Recent Obsessions #11


Look at this Protea bouquet! Save-On-Foods has had them on special lately and they’re a nice way to change things up.

I’ve been super obsessed with all of the JonBenet Ramsey specials lately. I read this article recently and it totally freaked me out…so crazy!

The Oh She Glows Everyday cookbook. I have Angela’s first book so I knew this one would be great, but I like it even better than her first! So far I’ve made the Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Jam, Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars, Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Breakfast Thumbprint Cookies. The Endurance Crackers are next on my list.

Fave fall nail color: Formula X in Obsessed.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sleeping Mask. I may have mentioned this one before but my skin has been super dry and freaked out lately. One treatment with this and I’m good to go again.

My Minnetonka slippers. I love their flats but this is my first pair of their slippers. I’m a huge fan. They are the coziest things I’ve ever worn on my feet.

Tommy recently surprised me with Hillberg and Berk’s new  Peacock Sparkle Balls. Pictures don’t even do them justice; they are STUNNING in person. It’s strange but they are colorful and neutral at the same time, which I love.

Are you watching This is Us? I’m officially hooked.

What are you obsessed with lately?


My Thanksgiving Menu


It’s our first time hosting a holiday and I’m super excited about it. Our home will be full of people we love and tons of food; what could be better? I’ve been working on the menu and thought I’d share it, complete with links to the recipes I’m using where possible:


  • Spiral Ham




  • My sister Caitlin is also bringing an appetizer and drinks.
  • I’m avoiding turkey because I can’t fathom carving one in my condo kitchen.
  • This is my first time making pumpkin pie from scratch and I’m scared.


P.S. My white pumpkin is from Save-On-Foods.


On Grieving


The first time I ever swam in the ocean I got knocked down by a big wave. Startled, I got back onto my feet, but just as I recovered I was knocked back down again. This went on a few times, the current pulling me down and sucking me in a bit before it spit me out again and I’d be struggling to pull myself back up before the next big wave came. Grieving is a lot like this, I think. You may think you’re starting to rise from the depths when another wave takes you by surprise and you feel as though you’re drowning in an ocean of it.

Once we learned that my Grandma didn’t have much time to live, and even she had made peace with her fate, I began bargaining. In lots of ways it felt like making a deal with the devil; her suffering can end but she won’t be here anymore when it does. I wished so desperately for her agony to be over that I feel like I forgot about the finality her death would bring. The weeks had dragged on so long and so painfully. When my mom finally called that Tuesday morning and said she had bad news I felt confused for a second because I had been praying for relief for Grandma for so long. Wasn’t it good news that she wasn’t suffering anymore? My first feeling was relief, my second, guilt for feeling relieved and then slowly as the days went on the shock of what it all really meant began to sink in.

I went to visit Grandpa last month for the first time since the funeral. As I stirred chili on their stove, in a pot I’d seen Grandma use forever, I thought about how strange and sad it was to be there without her, surrounded by every knick knack she had so carefully arranged, in a house that still felt like her in every way. How deeply wrong it felt, to leave the house and visit her at the graveyard down the street instead. My aunt gave me back the thank-you card I had given Grandma after my bridal shower. In it I had thanked her for being in my life and told her that I was looking forward to visiting her more her this summer. I gave her that card in May and she was dead in July. It’s terrifying how quickly things can change and the people we love can leave us forever.

The last time I visited Grandma’s house before the wedding she sent a loaf of her homemade bread with me. We ate half and I carefully froze the rest for a special treat another day, then promptly forgot about it. I found it a few weeks after she died and tearfully stared at it in my hands like it was a million dollar cheque. It’s the LAST loaf of my Grandma’s bread I’ll ever have and I felt paralyzed by what to do with it. Make a phenomenal grilled cheese sandwich or save it in my freezer forever? It’s those small, seemingly stupid things that really take you by surprise. Grief taps you on the shoulder to remind you it’s still there in case you managed to find a brief respite from it.

Recently, I was leaving a restaurant and realized on my way home that I would have to drive past the hospital where I had spent so many evenings a couple of months ago. I’ve avoided that emotional landmine in the city because sometimes my memory fails me for a split second and I will very briefly feel like I should be heading there to visit. Like my Grandma might still be in her room if I went in, like it was all a bad dream and I had just forgotten to go there for a couple of days. It was too late to change directions and so I forged ahead, feeling unprepared but having no choice but to confront reality as I drove by. I have no one to visit there anymore, no reason to park and go inside and that hurt for a minute. But then I remembered that she is at peace now and in a much better place than that hospital room. As challenging as it feels, now I’m the one who needs to find peace in that.


