Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have Baby, Will Write!

I took a break from my blog to have a baby but have been quietly (verrrry quietly!) working away while he sleeps. I've been meaning to update my portfolio for a while now, so please enjoy some of the articles that I've been working on lately! Now that he's a bit older (where did the last 7 months go?) I hope to update a little more frequently. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Fresh New Year

January always brings with it the promise of a new beginning and a fresh start - although I have to admit, I still feel like September is the real fresh start. January's a close second though, so I've been thinking about what the new year will bring. I'll be working on Kingston Life's special Interiors publication, which is always a fun and exciting Kingston project. I've also picked up some more food-and-beverage related articles for Occasions magazine, which always leaves me hungry (and thirsty!).  For The Kingston Whig-Standard, it's time for one of my favourite pieces - the annual Bridal Tab. So, it looks like I'll be a busy girl this month. Fresh from vacation (to beautiful Belize), I couldn't be more ready for these exciting projects!

But that's all old news - things I've done before and am excited to do again. What's new? I'll be working on a "If Money Was No Object" article for Voda Magazine in Chicago, highlighting some of the most expensive by-the-glass offerings the city has to offer (so far, I've found a $300 shot of tequila!). My husband has a course in the Windy City this spring, so I'll be able to tell him which hot spots to visit.

In the spirit of fresh starts and new beginnings, I plan to look for some new publications to freelance for - perhaps one will be interested in a travel article about Belize?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wedding-Inspired Baby Names

I recently had the opportunity to guest-blog for one of my favourite guilty-pleasure websites,

Being a lover of the written word, I've always been intrigued by names - where they come from, how they might shape a character, and how they sound. Check out my wedding-inspired baby-name blog here!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bring a little LA to Kingston

We just returned from a few nights in sunny Santa Monica, California. With romance in the air, wine on the table, and the waves lapping at the shore, we couldn't help but imagine living in the sunny Californian states. But of course, after a few days of putting some sun in our fun, it was time to come home.  My top 5 ideas for bringing a bit of LA to Kingston:

1. We should have a Kingston Stars section near Market Square, where local celebrities get to put their handprints in the sidewalk and get stars with their name on it. Eventually, Kingston would probably become the Hollywood of Ontario (some may argue that it already is). Wax museum optional.

2. Wear what you would wear, if you lived in LA! How many times have you heard someone complain, "I have so many "going-out" clothes that I would never wear in Kingston." I say, wear it! I vow to wear my little red dress next time my husband takes me out for dinner at one of our local eateries. Dress like the rockstar that you are!

3. Get your RAW on! After dining seaside at a chic little place called Oysterette in Santa Monica, where we had fresh oysters from New Zealand, BC, and PEI, I couldn't help but wonder why we don't enjoy these delicacies more often close to home. After all, we are definitely closer to PEI than LA is! Here in Kingston, you can head to Chez Piggy to enjoy a 1/2 dozen - they serve them with all the fixings (wash it down with a Hot and Bothered Martini or, if you're classier than I, a glass of crisp white wine. Tip: Oysters are best enjoyed in months ending in "er"

4. Just like LA, we're close to some amazing vineyards - so get out there and visit them! Check out my upcoming article in Kingston Life magazine to learn the scoop on what goes on at these wineries in the winter time (it may be slightly different than the California estates!).

5. Speak Your Mind. I don't know if it is something in the water LA, or just the way they are brought up, but we definitely heard a few people "Speaking their mind" while out and about in LA. Speaking your mind: Good. Throwing a napkin in your date's face and spitting obscenities while in fancy restaurant: not so good. Use your judgement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mi Casa Es Su Casa?

For a long time, when a birthday or anniversary rolled around at our house, a phone call to Casa would be placed, requesting 8pm dinner reservations. We loved the intimate ambiance, the mouth-watering food, the patio in the summer, and the fabulous service. Recently, we went in for dinner to find that our favourite special-occasion restaurant had gotten a facelift.  The decor has gotten decidedly younger and more trendy. The menu has grown larger; the prices have been reduced significantly; a few major players have been removed from the wine list, and the dining room has grown more casual (was that a TV in the corner?).

Now, if I'm shopping for groceries or a new outfit, I love a good price-drop! However, I have to admit that we were a bit thrown off - what happened to our favourite special-occasion restaurant? Had Casa turned into a meet-friends-on-Thursday-night-for-dinner kind of place? Was su Casa still mi Casa?

Luckily, the ingredients were still fresh and the food still tasted divine (Linguine vongole for me). The service was still top-notch. The vibe was slightly more laid back, the music more loungey, and the service, while attentive, was more casual. We'll be back to Casa again and again - but it's lost a bit of it's extra-special vibe. Looks like I've got a fabulous new place to meet up with girlfriends for drinks and apps that won't cost a fortune.

And I guess we'll have to start booking trips to NYC for that exta-special-birthday feeling.

I'm not complaining!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Awakened From My Wedding Dream

It's been a while since I posted on my blog.'s been a few months. With the warm weather, and my complete obsession with our July 24 wedding, I didn't even realize I had completely lapsed! Well, the rings have been exchanged, the cake has been eaten, and we've spent a lazy-in-love week in beautiful Barbados. My husband is back to work and hitting the books - and I've decided to come back in full force as well! What better way to kick things off than sharing a few wedding photos, taken by the brilliant Dave & Charlotte of Toronto (

Luckily, I've got a few projects on the go as I settle into married life! There's The Kingston Whig-Standard's special section Back to School plus their annual Fall Activity Guide. Plus, it looks like I'll get to stick around in wedding land for a few more months as I work on Kingston Weddings (formally known as The Bride Guide) as Assistant Editor. I'm looking forward to a busy fall with lots more exciting projects!

I know it's still the middle of the summer, but I'm already getting a few glimpses of autumn here and there. For one, Homesense has fall foliage and pumpkins in their faux flower section, always a sure sign that a season change is in the air. For two, I've felt a cool gust of wind which brought with it the sudden urge to wear jeans and buy a new pair of boots. And for three, June and July flew by so quickly that it seems September and October will be here before we know it! Working in the media, we're always a few months ahead (hence working on the Back to School guide! Kingston in the cooler months is so lovely. The market is brimming with produce, the antique market is in full force, and this year, it seems to me that a breath of fresh air has been blown into the downtown area with a whole crop of new restaurants popping up!

Marriage, exciting work contracts, and a gorgeous season on its way in - life is good!

David's Groom's Cake, made by The Caketress!
Our stunning wedding cake tasted as delicious as it looks - thanks to Lori, a.k.a. The Caketress (

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Lunch a Day...

We all need to eat lunch. And, living downtown, I tend to consider lunch an opportunity to catch up with a girlfriend, a colleague, or my darling husband-to-be.  Here are my top 5 (OK, 6 - I couldn't stop!) lunch choices in Kingston, in no particular order. These are chosen solely on personal preference and (let's be honest) proximity to my home.

Here's my guide:
$ Cheap     $$ Mid-range    $$$ A bit pricey but worth it

Chien Noir

Why I love it: Whether you're looking for an intimate meal or to see and be seen, the double patio system offers the best of both worlds. My favourite dish is the daily omelette on the weekends - order it right by asking for half frites and half salad! $$

Stuff'D Urban Eats
Why I love it: This place practically made grocery shopping a thing of the past in our household. Think Subway with a fresh gourmet twist! We're constantly running over and ordering wraps that are literally stuff'd with fresh sprouts, avocado, chicken, and (for a special treat) bacon! Dress it up however you like it - my pick? Tatziki and Pesto! $$$

Finally, a fabulous sushi place in Kingston! Perfect for meeting up with a friend for a lunchtime catch up session over delish and affordable sushi lunch! Now, in my books, sushi is healthy. It's full of protein, so it's perfect for after the gym. Of course, yam tempura and soya sauce mixed with spicy mayo aren't exactly the healthiest options - but they sure are tasty.  And it falls under the tent of sushi, so's good for you! $

Saigon Delight
Whether you go in for a standard #6 or choose something a little more adventurous, this little restaurant serves up vietnamese cuisine just the way we like it: fast, fresh, cheap, and delicious! Start with the fresh shrimp rolls for a healthy beginning! $

