(Accompanying soundtrack.)Earlier this year, Ottawa-based chanteuse Kathleen Edwards announced that she was going to be taking a break from the music scene and that she was planning on opening a coffee shop in Stittsville. Since I just live a suburb over from ‘beyond the fringe’, I was stoked to check out Edwards’ Quitters Coffee. Star power aside, Quitters brings some serious coffee shop appeal to the suburbs. The great folks over a Apartment 613 have my full post, so grab your coffee and click on over there — happy caffeinating!
With views hazy from the ocean spray and the Californian sunshine, everything in Big Sur seemed more dreamlike than it already is. Winding and steep at times, Highway 1 was by far the most scenic drive I’ve ever been on (kudos to Dad behind the wheel); and we made frequent pauses along the side of the road to take it all in. Mile after mile, the scenery didn’t get old. Those massive waves crashing over huge, jagged rocks like they’re just little pebbles that stand between them and shore – it’s the kind of scene that reminds you just how powerful nature is. Even from way up above on the bluffs, the swirling ocean looks like billowing clouds before a storm (under the least threatening cloudless blue sky). It’s a dangerous kind of beauty.
“So that later when I heard people say “Oh Big Sur must be beautiful!” I gulp to wonder why it has the reputation of being beautiful above and beyond its fearfulness, its Blakean groaning rough-rock Creation throes, those vistas when you drive the coast highway on a sunny opening up the eye for miles of horrible washing sawing.” –Big Sur, Jack Kerouac
Fall colours, summer sunshine, French onion grilled cheese, scenic drives, good people, and (of course) delicious wines. Not a bad way to spend a Monday.With vineyards in the region just starting their harvest, we made it down for a quick winery blitz in the county. (Thanks to Devil’s Wishbone, Exultet Wines, Lighthall Vineyard, and Hinterland Wine Company for the hospitality and wine chats on our short tour!) As usual, Prince Edward County left me wanting more. Cheers, PEC. Hope to see you again soon!
Cardamom and Cloves brings a world of spices to Ottawa’s Little Italy. Nestled among the restaurants on Preston Street, Jodi Samis’ shop has pretty much every spice you could ever think of needing to get cooking.
With jar upon jar lining the shelves you’re also bound to find ingredients you didn’t know existed, but Jodi will be happy to educate you. I met my parents at the shop last week for a workshop dedicated to a spice that’s ubiquitous in many kitchens, but that I honestly couldn’t have told you much about: cinnamon. As we sipped our apple cinnamon infused water, Jodi cooked and taught us about some of the history of the spice, the differences between “true” cinnamon and cassia, as well as some of it’s lesser and more commonly known health benefits. Jodi has a whole bunch of great workshops (only $10!) lined up this fall, AND (bonus!) there’s a great little deal on Groupon right now — go spice things up! Click to continue to recipe
Alaska wasn’t a place I expected to get to travel to in 2014, but I’m pretty thrilled that it happened. Having a twin who works as a dance captain has its perks. Click to continue reading
A hoptimistic crew gathered in front of the Beyond the Pale Brewing Company on Monday; we were on a harvest mission. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and there were beers in the van, so off we went to find a little bit of heaven at Richard and Lynda’s farm, Bristol Hops. Click to continue reading…
Like all good things, my summer vacation came to an end with a return to school last week. I was funemployed for the first couple months of the summer, and for the first time in a long time had (almost) zero commitments. It felt a little weird at first: no set schedule, no job (no pay-cheque) and no classes, but I adjusted pretty quickly…it was glorious. I decided to fill some of my free time with a class (couldn’t resist some kind of organized activity, I guess.), and signed up for a beginner photography class at SPAO. Ever since starting this little blah-blah-blahg of mine, I’ve wanted to set some time aside to properly figure out what I’m doing with a my camera, and this summer seemed like as good a time as any to get the basics under my belt. I’m still learning (but when aren’t we?), and I don’t think I’ll ever call myself a photographer, but hopefully the quality keeps improving around here. My favourite aspect of the class was that it set aside some time to go out into the world with the sole intention of taking pictures. This meant tinkering around with my camera of course, but it also meant that I got to enjoy even more of Ottawa’s summer beauty through my lens. I took an awful lot of pictures of flowers. And Dunlop. Flowers and Dunlop together! And food, of course. Click to continue reading