Archives: fall


These past few weeks and months we’ve seen the Hamilton food scene pick up the pace with a rapid fire succession of new restaurant openings. Places like Born & Raised, Berkley North, Fsh & Chp, Hooly Crab, and Nique all opened their doors (not to mention The French –opening soon!).

I had the great pleasure in early spring to attend a sampling of Nique’s menu. It was delicious, refreshing and definitely unique. Menu items ranged from cauliflower and poblano hummus with fry-bread, fried plantain tostones with spicy guac, crispy Cambodian calamari, beet fritters topped with greens. For dessert beignets with fresh Devonshire cream and preserves.

It goes without saying that someone who is as passionate about food as Chef Harrison Hennick could only ever make good things. The quality, creativity and flavour of his dishes were all on point despite having limited access to a fully stocked kitchen (he worked on only one cooking range and a deep frier for this particular pop-up menu sampling event). I can only dream of what Chef Hennick might cook up in his new restaurant with fully stocked kitchen and staff –really exciting stuff!


My ultimate favourite sushi nachos; sushi grade tuna on a bed of crisp fried wontons, topped with the perfect combo of tangy spicy flavours and textures to please my palette.


I’ve heard their two dollar fried chicken on Tuesday is mouthwatering, crispy, and juicy. Not to mention they’ve got menu items ranging from charcuterie, beef ribs, to burgers, bitter greens and crispy snapper. I will definitely need to try Chef Hennick’s spin on the classic Deep and Delicious chocolate cake.

They’re open for lunch and dinner but they’re also open late. Bring on the cocktails, beers and snacks!

Nique has its official grand opening this Friday (tonight!) on James North. If you haven’t been by yet for their sneak peeks and menu samplings from last week’s soft opening, then you should most certainly add it to the top of your list of places to check out ASAP.

*Nique Restaurant, 123 James Street North, 905.529.8000, Facebook, Twitter, Insta

hamilton flea volume 3

Hamilton Flea is back for its third incarnation. Two amazing women that I love; sisters Whitney McMeekin (of Girl on the Wing) and Erika McMeekin (of The Academy of all Things Awesome & Sous Bas) have put together their best flea yet!

50+ vendors from Hamilton and surrounding area; from vintage clothing, records, accessories, and housewares, to art & design, flora and of course FOOD!

Hamilton Flea Vol 3 Vendors


Hamilton Flea Vol 3 Food

New to this flea is the Kid Zone (put on by Little Makers Hamilton). Every hour on the hour they will be offering supervised 45 minute creative maker activities for kids 5-11 years old to keep those little hands and minds creating. Each workshop is $12.50/child with a new toy to take home for each session.

Workshops include Build Your Own Character (robot/Minecraft character/monster/ballerina), Lumberjack Jewellery, Build Your Own Town, or Paint a Wooden Pumpkin. Drop-ins are welcome but you call also pre-register here.

Little Makers Hamilton Little Makers Hamilton


One of the things I love most about these fleas is that they are always in secret and forgotten historic Hamilton spaces.

The first flea was in one of my favourite Hamilton buldings –Treble Hall (see more from that flea here), and the second at Brown’s Tire (an old tire shop from the 40′s). This flea is being held at Lawson Lumber; an old lumber yard tucked in by the railway line close to Gage Park.

Hamilton Flea Vol 3 Lawson Lumber Hamilton Flea Vol 3 Lawson Lumber

To get some more insight and history into the venue check out Hamilton Flea’s latest blog post. It’s always so neat to unearth some Hamilton history and then actually visit the space (especially ones that are not usually open to the public).


The flea is this Saturday only from 11am-5pm. Young Lions Music Club will be providing the tunes all day while you shop and peruse all the fab selection of curated vendors.

*Hamilton Flea, Lawson Lumber 260 Dunsmure Rd, @HamiltonFlea, Facebook


reveling in fall

The last few falls have entirely escaped me. Last year I made a promise to myself that this year I’d revel in all its glorious splendour, which I definitely did.

At the start of fall there was no telling just how long it was going to be; a quick two-monther or a drawn out three maybe if we’re lucky four months? So every day that wasn’t cold (which there were a lot of) we spent it outside.


There were days where we were out from morning until late afternoon; double park dates, collecting sticks and jumping in leaf piles in parks and trails all over the city. One particularly warm November afternoon we even ordered a pizza to the park!

I’ve felt so fortunate to be off on maternity leave; able to spend so many gorgeous days outside with friends and the kids romping around the city, parks, trails and hitting up various coffee shops.


I’m already nostalgic in the memory that this was the last fall where both my kids were at home with me free-wheeling through the changing of the seasons.