Pan Chancho on the Go
One of my fav Kingston lunches is Pan Chancho - and I'm even willing to brave the Big Dig to get to it! I love to order a variety of salads, and a sandwich and head to a warm patch of sunshine to dig in. If you've got time, hit the patio - the lamb pita is to die for! Brunch on the weekend, - arrive after 11 and order a mimosa! $$$

Chez Piggy
I go for the patio. I stay for the cocktails and food. Exotic food combos are always served up with down-home flare, and the patio is one of the best in the city. Love: The oysters on the half-shell remind me of my New Orleans days (there were 3 of them), and the fixings compete with some of the best I've tasted - and we ALWAYS order oysters when we travel, so we've eaten them up and down the coast. $$$

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Send in the Clowns!

One of my favourite spots to pop in on Princess Street is Send in the Clowns - and while I love pestering Nick about my wedding invitations (which are stunning, by the way...even after spending hours painfully hand-addressing them, I still stop every now and then to admire them!), I also love just milling around looking for gifts - for myself. Yes, it is a gift shop, so occasionally I shop for other people there (a birthday card here or there), but let's be honest - mostly I just beeline toward the Anne Taintor display. I like snickering at all the magnets, mugs, and other lovely little luxuries. 

And, I can't be the only one  - because right now the Send in the Clowns window is full of Anne Taintor goodies. I'm a huge fan - and now I can even get my Anne fixes for free - just visit to download i-phone wall paper. Right now, I've got the Domestically Disabled pic gracing my phone. They also make great gifties - I got my mom the "They hated to spread gossip" mug a couple years ago, and whenever I go home there's a nice up of tea served to me in it, while we catch up on the latest -  

Another wise shopping decision, indeed! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lovely LUSH -Easter Just Got Sweeter

Easter is right around the corner, which (like most holidays) means chocolate...chocolate...and more chocolate. Uh oh. Not so good when you're planning on your wedding dress fitting one day soon (or jeans, a-hem!).

Luckily, there's a LUSH shop nearby - it may not be downtown but I think their commitment to all natural (calorie-free) goodness still deserves a mention in my little ode to Kingston shops!

Check out these adorable, Limited Edition (fat-free) Easter bath goodies.I love the "Hippie Chick," my photo does not do it justice! The scent is divine!

LUSH is having an Easter event all day Saturday, so if you're in the mall area, pop in to see what's in store. I love their products because they are preservative-free, eco-friendly, and they smell absolutely amazing.

And of course, they are a lot healthier than Mini Eggs (my other current addiction!).

Oh, and did I mention they're vegan? Lush has been on my go-to list for my vegan sister for years.

Easter just got a little sweeter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Divine Dwell

As promised, here is one of my favourite Kingston shops - Dwell Interior Design Boutique! I just stumbled upon it when I was asked to interview the owner, Jen Storey, for Interiors Magazine, and am I ever glad I did! I must say, I had the wrong impression that this shop was just for serious interior design needs (ie. wallpaper). Boy, was I wrong!

Tucked into Wellington Street, owner Jen Storey keeps the shop packed with amazing array of home and gift items -  at a pleasing range of prices. Think greeting cards, vases, throws, and pillows, as well as amazing hand-made work by local artists!

If you're looking for a hostess gift or a birthday gift in a hurry, pop into Dwell to see what's in store (perfect if you're meeting friends next door at the Duke!). The bonus: Jen is an interior designer, so everything in the shop is hand-selected and designer approved.

With a few selections from Dwell, your home will look like it was professionally done in no time at all!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When One Door Closes....

I love our city. I love shopping at the market, I love dining al fresco at Chez Piggy in the summertime, and I love running into people I know every time I leave my apartment (even on those 8am still half asleep dog walks). But, I have been so sad lately - every time I walk downtown, it looks like another business has shut its doors. The big one was S&R last summer...the Body Shop disappeared...the list goes on.  This makes me sad because (a) I  like shopping in downtown Kingston, and (b) The business part of me is saddened to see lovely little boutiques not making it. 

It's easy to see why businesses are closing - constant construction, lack of parking, high rent, and more and more box stores (again, guilty!) opening up just outside of downtown. That being said, I love a good Princess Street shop as much as the next girl. So, I urge you to go and have a little splurge downtown. Pick up a frame at Willow. Try on a dress at Agent 99. Pop into the Gap - oh please, Gap, don't leave us!

