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An Accidental Walk to History

An Accidental Walk to History

IMG_20150517_193135Earlier this week Sara and I decided to spend the Sunday of the holiday weekend antique hunting in a new area. About an hours drive from the homestead is an area called Midland/Penetanguishene. Lots of great hunting is in the area as well as lovely towns and scenery. We had a picnic, which since we didn’t get out-of-town with any speed, ended up happening in the car. After some hunting in Midland we took a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong way. I pulled into a road which led me to a park to check the map. Right on the Wye River and since it was a lovely hot day we decided to go for a walk.

IMG_20150517_193813Under the highway bridge on a bike/walking path opened up to this old train bridge which is now a trail which was not part of our walk but Sara and I decided this was a good place to bring our bikes for a bike picnic. It led us to the living history museum called Saint Maire among the Hurons. It is a fabulous museum which I have visited before and I highly recommend.

For more information on this museum click http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca

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The view from the path at the museum of the Wye River.

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The path along the outer palisade and the river.

The path will take you to the grave site of the sainted Jesuit priests which is located on the grounds of the museum.

You enter a small gate and into a building. There are no electrical lights so the light was not enough for my tablet camera. The grave site is free and open during regular museum hours. Often there is an interpreter to give you the history of the grave. In the first photo you can see a cathedral behind Sara which is the other direction of the path which will take you to the final resting place of these saints.

I am not a catholic and even though I visited all of this as a primary school trip I didn’t know you could take this pleasant walk to the graves and to the church. I love museums and I enjoyed this surprised and the drifting wood smoke and glimpses of the museum through the palisade logs. Sara wants to visit the museum soon so I will take lots of photos and report here for all of you.

Please fell free to tell me of a surprise walk you went on in the comments below.

Welcome to our World Video

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Tea Time in My Town Part two

Last we I took you on a brief tour of Campbells British Food and Tea Room and this week I will be giving you a peek into English & Miller Gift Shop, Gallery & Tea Room.

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English & Miller is at the end of the street my studio is on in downtown Barrie and we have been there many times for lunch and tea. I have also purchased many birthday gifts there too. This won’t make me bias though. Campbells is a different place with a different purpose and because of that I will keep my observations to the tea and snacks to keep it as fair as possible. That said, here we go.

This tea room is a more modern and casual approach on the concept of tea room and git shop. Located in a former bank office building on Dunlop Street, the slightly unusual location was chosen for its view of Heritage Park and Kempenfelt Bay. Large windows surround the tea room area with a spectacular view. A long bench serves seating for several smaller tables, a few stand alone tables with interesting comfortable chairs and a long table which seats 8 people. There is a fireplace with a union jack flag sofa and two deep modern easy chairs to lounge and chat. There is also a separate room for parties or meetings which seats about 14 to 16 people.

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The gift shop is stocked with lovely things from Britain in a large price range for everyone in your family. A nice selection of cards and kitchen items are available too.

The staff if friendly and quick to say hello and let us choose our seats. An extensive tea menu and British lunches is available all day. Soups, sandwiches and baked potatoes are all avialble for take out as well.

The scones are baked in shop as well as most of their other treats and all of the lunch items.Sara and I chose Lady Grey Tea for two. She had a  rhubarb pie and I had cream tea scone. This is a scone, butter, jam and Devonshire cream.

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Tea often comes in vintage pots and always in vintage tea cups and treats are also often served on vintage plates. Lady Grey is one of my favorite teas and these scones are dry and crumbly in the right way. Different than Campbells scones in the way I always knew there to be two kinds of scones. Both treats were very good.

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This is a nice place to have lunch or tea with friends and is often busy but quiet afternoons here do happen. I really like this place for different reasons than Campbells and I see them as two complimentary places to have a cuppa in town. English & Miller also has an afternoon tea or high tea available.

I think if you are in my town you should visit both places as well as us!

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Tell us about your favorite tea place or what you thought of these places in the comments below.

