Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I have been a bit MIA lately. This is not because there is a lack of things to do in our great area, quite the opposite actually. We have been out frequenting the craft fairs, attending the parades, taking advantage of the local retail sales and getting ready for the upcoming Christmas holidays.

I've been lucky enough to have been asked to write a monthly contribution for SNAP Brockville, one of my favorite local publications and am also working hard on Little City Charm Daycare, a joint venture with one of my child guru mentors and close friend. In the midst of all this, our family, like many in our community, has been hit by the flu and have been recovering from that. To say it's been busy is a complete understatement, but I wouldnt trade a moment of it in, as I am truly lucky to have the family, friends and opportunities that have come my way this past year.

As I reflect on 2012, I want to thank everyone who supported my blog, new business and contributions to our wonderful community. I am thankful to have met some new colleagues and friends and for the new experiences I've had while putting my thoughts out there. I am very excited for the year ahead and a few projects Little City Charm has on the go!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As always, keep it local!

Monday, 12 November 2012

The haunts of Halloween

A lot of my posts are about our family adventures in and around our wonderful community. A few weekends ago, Nick and I decided we needed a date night. I had seen an advertisement, on BNTV, for a lantern-lit walk through Fulford Place and as it was leading up to Halloween, I figured it was the perfect venue for our date.

We dropped our wee ones off with my friend and trusted "toddler guru" and headed over a few minutes early to the mansion. I had been on a tour quite a few years ago with my mom, but never at night. After reading the historic stories about Fulford Place in the gift shop area, both Nick and I were very excited, and a bit nervous for the tour. As we waited for the others to show up, it became clear that we picked the best time for our tour, as we ended up being the only two people to attend the early time slot, and therefore, we received a private tour.

 Fulford Place is a local historic site that really is something to marvel at. Breathtaking is a word that comes to mind. When our tour guide took us through, room by room to tell us the spooky tales, part of me was distracted by the rich history but also by the home itself.

I can't do the rich and storied history - nor the many spooky tales that come along with it - justice here. I can tell you that for the cost of $12, it was one of the best date nights we have had in a while. We are both looking forward to taking part in the haunted walks that are hosted throughout the city during the summer months on Friday evenings.

Fulford Place is a National Historic Site and part of Brockville's rich heritage. Please visit and support the museum to ensure it continues to be a part of our city for generations to come!

For more information pertaining to Fulford Place and all their events.

After a grown-up night to ourselves, it was time to really gear up for Halloween with the whole family. With three girls, it's an exciting time in our house. Our children are young and just starting to understand Halloween so our go-to Halloween spot is the 1000 Islands Mall, where all of the stores participate and hand out candy. It is the perfect place to stay warm and dry from the elements and also see all of the adorable costumes!

At ages 3 and 2, we decided the girls would pick out their own costumes. My fabulous in-laws were here in the spring, for the birth of our third child and had bought Baby R her very own spotted Dalmatian costume. Grampa Joe is a brave firefighter and we take every opportunity to cherish and celebrate his role fighting fires in their local BC community, so this costume was the perfect tribute!  We were hoping to sway the girls to dress up as firefighters, to go along with their baby sister, however when these girls get something in their mind, there really is no changing it.

Enjoy the pictures below of our little monkeys and thier chosen costumes. They brought many smiles to everyone this Halloween!

ps- Nick's costume was his Canuck's jersey and a sign that read: "How do the owners expect me to survive off of $5 million dollars a year"?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A rain day road trip

Anyone who knows me, also knows that I love my city. I don't just like where I live, but am a constant supporter and lover of all things Brockville. It has afforded my family the luxury of daily activities and a great, all-around balanced lifestyle. That said, I still think that sometimes, it's important to venture beyond our local community and explore the many nearby attractions which make our corner of the province so unique.

It was a rainy, dreary start to fall, kind of day. One recent weekend, after swim class had finished, we were puzzled as to what our next adventure would be. I had been online checking out local attractions and others close by, when I stumbled upon the Canadian Museum of Nature, in Ottawa. I lived in Ottawa for a few years and although I had passed by the stunning "Castle" , as it is affectionately called, I had never been in. With the rain pouring down, it seemed like the perfect day to explore the museum with my family.

