Thursday, September 18, 2014

East Coast Vacay ~ Eatery + Shop

Hello Thursday!  Did you enjoy the virtual tour to Nova Scotia on Tuesday? I wish I am still by the ocean and waking up to the gentle sound of the waves.  Not sure if I have mentioned it but I was travelling with my in-laws and most of these breathtaking must-sees were hand-selected by them!  High five to the fabulous choices!

Yours truly, on the other hand, was in-charged for the food + shop options, and that's what I want to share with you today!

Let's be honest, sea food is the number one choice when you are right by the ocean right? I mean, the East Coast is known for its fresh out of the water haddocks, cods, scallops, shrimps, mussels, and lobsters (just to name a few) and I was determined to try them all!

Our first stop of the day is Lunenburg and I loved South Shore Fish Shack for its fish & chips and scallops & chips.  As for coffee and tea, you have to check out Shop on the Corner!  Their latte and ginger snaps were delicious!

Up next is The Sou' Wester in Peggy's Cove.  Highly recommended by Brittany and I couldn't agree more, especially after spending an hour enjoying the scenary in crazy gusting wind!

Baddeck offers many local cafes and shops (definitely a tourist attraction as I saw at least two tourist buses making their stops in one hour) and at The Antique Boutique, I found a pair of these exquisite vintage cloisonne vases for only $90 a pair!  We didn't have lunch in Baddeck but we did stop by The Dancing Goat for coffee and cakes.  Super chic right?

My in-laws love breads and they have found their favourites (I fell in love with an almond croissant) at La Boulangerie Bakery in Cheticamp.  The Acadian aesthetics in Chaticamp also made me picture snapping happy!

Taking about photo obsessed, the Herritage Bed & Breakfast at North Sydney had me at hello.  Juana, our hostess created vignettes throughout her century old home and you know this place is good when it looks so fantastic outside!  More on Herritage Bed & Breakfast next week and as for dinner, I actually went to the Black Spoon Bistro twice ... yes it was that good!

In Charlottetown PEI, Mr. K of Vintage Fine Objects recommended Terro Rouge and it was definitely worth a visit.  Food was delicious and the decor was sophisticated,contemporary … certainly refreshing after being accustomed to the 19th century aesthetics for the past 2 weeks.  Kettle Black reminded me of the chic cafe on Queen West, and that red fox at the front door was just too adorable!

While travelling in PEI, I also visited the Hawkins Pottery Studio along the arts and heritage trail, and you know Patti has an amazing sense of style when the outside of her studio looks like this.  Pure simple elegance and I love the pop of canary yellow against the dove grey!

Inside her studio, you would find Patti's entire collection of potteries in a serene palette of blues, greens, sands with an organic sensibility as Patti looks to Mother Nature as her inspiration.  From dining essentials (bowls, cups, serving pieces) to entertaining must-haves (pitcher, coaster, tea pot, and vases), Patti has them all!   

It was such a pleasure meeting Patti and she walked me through the process on how she hand-crafted her beautiful potteries.  These pieces have been glazed and ready to be fired.  The colors will change after the process but I love the pastel colors as is!   My favourite at the shop has got to be the one-of-a-kind intricately carved strainer and candle lanterns.

Now back to Nova Scotia, Mr. K also suggested me to check out Great Village (check out Margot's finds here) and what a treat I must say at Great Village Antiques!

You know these Beswick doggies are not easy to come by in Toronto and I have found 3 different pairs in the store! I like the dark hair ones … a bit more fun than the normal pure white.  Of course this adorable French Bulldog also caught my eyes.  She is actually a door stopper!

It might be a little early to start dreaming about Christmas but how could I not when there were boxes and baskets of vintage ornaments in pristine condition and such interesting designs?

I also spotted this cute mini pineapple, a vintage desk lamp, a pair of handsome salt & pepper grinders, and a cherry blossom lamp.  

Here comes my absolute favourites from this visit:
  • the ultimate wall sconce combining eagle, antique bullseye mirror, and flower motif
  • delicate cloisonne ashtray, but I will use it as a bud vase
  • mighty alabaster Torjan horse bookends
  • equisite cut glass and sterling silver coasters (love the patterns on both the silver and the glass)

The luggage constraint had stopped me from taking all of them home.  I may just have to give Great Village Antique a call to get them shipped to Toronto.  Better yet, I may just have to go back for another visit!

Hope you enjoy today's eat and shop trip to the East Coast! My favourite Bed & Breakfasts and bright colorful shots are up next!

Happy Thursday! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

East Coast Vacay ~ Tourist's Hotspots (Nova Scotia)

Hello Tuesday! I am finally back in town and man it sure is hard to get back to work after being away for two weeks of pure majestic sceneries from the East Coast of Canada.  I must have taken over 2,000 pictures on the tour and thought perhaps I should share them with you by topic.  For today, I am taking you to my favourite tourist hotspots in Nova Scotia.

When I mentioned my trip to Nova Scotia, everyone told me to visit Peggy's Cove.  I did a little google search prior to departure and thought, isn't it just a light house?  Well, it is not just your typical light house.  It is also a post office, the place for wedding pictures and receptions (I witnessed two weddings that day), and a meditative sanctuary for busy city dwellers to clear their minds as the powerful waves from the Atlantic Ocean crashed up against the rocks.    

