Thursday, June 30, 2011

Montreal Jazz Festival

On top of being beautiful and one of the most romantic city's to explore, Montreal generously embraces 'the arts'. On our recent weekend visit to the Montreal Jazz festival we explored the Old Port which is laden with art galleries. And the city itself, especially in Old Montreal, seems poetically beautiful and artistic all on its own.

I discovered online a boutique hotel right in the center of the old port area that was most definitely our style. The Auberge du vieux-port offered everything that Richard and I love; most especially the ambiance that only old world can charm you with.

Our room at Auberge du vieux-port :: Montreal

The hotel can not help but be romantic with the rooms that boast of finishes lovingly preserved. The picture above is from the web site and was what had caught my eye when I was searching for a different hotel to stay in.

Lucky us, the room in the web picture was available.
rooms feature original stone walls, beamed ceilings and long casement windows
The hotel staff are so friendly, warm and accommodating. It was a very welcoming stay.
Richard surprised me with a bouquet of white hydrangea's in the room for our arrival. My blog features an image of a bouquet of the same flowers that he had put in our room during our very first visit to Montreal.

We originally booked the weekend away to take in the Diana Krall concert, and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the jazz festival. There were a bevy of stages set up over several city blocks and the talent ranged from High School Music ensembles (Massey Vanier 5, who were great) to the big ticket names like Ms. Krall.

We wandered the cobbled streets of Old Montreal enjoying the art, the street performers, and great restaurants. The live talent in local restaurants and piano bars  seemed like they too could share the bigger stages at festival.

But by far, it was the ambiance of this pretty place in our Canada, that thrilled us. Here are some of the sites of Montreal..........


Notre Dame de Montreal
You could not take images inside Notre Dame (understandably), and a photograph could never do the Basilica justice. It is so ornate and lovely. 

courtyard outside of Notre Dame Basilica

Christ Church Cathedral

Cobblestone streets are all over and it reminds me of Paris when I'm walking across the stones. I love wearing heels and wouldn't let little cobbles stop me from stepping out in style.  And there was Richard, always holding my hand as we  journeyed around town with me in stiletto's taking baby steps over the stones.

Just like everything in life ..... sometimes you need a helping hand, someone to lean on. When the road is rocky and unsettled it's a wonderful feeling to know that with love beside you, it actually is a walk in the park.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Road Trip

We are heading out to the Montreal Jazz Festival this weekend (with tickets to hear Diana Krall in hand)............

Old Montreal is a beautiful place, so there will be many pictures to follow next week.

Have a Glamourous weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Have a GLAMOUROUS Weekend

Do you know who this bathing beauty is?

Looking  Glamourous in her stylish bathingsuit..........

it is 

the ever lovely

Audrey Hepburn.

Enjoy your weekend.

Today is my big Sisters Birthday. We are only 16 months apart in age and when we were little girls we were pretty much neck to neck on the growth chart. I am naturally dark brown to black hair (I say naturally because the platinum roots need to be enhance every month now), my Sister is a natural red head and had the most luscious shade of red hair when she was younger.

We wore our hair in little page girl hair cuts with bangs, and have a bevy of pictures of us side by side with the same little faces and very different shades of tresses. I always envied my Sisters hair and may have spilled a few tears in the past because she had beautiful bouncing hair and mine was poker straight.

My Big Sis at 34. I have hair envy.

I call Donna 'big Sis' and she calls me 'little Sis', despite the fact that she is much more petite than I am. We are close enough in age so no one had to lead the way and  we learned from each others mistakes.

Dad and Donna - look at those curls.

Today my Sister and I share the common threads of life........ with Children and Grandchildren among the first thing on our list of discussions when we chat on the phone.

Happy Birthday Donna!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All Dressed UP

I'm not shy to admit that I am a girlie girl. I love pretty things, bling and romantic style...... crystal chandeliers make me smile.

Even as a young girl I had a dressing table. I shared a room with my Sister for many years and then when we each got our own room I tested my decor flair out for the first time. The room was pale yellow with flower wallpaper, white sheer drapes, and a ruffled bedspread (yesh, just using the word 'bedspread' shows my age).

I love girlie glam spaces

I love having my girlie space to store my jewellery and put on my makeup. And when my Daughter was a little girl I bought her a kidney shaped dressing table and sewed the table cover, upholstered the chair and made balloon drapes all to match. It was the trend at the time to have it all match, now I would use five different patterns that speak to one another.

I had also bought a half moon dressing table and made a cover for it for my room. The kidney shaped table later was transformed for my bedroom and I made a new cover in white sheer ruffles. Both tables are currently tucked away in storage waiting like us for our new home. The styles are classic and will always work so they are worth storing away.

