Scenes from Miami

South Beach, Miami

Although I appreciate a fantastic cocktail as much of the rest of them, I never have been much of a partier. So when my cousin told me we were headed to Miami for her bachelorette, I was admittedly a little bit scared. The city has a bit of a reputation, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep up. Much to my delight, I managed to rally the entire time, and was surprised at how much I loved every last minute. Not only is the beach picture perfect (complete with neon coloured lifeguard stations dotting the ocean), but the clubs and bars were actually ridiculously fun, the art deco inspired architecture was right up my alley, and the restaurant scene was out of this world! Between drinks at the Delano, our stay at the Mondrian, and dinner at both Matador Room and Cecconi’s (all of which I’d HIGHLY recommend), it’s safe to say that Miami stole a little piece of my heart. 

 miami_2 The beach South Beach, Miami Miami hotel lobby Champagne drawer South Beach, Miami Art deco building in Miami South Beach, Miami Mondrian Hotel, Miami The Mondrian hotel lobby South Beach 


All images original to Lark & Linen | See other Scenes from my Week right here!

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CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend, Travel, Vacation

Escape to Point Yamu


Hey guys! Savvy Home here holding down the fort today while Jacquelyn’s away! When she told me about her trip to Thailand, I was a little jealous (OK, a lot). So when she asked me to fill in during her time away, I decided to imagine a little (very fictional) Thai getaway of my own. It never hurt anyone to daydream a little when it’s -20 outside right?







When planning my fictional getaway, I was determined to find a Thai hotel that was different from your typical British colonial-meets-Zen yogi retreat, where Nepalese pagodas are as common as Buddha statues, outdoor rain showers and jewel-toned silk pillows (not that those things are bad—I’d take any of them over freezing blizzards)!

After looking at dozens of hotel, I stumbled upon Point Yamu. Now that’s more my speed: moroccan tiled floors, giant wicker chandeliers, black and white stripes, dip-dyed tree trunks and sweeping views… Point Yamu overlooks the Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay. The interiors are by Italian designer Paola Navone—which you may remember from her collections for Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie. I could see myself spending quite a bit of time there, indulging in la dolce far niente or stuffing my face in their Thai and Italian restaurants.



lineCopy & Graphics: Savvy Home | Hotel: Point Yamu

CATEGORIES | Interior Design, Travel, Vacation

Scenes from Mexico


If I’m being completely honest, our family vacation to Mexico can best be described as bittersweet. The trip itself was perfectly relaxing, filled to the brim with sand and sun of the best variety. The resort was lovely, the beach picture perfect, the company unbeatable, and the food? Well, we’ll just skip that part (read: awful).  


On our third day in paradise we received word that my grandma, who was forced to stay behind with my aunt (doctor’s orders), had taken a turn for the worst. Just three weeks before we left, we found out she had cancer. We were told we had six months, though we knew we’d be lucky to get half. 


To find out your grandma wasn’t going to make it through the day while sunning by the pool is surreal. In truth, it rocked all of us to our core. My cousin who, for lack of a better word, idolized my grandmother walked down the aisle, a beautiful, picturesque, sandy aisle, with a void in all of our hearts. 

forestbeach justin-and-i

I’m lucky enough to come from a massive, incredibly close, incredibly solid family. Though it broke all of our hearts that we weren’t there during my grandma’s final hours, we were all together, as one solid unit and that most definitely helped get each one of us through.

beach-wedding-2 beach-wedding ashley-&-kris

We celebrated my grandma the best way we knew how: a poolside toast, rye and coke in hand (my grandma’s drink of choice). And we take comfort knowing that she’s no longer in pain, and alongside my grandpa, the love of her life. 

champagne-on-the-beach hanging-lanterns family-photo bbq-on-the-bech palm-tree    mexico-beachspatropical-plants

RIP Grandma, you’ll be sorely missed, but never, ever, ever, forgotten.   line
Images original to Lark & Linen
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CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend, Travel, Vacation

Be Right Back

Travel photography in the British Virgin Islands while sailing  

By this time tomorrow I will be en route to Mexico! After the last few weeks, I can’t even begin to tell you how necessary this is. I essentially plan on plunking myself on the beach, cocktail in hand, for the entirety of my trip. But before I go, I wanted to give you all a big virtual hug for being so supportive over the last little while. I love you guys so! And don’t worry, I’ve lined up a whole mess of lovely to keep you company while I’m gone. I have a collection of SERIOUSLY amazing bloggers who’ve sweetly agreed to hold down the fort for me around these parts. So stay tuned because there’s a whole lot of awesome coming your way.

Oh, and if you feel like following along, chances are I’ll be instagraming my way through Mexico. 

“See” you soon! XOXOXO


Pink Bathing Suit + Boat: Entouriste | Basil Blackberry Fizz: Coco and Mingo | Patio on the Beach: Love Is My Favorite Color via SMP Living



Kruger Safari, South Africa


And last but most certainly not least, I bring you to the final installment of photos. Though, I’m not going to lie, I have about a billion more I’d like to share. I may need to make a Facebook album so they have somewhere to live.

