changes: both subtle and honest

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

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Last weekend the fiancé and I drove up to his aunt’s cottage in Lindsay. As he searched for old music to sing along with (think Ja Rule featuring J.Lo), I put my feet up on the dashboard and exhaled loudly. I had a lot on my mind and a long drive was exactly what I needed. 

Did I tell you that I’ve been working on turning my blog into a books? Well I am. When I look back and read old blog posts my memories fade to black-and-white; showing with subtle honesty how much I’ve changed, how much life has changed. I’ve grown immensely as a writer and a person in the last five years. Many of my relationships have either tarnished or strengthened. I’ve experienced love and pain in many different forms. I’ve failed, tried, and dreamt without limitation. I’ve welcomed change for the most part and when I wasn’t too fond of it, I wrote it out. 

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In mere weeks my living arrangements are going to alter slightly, by September I will have another little niece or nephew running around, in year-and-a-half I’ll be married, in two years I’ll be living with my husband in our condo, and who knows what else! So much to document! Here’s to looking bright, bold, and colourful future. Here’s to accepting new challenges with determination and passion. Here’s to growth and change. 

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

There’s Something to Be Said…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

There’s something to be said about small towns/villages in Ontario. Yesterday the bf and I took a day-trip to St. Jacobs Ontario.

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To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect but the moment we parked the car and looked around, I knew that I was going to love it. The town kind of reminds me of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference) and maybe that’s my reason for loving it. My favourite places in St.Jacobs would have to be The Spring Street Antique Market, The Shadetree shop, and the bakery.

 

I haven’t walked into many antique shops in my life and it felt kind of eerie being in one. I was fascinated by the three-floors of antiques, from pens to radios to dolls to jewellery but I didn’t want to buy anything. I looked at all of the things and felt like they still belonged to someone else. I wondered what the story was behind that suitcase, behind that kid’s bike. I wondered what that man or woman used to write about with that pen or with that typewriter. I feel like when you own something, a book, a pen, a desk – especially for a long time, it becomes a part of you, a part of your story and I don’t know how I feel about taking it away from someone. I sound nuts don’t I? Hmm on to the next one…

 

The Shadetree is an awesome store/ lunch patio. The house itself is 147 years old and only had 3 owners in its lifetime! It’s only been an actual store for 20 years! It seems as if the original structure of the house is the same, it was just painted and stuffed with wonderful little trinkets, cottage decorations, and home decor. The bf bought me the KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster that I’ve been wanting for the past little while (Thanks Alex!).

 

Next came the bakery where we shared an apple fritter and coffee! The bakery is huge GINORMOUS and everything is so fresh. I could probably sit in there all day and bask in the glorious sweet scents. There are a lot more stores to see but I don’t want to ruin anything for you if you plan on trekking it out there (btw it’s only about an hour drive from Brampton).

 

“a word or two… ” is a little stationery store – had to go in based on its name.

We ate lunch here! It was amazing! The burger tasted as if it had never been frozen – like they got the meat that morning! It was corn-fed Canadian beef and it was so light and delicious! Cue drool and apologies to all my vegetarian/vegan friends.

Overall it was a fantastic day and St.Jacobs really impressed me. It was busier than I expected but it was still quiet, peaceful, and serene. You could literally sit outside for hours and let your brain wander, take in the crisp smell of nature, and still be surrounded by so many stores and people. I love big cities (New York I MISS YOU) but I don’t think anyone should rule out rural towns.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, relaxing, and fun day-trip, I totally recommend checking out St. Jacobs and if you know of any other towns/villages in rural Ontario worth visiting comment on this post 🙂

A poster from Shadetree.
Didn’t purchase it but had to INSTAGRAM it.

It’s so important to love your life and to do things that bring you joy and laughter.

LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Be Free.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

There's Something to Be Said…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

There’s something to be said about small towns/villages in Ontario. Yesterday the bf and I took a day-trip to St. Jacobs Ontario.

Hi there!

To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect but the moment we parked the car and looked around, I knew that I was going to love it. The town kind of reminds me of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference) and maybe that’s my reason for loving it. My favourite places in St.Jacobs would have to be The Spring Street Antique Market, The Shadetree shop, and the bakery.

 

I haven’t walked into many antique shops in my life and it felt kind of eerie being in one. I was fascinated by the three-floors of antiques, from pens to radios to dolls to jewellery but I didn’t want to buy anything. I looked at all of the things and felt like they still belonged to someone else. I wondered what the story was behind that suitcase, behind that kid’s bike. I wondered what that man or woman used to write about with that pen or with that typewriter. I feel like when you own something, a book, a pen, a desk – especially for a long time, it becomes a part of you, a part of your story and I don’t know how I feel about taking it away from someone. I sound nuts don’t I? Hmm on to the next one…

 

The Shadetree is an awesome store/ lunch patio. The house itself is 147 years old and only had 3 owners in its lifetime! It’s only been an actual store for 20 years! It seems as if the original structure of the house is the same, it was just painted and stuffed with wonderful little trinkets, cottage decorations, and home decor. The bf bought me the KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster that I’ve been wanting for the past little while (Thanks Alex!).

 

Next came the bakery where we shared an apple fritter and coffee! The bakery is huge GINORMOUS and everything is so fresh. I could probably sit in there all day and bask in the glorious sweet scents. There are a lot more stores to see but I don’t want to ruin anything for you if you plan on trekking it out there (btw it’s only about an hour drive from Brampton).

 

“a word or two… ” is a little stationery store – had to go in based on its name.

We ate lunch here! It was amazing! The burger tasted as if it had never been frozen – like they got the meat that morning! It was corn-fed Canadian beef and it was so light and delicious! Cue drool and apologies to all my vegetarian/vegan friends.

Overall it was a fantastic day and St.Jacobs really impressed me. It was busier than I expected but it was still quiet, peaceful, and serene. You could literally sit outside for hours and let your brain wander, take in the crisp smell of nature, and still be surrounded by so many stores and people. I love big cities (New York I MISS YOU) but I don’t think anyone should rule out rural towns.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, relaxing, and fun day-trip, I totally recommend checking out St. Jacobs and if you know of any other towns/villages in rural Ontario worth visiting comment on this post 🙂

A poster from Shadetree.
Didn’t purchase it but had to INSTAGRAM it.

It’s so important to love your life and to do things that bring you joy and laughter.

LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Be Free.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo