Ice Dreams Soda Shop


This little ice cream shop was so cute. It is basically a cola cola paraphernalia hoarders dream.  b3EY46kN4Okw2nxX.jpg

The owner collected all kinds of coca cola trinkets and decorated the shop with it. Along with their ice creams, they had cold and hot drinks to choose from. Cash only!1Paqa1r8qz9sZJdh.jpg

I got some crazy ice cream with chocolate fish in it.M5YpMLpTKxaGR2zH.jpg

WSPLmLA5fcT2EZlp.jpgIt kind of reminded me of my mom, because she drank one coke a day, and loved the polar bears and those old school coca cola glasses!

Ice Dreams Soda Shop
3131 Muskoka Road 169
Bala, ON P0C 1A0, Canada


Bala Bay Inn

fY8mqkzvx7G4StSK.jpgMuskoka is wonderfully scenic. Lakes, the trees, the rocks. I love it. I want to go back. The place we stayed in was called the Bala Bay Inn. Super cute, super old. So old that it has a ghost. Don’t worry, he’s friendly. Luckily for me, I didn’t even notice his was there, because I’m scared…of everything, in general.sAzMwsGmc1d39Qkz.jpgLocated right across the street from a place that you can rent stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks, this makes it a great location. It’s also walking distance from Jasper Park (where the wedding was held). The Inn is know for it’s restaurant, which serves brunch on Sundays, and is open for lunch and dinner on weekends.

Qq1gZL0RZbBUvSAo.jpgThe colors inside are bright and fun. Not what’d you expect from an old place. The staff is SUPER friendly, and helpful. And the restaurant is delicious.

6x3JMBUJyRIk8nJE.jpgNeed I say more?


uXnN6EP19Xo4OnGg.jpgOur room was literally just a room. You get a bed, a desk, a set of drawers and a chair. Well I mean you also get a bathroom, but that is it. Don’t go on a lake vacation and look for technology. The wifi was shotty, if you got any at all. At least it was from our room. But that’s okay. The point of being out here, is to enjoy the break from the busy city life right? Some people had TVs in their room. Which was a tiny box. We didn’t have that. There also isn’t a phone in the room. So get your exercise in and walk downstairs if you want to talk to the front desk.

I’m not complaining though. I really really liked it there. It’s the forced break I really needed. And the exercise! Did I mention how great and helpful the staff is there? I definitely want to go back there, if I need a real BREAK from city life.


Congratulations Amy & Kyle


They did it! After a year of stressing and planning, its over and now they can live happily ever after. The wedding activities also consisted of a welcome bbq at their cottage.

rLxWJQWvqoYTdhcH.jpgThis included, canoeing, stand up boarding, swimming and fireworks. Yes, they had their own fireworks show. 2WZqIfq2YnIQu0C7.jpg

My darling niece, Avairy, the flower girl who had to quit her job because running around was way better, and her daddy Jordan.4JrZOmjkeTLUQMrk.jpg

These two are so cute, you wanna barf. But like, a cute barf. The ceremony was headed by Jordan’s father, the pastor. They had seating for 70 guests, in the Jasper Park pavilion.  She looked beautiful against the handmade backdrop (good job bridesmaids!)4lH9guCCg9WZWLlN.jpg




Goat’s milk soap, and Jones soda (not pictured) with a picture of their furbaby on it.fQHi7N3O1Lcg9POr.jpg

Each place setting had something fun suggested on it to get to know your table mates.F4nybXrG9klV3A1V.jpg

Love was definitely in the air. I can’t wait to marry my love next week! (Not the wedding just  the legal document signing :D)jhmSCqIpFoSkt2uc.jpg

My gorgeous cousin, glowing on her wedding day!kejOIBxzVngPTS8m.jpg

Another beautiful cousin. Yes I have lots, Annie, Avairy’s (the flower girl) mama. VaNSdt3bqwuxYmqR.jpg

The first dance. So sweet. And then we broke it dooooooooooooown!GyFloaxfFx8qvXkz.jpgIt was worth the 12 hour road trip to see family and relax lakeside. The wedding was sweet, simple, beautifully done, and gave me a refreshed outlook on weddings. Maybe I will try harder to plan our wedding. As long as family is there that’s all that matters really. I wish the best for you both Amy & Kyle! See you next year at ours! ENJOY THE FREEDOM of no longer wedding planning <3




We are back from vacation, and just as I predicted, it was all I needed. After a grueling 12 hours in the car, we made it home. I am happy and ready to tackle my to do list with a new joie de vivre.


