Thursday, May 2, 2019

resto review: dandylion

One of our favorite things to do is check out new restaurants in the city. Toronto has such an amazing food scene, there's always something new to check out. There's also too-many-to count, old favorites that we've been to too many times. I figured I would start sharing some of the spots we try... 
We recently checked out Dandylion as a treat to celebrate my completion of some school courses I've been working on.

Restaurant: Dandylion (Queen and Gladstone)
Reservation: Yes (although they did sit a walk in at the table beside us - there's only about 30 seats)
Atmosphere: Intimate and Simple - imagine exposed brick walls, open kitchen, plants hanging from every ledge available. There are no frills or distraction - the focus is on the food.
Service: Very good - attentive without over doing it. Our waitress was very personable and lovely.
Food: Starters: Squid + Beef tartar // Mains: Morels with rice + Cod with shrimp //Dessert: Custard with rhubarb
Small menu - three options in the three categories of starter, main and dessert. For the starter and main courses there was a veg, seafood and meat option. The dishes were beautifully presented, simple in ingredients and very fresh tasting.
Would you go back? Yes, but not in a rush. Not because the food wasn't good but because it's such a small menu. I would definitely recommend it to friends and save a return trip for a special occasion during another season when the menu might offer something new to try.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

italian itinerary

With our Italy trip approaching in mid-May, we recently confirmed all of our accommodation bookings and firmed up our itinerary for the trip! I love exploring Europe more than anywhere else we've been and I'm bursting at the seams to start this next adventure.

We fly Toronto > Rome > Toronto and are in Italy for a total of ten nights. 
Here's what we have planned ::

Place: La Spezia (3 nights)
Hotel: The Poet Hotel
To Do: Hike & explore the nearby towns of Cinque Terre and
Enjoy a beach day at Monterosso (one of the five beach side towns)

Place: Montalcino / Tuscany countryside (3 nights)

Place: Florence (2 nights)
To Do: Lunch at Dario Cecchini's restaurant;

Explore (eat our way through) the city; Cocktails overlooking Ponte Vecchio 

Place: Rome (2 nights total - first and last night)
To Do: Fast & furious tour of Rome's must-see attractions;
Enjoy a lovely dinner for the last night of our trip (I've already emailed the hotel to get local suggestions!)

{ photos sourced from hyperlinked websites }

wedding guest attire

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My sisters Whistler wedding is coming up in June and I've recently started looking for a dress. While there's no wedding party I'm a part of, there will be lots of family photos and catching up with friends and family, so I'm excited to get dressed up!  I ordered these four dresses from Nordstrom and am looking forward to trying them. The wedding is at a time of the year when it could still get chilly at the wedding location, so whatever I wear will likely be styled with a blazer or leather jacket.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

life updates

It's been a hot second. Life, in all it's goodness, took me away for a moment, but I'm back and wanted to share a few updates about what's been going on lately.

Wife Life. We celebrated our two year wedding anniversary on February 25th! As they say, time flies when you're having fun. We had a lovely dinner at a french restaurant across the street from where we got married which felt perfectly corny and opened a gifted bottle of wine that was from the year we started dating - 2005 (the most thoughtful wedding gift from my mom's best friend).

I'm off birth control. (holy crap!) A few weeks ago I took my last birth control pill. I didn't have any refill packs hiding in my bathroom drawer and when that first Sunday rolled around, for the first time in about fourteen years I didn't start a new pack.
We've traveled lots, bought a beautiful home and truly taken time to enjoy each other. It's a special time in that we're selfishly able to focus on our relationship and indulge in our wants but it's also been really exciting to realize that we're now ready to grow our family.
Don't get me wrong, we're not starting tomorrow...but I've met with my doctor, purchased some pre-natal vitamins and downloaded a period tracking app. After being on the pill for so long, I'd like a few months to flush it out of my system.
This whole next chapter feels private and part of me is scared that I will try to over plan getting pregnant or over share with too many people with the fear we might not be able to get pregnant right away. But in the same breath, reality is, I'm no good at keeping secrets and this is the start of such an exciting time in our lives and I want to share that and feel supported.

Drew got hurt. This is relatively new but significantly affecting. Drew tore his ACL last week playing frisbee. He's been patient, learning to hobble around with a brace on crutches and gracious for all the help I've been trying to give. The hospital has been great with booking us into the clinics and for tests and we're waiting for an appointment next week that will hopefully give us more answers.

Leaving on a jet plane. We have some exciting travel planned over the next several months. I can say with complete confidence, nothing makes me more excited then having trips booked to look forward to.
Orlando - I'm celebrating my younger sister's upcoming wedding with a bachelorette weekend at Disney. We don't get to see each other very often, so its extra special to get a few days just the two of us. She's also the funniest and most fun human I know - I can't imagine a better person to go to Disney with.
Italy - We agreed a last hurrah was appropriate before trying to start a family and so we're off to Italy for ten days in May. We're still working out the details of our trip but I am overthemoon pumped to be heading back to Europe. (I am working out these days exclusively for the ability to eat all the pizza and pasta I want.)
Whistler - Refer back to aforementioned sister's wedding... We'll be out in Whistler for a week in June to celebrate my sister and her fiance getting married. A bunch of friends and family will be reunited in town for the party and it's guaranteed to be a blast.
Delaware - While I likely would have never visited this state, a friend's family has a summer house on Bethany Beach and invited us down for a summer weekend. A group of friends are headed down for a long weekend in July to relax and soak up some sun.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

those festive scents

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is filling our home with the smell of fresh evergreen. With the start of the cold weather, I swap out the fall scents for pine and cedar and our house instantly transforms into a cozy wooded forest. Candles are my go-to for scenting a space, which is great for your main living space where you spend most of your time but you need some options for unattended spaces as well. Here are a few of my favorites for getting you in the mood with festive, foresty scents.  

