Saturdays at 8 A.M.

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Alex and I love going on drives and checking out little townships within Ontario. This weekend he had the urge to show me the cottage he went to as a child. The two-hour drive was the perfect way to start off the day. Nothing relaxes me like new scenery, a car ride, and great music.

 

With the cool breeze coming off Georgian Bay and the sun on our backs, we walked the beach and skipped rocks like children. We walked the trails and absorbed everything that is wonderful about NOT being in an office for the day.  I cannot wait for summer days in the city or long drives up at Alex’s family camper, or even exploring new townships and cities within our beautiful province.

I really wish that there were weeks made up entirely of Saturdays; the calmness in knowing that all twenty-four hours belongs to you. The wonder in what you can do with that time, the happiness in understanding that you worked hard all week and deserve some R&R.

 

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

Saturday Road Trip to Paris

Categories, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews

Have you ever been to Paris — the prettiest town in Canada? The Cobblestone Capital of Canada thanks to its unique cobblestone buildings? No? Well, if I can be honest you aren’t missing much. It’s not as modern and developed as Burlington, it doesn’t have as many quaint shops as St. Jacob’s, and it isn’t as relaxing as Niagara On the Lake (if I may compare it to the places I’ve been to). BUT it does have a certain charm that may just make you fall in love with it.

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They were having a street sale when we got there. Loads of vendors, face painting, a jumpy castle, dog treats, singing, and dancing. It was a the perfect day for it too, barely any clouds and beaming sunshine.

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Their only hotel just went under some major indoor renovations — we took a peek inside and I must say it is gorgeous. I believe the outside is still the original brick but inside is modern, fresh, and super charming.

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Inksater’s is the ONLY store I really wanted to go into and it closed down, which is really unfortunate because I love hard cover books and greeting cards.

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This little spot was absolutely breathtaking. We pondered really serious things while standing here…

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…and then we took a selfie.

IMG_7416We went for lunch at The Cobblestone Public House — I had fish and chips the size of my head. It was super greasy and delicious. The root beer was the best part of my meal, I wish I ordered a float. 
IMG_7418 I don’t know if you’ll find me back in Paris, Ontario. It was a lovely day and the town is so charming I felt like I was in a different era. The trouble is that I thought it was more like the other towns I’ve visited. It is uniquely its own and I wouldn’t discourage you from visiting BUT after two hours of driving it left me feeling unsatisfied. But then I had this deliciously creamy strawberry ice cream from Eskimoo Joe’s and all was right with the world.

Until my next road trip,

Vanessa Xo

P.S. Know of any quaint town in Ontario? I’d love some suggestions for where should the bf and I go next? LMK in the comments!

kisses and car rides all over ontario

Categories, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews

Of the many things to love about summer, car rides are my absolute favourite. Sure, reading in the warm sunshine, hearing the beloved ice cream truck song outside my bedroom window, attending weddings and showers, and sitting on patios are amazing BUT I can’t get enough of car rides. The bf and I love driving to random places within Ontario. We love heading up to his aunt and uncle’s trailer or Googling “fun little towns in Ontario”. Last summer we spent an entire day roaming Niagara on the Lake, two years ago it was St.Jacobs. We fall in love with the various shops and enjoy sitting on the patio of a local pub eating the greatest greasiest fast food.

Last week we took an impromptu drive to Burlington and once again, I fell in love. We took a walk along the Lakeshore, the air was crisp and the sun was beaming. Then we had a bite to eat at The Queens Head (I ate delicious buttermilk chicken fingers the size of my head), spent a few minutes in their local bookstore (A Different Drummer Books), and ended off the day trying some vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, everything free desserts at Kelly’s XO Bake Shoppe.

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I don’t know exactly where our next car ride will take us but I have dreams of going to Viamede Resort in the Kawarthas and staying for the weekend, maybe to Montreal, and someday out east to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P.E.I. I’d also love to head back west to Vancouver — I LOVED IT THERE, it’s a long car ride but it might be fun. All you need is good music, good conversation, and great company to make the best of any car ride.

Thankfully, I’ve got all three.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Tiny Devotions – Mala Beads

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

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I was introduced to beautiful Mala Beads by Tiny Devotions a while back and haven’t been able to get them out of my mind.  Tiny Devotions is a Canadian company that creates mala beads for the bohemian girl (or in my case a girl who loves wearing jewelry with a message).  Their mala beads and accessories represent “the free spirited lifestyle of living your dreams, following your passions and looking good as you do it”.  Since I’ve been struggling a little lately with following my dreams, or following a path that with lead me to the amazing moment of living my dreams, I’ve been looking at the Tiny Devotions website on a daily basis looking for the perfect mala beads to inspire me. Here are the four that I’m torn between — for their messages, for their mantras, and for their beauty.

Tabula Rasa: Luck, New Beginnings, Potential.

Tabula Rasa — Luck, New Beginnings, Potential

The Law of Attraction Mala -- Friendship, Growth, Love

The Law of Attraction Mala — Friendship, Growth, Love

Ashley Turner: Urban Priestess Mala -- Heart Chakra, Meditation, Self-Reflection

Ashley Turner: Urban Priestess Mala — Heart Chakra, Meditation, Self-Reflection

Hamsa Silver Intention Necklace -- Luck, Protection, Strength

Hamsa Silver Intention Necklace — Luck, Protection, Strength

I love the beauty, simplicity, and meaning behind each of these malas/necklaces. They have so many to choose from and I’m sure you’ll be able to find the perfect mala for YOU, for this point in your life, and for what you want out of life. If you’re struggling, there’s an article that can help you choose your very own mala beads here. To connect with Tiny Devotions check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook. Let me know what you think about these beads in the comments — which one would you choose if you were me?

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Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Happy Canada D-EH!

Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal


I spent my Canada Day weekend with the bf, his family, and my good friends Robitussin and Halls. We went to Niagara and on the way there we went through the Main street Tunnel in Welland, Ontario. The tunnel was unreal! You’re literally driving underneath the water! It’s incredible what humans can do, isn’t it? I don’t know if I was tired or just a little hopped up on my medicine but I felt like I was having a Perks of Being a Wallflower moment. The tunnel was dark, the sunroof was open, and I let the sound of the wind engulf  the car and my mind. I looked straight ahead and smiled at the light, at the beautiful blue sky at the end of the tunnel. I felt infinite in that moment, like nothing else mattered. Not my cold, not the stress of this past week – nothing. Maybe next time I’ll stick my head out of the sunroof 😛

Although I’ve been sneezy, achy, and coughing up my insides, I have to admit that this weekend has been super relaxing and much-needed. I’d like to leave you with a quote from The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty:

“This life is mine because of good luck. And because I reached out and took it.”

It’s a new month – figure out what you want.

Make small goals, reach out, and achieve them.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Happy Canada D-EH!!