Upon arrival, I realized why The Canadian Museum of Nature is referred to as a "Castle". In 1905, the chief architect and designer, David Ewart, created the fanciful castle-like structure in a field in the south of Ottawa, formed out of local sandstone. In 1916, the building became the emergency headquarters for the Canadian government after the Parliament Buildings were consumed by a great fire. When former prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier died in 1919, his body laid in state in the auditorium.The building is visually stunning and worth the short hour-drive from Brockville.

We took the elevator to the top floor and started our afternoon of discovery. Although Nick is not a fan of birds, we agreed that the Bird Gallery was fascinating and very well laid out. It was easy to walk through the displays, read and learn about all the different types of birds, their habitat and even stop for a play at the interactive children's area, where kids can learn how to protect and take care of injured birds.

We made our way from the top floor to the bottom, taking in "Nature Unleashed", the Mammal Exhibit and finally (my favorite) The Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. We all had our favorites: Nick's being the exhibit detailing Hurricane Katrina, which was truly humbling. Our oldest loved the mammals, which didn't surprise me, as she is a true animal lover.

All of this to say - I have a new favourite spot in Ottawa! We'll be back to visit time and time again, as the museum really does have something for kids (and parents!) of all ages. Please check out their website for more information on up and coming exhibits, hours and rates.

After a fun-filled day at the museum, we headed to Montana's for a family dinner. Just the perfect end to the perfect day!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpkin Inferno

A few weeks ago, as I was reading the latest Facebook threads, I came across an advertisement for Pumpkin Inferno, an event hosted by Upper Canada Village. As a child, I often frequented this historical village with my family and on school trips. Fond memories of the schoolhouse, the bakery, sleigh rides and of course the train, are still cherished and a very important part of my childhood. When I read about this latest attraction, I knew I had to take my own children and create new memories.
Below are a few pictures from our Pumpkin Inferno experience- enjoy! Although I'm happy we captured this experience on film, these images simply don't do the exhibit justice.
A dragon made out of pumpkins.


Sea creatures, including a giant octopus
The wait was long to gain access to the park, I believe we were on Highway #2 for about an hour and then we waited in the line to buy tickets for an hour. Note: There was an option to buy tickets online,  which yours truly missed seeing!

From the moment we stepped through the gates and saw our first display, I had completely forgotten any time spent waiting. In front of us were thousands of pumpkins, carved in many forms and lit up in the dark of night. It was truly awe-inspiring. 
Our good friend Katie and her super adorable (and incredibly well-behaved) children came with us, along with our three girls. The children took a moment to understand what they were seeing, but quickly got into the spirit and enjoyed the art work. It was an incredible display of local talent, as some of the designs were painstakingly intricate, making these displays even more impressive.
From regular spooky faces, to chinese lanterns, dragons and even a giant wordsearch, the themes were expansive. At one point we walked past a giant moose and a beaver damn and beavers, made entirely out of the pumpkins. I had never seen anything like it before.
Thank you Upper Canada Village for holding such a unique and inspiring celebration of Halloween! I can only hope this will become an annual event so we can continue to create memories.
Please visit for upcomming attractions.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The perfect pumpkins

Have you gotten into the Halloween spirit yet? Tis' the season to bundle up, haul on out to the pumpkin patch and pick that perfect pumpkin. Over the weekend, we did just that!

As you know, my family tries to support local whenever possible. This holds true for pumpkin shopping as well. A long-time family friend and her family own a pumpkin patch just north-east of Brockville. When it came time, it was a no-brainer that we would be headed out to the Lavigne Farm. Our girls were very excited to pick their own pumpkin. The Lavigne's had a huge selection, different sizes, price points and the perfect country setting. They are located at 9525 Branch Road and if you haven't gotten your pumkin yet, head out now or save the address for next year!

Now we are all set to carve and decorate for the Halloween season! Get out and support your local farmers, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Getting back to basics

What does getting back to basics mean to you? For my family, it's about unplugging from time-to-time and enjoying time focused on each other.

