Luxury Mountain Resort: Fairmont Tremblant

Summer is my favourite season to travel in! Now that restrictions are lifted within Canada I’ve been doing a lot of exploring. This past August long weekend Sashien and I were hosted at the beautiful Fairmont Tremblant, a luxurious mountain resort located at the foot of the Tremblant Peaks in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. I had visited Mont-Tremblant a few times but never stayed at the Fairmont Tremblant before.

The Hotel

Fairmont Tremblant truly is a luxury resort with its numerous pools, restaurants and activities. It’s situated in a prime location right in the heart of the pedestrian village and at the foot of the mountains. The hotel offers all the amenities of a world class luxury resort with its 314 guest rooms, including 62 suites. Many of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the mountains and are spacious and comfortable. I especially liked the rustic chic look of the room which offered a lovely mountain view.

The Fairmont Tremblant has something for everyone, whether you’re looking to stay active or just relax. The hotel offers four outdoor pools and an indoor pool, hot tub and dry sauna. We especially liked relaxing by the outdoor pools and enjoying a cocktail. You can also eat your lunch outside at the Veuve Clicquot terrace just next to the pool. The terrace offers beautiful views of the pools and pedestrian village. There is also an onsite spa that offers all the luxury treatments. If you’re looking to keep fit during your stay the hotel offers a 24 hour gym.

One thing that truly stands out at Fairmont Tremblant is the hospitality and attention to detail. All staff at the hotel were so friendly and welcoming, they truly made us feel special. This level of service is of course synonymous with the Fairmont brand.

The Activities

I wasn’t joking when I said there’s something for everyone at Fairmont Tremblant! The hotel has an extensive activities guide that changes with the seasons, as they are a year round resort. If health and wellness is what you have in mind you can of course check out their outdoor pools and nordic baths or opt for a massage at Moment Spa onsite.

If you’re in the mood for something more active the resort offers its own activities such as Yoga, Guided Nature Walks and the Studio Elmt training room. They also have activities for families like the tipi and bonfire experience and games room. For adults 16 and older there is a billiards room as well. With their location in the Laurentian mountains the hotel also offers lots of opportunities for hiking and biking. Not sure which activities to try first? Create your own adventure with Fairmont Tremblant’s Mountain of Activities offer.

In addition to the activities in the resort there’s also lots to do in the area surrounding the hotel. You can enjoy a 360 degree view of the mountains from the panoramic Gondola, check out the Birds of Prey show or even try out the climbing tower. During the winter months there are ample ski trails surrounding the resort and you can even ski into the hotel. We took a ride on the panoramic Gondola and enjoyed a lovely view from the top of mountain. The gondola ride was so relaxing and you can purchase a round trip ticket right at the hotel. Another relaxing thing to do is to take a walk around the pedestrian village, we took a few morning and evening strolls around the area.

Dining

One thing I love almost as much as fashion is food and Fairmont Tremblant did not disappoint! There are many dining options to choose from. If you would like to dine at a restaurant the hotel offers options such as Ricochet Cafe and Terasse which is also home the the Veuve Cliquot terrace and champagne bar during the Winter and located close to the ski-in ski out access to the pool. For more formal dining you check out Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire which offers a dinner service Wednesday to Sunday. The hotel also offers in room dining.

Sashien and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Le Comptoir, which is also open for dinner daily. The restaurant boasts beautiful views of the gardens surrounding the hotel and the service and food was impeccable! If you’re looking to unwind with a cocktail or in the mood for apres ski drinks then you must check out Axe Lounge Bar! Located on the same level as Le Comptoir, this lounge is open every evening and offers lovely views of the pedestrian village and the pools. It’s a great place to relax and take in the sights of Mont Tremblant. We had a relaxing evening there and I would highly recommend it. The lounge bar does not take reservations so I recommend going in a bit earlier in the evening.

