I'll Follow You Anywhere

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Though I’m from BC and generally considered more outdoorsy than most Toronto folk, I’m by no means an expert camper. Growing up we went “camping”, but for my high maintenance parents that always meant some form of glamping, usually in a massive RV with all the fixings.

Perhaps that’s why I am SO into Glamping Hub.

Have you ever wished there was an AirBNB for outdoor adventures? Meet Glamping Hub, the perfect place to find your next cabin or treehouse. This site is international, easy to use, and has SO many unreal alternative accommodations. From yurts and beach shacks to converted barns and luxury tents, there is seriously something unexpected for everyone, at any budget.

The longer I live in the city the more I crave getting out of the city and into nature, so I jumped at the chance to try out an Ontario glamping adventure of my own. After a lot of “shopping” around the site, I finally settled on the Tabins (tent cabins) at Grail Springs, a short 3 hour drive from Toronto. I brought my good friend Amanda from Blueberry Moon along, and with the help of Zipcar we zipped up to the retreat property for a few days of rest and relaxation.

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I’ll admit I initially wasn’t the bravest about all the bugs and the pitch black composting toilet down the path, but by day three I was so thankful for all of the fresh air and quiet. We went paddle boarding, spent as much time as possible in the various saunas and made magic potions to sip with tea and spices. Though this vegetarian retreat with yoga every morning wasn’t wildly different from my fairly healthy lifestyle at home, it was still the perfect opportunity to disconnect, and there was seriously no better sound than the rain falling on our tabin roof alongside the crackle of the fireplace.

Maybe I can get into this camping (well, glamping) thing after all!

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I'll Follow You Anywhere

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Hold on tight – this is going to be a BIG post, because we seriously can’t stop gushing about our time at The June Motel!

From the moment we spotted this property-in-progress on Instagram we’ve been dying to go, and when it finally opened this Summer we booked a getaway the first moment we could. With the help of Zipcar (hello BMW!) we set off on our last-minute road trip to Prince Edward County, but not one of us knew just how good it would be.

The following three days were a blur of bubbly, tarot readings, yoga, incredible food, craft beer and more bubbly. Our hosts at The June Motel welcomed us with an epic cheese board, and from that moment everything from the bonfire (complete with epic s’more bar) to their adorable County drive tours were above and beyond.

There was so much to do every single day that we had a tough time deciding what should make the cut, plus our room was so unbelievably cute that we had a hard time leaving the hotel! We’ve listed our favourite stops below, plus a few of the places we missed, and you can book our room here!

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Three Days in the County, RAOP style //

Day 1 //
Wine @ — Hinterland
Dinner @ — Miller House at Lake on the Mountain Resort

Day 2 //
Snacks @ The Drake Devonshire
Lunch @ The Courage
Stopped @ Flora Lora Flower Farm
Dinner and Drinks @ Parsons Brewery

Day 3 //
Yoga @ The June Motel
Breakfast @ The Picton Harbour Inn and Lighthouse Restaurant
Stopped @ Vicki’s Veggies
Lunch @ Norman Hardie

Spots we were eyeing but didn’t quite make it to: Slickers Ice Cream, Kinsip Spirits, County Collective, Fifth Town Cheese, County Cider, Prince Eddy’s Brewery.

One of the hardest parts of heading off on a fun vacation like this is leaving behind my beloved pup Honey, but thankfully I’ve found the perfect home away from home for her.

We’d never tried a dog boarding option before (because Honey is so sweet and low energy that all my friends always beg to take her), but this time around I decided to get out of my comfort zone and give her a play-filled vacation while I was off doing the same. Enter Soulmutts, a pup paradise where dogs get to live a “pack lifestyle”, constantly off leash and surrounded by four-legged pals. This place has really gone the whole nine yards – with a big hay-filled yard the dogs can access anytime, an acre-long private forest park that’s fully fenced, and specially designed transport vehicles to make sure the pups are safe and secure. Each dog is screened for aggression and proper vaccinations, which is a big comfort as a dog mom who’s had issues with other dogs attacking her pup at public parks.