Wait! Don't close this page.....I'm still a fan of all things social media and connecting via the web. I just want my children to be children and know how to kick a soccer ball around the yard as well as navigate their way around Twitter.

This past weekend, we headed out to the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area to take in the Fall Festival. The sun was shining and although a cold wind was blowing, it was a great day to bundle up and take part. This was my first festival at the conservation area and I can now say it is one of my favorite spots in Brockville. I fell in love the moment we parked the car and got out. I was greeted by sled dogs barking and what looked like dozens of teams setting up to race. Being fall, and having no snow, I was interested as to how this dog-sled activity would work out. It was then I realized, they were attached to scooter-like bikes and about to take off down a sectioned-off trail. When they started, it looked like so much fun, I'm now trying to convince Nick that this should be our new hobby!

We spotted the pumpkin carving and headed over to take part. After taking our time and finding the very best pumpkin, we set up shop and started carving a Jack O'Lantern. My oldest has since renamed our pumpkin to Lucy, for reasons only known to a three year old.

We headed down to the Nature Centre, where chili, hotdogs, coffee and other goodies were being served. There was fantastic music being played and a lot of families in attendance. Even our oldest got into the spirit and danced away.
Alas, it was time to head out for some other weekend fun. Our time at Mac Johnson was eye-opening for me. Here, right in our backyard, is a stunning oasis of natural beauty and this was the first time I had ever visited!  We will be headed back soon and if you haven't been, the autumn colours make it the perfect season to take in the gorgeous scenery

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Fabulous Nanny Franny!

It was a Wednesday night,you know -  right in the middle of that mid-week slump. What's for dinner? I have been trying my hand at cooking lately and it hasn't turned out too badly....everyone has survived so far. The night before, my five month old sweet Baby R wouldn't give in and sleep , my two toddlers were up with the sun and frankly, I was exhausted.

About a month ago, we attended the Athen's Cornfest - a huge local success - and won a gift card for a local resturaunt, The Peacock. I had heard great things about their pizza from friends and have been told to try the Chinese food, as there is nothing better around! The lightbulb went off in my head and I decided I would convince Nick that we must go. I think after being my guinea pig for the last few nights, he may have welcomed the change.

Off we went, to the charming village of Athens, which stole my heart previously at the Cornfest,which had provided a welcoming and fun family environment. We unpacked the children and walked into the Peacock, hoping they wouldn't decide to close, seeing us with three small children. I was once a waitress after all, trust me - the sight of my brood would have sent me flying to take a break! Instead, we were welcomed by a lovely woman, who introduced herself to us as "Nanny Franny". Right off the bat, I could tell she had the type of personality that made you swear you were at her kitchen table having dinner. Never in my life have I felt such a warm reception at a resturaunt.

As we looked over the menu, my children were captivated. Looking around and then asking "Where's Franny? What is Franny doing?" They couldnt stop talking with her, and she was just as delighted and captivated with them! I'm not always welcoming of strangers invading my children's space, but I didn't once question Franny or think she was too overbearing. It just seemed natural. She told us tales of her own fabulous grandchildren and her family, took our orders with ease and brought our food so quickly, I was almost sure it was magic.

Once we were done eating, Franny asked if the girls could have jello as a treat for dessert. She brought them out lovely dessert cups topped with whipped cream and pink umbrellas! My kids were putting us up for adoption and moving in. As if that weren't enough first-class service, they were allowed a mini-tour of the kitchen and met the owner and chef, who was just as charming. On our way out, they sent us with a bag of their amazing eggrolls and homemade sauce.

As I go on and on about Nanny Franny and the exceptional service at the Peacock, I should also mention that this restaurant is everything we had heard about and more. It's a small place, not fancy but the food is comforting and delicious. If my waistline was more forgiving, I'd go weekly. With three small children, dining out is sometimes chaotic and not always in the budget , but we enjoyed our experience so much and will absolutely be back! If you are in Athens, or even if you aren't- take the small drive out there, it is worth the trip.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

LoLo Enchanted

Fairies in the park. What a magical, whimsical idea. For those of you not familiar, Saturday, September 15 marked the first time for this new local event, which drew a number of families to St. Lawrence park in order to become 'fairies' for the day!