The Verdict

We really enjoyed our time at Fairmont Tremblant. It was such a relaxing getaway, we felt like we were in another country. The hotel and scenery were so beautiful and picturesque. It was a truly luxurious stay. We will definitely be back! If you haven’t visited Mont Tremblant before then this is a must visit destination. The Fairmont Tremblant is the perfect place to stay in Mont Tremblant as it’s close to attractions, activities and the pedestrian village. I would gladly recommend this hotel to anyone looking to visit Mont Tremblant. The location, service and accommodations are unsurpassed and it is a true testament to the Fairmont brand. A big thank you to the team at Fairmont Tremblant for hosting us on this stay, we had such a lovely time!

The Year in Review: 2020

Can you believe this year is almost over? And what a year it has been! For me 2020 started off pretty slowly. I was very ill with a bout of food poisoning on January 1st, great way to start a new year right? It was a slow, cold and boring start to the year. I remember feeling de-motivated and like everyone else was going ahead with their plans but me. My mom encouraged me to set some goals and stay motivated.

Personal and Professional Achievements

I decided to set some professional goals for myself to help create some structure. I still decided to enrol in the CITP (Certified International Trade Professional) program at the Forum for International Trade Training. In order to earn this certification I would need to take 6 courses and pass 6 exams, after which I would have to submit my resume along with my experience in international trade.  In January when I signed up for this, it seemed daunting and never ending. I also decided I wanted to complete my PMP – Project Management Professional designation this year.

I finished the first course in my CITP when the pandemic hit. All my classes at Algonquin were to be taught remotely and it took a lot of adjustment to get used to teaching fully on zoom. The pandemic hit us harder than we expected in Canada, and the initial lockdown was both disheartening and depressing. I decided to make the most of this time and complete the rest of the 5 courses. Within the month of April I started and completed 4 courses to finish off my CITP designation. This was exhausting and I frankly don’t recommend trying to do 4 courses which are supposed to be 6 months each within a span of 4 weeks, however I’m glad I did it. I earned my CITP in June and I was really pleased with this achievement. I was also surprised and humbled to be featured by FITT in their CITP spotlight.

I was on the fence about studying for my PMP but decided to take it seriously and started studying in September. If any potential PMP test takers are reading this, yes, I did read the entire PMBOK! I completed a prep course in November and did countless practice exams from mid November to early December. I wrote my exam at home on December 14 through PMI’s online proctoring service PearsonVue and passed it on the first attempt! I was and am so thrilled about this! I had been wanting to take this exam since 2018 and this year I finally did it! P.S. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the PMP exam, feel free to comment or email me 🙂

Blogging Progress

On the blog front I really focused on growing my following and creating more engaging content. The pandemic prompted me to shift my focus to more local brands in Ottawa. I was happy to collaborate with businesses such as Skuish Cookies, Oh My Honey, The East India Company, MC Laser and Hair and Buyers + Cellars to name a few. I am so pleased with the growth I’ve experienced on my blog and Instagram channels, I was able to reach and surpass my goal of 10K followers this year, which was a milestone for me. Thank you to everyone who supported me in this journey.

I also focused on more hospitality and lifestyle content and was fortunate to collaborate with The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, The Frontenac Club and The Fairmont Chateau Montebello. I was also thrilled to secure more fashion collaborations with international and local clothing brands such as Shein and Chicwish. Sashien and I did some his and hers style collaborations as well.

I didn’t travel as much this year due to the travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic however Sashien and I were able to take a trip to Florida in February prior to the lockdown. We were thankful to have been able to experience a little bit of warm weather before the shutdown.

Overall 2020 was not the write off everyone keeps calling it. Plans may have changed and we all needed to adjust but in the end life is what you make it. I decided to make the most of a rather unfortunate year and I’m even more motivated for 2021!

Looking ahead

I’ve got a lot more goals and plans in place for next year. I’m currently working on a capsule collection with none other than the Capsule Creator herself, Rebecca Rowe. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks! I’ll be posting about this on my Instagram page.

Sashien and I also have something exciting that we’ve been working on and we can’t wait to share it with all of you! I’ll be posting and sharing more about this project soon!

Holiday Staycation at Fairmont Montebello

It’s the holiday season! My favourite time of the year. I love Christmas in Canada as we almost always get a white Christmas 🙂 This year I wanted to really get in to the holiday spirit so we went on a little pre-Christmas staycation. Sashien and I were so excited to be invited to check out Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello located in Montebello, Quebec. This hotel is breathtaking and a truly unique Fairmont property. I’m excited to share all the details about our stay!