Though literally every moment of our South African adventure was memorable in its own right, the safari was, hands down, my very favourite part. I, admittedly, had high expectations before we even arrived, and I can confidently say that even they were surpassed by miles.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it up until now, but the entire reason for our trip was to celebrate my mothers 60th birthday (yep, she certainly knows how to celebrate!) We splurged* and spent four nights at the beautiful Imbali lodge, right in the heart of Kruger National Park. We have many, many stories (including the time we were almost attacked by a 6 tonne elephant in musth). You wouldn’t believe how close you get to these beautiful creatures. At one point, we were completely surrounded by 32 wild elephants grazing in a field. Two babies began play-wrestling mere feet away from us and I just about lost my mind (there may be a video to come if I get my act together).

The entire trip was, without a doubt, the experience of a lifetime. If you ever have the chance to go, please, please, please do. And please, please, please take me with you. I’m not even close to done with the place. 

waterfall giraffe-3 elephant-up-close beautiful-tree baby-elephants imbali-foyer lion-in-the-grass lion2 kreuger lions2 lion-on-the-road on-safari south-african-elephant impalassunsetmoms-birthdaymangosmarketfruit-stand

*A quick note: if you ever go on safari, consider booking through Bush Breaks. You can book incredible, 5 star, luxury lodges at steep discounts. 

Images Original to Lark & Linen. 
South Africa, Part I Part II | Part III
To see more travel photos, 
click here!

CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

The Garden Route, South Africa

{waking up at 4:30 am to watch wild meerkats}

Though none of us were quite ready to leave Cape Town (can you blame us?), we had other things on the agenda so we reluctantly packed our bags and off we went. During my research prior to our departure, I kept reading about The Garden Route: a series of small towns dotting the coast that are each, in their own right, well worth a visit. 

We decided to embark on a mini road trip of sorts, taking in the (glorious) sites along the route over the course of three days. Before I dive in to some of our favourite moments, I must say that the trek is long, and arduous at times, but well worth it. The vastly different landscapes you get to witness along the way make the trek worthwhile. From deep red desserts, to luscious, overgrown jungles, to winding routes up and down mountains, literally minutes apart, you never really knew what was waiting for you around the corner. It was quite impressive! 

{I’m going to venture a wild guess and say this is an antelope skull}

On the first night of our road trip we made a slight detour making our way off the typical path to visit the ostrich capital of the world: Outdshoorn.  No, none of us were particularly interested in ostriches (though I won’t deny they do amuse me!), the reason for this detour was for one reason only: the Meerkat Adventure. Basically, it’s just as it sounds. You wake up at the crack of dawn (literally) to hike into the bush and watch wild meerkats wake up and begin their daily activities mere feet away from you. We must have watched them for two hours and it was, honestly, the experience of a lifetime. One I will not, ever, forget!

{necessary at 4:30 am in the middle of the desert}

{road trip!}

{views along the garden route}

{at a craft market in Knysna}

Next on the agenda: a trip to Monkeyland (obviously!) Located just outside of Plettenberg Bay, this sanctuary acts as a respite for monkeys who have been in captivity for most of their life (either in labs, or kept as pets in some capacity). Being unable to release them in the wild once they’ve been “domesticated”, it’s here that they can roam around freely for the rest of their days. You get to walk through the jungle as monkeys cross your path, swing on trees and go about their business. It was, without a doubt, one of the coolest places EVER. 

Lastly, it wouldn’t be right for me to not mention the dinner we had on the beach at Enrico’s in Plettenberg. Truly, one of the best meals of my life. With dollar beers as you wait for a table, the loveliest setting in the entire world, and a selection of fish that was caught earlier that day, it was utterly perfect. (In fact, if you book early enough, you can go out with Enrico each morning as he catches the fish for the day!) 

{a stroll along the beach}

{the view from dinner at Enrico’s}


{luscious views en route}

{South Africa’s longest rope bridge}

{scenes from our cute hostel}

{beautiful Plettenberg Bay}

{views from breakfast}

{shantis en route}

{coming to the end of our road trip}

Images Original to Lark & Linen. 
South Africa, Part I Part II
To see more travel photos, 
click here!

CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

Cape Town, South Africa

{sights en route to Boulders & Cape Point}

From Stellenbosch, we made our way west to Cape Town. And if the rolling hills in wine country weren’t enough to steal my heart, Cape Town absolutely sealed the deal. I can now attest to completely and wholeheartedly understand the sentiment “it took my breath away”. From epic mountains to turquoise oceans, wild penguins to brightly painted buildings, you’d be a fool not to fall head over heels for the place.

With only a few days on hand, we plowed through the city and its surroundings in record time. We climbed Table Mountain, visited the penguins at Boulders Beach, stood where the Indian Ocean kisses the Atlantic at Cape Point, indulged in ice cream at the V&A Waterfront, and, albeit briefly, set sights on the rainbow hued homes in Bo Kapp. 

{a frequent sighting throughout South Africa}
{a peek at Boulders Beach}
{seeing this? right here? It’s been on my bucketlist FOREVER}

{a nesting penguin}

{the views atop Table Mountain}

{windblown and happy}

{a very brave man}

{my lil’ brother}

{on top of the world at Cape Point}

{the lighthouse at Cape Point}

{the view from the Lighthouse}


{the V&A Waterfront at dusk}

Images Original to Lark & Linen. 
South Africa, Part I 
To see more travel photos, click here!

CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

Stellenbosch, South Africa

{Our gorgeous hotel, Oude Werfe}

Though our original plan was to fly into Cape Town to spend New Years eve, we could not for the life of us find accommodations. So a word of warning: if you’re ever travelling to Cape Town over a holiday, book a solid two months in advance! We ended up being forced to switch gears and heading half an hour east to Stellenbosch, where some of the worlds best wines are produced. And, honestly? It was a blessing in disguise. 

After having travelled for 40+ hours, we knew we would be exhausted and decided to splurge on a few nights in a beautiful hotel, wining and dining our way to relaxation. This was, of course, one of our better life decisions to date.  

Due to a jam-packed schedule (I’m a go. do. see type when travelling – I may have driven my brother mental), we unfortunately only had one full day in Stellenbosch. Now that I know how exquisite it is, I would have happily spent an entire week there alone. Seeing as our time was unfortunately limited, we hired a guide* to give us a wine tour and really make the most of our day. What began with a wine and chocolate tasting at Lanzerac, finished with a wine and cheese pairing, many hours later, at Spier. Needless to say, we collectively agreed that we need to go back.

Oude-Werf{my happy place}

{the most incredible gardens}

{our first wine & chocolate tasting (at 10 am, no less)}

{the rooftop view from Lanzerac}

{the art and architecture at Delaire Graffe was unreal}

{can you even handle this view?}

{the gallery wall at Spier was perfection}

{better than I could have ever imagined}

{wine and cheese}

*Our guide was named David and he was unbelievable. We LOVED him and highly, highly recommend him if you’re ever in the area. 

Images Original to Lark & Linen. 
To see more travel photos, click here!

CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

A Day in Paris

{dreamy buildings}

I know I promised South Africa pictures this week, and I pinky swear they’re coming, but before we get there I thought it’d be fun to take a wee peek at Paris. Because, I mean, when the opportunity to get lost in a few Parisienne photos arises you take it, am I right? You see, en route to Africa we ended up with a 15 hour layover in none other than the city of love. Though I won’t deny it was exhausting (hello jetlag and only a few hours sleep; on a plane no less), we rallied and I’m so glad that we did. My goal: to gorge on croissants (check), stroll through the Musee D’orsay (it’s closed on Monday – I don’t want to talk about it – I’m still crushed), indulge in a cheese plate (check, check!) and see the eiffel tower. All in all? A successful 15 hours. 

{la Roue de Paris}

{la Seine}

{Notre Dame}

{la Place de la Concorde}

{I now understand the Laduree hype}

{lovely details}

{la Tour Eiffel}

{be still my heart}

{the Opera house}

{the Louvre}

Images Original to Lark & Linen. 
To see more travel photos, click here!


CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

Happy Holidays!

 100-Layer-Gift-Wrap-54 100-Layer-Gift-Wrap-57

Before I take off for the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for all your love and support. I don’t think you’ll ever have any idea how much you all mean to me! For those of you celebrating Christmas, I hope it’s everything you could ever wish for. And for those of you who are struggling this year, please know that you’re in my thoughts. 

I’m going to be taking off next week to snuggle all up on my family, and then I leave for two weeks to South Africa! Next week will be a little quite around here, but I’ve lined up some pretty epic guests posts while I’m travelling. I have a very good feeling you’ll want to stay tuned.

Happy, happy holidays and ALL of my love. 

xoxoxo, Jacquelyn

PS – in case you missed it, I guest posted over on Darling Magazine the other day. Head on over to read up on 5 ways to get into the holiday spirit (FOR FREE!) and you can enter to win a years subscription. I hiiiighly recommend that you do – the magazine is beyond fantastic.

Photography: Paige Jones Photo for 100 Layer Cake

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation

Scenes from Thunder Bay


Thunder Bay is one of those spots that simply feels like home. It’s not the prettiest of towns, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s where my grandfather immigrated from the Ukraine in the late 1920’s, where he met my grandmother, almost seventy years ago, and where much of my family still resides. And what the city lacks, the country makes up for in vast quantity.  Plus? It has persians. And finnish pancakes. So I’m not going to complain.

I’ve been visiting practically every summer for as long as I can remember. When we were much younger, we’d all pile into our van (six of us, plus a dog) and make the seventeen hour drive (each way) to spend two weeks at the cottage (an hour outside of town) with our grandparents. Sometimes we’d drive straight through the night, and others we’d stop halfway. Those years we made that pit stop we’d stay at a sub-par hotel in Sault St. Marie simply because it had “the worlds biggest water slide” (one that’s probably actually significantly smaller than I’m picturing at this time).

Now that said grandparents are 89 and 91 respectively, they’re no longer able to join us at the cottage (or camp, as we like to refer to it). Though we made a number of trips into town to visit, their country-side absence made this particular trip a little more than bittersweet.

I’m not one who usually embraces change. I tend to confront it slowly and carefully, always with a slight skepticism. And while this past week was incredibly relaxing, beautiful and fun in its own right, it was different. With it being just my mom, brother and step-sister this go around it was unusually calm and I think it’s safe to say that we all felt that void that lingered during those more silent moments. That being said, the quiet, the lake and just the right amount of breeze acted as the perfect recipe for finishing 4 books (thankyouverymuch!), imbibing in cocktail hour almost daily, and totally kicking my brothers’ butt at many, many a board games (I expect a comment from him below in due time!)