The setting could not have been more picturesque. Upon entering the park, there were colourful wings galore, on everyone in attendance. Girls and boys, even adults of all ages donned their very best magical attire. It had been some time since I had seen St.Lawrence Park so full of people, what a great sight. Down the walkway the tents were filled with local vendors and home-based businesses, selling everything from Epicure to hand-made signs and tutus. There were bean readings, professional fairy pictures and our favourite- fairy houses!

The girls took a seat at the edge of the woods on giant rocks and listened to stories being told by Cheryl Sinfield, the creator of "Faerie Door Workshops" which originated in Perth and was the inspiration for this event. As I watched, it became clear to me that my adorable "LoLo" was enchanted with this event. We had brought along a family friend and met with some other dear friends and their children. The kids gathered and watched as they were shown how to build their very own fairy house from nature's treasures. Twigs, pine cones, leaves, rocks and anything else we could find, were quickly being gathered up to make a home for our fairy friends. Even Nick and his friend Jamie got into the spirit, having a contest and building "fairy condos" and "houses with walk-out basements". Before I realized, Baby R and I were also drawn in - we climbed up the hill and snapped some pics of the fun

 About an hour later, we had finished up and headed to the center of the event, where we planted ourselves at the craft table for a while. It was here, that I met Stephanie Forgues, the host and creator of Fairies in the Park, Brockville. All the children were referring to her as Tinkerbell, as she had a striking resemblance to the character in her own costume. Stephanie also teaches at New Leaf Wellness, a holistic wellness center, here in town. Immediately, I was drawn to her positivity and zest for the outdoors and family life. I thanked her for hosting this amazing fun-packed day and then she was swooped up by a sea of small fairy children who wanted to play with this real-life version of Tink!

Before we knew it, we had spent three hours at the park. With tummies rumbling, it was time for lunch. Quickly we packed it in, headed to Metro for some picnic food and made a quick stop over at Hardy Park for lunch and a play. I'm pretty sure after dropping our friends off, it was only minutes before our girls were fast asleep. What a busy and special day it turned out to be.

We hope that Fairies in the Park, and many events like it will continue to come back to Brockville, as we truly were enchanted!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sayonara summer, Hello fall fun!

Over the past month we have been so busy, I feel as though I've barely had a minute to sit, write and catch up. There have been so many wonderful places to visit, festivals to attend and of course, the hustle and bustle of every day life. Here's what we've been up too.....

Labour Day weekend was a lot of fun for us. We packed up and headed to Kingston on Saturday. I am usually pretty organized and plan out our weekends well in advance. This tends to irritate Nick sometimes, as he is more of a 'go with the flow' type of guy We threw caution to the wind, made no plans and just drove west. Nick had heard about a cafateria-style resturaunt called The Golden Rooster, on Princess Street. We parked,walked a few blocks and settled in. I had the medium-rare roast beef sandwich, Nick had the chicken pot pie and my oldest had a fruit salad and some fries. Ah, the life and diet of a three year old. The food was great and the ambience reminded me of Schwartz's in Montreal. If you are in Kingston, check it out.

With a great lunch behind us, we headed out for some exploring downtown. Kingston is a stones throw from Brockville and reminds me so much of our beautiful city. I follow a frozen yogurt shop called Menchies on Twitter (@MenchiesKtown) so I had to check it out in person while in town . We found it easily and were excited for a treat after a fabulous lunch, walk and shopping. I loved the lime green backsplash, colourful letters and overall decor. What a fun and welcoming place! Oh, and the froyo was also delish!

Sunday was my turn to "plan" and I had read about North Augusta's Labour Day festivities. We got there in time to grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant called "Woody's"; most of you likely know it at one time as 'Frank's', which has since switched owners. The food is homestyle and you wont go hungry. We took in the car show, the bouncy castles, some of the softball games and a quick play at the park. North Augusta is small town but they know how to throw a great Labour Day festival!