The Hotel

Located in Montebello just 70km away from Ottawa, the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is the largest log cabin in the world. Built in 1930 the hotel is a year round resort celebrating 90 years this year!

Chateau Montebello is a great celebration of Canadiana and each of the hotel’s 210 guest rooms pay homage to the local culture and Quebecois life. The hotel ambiance is rustic chic and this is seen in both the room decor and the overall layout of the hotel. In 2019 the hotel underwent a $17.5 million renovation which included 102 newly renovated more modern rooms. We stayed in one of their newly updated rooms but if you’re looking for more rustic charm the hotel has many other room choices as well. More information about the rooms and suites can be found on their website.

Our room was spacious and we were still able to experience the rustic feel of the hotel. We loved the sitting area and the large windows. We enjoyed some champagne before dinner in our room and relaxed in the sitting area.

The Activities

The hotel is a year round luxury resort and offers a wide range of activities for any of our four seasons here in Canada.  The hotel does charge a resort fee to cover these activities which includes a long list of fun filled adventures for the whole family.

When we visited the resort we were especially excited to visit the aquatic centre. We spent an afternoon by the pool and enjoyed the hot tubs. The hotel also includes a gym and tennis courts. There’s many outdoor activities at the hotel as well such as volleyball, canoeing and basketball in the Summer and dogsledding, skiing and snow shoeing in the winter.  Walking and hiking trails nearby the hotel are open year round. Sahsien and I enjoyed taking a walk by the water and exploring the area surrounding the property. A full list of  summer, winter and year round activities can be found online. In the summer months the hotel also features a yacht club.

The hotel offers a range of dining options. Some restaurants are season while others such as Aux Chantignoles are open year round. We had all our meals at Aux Chantignoles and we especially enjoyed our breakfast and the views from the restaurant.

The Verdict

Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is beautiful all year round but it is absolutely magical during the Holiday season. There’s no better way to get in to the holiday season than enjoying a glass of wine or hot chocolate by their six sided fireplace.Visiting Chateau Montebello really put me in the holiday spirit. The whole hotel is decorated for Christmas and it looks spectacular. Fairmont Montebello has a wide range of offers for the holiday season and beyond.  I highly recommend checking out their Early Christmas, Country Christmas or Holiday Getaway packages.

We had a lovely time and a truly relaxing experience at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. Thank you to the staff for hosting us and making our stay a memorable experience. We will definitely be back!

Holiday Style with Shein

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? It’s been a while since my last blogpost but I’ve been very active on Instagram. Christmas is my favourite time of the year so I’m really excited to share some his and hers holiday style looks from Shein.

Look 1 – Festive Casual

Our first look is a casual yet festive look. I love this plaid print dress. It’s very stretchy so it fits quite snug and is very figure flattering. It also comes in two other colours. This dress is perfect for looking festive without being over the top. I styled it by adding a pair of over the knee boots and tights.

Sashien found a great layering piece in this grey turtleneck. This garment is form fitting, Sash usually wears a M in Shein sizing and this one was very fitted. I would recommend sizing up if you plan on wearing this piece as a stand alone top. For this look he paired it with a double breasted red blazer, pocket square and black coated jeans.

We wanted a really festive feel to this photoshoot so we decided to photograph these looks at Tinseltown Christmas Emporium. It’s a must visit location in Ottawa, especially during the holiday season.

Shop The Look

Look 2 – Christmas Glam

This second look is all about glamour and bling. Just because you’re staying in or socially distancing doesn’t mean you can’t dress up right?! I absolutely love this gown with sequin details. The sweetheart neckline is really flattering and the longer train at the back and fitted cut make this dress a real stunner. This is probably one of the most exquisite dresses I own.

We wanted to find a complementary piece for Sashien so we were thrilled to come across this embroidered high neck blazer. The open neckline gives this piece more of an eastern fashion feel to it. The embroidery on it matched well with the design on my dress and really added character to the piece. Sashien paired it with a black turtleneck but you can also wear this blazer with a black or white dress shirt.

