Bloomfields Flowers – Getting Ready for the Holidays


Bloomfields Flowers is ready for the holiday season and this week we went to their holiday launch. Bloomfields is located at 736 Bank Street, in the Glebe (in Ottawa). You can check out their website, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but really, you need to get yourself to their store – it’s amazing!

3 WM

Metal fox and squirrels

Tree bobbles

Below is a larger gallery of all the amazing items we saw at (locally owned) Bloomfields. Given our vast knowledge of horticulture, you’ll see we’ve referred to some of the flowers as ‘purple flowers’ and ‘greenery’, rather than using their real (undoubtedly Latin) names. Click on an image to see it full size.

Bloomfields is one of our favourite stores in Ottawa.
We both wanted to buy every single thing we saw there.
It’s a good thing most retailers don’t know how to do what Bloomfields does because we would both be impoverished.
I’m just trying to think – out of all the wonderful things there – what you’re going to buy me for Christmas…
I’ll have to think about that… there’s so much to chose from.
I know you want one of those blankets – D&J, take note…
Can’t have too many blankets.
Can’t have too many of anything we saw.
For us, Bloomfields is THE most beautiful florist in Ottawa.
It is an awe-inspiring store. I’m actually at a loss for words it’s so beautiful!
That’s a first.
I know! I think the pictures speak for themselves, so Ottawa, get yourselves to Bloomfields.

outdoor candles

North & Navy

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North & Navy Restaurant
226 Nepean St., Ottawa, Ontario






Last Friday morning I read a review about North & Navy, one of Ottawa’s top new restaurants. What got my attention was the description of Bacaro: On practically every calle, salizada and ruga in Venice, you’ll find a Barcaro – a casual place to grab a glass of wine or Prosecco and a bite to eat, known as “cichèti” … before I finished reading the rest of the description I was texting Irene to meet me there after work for a glass of Prosecco.









You’ll find N&N’s Barcaro at the rear of the restaurant with a view into the kitchen. In my haste to get there after work I arrived a bit early so I took a few photos while waiting for Irene.

Here’s that glass of Prosecco we’ve been waiting for.




FeetIrene arrived – love the inlaid floor tile.

Here are a couple of the dining areas.



small room


Beet Goat Cheese & Apple
Ricotta e lardo

Postcard collage

This lovely postcard comes with the bill. Nice touch.

I love discovering new places.
And I love drinking Prosecco.
Yes, a match made in heaven.
This was a fantastic meeting place for a drink after work.
I know and our fantastic server Carla gave us those delicious appetizers to try.
Next time we’ll come back for dinner and bring all our friends.
Or at the very least we have to go back for an after work drink at the Barcaro.
Can’t wait.

Daya Spa, Dalhousie St., Ottawa


Great news! Our favourite esthetician, Hailey Hamilton (formerly of New U on Queen St.) is back at work!
And it’s a good thing – I’m in dire need of a pedi.
And full disclosure here, Hailey is a family member, but also just happens to be the best esthetician ever.
Daya Spa, Hailey’s new employer, is in my favourite neighbourhood – Dalhousie St. in the Byward Market.
So when you go there you can visit all the other great shops along the way.
And it’s close to Parlour –
– where you go every six weeks for a few hours, right?
Yes, you are correct. I have a standing appointment.
We need to pamper ourselves because we don’t have anyone else to do it for us.
Yeah, I’m gettin’ tired of that. I wish my dog was capable of cooking a meal.
If she could, it couldn’t possibly take any longer than you do.
We should get back to the spa. For real – when are we going?
We’ve booked a group evening there in November – our pre-Christmas prep.
Daya is really beautiful with a wonderful, relaxing vibe. And you could shop ’till you drop with all the products they sell.
And they’ll fill up quickly, so book your appointment now to get ready for the holidays, and while you’re there, do some Xmas shopping.
Ask for Hailey…
Everyone who works there is great, but of course we’re partial to our girl.
And we’ll see you there!

SignDaya Spa, located at 200 Dalhousie St., is owned by Linda Leclerc.

Not only are all the products at Daya Spa organic, but Linda employs ecological and sustainable practices in the spa operations. You’ll come away feeling good about yourself (because of the pampering you just received), feeling good that you didn’t do any damage to the environment while you were being pampered, and feeling great about supporting a local business.

You can find out more about Daya Spa here and follow them on twitter @dayaspa and on Facebook at daya spa well being boutique bien être where they often post information about openings for that day.

