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Summer Vacation: The June Motel

If you can't get away for a summer vacation this year, staycations are always a great option! One of the places we are dying to check out this summer is the June Motel located in Prince Edward County. It's one of the top weekend getaways spots for the summer. If you're wanting a girls weekend and are looking for something different than heading up north or going into the city, the June Motel is the perfect option. From the fun retro interiors, to the beautiful surrounding vineyards, this weekend getaway will not disappoint! 

 

What To Do 

Whether you're in search of a relaxing girls weekend, including yoga and chilling out in your room or by the campfire, or an active weekend, the June Motels offer all of that! If you're looking for a weekend full of swimming, hiking and water sports, Prince Edward County has it all!

It's always nice to get out of the room for the day and explore what is around the motel itself. Enjoy some sunshine and kayaking on Lake Ontario or relax on the beach. You can also rent canoes or hop on a boat cruise for the day (all accessible through the Prince Edward Country website). One of our favourite beaches to hit is the Sandbanks Provincial Park, it's only about a 20 minute drive from the June Motel. 

Another one of our favourite things to do while in Prince Edward County (aside from staying at the June Motel of course!) is going for some hikes and even a horseback trail ride! If you're going on this weekend trip with your significant other, these are a must on your list! The trail rides are usually about 60 minutes and they take you through the mountain trail that overlooks Picton Bay, which is stunning! 

If you're looking for a great hiking trail, that is accommodating for all fitness levels, depending on if you want a short walk or a long run or hike, check out Macaulay Conservation area! Its close to the June Motel and makes for a gorgeous scenic route! 

Where To Eat 

One of the things we love about the June Motel is they offer a breakfast in bed option if you're feeling a slower start to your day. If you're wanting to have a full day and don't want spend time finding a breakfast place, they also have a grab and go breakfast option in the Wine Lobby. This includes detox juices and "healthy" pastries.

If you're looking to have a dinner out, we love the Waupoos Estates Winery Restaurant. It offers unique dishes and tons of homemade options that differ from your typical menu. Their farm to table focus, gives the menu an incredibly fresh take on each dish. They also serve wine and beer (Clafeld Cider), both produced on the estate. 

Where To Drink 

The June Motel offers an awesome indoor-outdoor bar, called the "Wine Lobby". It has wine and beer from local wineries and breweries, also offering some cheese and charcuterie boards from artisans The County.

One of the wineries that we haven't been to but we're dying to try on our next trip to Prince Edward County is the By Chadsey's Cairns winery. This heritage winery offers a variety of all different types of wine, including rarer wines like Muscat and Chenin Blanc. A must if you're looking for a authentic winery to check out over the weekend!  

If you're not a huge wine fan and enjoy some cold brews (especially in the summer!), Prince Edward County has some awesome and really eclectic breweries. One of the breweries we're really wanting to check out next time we're in town is Parsons Brewing Company. This family owned brewery specializes in authentic craft beer. Their most popular beers are the Crushable Pilsner, Parsons Pale and Devil's Right Hand premium stout. They also serve Mexican dishes, bonus! What better way to pair a refreshing cold beer with some tacos or guac and chips?! Yum! 


LIFESTYLE: EASY DIY FALL DECOR

If you're like us, you're always looking for an excuse for a fun new DIY and with Fall in full swing and Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some of our favourite DIY crafts for Fall. These five craft ideas will add just the right amount of seasonal decor to your home, and are super fun and easy to make. We hope you like them as much as we do! 

1. Tree Branch Coasters

When we're spending more time inside during the cooler months it's nice to be able to bring elements of the outside in to warm up a home! We love the idea of these tree branch coasters. They not only look pretty, but they'll save your wood tables from drink rings during entertaining season. 

What you'll need

Rubber leaf stamp, wood slices or you can saw a fallen tree branch! 

 

 

2. Gourd Candle Holders

We think these are such a great way to introduce Fall accents into your home. Perfect for a Thanksgiving table centre piece, or for a fireplace mantle! Plus, making these is a piece of cake. 

What you'll need

Assorted gourds, knife to cut the width of the candle into the gourd, and tealight candles. 

Instructions

Simply carve a hole into the gourd that is the width and depth of the tea light, and pop the tea light in! 

Image via Inspiring Pretty

 

3. DIY Fall Wreath

How great is this Fall wreath? We think it adds such a nice feature to your front door in the Fall and we love the bright orange and natural tones. 