Not too far from Peggy's Cove is a quaint historic town, Lunenburg, which was designated under United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1995.  Want to have a taste of British colonial settlement in Canada? You have to check out Lunenburg.  I had the best fish and chips + scallops in Lunenburg and will share the spot with you next week.

Travelling along the west coast of Nova Scotia from Halifax also landed us at Sherbrooke Village, where we got to exprience the lives of the earlier settlers in the late 19th century.  

From the pharmacy, the custom tailor (a suit for only $11.50 ... 150 years ago), the local print shops for  newspaper or blueberry pie recipe, to a jailhouse (oh yes, you could be in jail if you were caught drunk or speeding) and the general store filled with locally made goods or specially imported items, the village in the 1860s had it all. 

See that quilt in the lower left corner? I want it! Wonder how much it would be 150 years ago.

The imfamous Cabot Trail in Cape Breton is next and thanks Brittany for your tips, we spent 4 days (3 nights) in the area just to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views from many of the trails Cape Breton has to offer. 

Yes, we are talking about looking afar where the ocean meets the sky and sea birds stop by for friendly greetings.

We hiked a few trails and they were all incredible, but if you are tight on time and are looking for a relatively easy hike, skyline trail is where you want to be.  Isn't the view just magnificent?  

Here comes the bonus: the skyline trail is also known for its wildlife sightings.  Of course you were not supposed to "bother" them but you are allowed to take pictures.  Check out what I have spotted on my hike: mama moose and baby moose! 

If you are travelling from Cape Breton back to Halifax, I highly recommend you make a stop at the Fortress of Louisbourg.  Ok, I am a sucker for historical stories and Louisbourg is all about the lives of the Acadians in the 18th century and their constant struggle with the British.  Nonetheless, it is an exceptionally beautiful place to visit and learn about the lives of the early French settlers in Canada.

Fishery was the leading business back in the days and tonnes of salted fish were sent to France through this bright yellow gate more than 250 years ago.  Sheep, goats, chicken and geese, these are some of the lifestocks commonly found within the walls of the fortress. 

Of course the French musician is also super cute.

The fortress was severely distroyed after being captured twice by the British.  Luckily the Fortress of Louisbourg was designed as a site of historic significance and was partially reconstructed based on some of the original stonework and building records.

Let's take a moment to imagine the once vibrant and busy streets where the early settlers from France in search for a new life and people from neighbouring towns came to trade in this 3rd busiest ports in North America.

Before we leave Louisbourg, I have to share with you this adorable clip capturing this silly goose stretching its leg and wing. 

I enjoyed the many beautiful sunsets during my trip and White Point was my favourite spot of it all.  The stones, the low ground covering plants, and the crashing waves (strong wind too) connected with me.

And of course the many beaches were just the places to be on a bright sunny day.  This was just one of many moments where I simply relaxed at the beach watching the waves.

Before I go, we also have our winner for the Hudson's Bay smartphone case! Congrats Heather!! Please contact me with your information.

Happy Tuesday friends!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Black Rooster Decor + BlogPodium Special Discount & Giveaway!

Hello Tuesday!  Have you eased into the fall spirit yet as we are seeing frost in the morning (at PEI) and snow in Calgary during the 2nd week of September?  I am having a blast at my #eastcoastvacay, and I know I will miss the breathtaking sceneries and the fresh delicious seafood dishes when I am back in Toronto.  In order to prepare myself for Toronto mode, I am taking you on a tour at one of my favourite shops in Toronto: Black Rooster Decor.

You know Black Rooster Decor is good when the window looks this good! 

And let me tell you, your trip to endless spectacular inspirations starts the moment you step into the store.  Here is the serene and elegant vignette filled with gorgeous items available at Black Rooster Decor.  I love the tension and energy created between the pure organic elements and the edgy industrial pieces, especially the cluster of Moroccan lanterns and the decadent mother of pearl mirror vs the reinterpretation of an iconic Eames chair pairing with a sexy dining table with polished chrome base + a live edge wood top.     

If you love decorative accessories as much as I do, you are in heaven at Black Rooster Decor.  I am crazy about these black horn candleholders, the hammered brass tray (for only $36!!), the beautiful gold bowl, and these handcrafted soap stones that look like crystals!   

Vignette No. 2 is set to appeal to the gents.  A monochromatic black and white palette brought to life with a sumptuous leather chaise, luxurious faux fur blank, sculptural vases, hits of animal print and graphic patterns as accessories: who wouldn't want a masculine and sophisticated reading nook just like this in their home?

While we are on black & white talk, here are a few of my favourites from textile, home office, and decorative accents.

As for the ladies, Nina has got the corner just for you.  This vignette is romanic, feminine, and yet edgy thanks to the stunning hand painted silk cushion by Hollie of Hollie Cooper Interiors and sculptural starburst on the coffee table.  Loving the botanical prints with a black backdrop and an antiqued mirror frame, the crystal pineapple, and this elegant curvaceous love seat.  