Thunder-Bay-4Thunder-Bay-5tb2 Thunder-Bay-6 Thunder-Bay-7

all images original to lark & linen

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CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

Ravello, The Amalfi Coast part V

ravello_1Our last day brought us to the picturesque town of Ravello. We had originally planned to head to Capri on this particular day, but our trip was cancelled due to the wind and impending rain (insert soft sobs here)*. We grabbed the city bus from Maiori and made our way up to this teeny little town. Though I was slightly disappointed by the fact that we weren’t going to make it to Capri, Ravello had it’s own unique charm. It definitely held its own and then some.

Located directly above the Amalfi Coast, the mountainous views and expansive vistas of the rest of the coast were a refreshing change from the other seaside towns we had visited throughout the week .  I swear you could see the entire coast from up there, and it was absolutely glorious.

Much like the majority of our trip, we spent our day dining, shopping, and wandering about. At one point in the afternoon, the skies opened up and it began to pour down on us. We took cover in a nearby shoe store where I happened to pick up a pair of beautiful orange sandals (convenient, right? I have to add, the shoes in Ravello were quite incredible!) We then invested in a $10 umbrella (Justin’s only souvenir! He has more willpower than I do, I must say) and didn’t let the weather get us down.

Once we were done touring, we decided to hike back down to Minori** (and then make our way back to Maiori). There’s a really beautiful trail just to the left of Villa Cimbrone and I believe you can make your way to Amalfi this way as well (though you might want to triple check). You simply follow the signs that eventually lead you to your destination. The whole hike took around 45 minutes, and the views are absolutely breathtaking (and I really dislike that word, so you know I mean business). It rained off and on during the entire walk, but we had our trusty umbrella and hiking in the rain was really quite romantic. All in all, a wonderful end to an incredible trip.

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*having missed Capri just means that we need to go back. Right? RIGHT!
**the hike wasn’t terribly difficult at all, but it’s almost entirely stairs (going down!) and they’re quite rocky/uneven. It gave my ankles a really strange workout – like I had never exercised certain muscles within them or something. By the time we got to the bottom they were all shakey and weird. No big deal, just a quick little warning!

Special note: though pricey (around $300), I’ve been told by a number of friends that this Ravello cooking class is incredible. We weren’t originally planning on heading to Ravello, and if we hadn’t blown our whole budget at this point in the trip, we would have budgeted for it for sure. Damn us and our responsible mindsets.

See: Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV Part V

all images original to lark & linen

ps. A big thanks to Tieks who sent me a pair of their ballerina pink flats. They literally got me through my entire trip. I HIGHLY recommend them. Super comfy, and they fold up teeny tiny (so perfect for travelling).

CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

Positano, The Amalfi Coast part IV

positano_1Ah, Positano… How can I find the words to describe this magical place? We were only here for a day, but I could have happily spent the entire week. Though quite touristy, the beautiful sites make up for the crowds.

At this point in the week, we were pretty exhausted from it all so we really didn’t accomplish anything major. We walked through the windy streets, we sat on the beach, and we made sure to enjoy a drink and a snack at a beachside restaurant. We also managed to find quite a few souvenirs at random little shops (if you do make your way there, check out Nadir. It’s where I picked up these bowls and it was definitely one of the best shops we found on the coast!)

Before making our way back to Maiori at the end of the day, we decided to stop at the Champagne Bar at Le Sirenuse. A single drink was essentially more than any other entree we purchased the duration of the trip, so we only stayed for one, but the million dollar views are absolutely unbeatable. I highly recommend this teeny tiny detour as you make your way back up to the bus stop.

positano_2 positano_3 positano_4 positano_5 positano_6 positano_7 positano_8 positano_10positano_9 positano_11 positano_12See: Part I Part II | Part III | Part V

all images original to lark & linen

CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

Pompeii, The Amalfi Coast Part III


Next up is the incredibly interesting city of Pompeii. Situated just outside of Naples, it’s a bit of a trek from Amalfi but the journey is well worth it. Pompeii is a city that has intrigued me since my highschool best friends visited almost 10 years ago, and I’m glad I finally got to check it off of my ever growing bucket list.

It is possible to get to Pompeii from the Amalfi Coast via public transit, but logistically it’s a bit of a nightmare. I think we worked out that we’d have to take 2 trains and 2 buses and hope that they all arrived on schedule so we didn’t miss a beat. That being said, though I’m usually anti-tour (I hate being on someone else’s schedule. Maybe I’m a control freak. Maybe.) we did one for this leg of the trip and I think it was a wise choice. If you don’t do a full day tour, I definitely recommend hiring a guide simply to help you tour the ruins. Our guide was incredible – a serious wealth of knowledge. Per her job description, she taught us things we NEVER would have known on our own*, many things we would have completely missed**, which made the experience that much more enriching.

