niagara on the lake

The House Is Sold!
July 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm 0

For 3 years we were living part time in the city, and part time in the country. We had a big gorgeous country house with 2 wood-burning fireplaces and a huge lawn on 21 acres. Our house was surrounded by vineyards, and some of the best wine from Niagara on the Lake was within a 3 minute drive from my house.

In many ways it was heavenly. Quiet days, natural beauty, a wonderful break from our insanely busy city lives. Of course, like every experience, there were good things and bad things about it.

Events, Travel
Roasted Icewine Marshmellows Anyone?
January 11, 2013 at 8:53 am 0
The Icewine festival is in full swing in Niagara on the Lake, and this week I'll be at Peller Estates roasting icewine marshmellows. Yummy! Since I just finished my cleanse, it seems like the perfect time for a reward like fire roasted icewine marshmellows! If you're interested in this event here's what you need to know. Important Details: Location: Peller Estates Winery, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario Dates: January 12,13,19 & 20th Cost: $10 per person, $5 for Wine Club members Reservations: Can be made here
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I bet on the farm…and lost
August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm 0
Those of you who have been following my rather sparse posts over the last few months heard that I was making some big changes...and giving up the apartment in Toronto to live full time in Niagara on the Lake. I bet on the farm, literally. And after 5 months of living here full time I can say that I lost the bet. We moved here for a few reasons but the main ones being:
  • my husband really hated renting an apartment. Paying someone else's mortgage is not for him and he thinks it's a total waste of money (and I can't disagree)
  • our landlord was annoying. She would call to see if we were home, because if we weren,t she'd use our parking spot. And she only ever called us when she needed the next batch of rent cheques. We paid six months up front, and when we were at month 5 she's start calling, emailing, visiting. Of course, when anything was broken in the apartment she never answered her phone, or email...
  • the rent was paid by my business, and I wasn't sure how running a business was going to work with a newborn baby. So we played it safe and stopped shelling out rent every month.
  • Now, these are all pretty solid reasons when you think of them on paper (or on screen in this case). But, there's a big factor that we really didn't think of realistically. It's called everyday living. And we didn't think about how our everyday life would be, if we lived in a totally new place, where we didn't know anyone, we had no support, and we would have to drive to do anything. And wow, that was an eye-opener! It's like my life literally stopped. I was alone in a big house all day, where I knew no-one, and nobody knew me. I had a baby that slept all day, and was pretty much home-bound. Yes, of course, the house is gorgeous - If I could move this house to Toronto tomorrow, I would. And the land is beautiful - I look out my window sometimes and I'm still in awe of how gorgeous it is to have grass for miles, nice big trees, a huge pond, and a clear view of the Niagara Escarpment. But that in no-way compensates for the isolation, slow pace, and total calm that this life offers. When I moved here I had visions of gardening everyday, cooking beautiful, gourment meals, and having friends coming over every weekend to enjoy the local vineyards. None of that really happened. Having a baby is like being in a serious car crash. Your life stops, and physically you can't do all the stuff you did before. I tried, but ended up really delaying my recovery... I somewhat feel like a fool for moving all the way out here to realize it's not for me. But, that's life, right? And as long as I can "course-correct" and get myself back to a happy place, it doesn't matter. And, you know what? I can still garden, cook gourmet food, and have friends over for wine from my condo patio or backyard in Toronto!
    Living Part time in the City and the Country: The Good, Bad & Ugly
    June 15, 2011 at 7:55 am 1
    country_field_landscape_photo_EA52064 As I mentioned earlier in the year, my husband and I bought a house in Niagara on the Lake. As entrepreneurs we have some flexibility with our work schedules, so we took that as a sign to start living the life we always wanted and live part time in the city, part time in the country. Splitting life between Niagara on the Lake, and downtown Toronto has proven to be quite exciting! When we mention that we live in the city... and the country it's surprising how many people say "Oh, I've always wanted to do that!". I thought we were the only ones crazy enough to have that dream. As it turns out, there's a lot of people out there that love the excitement of downtown living, but crave the tranquility of a quieter pace of life...at least a few days a week. One thing that happens when we tell people about our living situation is that people always have lots of questions...from finances, to lawn moving, so here it is... The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The Good - the peaceful feeling of waking up with clean air, blue skies and chirping birds - having a totally new way of living...together - regular visitors from the city who are excited to see what you're up to - the space! our house is 3500 square feet, that's a big improvement from our condo that is 800 square feet - having loads of new places to discover, including tons of new wineries that we've never visited - getting loads more exercise from walking around the property and doing yardwork - finally having a use for all my "country" knowledge acquired from growing up on a sheep farm - having a barn cat. it came with the house, but has become a good companion for us The Bad - our lawn is 2 acres...and takes 5 hours to mow! - the totally out of control gardens - weeds, weeds and more weeds! - after living in condos for years, not knowing how to fix any "house" stuff, or where even to start (our eaves trough was ripped off our house 2 months ago in a violent wind storm...we still haven't fixed it) - the hot water tank isn't very big....so after one bath we're back to cold water - scheduling meetings only on days you plan on being in the city can be tricky - it's very expensive having a condo downtown and a house in the country...but worth it! The Ugly - the endless Spring, coupled with a broken lawn mower, means the grass did not get mowed for several weeks and was almost 2 feet tall in some places - TICKS! long wet grass is the perfect breeding ground for ticks, which are now everywhere in the tall grass. Ticks are little annoying bugs that bury their head in your skin, suck your blood, and carry lots of diseases...including Lyme Disease! - Having my pregnant friend get stuck in our driveway in a snow storm. There's no faster way to feel like sh*t than trapping a pregnant woman in your cold house when you know all she wants to do is get back to her own bed - Holy Moses is Propane Freaking Expensive! Having lived in a condo for years, we're used to turning up the heat, turning down the heat and leaving doors and windows open without a thought. Within the first 2 weeks of owning our house we got a propane bill for $1,200! From then on, we kept the heat low, lit fires, and lived like Scrooges!
    Country Update: Snail Obsessed
    April 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm 0


