Tuesday, 28 August 2018

48 Hours In Prince Edward County


Just a few weeks after my first trip to Prince Edward County, I couldn't seem to shake the desire to visit this beautiful part of Ontario again, so I had to go back. That's how myself, Sabrina, Didier and Isabelle found ourselves is beautiful Prince Edward County for two nights to relax, explore and enjoy a slower pace for two nights.

A slower pace we found, and it was just what the doctor ordered. While my last trip to PEC focused on what to do in the area if you're looking for activities, this trip was all about relaxation, time spent with friends and enjoying the serenity of the county. Here's how we spent 48 hours in Prince Edward County.


Where We Stayed: The Meadow House 

Upon first sight of The Meadow House, I knew that we had made an incredible choice on where to stay in Prince Edward County. Surrounded by golden fields and sunshine, The Meadow House is not your typical Airbnb. We were all stunned when we first opened the door and saw how absolutely beautiful the decor is - I'm talking what you would see in a design magazine! Even with the impeccable design, the vibe is still very chill and cozy with lots of nostalgic touches. The entire space has been curated beautifully with functionality in mind and the every last detail has been considered; even the records available to play were perfection with The Beatles, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and The Lumineers. The outdoor patio is an absolute dream, one that I couldn't possibly put into words. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The Meadow House has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and can sleep up to six people. It's located in Hillier, so you'll need a car to get around and explore everything that Prince Edward County has to offer. We got out and explored for a full day, and no destination was ever further then 25 minutes away. The light-filled kitchen is fully stocked with all of the essentials, so it makes for a perfect place to cook big family style dinners. Wifi is included and we took full advantage of watching scary movies on Netflix at night after a game of Monopoly that decorates the main table.

I could honestly write a novel singing the praises of The Meadow House. If you're looking for a relaxing getaway in Prince Edward County with beautiful design and modern amenities then this is your place.











What We Did

While we certainly spent lots of our time relaxing at The Meadow House, we did venture into town to explore on our second day. As I covered in my last post, Prince Edward County has so much to offer and we discovered new spots to put on our 'must-do' list when visiting. Here's a few standouts from the trip:

If you guys know me by now, you know that I'm an absolute sucker for a spa. Day spa, night spa, any spa - I'm here for it. So you can imagine my delight when we visited Bloomfield Beauty Co. A beautiful day spa with an array of different services to be enjoyed, Bloomfield Beauty Co. should definitely be considered as part of your relaxation and self-care agenda when visiting Prince Edward County. Sabrina and I were lucky enough to enjoy a pedicure and it was heavenly - I love a pedicure that includes a thorough foot and leg massage. Our resident skincare expert Didier had fun browsing their products and even picked something out for himself to take home - and that's saying something, because that guy is picky about his products! Isabelle enjoyed a matcha latte from their in-house espresso bar and it was just all-around a good time. We even came back the next day for Americanos - seriously their coffee is so good. Bloomfield Beauty Co. is definitely worth the visit.  

Another must-try on the list is Slickers Ice Cream, right across the way from Bloomfield Beauty Co. (they also have a location in Picton too.) This ice cream is made fresh and is freaking delicious! So good. I continue to have dreams about their toasted marshmallow flavour. Omg. SO good. 

Although we ate most of our meals at The Meadow House, we enjoyed a breakfast out at The Drake Devonshire. I loved being able to enjoy breakfast on The Drake Devonshire's beautiful patio that overlooks the lake, and explore the quirky decor of the hotel. I hope I'm able to make it to this hotspot for a weekend brunch - the menu looks amazing!





All in all, it was another incredible trip to Prince Edward County. If you haven't already visited this beautiful destination in Ontario then I highly recommend you do so. There's so much to see and do and I look forward to hopefully being able to visit again in the Fall.

What do you guys think? Have you ever been to Prince Edward County? What's your favourite place to escape to in Ontario? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Back To School Denim With Saks OFF 5TH


This year has seen one of the biggest revolutions on my personal style. The one biggest change that I've seen so far? I've become a lover of denim. That's right; what was once a closet that housed a single pair of never-worn jeans is now steadily building a healthy denim collection. Since I'm virtually starting from zero, I've noticed a few holes in my denim collection and one was filled from a recent trip to Saks OFF 5TH; I finally own a denim skirt.