Daya collage 2Daya Products Collage (1280x594)So many products to peruse and purchase from Eminence (a favourite) to Daniel Thompson, a wonderful Canadian line of skin care and makeup products.

Daya PedisPedi anyone?

ManisWhere the mani-magic happens.

ColoursPedi tools

Final product

I will never, ever be able to spell esthetician without Googling it. Not ever.
The computer doesn’t even know how to spell it.
I’m just going to start using the painted nails emoticon instead.

Painted nails

Tanger Outlet

Tangers sign

Sydney, I don’t even like to shop anymore and I loved this place!
Me too. I’m impressed that I bought Christmas gifts in September.
I think we have to go out there again because it’s a great place for Christmas shopping.
We didn’t feel like we were in Ottawa.
I’ve never been to Syracuse but I think it would feel a lot like this mall.
I’ve been to Syracuse and it’s exactly like Tanger Mall.
So no surprise there, I’m clairvoyant and I predict we’ll be back there to do more shopping. It may look like we spent all our time at the Coach store, but we didn’t.
I could have…
It was a great store. Here’s a glimpse of what else we saw.

The Tanger Outlet (pronounced Tan-ger – with a hard ‘g’, not Tangé as everyone in Ottawa is prone to say) is at 8555 Campeau Dr., which is a 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa (well on a Saturday morning, anyway) – directly across from where the Senators play hockey.

MapOr you can take OC Transpo – a 92 will get you there.

BeFunky Collage (1280x853) There are so many great stores – Polo, Coach, Lucky Brand, Banana Republic, Gap, Eddie Bauer, Cole Hann – to name a few. You can find a complete list of the stores here in the Store Directory. 

IMG_8792 (478x640)Before you go, you can download coupons here.

Here’s what we saw at Coach –

Coach bags

IMG_8793 (640x478)
Coach bags 2

Coach backpacksBanana Republic was worth a visit –

BRThink Kitchen – who doesn’t love a kitchen store?!

Think 1

Possibly the best doormat ever at Think Kitchen.


You know how much I love shopping. Another mall to add to my list.
Have you returned the stuff you bought there?
No, not yet…

Quitters Coffee, Stittsville, Ontario


Irene and I have been talking about heading out to Stittsville to visit Kathleen Edward’s Quitters coffee shop for quite a while now, and this weekend we finally made the trip.
We’re not quitters. We thought the blog would have made us rich and famous by now and it hasn’t, but we’re still here.
And we’re not going anywhere.
Except to Quitters.
Quitters is easy to find and it is worth the drive from Ottawa.
And for those of you who don’t know, Kathleen Edwards is a famous local musician.
A year ago this coming October Kathleen decided to open Quitters.
From the moment we walked in we knew we would love this place.
The vibe is very cool. I loved everything about the café. The layout, the bar, the tables and the lighting fixtures. I wonder where she got the lighting? I really want to know.
Are you obsessing about those lights – have you been on Pinterest all day?
It wasn’t Pinterest, it was Instagram and I can’t find them anywhere.
We digress again. Let’s get back to Quitters…
The coffee’s great, the pastries are yummy…
But it was way more fun than coffee and a pastry. It’s an outing and we get out so little.
Yeah, we really do need to get out more often. We should go out there for a drink one evening.
In theory, that’s a great idea, but we both know I’m never going that far away from my home at night. Especially with winter on the way.
Winter’s on the way? It’s September and it’s a 20 minute drive.
That’s me – happily on the road to nowhere.
As long as you’re happy… everyone should make the trip to Quitters. Hey Kathleen, could you let us know where you bought the lighting for the café?

OutsideThis is Quitters from the outside if you’re driving down Stittsville Main St., looking for it (as we were). There’s also a patio behind the café.

BeFunky Collage Q2 (1280x1280)There’s a cool-but-not-too-hispter vibe inside.

MenuWe just had coffee and pastries but we’ve been told the food is great.

Coffee to buyYou can buy coffee and tea for home, as well as some great greeting cards.

BeaversDogs are welcome…and apparently beavers too. It’s a Canadian coffee shop, eh.

Lattes and treatsThis was how we started our day.

Cafe sign



The people working there were super friendly. We’ll definitely be back!

You can find the coffee shop on Facebook here – Quitters Coffee – and for some music, check out Kathleen Edwards website.

I think we need some music- courtesy of SoundCloud.
How about some of Kathleen Edward’s music?
You read my mind!