On the wish list of things that are a must for the 'house-to-be' that Richard and I are currently searching for; is a dressing room. Not a big'ol walk-in closet, a room to properly store clothes, shoes, handbags and jewellery. A soft and bright place with great mirrors to get dressed in. Here is a bit of inspiration that has helped the wish list along.

The white cabinets and furniture is highlighted even further by the custom cupboards and elegant detailed trim and mirrors. The refinished wood floors bring out the beauty of the room. It is so glamourous.

I love the Barbara Barry dressing table, it is timeless styling.

Traditional Home
Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria has combined elements of open and closed cabinets in her dressing room. Clothes tucked away behind doors are protected from fiber and dust, but open clothes racks help remind us of all the pretty things we have to wear.

Any small room can be transformed into a dressing room with built-in cabinets or stand alone wardrobe units. I love the mirrors on the ones shown above (Paul Schulman Design).


Then again..... you may be fortunate enough to have built-ins with the charm of these unique old doors. Finish it all of in style with an ornate full length mirror that has a few degrees of character.

via oliveaux

A well organized and pretty dressing room will make you feel Glamourous every day.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I have had several busy weeks back-to-back and have an overwhelming feeling to  run away for a month..... or more. You know that feeling.
The to-do list is longer than my arm, so I've decided to catch my breath and slip back into the memories of the tranquil spots we visited.

Andronis Luxury Resort :: our private terrace.

Andronis Luxury Resort



Andronis Luxury Resort

I know there is a lounge out there somewhere with my name on it...............

...... a client call takes Richard back to Greece in a flash :: HERE

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Walk Around Town

We live in a charming town 30 minutes outside of Toronto; the community of Oakville boasts of newly built neighbourhoods and yet still maintains the charm of the old town. Old Oakville, with a main avenue that rolls its carpet up by 9 PM, is along the waters edge at Lake Ontario. Richard and I live in the old section where the streets are lined with historical buildings and protected properties. We LOVE it.

The architecture is a combination of homes restored to their original glory and new homes styled to fit the face of the community. We love taking walks throughout the streets and discover something new every time we wander, despite the fact that we have probably been along the streets a dozen times before.

Recently I have been out with my camera capturing the prettiness that is so abundant in our town. There is a lot to share and so a new feature for the blog emerges today. On a regular basis I will take you on a walk around town.

I can't think of a better place to begin than with a picture of our church. The church, rectory, residence and parking encompasses an entire square block and is surrounded by beautiful trees.

St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church :: Circa1840

The lake front is a pretty place to walk and relax.

If you recognize your home or garden here, it was chosen because it adds an element of charm to our pretty town. 

This historical house faces the lake and provides a perfect spot on the veranda to enjoy the beauty of the water.

The garden at St. Jude's Church

The Lawn Bowling Club is at the edge of the park overlooking the marina.

Several of the homes feature a garage/coach house. I like the style of this one.
And below is the main house.

This is a big historical house, complete with a full wrap around veranda. I love the kids swing out front.... well used, as you can see by the dirt patch. 

This is our town : a community with spirit, character and respect for tradition.
It's a GLAMOUROUS place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Always On My Mind

When your partner says 'I'm going on business trip for a few days', do you think of all the things you'll do while they are away? Somehow in my mind I line up a months worth of things to do while Richard goes off to a conference.............. for four days. This is one of those weeks that I'm carrying around in my head my own honey-do list.

One of our airlines went into a strike situation last night, and of course it's the airline Richard is booked on for today. They recommend that travellers expect delays and take carry-on luggage instead of checked baggage. Last night began the task of packing for the trip, something I really like doing for him.
OK, I'm crazy. But it is all about my own self satisfaction and makes me feel more assured that he is being taken care of while away from home.

Despite taking two suitcases for a three week journey to Greece, I really am an efficient packer. And when space is at a premium, I can make it work. I explained to Richard last night that rolling the clothes makes more room and helps keep the wrinkles out, same with packing his shirts in the plastic from the dry cleaners. So all the while I'm making sure that the socks are stuffed into little spaces and the clothes are snuggled around each other; he says the same thing to me that he tells me every time I pack for him, "no one ever did this for me before".
And my heart explodes .............. and it's another reason why I want to do this little thing for him.

As he walked out the door this morning with the carry-on luggage wheeling behind him like an efficient flight attendant, Richard turned back and said, 'I'd never be able to get everything in this small luggage'.

Ha! Well, your going to have to for the return flight home my love. I envision him getting off the plane at the end of the week wearing layers of clothing because he couldn't get everything back into the small luggage.

As I sit and write this posting, his cologne lingers around me more than it does most mornings after we've shared our have a great day hug. The place is all mine for a few days. Visions of painting until the wee hours of the morning and refinishing a piece of furniture dance around in my head.
And for Richard, housekeeping won't care if the towels are not hung with perfection after he dries his hands. He will appreciate the room to himself for a few days.

Time away from one another is good for the soul and makes you appreciate the time together.