Here are a few of my favourite shots from this romantic corner.

A few steps forward into the store and I found myself being drawn to this fresh blue and white palette.  Isn't this chevron stool a lot of fun? Here is a tip from Nina: turn the stool around and it can double as a planter!  Do you like that artwork up at the corner? It is one of the pieces by the talented Christine Dovey and as you can see, it is now sold … to me!

 These are my picks from this corner:

Nina has truly outdone herself to best showcase all of amazing products available at Black Rooster Decor.  The items I want for my own home in this vignette are:  

Just as I thought I have seen it all, Nina amazed me again with the super chic black glove seat, the dramatic crystal wall sconce, the sexy rose gold floor lamp, and these incredible entertaining essentials.

And to celebrate BlogPodium in Toronto this saturday (too bad I will miss it this year … it is almost sold-out and you can get your ticket here!), Nina is offering all BlogPodium attendees 15% off when they shop at Black Rooster Decor this weekend! That's not all, Nina also generously offers a luxe cotton velvet leopard pillow to one lucky winner!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave me a message of what you would love to incorporate in your own home from today's post! One lucky winner will be randomly drawn on September 23.

Happy shopping and happy BlogPodium everyone!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Fall / Winter Preview ~ Hudson's Bay Edition

Hello Thursday! While I am on vacay to the East Coast, I thought why not sharing with you my favourites from the Fall/Winter preview at Hudson's Bay.  Let's kick start the tour with our classsic Canadian mofit shall we? I can never get tired of this colorful and iconic signature stripes at Hudson's Bay. From cozy blanket and comfy ottoman for your home, stylish accessories such as this Lacoste watch and phone case, to chic kiddy corner, I am in love with them all!

The weather folks are predicting yet another blustery cold winter ahead, so why not get cozy and snuggle by a roaring fire inside our home with these winter essentals at Hudson's Bay.  I am digging the faux fur blanket, the tea pot, and the lumbar pillow in the millennium stripes.

Looking for new dishes to glam up your dinner party this fall/winter? Here is an exquisite collection designed exclusively for Hudson's Bay.  The collection features graphic yet sophisticated patterns, in both gold and silver colorways, to allow you to be the creative mind on how to dress your table this season. 

True to our Canadiana culture, the collection also incorporated motifs that remind us of the great outdoor including bears, moose, pine trees ... just to name a few.

We tend to entertain indoor as the weather gets chilly out, and if you are in the market for a sleek, contemporary bar cart and bar essentals, Hudson's Bay has got you covered.  This bar cart by Gluckstein Home is super sexy with a mix of steel and brass construction.  Check out those wheels!!

Nothing serves up bubbles better than these wine and champagne glasses with shimmery gold confetti!  The faux wood wine cooler is also a keeper!

You will also want to equip yourself with barware and serving pieces to ensure your guests, and yourself, are having a fabulous time.  With all these beautiuflly designed party essentals, I am always ready to throw an impromptu cocktail party!   

While we are talking about serving up delicious bite size treats, can we take a moment to celebrate the sizzling hot SMEG collection in race car red! Retro is big in home decor so why not combine function and style in your own kitchen!

For those lucky ones who have winterized cottages, here are my must-haves for you. 
  • foxy ornaments for your tree
  • chic black and white cups and tea towels for hot cocos
  • delicious Le Creuset sets in apple green
  • handsome faux fur + feather owl to welcome you home 

I love a traditional red and green palette for the holidays when I am up north at cottage country.  There is something about this classic combination that works so perfectly with exposed wood beams and a stone wood burning fireplace.  I love the patterns on these plates! Don't they just remind you of good times at Grandmas? I also love that the visual team paired the patterns on the plates with a plaid placemat for a fun pattern play.  What do you think?

Looking for a new advent calendar this year? Check out these adorable mittens! You can also do your count down to the holidays this year with these Santa and Elve's nutcrackers!  

Looking to add a little hip Queen West vibe to your home?  Here are some fun items from the Drake General Store! I am crazy about these enamel pieces in pure white and black "+" and hello a mix of marble and bleached wood board in the shape of diamond!   

One thing about the holidays is that you will probably be going to at least a party or two.  Here are a few of my favourites from the Men's department.  Bow Tie, polka dot, stripes, crosses, I so want them all!

Bleu De Chanel, I am crazy about that super handsome soap in box.  It is coming home with me!   

The Kate Spade collection is fabulous! From ultra chic cake topper, adorable trinket box (availabe in mulitple colors but I am digging the vibrant tomato red and bright turquoise blue), to glam, festive ornaments (who doesn't love the polka dots and hello metal bow in rose gold!), these are the items at the top of my shopping list!

Thanks so much Michelle and Arren for having me over for a sneak peek of what's to come this fall/winter at Hudson's Bay! And yes, the salmon and the brownie topped with roasted marshmallow are divine!!  

What catches your eyes at the preview friends? I would love to know and here is the best part: leave me a comment of which item you would love to invite to your home this fall/winter season for a chance to win this stylish smart phone case in from the Hudson's Bay signature collection!  The giveaway winner will be randomly selected on September 16th.