What you'll need

Fake flowers with stems, foam ring, wire cutters to cut thick plastic flower stems.

Instructions

First, cut the stem of the flowers so they are about an inch or two long. You don't want these to exceed the width of the foam ring, or they will poke through it. Next, start adding flowers. Once the wreath is full, tie a ribbon or burlap around it and secure it to your front door! Super simple and it looks great! 

Check out Two Bees in a Pod for the full list of instructions and step by step images!  

Image and idea from Two Bees in a Pod 

4. Foliage Pumpkins

A simple, more sophisticated way to decorate your pumpkins a little differently this year! They look great for interior or exterior decor, and bonus: there is no carving required! 

What you'll need

White gourds, leaves from your backyard, Mod Podge. 

Instructions

Once you've gathered some pretty leaves, add Mod Podge to either side of each leaf and stick to the pumpkin until all of the leaves have been placed. Hold down for a few seconds to ensure the leaves are sticking properly. Let the glue dry overnight! 

Image via Country Living

5. Burlap Pinecones

How cute is this idea for an outdoor light or even a front or side door at your house? It's a festive yet subtle way to add a hint of fall to your home's exterior. 

What you'll need

Pinecones, burlap, wire.

Instructions

Firstly, create a bow with burlap. Next, using wire, weave the pinecones together, and tie to to the burlap bow. Fix to a door knob or outdoor lantern for a festive look. 

 

Image via Inspiring Pretty

 

Have any of you tried these crafts? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Give us a shout at info@shopvoc.com! 


Travel: Nicole's Guide to Paris & London

My husband and I had always wanted to go to London, as we both have friends that live and work there, so when I found myself thinking of a 30th Birthday present for him this past August, I decided that a surprise trip to London would be the perfect gift. Paris is also a favourite city of ours, and seeing as it's only a 2 hour train ride away we decided to make a stop there as well. Read on for my guide to London & Paris!

Enjoy! xx, Nicole

LONDON

Where to Stay

St. James Hotel and Club Mayfair

We stayed a this charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Mayfair right around the corner from Piccadilly. The rooms are an elegant blend of Victorian and contemporary styles and the staff are absolutely amazing. I would definitely stay there again.

The Ned - Although we didn't stay here, we went for lunch at their restaurant, Cecconi's, and I was so impressed! It is a newish hotel, but the building has been standing since the 1920's. It was previously a bank and exudes total luxury. It has an old world feel which I absolutely love...think Great Gatsby! It channels 1920's luxury right down to every last detail. So pretty! 

Where to Eat

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson Hotel - This is not your average afternoon high tea. Inspired by Alice and Wonderland, this high tea experience is truly whimsical and absolutely delicious.

MNKY HSE - We went here for my husbands Birthday dinner and it was delicious. It was Latin American Cuisine all served tapas style so it was perfect for sharing. The vibe and ambiance were great. It turns into a club later on in the evenings so it's a great place to eat and grab some drinks.

Anokha - This was an Indian restaurant we went to which had a trendy vibe and tasty food. You can't go to London and not eat Indian.

Where To Shop

Harrods is a must! You can't visit London without making a stop at this iconic store. Even though everything is outrageously expensive, it's still fun to marvel at all the beautiful things. Selfridges is also amazing - I love their department stores because they are a one stop shop.

Where to go and sight see

Aside from all the main tourist attractions (Big Ben, Westminister Abbey, London Eye) which we were obliged to see being first time tourists to London, I would recommend the following:

Borough market is a must. If you are a foodie like myself you will LOVE it. It is a gourmet food market that consists of more than 100 different food/beverage vendors.

Notting Hill has got to be one of the prettiest neighborhoods I have ever seen. The pastel-hued townhouses are absolutely gorgeous (I would love to live in one) and Portebello Road market make it one of the most popular destinations.

One thing I might have done different....

I was VERY disappointed that I did not get to eat traditional pub food. On Sunday night we tried to get some fish and chips around 8:00pm and pretty much all the pub's kitchens were closed. I guess there is always next time...

Paris

Where to stay

I have been to Paris several times and I always stay at the same hotel, The Prince de Galles, and I have yet to be disappointed. Centrally located on Avenue George V steps away from the Champs-Elysees and right next to the ritzy Four Seasons George V, it's in a perfect location. The rooms have been recently redone and are all Art Deco inspired. The Parisian style breakfast is also delicious.