The following week flew by, although that may have been because Spencerville Fair was just around the corner. I have been attending this fair since I was a little girl and my family horse Irish used to lead the parade back in the 80s. The parade and all things associated with the fair make up some of my favourite childhood memories It was only natural that, for the past few years, I have been taking my children. This year, due to the rainy weather we only made it to the parade. As always, it didn't disappoint. Our girls had a ton of laughs, got too much candy and even snuck in a visit with their favorite Auntie Chelle! No rain could dampen our Spencerville Fair spirit!

How did you wrap up summer and what local fall evens do you look forward to each year? Love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Athens' Cornfest a huge hit!

With summer soon coming to an end,  attending The Athens' Cornfest was a great way to celebrate and welcome the approaching autumn. A parade, a steam engine to cook the corn and a ton of local vendors, it was the perfect Saturday morning. Don't worry though, we aren't ready to put away our flip flops just yet!

My three year old was up at 7:00 a.m. and had already picked out her best "Cornfest"outfit. I am not sure she understood where we were going, but she sure was excited! Explaining there would be a lot of outdoor fun, we compromised on a pink ensemble, stowing the tutu for a later date. Once we woke daddy and all got ready, it was off to catch the parade.

Admittedly, it's been awhile since I have been to Athens. Although not far, there is usually not a reason for me to visit this town. Upon arrival, I quickly realized this was a place I'd have to come back to more often. The town has a charm about it, with beautiful hanging baskets lining the thoroughfare and well-kept shops. We could not find a place to park on the main street, so we turned up a side street and thankfully found a spot. Once the strollers were loaded up, we were ready to have some fun!

The first place we stopped was the raffle table for the Elizabethtown-Kitley Firefighters. They had an adorable "firehouse" for kids as the prize. The guys were very friendly, agreeing to smile for my picture and talk to the kids. Who doesn't love a man in uniform? Next up we spotted the always popular "Bouncy Castle". Quickly, my daughter was in line to have her turn. We started to get hungry and headed towards the steam engine that was cooking the local corn. It was delicious, easily the best corn I have had all summer.


We continued on to the paintball gun shooting range, Little Ray's Reptiles, checked out the vendors and finally ended up at the pony rides. This was the creme de la creme for my girls. Even my 4 month old was wide-eyed upon seeing the petting zoo and her big sister atop a pony.Everywhere I looked, there were happy families. With our youngest, people stop all the time to adore her cooing and her smiles, today was no exception. There were so many adorable babies and smiles everywhere- we were in good company.



We left a few hours later, exhausted by all the fun and a bit surprised by what this festival had to offer. Who knew this small-town Cornfest could hold their own with the best of the bigger festivals? A huge congratulations to the Cornfest Chair, Hendrick Pape and his hard working team. Our family had a great day and we hope to attend for many years to come!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A healthy dose of sprinkles

Today I make a stop at to share my experience on becoming a first-time mom. Read, share and send me your thoughts - I'd love to hear from you

You can find my post by clicking the following link:


Monday, 30 July 2012

Ride 'em Cowboy!

There were so many great family activities this past weekend. The Delta Fair, The Spencerville Stampede, McKenna's Dream in Lansdowne and Wheels A'Churnin in North Augusta, to name just a few.

 On Saturday, we chose to head to Gananoque to the splash pad, as the kids had been begging to go back since seeing it when we were there last weekend, at the Gananoque Pirate Festival. We headed home for a special dinner that our friends were making for us. It was a treat to have authentic Indian cuisine that my friend Monica prepared. She is such a talented cook and Indian food is now one of my new favourites.

Sunday, we were up and out the door early. Our children were excited to see the stampede that Spencerville was hosting for the first time this year. It was sunny and hot and the perfect day for it. The event's website mentioned a mechanical bull and pony rides for the children, so both Nick and the kids were looking forward to this. Unfortunately, upon our arrival, we found out that these attractions weren't happening. Nick was more disappointed than the girls were. The day turned out to be a ton of fun regardless. We had great food and so much fun watching the talented "Stampeders". Great job Spencerville, we hope to be back next year!