English & Miller Gift Shop, Gallery & Tea Room

89 Dunlop St E. #201

Barrie, Ontario L4M 1A4

705 503 4030

http://www.englishandmiller.com

Tea Time in My Town.

As some of you know I live in central Ontario Canada in a small city called Barrie. It’s about an hours drive north of Toronto. (On a side note it is a very Canadian thing to tell a person how far you live or have to drive based on time and not kilometers. I think it’s  because we are just such a big country!)
My business partner and bestie and I are great imbibers of tea and it’s accompanying treats.  There are two places in town that are a more traditional English style tea rooms and we went to both and tried them  out.

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The first place was Campbells British Food. This is a restaurant and grocery store combination. The grocery component is of course, British food items most of which are non perishable.  There is a freezer with what I  understand to be locally made British specialties such as pasties and haggis.  I didn’t spend lots of time shopping since we were concentrating on tea and snacks.

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The tea room area is nicely appointed with comfy chairs, a fireplace  and big windows. The view is of the parking lot of the plaza and the road but it is situated on a small hill and the long view is across the street into some woods.
It was quiet when we arrived for afternoon tea and the staff was smiling and prompt to seat us. An extensive menu of loose teas and a large selection of sandwiches and other lunch items tempted but the scones and turnovers were catching our eyes.

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I ordered a pot of tea. (I made a digital note of my tea selection and it was not saved. It was a version of Earl Grey) I also ordered a shop made scone with butter and jam.  Sara ordered an apple turnover, also shop made and a pot of tea called Blarney Blend.

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The tea came in individual pots which poured well and vintage tea cups. Both of our teas were lovely and Sara very much enjoyed her turnover. The scone was a teabisk type and was warmed and very delicious.  The jam was raspberry and I’m assuming a British product. (I forgot to ask)

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I really enjoyed our tea and scone. It was a quiet place on the other side of town for a lovely cuppa. We want to go for a Scottish brekkie one day! They also have an afternoon tea or a high tea which looked quite tempting.

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We enjoyed our tea and snack and will surely return.
Join me next week when I  tell you all about  English & Miller Tea Room and Gifts.

Campbells British Food
274 Burton Ave #18 Barrie, ON L4N 2P9
705 722 6446  http://www.campbellsbritishfood.com

Tell me about your favorite tea room in the comments below.

My Journey to Becoming a Clothes Horse

Once upon a time I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, or tank top and board shorts as illustrated in my very poor quality picture.
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My sense of style didn’t get better than this in my teenaged years, but thankfully as an adult I got some excellent guidance from a great friend and awesome boss. It also helped that Goodwill used to have a 50% off sale every Friday.
It all started with a “no pants at work rule”. This was a dilemma as all I owned were pants, so Meaghan made me a denim pencil skirt and the original tie belt.original work outfit
Since this one outfit, I’ve come a long way.
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closet shame #2
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This is only the winter half of my clothing and almost everything I own was bought second hand. The exceptions to this would be things I made for myself, Awkward Stage pieces and the few, rare mall finds.

Now I after five years of work I have a pretty great sense of personal style that always seems to be evolving in someway. But to find out about that you’ll have to click here or here.

Cheers,
Sara.

Sweater Woes (Cold Weather Notes)

Sweater woes you may ask? Well yes. If you live in a cold place such as I do, (central Ontario Canada) where sweaters are a must they start to become woeful either by the amount you have, they way they are stored or by the condition of them. Today, mid February, it is -25 Celsius outside.

I like winter. i do. Just not that cold. There’s cold and then there is the thing we have in these parts called windchill. That’s when the wind blowing makes the ambient temperature colder than the thermometer reading. Yesterday morning it was about – 18 Celsius with a windchill making it fee like -38 Celsius. -38! What?!

Argh.