Having been completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the year 79 AD, and only recently discovered (and by “recently” I mean around 250 years ago), the entire Roman city had been almost perfectly preserved under layers upon layers of volcanic ash and pumice. Mosaic flooring perfectly intact, human bodies remain in the exact position they were in at the time of their death, entire buildings still standing… It’s pretty unbelievable to say the least. It gave us a very accurate insight into how people lived so long ago.

That afternoon, we headed out to climb Mout Vesuvius (the very volcano that destroyed Pompeii almost 2000 years ago). It’s still active, and is known as the most deadly volcano in all of Europe. It’s a quick but intense climb (around 30 minutes up a steep incline), but the views are well worth it. Plus? There’s a shop that serves beer and wine at the top (knowing this helped propel us during those last few minutes, I’m not going to lie). Drinking beer & wine on top of a volcano is kind of thrilling, if you ask me.

pompeii_2 DSC_0416 pompeii_4 pompeii_5DSC_0396 pompeii_6 pompeii_7 pompeii_8DSC_0390 pompeii_9 pompeii_10 pompeii_11 pompeii_12 pompeii_13
*As we walked through what was once the brothel, our guide pointed out faint fresco’s painted above the doorway leading into each room. We were told that each fresco was a representation of a different sexual position. Because many of the prostitutes at the time were slaves and, as a result, didn’t speak the native language, the fresco’s were used so that the men could point and communicate which, um, positions they preferred.

** There were penises carved into the ground throughout the town that would guide you to the location of the brothel. This way, men didn’t need to feel embarrassed while asking for directions. They literally simply had to follow the “signs”. Who knew!

See: Part I Part II | Part IV Part V

all images original to lark & linen


CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

Amalfi, The Amalfi Coast Part II

The next leg of our trip brought us to the gorgeous town of Amalfi. As an aside, we actually took the city bus (the Sita!) from Maiori all throughout the Amalfi Coast. It costs a euro or two each way (depending on how far you’re going) and it honestly couldn’t have been simpler. The drive was slightly petrifying (note: two buses passing each other at virtually full speed with merely inches to spare and a 2′ high retaining wall separating you from a ginormous, rocky death? It’ll take a few minutes off your life for sure), however it’s unavoidable no matter which way you navigate the roads. Distract yourself with the glorious vistas an you’ll be good to go!

Though significantly more touristy than Maiori & Minori, Amalfi was everything I could have imagined and more. Incredibly picturesque with all the charm one would expect. We spent the entire day getting lost through back alleys, soaking up the ceiling fresco’s at the Cathedral and eating our weight in gelato (seriously though). Throughout our back alley travels, we stumbled upon the most adorable little restaurant. With no real plans, we decided to stay for a drink and a bite to eat. Unfortunately I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where we ended up (bad blogger!) but we both agree that our afternoon on the teeny patio was our favourite moment of the entire trip. We must have sat there for four hours drinking entirely too much mid-day wine with essentially the whole restaurant all to ourselves. Pure magic, really.

amalfi_2 amalfi_3amalfi_4amalfi_5amalfi_6amalfi_7amalfi_8amalfi_9amalfi_10amalfi_11amalfi_12amalfi_13amalfi_14See: Part I Part III | Part IV Part V

all images original to lark & linen


CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

Maiori & Minori, The Amalfi Coast Part I

To be honest, at this point our trip feels like a momentary blip in time. It was beyond anything I could have anticipated, but it almost feels as if it never happened. Daily life has resumed in full force and our trip to Italy has since become a wonderful, yet distant, memory. So it feels especially nice to take the time to write everything out. To preserve it all, if you will.

We stayed in a tiny seaside town named Maiori, situated just a few kilometres east of Amalfi. To be fair, I wasn’t originally blown away by this little place. Having been basically destroyed during a flood in the 50’s and, as a result, since rebuilt, it was lacking that charm I had anticipated the weeks leading up to our trip. Over time, however, it grew on me in huge strides. It was calm, situated off the beaten path and had one of the most glorious, expansive, beaches out of all the places we visited throughout the week. It felt quaint and local and the more we explored the more we fell in love. Our hotel, though inexpensive (hello budget!) and nothing over-the top special, was clean, the staff were friendly and our oversized balcony had views of the glorious emerald coloured seas. We could hear the waves crashing as we drifted to sleep each evening.

Though we had one terrible food experience (my biggest pet peeve!!) on our very first evening (I found a chunk of a can in my pizza. A can!), we quickly learnt the ins and outs of where to frequent for true, local, italian eats. If you do find yourself in Maiori, I highly recommend Dedalo. The staff were crazy friendly, handmade pasta was abundant and the food was incredibly tasty. That being said, we collectively agreed that the best thing we ate the entire trip was also the simplest. It was something we stumbled upon during a moment of desperation while waiting for our bus. We rushed into a local butcher shop and asked him if he could whip us up some form of sandwich to take on the road. He quickly prepared a panini made up of fresh bread, layers of prosciutto sliced thinly before our eyes, and a generous, full-sized ball of buffalo mozerella. It was indescribable and it took all of our energy not to fight over the last bite.  We, of course, ingested a few more before weeks end.