Where to eat

The food in Paris is absolutely divine, I could not stop eating baguettes, croissant and crepes. Thankfully we walked about 20 km per day. We more or less would stumble on little cafe's and eateries and to be honest, I don't remember the names. Here are a few places I would suggest visiting. 

Laduree - Famous for their macarons and pastries you have to visit their flagship location off the Champs-Elysees, it is absolutely GORGEOUS. The macarons are beautifully packaged and make a wonderful gift for those back home. You can also grab some at the airport.

Four Seasons George V Le Bar - Okay this might be the nicest hotel I have ever seen. You have to pop in and grab a drink at Le Bar.  I will forewarn you, they will run you at least 30 euros per drink but it's so worth it. Throughout the lobby and hotel for that matter, you will see stunning floral arrangements curated by Jeff Leatham.

Les Ombres - Located on top of a museum, this glass roofed restaurant has panoramic views including a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower which is all lit up at night. The cuisine is contemporary french fusion and the decor is modern and elegant.

Where to shop

Without a doubt Paris has the best shopping-even their H&M and Zara are incredible. I maintain if you cannot find it in Paris it literally does not exist. My favourite place to shop would be the Gallery Lafayette hands down (pictured below). This is shopping heaven!  It is one of the most beautiful department stores I have ever been to. Even my husband loved it-they have a whole separate building devoted entirely to men. There is also a beautiful rooftop terrace that boasts a spectacular view of the entire city. Nothing like sipping a glass of bubbly and overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

What to see

When I go to Paris, I love visiting all the main tourist sites, for some reason they never get old to me. In terms of museums the Musee d'Orsay is my favorite, I love impressionist and post-impressionist art. I also love the Eiffel Tower, but I wouldn't recommend taking the trip up. It's beautiful from ground level. Instead, I would recommend sitting in the park with a baguette and bottle of wine and marvel at it's iconic structure.

Montmartre is also really cool and eclectic. This is where Sacre-Coeur and the Moulin Rouge are. It's up on a hill so you get great views of the city. If you are spending more than 3 days in Paris, I would also recommend visiting Versaille, the gardens are breathtakingly beautiful. 

 

 


Lifestyle: How To Combat The November Blues

How To Combat The November Blues

Next to February and tax season (yuck), November can be one of the most depressing months of the year. Don’t get us wrong, we love that the weather has cooled down enough for us to break out our fall wardrobe, but we bet you can agree that the fewer daytime hours have made all of us slow down a little more and left us wanting to stay in bed all day instead of being excited for the day ahead and sticking with our usual productive routine. So although it’s tempting to stay inside when the weather is cold and grey and indulge in comfort food and the latest Netflix series, it’s more important than ever to get out and moving to avoid these dreaded November blues. Here are five of our tips for feeling great and productive this upcoming month!

1/ Get outside

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about the changing fall weather, so we say it’s time to embrace it! Bundle up and go for that afternoon walk or hike a trail. There’s nothing prettier than the changing colour of the leaves combined with fresh air to get out of your funk! Plus, we’re hearing now, more than ever, the importance of the outdoors on our overall sense of happiness and well being! So why not make the most of your weekends or lunch break and go for a walk, get some vitamin D, and feel happier as a result! 

For ideas on things to do that will get you outside, check out this post!

2/ Start or keep exercising

We can't stress enough the importance of exercising for our mental health. This time of year is already hard enough with all of the comfort food we are tempted to eat at various holiday parties, combined with the dark and cold days that could have us sleeping all day and night. So even though it gets harder and harder as the days go on to force ourselves to the gym, you will feel SO much better if you start a new exercise routine, or stay on the right track with your current regimen. Why not try a new workout, or sign up in advance to keep you accountable...because let's face it, we'll need all the help we can get but it will be SO worth it in the end.

For more inspiration, check out our "Fitness Tips For The Holidays" post.  

For ideas on new exercise classes to try, click here for "Emily's Class Pass Adventures"

 

3/ Plan a trip

Whether you plan a staycation or a week long getaway, we can't think of a better time to plan our next set of adventures than while we're stuck inside hiding from the cold. From a ski trip to Aspen or Whistler, to a weekend getaway in Niagara On The Lake, to a sunny vacation in the Caribbean, there are so many options and places to explore. Also, if you're feeling spontaneous, what better time to go than now? 