Of course, being a glass half-full kind of girl, I'm staying positive. The Brock Street shops are bustling like never before. Jen Storey, of Dwell, told me that her shop has been extra busy with all the redirected traffic from the Princess Street construction. And I even heard that that the construction workers are keeping places like Bubbas bumping. So it's not all bad. Ben & Jerry's may be gone from Kingston forever, but Sima Sushi has opened up in its place, and I've been doing my part to support them. And with spring just around the corner, maybe we'll see some fabulous new shops open up!

And so, in the name of promoting our local businesses, I will be showcasing a few of my favs over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! I'll probably have to go on  a few little shopping expeditions - research, of course.

After all, a girl's gotta do her part for the economy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


As an avid dog walker of two certain bichon frises, (I have even been stopped in the street and asked if I am a professional dog walker), I have a few gripes about street etiquette - or, as I've recently begun calling it, Streetiquette. Here's what's been bugging me lately! 

If you're walking down the sidewalk in a party of three or four, and someone is walking toward you, break into single file so the person walking toward you can pass. Honestly. Don't make the person walking toward you step off the sidewalk or onto a lawn to go around you. I am pretty sure I learned this when I was about 5 years old. 

If you're driving, and you want to turn left on a green light or right on a red, but someone is crossing the street, let them safely arrive at their destination - the other side of the street. Don't just turn anyway! Especially if that person is walking two cute dogs. 

If you're walking, and someone has two cute little white dogs, and you want to pet them, ask first before sticking your hand in the poor puppy's face. 

I passed a woman on the street the other day who was smiling and saying "Hello," to everyone she passed. I watched a man riding a bike in Toronto last week who was snarling "Whatever," to everyone he whizzed past. It reminded me of the Leonard Cohen song : I saw a beggar leaning on a wooden crutch, he said to me "You must not ask for so much....I saw a women leaning in her door, she said to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?" Who would you rather be?

Who are you as walk from school, to work, or home? Be kind to strangers; give others the right of way; offer to hold a door. A few good deeds and pleasantries throughout the day can go a long way.  

And that's my advice on "Streetiquette."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kingston Brides Have It Good!

Working on The Kingston Whig-Standards annual special feature, "Brides," was so much fun, that I almost wish I was planning a Kingston wedding! It sure would be a breeze!

Since Kingston is such a small city, the choices come a little easier (for example, choosing a cake designer from a pool of about 5 would be a slightly easier decision than choosing a cake designer from a pool of thousands). And Kingston has SO many fantastic vendors, as I found out when I was covering the 98.3 FLY FM Fashion Show and interviewing several different wedding pros for articles. I spoke to photographers, make-up artists, and wedding gown boutiques and came to one conclusion: Kingston brides have got it pretty good!

Of course, I couldn't possibly write about weddings and meet all those fabulous vendors without scooping up a few for my own (Toronto) wedding! So, on my wedding day, I'll be wearing a gown from Bridal Creations and make-up by Kingston's own Lacey Blacklock, who did my make-up at the Bayridge Shoppers while I interviewed her. Now that's what I call a great interview! And of course, I've ordered my invitations from Send in the Clowns and I will be picking out my jewelry from Fiance Jewelers.

So, while this bride-to-be is saying "I do" in Toronto, I'll still be happily supporting some great Kingston merchants.

I've included one of my articles below (as always, click to make it big), but this special section also features several other articles I've penned, including an interview with Unveiled Photography, Aunt Lucy's, Wilton Creek Fabrics, and Herbal One Weight Loss.

Pick up a copy of this special section on newstands, or check out an online version here!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Love You, Pan Chancho!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Typically, I live in a house (OK...apartment) where celebrations go hand-in-hand with a bottle (or two) of champagne.  So, when Valentine's Day rolled around and we found ourselves hand-in-hand with my darling fiancĂ©'s pager (read: no vino for us), we had to get a little creative. We decided to enjoy a romantic evening at home, pager permitting.