Shop The Look

Look 3 – Christmas Colours

Our last look is perfect for a Christmas photoshoot! When I saw this red bow detail dress online I knew I had to have it! It also comes in black, navy, and white. Side note I also have it in black! The red is just perfect for the holidays and the bow at the back makes this dress truly unique, it kind of looks like a present 🙂  I love the halter neckline and pencil cut of the dress.

Sashien’s shawl collar blazer is a great contrast with my red dress. We didn’t want to be too festive for this look but the combination worked really well. The blazer has a jacquard design on it which makes it a really interesting piece. Sash paired this with a black turtleneck and coated jeans for a semi-formal look.

This look would be best suited for an in studio shoot, perhaps one with a Christmas backdrop!

Shop The Look

I hope you enjoyed our his and her holiday style looks. Shein is currently having their Black Friday Sale! Use our code Sh92L and save 15% on your purchase til December 6th.

Thank you to our photographer Ricardo Boreka for these lovely photos!

A special thanks to Shein for sponsoring this post.

Staycation at the Frontenac Club

Have you joined the Club? I recently discovered a hidden gem just an hour and a half away from Ottawa. The Frontenac Club located in Kingston, Ontario is a beautifully restored and renovated boutique hotel. Once home to the Bank of Montreal in the 1840s the building itself boasts a rich history and stately architecture.

Since its origins as a Bank the Frontenac Club evolved to become a well known B & B in Kingston and although it was built in the 1800s the building has only had four owners in its 175 year history. The Club went through a massive two year renovation beginning in 2018. This Summer the next chapter of the Frontenac Club began as it  reopened to the public, presented as a chic and sophisticated boutique hotel.

Sashien and I were invited to stay at the Club and we were so thrilled to visit this Kingston stalwart.

The Hotel – First Impressions

We arrived at the hotel on Friday evening and as soon as we turned on to King Street we couldn’t help but notice the majestic building that is the Frontenac Club. The grey limestone facade which is updated with modern and vintage elements coupled with accents of greenery around the edges make this building stand out from the B&Bs and period houses down the street.

We loved how convenient the parking lot and back entrance to the hotel were. Located at the rear of the hotel is a beautiful courtyard with outdoor seating and a water feature. This would be a great place to have a coffee in the morning.

When we entered the hotel we were impressed by the modern touches such as the lighting, decor and overall ambiance of the place. The Frontenac Club makes quite the first impression.

The Rooms

The Club boasts 20 guest rooms all of which have their own character and unique features. We stayed in the 1000 islands suite which was in the Cartwright Wing of the hotel. This was on the upper level of the building. This room has views of the 1000 islands  and lake Ontario from the windows along with exposed limestone walls. The room was very spacious and had a large sitting area complete with a gas fireplace. One touch I found particularly special was the fact that the room came with a full bar complete with bar tools and glasses. You could definitely make yourself at home, mix yourself a drink  and enjoy it by the fireplace in this room.

The Bathroom was spacious and modern with almost a European feel to it, complete with luxury bath products by Gilchrist & Soames of London

Some other notable spaces in the hotel are the Ondaatje room, named after Sri Lankan born author Michael Ondaatje which features a separate writing room with a bar. The Locomotive Suite which is the largest suite in the hotel is home to the largest bathroom in the hotel along with a generous sitting area and views of downtown Kingston. Another interesting space is the Backstage room that features a turn table and records from The Tragically Hip. All rooms at the hotel are modern, luxurious and give you major big city vibes.

The Frontenac Club is a pet friendly hotel with all pet rooms located on the first floor of the building. The staff love animals and your pet will be treated like royalty; with a special welcome, treats, a door sign that says Dog on Vacation and a bed reserved specially for The Dog. I would definitely bring my Yorkie Chloe on a visit to the Club I’m sure she’d love all the attention.

The hotel also has all COVID-19 precautions in place. Masks are required in all common areas such as hallways and stairwells. Amenities such as towels and glasses, and food orders are delivered to your door. Staff do not enter the room for room service however you can request any replenishments you need. We felt really safe and well taken care of at the Frontenac Club and had no concerns regarding safety measures.

