Friday, 21 October 2016

Stuff and Such

My daughter is home today after yet more dental work. I managed to not faint through this procedure but it was touch and go for a minute. She's much more of a trooper than I am. We are recovering by watching The Parent Trap and several episodes of Gilmore Girls. I grew up in Unionville where the GG pilot was shot so I always have a soft spot for this show. In fact, in looking for a recreational property, I'm seeking our very own version of Stars Hollow. We will definitely be watching the new episodes.

I've been wrestling with a lot of anxiety lately. There is no particular reason for it: except all of the usual reasons. The Trump thing is not helping. As far as I'm concerned, the only good thing about the whole miserable election is that it brought Jack and Karen back into the same room.

I've been Pinteresting myself well, since the rest of the internet feels perilous right now. I'm also doing some online browsing.

I love the leopard Montana coat from Alice + Olivia. I wore a similar coat to a wedding and another guest - one of the Canadian morning news show hosts  - was wearing a faux leopard coat too so I felt very on-trend. If I did not have one, I'd be throwing the A+O one in my cart.

My lipstick obsessions with Face Stockholm continue. Cranberry Veil is my favourite colour. Apparently Carolyn Bessette Kennedy wore that same shade, so ooh la la! I always loved her style.

I am in dire need of a bar cart since the great bar cart toppling incident of early 2016. I like the brass and glass ones but need something sturdier. I like the Barclay Butera below, but they do not ship to Canada. I'll keep my eyes open for something like this locally since it so very very handsome.

Have a wonderful weekend, kidlets. Enjoy the last warm days of the year and the beautiful fall colours.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

East Coast Loving

The Mr. and I had a little getaway to Nova Scotia last weekend, with the idea of checking out some property. I've always loved the ocean and we liked the idea of a little bolthole by the sea I could retreat to when the wilds of Oakville prove to be too much. I'd been to PEI but never to Nova Scotia so I thought I should take a little look before we bought.

Over the weekend, we flew into Halifax and then drove 1400km, checking out one coastal community after another. There are so many charming places there, it is really hard to narrow things down. For the same money you can get a huge amount of open ocean frontage along the Northumberland Straight or a house in Lunenburg.

Can you imagine living here in Lunenburg? (It's not for sale right now. I'm imagining too.)

It's across the street from the Lunenburg Academy, which has its very own ghost. You can rent office or studio space there!

I'm writing about history and magic and witches and cannot imagine a more inspiring spot.

Then again, these places are not too shabby either.

The photo below was the backyard of one of the places we saw for sale. Can you imagine looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in all of its vastness: paradise. 

I ate my body weight in seafood, consuming bowl after bowl of seafood chowder in Tatamagouche at The Chowder House (we were there a couple of times because it was soooo good.) You can also buy handmade chocolates and buttermallow bars at the Tipperary Bakery and Cafe, which are divine (we brought a box home!)

I also ate like a horse in Lunenburg. I highly recommend the Grand Banker if you are there. The Acadian seafood stew is to die for. And The Savvy Sailor has amazing breakfasts. I dare you to eat just one piece of the bacon: impossible! You can taste campfire smoke in each bite. Delish!

The only place I would not feel at home was one spot, that shall remain nameless, where we spotted a baby with no helmet on an mud-covered ATV (it was sitting in a car seat in the passenger seat.) Now, I'm all for accepting different styles of parenting, but if you have to pick the bugs out of your infant's tiny teeth, I'm just not sure we will have a lot in common!

In other news, I've been writing, writing, writing. I'm better friends with the women in my book that with real live people these days. I need to get out more.

I've not done much fall shopping. I took my son to Brooks Brothers to get him a jacket for the wedding and was impressed by what Zac Posen has done there this year. If I had an occasion to wear it, I'd buy this gown.

But alas, the only event requiring a new set of clothes is my wedding. And I've already got something for that.

I'm kind of loving Face Stockholm's cosmetics bags. They come in every colour possible, but I'm partial to the lavender velvet one myself. Maybe that will be a Black Friday treat for me.

The one thing I did buy was my favourite Eillen Fisher wool dress in black that had been destroyed by moths in spite of my anti-moth care methods (washing everything before putting away the wools for the season and using cedar, lavender, and copious amounts of Laundress spray.) I've been waiting forever for Garnet Hill to have a sale that included her line and finally they did. 

We are having a last heat wave here, but look forward to retreating into my fall clothes. We had a preview of chilly fall weather in Nova Scotia and it was heaven. I lived in sweaters under a J. Crew excursion vest the entire time and was happy as a clam. 

I even pulled out my Lady Di sheep sweater replica. 

