• canada,  north america,  travel

    Hiking and road tripping around Western Newfoundland

    After my 2-day sojourn on the eastern coast of Newfoundland, I flew to Gander and rented a car to make the 3.5-hour drive west. I spent one night in Corner Brook, but for the majority of my time, I was based in the small town of Rocky Harbour. In addition to my big hiking day at Western Brook Pond, I was eager to explore the other trails and sights that Gros Morne National Park and the surrounding area had to…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Western Brook Pond Hike in Newfoundland

    The entire impetus for my trip to Newfoundland started with Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, and ultimately that insane view looking down into the gorge. I knew I wanted to experience that for myself and set about finding out how to make that happen. It turns out that the only way to get there is to book a guided hike, which will run you about $300 CAD. This includes the boat ride across the “pond” and taking…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    St. John’s and Eastern Newfoundland – Day 1

    As someone who craves travel, with all its trip planning and adventures in discovering new places, being grounded for the last 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult, to say the least. With all the uncertainty surrounding the new variants and rising case counts, I had pretty much written off any chance of a real vacation in 2021. But it’s been a long year, personally and professionally, and I was in need of a break to just…

  • home,  lifestyle

    Eat, play, live in a dining space

    When I was living in Chicago, I’d had an honest-to-goodness dining room, which was the site of many a dinner party and lively gathering, and I’ve sorely missed having a space to really host and entertain since being in Toronto. As such, one of the big selling features of this condo was finally having an actual dining space. Before starting the condo renovations, I dreamt of creating a banquette—that is, upholstered seating along the wall—with a long dining table. I…

  • home,  lifestyle

    A Kitchen, Transformed

    I knew from the get-go that the room that would need the most transformative work was the kitchen. Much like the bathroom, things were a little on the dated side—rickety cabinets, laminate countertop, all in variations on a beige-y theme. The little pass-through window, while somewhat charming, meant that the kitchen felt very boxed-in and closed-off from the rest of the space. It didn’t help to also have a 7′ drop ceiling, with a fairly ugly set of fluorescent lighting…

  • home,  lifestyle

    A Room of Respite (a.k.a. the Bedroom)

    As mentioned in an earlier post, when I’d first walked into what would become my bedroom, it was staged as a living room. It seemed perfectly lovely as a living room at the time, and I didn’t give it much of a second thought until I moved in and started inhabiting the space. The decision primarily came from my not wanting the adjacent room to be the bedroom. I much prefer the dimensions of this space for a bedroom, which…

  • home,  lifestyle

    A Bathroom, Refreshed

    When I started looking at condos online, I think I had it in my mind that I wanted my pick to be all shiny and finished when I bought it. Why would I want to take on that kind of work to renovate? However, when I first toured my eventual condo, I was struck not only by what was there but also by what it could be. I loved the bones of the place, a rare and spacious layout, and…

  • home,  lifestyle

    Den of Productivity

    The first room I wanted to feature was one of the first rooms I actually “finished” in the condo, as it didn’t require any renovations: my den of productivity (a.k.a. the office). I’m sure the space will evolve over the years, as my needs change–but right now, I need an office space to hunker down in for the majority of my weekdays. I hadn’t had an in-home office since I’d lived in Chicago, but with WFH as the new normal…

  • home,  lifestyle

    A New Home

    My homeownership story begins in a somewhat unlikely place: a hot tub. I had traveled to B.C. to see my family, and we’d holed up in a rented home in Revelstoke to have an early Christmas. Whilst sitting in the hot tub, my folks and I started talking about investments and the future, what my plans were and what I was hoping for. Many conversations later and I was back in Toronto, searching in earnest on condo websites for a…

  • home,  lifestyle

    Home is where the art is

    The current global COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated drastic but necessary self-isolation measures for everyone, which means that we’re all now spending an inordinate amount of time in our homes. While we may start to feel like the walls are closing in (or that we’re ready to start climbing them), I’m trying to use this opportunity to “get to know” my own home–to be grateful for it, appreciate what it is, and also think about ways to improve it. So here…