 

4/ Invest in a wake up light

Ok, these are life changing. If you're like many of us, and have a much harder time waking up until it's light outside, a wake up light is a must-have. They work by gradually increasing the amount of light over the course of a few hours, mimicking the natural sunrise. Sounds like something we all need! We love this Philips Wake Up Light! 

 

5/ Plan for the upcoming holidays

Despite our slow and sad departure from summer, there really is so much to look forward to this time of year. The holidays are just around the corner - less than 8 weeks away to be exact - which means in just a few weeks, we'll be getting holiday party invites and our weekend and evening schedules will be full! Before the invites start rolling in, now is the time to get your schedule organized, your invitations sent out, menu planned, etc. Whether you're planning your own party, or helping friends and/or family prep for theirs - there's lots to do! On top of that, there's nothing more fun than holiday shopping for friends, or yourself! Hah! Don't leave it too late, and start now! 


Fall Bucket List: 5 Things To Do This Fall!

FALL BUCKET LIST: 5 Things To Do This Fall

Fall is one of our favourite seasons for many reasons...chunky knit sweaters, a great pair of leather boots, a warm bowl of chili, crisp mornings, hot cider, colourful nature walks, apple picking, football season, the list could go on and on.
So why not bundle up and take advantage of all that these short few Fall months have to offer! Here are a few fun ideas that are on our bucket list this month... 

1. Apple / Pumpkin Picking

Okay so this one has pretty much become a Fall tradition at this point. If you went apple or pumpkin picking and didn't insta a picture of it, is it really even Fall?! Just kidding...but seriously, not only is there an abundance of sweet and delicious apples, pies, and other baked goods as well as plenty of other fun activities at each of these must-see farms, there are also endless instagram opportunities. Shout out to those of you also carrying a pumpkin spice latte. 

Ha - told ya! 

Some of our favourite spots include: 

1) Chudleigh's 

2) Andrews' Scenic Acres

3) Springridge Farm

Once you've picked the ripest apples of the bunch, why not be ambitious and make a little homemade apple crumble?! #Treatyoself. Jamie Oliver has an amazing recipe that you need to try! You can thank us later ;)

2. Tailgate / Football Season

For all you sports fanatics out there, it's that time of the year again! FOOTBALL SEASON. Head out to the new and improved BMO Field and see our very own Toronto Argonauts play. 

OR round up a group of your closest friends and head down to Buffalo to see the Buffalo Bills play, #Merica. There are tailgate parties everywhere, and they are always so much fun. 

Even better, head down to Michigan (it's only a 4 hour drive from the city!) and watch the Michigan Wolverines play at the famous "Big House". School spirit is an understatement at this university. A sea of fans decked out in maize and blue cheering on their team, there is nothing more exciting!

3. TIFF 

The 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th to the 18th and we could not be more excited to check out some of the must-see movies that it has to offer this year! Whether you snag a pair of tickets to a screening or not, there are also so many more fun events at the festival to check out including a FREE Pharrell Williams concert (um, amazing), a night with John Legend (okay, even better) and filmmaker Mark Duplass, The Drake Hotel's LA takeover, and so much more. 
Or you could just head over to King Street (or Yorkville) and spot some major celebs out and about! Ryan Gosling, what?

4. Find the perfect chili recipe  

Chill is pretty much the unofficial food group of Fall. It is the most comforting, delicious, flavourful dish ever and perfecting your recipe should be at the very top of your to-do list this month. So we've narrowed it down for you to a few of our favourites that we've tried in the past! YUM. Be sure to click the photos below to direct you to the recipe! 
Martha Stewart's 30-minute Chili 
Chrissy Tiegen's Chili Frito Pie (aka heaven) 
Oh She Glows Vegan Chili 

5. Hike the Great Outdoors 

With the leaves changing colour, your hike will be that much more beautiful. So head outdoors to Webster's Falls in Hamilton or Rattlesnake Point in Milton for some major views. Bonus - you can get in your cardio workout and burn off all that chili and apple crumble you've been eating, ha! 
ENJOY XO

 

 

 


Toronto: Things To See And Do This August

 What To Do in Toronto this MONTH

With August in full swing we decided to put together a list of things we’re excited to see and do this month before we go back to school and the reality that is the end of summer and this beautiful weather. Wah! Let’s try to soak up the sun and the summer as much as possible these next few weeks!