Every. single. scent from this Canadian west coast candle company is amazing. Their scents are earthy and have a great depth - plus the jar and packaging is spot on. 

This winter white is a really nice mellow, warm scent. It's not too sweet but still feels festive.
(Tip, switch around a few of the reeds every few days or so, it helps with throwing the scent)

The diffuser essential oil blends are great because they have the added therapeutic benefits and can be gently absorbed into the respiratory system. 

This is a beautiful set to keep beside the kitchen sink. The scent isn't too strong and the combination of soap and lotion keeps your hands moisturized through the dry winter. 

A classic fir candle that immediately warms a room. If you have a faux tree, this is a necessity for that real-life smell. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

gift guide: when everyone is on your list

When it comes to holiday shopping, my list of family and friends to buy for tends to grow pretty quickly. Once the list is made, then my favorite part begins - shopping and searching for the perfect gift for each and every person. With a long list you definitely need to consider budget, but it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice finding a thoughtful gift that is sure to be enjoyed. Here are a few ideas, ranging in price from $20-$50.

I have a hot water bottle that I use almost daily (they're not only for old ladies!). You fill it with almost boiling water and it keeps you cozy, curled up watching Christmas movies. 

Statement earrings are always a good idea and it's hard to go wrong with a modern, monochromatic pair like these - they can dress up an average outfit, or add the finishing touch to a fancier look.

We have several of these essential oil roller balls on our house - help with sleeping, fighting germs, relieving headaches and managing stress. They can fit easily in your purse and are a natural way to maintain feeling healthy. 


There's nothing lovelier then fresh flowers to brighten up your home. Fill these vases with a few stems when gifting or allow them to shine on their own. I have the Celia vase displayed year round at our place and love the three piece set for styling. 

A cookbook that has easy-to-follow and accessible recipes (because who really has time to search for that impossible ingredient and follow a 50 step recipe). I have both of these books and there are tons of recipes that are sure to become regular go-to's. 

Cute stationery that is perfect for any occasion. 

The fluffiest scarf to keep warm and fashionable.

A good bottle of gin for delicious negroni's. Plus who doesn't appreciate the help stocking the liquor cabinet. 

A candle that smells like a winter forest is sure to impress anyone. I burn this scent exclusively from November to March and can't get enough of it.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

gift guide: that extra special something

We're nearing the end of November and it feels like the holidays are already in full swing. I took out some Christmas decor last night and have already gotten a good jump on my shopping list. 

I wanted to share a few luxurious gift ideas for that extra special someone on your list. My favorite part of gift giving is the thought that goes into it but sometimes certain people deserve to be spoiled. 

Lovely candle set that you likely wouldn't buy yourself. Pretty to display and the scents are gorgeous.

We are big fans of our Away suitcases and I love their new mini cases. It would be perfect for carrying your passport, boarding pass and phone when traveling. They've curated three sets including this beauty collection with some items perfect for keeping your skin looking fresh. 

It's no big secret that silk pillowcases are supposed to be great for your skin and hair, so I was stoked when Brooklinen came out with a silk collection. This duo would elevate bedtime with the added beauty benefits.

Cool French sneakers are always a good idea. I mean, is there anything more chic and inspiring then a stylish French woman?

These would be great for traveling, commuting  or just 'Netflix + chilling' with the ipad on the couch while your husband watches sports... ;)

Monday, October 15, 2018

san antonio + austin

{ illustration via }

We leave for Texas next Saturday! I think it's fair to say that D and I are very much looking forward to this trip. We can't wait to escape work stress for a week and get in a good visit with his parents. We're splitting our time between San Antonio and Austin for the 8 nights were in town. 

S A N   A N T O N I O

I've booked us at Maverick for our first dinner together on Sunday night. Maverick is described as a Texan Brasserie and the space itself looks beautiful. It's within walking distance from our B&B on the river walk too.  

D's parents have friends coming to meet us for dinner one night, and I thought Clementine sounded lovely. It's run by a husband and wife team and the food looks fresh and well thought out. 

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D's Mom had a special milestone birthday recently, so we've booked a surprise brunch at Forthright Cafe to celebrate. 

I spotted Arlo Grey on instagram and was immediately drawn to the beautiful view. Turns out it's part of The Line Hotel run by the winner of Top Chef season 10. I'm really looking forward to a tasty dinner here.

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In an effort not to over plan our trip, I've kept reservations to a minimum. Part of the fun of vacation is seeing where the days take you, and enjoying the spontaneity of adventuring in a new city. I have a big list of spots that we can check out if time allows and use for inspiration. During my research I found that happy hour is a big thing in Texas.. so I think we're going to do just fine  :)