The Food

The Bank Gastrobar is the newest space to open at the Club. This chic lounge makes you feel like you’re in New York City! The decor and ambiance at The Bank are the epitome of modern elegance combined with old world grandeur.

The hotel also serves its breakfast at The Bank daily from 8 am-10 am. Our first morning at the hotel we were served Eggs Frontenac probably the fanciest hotel breakfast I’ve had in Canada. The Club always offers a great starter with their breakfasts as well; on our second morning we were treated to poached pairs in syrup topped with greek yoghurt, what a delicious start to a meal.

In the evenings The Bank offers a great selection of cocktails and a host of  fine dining dinner options. The cocktail menu is quite sophisticated and divided in to two parts; Club Classics, a selection of signature cocktails and The Vault Series, a cocktails curated to The Club’s ever-evolving list of unique whiskeys & gins to build their twist on the classics.

Our first evening at the hotel both Sashien and I ordered from the Club Classics menu, I was feeling quite adventurous so I ordered a drink called Something Sexy, the ingredients weren’t listed on the menu so I let the bartender surprise me. I certainly wasn’t disappointed as this drink was lovely and came topped with dried rose petals. Sashien ordered The Boulevard Split which was a heavier drink, definitely something I’d call a gentleman’s drink.

The Bank also features a private dining space called The Vault which actually was one of the vaults used when the building was home to the Bank of Montreal. This intimate dining space is perfect for a smaller group event such as a wine tasting or even a private date night. We got to dine in the vault for our Saturday night dinner and the Chef certainly delivered. The food was in a word amazing! I ordered the Confit Pork Ribs and Sashien had the Pan Seared Beef  Tenderloin. Both dishes were cooked to perfection! We also ordered some drinks with dinner. The bartender listened to our preferences and created some great cocktails for us. My favourite cocktail is the Kir Royale so he created a drink for me with pomegranate liquor dubbed the Pom Royale. Sashien’s drink of choice is an Old Fashioned and he got to customize his drink with his choice of whiskey, the bartender also added in some Charcoal bitters for an added touch to the drink. Speaking of whiskey the Vault also boasts a grand whiskey cabinet which is both a design feature and a restaurant element.

The Verdict

The Frontenac Club features contemporary style mixed with old world elegance. One of the newer features of the hotel is a rooftop patio featuring water views and a great city scape. We loved sitting outside and enjoying some fresh air. You can also bring a glass of wine upstairs and enjoy the sunset as guests are encouraged to relax in this great outdoor space.

We absolutely loved our stay at this boutique hotel and can’t wait to visit again. I would highly recommend The Frontenac Club to anyone who enjoys the finer things in life in a warm and welcoming setting. Besides the beautiful architecture, modern style and renovations, what makes the Frontenac Club a true gem is the staff and the service they provide. The attention to detail and the care they extend to all guests is unparalleled; arguably the best service I’ve received at a hotel in Canada. I cannot say enough good things about the Frontenac Club but don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself! Room reservations can be made through their website and if you’re in Kingston just for the day you can also book a tour of the hotel and stop in for a quick drink at The Bank.

A big thank you to Sean and the team at the Frontenac Club for this unforgettable gifted experience.

 

 

All In Good Taste: Buyers+Cellars Tasting Room

Have you been to the newest wine spot in town? I’m talking about Buyers+Cellars tasting room in Ottawa. If you’re looking for a luxurious wine tasting experience without the pretentious attitude that usually accompanies such places, then this is the spot for you!

Founded in 2018, Buyers+Cellars is Ontario’s newest boutique wine company. Their business IS wine,  from curation, sales, tasting and education. Buyers + Cellars opened their Tasting Room in August and it’s just what Ottawa needed. The Tasting Room located at 327 Somerset St. West offers a curated 90 minute tasting experience to explore the uncorked potential of the wine world. The Tasting Room is also a local bottle shop for customers to come and purchase a few bottles to take home. Sash and I had the pleasure of being invited to experience a curated wine tasting experience and we absolutely loved it.