Here’s what’s on our hit list of things to do in Toronto:

Taste of the Danforth (August 5th to 7th):
Toronto’s biggest street festival! I think this is the festival that started all street festivals. We plan to fast all week so we can feast all weekend. Not just greek food, you can literally find everything your heart and stomach could dream of! 

Blue Jays Game:
As a huge Blue Jays fan, I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer evening or a hot sunny day than at a Blue Jays game. The boys in blue are on FIRE this season (did we have any doubt?). With playoffs just around the corner, August will be a great month to see some ball! Go Pillar! 

Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays (Sunday August 28th):
This is one of my favourite things to do in the city. Kensington market shuts down all vehicle traffic for Pedestrian Sundays – which happen once a month. Wander through the streets – grab some food and sift through vintage wares. It’s the most perfect way to spend a Sunday in the city.

Feast on Ice Cream:
I’ve loved ice cream before it became a thing – but now that it’s a thing I’m in heaven. Make it your mission to taste and try each of these popular ice cream spots around the city. Can we please talk about this Ice Cream taco at Booyah? I’m going this weekend….

Bang Bang

Booyah

Bake Shoppe

Junked Food

Sweet Jesus

Toronto Flower Market (Saturday, August 20th):
My friend Natasa started the Flower Market in 2013 and every year it just gets bigger and better. It’s a great way to fill your house with locally grown flowers and plants. Meet the growers and florists directly and learn all their tips and tricks to keeping your blooms blooming. Go early!
 

Roadhouse Craft Beer Festival (August 13th and 14th):
It wouldn’t be the summer without a beer festival! We can’t wait to attend the Roadhouse Craft Beer Festival. Hosted by Steamwhistle at Roadhouse Park (Simcoe and Bremner) – it’s the perfect way to sample some of Ontario’s finest craft brews and feast on delicious food from Toronto’s best food trucks.

 

We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!! XO 


Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's day is just around the corner, so we've compiled our favourite gift ideas to help make the day super special for all of our moms! From brunch spots to our favourite spas, we've got you covered! We hope you enjoy! XO!

1. Mother-Daughter Spa Getaway

You can never go wrong with a trip to the spa for Mother’s Day. There’s really no better way to show our moms how much we appreciate them than with a day of pampering! 

If you’re looking to go big this year for Mother's Day, we definitely recommend Ste. Anne’s Spa for facials, massages, and manis and pedis! They also have an amazing bakery filled with gluten free goodies to take home with you! Definitely a must-see spa! Book early because they book up fast, or if you can’t get in for Mother’s Day weekend, just surprise mom with a trip there later on this year! She’ll love it! 

If you’re looking for something more local, Rosewater Spa in Oakville is a great place for a quick escape for your mom for an hour long massage or facial. We love their VIP suite so much…we could literally move in!

Another option, which gets so much buzz on Instagram and is beautiful inside, is Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Toronto. The perfect place to spend an afternoon after brunch with your mom, you’ll have cocktails served while you get a super luxurious manicure or one of their many spa services…we are dying to try their white marble manicure! 

 

2. Brunch

We always have to do a big family meal on Mother’s Day, and since this year it falls on a Sunday, there are endless options for Mother’s Day brunch — our fave meal of the week ;)! 

If you’ll be spending time in the city, and maybe opting for a quick trip to Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Colette Grand Café has a buffet brunch that we’ve heard is to die for. We might just do this this year! See ya there :) 

With summer on its way, why not kick off wine tasting season and head to Niagara-on-the-Lake? If you decide to make the trip there, you have to bring your mom for brunch or dinner at Peller Estates. The dining room and patio overlook a stunning terrace and grape field where they hold group wine tours. It’s one of our favourite places! 

 

3. Jewelry

There’s so much choice when it comes to jewelry, but lately, we’ve liked the idea of getting a silver charm bracelet for our moms that we can add charms to each year on Mother’s Day to represent the events and memories from the past year. Links of London makes a great one, with some really nice charms that are great for gifting! 

In addition, we love all of the stunning jewelry at Bluboho in Oakville…we always find something we love, and it’s impossible not to want to buy something there! Treat your mom to matching mother-daughter bracelets, or a great set of new earrings…anything from there will be a hit! 