Minori, a sweet tiny town situated just a 12 minute walk west of our hotel, became another spot in which we frequented regularly. Similar to Maiori, felt slightly more modern for the most part, yet had its own charm and personality. After visiting many of the more touristy spots, it was nice to head back to our little neck of the woods and socialize with the locals in these tiny, sleepy towns.

maiori_2maiori_3 maiori_4 maiori_5 maiori_6 maiori_7 maiori_8 maiori_9 maiori_10 maiori_11 maiori_12 maiori_13 maiori_14 maiori_15 maiori_16 maiori_17See: Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V
all images original to lark & linen

CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

I’m back!

DSC_0767I’m back from what can only be described as the prettiest 7 days in the entire world. The Amalfi Coast was beyond what I could have ever imagined and I’m excited to share our adventures with you shortly! We returned home late Saturday evening after an eighteen hour journey and I’m not going to lie, I’m still a little wiped out. The thought of going through and editing over a thousand pictures is currently overwhelming me, but I promise to make it a priority in the coming days! In the meantime, here’s a quick little sneak peek of our incredible Italian vacation.


CATEGORIES | Travel, Vacation

be right back!


Aaaaand we are officially off to Amalfi! We leave tonight and I feel like a small child, completely bubbling over with excitement. Thank you all for your fabulous recommendations over the last week – I’m departing fully-equipped with a master list under my arm and will come back with diligent notes for everyone! While I’m gone, I’ve lined up a pretty incredible assortment of guest posters so definitely come back next week to check em’ all out!

Have a fabulous weekend you guys, and I’ll “see” you in a week!
(and apologies for the plethora of exclamation marks sprinkled throughout)


Wanderings: Florida

florida - 01Though I’ve been back for just under a week now, I inadvertently took an additional few days off from this ol’ blog here. Is it alright for me to blame the Florida sun? I just couldn’t get my act together last week no matter how hard I tried. But I’m back! And I’ve missed you guys! So in case you were wondering what has kept me away, here’s a little preview in photography format.

Despite the fact that I was working the majority of the time I was gone (once-more, working from “home” proves its worth!), I still managed to squeeze in a bit of fun in the sun (this might be evident from this collection of photos). If I’m being completely honest, this mini getaway could not have come at a better time. Between long hours at “the office”, attempting 3-4 hours of studying each evening, and trying to manage some semblance of a social life (ha!), I had long been burning the candle at both ends (I legitimately thought I might lose it a handful of times there.) But they say that the cure to all ailments is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea, and such statement has never felt more true. So if you’re ever feeling more than overwhelmed, may I suggest the beach? It really does do great things for one’s soul.

florida - 02florida - 10 florida - 03 florida - 04florida - 05 florida - 07 florida - 11DSC_0119florida - 13 florida - 14 florida - 15 florida - 16 florida - 17

CATEGORIES | Life, Travel, Vacation

Be Right Back

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 9.50.17 PMI’m off to Florida for the next week! Though it doesn’t technically count as a vacation since I’ll still be working, I do plan on ensuring that I get my fair share of sun, surf and sand. I’m going to be taking the next week or so off from posting so that I can really soak it all in – but not to worry, I’ll be back with lots more goodies in no time! I know. Phew. Right?

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Have a fabulous week my dears
Oh, and a happy early Easter!


galway & the cliffs of moher, ireland

We couldn’t leave Ireland without experiencing some of the countryside it has to offer. One day, just before heading home, both Jess and Ian had to head into work which left Justin and I alone to explore. Having wanted to experience The Cliffs of Moher for longer than I can remember, we opted to take a day trip out that way. The drive up was absolutely outstanding; exactly what you’d imagine when envisioning the Irish countryside. At one point we passed a herd of wild miniature horses running through a field and I began to question whether or not the entire journey was even real.

The morning was bright and sunny but in true Ireland form the skies opened up and poured down on us just as we arrived cliff side (of course it waited for us to get far enough away from any form of shelter before hitting torrential downpour status). Though we were soaked through and through, there was very little that could get our spirits down at that point. One of the natural wonders of the world, the cliffs are simply one of those things you have to see to understand. Their grandeur and beauty is difficult to explain in words.

We took a different route home, driving alongside the Galway bay and stopping briefly to take in The Burren Landscape. With a few hours before we needed to head back to Dublin, we made a brief stop in Galway. A small bohemian town, it’s here you’ll find residents littered with talent. Artists, musicians, singers and the like, three hours was not enough to take it all in. I definitely want to make a point to spend more time here in the future.
All in all, an exceptional two weeks.


dublin, Ireland

| pretty architecture |

| a sneaky shot of the Trinity College Library. (spotted all over Pinterest) |

| Trinity College campus |

| the river Liffey after a storm |

| views from The Gravity Bar |

| colourful doors are a bit of a thing in Dublin |

| best friends since the 7th grade |

If you ask me, it doesn’t get much better than visiting friends abroad. Especially if said friends have been a part of your life for the better part of fourteen years (holy!). Having “locals” give you a personal tour ultimately means you get to see the very best of the city without a ton of prep-work.

Having almost an entire week with virtually no plans was a nice departure from the go-go-go of the Scottish leg of our trip. We were able to take in the city at a leisurely pace, stopping often for tea and pints of Guinness.

