Rosehound. Sit me down with a copy of Worn in one of those frocks and I’d be content for days!

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How great is that storefront?

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                “Black as midnight on a moonless night”

I was there with a mission, however, and that was to take home one of Megan’s new ice cream sandwich pins. I was eternally bummed that they were sold out, (but happy for her!), so I just got a Yo Sick pizza pin to add to my collection and the Rosehound Twin Peaks matches that are unavailable for mail order. Take that, customs! HOWEVER! Megan and I had been in touch via that lovely little social media outlet, Instagram, and had been trying to make plans to meet at her studio for coffee at some point. Matt and I ended up stopping by the next day where I was able to see that pink haired lady in person and purchase my coveted ice cream sandwich pin. Her studio is in Chinatown, and is pretty amazing. The snowstorm that was happening around us only added to the magic! Now, if I could only learn to be less awkward, I’d be set…

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                               Big snow in little China

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            Mastering the art of being socially awkward

One of my friends gifted me a super cute animé pouch from Korea when I got back home, and I decided to use that as a new home for my pin collection. Here, you can see my Rosehound pins and matches, the Yo Sick pizza pin, and an assortment of other goodies!

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Getting back to the topic at hand, Victoire was everything I imagined it would be. Toronto is amazing, especially when it’s 12 degrees and your hair is full of big, fat snowflakes. I keep trying to convince Matt that we need to move there asap!
Next up: my search for vegetarian poutine & visiting the dreamy Bicyclette!

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Fetch!

Each time I travel, I make sure to pick up a little something to bring back for Rosie. Our holiday trip to Detroit & Toronto was no exception! Having worked in a dog treat bakery for 7 years, I love to find similar shops in every city I visit. I found Cass Corridog on one of my previous Michigan trips, and since it’s by one of my favorite shops, Nora, I always make a stop there to pick out a little treat. This trip, I got a couple “truffles,” for Rosie’s friends, Lucille & Kumba, too. They are Boston Terriers who live in Washington state, and have become good friends of ours, thanks to the power of Instagram!

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We also have some dog friends in Toronto, who shared with us the names of some cute dog boutiques in the city. One in particular, Arrow, is a “party” dog- equal parts Pug, Frenchie, & Boston- and one of the cutest girls ever! Her mom recommended we stop in at Timmie, a sweet little shop on Queen St. West. It was closed the first day I went by, but I made a special trip the next day so I could get a peek inside. It had started snowing pretty hard that afternoon, but all the pups on the street would be well prepared for the winter weather thanks to the bountiful supply of sweaters, jackets, and dog boots in the shop. They had adorable hoodies with logos on them for all of the different areas of the city that I absolutely loved! Those definitely made me wish we lived up north! We live in a warmer climate, though, so there was no need for me to stock up on winter gear for Ro. Instead, I picked out a little stuffed penguin for her and a pin for me, to add to my ever-growing pin collection. Toronto is so dog-friendly, and I wished I could have had her there with me! Next time, perhaps?

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Happy girl, mid bark, with her cookies, penguin, and a blanket I swiped from Delta. (Those are free, right? Ha!)

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

I hope everyone’s holiday break was as wonderful as ours! After a quiet holiday with my parents, I flew out to Michigan to spend the remaining part of the year with Matt and his family. Rosie and I were separated for a long ten days, and while I missed my little meatball, I had a blast in Detroit and Toronto. I’ll be playing catch up this weekend and telling you all about the places we visited, where we ate, and, off course, where we shopped!

The beginning of the season starts, for me, when I break out my favorite holiday albums. I usually have this gem on repeat at home and in my car! KC, forever!

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This year, I opted for a jewel colored theme for wrapping presents. As with stationary and other paper ephemera, I collect unique wrapping paper for various occasions throughout the year. This one is a two sided kind I picked up at IKEA several years ago.

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With some rainbow colored popcorn from a new gourmet popcorn shop in town, these gifts added an unexpected pop of color under the tree! I picked up my dad an original cast recording of Porgy and Bess on a 78, and ordered my mom a Lentil ornament and sticker. My favorite part of the gift giving is filling everyone’s stockings with their favorite candies and little trinkets. Dark chocolate oranges, petit fours, marzipan, and a fresh orange each, these stockings hold traditions that nothing can replace. I usually try to get some chocolate coal for my dad’s stocking, but I couldn’t find any during my last minute venture out into the crazed retail world. Next year, pops!

My parents put sweet little surprises in my stocking as well! I have so many little collections, lovely smelling soaps being one of them. The French Macaron and Rose & Green Tea bar soaps my mother found are not only pretty in perfect pink, but smell sooo heavenly! The best surprise was the Leo Zodiac candle I’ve been dreaming about for months. I plan on finally lighting it on the 23rd this month, my half birthday, and making some special wishes!

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Rosie will be with me everywhere I go with this Boston Terrier keychain- how cute is she? Rosie herself picked up several presents this Christmas, too, from family to friends all the way in Washington state. She’ll be sharing her holiday fun over the weekend!

While we enjoyed some delicious treats, I still owe my mom a Yule log! My favorite flavor in the past has been to make a white chocolate one with fresh raspberry filling and marzipan mushrooms, but she has requested a dark chocolate one. I can’t wait to show you the finished product! They are so fun to make!

So, did all of your holiday wishes come true? What was your favorite item to give or receive?

Lavender Nights

In the past few years, I’ve grown fonder of cooler temperatures. While I still love to bask in the hot, sultry summers, I’ve been finding a sort of symmetry in embracing crisp winters.

I love feeling the brisk air on my face, the bundling up in coats and scarves, and most of all, the coziness that the winter brings. Because my sweet Matt hails from Canada and his immediate family lives in Detroit, I’ve learned the special art of couch and blanket sitting. It involves a lot of staying in, the perfect ratio of blankets to person, and usually a hot beverage, preferably with a little something “extra” added to warm you even more.

These days, the weather has been perfect for cozying up on the sofa and re-watching episodes of Twin Peaks, like we have been doing. It’s also been inspiring me to bake more, as the sweet scents wafting from the kitchen just add to those magical holiday feelings. This week, I decided to try my hand at shortbread, a cookie that I had actually never made before.

I slightly adapted a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano, THE ladies when it comes to vegan baking, and hot damn! They’re so good! I chose to make lavender shortbread, as I have a bunch of organic lavender that’s been begging to be used. Lavender can be a tricky flower to bake with, simply because so many people are adversed to the taste. (Or think they are!) What is so great about this recipe is that you can really taste all the layers of flavoring, as well as the textures. The floral, slightly anise-y flavor of the lavender hits your palate first, but then fades away to the familiar sugary vanilla that we all know and love. Combined with a crunchy, then chewy texture that eventually melts in your mouth, you wind up with a childhood favorite that has evolved to an elegant adult. Pair it with a glass of rich chocolate almond milk (hey, I didn’t say you had to ACT like an adult!), and you’re good to go.

And with that, bring on the cold weather, a comfy couch,  and a plate of warm cookies! I’m ready for ya!

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