 

4. Summer Vacation Travel Kit

For a more unique Mother’s Day gift, surprise her with all the essentials she will need this summer if she’s heading away on a warm weather escape! Here are 5 must have vacation items that we know every mom will love! 

1/ Beach bag

We are obsessed with this beach bag from Amuse Society! It’s the perfect carry all bag that you’ll be sure to spot us carrying all summer!

Another great option is this bag from Joie (pictured above). It’s super structured and not to mention, beautiful! This is definitely a must-have. 

2/ Sandals

How amazing are these sandals from Sol Sana? 

3/ Sunglasses

Our go to sunglasses for summer have to be the tortoise shell Karen Walker’s or anything from Quay Australia

4/ Beach towel

New Yorker Towel - for the mom who loves to read, this is the perfect gift. Especially if she loves New Yorker magazine! We NEED this.

The Beach People Towel - any of their prints are amazing! We love "The Montauk" and "The Tulum".

 

5/ The best sunscreen

Sun Bum -- everything from this line smells amazing! We love the Original Sunscreen Lotion to protect us from harmful rays! 


Guide to Oakville

Guide to Oakville: Our Favourite Spots

With warm weather just around the corner, we decided to compile a list of our favourite spots and places to hangout at in Oakville. Spring is the perfect time to explore and find new cafés and shops.  Take a look at some of our most favourite spots in our town.

 

 

Green Press Inc. (270 Lakeshore Rd E.)

A new addition to the downtown strip, Green Press is frequented daily by the VOC girls. Try the “Colour me Healthy” flavour – it’s Alisha’s favourite.  

 

 

Kerr Street Café (298 Kerr Street)

Somehow the coffee just tastes better at the Kerr Street Café.  This adorable café is a great spot to meet friends for coffee or lunch.  The food and coffee are delicious and the space is so lovely you’ll never want to leave.   

 

Flower Deco (35 Lakeshore Rd. W.)

A hidden gem beloved by locals, Flower Deco is the best place in town for flowers.  The staff is always helpful and the arrangements they make are always perfect.  It might not look like much from the outside, but it’s definitely worth checking out!

 

Marco Stefano (312 Lakeshore Rd E.)

Whenever anyone is looking for a new hairstylist we always recommend Marco Stefano.  The salon is warm and inviting and their customers are always happy.   We would know – being next-door neighbours, we see their clients’ finished look everyday.

 

The Ten Spot (302 Lakeshore Rd E.)
Finally! A nice place to get your nails done! Oakville was dying for a nail bar.  We were thrilled when The Ten Spot opened a few doors down from us.  We love taking an hour on Fridays to get primped for the weekend.    

 

Big Hit Kickboxing (178 Lakeshore Road E.)
The newest workout in town, Big Hit Kickboxing is SO FUN! The V.O.C. girls are always spotted working out here. The 45 minute workout flies by and it gets you super fit. Sign up for their New Member Trial: one week of unlimited classes for $39.99. We love Lolita's classes!

 

Black Forest Bakery (184 Lakeshore Rd E.)

The cookies and sweet things inside this downtown institution are to die for.  Their cakes and desserts taste as good as they look. Perfect for parties or just for a sweet treat.  We literally can’t walk by without trying at least one cookie. How cute are these bite sized cookies they made us for Valentine's Day?

 

 

Bluboho (293 Lakeshore Rd E.)

We’re obviously obsessed with all of the pretty jewels at Bluboho.  It’s our favourite place to shop for gifts or to treat ourselves.  Maggie and Cheryl are the sweetest people in the world and we love their fabulous finds.  But seriously, can we have one of each please?  Note to self…Mother’s Day is just around the corner… 

 

The Crêpe Kitchen (88 Dunn St.)

You may not think you need more crepes (or any?) in your life until you try The Crêpe Kitchen. For serious, this little café will have you going crepe crazy and is the perfect cure to your Saturday AM hangover. Who would have thought you could put so much goodness in a crepe?  Our go-to favourite is the Farmer’s Pick. Yum!

 

Gairloch Gardens (1306 Lakeshore Road E.)

If you’ve had enough of eating and drinking, take a stroll through Gairloch Gardens, just a short drive from downtown Oakville. Wandering through the flowers and trees is a perfect thing to do on a nice sunny day. Plus, with wedding season on the horizon you can be sure to take in a few weddings – it’s easily the most picture perfect spot in Oakville!