Our Clear Lake Honeymoon


After the events of this summer Tom and I were both needing some time to hit the reset button. Originally we were planning a trip somewhere in the States later in the fall but both of us were burnt out by August and one day I came home and pitched a week in Clear Lake. We hadn’t had any lake time this summer and I felt like we needed some extended downtime rather than a wild and busy vacay. I had worked at Clear Lake for two summers while in University and it’s always been a happy place for me but Tom had never been. He quickly jumped on board and there was a week coming up that my brother could come and dog sit (thanks Luke!) so we quickly put together a plan.


It was so nice to sleep in a bit and leave on our own time. We had nowhere to be and no one waiting for us, which was pretty fun. The world was our oyster! We ended up taking a roundabout way into the park and doing some sightseeing on our way in. We happened upon the Bison Enclosure and saw this guy. That photo isn’t zoomed in either; we were that close to him! He was super chill.


We stayed at Lakehouse which I had known as McTavish’s when I worked at Clear Lake. It had recently been bought, renovated and rebranded and it looked like the most charming place to stay. Spoiler: it was! The place is so warm and cozy; definitely honeymoon worthy.




I loved the pumpkins piled everywhere.


Our home for the week.


Handmade soap and lip balm in our room.


I forgot to pick up one of these adorable coffee cups and I’m still sad about it.


Lakehouse offers continental breakfast on weekday mornings in the fall so we started out each day by heading down to the lounge for a leisurely bite. Every day was something new; fruit and yogurt parfaits, warm danishes or fresh muffins. They also have a coffee shop in the hotel so we usually got one before we headed out for the day. We really liked their Caramel Macchiato and the hot chocolate.


I love how the hotel decorates with vintage Clear Lake photos and posters.


Our first few days were pretty cold but we still did quite a bit of sightseeing. We stopped by the Wishing Well for some photos (and to make a wish, of course). It’s a beautiful spot.




We loved relaxing by the fireplace in the lounge with coffee in the morning and drinks in the evening.


My favorite drink was the “Lakehouse”, naturally. It had gin, club soda, strawberries and mint. Delish, and definitely something I’ll try to recreate at home.


Every day we explored the different trails and lakes in the area. On the really cold days we’d drive around until we found something interesting and then we’d stop off and hang out for a bit. I loved that solitary yellow tree hanging out with all the green ones.


We were freezing cold and beat after rainy sightseeing one day and so we had pizza in bed. Mano’s makes an incredible pie and the owners were so friendly. We liked them (and their pizza) so much we went back for another on our last night.


This is a closer look at the ice cream shop in Lakehouse, which had a lot of unique creations.


The best thing I tried was the Raspberry Sundae (raspberry white chocolate ice cream, raspberry sauce, pecans and an oatmeal cookie). I mean, seriously.


Close second place goes to the Double Chocolate Salted Caramel ice cream sandwich.


In addition to coffee and ice cream, Lakehouse has a smoothie bar on site. My favourite was the “Green Peach”(peaches, spinach, ginger, honey and basil). It was super refreshing on one of our warmer days on the deck.


The Martese only had one cruise while we were at Clear Lake so I was really excited that we got to go. It was really relaxing and peaceful out on the water.



We had supper at T.R. McKoy’s after our cruise. We loved the atmosphere and the service was great.


I had the Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Lasagna. It was incredible and I understand why it’s a favourite there. Tom had the Chicken Parmesan, which was also lovely.


We often ended our nights in the outdoor hot tub on our deck.


For our last meal on our way out, we stopped by the White House for lunch. It’s not surprising that this is the #1 place to eat at Clear Lake (according to Trip Advisor, anyway), because our meals were perfection.


Tom had the Chicken Griller and caesar salad, which he loved. I had the Chicken Avocado Bacon Panini on their housemade focaccia and the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had in my life. It was a great end to our trip.


We had SUCH a relaxing getaway together. I’ve only seen Clear Lake in its peak season but to be there in the fall was so peaceful and low key. It was exactly what we needed and Tom is definitely a Clear Lake fan now so I know we’ll be back soon!


P.S. I took about a million landscape and nature photos during our exploring. I thought this post already had a ton of pictures so I plan to share the rest next week! Happy Friday!