Source: Vanity Fair

If you want something great to read this fall, I suggest Holly Robinson's Folly Cove. It takes place at an inn in Massachusetts in the fall. It's a perfect read on a chilly fall day! It's my November selection at the 1010ParkPlace Book Club launching soon and I'd love you to read along. 

I also implore you to read David Brooks' column this week. I love his words: "Souls are not saved in bundles." No, they are not. 

I hope you have a happy October filled with pumpkins and magic and spiced lattes and good books. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016


It's the first day of fall, my favourite time of year. I'm obsessed with apples and pumpkins and sweaters. If I could arrange it, I'd live in a Sarah Vickers Instagram story. I cannot wait to dip into the sweater archives in my closet.

I've been writing and writing and writing and am very very happy with the first half of my book. The characters have surprised me in a good way. The working title is The Saints of Suburbia and, yes, it's about Oakville: Southeast Oakville in particular. I thought that people would be wary of me when I tell them I'm writing a novel about this place but instead they tell me all of their stories. I think everyone secretly wants to be written about in a book.

The book also has a fantastic element, which has been fun to explore. I love angels and crystals and benevolent magic and it's been fun to play with these concepts.

Summer was good. I was exhausted after the move and had some low periods, but I'm learning to weather the ebb and flow. I have also learned how healing the ocean is to me. We spent a divine week in Cuba and I felt the best I've felt in months. We are looking at some ways to spend more time on the water. We are doing some sailing on Lake Ontario, which works when we are here, but I'd like to make the ocean a bigger part of my life and we are exploring all sorts of possibilities.

I've been working my fingers to the bone writing the book and for 1010ParkPlace and HuffPo. My latest articles (including one on the wonderful Dolly Parton) can be found here and here. My next piece for 1010 is about my visit to a convent. As you can see from the photo below, the nuns have wonderful taste in stained glass.

I hope you have a wonderful fall. I'm writing here a little less since I'm writing so many other places, but I'll put major updates here. And you can always catch me on Instagram, where Serena and I like to hang out.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Can you believe it's August  already? We've had crazy hot weather for weeks and weeks so it feels like the summer is already coming to an end.

Serena turned 9 in July. She's a woman of a certain age now.

I've been missing the family cottage quite a bit, and have been taking some day trips. We had lunch on Puslinch Lake and went to Port Dover (that's a colourful experience) and went to the Finger Lakes for a few days. I drove the track at Watkins Glen. I was not the fastest on the track but others did not have to worry about their children's safety and a trunk full of Target bags.

We have started sailing lessons because, if we like it, sailboats are a good proxy for a cottage and we can bike to a couple of yacht clubs.

I've been writing, writing,writing. I've ripped my novel-in-process down to the studs and built it back up with 100 pages that make me happy so far. I realized I was using the novel as therapy too much and had to rework it significantly. So this is why not everyone has a novel published: it's bloody hard!

I'm writing weekly at If you want to see how to enjoy a cottage without having a cottage, check out my latest for HuffPo Canada.

In between bouts of self-loathing associated with authorship, taking Serena to her work, and going to the gym while the kids are in day camp, I've managed a few other things.

I managed to get downtown for the launch of Karma Brown's newest book. Do you read her? You should! The newest one, The Choices We Make, is a tearjerker and has some parallels to the author's own life.

We saw Guns & Roses at their reunion concert. That was some good old school fun (I went to a roller palace with the kids the same day because it's always 1989 somewhere.)

I had lunch with one of my favourite bloggers.

I like to keep busy to keep the black dogs at bay. I put some old Hello My Name Is stickers dotted with lip colour on my lipstick cases to show me what lipstick colours I have at a glance. Otherwise, all of the cases look the same.  Organizing always lifts my mood.

I'm also trying some mindfulness work. Got to calm the anxiety somehow and I can't sit by the ocean 24/7 (the ocean is a surefire calming place.)

Now that the move is behind us, we are starting to get into wedding planning mode once again. It's only six months away so we need to shake our tail feathers into high gear. We've done the big things but have to pin down the little ones.

I'm reading a lot these days. My Goodreads picks are on my sidebar if you are looking for something to read. I only ever review books I really liked (I usually won't give a bad review: writing is too hard to not appreciate someone else's efforts. But I also won't say a book is good when it's not. If it's not 4 or 5 stars, I often just pretend I never read it.)

I hope you are having a great summer. I'm mainly hanging out on Instagram because I'm very lazy and it's such an easy app. Plus, a lot of my blogging pals are there and it always offers great conversation.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer! Keep calm and carry on, my friends.