A Trip to Quebec City

Sunday, September 21, 2014


As promised last week I've compiled my photos from our trip to Quebec City with Chad's parents. If you don't like slide shows of 'My Summer Vacation' turn back now ( I won't blame you) but if you're not exactly ready to start Monday and would like to day dream about visiting the 'Europe of North America', let's take a little trip to a city right in my backyard. 

Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec and about a 3 hour drive from Montreal. The city is actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure. I had forgotten since my last trip in high school just how charming the city really is. In my defense the legal drinking age in Quebec was lower and let's just say a bit more lenient than in Ontario-so we weren't actually excited about sightseeing). While it is touristy in certain areas there are also many out of the way quiet moments to be had and lots of inspiration in the old stone buildings and streets.

We spent two days just strolling around, so my pictures are in mostly in the order that we walked. I only found this after but if you're interested in a walking tour Frommers has two for Upper and Lower Town here. Or you could download an itunes one here. Or you could be like us and just stand near English speaking tour groups for more information. 

We stayed at the ChâteauFleur de Lys, which was a small boutique hotel right next the Château Frontenac. It had soaring ceilings, beautiful moldings and a marble fireplace in our room. The designer in me was itching to make some changes in order to really make it shine but the view alone was worth it. 

Chad and his Dad enjoying the view

The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of the cities landmarks and has recently been restored to blend historic and modern features. I would recommend having a drink at the hotel's 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar overlooking the St. Lawrence river. 

The restored lobby- I love the blue coffered ceiling

The lobby bathrooms were also gorgeous. Nothing like marble on marble on marble with a side of herringbone pattern. I think everyone in the bathroom thought I was crazy (Chad's Mom did ask me what I was doing) but I feel obliged to document a beautiful bathroom when I see one. You're welcome.

Sitting area outside the bathroom-Gold AND fur! 

Rue du Tresor-outdoor street gallery

Obligatory tourist shot

Listening in to tour groups

Feeling like I could be in Europe

The city of Quebec has a semi-permanent public art exhibition running until the middle of October called Passages Insolites or Unusual Passages. Delirious Frites (above) is one of six city-mandated public art installations on display in Quebec City's Quartier Création.

The artists say they chose pool noodles as their medium to encourage people to touch and interact with the exhibit.  You can read more about it here

Our final stop on the first day, Place Royal -the oldest stone church in North America. Just add some gelato and you can almost pretend you're in Italy (almost).

View from the Citadelle

More drool-worthy homes and maybe yet another paint colour option for our cottage?

Walking around the Citadelle

Touring a military exhibition as part of the Citadelle and  Royal 22e Régiment and look-it's the same Emergency Drinking Water we have!

Our last stop before heading home was Montmorency Falls . The falls are suppose to be 30m higher than Niagara Falls and if you're into strenuous hiking you can walk up all those stairs - or you can park near the top, cross the suspension bridge, turn around and make fun of the people climbing.

So that was our trip - congrats if you've made it all the way to the end and weren't planning your own trip in the near future. That being said, if you aren't planning your own trip you should be! Unless you're European - I'm still confused as to why there were so many European tourists. Maybe it's like visiting a frontier town for you? As your reward for looking at all my pictures, here is one more photo of Chad and I looking serious and dapper.

Le Weekend

Friday, September 19, 2014

Well, that's been a long week hasn't it? Happy Friday everyone! I thought I'd change it up a bit and give you a few links to 'Things I Want but Don't Need'. This is not surprisingly a recurring theme in my life. I've made a new goal for myself to not buy anything new for a few months and so far I've been able to stick to it. 

What seems to be helping me is my Pinterest board of the same name, as well as going to my usual shopping haunts but instead of buying I've been taking pictures to share with you. Check out my recap of Finnegan's Saturday Market (and how to use those vintage finds) here. Up next will be another one of my favourite vintage markets - Marche aux Puce Saint-Michel/St Michel Flea Market. Let's take a look at a few things that have caught my eye lately:

Art Under $100

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16


Whew! Sorry for the long absence there friends. Chad's parents came to visit so I was busy doing things like going to Quebec City and being a tourist in my own town. I'll have a recap of Quebec City after I whittle down the million photos I took-it's just so darn pretty ( I may have also watched the entire first season of Fargo the week before so excuse my quaint expressions). To make up for this, I've provided you with a round-up of possibly my favourite 'Art Under $100' subject, 'Vintage Portrait Painting'. 

I know this isn't for everyone so I've also given you a bit of inspiration in case you're afraid of having creepy eyes following you around. Hot tip - don't buy portraits that have creepy eyes and also maybe don't put portraits that have disapproving stares directly near your bed! 

Three ways to use vintage portraits: 

1) Hang it all on it's own to highlight it in it's stunning glory. Bonus points if you can tie in the painting colours to the room. Number 4 or 14 would look amazing against chartreuse or pink.


2) Hang it within a gallery arrangement to contrast abstract/photographic/landscape work. Number 6 or 12 would be a great foil to other mixed media. Bonus points for keeping the entire arrangement in a few key colours.


3) Hang it all - go crazy and create the ultimate statement gallery wall using a single theme. Bonus points if you go and buy everything I listed before I do.


Exterior Update

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


If you remember back to this post  I made a list of all the exterior updates I wanted to make on the front of the house. I also joked that I probably wouldn't get around to these updates (or at least showing you) until the end of the summer...and I was so right! I am however pretty impressed with what got done. Let's take a look, shall we?

Yeah! So much less strange Greek isle blue and so much more neutral cottage charm. Let's go over what I did and didn't do:
  • Paint shutters and planter box-CHECK! The shutters are painted a shade darker than the roof colour- Behr Exterior Satin Enamel in Dark Granite and I love it. The planter box is painted the same white as the rest of the house-Sico Exterior Paint in Natural White and I think it allows the bright flowers to really shine- P.S. thanks Mom for helping me pick and plant everything.
  • Paint door fun colour-FAIL! I could not decide on a door colour. I even put up samples but am now debating whether or not a colour will highlight the fact that the door is off center? 
  • Paint over brown brick on side of house-CHECK! I wasn't sure about this one but boy am I glad we painted over it. I don't understand why there was decorative brick on the side of the house in the first place.
  • Remove blue outdoor carpet from stairs and walkway-CHECK! That carpet was gross but it turns out it was hiding a huge crack in our front steps. Now we have another project.
  • Remove awning from side of house and concrete steps-CHECK! and FAIL! It was ridiculous to have an awning over nothing so Chad ripped it down, finally getting rid of the last of the blue. We also painted over the newly filled in door but we didn't remove the concrete steps. I'm not sure now that we will as the expense may not be worth it. Right now the steps lead to the laundry line which would have to be moved.
  • Plastic planters gone-CHECK! That was kind of an easy one.

All in all I think that's pretty good. You'll notice we also changed out the house numbers and light fixture and I brought my indoor citrus tree outside. I also added some additional shrubs and planted flowers for the first time in my life. I'd  also just like to let you know that I officially hate gardening and yard work. This past weekend I was raking leaves (booooo Fall!) and Chad was cleaning out the car and I had to stop and take a moment because it made me feel super old to be spending my weekend doing something so boring. Anyway, there is our exterior progress after year one in our house. Have you tackled any projects around your place? Are you one of those weirdos who likes yard work? Do you have any door colour suggestions for me now that the rest of the house is updated? Do share!

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