The best part about the whole experience was the care and attention that the Soulmutts team gave each and every pup. Honey was introduced to the “pack” one by one so none of the dogs got overwhelmed, and I was sent adorable updates via email and Instagram photos throughout the week.

I’ve always been unsure how Honey would do in a group setting 24/7 because she’s a bit older and slower than she once was, but honestly I felt bad bringing her home after all the fun she had, and I can’t wait to take her back for another staycation!

Some of Honey’s current favourite things:

Chocolate Donut Squeaky Dog Toy
Purple Rope Dog Leash
Pink Elephant Rope Dog Toy
Plush Pig Doggie Chew Toy

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Dear DiaryI'll Follow You Anywhere

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How many of you have been watching the new Netflix series GIRLBOSS?

I hinted a bit way back, but long before the show aired this Spring I actually got to step into “Sophia’s World” with Netflix. Remember when I went to LA last August with all sorts of other girl bosses from around the globe? We were secretly exploring the sets, ogling the wardrobe department, and chatting up Sophia Amoruso herself – I just had to keep everything under wraps until the show was out!

So, after almost a year of zipped lips, I’m publishing this post – complete with a list of the best vintage spots in LA from the Girlboss styling team, and a video clip from a one-on-one I did with Sophia at the backlot! This trip was so many special things to me: my first ever “blogger trip”, the first time I got to explore Hollywood behind the scenes, my first time interviewing someone I admire on camera (eek)… the list goes on and on. So much more goes into bringing a story to life than I had ever imagined – the team was essentially creating an entire world, and it’s been a trip to say the least to see the spaces we explored back then and the props we held on the big (or small depending on your Netflix setup) screen. We hung out in Sophia’s TV show apartment and saw how each look she wears on the show came together, from idea to sketch to shopping and final fitting/styling. We talked at great lengths about how the head of the wardrobe department came to find Sophia’s signature metallic leather jacket.

keep scrolling for the vintage guide, video, and more…

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At the time I was facing a lot of big, tough questions about my life, my business and where I wanted it to go, and the time spent amongst so many strong, independent women was so crucial to the moves I’d make in the months to come. It’s what prompted me to run away to LA for the winter, to grow my business and take on new challenges… plus the conversation that I had with Sophia (conveniently recorded below) pushed me to re-examine and eventually flush out some of the relationships in my life that were taking more than they were giving. I don’t want to be dramatic, but looking back that week was nothing short of life-changing.


The Best Vintage Spots in LA, as dictated by the GIRLBOSS team and Sophia //

A current affair
Scout
Rose bowl
Wasteland
Slow
Jet rag
Squaresville
Urchin
The bearded Beacle
Dorothy’s closet

Scroll one more time for my interview with Sophia!

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I'll Follow You Anywhere

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I’ve been to New York a number of times, but Johanna had somehow never made the short trek, so when we decided to go down together I knew it had to be an extra special visit. Instead of staying in a ritzy hotel we booked a room in a loft listed on AirBnb, and though we’re both somewhat terrified of strangers we decided it was worth the risk of being awkward all week for the amazing location and epic views.

Of course, it wasn’t awkward at all – it was perfect. We drank wine pretty consistently, woke up to sun streaming through the loft’s massive warehouse windows, and walked less than a block to stroll over the (surprisingly pink) Williamsburg bridge. We fell in love with little shops and restaurants all over Brooklyn, my favourite part of the city (and a part I didn’t get a chance to visit on my last trip). Every time we went for a walk to get coffee or a snack we ended up swooning all the way there and all the way back. It was a never ending parade of cute pastel everywhere we turned!

On top of all my usual favourite stops, like Cha Cha Matcha and Pietro Nolita, I wanted this trip to be more than average, so I reached out to some of my favourite NYC-based brands and makers to arrange a couple of “meetings”. To our delight, everyone we reached out to wrote right back, and though we were only in town for less than a week, we somehow ended up seeing so much more than we’d bargained for. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite “special stops” from the trip:

Scroll to the bottom for even more NYC shops, restaurants and more that caught our eye this time around!

