Weekend Edition

Espresso coffee cupAlthough this persistent cold doesn’t look like it’s giving up any time soon, I don’t care…it’s the weekend!!! As long as the sun is shining and I’m fortified with a strong, hot cup of java, it’s time to fight the winter doldrums and enjoy myself (until Monday at least).

In this Weekend Edition, I’m including a few links that are helping me get through this season.

  • The white stuff and sub zero temperature show little sign of stopping. Head over to PureWow for 7 Smart Ways to Break Your Winter Rut.
  • If braving the outside has you shivering already, travel to a warm destination without leaving your couch. Christine has the most beautifully serene blog post from her trip to Chefchaouen in Morocco.
  • And if my London readers want a bit of travel closer to home, St Thomas is having their annual Railway City Arts Crawl starting tonight, February 26th. Well worth the visit…and snagging some affordable, original art!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

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Happy Birthday to Me

Happy_birthday-13Another year older, another year wiser (well, maybe)! I’m off to celebrate my special day with the boy. Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve! In the meantime, I want to share with you a few links that are perfect for a wintery birthday weekend.

  • Any birthday calls for a little sparkle! And Carin found it in spades at the Elie Saab design studio. Go and get lost in the fantasy!
  • A winter celebration calls for a dessert that makes you feel all warm and delicious! Athena Calderone has created perfection with her cardamom cake with honey buttercream…have a look…then give it a try!
  • It seems like tea is the new coffee. Browsing the wide variety of this hot genial beverage is even more fun at these top tea shops in New York City!

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My 2016 Revolution

Dance All Night, Sleep All DayAlthough I would love to be able to dance all night and sleep all day, it’s not realistic at this point in my life (but you should have seen me 10 years ago!). These days you’ll find me working hard, spending time with my boy, family and friends, travelling and on occasion indulging in a few delicious vices. In short, I’m enjoying life!

However, the first day of 2016 has me reflecting on the past year. This is the time we all start making resolutions on how the next year will be different from the previous one. And inevitably, the resolutions are broken and guilt sets in. But not this year! This 2016 will be the year I embark on a REVOLUTION!

Instead of the age old “New Year, New You” motto I always fall into, I’m jumping aboard the “New Year, Better You” train. I’m in a great place in my life and I love it. I don’t need a new me or a new life. The one I’ve created for myself is pretty darn good. So this year, instead of trying to fix something that isn’t broken, I will work on making it even better. It’s a more positive and fun way to look at the year ahead.

I hope you join me in welcoming the New Year 2016 in a revolutionary way!

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Toronto Christmas Market 2015

Crowds at the Distillery District, TorontoSince the Toronto Christmas Market took up residence in the Distillery District six years ago, I have been making plans to drop in for a visit and scope out all the fun I’ve been hearing about from friends who live in the city. Based on traditional German and Austrian holiday street markets that have been around since the 1400s, the Toronto market is a beautiful and traditionally European way to celebrate the onset of Advent and the holiday season.

And even though a glance outside will remind you that it still doesn’t feel like winter is here, the boy and I took advantage of a warm, grey weekend afternoon to finally visit the festive event everyone is talking about.

The popularity of the market has grown exponentially with each of its successive years. In fact, the Disitllery District boasted over half a million visitors last year over its 21 day run. This year, to curb some of the crowds, an entrance fee of $5 during the weekend was instituted as a means of crowd control. However, the market is not-for-profit and the money is donated to a number of charities including the Daily Bread Food Bank and Plan Canada. Plus, visits on Tuesday to Friday remain free of charge.

Retail facades in the Distillery District, TorontoBrick pavement, Distillery District, TorontoThe Saucy Milliner, Distillery District, Toronto I felt like I was stepping back in time as we wandered among the crowds. Making our way down the pedestrian-only brick cobbled streets we admired the large brick buildings and retail spaces, cafes, and galleries. The District once housed the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, and now represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.

Pedestrians, Distillery District, TorontoDrinking garden, Distillery District, TorontoFood stall, Distillery District, TorontoCeramic gifts, Distillery District, TorontoAt the epi-centre of the festive set up stands the 50 foot tall tree, a wonder to behold, and decorate! More than 18,000 lights are sprinkled throughout the branches and act as a beacon to a stage that is set up next to it. Apparently, this year saw more than 320 performances presented to the visitors.

Christmas Tree, Distillery District, Toronto  Susan Harris Design, Distillery District, TorontoMistletoe sign, Distillery District, TorontoThe biggest draw of the Christmas market are the variety of gift and food vendors that line the streets of the district. We indulged in the sampling of traditional German fare like giant pretzels and hot sausages, and dipped into warm mulled wine, along with coffee from Balzac’s. But the little wooden stalls offer a treat for everyone’s taste, including free samples of vodka, amaretto and Mill Street beer (a local District microbrewery).

Cobblestones and Cappuccinos, Distillery District, TorontoHoliday decorations, Distillery District, TorontoMill St Brewery sign, Distillery District, TorontoChristmas lights, Distillery District, TorontoSt. Jacobs Maple Syrup stall, Distillery District, TorontoWagon wheel, Distillery District, TorontoWooden vendor stalls, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoVendor stalls, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoVendor stall, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoWood wine stoppers, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoWood spinners, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoOld truck, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoChristmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoChristmas trees for sale, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoCeramic cup stall, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoSnowman scultpure, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoThe Toronto Christmas Market is exactly what you would expect of a European Christmas Market – in Canada! We truly celebrated the sights, sounds, and tastes of Christmas all in one afternoon. I’m thrilled with my first visit and will be sure to brave the crowds and make a evening trip next year. Although, the market has wrapped up for this season, I urge you to put this winter event on your must-do list for next year.

Cobblestones and Cappuccinos under the mistletoe, Christmas Market, Distillery District, TorontoI wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Weekend Edition

Magazine displayI can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted my last Weekend Edition. I guess it’s true that life sometimes gets in the way of fun. But I can no longer wait to share with you all a few inspiring ideas I have come across lately. I hope you will indulge in a little site surfing with me!

  • Although the countdown to Christmas has already begun, and the stress of shopping and decorating has officially set in, I try to make every day count with a special little gift. Here are 7 Awesome Advent Calendars that can help make every day of the holidays bright.
  • I understand that not everyone can afford the lifestyle peddled by the perennially pert Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, I went there!), but why not raise a glass to a delicious holiday cocktail or tasty treats that won’t break the bank.
  • Finally, curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and flip through the best Christmas Gift Catalogue of the year. Thanks Neiman Marcus, I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight!

Enjoy your weekend!

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