This fall was just gorgeous, it was long and filled with sunny days and pink fall sunsets. Here’s to  hoping that next September, when I’m headed back to work, that I’ll still be able to find the time to stop and enjoy the season.

hamilton flea

One of my favourite Hamiltonians, Whitney McMeekin aka Girl On The Wing, plus her sister and organizer of all things super fun in Hamilton (namely founder of The Academy of All Things Awesome & Sous Bas), Erika McMeekin put on their first Hamilton Flea back in July.

Hamilton Flea3

It was housed in Treble Hall (a building I’m constantly gushing over) with a slew of amazing vendors from gourmet donuts from Donut Monster, vintage finds via Roly Poly Records, The Eye of Faith, and other vendors like Rare Specimens jewellery, White Elephant, Stay Home Club and the Jelly Brothers.

It was summer-time hot, the venue packed, and an all ’round success and super fun afternoon shopping around, seeing friends, and hanging out inside a very unique and underused Hamilton space.

It felt like we all got in on a little Hamilton secret for an afternoon.

Hamilton Flea1 Hamilton Flea4 Hamilton Flea2 rare specimens Hamilton Flea5 Hamilton Flea6

Well… this weekend Whitney and Erika are putting on the second edition of Hamilton Flea in yet another gem of a secret Hamilton building.

This Saturday, November 14 from 11-6 at 45 Wellington Street North and King William, come check out over 30 vendors like the ladies from Hoot Furnishings, Girl Can Create, Vintage Soul Geek, Newold’s, and… Donut Monster will be back serving up delish donuts, plus my fav coffee to-go -Smalls will be there while you chomp down on some Phat N’ Phull eats and shop around bopping to the tunes Dj’d by Young Lions Music Club.

For a sneak peak into this Flea’s building check out Whitney’s post on Girl On The Wing here.

*Hamilton Flea (No. 2), 45 Wellington Street North, Saturday November 14, 11am-6pm, Facebook, Twitter, Insta

hoot furnishings

I feel pretty proud of one of my oldest friends, who (with a great eye for super vintage gems) has taken on a joint venture with her business partner to create their home decor and vintage furniture company called Hoot Furnishings.

You may have seen them front and centre of Hamilton’s most recent Flea that was out front of City Hall a few months back.

They sell everything from vintage pictures, frames, chairs, tables, dressers and mirrors to vintage kids toys, rockers and garden furniture.

hoot furnishings frames

Hoot Furnishings red rose hoot furnishings chairs

Over the years we have acquired quite a collection of Hoot’s refinished furniture.

Most recently we picked up this super cute kid’s table and chairs. They fit perfect in this cosy little space in our son’s room.

hoot furnishings kid table and chair

Before my son was born and when Hoot was just starting out, my friend refinished my childhood high chair as a baby gift for us. It was in rough shape and in definite need of some TLC.

I was super happy with the results and loved how part of the table-top and seat were left natural. A bee’s wax finish was used on the raw part of the wood, so I didn’t have to worry about toxic paint. It felt great being able to just put food directly onto the raw wood surface.

hoot furnishings high chair

I got this super sweet children’s rocker for a friend as a baby gift. I loved the spindles on this piece!

hott furnishings rocking chair

Hoot does not focus on just kid’s vintage furniture. I just happen to buy a lot of the kid’s stuff -I can’t help it!

If you have been on the hunt for a unique piece of furniture, then you are in luck because this Friday and Saturday they are having a huge STUDIO SALE!! The sale is in partnership with Gardiner Girls and Sandi Fodor, who will also be there selling a fabulous curated collection of their vintage clothing and handbags.

If you take a look at Hoot Furnishings’ Instagram feed you can get a sneak peek of a few of the pieces they’ll be featuring at their Studio Sale. Stop by Friday for their sneak peek preview sale: great deals, door prizes and a little nosh. Or pop by Saturday for their Sale from 9am until 1pm. See you there!

*Hoot Furnishings, Preview Sale: Friday 6-10pm & Studio Sale: Saturday 9am-1pm, 83 Stanley Ave. Backgarden Studio

ancaster market

This summer I took my first visit out to the Ancaster Farmer’s Market.

The market is tucked nicely into a beautiful tree-lined grassy green space just behind the old Saint John’s Anglican church.

Not so much a traditional market as it is a destination to go to for an evening outing, a delicious meal out and a place to pick up some local and seasonal produce, plus some snacks, breads and treats for perhaps later in the week. You’ll see wine vendors, Cake and Loaf and Earth to Table baked breads, Fenwood Farms (for fresh local meat), cheese, maple syrup and a complementary and comprehensive list of other vendors here.