While we naturally took part in some of the must-do activities (the Guinness brewery & high-tea at the Shelbourne obviously being on that list), we also had the opportunity to experience the lesser-known tidbits that Dublin has to offer. Things like incredible restaurants (hello 777 & The Pig’s Ear for starters), vintage shopping and adorable local pubs tucked in back alleys. Jess and Ian graciously put us up in their apartment for the week which not only helped us stay on budget, but brought back memories of childhood sleepover and proved to be a ton of fun. I’ll let them know if any of you need future personal tour guides, knowing them they’d be happy to oblige ;)


Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

As mentioned, the primary reason behind this particular trip was so that Justin and I could visit our friends who currently reside in Dublin. We had a fabulous time and  Jess and Ian proved to be fantastic hosts.

Though we spent the majority of the week in Dublin, enjoying the company of our friends, we did manage to head out for two day-trips throughout the week. The first  consisted of a quick ride on the Dart to the cute little town of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun-Leery – don’t ask me how. Crazy Gaelic language!) Both Jess and Ian are (fabulous) chefs and I won’t lie, our primary reasoning behind this mini-trip was to take in the food market that takes over the park every Sunday. We gorged on fantastic food, walked the old Victorian pier, and treated ourselves to ten minute chair massages for $5 in a nearby tent (best idea all week, let me tell you). It was the perfect start to our Irish adventure.


oban, scotland

After we left Stirling, we made our way west to our last stop: Oban. To be honest, this is the portion of the trip I had been looking forward to the most while in the planning process and it did not disappoint. The route takes you through the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park as well as the Argyll Forest which are both incredibly stunning. Three hours of bright green rolling hills, lochs, highland cows (my new favourite animal) and sheep in every other direction. Basically exactly what you’d imagine Scotland to resemble.

We arrived in Oban on Thursday evening, pleasantly surprised at where we were terminating the Scottish portion of our vacation. As a little fisherman’s town right on the coast, it’s here you’ll find some of the best fish and chips in the country. We ended up staying at Heatherfield House,  a sweet little bed and breakfast that I could not recommend more. Gary and Sues home was so well-appointed that they could have given Martha Stewart a run for her money. Our room was impeccable, beautifully decorated in soft shades of grey and yellow, with views of the ocean to boot. Our bathtub had a row of rubber ducks to greet us, their soaps and shampoos had come from a local organic supplier and we found chocolate bars tucked into our robes upon arrival. Not to mention the grounds lined with chickens, providing us farm fresh eggs for breakfast each morning. I’m telling you, a dream.

Though we stayed for two nights, we only had one full day to explore the small town. We decided to take the ferry over to the Isle of Mull to check out the Donegan castle and take in the area by boat. In addition to our mini day trip, not being a scotch drinker myself, I did accompany Justin on the Oban Scotch distillery tour, which ended up being a lot of fun. Naturally, we topped off the day enjoying (the freshest) fish and chips in a little pine cottage overlooking the harbour. Yes, Scotland was good to us.


As a total aside, I realize that these travel posts aren’t usually my standard material. Are you guys getting sick of reading about these journeys yet? I was going to come back next week and share a few posts on Ireland but I wanted to make sure it’s something you guys are interested in! I absolutely adore sharing these things as it’s a nice recount for my own personal memories, but I understand that lots of you come here for the interior design portion of my program. A show of hands and I’ll gladly continue!


stirling, scotland

Admittedly, both Justin and I were just a little disappointed when we arrived in Stirling. Though there’s no denying the city had its own particular charm, we both felt it paled in comparison to Edinburgh and St. Andrews. We may have been quick to judge considering we were barely there for twenty-four hours, however we both agreed it lacked the familiar vibe that emanated through the previous two cities. We felt Stirling Castle was too pristine, too restored and re-touched, and each and every pub and restaurant was filled to the brim with tourists. While travelling, we like to make a point of trying to find a local watering hole just off the beaten path. It’s possible that we were simply missing the mark that day, but we just couldn’t seem to track anything suitable down!

That being said we, of course, still managed to enjoy our limited time in Stirling. Our hotel was located just steps away from the castle, with views of rolling hills for miles when we awoke in the morning. Built in 1787, it was originally intended as an all-boys school which has since been converted into rooms to rest ones weary head. If you did want to experience this city for yourself, I would definitely recommend this spot as a place to crash.


st. andrews, scotland

One thing that had always been on my (laughably long) bucket list was to take a road trip through Scotland. So that’s just what we did.

We rented a car for four jam-packed days in an effort to see as much of the country as possible. What with Justin being an avid golfer, our first stop was naturally the town of St. Andrews where the game was essentially invented. While doing our research we realized that to golf The Old Course (which has been in use for 600 years) you had two options: book your round a year in advance, or show up solo, cross your fingers and hope that a trio will allow you to tag along on their round. Having friends who have, in the past, attempted the latter unsuccessfully, we were not entirely hopeful. We knew that if all else failed there would be a seaside town in which we’d be to able explore for a day. Not a bad deal, really.