The Ambiance

As you walk in to the Tasting Room the first thing you notice is the decor. The entire space is newly renovated and gives off some major big city vibes. We felt like we were in New York City thanks to the lighting and decor. The space was designed by West of Main Design who did a phenomenal job with every aspect of the decor. The showstopper in the Tasting Room has got to be their wine wall. It’s absolutely exquisite and a great showpiece for their extensive collection of bottles from around the world. Another interesting feature is the Enomatic machine which staff use to serve you a perfectly measured sample of wine. The machine sits at the back of the bar and is just as much a design element as it is a piece of equipment. They also have all the Covid-19 safety protocols in place with hand sanitizer on hand and social distancing measures in place.

Now that we’ve talked about how fabulous the space looks, let’s get in to the wines! Our tasting experience was  guided by expert Sommelier and Tasting Room manager Curtis who was there to provide us with all the details about what we were drinking. We started off with white wines and then progressed to the heavier red wines in a beautifully curated journey.

The Whites

Our first white wine was Rosehall Run Ceremony Blanc de Blanc Brut NV(Non Vintage). This estate grown Chardonnay is a delicate and toasty sparkling wine from Prince Edward County, Ontario. It has a distinctive minerally finish which bares a dry yet fruity undertone of citrus.  This wine is perfect for a celebration.

We then moved away from Ontario and on to Europe with RAR Vin Singulars Bianco, Garnacha Blanc from the sought after Priorat region in Spain. This wine was full bodied with hints of apricot and floral notes.

Next we moved over to Germany with Weingut Huls Alte Reben Riesling Feinherb from Mosel. The grapes used for this wine are planted on steep slopes on the Mosel River which is rich in mineral clay soil. I love Riesling and this wine didn’t disappoint with intense aromatics of grapefruit, passion fruit and yellow plum.

After this we switched continents again and were off to Argentina with Alandes Paradoux White NV (Sauvingon Blanc and Semillon), a rare Non Vintage still wine from the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. This wine was by winemaker Karim Mussi who immigrated from Lebanon to make bordeaux style wines in Argentina. This was the last of our white wines.

I should also mention that we also got to see photos of the vineyards for each wine, which were projected on two tv screens behind the bar. It really felt like we were right there in each vineyard.

The Reds

We started off our red wine journey with Salcheto Rosso 2019 (Sangiovese) from  Tuscany, Italy. This wine is an Italian table wine so it’s a perfect everyday wine. It was light with a refreshing acidity which makes it a versatile wine to pair with food or drink by itself.  Curtis informed us that Salcheto  values biodiversity and has a zero carbon foot print, being off the grid in Tuscany.

We stayed in Salcheto for our next wine Salcheto Nobile 2016 (Sangiovese). This is the exact same wine as the Rosso but it was aged in oak for two years. Our Sommelier wanted us to see the differences between the wines and the flavours that resulted from the aging process. This wine had more tannins and a much bolder flavour. Between the two I preferred the Nobile and so did Sash.

Next we moved on to the Middle East with Jordan Classic Barbera 2018. This was truly a treat since this is the first time we have wines from Jordan in Canada. Prior to this I wasn’t aware that Jordan was a winemaking country. The winery Marfaq Plateau is located next to a volcano and we even got to hold one of the volcanic rocks from the region. This wine had a fruity flavour and I really enjoyed it as did Sash.

We came closer to home with the next wine Barnard Griffin Syrah from Washington State. This was a really enjoyable wine with flavours of dark cherry (I love wines with flavours of red fruit). The wine also had some bite to it with some acidity and spice.

The grand finale of our wine tasting experience was another Karim Mussi creation from Argentina, the Alandes Malbec. This was introduced to us as a big finish wine and is an example of an extreme elevation wine with grapes frown over 1000 meters above sea level. This was a big bold wine with a lot of character and we really enjoyed it. If you’re looking to impress someone special then this is the one I’d recommend 😉

The Food

Just to be clear we did have lots of food with all the wine 🙂 We were treated to a beautifully created charcuterie board by the resident chef at the Tasting Room. Our board had a great selection of locally sourced meats and cheeses finished off with some edible flowers. We also have a lovely selection of spreads and jellies to go along with our board and the bread.