I am a cold person most of the time. I get chilly most days all year. Except for the heat waves I need a little sweater or something. Lightweight and thin. The kind you see on the telly with a little belt and the sleeves pushed up. Cute dress or blouse and skirt too. I do this. I have cardigans. Lots of them. They are thin so they only take up 3 dresser drawers and I still don’t have enough. I need a better brown and I don’t have the right green to go with certain thing. I haven’t any ivory or pink. I only have one dark purple and not a lighter purple. I have no real blue just 2 turquoise colours and I have a selection of lengths both in body and in sleeve. Still not enough.

IMG_20150216_152442Pardon the filter.

And the ugly slippers. (that’s another woe)

This is a 90 cm drawer. Three of them completely full. I haven’t discovered a better way to store them. Have any of you?

Why So many? Winters are long here. Sweater weather is from late September, early October to early May. You need an appropriate selection so it’s a never ending quest.

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We built the bedroom closest on our early 1970s house to have better organization because a single shelf and pole will not be enough. I have this stack of cubicles for all my sweaters. It also has a basket with all the knit shirts or t-shirt like things. (I don’t wear many of them). I have tried to organize these cubicles but….

IMG_20150216_144426I have purged. I have, really.

I don’t know how many sweaters I have. There are two more cubicles I didn’t photo since I think you get the idea. Extra warm sweaters in one. Thin and sweater vests in another. Old but very warm in another. Ones I can’t wear with a coat and therefore have to put them on when I get to work.  You pull one out and they all come down. Or they get mushed into the back and you forget you have them. I also have what everyone with a rather drafty house has.

House sweaters.IMG_20150216_150002 I won’t lie, I filtered the hell out of these because they are a little sad. by sad I mean I won’t wear out of the house. There is another one not pictured since I was wearing it when I took the photo.  These are cozy, oversized, pilly, old and sad things that you loath to answer the door in but sooooo comfy. I come home from work and take off the work clothes and put on comfies or something else. I wear nice clothes at work and quite frankly I want to take off the tights and the belts etc… at the end of the day but that’s another post.

Sometimes my BF leaves before I’m awake and comes home late and for weeks all he sees me in is yoga pants, turtlenecks and one of these sweaters.  Poor guy.

Now, I know most of you have a sweater shame out there. Something old but cozy that you refuse to put down. My favorite isn’t pictured but it was knitted by my Nan for me in Grade 9. Over 20 years ago now and I love the thing. It’s pilly and not o.k. to be seen getting the mail in but I won’t let it go. It’s so warm. Isn’t that what sweaters are about anyway? I have fantasies that I’ll have this beautiful Aran sweater not covered in tea stains with perfect hair and not actually be cold because, like in the photos I see, wearing a little skirt with no tights in the brisk Irish wind….There are a few things wrong with that picture though. The least of which I don’t live in Ireland. I guess this rather never ending woe about sweaters is a little unimportant but I think universal for a bunch of us. I don’t think I would like living in a place with no proper winter though. I’d likely miss all the sweaters!

Cheers

Meaghan

Please leave a comment about your sweater woes and how do you store them? Do you have a better solution? Also, what is your sweater of shame? Where did your house sweater come from and why won’t you let it go?

 

 

Chateau Versailles

La galerie des Glaces

Some of you know we recently went to Paris and Vienna on a vacation. I decided that some of our travels should come out of memory and be shared. I am not a very good photographer. I try and I think it looks good but when I get home it’s a disappointing kind of thing which never reflects what I saw so I decided to borrow other wonderful pictures from people far more talented than me.  If I have unintentionally not credited a photo the right way please contact me and I’m sorry in advance.

One day we went to Chateau Versailles. A short train trip from the apartment in Montmartre took us the the village of Versailles. Upon existing the loud, tourist crammed train we poured out onto the street with everyone else. This is usually not my thing but since this was the third visit to Paris I couldn’t pass on Versailles again.

Everyone went right so as per my norm I went left in search of some non tourist food for an early lunch. A bistro had just opened and myself, Chris and Sara bumbled our way through ordering in french. (I keep trying and thankfully the French are very patient with me) It was a lovely and huge ham omelet and a fresh glass of white. I think Chris had trout and Sara had a tomato, mozzarella and basil tartine.