Instead of booking rezzies at one of our favourite local eateries, we booked "reservations to go" from one of Kingston's gems, Pan Chancho! And, oh my!! Did we ever spoil ourselves! We picked up a big paper bag of food, and came home right away to check out the goods. We were beyond impressed with the delicious feast before us!

First Course: a cheese platter with grapes, little miniature crab cakes, two generous triangles of yummy cheese, and baguettes. Next: two WHOLE lobsters, cooked and cracked; risotto cakes (yum) and grilled asparagus. The Grand Finale: a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake with fresh raspberry sauce accompanied by white angel cake and orchids. 

I already knew I loved Pan Chancho for their sandwiches to go, lattes, and patio brunches - but now I found a new love - fancy dinners to take home! What a wonderful Valentine's Day - with a fabulous at-home feast! One of the things I love about Kingston, Ontario is the delicious food - and today was no exception! Of course, the pager did go off (which explains why I am blogging on "Love Day") - but at least we got to enjoy a lovely dinner (and watch two movies back to back!).

Happy Love Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Say Cheese!

I recently completed ten blog post/articles for a photo booth rental company located in Napa, California. Well, I am officially a fountain of information about photo booths now! I remember cramming into these booths with my girlfriends and carefully ripping apart the set of four black and white images to share. I would love to find some of those pics, I'm sure they are around somewhere! Turns out, photo booths were invented in the 1920s by a Jewish immigrant named Anatol Josepho. Here's a quip from one of my articles:

"It all started in the roaring twenties, when a Siberian immigrant by the name of Anatol Josepho created the first small, curtained booth. It was able to take photos without the aid of a photographer, and became instantly popular. Like many things that became integral parts of pop-culture, it all started in New York City. Before long, photo booths began popping up and developing candid shots at train stations, department stores, and other public areas such as fairs, five-and-dimes, and arcades. The first photo booths produced a single strip of four black and white photos, which were processed using a chemical developing process known as the “dip n’ dunk.” After a few minutes, the excited recipient would watch their photos spit out from the machine, waving them in the air to dry before splitting up the goods with their friends." 

One of the most interesting things I learned? In the early days, some innovative photographers wanted to sell the services of a "photo booth" but didn't have the fully automated equipment, so they actually had attendants hiding in the "booth," developing the photos and then pushing them out of the slot - leaving the customer to believe he had just had a fully automated photo taken! Hilarious! 

Photo booths are increasingly popular at weddings and corporate events, as one of my articles explains:

"Trendy brides and grooms all over the country have been including photo booths at their weddings, and the results are unanimous. It is, quite simply, a fabulous addition to any wedding and a surefire way to keep a smile on the faces of your loved ones. In fact, wedding trend watchers have sited it as one of the top wedding trends of 2010! It’s easy to see why. The trend started at tradeshows, where organizers are anxious to find new and innovative ways to keep attendees entertained and happy. The instant gratification, team-building effects, and nostalgia of a photo booth has proven to be a recipe for success – and when it comes to planning a wedding, the goals are very similar. Guests having a great time with each other? Check. Guests keeping a little something to remember the day? Check. Guests laughing, chatting, and making new friends? Check, check, check! The added bonus? Most machines actually create two strips of photos – one for the guests to keep, and one for the bride and groom!

There’s more to the magic of the photo booth. Guests recognize a photo booth right off the bat as something fun and familiar. Would-be models of all ages, from Grandma to toddlers, will have fun grinning and saying “Cheese” in front of the camera.  And photo booths add a certain element of vintage glamour that will get guests talking to each other at the wedding – and talking about it for years after the last piece of cake is eaten!"

Hmmmm...maybe we should have a photo booth at our wedding! Uh-oh -  I think I've sold this concept to myself! 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sophie Conran Dishes

I just had to share these gorgeous dishes that I registered for at The Bay in Kingston yesterday! The lady there was SO nice I nearly wept tears of happiness (as opposed to last time I tried to register, in Toronto - where a zapping gun was thrust into my hands with no direction while a bewildered David and I tried to navigate ourselves through the Saturday crowds - we lasted about ten minutes!).

In any case, I felt quite at home this time around! If you're thinking of registering in the Kingston area, I definitely recommend going to have a chat with Deb at The Bay! The dish set is called Sophie Conran for Portmeirion.