Here's a collection of snapshots from our busy, fun and local weekend.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Pride and pirates- what's not to love?

Saturday morning was Nick's day to sleep in. Without fail, my three year old was up at 7:00 a.m. "Momma, I'm awake- it's time to go downstairs" she yelled as loud as humanly possible. I stretched and crossed my fingers that she would grab a book and snuggle back in bed for even five more minutes. Then, came the " I have to go pee!!!!" so, out of bed I jumped and the day began.

We had yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast, followed by cartoons of course. We let daddy sleep until 9:00 a.m. and then all started to get ready for the day. I make it sound like Nick is being spoiled, don't I? I forgot to mention that I had a pedicure at my favourite spa in Brockville, Aquala, booked and he would be taking over parent duties for an hour or so. While I was getting pretty toes, the Annual PRIDE Parade had started on King Street. There was a great turnout and a positive vibe all around. I saw some familiar faces in the parade, such as our local NDP candidate, Matthew Gabriel showing his support to people in our community. Although not a political event, I wanted to touch base so I investigated where some of the other local party reps were. I reached out to our other local politicians and found out that they had prior engagements and regrettably couldn't be there. I was happy my family could attend and show our support of equality for all. Congratulations on another job well done Brockville!

We then headed to my parents house where they were hosting their annual friends and family BBQ. My sister was in charge of setting up the kiddie pool and, as always took her duties very seriously. Ensuring the temperature was just right for all those wee tots, it turned out to be a huge success. With everyone bringing their favourite dish, my parents slow roasting both beef and pork on a spit, plus beverages galore, it was a delicious and fun event.

When Sunday came, we were ready to have a quiet day at home. Some of my friends were headed to Ottawa to take in a baseball game and had asked that we keep their two year old for the afternoon. As she is absolutely adorable (and well behaved as all children are when their parents are not around!) we jumped at the chance. Gananoque was holding a waterfront Pirate Festival, so we packed up the car and headed out. When we arrived, it was packed. Bouncy castles, inflatable pirates, fortune tellers and music on the main stage- it was a great event for the whole family. Nearby was the splash pad and beach. I had never been to that part of Gananoque before, and truly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. We will be back to take the kids to play in the water.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and got out to support our local events! I love our community!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

You're among friends here

Every weekend, my family and I set out on a different adventure. Last weekend, it was heading to the National Arts Center in Ottawa to see "Wicked" and hosting a birthday party for our two year old. This weekend started out with a day trip to the outskirts of Cardinal where four of my favorite people live.

At 9:30 a.m. my great friend and "toddler doula", Steph pulled up out front. We had planned a fun day at the MacJoustra farm, a small oasis that our friends have recently bought. The kids were excited to run free in the country air, but I think it was us ladies who were more excited to catch up and relax.

We arrived to an array of chickens, ducks, peacocks and a bunny. The kids headed over to the ducks, then decided to go for a swim. With the sun shining down, a warm breeze and the laughter of the kids in the pool, this was the best Friday I've had in awhile. We had delicious coffee, fresh veggies and sandwiches for lunch and the house filled and then emptied with kids. The entire day seemed to fly by.

Brockville and all of the small communities around have plenty of family fun to offer, but today brought me back to the real reason I love this area; the people. Our family is surrounded by some of the nicest, funniest and most genuine people around and we are happy to call them friends. Thanks for showing a gal a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Food, wine- and family!

Congratulations to Brockville Tourism for another job well done at the Third Annual Food and Wine Festival. Held at the Memorial Center on June 22 to June 23, the venue was packed both Friday and Saturday with foodies and wine enthusiats alike.

Recently, my mother became part of a new business venture, A Mano Import inc. Currently importing wines from various Italian regions, I knew that inviting her to the Food and Wine Show would be a hit! Not knowing too much about the different varietals, I knew she would be helpful. Joined by my sister as well, we took to the show Saturday afternoon. Upon arriving, the parking lot was busy but not yet packed. We bought our tickets and headed into the arena. Greeted by the wonderful smells of dishes the food vendors were preparing and met by an array of wine booths, this festival was visually appealing.