Toronto Hot Spots: 3 Day Off Activities In The City

Toronto Hot Spots: 
3 Day Off Activities In The City

I have come to the conclusion that it's not possible to ever be bored in Toronto. When it comes to this city, there are seriously SO many fun things to do and sights to see on your days off. With a never ending abundance of cute coffee shops and bakeries, plus trendy exercise classes and places to pamper yourself, you are bound to be totally entertained and as happy as can be. 
Speaking for myself, and I’m sure many of you as well, I could shamelessly be satisfied sitting on my couch and watching endless hours of Netflix all day. Especially after a long week at work…am I right or am I right!? However, this past weekend I made the conscious decision to get out and explore what this city has to offer and it certainly did not disappoint. 
Here are a few of my new favourite spots that I visited over the weekend that I HIGHLY recommend!
Spokehaus is my latest workout obsession. I popped by this newly opened spinning studio in CityPlace and was blown away by how much fun I had and how sweaty I got. Seriously, this is no workout for the weary. Their motto is that it is “a musical and physical journey that will change your body and mind” and I can honestly say that it did. Not only did they have THE best playlist to get you pumped up but I also felt SO good after the class that I was already looking forward to my next session. Not gunna lie, I was pretty sore from this epic workout but it definitely got me motivated to get in shape for the summer! Their studio is also STUNNING and all of the instructors are fabulous. Bonus - your first class is free! So sign up now and get movin’.
Since I have the worlds biggest sweet tooth, I have been dyyyying to get over to Bake Shoppe ever since I came across their adorable Instagram account. All of their cakes, cookies and other sweets are just as cute as they are delicious. So naturally, after a hardcore sweat sesh I had to hit up this little bakery on College Street and pick up some of their “rapper cookies”. They were amazing and worth every single calorie. 
All I can say about this place is that whoever created it is honestly a genius. Located in the heart of King West Village, Her Majesty’s Pleasure is every girls dream come true. Not only is it a gorgeous salon with every spa service you could imagine, they also have a beautiful boutique and full lounge bar and cafe. Umm…can I live here please?! After hearing SO many good things about this spot, I had to finally check it out for myself and I was so impressed. I had booked my sister and I a gel manicure as her birthday present and we were both blown away by what a great job they did. Not to mention, we were able to enjoy plenty of champagne in the process! Talk about the perfect day off…
So next time you’re feeling in need of a little pick me up or just want to explore some of the city’s coolest places that live up to their hype, these spots are definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
XO, Sarah 

Celebrate: Tips for throwing a baby shower

Tips for throwing a baby shower

In case you haven’t heard, our lovely Rhiannon is having a baby boy! So to celebrate, the V.O.C. team is throwing a baby shower for her. We're so excited! After some planning and prepping, we’ve come up with a list of tips and tricks for throwing/hosting a baby shower. 

Enjoy!

Guest List/Venue

Before you start planning your shower, make sure to talk to the mom to be to see what type of shower they would like to have. This will help determine the size of your guest list which leads into choosing the venue and concept. Showers can range in variety from evening parties to afternoon teas depending on the number of guests invited. Dinner or brunch at a restaurant are also great ideas for a smaller gathering. 

Theme

It’s always fun to have a theme for a baby shower. Whether it’s gender specific or something more broad – it’s great to have a theme to tie the event together. Some of our favourites include: Nursery Rhymes, Backyard Tea Party, Noah’s Ark or a Floral Pink party. For Rhiannon, we decided on an alphabet theme. We have cute block letters to decorate the table, Alphabet cookies for dessert and are making a letter themed mobile craft for the baby’s room! 

Menu

It’s fun to incorporate the theme into the menu. The size and time of the gathering will also help determine your menu choices.   Light sandwiches and salads are great for an afternoon tea. An evening party could focus more on appetizers. Always ensure you have enough food for your guests and make sure it’s presented well. We’re planning to serve this delicious salad as part of our evening dinner!


 

Games

What shower would be complete without games? We’ve selected some of our favourites for tonight’s soiree. Guess the size of the bump is always popular and we’re also planning to guess the details of the baby (Name, Date of Birth and weight). Games are also a great icebreaker to let your guests meet and get to know each other.

Follow along on social media to catch a pic or two from Rhiannon's shower!


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