[ Picture This ] The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair

Dressed in my most ‘artsy’ top, I walked into the Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair only to discover that my top matched perfectly with the wall exhibit at the main entrance. This is an annual show that connects artists with art lovers. It’s a forum for art lovers to learn more about the artist, their story and engage in conversation with their favourite artists. I was in awe as I walked through the aisles lined with art like a kid in a candy store.

I enjoyed exploring the beautifully curated exhibits and connecting with the artists while learning what inspired their creativity. (more…)

Unwinding at Le Grand Galle Hotel in Sri Lanka

After a whirlwind trip in Sri Lanka, where half of my travel party ended up getting severely sick from the flu (and in once case,hospitalized), I was more than looking forward to my stay at the Le Grand Galle hotel by Asia Leisure for our last two days on this tropical island.

Le Grand Galle is located in the town of Galle, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It has a stunning location, perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the historic Galle Fort. This 5 star hotel is brand new, with beautiful design elements and a relaxing pool.

We arrived in Galle well after dark (after driving 4 hours from Columbo), and were immediately impressed by the service that we received and the property itself. The hotel lobby was large and airy, with a beautiful view of the pool.

We had a deluxe room on the second floor, with views of the pool and the Indian Ocean. I could hear the waves lapping at night, it was very peaceful. The room itself was spacious, with a huge soaker tub, king sized bed, Japanese toilet and a balcony.

View from the balcony

The bathroom was open concept, but you could regain privacy by sliding the Japanese stye door shut. It was very stylish and gave the room a nice aesthetic.

Because we had arrived late, we had ordered room service for dinner with a pot of strong Sri Lankan tea for dessert.

Salmon Cakes
Australian Beef Cube Roll on creamy polenta

In the morning, we headed down to the restaurant for the buffet. I loved the breakfast buffet because they had so many options.

At the grill, you could choose to get a custom omelette, crepes, pancakes or eggs benedict.

There was a large selection of fresh baked breads, juices, nuts, pastries and more.

My favourite part of the breakfast was the fresh fruit. You could request a bevvy of fresh fruits that would be carved up and served to you right there, or brought to your table. They had delicious pineapples and mangoes.

After breakfast, we headed to town to explore Galle Dutch Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a storied history, and was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and then built up by the Dutch in the 17th century.

You can easily walk to the fort and hang out on the walls taking in the view of the sea. You can go into the fort to check out all of the shops and restaurants. I bought some jewelry with Sri Lankan gems, and also some spices from the lovely Galle Fort Spices.

I enjoyed walking around the town, but it was hot! When we went back to the hotel, we decided to go for a dip.

The hotel has a small private beach that was amazing! We hung out there and dug our toes into the sandy beach and swam in the warm Indian Ocean. Then we switched it up and visited the pool.

Paradise.

In the evening, hotel guests can choose to dine at Blue, a Japanese inspired seafood restaurant, or dine at the hotel’s restaurant. The food features fresh seafood, housemade breads and traditional Sri Lankan dishes.

There were also stunning desserts with unique flavours.

All in all, I had an amazing stay at Le Grand Galle. The staff were friendly and professional, the amenities amazing and the location can’t be beat! If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Sri Lanka, I would highly recommend that you stay here.

 

 

Living the Lug Life in Sri Lanka

I’m back from an amazing whirlwind trip across Sri Lanka. I visited 7 towns over 14 days and explored tea estates, beach towns, jungles and cities. Throughout my entire adventure, I partnered with Lug Life to test out a couple of their popular items. I’ve been a big fan of Lug for years. I constantly travel with their transparent pouches and use Bento to house all of my toiletries. This time, I took along Tango for my travel wallet, and Scoop as my trusty sidekick.

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[ Read it ] I Owe You One

I love Sophie Kinsella, and devour everything she writes. This winter, she’s released a charming novel to warm you right up until spring.

In I Owe You One, Fixie is trying to live up to her namesake by desperately fixing everything in her life, and the lives of her family and friends. Unfortunately, she’s doing anything but.

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants? (more…)

Kingston Winter Weekend Getaway

Kingston, Ontario is one of those cities that I always end up stopping in on my way to another place, and always end up saying, I need to come back here! I was in desperate need of a winter staycation, and I decided to finally make Kingston my destination…and I already can’t wait to go back.

Where to Stay

Kingston isn’t too far from Toronto, just a 2.5 hour drive. We stayed in the ultra modern Delta Waterfront hotel, perched right by the water.

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