Making our way around, we stopped to sample some local wine as well. Blue Gypsy Wines, located in Oxford Mills was one of my favorites. My sister and I both tried their cranberry wine, while my mother tasted the maple wine. We were all very impressed.Given some different ideas on what to incorporate with the cranberry, some info on the winery and just a great chat overall, I felt this company knocked it out of the park! I will be popping in to have another tasting sooner rather than later.

As we continued our way around, we noticed the Brockberry Cafe had a table that was serving an appealing dish. It was tequila-infused watermelon and herb salad. Not only was this visually stunning but in the warm temperature, the refreshing taste was just what was needed. After speaking with the Chef, I look forward to my next date night with Nick, as we will be heading downtown to the Brockberry to check out their summer menu.

As the afternoon went on, the arena continued to filled up. The temperature also continued to heat up, thus was our cue to head home and have a family dinner. It was a fabulous "girls day" with my mom and sister and an event I hope Brockville Tourism continues to do for years to come.


A Mano Import Inc.

Blue Gypsy Wines

Brockberry Cafe

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sunshine and Sidewalk Sales

The streets were alive for Brockville's annual sidewalk sale. Starting in the east end, near the boutique Isis on King Street and stretching all the way to the Brockville Arts Center on King Street West, vendors of all kinds participated.

With the sun shining down, it made for the perfect Saturday. We took to the festivities right after our eldest' soccer practice. The Farmers' Market was buzzing as usual, with local produce, baking, crafts and so much more. Up ahead was a bouncy castle and face painting for the kids. My children actually have an ailment, the side effect being that we can not pass by a bouncy castle without stopping for a lengthy time. As one nearby parent lovingly commented "This is a concussion just waiting to happen", I couldn't help but smile to myself. I do think they are pretty great and I feel everyone should have childhood memories of inflatable jumping castles.

Continuing down the street, I lost Nick to the mini-donut vendor. I took this opportunity to check out the sales and picked up a pair of shorts at Alan Browns for a remarkable price. What caught my attention next was the soulful acoustic sound of Dan Schaafsma who was playing the recent Top 40 hits in front of the Issac Brock pub. Dan is one of the members of a local band "Full Nelson" and both Nick and I thought he was fantastic!

It was such a great event, I hope everyone got out to support our local talent, shops and city!

View of downtown King Street that was completely packed from East to West.
The Aquala Day Spa hosted a fabulous BBQ with proceeds going towards a local charity.

Friday, 8 June 2012

"Captain Canada" visits Cardinal for a great cause!

In the small village of Cardinal, Ontario something wonderful is happening. A close friend, near and dear to my heart has started a fabulous childrens' literacy group. She has been working hard to get the local children and their families involved. Recently, our local MPP, Steve Clark,lent his time to this program. Please enjoy our "guest blogger" Marcy MacDonald, who runs the literacy program as she recalls the recent experience.......

The following Post is from Marcy MacDonald: ENJOY!

The literacy group affectionately titled ‘Globe Trotters’ is hosted at the Cardinal Public Library on Tuesdays from 10:00am - 11:00am. Each week, the group "travels" through a selected culture. On these adventures, with guest tour guides, the group samples a snack, music & dance, an art and craft to add to their passports. It all wraps up with a good story!

Recently the group toured our home Canada. The guest tour guide Steve Clarke was ‘ Captain Canada’ ! Sharing chocolate covered loonies and wearing a Canada flag cape, Captain Canada was a hit! Sampling some maple sugar cookies and hearing all kinds of interesting things about Canada was grand. Everyone made a door hanger for their rooms. Captain Canada made one for his office door. There were maps of Canada to be coloured and lots of discussion of all the places the group had trotted personally.

There was an game of ‘hot beaver’ ( aka "hot potato") to the song "God save the Queen" . As O’ Canada played, most of the littles made up their own groovy dance moves.

It was an excellent interactive tour of Canada. The parents involved in the group enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns to the local government representative about the future of the community of Cardinal. The fact that  Captain Canada decided to "globetrot" with the Cardinal gang rather than visit Prince left travelers with a sense of importance.