The Verdict

Well what can I say if you haven’t been to The Tasting room yet then you’re surely missing out on a truly unique wine tasting experience. This is a hidden gem in Ottawa and I highly recommend trying it out. You can book a curated tasting through their website or Instagram page. We loved the decor, the design and the entire experience; this was something we will always remember. The Tasting Room is a great spot for a Fall date or a get together with a few close friends. I would highly recommend adding it to your list of place to visit in Ottawa. Keep in mind you can always stop by the Tasting Room to purchase wine as well. If you’re looking for a unique selection of wines from around the world that you won’t typically find at the LCBO then this is the spot for you.

Thank you to Buyers+Cellars and Curtis for this amazing wine tasting experience.

 

 

 

Italian Inspired Cuisine at Kara Mia

I love Italian cuisine so when I was thrilled to check out Kara Mia Restaurant which opened its Ottawa location earlier this year. This restaurant is definitely a hidden treasure located in Ottawa’s east end.

First Impressions

I was surprised I hadn’t noticed this place before. As you walk in the ambiance is amazing. Sashien and I were so pleased with the decor and set up of the restaurant. I actually forgot I was even in Ottawa, Kara Mia definitely gave me major Toronto vibes; which is not surprising since they also have a location in Markham. You could even feel like you’re in New York City when you step in to Kara Mia. The lighting, photos on the wall and set up definitely give the place an upscale big city feel.

The staff were also so warm and welcoming and in full compliance of City guidelines concerning COVID-19 protocols.

The Drinks

Kara Mia is open for lunch and dinner and has a large selection of dishes on their menu. We started off with some cocktails, keep in mind this is a Halal restaurant so none of the cocktails actually contain alcohol.  They were delicious none the less and I really didn’t miss having a glass of wine with my dinner. Sashien and I both tried the Kara Mia Cocktail which contained mango juice, guava juice and Sprite. I’d definitely try making this at home! Kara Mia also offers a Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri and Peach Bellini as part of their non-alcoholic cocktail offering. You can also choose from some exotic juices on their beverages menu.

The Food

Saffron Poutine

Breaded Shrimp

We started off with some appetizers and our server Ayaan recommended we try the Saffron Poutine which consists of fries covered in Kara Mia’s signature Saffron sauce and baked with mozzarella. It was a great twist on a regular poutine. We also tried the Breaded Shrimp which was amazing!

Penne Picante Rosé

Penne Salciccia

For our mains we had to go with pasta because Kara Mia is after all an Italian inspired restaurant. My favourite pasta is Penne so I went with the Penne Picante Rosé. This dish contains diced chicken breast, onions, bell peppers and penne pasta in a spicy rosé sauce. The flavours in this dish were delicious and I loved rosé sauce. Sashien ordered the Penne Salciccia which consists of spicy Italian sausage sautéed with bell peppers, onions, cayenne peppers, finished in a spicy rosé sauce. The flavours in this dish were also amazing and the sausage was well seasoned and cured. We really enjoyed our pasta.

In addition to Pasta, Kara Mia also offers a selection of Burgers, Chicken and Steak dishes. There’s also a Kids Menu which adds to the family friendly feel of this restaurant.

The pasta dishes were so filling and the portions were generous so we ended up taking some home as well. We were so full we didn’t try dessert but I’m sure it would have been delicious.

The Verdict

Kara Mia is a family restaurant with an upscale feel, serving  flavourful food and offering great value for money. The ambiance is amazing and the prices are very reasonable. There is also ample parking in the plaza nearby. I would recommend adding Kara Mia to your list of Ottawa dining go-to’s. The restaurant also offers takeout via Uber Eats and Door Dash. Another service they offer is Catering for events, for details visit their website.

Thank you Kara Mia for this gifted dinner experience we really enjoyed it!

Birthday Post – How well do you know me?

It’s my birthday!I  turned 32 today so I’ve added a few items to bring this list to 32 things  you probably didn’t know about me. How many of them did you know?