    This Spring has been pretty crazy - just when you think the weather is about to turn warm and lovely we get another spell of 10C weather with snow and storm warnings. This, of course, makes spending time outdoors, planting pretty flowers and other "nice" gardening things a tad too uncomfortable. Imagine trying to plant summer flowers with wind whipping through your hair, rain pelting your face, and your whole body freezing? No thanks. So, instead of actually planting anything I've become obsessed with cleaning up the garden. Much to my horror the gardens are filled with snails! As soon as I saw a few I started noticing more, and more, and more, and now I see tens and hundreds of them everytime I look! It's making me crazy. And I can't stop thinking about it! I'll come home late at night from a party, only to put on some grubby clothes, and try and catch snails! I've tried beer traps (didn't work), digging them up, and I'm almost ready to move on to chemicals. Crazy I know.
    Events, Life, Travel
    Top 10 Things To Do For The August Long Weekend
    July 30, 2010 at 11:44 am 0
    In Ontario we have a fabulous 3 days off for the August long weekend. Not sure what to do? There are lots of fantastic things going on, not to mention the weather is going to be absolutely gorgeous!

    Things To Do In Toronto

    1.Take A Day Trip To The Toronto Islands (click here to read more) One of our favourite things to do is to go the the Toronto Islands. 2. Go To The Beach (click here to read more) The Beach is also a favourite place to be this weekend. Take a stroll on the beach, play some volleyball, watch the seagulls, or enjoy a delicious brunch along Queen Street. 3. Visit The Harboufront Area (click here to read more) There's also lots of great things happening at the Harbourfront in general. Read on to find out what to do, where to go, and where the best patio is! 4. Take Part In Caribana (click here to read more) Of course you've probably heard that this weekend is the Caribana weekend - it's a massive party that consumes a large part of our city to so here's information on how you can get involved.

    Things To Do Outside Of The City

    5. Take A Day Trip To Niagara On The Lake (click here to read more) Niagara On the Lake is an absolute favourite. Here's a short post on what do while you're in Ontario's favourite wine country. 6. Go To Cottage Country (click here to read more) Cottage country is gorgeous, and there's no better weekend to enjoy it than this one! Here's a link to a last minute cottage rental site...so tempting!

    Things To Do Anywhere

    7. Host A Fabuous Dinner Party (click here to read more) It's going to be gorgeous, so host a fabulous outdoor dinner party with these amazing recipes. 8. Go On A Cheap, Fun & Active Date (click here to read more) Great suggestions for cheap, active and super fun date activities. If you're single don't fret, grab one of your girlfriends and make it a girls date! 9. Go Hiking With Your Girlfriends (click here to read more) The great outdoors, great girlfriends...well it all sounds pretty great. And it is. Do something totally different this weekend, and go hiking with your ladies. You'll love it! 10. Day Dream What Your Fantasy Life (click here to read more) In a relaxed environment, with no pressure or noise, or stress, or anything to disrupt you, let your mind wander...and create a picture of your dream life. It will be the start of great things for you!
    Weekend Warrior: Road Trips in Southern Ontario
    June 19, 2009 at 8:18 am 0
    A little while ago I went on a spontaneous day trip to Niagara on the Lake in Ontario. It was a lovely day and I smile every time I think of it.

    On the Friday night my boyfriend tossed around the idea of going to Niagara for a weekend getaway, but since we have a major trip coming up soon I said I’d rather save my money. The next day I woke up at 730 am – very, very unusual for me on a weekend morning – and I couldn’t stop thinking about going away for a mini break. I opened my computer while still in bed and searched for hotels….but oh my, they seemed so pricey! There were some beautiful hotels, bed and breakfasts and lodges, but they were so expensive I just couldn’t justify it. So instead, I suggested we just go for a day…….and what a lovely day. It was a warm, blue sky day with no clouds in sight. A day trip definitely felt right. We packed up a few things, and a change of nice clothes for dinner, and then we were off. On the way to Niagara on the Lake I found a place we could rent bikes and also called a spa to see if we could get last minute appointments. When we arrived in town we discovered the bike rental place was right by the vineyards, so as soon as we paid for our rentals we were off and cycling through beautiful laneways. We took little random streets with no goals in mind, then we went along the parkway, and over to a vineyard for wine tasting. It was so relaxing and fun.

    We took a trail to get back to the bike rental place so we could zip off to the spa. I had a mani – pedi and my boyfriend had a massage. I must confess it’s quite an extravagance for me as I’m really trying to watch my pennies, but this was worth every cent. When we left we both felt so relaxed and indulged..........so clearly it was time to indulge more! We went to a vineyard for dinner and tasted exquisite local foods coupled with great wine. It was fun being able to sample all the different wines......and enjoy the extra giggles that ensued. After dinner there was a lovely rain storm. While I took a little nap my boyfriend drove and listened to Feist, watching the lightening storm brew in the horizon.....