Monday, 28 May 2012

50 Shades of Shopping

The month of May has been zooming by. With a new baby, my days and nights seem to mix together and time has escaped me.

I have been enjoying maternity leave and it has allowed me to get outside in the beautiful weather we have been having. I have also discovered a dangerous new habit -shopping!

 Downtown Brockville is nothing short of an amazing offering of local shops. This past week, I popped into Limestone and Ivy, where I was greeted by Patricia, a friendly sales associate who has been with the company for eleven years. I found a stunning new purse in one of the seasons hottest colours-orange! With my new bag and new-found guilt that goes with it, I thought I better bring something home for hubby. They have a fabulous selection of Lacoste golf shirts, so I snatched one up in a pale pink for my man. Not to boast, but he is tall, dark and handsome so I figured he would carry the colour well. Patricia was wonderful, we discussed recent local events and news, such as the  Brockville Farmer's Market and other incredable things the city has to offer. It is a great store with the trendiest merchandise and helpful and friendly service, a must-visit on your downtown agenda!

I continued on into the downtown stretch and found myself at Leeds County Book Store. In the window was none other then the highly controversial "50 Shades of Grey" along with the other two books in the series. This made me stop in my tracks.

 Must.Read! I quickly entered the store and found my copy of the book. Due to it's explicit content, I found myself blushing like a teenager at the cash, instead of acting like the grown, twenty-eight year old mom of three that I am. Noticing my anxiety, the cashier laughed and dished about the books that she too, was currently reading. A few minutes later, I was out the door with my new purchase. I decided that it was time to put away my bank card. My dear mother who is reading this post can breathe now. I didn't let my shopping get too out of hand, but I believe that every now and then, one must get out of the house and splurge a little.

I am not shy about my love for the downtown core and it just continues to grow as I discover great deals and meet friendly people. Stay tuned Brockville, I have been out and about with my sweet Baby R and we have many more experiences to blog about!

Cheers :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Easter Bunny brought us a baby!

The month of April was very special to my family. With new arrivals, family visits, community events and birthdays it kept us very busy.

Nick's parents arrived from British Columbia in early April. Off the plane at midnight, they were beyond excited to spend time with their granddaughters and await the arrival of the newest addition, who was set to make an appearance any day.

 Easter morning we welcomed our daughter into the world. The Easter Bunny definently delivered this year! Our girls were expecting treats and a family dinner....they recieved a new sister. In typical toddler fashion, they were thrilled to come visit in the hospital and were even over the moon upon Baby R coming home, until they realized she was staying, and then they lost interest. From time to time, they toddle over to say hello, give a kiss and remind their baby sister they are still in charge but the playroom is still where you will find them.

The next weeks proved to be very busy. Baby R enjoyed sleeping most of the day and staying up all night. Thankfully, she is a very calm baby who we could stare at for hours. Those big eyes and delicate features are hard to look away from. My in-laws were happy to help out with the girls while we got adjusted. With many trips to the local parks, walks on the Brock Trail, dinner at East Side Mario's for my birthday, dinner at Buds on the Bay for their anniversary and shopping at some local stores, we stayed busy. My grandparents made sure to take my in-laws to favorite Brockville hotspots such as Tait's, John's Resturaunt and the new, highly talked about Raxx. Nick and I even snuck out for a few "date nights" and a trip over to the Home and Recreation Show, which was a huge success. We were able to meet many local business owners and look into some fabulous products and services they were offering all while supporting our community.

With my in-laws back home in British Columbia now, we are adjusting back to everyday family life. It's tough not being spoiled with those delicious  home-cooked meals, help with the girls and great company. We are looking forward to getting back out in the community and everything Brockville has planned for the summer months ahead though. This weekend, our oldest starts soccer for the very first time and we plan to attend the hghly talked about Multicultural Festival. I also believe the Farmer's Market is open for the season this Saturday, which we will be frequenting.If you would like more information about what's going on in the city, check out Brockville's tourism page here:

Have a fabulous weekend and remember to support local!