Le salon d'Hercule

Long story short we walked to the chateau and got tickets. Now I read in a tourist book how if you ever go to Versailles to go on the guided tour since you get to see parts not open to the general public which is exactly what we did. We were on the english tour with a very lovely French guide. We got to see many of Philippe the III apartments with the most astounding original furniture and reproduction fabrics. My art history eyes were taking it all in. How lovely and how terribly decadent. There is gilt everywhere. Walls, ceiling, roof, doors, etc….It gets to be overwhelming and I started to see why the regular folk were so unimpressed with the rich.

The tour was about 2 hours and we were pretty footsore but we still had the  general admission areas to explore.

La cour de Marbre

We skipped the rooms and rooms of models, dioramas, movies and such as the day was passing and we were getting tired. The crowds in the imperial apartments were like being in the current of a river. You have to go with it and swim on an angle to get to the shore. This is one reason why my photos weren’t so great. I kept getting jostled. Everything is a bit blurry or very blurry or not even what I wanted to shoot. We did get a bit lost and thankfully found what was auspiciously called a tea room. It was cafeteria with seating suspiciously like a space for school children. We all agreed the room was the most depressing room in France.

After being caffeinated we moved on getting a little more lost. The place is huge, massive and the map is less than helpful. The tour expelled us out into an interior courtyard with no signs but lots of tourists milling about looking lost. After a bit of exploring we found the way out and ended up at the top of the garden. We decided since there was only 45 minutes until closing the trek (45mins) to the other buildings. Le Petit Trianon and Le Grand Trianon as well as the farm and mill not to mention the grounds were out of the question.

Le bassin de Bacchus

We were “done like turkey” as one of us put it. We realize now we missed an entire section of the palace…..Oh well.

We all decided that the grounds need a day unto themselves. As I was looking at the map there was a key I found confusing. It looked like a macaroon to me. Sara pointed out it was a macaroon and those were places to buy them. People really go crazy for them. I have yet to see the appeal except for they are pretty.

Macaroons

Ok. So we headed back to the long ticket line in  the train station and the ride home. We were bushed but I was happy we went. If, when you go because you should, do the guided tour. It was worth it and you learned much more and got a quieter more intimate experience.

Cheers

Meaghan

The Versailles photos are from this flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/chateauversailles/with/4294892891

The macaroon photo is from this flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/11982943@N00/

Thank you

5 things we can learn from our grandparents

5 things we can learn from our grandparents

RISING OUT OF THE OCEAN

1. Be romantic

Love letters, late night walks, even holding hands; the past is full of small ways to ignite magic into a relationship. I’m a bit of an old soul and I desperately tire of this non-exclusivity attitude of today. I was once told there is a different between ‘seeing somebody’ and ‘dating’ them, well I don’t believe there is, or at least there shouldn’t be. If you both like each other then a relationship should be entered with the intention that it is going somewhere.

Relationships should be meaningful as well as passionate; And even though they don’t always have a happy ending they will have had value.

This mixture of ardour and chivalry is what the best love stories are made from. Let’s be honest, who didn’t feel some sort of romantic liberation when Sybil ran away to marry Tom?

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2. Have a healthy work ethic

Nothing in this life is truly free, it would be nice if…

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Eiffel Tower Ornaments!

Eiffel Towers!

Eiffel Towers!

The lovely Lisa Brunetta has made us three dimensional Eiffel tower ornaments. They are available in sets of three and created from multiple lovely papers! These are to replace the metal ones I buy when in Paris until I can make another trip! (besides, these are way better for being local) Lots of colour sets to choose from too.

Cheers

Meaghan & Sara

Hobbies etc.

People often wonder what we do in our down time. Well, we just keep making things. Sometimes it’s a new dress or a felt tea cozy and sometimes it’s soap and bath salts.

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So come and indulge in a little aroma therapy and take some handmade luxury home with you. (Then we’ll have an excuse to make more.)

Cheers,
Meaghan and Sara.

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