1. I’m an only child – it’s true I have no siblings, I never wanted a sister but I always wanted an older brother.

2. I was all about that bass before Meghan Trainer made it cool – I started playing bass guitar in middle school and played it all the way through high school. I still own 2 bass guitars and I can play the stand up bass as well.

3. I have a pen pal and she lives in Paris (Hope you’re reading this Maheshi :))

4. I live in Canada but I am not a hockey fan – could never get in to it.

5. I speak French and was in French Immersion from middle school all the way through high school.

6. I never travel light- I like to have a lot of clothing options so I usually bring many different outfits on my travels.

7. I’m a shoe-a-holic and have 3 dressers full of shoes. Don’t ask me how many pairs I have I’ve lost count!

8. I love karaoke and even have a karaoke app on my phone.

9. I’m over 25 and still getting ID’d at the LCBO – sad but true and I’m trying to look at it as a compliment.

10. I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan and I’d love to visit Graceland some day.

11. I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and moved to Canada twice – once when I was 5 and permanently when I was 8.

12. I’m a published author – you can find my book Cocktails & Conversations: a guide to networking on Chapters.ca

13.  Baking is one of my hobbies (aside from blogging of course) and I love making desserts for friends and family.

14.I don’t have a favourite TV show. I rarely have time to watch TV so it’s hard for me to commit to watching a show every week.

15.I’m a professor at a local college.

16. My hair is naturally wavy not straight.

17. My first pet was a Pomeranian named Toshi, I now have a Yorkie named Chloe.

18. I’m a huge trivia geek, pick me if you’re looking for a trivia team member!

19. I’d love to be a stay at home mom some day, I think it’s really important to take time out for your family especially your children.

20. I ran my own consulting business for 5 years.

21. My first job was a junior camp counselor at a day camp for toddlers; I was 15 so I got paid $50 a week!

22. My favourite colour was and still is pink.

23. I like investing and looking for new ways to save money and grow my investments.

24. I’m a morning person. I start work at 7:30 so I’m up early during the week.

25. My least favourite candy is licorice – never liked it and cannot stand it.

26. Aside from Sri Lankan food my favourite cuisine is Italian 🙂 I went to Italy for the 2nd time last summer and loved everything I ate there.

27. I don’t drink beer- I enjoy the occasional glass of wine but I never liked beer.

28. I’ve never actually finished a poutine, I’m not a huge fan.

29. I don’t have any tattoos and don’t intend on getting any.

30. I’m probably one of the few people who cannot whistle, just can’t do it.

31. I love doing impressions and my best friend thinks I’d be a great comedienne.

32. I’m a total camera ham – if you know me personally I’ve probably asked you to take my picture 😉 

Collaboration with BBXCollection

I don’t know about you but I love a good slogan tee. I’m so excited to share my collaboration with BBXCollection this weekend, where I helped model some of their adorable slogan tees. BBXCollection is an Ottawa based retailer that specializes in slogan shirts for everyone! BBX is owned and operated by certified boss babe Megan Racicot. I love the cute slogans on her products and the tees are so comfy and easy to wear. Megan also has you covered for your bachelorette party with her bridal line.

For my shoot with BBXCollection I modeled the Turn Down for Brunch and Darling tees. I thought the slogans were so me as I totally love brunch and well darling is just so cutesy! Watch for the photos from my shoot on their Instagram page and website.

I particularly liked the Darling tee with the pink lettering. I wanted to style the t-shirt based on the pink so I drew some inspiration from Sarah Jessica Parker’s tutu skirt in the opening sequence the show Sex and the City.

I just happened to have a pink midi skirt that paired so well with the t-shirt. As tees are typically dressed down and more of a casual piece I thought of going for a dressed up or formal and feminine look. I added a pair of nude block heels to dress up the outfit and add a more girly feel to it. To accessorize I brought along the newest addition to my purse collection, the Neverfull in white (totally an investment piece). I felt so light and airy in this outfit I literally just wanted to twirl around all afternoon 🙂

If you haven’t already done so make sure you check out BBX online and on Instagram, you may just find your new favourite t-shirt.