The dishes have a lovely modern, calmness about them with a bit of country charm (kind of like me, ha ha). And of course, after I finished registering I realized why they were so familiar - one of my best friends has the exact same set (and color - white). So, when we host posh affairs in the future, we can double up on our dishes! We can also say things like "Hey! That's my Round 11" Roasting Dish!"

Here are some images - the one with a woman in it is the designer. She's shown with plants in the cookware, how silly!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sneak Peek - Kingston Whig Bridal Tab

I love Bridal Creations (Kingston, Ontario), so when I was asked to do the cover feature for the Kingston Whig-Standard's 2010 edition of "Brides," I practically shouted "YES!" before the words were out of my editor's mouth! I bought my own wedding dress there (still waiting for it to come in....the estimated arrival date is May 1!). So yesterday (and today) found me at Bridal Creations.

After I spoke to the owner, Pina, who is super sweet, I got to work whipping up an article which I'll show ya'll once its published. She's adding an exclusive boutique-style private room to the shop for brides who want a bit more of a luxurious experience - so of course I asked if it would be ready for when my dress comes in! And YES, it will! Yipppee! By the time our meeting was over, we were in the back trying to choose the perfect veil to match my gown.

...all in a day's work!!!

Body, Beauty & More

The Kingston Whig Standard recently published a little section called "Body, Beauty, and More" which I had the opportunity to coordinate. Between learning about botox injections and finding out where to go for the cheapest pedicure in Kingston (St. Lawrence College), I learned a thing or two.... I even got to experience my debut as a model for my story on Kingston Laser & Cosmetic Clinic (I think I'll stick to the writing end of things - and no, I did not get botox (yet)!). Here are a few highlights from the section...As usual click the pic to make it grow!

PS> I'm ready for that pedicure about now!

Hoot! Hoot! Cutest Owl Pillows Ever!

I was asked to write up an article about Kingston artist Hilary Cosgrove for Interiors Magazine. We met up at Sipps a couple of days ago (love the mocha latte with skim milk - that's healthy, right?). We had a great chat - it's always nice to catch up with someone else who works from home and understands the joys that come along with that (and the difficulties!). Hilary is a textile artist and she brought along some of her work to show me - Fab. U. Lous! They say a pic is worth a thousand words so here ya go: cute are these pillows? I love the little "owelettes" - Can't you picture them in a nursery? But you don't need a baby to appreciate these little guys - they'd look so adorable in my living room, too! Looking for one in the Kingston area? Visit Dwell Boutique (it's that cute design shop near the Iron Duke on Wellington Street!).

19th Hole Magazine!

I just got back some spreads from The 19th Hole Mag - an awesome luxury golf publication I worked on not too long ago as assistant editor and contributor. They look amazing - the graphic arts team over there (in Georgia) really know what they're doing. Here's a few of my favourite layouts with articles by moi! Click on the pics to see 'em grow!

This next article was a real joy to write. It's about Hubert Prive, a fantastic artist based in Normandy, France. His work is so insightful and really shows a depth of appreciation for the game of golf. Here's a link to his website and a copy of the article - check out more about this artist at his site, and watch for his new coffee table book - what a perfect gift for the golf+art enthusiast in your family!

Welcome, World!

Being a writer, it seemed only natural that eventually I would have my own blog. I knew the day would come - and here it is. So what will you find here? Well, I write. A lot. For a living. For fun. Lately, I've been writing a ton of articles about local businesses (and by local, I mean, in Kingston Ontario), so I plan to mention all the cool stuff I find in Kingston on here! What else do I write? Well, I am Associate Editor for Kingston Life's Interiors Magazine, so I'll be checking out some local designers this month. I'm also Assistant Editor for The 19th Hole Magazine, which is a golf & luxury lifestyle magazine geared towards women golfers and based in Georgia. Aside from that, I'm working on some neat stuff for the Kingston Whig Standard - specifically, just wrapped up the "Manage Your Money" section and now I'm finishing up our annual Bridal Tab (which I'm loving, since I am in the midst of planning my own wedding!).

So, there's a little glimpse! Check back for cool local finds!