The cottage was beautiful. So much bright light reflecting off the lake. The temperature was perfect. The only thing to complain about, if you want me to be realistic, is the mosquitoes. Muskoka Mosquitoes. They are huge, relentless and the boss of this town. Everyone was spraying every 30 minutes just to prevent being eaten alive.


There were lots of water activities to participate in… which I didn’t, because I am terrified by bodies of natural water. However, the honey did get me in a canoe. That didn’t last very long. Luckily he got in with our cousin and they power rowed so far away from us, and caught a fish!



It was so great to be back around family. I feel like all my female relatives are in Canada, while I’m stuck in America with all the boys!


We made a pact to see each other at least once a year. 2 years in a row so far!


There are too many cute babies in this family.


The lake life, is the good life. More posts later! For now, time to catch up with my life! Thank you so much for having us Amy!


Chez Francois Macarons

In Ottawa they speak more English than they do French but tucked away in Westboro is a little place called Chez Francois. When we first walked in the lady was helping the customer and they were speaking in French. It was like we stepped into France…or Montreal. They had all French goods and gifts, but we were on a mission. Macarons for our pajama party. They had a tray of them on display.

Amy asked the lady for the whole tray…there was a little bit of confusion…I guess she didn't think we would want THE WHOLE TRAY, but yes, we did. Luckily there was a special, where it was buy 4 get one free. Our total ending up being $52! The flavors available were classics. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, lemon, raspberry and pistachio. They were tiny but still the same price as the ones that I would find at home.

They were alright. I still like the ones at home better. I will have to try them again from Montreal!


Fatboys Southern Smokehouse

As crazy as it seems, yes I went to Canada and craved southern food. Let me start off saying, don't go to Canada for American southern food. I just wanted to see their interpretation of it. Just like how I went to France and tried and American burger, what am I thinking. Don't judge me…too cruely.

Food aside, Fatboys was fun. There is out door seating, there is a market, and Harley themed decor. Right down to the bathroom sinks resembling motorcycle handlebars. As with most places in Canada, the service was friendly. There was also a stage that the babies found their way to, which just received smiles from the staff (where if it happened in America someone would have told us to get handle on our kids).


The boo and I shared a Kentucky Trio, we chose dry rubbed ribs, chicken and brisket. We had sides of cornbread, baked beans and bacon Mac n Cheese. It was satisfying but nothing to write home about. But because I love barbecue, I will still probably go to a BBQ place in Canada again, just not this one!


Baja Burger Shack

When you think of Canada, beach doesn't come to mind. But what is crazy is, when you walk around the corner from my cousin's house…there's a beach. A real beach. Sand and everything. However, it's a river. But a beach nonetheless. There's a volley ball set up. Lifeguard shacks. Happy almost naked people. The best part of the beach, other than the awesome rock point?

Baja Burger Shack.

It really is a shack. There's a stand with outdoor seats around it. I'm guessing that it is only open when it's warm. Can you imagine sitting outside eating a burger in a Canadian winter? Hahaha. I pictured the same thing.

The place is cash only, ATM conveniently located right next to the register. We ordered the bacon cheeseburger, and a beach dawg. They have fun fruit squeezes, which are just fruit slushees. We each got one of those too. And french fries. Oh and guess what, they have poutine there too!

The burger was fresh, moist and medium well. There's some kind of sauce in there, you didn't even need to add ketchup or mustard. They're regular fries were awesome. Sprinkled with their all season (pretty much old bay for us DC/VA/mD'rs minus the spice) and a little ketchup it came together pretty nicely. I enjoyed sitting out there with my family, on the uneven table, then walking it off at the beach!