It was super kid and family friendly, and definitely a place worthy of another visit again in the fall for pumpkin pies, and the like plus perhaps my last indulgence of the remnants of summer with a little scoop of Foundry Ice-cream. Foundry Ice-cream

The market is open weekly on Wednesdays from 3-7pm at 37 Halson Street (with ample parking in back of the church).

*Ancaster Farmer’s Market, open seasonally Wednesdays 3-7pm, Twitter, Facebook


lamenting fall

These last few years fall has been totally escaping me.

It seems like as soon as the leaves have gone I’m already lamenting their quick departure. I’m one who usually likes to savour each subtle change in colour and fall smell that comes just before the impending darkness of our cold and long Canadian winter.

However, these past few falls it all seems a blur with what felt like summer promptly ending and quickly turning to winter. I suppose that is the nature of back to school and back to work, where days speed up and weeks blend into another. I struggle just to keep up with the routine of it all, forgetting quickly about the lazy days of summer and concentrating mostly on just keeping my head above water.

With weekends often packed with visiting friends and family and catching up on putting away the infinite amount of unfolded laundry that collects on the daily, it is a wonder to me that we were actually able to cram so much in this fall: a visit to an apple orchard, two pumpkin patches, the Rockton World’s Fair, plus a few art crawls and visits to the AGH in between all that.


Lindleys Farm tractor ride


I planted a mystery bulb in the late spring and I waited all season for it to bloom wondering what would become of it. Early fall came, and one morning I saw this ginormous beauty of a dahlia in full bloom!giant dahlia

Alas, I will make a promise yet again that next year -I will not neglect you fall! Just promise me a garden full of giant dahlias and I’ll be there to soak it all in.

pressing apples

At the very start of fall we were invited to a neighbour’s annual apple cider pressing party.

apple cider press

green fall apples for cider

Several families came over to help with the process, and like a well oiled machine everyone worked together to get over ten bushels of farmer’s market fresh fall apples mulched and pressed into cider that we all were able to take home.


fall apples for cider


making apple cider

homemade apple cider

The cider was amazing and so fresh!




so long fall

Fall’s basically over, and we’ve officially entered into the season of brown, when all the trees are barren, the air is cold and evening light is scarce.

I adore fall and love its sunny days, cool evenings, and changing colourful landscapes. I also love that my birthday is during one of my all-time favourite seasons.

This September and October I had so much on my plate that I didn’t have the time take in all the extra moments that I normally observe to ingest everything that is fall.

I celebrated my 35th birthday and with that I somewhat irregularly started climbing the escarpment stairs, and reintroduced yoga back into my life. As I get older I’m realizing energy and flexible movement are needed things in a life raising kids and I kinda need to work to maintain this.

Here's a gorgeous view of Hamilton from the escarpment after a stair climb. With the days getting colder and shorter, I'm not sure how many more times I'll muster up the motivation to climb these again before spring.

Despite all the crazy business I somehow managed to make a Halloween costume for Omi too. I made him a stuffed cloud costume that he donned with rainbow leg warmers. We didn’t actually go trick or treating this year but I couldn’t resist the potential cuteness of him being a rainbow cloud.

So long fall… I promise not to neglect you next year!


views from jackson

In the dwindling days of fall I took in some views from the top of Jackson Square’s roof.

Although I’m not the biggest fan of Jackson Square I do frequent it on a regular basis to run errands, and to go to the market and library. Despite its faults and concrete ugliness and the fact that in its construction the city demolished much of Hamilton’s rich Victorian architecture AND Ontario’s largest outdoor market and square, I do have to be fair in saying that it does serve as a walkable destination for me to get out and about with the little one and to get my day-to-day errands done. So I guess I shouldn’t really complain. I should be happy that at least some retail stores have remained downtown (don’t get me wrong there is room for plenty more).

In all actuality Jackson Square in the daytime is quite a hub. With all the office workers, students and loiterers walking and wheeling around Jackson grabbing their coffees and lunches, I’m surprised that other retailers haven’t decided to capitalize on this untapped market further. If I could work downtown, do my shopping, AND get my groceries all in one place during say lunch, on a break or after work, it would be muchos convenient and life changing for us downtown dwellers and for the daytime Hamilton office workers. I love being able to cram errands into a regular work-a-day day without having to get into a car and go from parking lot to parking lot especially with all the madness of the fast approaching Christmas retail rush.

But enough about that.  On days when the market is closed and I don’t feel like walking through the mall or heading down to James, I’ll take in some views from atop Jackson Square. I know I’ve blogged about my love for this vastly underused public space before (click here for that post) but yet again I find myself here and loving the downtown views from this concrete rooftop.

I guess for me the rooftop is one of Jackson Square’s saving graces -can’t wait until the new downtown grocery store opens up too!

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