Summer in the City

Royal Oak Music

Music at the Royal Oak

So there were a couple of young ladies dressed in nothing more than body paint and fishnet on Bank St. this weekend, but that’s not what we’re going to focus on. I think that’s what you call a ‘hook’.
Hook. That’s a good one.
And no, we don’t have pictures of them.
It was an unexpected sighting at that time of the day. But I don’t get out much.
But we got out this past weekend and I think we walked about 100 miles in two days.
Unlike our friend Ann who drove three blocks to meet us.
I think we walked by her house 3 times while we were out.
That was funny… well we thought so.
We went to GlowFair, Art in the Park and Ribfest! And Sydney could not get enough of that pulled-pork.
Yes that pulled pork is perfect for the non-meat eater.
More commonly known as a vegetarian.
So here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in Ottawa this summer.


This is the second annual Glowfair Festival where Bank St. is closed from Slater St. to James St. Friday night and all day Saturday. Free music, yoga, a silent disco and lots of stuff for the kids (and adults too!). If you missed it this year, plan to go next year – it’s a blast.

Glowfair Schedule

Skate boarder

Ghostly horse

Stilt LadyStilt man
Street Chess

Glow rings for when the dancing starts

Glow rings for when the dancing starts




The Strain rockin' it Friday night

The Strain rockin’ it Friday night

The New Art Festival

Formerly known as Art in the Park, the New Art Festival takes place in Central Park in the Glebe. It’s full of amazing art and you don’t have to pay to get in.

Art in the Park 2 (640x421)

Patrick Lajoie Photography

Patrick Lajoie Photography

Behind the Woods

Behind the Woods

Art in the Park1


Ribfest is an annual event on Sparks St. – one that public servants ALL enjoy.


Would you like some music with those ribs?

Would you like some music with those ribs?

Ribfest smoke

I think you should don some of that body paint and fishnet when we take your photo for your online dating profile.
Brilliant idea and I’ll lie about my age too.
The men will be lining up around the block with money in-hand to get in.

Stillwater Stables in Ottawa


Sydney, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited. I came home stinking of barn. Nothing better in the world.
We spent part of the day at Stillwater Stables – such great place to be.
My dear friend Bethany and her husband Joey run Stillwater. Here are some photos from their barn.

LF 2

This is Little Foot – how cute is he?
And below is Ellie – I fell in love with her.

White StripeAs we said, Stillwater Stables is run by Bethany and Joey Groleau. Bethany is the type of person that will change your life, your child’s life and your horse’s life. She’s is one of those rare individual’s that is full of light all the time. The world could never be full of people like Bethany, because she’s just too special – God only made a few of them.

Bethany is a Piped Piper when it comes to kids and animals. She is a magician with kids and animals and once you’re with her in that environment, you’ll never want to leave.


Only natural horsemanship is practiced at Stillwater.
I’m not a horse person – what does that mean?
It means you learn how to communicate with horses using methods horses understand – with a lot of love, trust, respect and most of all, fun!

Lu and charlotte

What is that – a pile of crap in the photo?
Yes, that’s exactly what it is, Sydney – we’re at a barn.


When you arrive you’ll be welcomed by Merlin the dog, a couple of barn cats,and rabbits Rose and Petal.


Barn cat (1017x683) (800x537)


Stillwater is a perfect place for kids.


Stillwater is 20 minutes south of downtown Ottawa.
Stillwater map1

And as everyone (except Sydney) knows, every trip to the barn means a stop at Tim’s, either on the way there or back!
Tims cup

I don’t get the Tim’s thing.
No one expects you to – just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

White horse (1024x1024) (800x800)

Can I keep the horse?
No you cannot, but we can stop at Starbucks on the way home.

Here’s some more information about Stillwater Stables –

  • They are located at 5219 Russel Road, Ottawa, Ontario. You can contact them by email at, or by phone at 613-404-4982. Stillwater logo
  • Birthday parties, PD activities and spring break and summer camps are available, as well as regular lessons.
  • The big advantage Stillwater offers for parents and students is flexibility.
  • Lessons and camps are open to kids 4 years and older.
  • 4 x 2-hour horsemanship classes once a week are $90 (for the full 8 hours). There’s no riding in these classes – students work with their horses on the ground, learning to communicate with them and raising the confidence of both horse and student.
  • Private lessons are $45 an hour and include riding.
  • Summer camp can be booked in 4 hour blocks at a cost of $45
    • a minimum of 4 children are needed to run the camp – parents are welcome to put together their own group. This includes natural horsemanship principles and riding.
  • Students don’t need any equipment – helmets and boots are provided.
  • Parents and siblings are welcome to stay and play and watch and enjoy some time at the barn.
  • There are a handful of boarders at Stillwater, so if you’re looking for a new home for your horse, contact Bethany, but nothing other than natural horsemanship is practiced there.
  • Check out their website at Stillwater Stables and Facebook page at Stillwater on Facebook.
  • We now have a link to Stillwater on our sidebar – just click on their logo.