You guys may have noticed that denim skirts have been huge since this past spring, and continue to go strong well into the Fall fashion forecast. I've been wanting to add one to my collection for awhile now, but wanted to wait until I found the perfect fit and for the right price. Let's face it, I'm no spring chicken so gone are the days where I can wear a booty-grazing hemline. I'm also learning that good-quality denim can come with a hefty price tag; I really wanted to find a good deal.

Thankfully Saks OFF 5TH has come to my rescue yet again, and is delivering huge savings on denim, just in time for back-to-school! Even though I'm not going back to school, I'm still all too happy to take advantage of the savings. I tried on so many pairs of jeans from amazing brands, and couldn't believe the prices. This denim skirt, for example, is 7 For All Mankind and I scored it for a fraction of the regular cost!

With the money that I saved, I was able to put together an entire outfit from Saks OFF 5TH. This oversized t-shirt looks great tied in the front, and I'm always more then happy to add to my scarf collection - this pink scarf completes the outfit when used as a headband. I just love going into a store and coming out with an entire outfit!


Skirt - 7 For All Mankind c/o Saks OFF 5TH, Shirt - c/o Saks OFF 5TH
Scarf - Ralph Lauren c/o Saks OFF 5TH




What do you guys think? Are you all about the denim lately like I am? What's your favourite style of denim going into Fall 2018? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Saks OFF 5TH. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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Monday, 20 August 2018

Lessons I've Learned As I Get Older


There's something about late summer that always makes me nostalgic. Maybe it's the fact that all signs are pointing to the end of my favourite season, and the realization that I have a whole year until I enjoy it again - it brings up feelings of time and reflection on all the years that have passed.

While I try not to live too much in the past, I do regularly practice a quiet reflection to take stock on my life; the triumph, the failures and everything in between. I've learned that rather then dwelling on the past, it's so much more helpful to try and look at lessons that you've learned that help you to navigate to a better, more peaceful future.  Here's the result of my latest late-summer refection, and lessons that I've learned as I get older.

You're More In-Control Then You Think


Life has a way of throwing a ton of stuff at you; sometimes it's roses, and sometimes it's bullshit. While I've learned the hard way that you can't control what gets thrown at you, what you control is how you react to it. In most situations there's a positive side and a negative side, and I'm working on focusing on the positive. It's definitely a work-in-progress, but it's well worth it. Taking back control and being more proactive and less reactive is something that I'm just starting to learn now, and I hope to continue to solidify this skill as I get older.


It's True: Your Metabolism Will Slow


I really always thought that this was a myth. I still remember eating a large shrimp burrito at work years ago, and having my older co-workers tell me to enjoy it now because one day my metabolism will slow. Right, I would think with an eye-roll after shovelling the last of my burrito in my mouth. Turns out, they were right. It happened somewhere after I turned 30, but my metabolism has definitely started to slow. What was once a casual dinner of fast-food burgers is now the source of near instant weight gain. This isn't so much as a lesson, as it is a cautionary tale: your metabolism will slow - it's not a myth! Eat all the burritos while you can.


Learn To Love Your Body


While your metabolism may slow, your relationship with your body changes. This may or may not come with age and have more to do with mindset, but for me the older that I get, the more that I appreciate my body for what it does for me - outside of aesthetics. I've learned to cherish my body and prioritize my health and I can honestly say that my relationship with myself has never been better. Who cares if I can't eat an extra large shrimp burrito on the regular anymore? I have two legs that allow me to walk, arms that may be soft but they work and organs that allow me to function. I'm finally understanding when they say that your body is a temple. Be nice to your body - it does way more for you then fill out a pair of jeans nicely.

Time Is Your Most Valuable Commodity


This last lesson is why I love my job of being a content creator so much, and cherish it. It's not about money - it's about time. It's true that money comes and goes, but time if a commodity that you can never get back. I'm so grateful that my current job allows me the time that I need to spend with family and friends. It's also a job that I love, so I don't feel like I'm wasting time. The lesson to take away from this is that if you're stuck in a situation that you feel as though you're wasting what precious moments you have in the day, the time to make a change is now. It may take a while to execute, but if you take the steps to utilize your time in a way that fulfils you, it will be the best decision that you've ever made.