Brewer’s Park Farmers Market

What is it about farmers markets? I love checking out all the local produce, jams, and handmade stuff. Oh, and eat at all the local vendors. It’s always fun to be outdoors and shopping. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t have been able to take anything home, so we opted for just enjoying the local eats.

For my breakfast, we shared a ham and cheese crepe from Crepe Joy. Delicious ham and cheese in a perfect crepe, with honey drizzled on it.


Then to wash it all down, I had my first Arnold Palmer. I always thought it was an alcoholic drink. Alas, I was DELICIOUSLY wrong. It’s half sweet tea mixed with lemonade. New favorite summer drink. AND, did you know that iced tea in Canada IS sweet tea. My cousins were definitely surprised when they came to the states and realized that iced tea is unsweetened unless asked for.

We originally wanted to go there for the ribfest… but getting there at noon was too late! All the cooked ribs were gone. We could have purchased already marinated ribs to take home, but where is the fun in that? Oh well!



Burgers: The Works

I wish burgers were healthy, and good for you. I like eating them, a lot. As seen here, here, and here. So of course when I visit Ottowa, I had at least two kinds of burgers.

The Works is a chain, they call themselves a gourmet burger bistro. I can see that. There are A LOT, and I mean a lot of things to choose from, to build your ultimate burger. First you choose your patty, Gourmet Ground Beef, Whole Chicken Breast, Ground Turkey, Gourmet Veggie, Portobello Mushroom Cap, or Lean Domestic Elk. Then you choose what KIND of burger and toppings you want. There are 71 combinations. After that you choose your sides.

We started off with 3 towers of onion rings. They came with 4 different dipping sauces, some spicy, some creamy, some tomatoey and some all of the above. I don’t like onion rings in general because they usually slide out of the crispy crust, and I don’t like onions enough to eat it straight up like that. But these didn’t do that. They were the best onion rings, I’ve had in my life. That’s not saying much though, I haven’t had that many. But it was good!

I’m pretty boring when it comes to burgers, so how fitting that my choice in burger was called “Ho Hum #5”. It was mushrooms, cheddar and bacon. I also got a classic poutine as my side. I was pretty full already full from the onion rings, and my pyrex measuring cup full of ginger ale (yes they use measuring cups as their mugs). The burger was just a plain patty with no seasoning. It was dependent on the sauce and toppings you chose. Verdict? I’ve had better. 


The last time I went to Canada, I think I was 16. My mom and I took a road trip together, for me to learn how to read a map to get to my destination, and also for me to be comfortable driving long distances in places I don't know. This was clearly before mapquest, google maps, and apps! We went to Toronto and Niagra Falls.

This time around, the boo and I took a road trip to Ottowa. It was a much needed reunion, and a great one! I had an amazing time, full of love, laughs, food and family. I also got to peek in on their culture and learn a few fun things.

  • They have pretty colorful money
  • Their single dollar is a coin called a loonie
  • They have a two dollar coin called a toonie
  • “Eh” and how they pronounce about …is really like the movies/tv
  • They don't use pennies
  • There are higher taxes on alcohol, this makes sense because of their universal healthcare system. If you are going to drink, you are going to cost the government more, so they will tax you more!
  • They created hockey
  • Tim Horton was a hockey player… He would.

Tim Horton's is awesome. I love it. They have cookies. They have timbits, and they have XXS. What's up with all these giant smalls in America. This is why we are fat. The first thing we did when we crossed the border was drive through a Tim Horton's for some french vanilla coffee. *sigh. Other than my family, this is what I will miss the most.

The weekend consisted of eating out, bbqing, walks on the beach, catching up and photo ops with Avairy. There was happy news of engagement, and brainstorming bachelorette shenanigans. We've decided to do this every summer, so that our future children can have each other as they grow too! I can't wait to see them again next year…because clearly I can ONLY go to Canada in the summer.