If you’re still wondering what the heck natural horsemanship is all about, we have a short video that will give you an idea of what it is. No one is going to be able to do this after a few lessons but it’s something to aspire to. Compare this with many of the recent photos of the world’s most famous horse – American Pharoah, estimated worth between $20M and $100M – where you’ll see there is often a chain over his nose or drawn tightly through his mouth. You will never see anything like that at Stillwater.

This is Allie on Ellie, cantoring and coming to a full stop with Allie holding on gently to a tiny piece of Ellie’s mane.

Bit and bridle free at Stillwater Stables from Sydney & Irene on Vimeo.

A work wardrobe that doesn’t break the bank – from The Clothes Secret

This just in – we spent two hours in my favourite store and I left without a new purse or coat.
That is remarkable. I however did walk away with a gorgeous brand new red Dooney & Bourke bag.
Which everyone can see in the photos below.
Who would buy these beautiful things and not use them?
That is exactly what you and I would do if we could afford these things.
But luckily for the business woman on a budget this is the place to go.
Or the business woman who buys beautiful things and then changes her mind…
Yes, those women too.
And so we took Hailey, who is a family member, to the Clothes Secret to outfit her for her first office job.
Hailey is an Algonquin College Honours graduate and we’re very proud of her.
And as our readers will see, you can get a great office wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Hailey - post photo shootThis is our model, Hailey, relaxing after the shopping trip and photo shoot.

The Clothes Secret is located at 1136 Bank Street in Old Ottawa South (just south of Hopewell Avenue). You can visit their website or Facebook page for store hours and to find more about consigning.

You can also see our previous Clothes Secret posts here – Ottawa’s Best Consignment Shop and Fall and Winter Fashion at The Clothes Secret.

You’ll be shocked by the prices, but there’s more good news – lots of the summer stock is already marked down by 20%  🙂

Talbots skirt (768x1024)

Talbots skirt – $40, white blouse – $18, Nine West shoes – $26

Joe Fresh dress

Joe Fresh dress – $25















navy skirt

AE striped blouse – $15, Joe Fresh navy knit skirt – $15




Banana Republic sweater – $40, Forever 21 leggings – $12, black sandals – $15







Navy Suit

Vince Camuto suit – $125, Smart Set T – $8, really fun handbag – $22



Call me

Hailey’s office persona – ‘call me!’














Here’s some bags and shoes that we had to leave behind…


Red bag



Black bag







Summer shoes

Shoes by Prada, Town, Seychelles



Black pumps

Pumps by Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Anne Klein

Well that was a successful shopping trip. And by that I mean no stress for me.
Because you’re not worried about what to return and what to keep?
Exactly. Shopping for other people is the way to go.



Ottawa’s Farmers Market at Lansdowne Park

Hey Irene, not only is winter over, the Farmers Market is back at the newly redesigned Lansdowne Park.
Yep, the new hip location that all the Glebites objected to and now flock to because it totally suits the Glebe. And it was packed.
No kidding. It really is amazing what a great job they’ve done. There’s everything you could possibly imagine there, except a proper clothing store.
Sydney, what are you talking about – they have a Winners! That’s some retail gold right there.
You are so wrong, but we’re actually talking about the Farmers Market today.
And it’s super – definitely a place to go with your family, or a friend, or by yourself. Lots to do and see.
I love it!
Even for a recluse like myself, I can’t wait to go back.
I think it’s going to be an amazing summer there. Outdoor cafes, pubs and even a movie theatre.
Did you say pubs? Then why are we still here?
Ok, this is our plan. Every Sunday we’ll go to the farmer’s market then try a different pub.
Why wait for Sunday…

Ottawa’s Farmers Market

Street sign

The Ottawa Farmers Market is located in Aberdeen Square which is beside the Aberdeen Pavillion at the corner of Marché Way and Exhibition Way at Lansdowne Place. It’s open Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 – 6, and Sundays, 8 – 3.Farmer's Market Entrance (1024x1024)

Definitely check out the website – there are recipes, an ‘in season’ calendar, information about the vendors and a list of events. The next event is A Royal Celebration: Lansdowne Market on May 17th. There will be food to taste, buskers and stuff for the kids.

