I’m very lucky that Nic and I live in Ottawa near our parents. The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I invited my moms out to lunch. We had an amazing brunch at Wild Oat in the Glebe (definitely going back!) and enjoyed a walk through Ottawa’s Tulip Festival.
I got the wild breakfast plate, two eggs, homemade bread (with their own jam!), yam hashbrowns, and sauteed vegetables. SO good. I can’t wait to go again!
I definitely love being back in Ottawa again – great to be with family, and the city is so beautiful!
Yes, I know I haven’t posted since I started grad school. Sorry about that! I’m hoping that now that I’ve been in school for almost two months I’ve figured out scheduling, so I’ll be able to post once or twice a week here! I figured I would start back off with some fall inspiration, and soon I’ll get to posting about our new apartment and all the things we’ve been doing since moving back to Ottawa!
Essie “Wicked” and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails #120 “Bad to the Bone”
3. Favourite Starbucks fall drink
(Non-fat, no-whip) pumpkin spice latte, but really all I want is a tea latte. Probably a nice, spicy chai, or a London Fog.
4. Favourite fall candle
Anything pumpkin and spicy
5. Favourite fall scarf or accessory
Last fall I bought this awesome reversible blanket scarf from the Bay. It was a promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and supposedly some of the money went towards research. I had been looking for the perfect size, pattern, and warmth, and this fit the list. It was even 100% manufactured fabric, so no wool to give me hives! I love to wear it open, or wrapped all around me. This weekend on the Greyhound I used it as a blanket. Perfect.
6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
I had really wished we would have had time to go to Saunders Farm outside of Ottawa this October, but I’m busy every weekend, and we don’t have a car to drive out there. In high school it was always lots of fun, because you get to go around being scared by people, go on the hayride, watching their satirical play, and drinking hot apple cider. My least favourite parts were the haunted houses.
7. Favourite Halloween movie?
I definitely don’t watch scary movies, but if I was going to watch something creepy and fun, it’d be something along the lines of “Hot Fuzz.”
8. Favourite treat?
If I’m not going for pumpkin or apple pie, it would have to be these amazing pop tarts I made for one time we hosted friends!
9. Favourite fall activities
We all know how much I love to hike, so obviously that’s my favourite. I also love baking lots of fall things, celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family, and carving pumpkins!
Somehow I went the whole year of living in Toronto with only going out for brunch once. That’s a big no-no for Torontonians. Our last Sunday in Toronto, we went out to the Drake Hotel on Queen St West for brunch with our friend Wilson.
Their patio was perfect. I love their style-super mid-century modern and lots of super cool art pieces. I’d only been there for a friend’s birthday in winter, where we were mostly clubbing in the basement.
I had their smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, greens, and capers. Nic had their Drake breakfast (eggs, sausage, potatoes etc.) and Wilson had the special, which was bread pudding with plums.
For our one year living in Toronto, we agreed that although we did not have much money (grad students and people who work at front desks of gyms aren’t rolling in it) we wanted to explore Toronto well. Sometimes that meant exploring it with our stomachs. We found some really great restaurants all over the city, and you should definitely try some of them!
For our first wedding anniversary we went to Byblos, which is a Mediterranean restaurant. Their drinks are amazing, their food is amazing, and we had a wonderful time.
There are many ice cream and gelato places around our neighbourhood of St. Clair West, but Booyah is the one we’ve loved the most. You can have these amazing dessert tacos, or ice cream sandwiches, all customizable.
The Sea Witch is another of our favourites in St. Clair West. We’ve taken several people there, and everyone always loves the awesome service (the owners remember you!), the spicy pickled onions, awesome fries, and best of all, the sandwich. For two people, you only need one order of fries since the sandwiches are so big and awesome. The first time we went, Nic only got the fish, not the sandwich, and he was definitely jealous.
The coffeeshop we’ve returned to the most is Box Car SocialBox Car Social. They’re one of those coffee shops that turns into a bar, so you can get flights of different alcohol etc. We love the service, the latte art, and their chai tea lattes are up to my standards. The location on Yonge Street near St. Clair is super cool with lots of different rooms upstairs to hang out or work in, and a patio on the first floor.
Our favourite Asian cuisine has been at Pho Hung- a Vietnamese place in Chinatown. Their Vermicelli is delicious.
In summer, sometimes you want a popsicle. A delicious, homemade popsicle. Enter the summer berry popsicle, which has three ingredients: frozen (or fresh) berries, Greek yogurt, and agave syrup to sweeten. I’m excited to try other variations of these once this container is done!
You can pick up popsicle trays from lots of stores. Some of them are pretty bad, others are great. My first set was from Loblaws, but even with running it under hot water, you couldn’t get the popsicle out on the stick. The current set is from IKEA, and I like it a lot more.
I blended up 1 cup of frozen berries in my Magic Bullet.
Mix in 1/2-1 cup Greek yogurt, and 1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey) to sweeten if desired.
If you’re making thicker popsicles like these, it’s helpful to bang the tray down so the air bubbles leave. Freeze, and enjoy! Yummmmmmmm
There are lots of specialty ice cream places in Toronto. Some of them live up to the hype (Sweet Jesus) and some don’t (Dutch Dreams), but all of them offer unique experiences, so if you like ice cream and don’t mind lines, check them out this summer!
Nic and I were lucky on our trip to Booyah at St. Clair West and Vaughan (Bathurst) that there wasn’t a line ahead of us. Booyah offers different ice cream sandwiches. You can pick the type of cookie and scoops of ice cream, but this summer they added ice cream tacos. In the folded waffle is three scoops of ice cream, two toppings, and a sauce.
We tried moose tracks, cookie dough, and blueberry cheesecake with whipped cream, brownie bits, cookie dough, and caramel sauce. Yes, it was worth the money, but I’m definitely glad we split it! It was soooo big!
Friday, June 3rd is Doughnut Day! Of course, that’s my favourite day of the year. Nic and I finally made it out to Gloryhole Doughnuts in Parkdale Village, and it was well worth the wait. We sat outside and enjoyed our coffees and doughnuts.
Nic got a malted milk and I got a strawberry rhubarb which was fantastic.
The decor is super cute, very Canadian-inspired with the little trees, the canoe on the ceiling, and the snowshoes.
Look at those babies!
Definitely loved visiting here, the doughnuts are worth the hype!
Afterward we walked around to some stores in Parkdale Village including the Toronto Designer’s Market.