Gosh! I hope he likes the bedroom painted fuschia ................. just kidding.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Birthday

Our Granddaughter's first birthday was a few weeks ago, we collectively decided that the celebration needed to be memorable. For anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis you know that we are searching for a new and perfect  house...... and space is at a premium in the place we currently reside in.

So the hunt began months ago for a great venue to hold the party. We didn't want to just land the event at a restaurant, and our search for a preferred venue with charm and character began. After a lengthy pursuit for the perfect spot we booked a historical house called Cawthra Estate.

Originally built in 1926, the Georgian-colonial style house is nestled in a protected wooded area. The charm of the house was exactly what we wanted to make our guests feel 'at home', and it is even complete with it's own resident ghost.

My Daughter gave me a picture she had found that was the 'inspiration' for the party, this was not to be the pink princess theme much associated with baby girls first birthdays. The look she wanted was light, airy, trendy and a bit girlie, but definitely chic. We shopped together for the decorations and bantered many ideas around; but I had strict instructions for the cake table, 'it must look exactly like the picture'.

Monique had carefully selected a theme of black and white gingham runners over white table covers, the poofs were a combination of pink, green and white. We had a big space to fill with three main rooms for guests to roam around, so the idea's needed to be abundant and easy to produce.

The house has three rooms on the main floor that are all complete with fireplaces. There is a great old kitchen that does the trick for loading the catering and preparing the last minute items. We used the pantry for our bar service area and of course everyone hangs out in the kitchen at every event, this was no different.

Birthday Girl's party shoes

Our original plan to hang white puffs from the ceiling didn't work. The ceilings and walls are stucco and the venue has strict instructions that you cannot use tacks. Plan B it was, and the traditional stringing of decor began.
We strung black and white check ribbon along the pillars in the corridor and attached with coloured clothes pegs some photographs of Baby K taken over the past year. When the guests moved from room to room they could enjoy the pictures and see Kya's development.

The catering was ordered from Otello's (in Oakville), which allowed me to serve a wonderful buffet of hot home cooked food without doing the cooking. It was superb.
I needed something to decorate the buffet table and decided to make a painted rainbow tree. Maybe a bit of a crazy idea...... but I needed to fill a big space and wanted colour on the buffet table.

I dragged home a big multi branch broken off of a tree, which is easy to find in spring. I painted the main parts of the branches white wash, then with the tree positioned in an extra tall vase I started painting the off shoot branches different colours. Once that was complete I tide matching coloured ribbons to the branches.

The effect I wanted was that the tree was blooming a rainbow of colour and the ribbons are the blooms. It added colour to what could be a boring buffet table and brought height to the decor. You decide........

We added a sweet table with pink and green candies to match the theme. Little candy bags in pink and white dots, or green and white stripes. I discovered just how many sweet tooth family and friends we have.

We added two punch drinks for our guests. The gingerale champagne strawberry punch was a big hit and everyone had fun drinking from the mini mason jars and colourful straws.

The birthday cakes were dark chocolate layer cakes with soft pink ribbon buttercream icing. We had one special 'smash' cake for the birthday girl, and she did smash her little hands in the icing before eating it and smearing it in her hair. Guests enjoyed the same type of cake, plus cupcakes, heart shaped cookies and macaroons in pastel shades. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, macaroons from Black Forest pastry in Oakville.

We set aside one of the rooms for guests to play and have fun. A plasma screen with Wii Dance party helped to create a few crazy moments for everyone, but it was the full size photo booth that Richard had brought in that was the real hit of the party. 
We discovered that no one was camera shy and everyone made great use of the fake mustaches, tiara's, crowns, and Hawaiian leis for their photo sessions. 

It was so much fun to see some of the more senior members of our family getting into the photo booth and hamming it up together. Everyone left a special message for the birthday girl in her memory book. I purchased a simple photo book, scrap book paper and scrap book stick-ons; the guests had loads of fun putting a page together complete with one of their photo booth pictures. It was the hit of the party.

Baby Kya's crazy Grandparents .... a'ka US!

The birthday girl was the belle of the ball with her little mint green tutu, white chiffon rose top, denim and floral print jacket, and floral beaded Mary-Janes. The ensemble looked even more adorable with the smear of pink icing on it which proved that Kya was having a fun time at her very first birthday party.

As a Grandmother I'm thrilled to see that my Grandchild has discovered the fun of diving into icing on the top of a cake. I can't wait for the days ahead when we will play in the kitchen together making cookies and cakes. I can almost hear Kya's shrill of excitement when she puts sprinkles on the creations and puts the baked treasures on a plate for everyone to share. 

It has been a wonderful year getting to know our Granddaughter, watching her grow and falling in love with the precious little Angel.

Happy First Birthday Kya.

The Glamourous Birthday Girl

All images thanks to Erin Valickis @