As you can see from the photos, this market has more than seasonal fruits and vegetables and the vendors are super-friendly – especially the wine guy. That’s right – they sell wine there!


There's some killer music at the info booth.

There’s some killer music at the info booth.

Salad in a planter

Salad in a planter!



Joanne Just of Just Farms


Pansies – summer’s first flower

Treeware Woodworks

Lots of artisans to see

Stained glass

Yummy Cookies

Baked goods too

Poppa Bean

Poppa Bean Coffee – we bought some and it was amazing!

Jardin Linda


Meat vendor

For those of you who still meat (one of us does)


Art Is In

Art Is In Bakery – for those of you who still eat gluten and carbs (we do)



Peach and cherry blossoms

Next time we go back, I’m going to buy some of that White Horse wine. Great name, great graphic, and great wine – we got to taste it.
I think you should. I want to see you shell out more than $9 for a bottle of wine.
What? How much was it?


Ottawa Photo Galleries

So Irene, Nordstrom’s opened yesterday in Ottawa – did you see photos of the line-ups?
I did – I would never, in a million years, line up to get into a store.
I was only in line for two hours before I got in.
And if everyone who was in line for two hours put that effort into something else, world hunger might be solved.
Seriously, I was at work yesterday. Didn’t go anywhere near the Rideau Centre.
And we know you don’t have to line up for two hours to find a great retail experience in Ottawa.
How would you know? You never go out. You’re like the Mayor – you’re trapped inside your home.
I’m nothing like our wonderful Mayor – he goes out all the time. He just happens to be sidelined for a while.
Have you ever been on a snowmobile?
I have been – back when they were called skee-doos, and helmets had yet to be invented.
Did you ever break anything while riding a skee-doo?
I didn’t break anything, but I fell off – as did my driver – a fellow twelve-year old. That was back in the day. I came to, lying in the snow and we both hopped back on and went for a ride.
That’s just too funny. You could have died.
Thanks for thinking that’s too funny.
Not to poke fun at the Mayor, but since he has nothing else to do but lie around he might as well read our Ottawa Retail/Scene post.
Sydney, I think the Mayor is still plenty busy –
– no he’s not.
You’re probably right. He probably does have some spare time on his hands.
So this is a perfect time to introduce him to our Ottawa photo gallery page – and to our blog!
And to let our readers know this is our second addition to the photo galleries we’re adding to the blog.
Not only do the galleries show how great Ottawa is, they show how much we love our city.
And how much you know about it. Thank you for making me step outside my house on occasion.
And Mayor Watson, we hope you get better soon. But before you do, take some time to read our blog 🙂

Ottawa Photo Galleries

The links below take you to the gallery, and from each gallery you’ll be able to link back to the original post, so in this post, we’ll just give you a quick idea of what our galleries are about. And once again, we have a handy screen shot so you’ll know where to find them in the future.

Ottawa Photo Galleries

The Clothes Secret – Ottawa’s best consignment shop (that happens to be owned by our good friend Valerie MacIntosh).

Parlour – Ottawa’s best salon and where the magic happens to Sydney’s hair.

NewU Spa – Ottawa’s best spa – a great place to go with a bottle of wine and a group of friends (and if you’re lucky enough to have your daughter working there, a visit with family!)

Magpie Jewellery – we’re just a bit obsessed with jewellery at Magpie.

Stroked Ego – a fantastic boutique for the modern man.

Vincent – a beautiful shop on Preston Street owned by sisters Angie and Amanda Cambareri.

Max’s Footwear & Cobbler – who knew you could find shoes like these in Ottawa?

Pelican Fishery Grill – great food and great service.

Union Local 613 – mixed drinks like you’ve never had before in a cool, hipster bar.

Ottawa Folklore Centre – a long-standing Old Ottawa South business for the musically-inclined.

Centre 7 – Out of the Cold – a group of dedicated volunteers giving up their Saturday nights in Old Ottawa South.

More Ottawa Retail + the Ottawa scene – a mix and match of some more of our fave places.

Chelsea, Quebec – fifteen minutes from downtown Ottawa and perfect for a Saturday afternoon get away.

Shopping makes me thirsty.
Because everything makes you thirsty.
I’m jonesin’ for a Dark ‘n’ Stormy from Union.