Bing Bang //

If you like pearls, crystals, gold, rose gold… ok, pretty much any sparkly things, you’ll love Bing Bang. We’ve been big fans for ages, admiring their collaborations with Me & You and Ban.do from afar, and we figured why not stop in for a real life hello?

The studio space was so FUN – in an unassuming building in Chinatown it was loaded with glittering treasures, plants, and pink details. We tried on just about everything, inherited a few new pieces for our personal collections and about 100 feminist buttons to cover all of our jackets.

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Chillhouse //

I met Cyndi, the founder of Chillhouse NYC way back in August on the GIRLBOSS trip with Netflix, back when the whole concept was just an idea she was developing. It has been truly amazing to watch Chillhouse come to life over social media, and I was super dedicated to seeing it IRL while I was in town.

Cyndi did us one better – Jo and I each got a set of amazing signature nail art from their look book, sipped pastel purple taro lattes, and I even slipped in for an “Express Focus” massage.

The whole morning was really, truly ~chill~, and everything from the epic drink list to the metallic pastel marble wallpaper left me feeling inspired and recharged.

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Samantha Pleet //

If you ask Jo or I who our favourite designer is, we’ll almost always answer “Samantha Pleet” (often in unison). A few years back when I met Samantha at a Victoire event she mentioned I should visit her studio if I was ever back in NYC, and I made a silent vow to try and make it happen. Turns out she was just as serious as I was about the whole thing… a couple emails later and we were in Samantha’s house meeting her sweet baby Valentine, trying out her Mom’s homemade Kugel and playing dress up in all of the amazing clothing!

Strawberry prints embroidered with tiny green seeds, magnetic lemon accents on dress sleeves and ruffled denim shorts were just a handful of highlights from the “appointment” and don’t even get me started on the decor situation. Basically Samantha Pleet lives in a dreamworld, and we were so lucky to get to be a part of it, if only for a short while.

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SHOP

Glossier showroom
Malt & Mold
Outdoor Voices
Dusica Dusica
American Two Shot
Swords-Smith
TicTail
The Frankie Shop

EAT

Pokito
Seamore’s
The Lucky Bee (for brunch!)
Jars by Dani
Tacombi
Black Flamingo
Sweethaus
Butler Coffee
Doughnut Plant
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Roberta’s Pizza

PAMPER

Pucker
Dream Dry
Chillhouse

Dear DiaryDress UpI'll Follow You Anywhere

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I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m really all about travel right now, but that doesn’t mean “travel” has to be a luxury vacation on the other side of the continent.

One of my favourite places to go since moving to Toronto is actually a bit of a shock to some people – Hamilton. Despite its bad reputation amongst Toronto residents, I adore Hamilton. I love the quiet streets, the community feel, and the beautiful spaces that can only be created in a place with something we Torontonians lack – space.

I have a full-on city guide in the works for this special place, but since it’s a little too cold to wander around outside taking photos right now I’m going to hold off and just talk about the specifics of my Saturday visit a few weeks ago.

Though it’s only a short trip, Hamilton feels worlds away from Toronto when I need a break. Breakfast at Saint James Espresso, waterfall hikes with my good friend (and Hamilton resident) Rachelle, and the best vegan chocolate macaroons EVER at Green Bar are all staples, and then of course there’s Berkeley North.

I’ve heard about this new West Coast-inspired eatery from Hamilton and Toronto friends alike, so I was determined to visit during my one day stay. Honestly, it’s not often that I do a full restaurant review post, but this was one of the best dining experiences of my life. The space is cozy, the staff is next level friendly, and the food was honestly off the charts. They have seemingly endless vegan and vegetarian options, and even offer a foamy vegan sour on the cocktail menu!

By the time dessert came around we were totally stuffed, but we still couldn’t say no to the decadent vegan cheesecake. It was the perfect place for meat eaters and vegans alike to meet, and by the time we left we felt like family. If you have no other reason to take a day trip to Hamilton, this spot is reason enough – oh, and there’s a great wall for photos right across the street too!

Scroll down to shop my look

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