What do you guys think? I hope you like these sort of brain-dump posts. I've been in such a reflective mood the past few days, and this is almost like therapy for me to get it out. I would love to know the lessons that you've learned as you get older. Let me know, and thank you so much for reading.

xo Joëlle
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Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Sunflower Field and Instagram Photo Etiquette


Nestled in the countryside of Hamilton, Ontario lay Bogle Seeds. A family run business, Bogle Seeds makes their primary income farming sunflower, corn, millet, oats, barley and also bird seed. A few years back, they opened up their beautiful 75 acre sunflower fields to the public, charging a modest entrance fee for access to a literal postcard come to life.

I visited this beautiful sunflower field on a Monday and it was magical - greeted by the Bogle family themselves, we paid our entrance fee, joined the handful of other people - mostly families - taking photos, took our own photos, enjoyed the view and then packed up and drove down to Burlington for donuts. It was the perfect morning.

This past weekend all hell broke loose.

Due to an apocalyptic amount of visitors, mob-like behaviour and police intervention the Bogle farm is closed to the public indefinitely. If you're interested in this learning more about what went down this past weekend, The Globe and Mail sums up the entire story very well.

This whole experience has got me thinking. While I do not think that this is the fault of bloggers, content creators, Instagrammers - whatever you want to call us - I do think that in stories like this we do have a target on our back. After all, our jobs include scouting out locations like Bogle Seeds to take photos of ourselves.  While we all set off on our quests to capture the perfect photo in different locations and businesses, our actions can have consequences to the owners and I think it's about time to contribute to the discussion of social media and content creating etiquette; the dos and don'ts of taking photos in other people's property and places of business.





Always Ask Before Taking Photos


This first point seems so simple, but it's a step that oftentimes gets neglected from us DSLR-toting types. The easiest way to avoid any potential mishaps from shooting photos in someone else's location or place of business is to simply ask them if you can. This can be achieved by either contacting the business before arriving, or asking the owner or an employee before taking out your camera. Most of the times the answer will be yes, but this can open up the dialogue for the business to let you know of any areas they want you to highlight or stay away from.

Treat Each Location Like It Belonged To Your In-Laws


Although the general rule has always been to treat each location like it's your own house, I beg to differ; while I'm inclined to move things around and step on furniture at my own condo, I would definitely think twice before doing that at my mother-in-law's house. The same principal should be applied to each and every location that you visit with the expectation to take photos. Would you re-arrange furniture, step on furniture, pee in the bushes (yes, this happened at Bogle Seeds) at your in-law's place? I'm willing to bet no, and definitely not without asking first. Each place you visit to take photos is someone else's business and livelihood - treat it with respect.

Pay


One of the things that broke my heart the most when reading about the mayhem the descended on Bogle Seeds over the weekend is that people were sneaking into the fields without paying the modest $7.50 fee. You guys if there's a fee to pay, then pay. If you're taking photos in a café then buy a coffee. A restaurant, then buy some lunch or at least something to-go if you're not planning on staying long. Pay the fee, buy the coffee - it's literally the least you can do.


Know When It's Not Working


I've been there  - you drive all the way to a location for the sole purpose to take a photo and it's just not working. Wether it be the lighting, the crowds, anything - your photography vision isn't coming to fruition and you start to get frustrated. This is the time that all of the social media photo-taking etiquette rules start to fall out of the window, and you start to let your frustrations get the better of you - moving furniture, disrupting other patrons, or being rude to staff just to get the shot. The thing is, it's just a photo and it's in everyone's best interest to know when it's just not working and move on.  It's obviously impossible to know, but I honestly believe that the Bogle family would still be open to the public if the people had realized that the conditions just weren't working for photos, abandoned the vision and just moved on to enjoy their weekend.






I really hope that this post doesn't come off as preachy. The more social media is ingrained into our everyday lives, the more we're going to encounter situations like this and I think that the actions of a few affect us all. Let's all take a minute to step back and check ourselves and how far we'll go for the perfect photo, wether it's your full-time job or not. It's not worth sacrificing your morals and the livelihood of others. It's ultimately just not that serious. It's just Instagram.

Interested, as always to know what you guys think.

xo Joëlle
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