Alas, the stars aligned or the gods shined down or something of the sort and Justin got on the course a mere hour after we arrived. This, in return, meant that I was left with ample time to spend at my leisure. I perused the town, treated myself to ice cream, drank tea on the beach (what? it was cold!) and hit up both the St. Andrews Castle ruins and The Cathedral before heading back. There was something magical about being completely disconnected from absolutely everyone and everything, simply touring a foreign place entirely on my own. It’s an activity I will definitely attempt on any and all future trips.


edinburgh, scotland

the Royal Mile |Holyrood Palace Gardens | Holyrood Abbey
amazing old buildings/architecture | hiking Arthur’s Seat
sneaking kisses | an adorable pub

Both Scotland and Ireland are places that, while I’ve always been intrigued by, have never been high on my must-visit list. When my best friend relocated to Ireland with her boyfriend some time ago, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to plan a trip out for a visit (and tack on Scotland for the ultimate getaway). With that being our primary reasoning behind this particular voyage, I was shocked at how much I adored both countries and would now easily move them to the top of that list.

The first leg of our trip brought us to Edinburgh where we spent three glorious days doing all of the typical touristy activities (Edinburgh castle, hiking Arthur’s Seat, touring Holyrood Palace and maybe a pub hop or two). Justin and I both fell head over heels in love with this particular city from the get go and, one evening over a pint of Guinness, spoke at length at how we could realistically relocate there for a year. It’s one of those magical cities that manages to combine the past and the present in a seamless manner. We ate like kings (celebrating our anniversary at The Honours, and treating ourselves to an incredible three course lunch at the Grain Store) and cannot wait to make our way back to explore what we didn’t manage to see. Three days was absolutely not enough and I do see it being a part of my future in one way or another.


I’m back!

I’m back and posting on a Sunday, no less – that’s how much I’ve missed you guys! I have to say, the last two weeks have been exceptional – even better than I could have imagined. There’s even been talks of relocating to Scotland for the long haul, but we’ll see ;) I just wanted to pop in to share a few sneak peeks of whats to come in the coming days (so. many. pictures. apologies in advance). And I wanted to wish my Canadian friends a happy Thanksgiving!

xx & thanks for hanging in there during my absence


hold tight…


I’m off to Scotland and Ireland! We leave tomorrow evening for two glorious weeks. I shall be back with some more goods (and lots and lots of photos). Hold tight!



visiting: south africa.


It’s been brought up before that there’s a slight chance that I’ll be heading to South Africa with my mom and brother come November. While nothing is in stone and still depends on a multitude of different factors, I can’t help but begin to do some preliminary planning (read: looking up gorgeous, albeit often unrealistic, places to stay, visit and dine). When I stumbled upon this one I knew it needed to be shared immediately. Certain aspects of it date all the way back to the 1690’s which itself is incredible to think of, while many of the spaces were built in 1777. Part hotel, part farm, part restaurant all combined together to make for one gloriously pretty vacation.

CATEGORIES | Interior Design, Vacation

scenes from my holidays: Barcelona, Spain.

{cupcake shoppe}{sagrada familia}{justin & I}{Gaudi’s Casa Battló}{Cava (& tapas)}{meandering the streets}{the most beautiful architecture}{views from Park Güell}{Park Güell}{sunsets}{small cafes}{bliss}

When all of our original New Years plans began to disintegrate, Justin and I found ourselves searching for a plan B. Originally, we contemplated heading south for a few days to ring in the New Year, just us two, but when we found this amazing deal to Barcelona (it was actually less expensive than 3 days in a sup-par  hotel in Cuba) we knew we had to take it. Booking our trip just two days before leaving (and the day before Christmas), admittedly, gave my type-A personality some serious anxiety but in the end I’m so happy that we did.
We spent 5 nights in what can easily be declared one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever laid eyes on. We hopped from Gaudi building to Gaudi building (seeing the Sagrada Familia in person was so surreal, and I was able to cross something off of my wishing well!), drank cava and ate tapas late into the night, enjoyed our fair share of inexpensive beer and sangria and meandered the streets at will. We rung in the New Year in an old tavern, complete with walls that had been built in the 11th century, eating grapes with locals as the clock struck twelve*. I can already feel that 2012 is going to be a good one.

*the Spanish tradition is to ring in the New Year with food and family. At midnight, you are to eat 12 grapes, one at a time, before the clock stops ringing. Every grape you fail to eat is equivalent to a month of bad luck in the upcoming year.

CATEGORIES | Life, Vacation

scenes from my week.

There’s something special about returning to a place where time seems to have stood still; a place that I’ve been frequenting for the last 25 years of my life, and can count on the fact that the juice glasses will remain the same, as do the pots, the pans and the stove that is surely from the 50’s and has helped feed its fair share. Visiting my cottage in Thunder Bay is one of those spots that holds ridiculously happy childhood memories and I hold it very close to my heart. It’s a place the epitomizes a Canadian summer: the fridge is always full of beer, when you walk through the bush, you must have a bear whistle tied around your wrist, just in case, the lake is refreshingly cold and the sunsets would make your heart skip a beat.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent the large majority of my week lounging on the dock, catching up on books that I’ve been meaning to get through but could never finish due to a lack of spare time. While I was originally fretting about the idea of being in the middle of nowhere with no connection to the outside world for an entire week, something I haven’t done since I was quite young, it ended up being just the ticket. Having literally nothing that needed to be done but watch the waves roll in, or the sun set over the lake was a welcome change from my mind reeling with a million different thoughts, ideas and things that need to be done. After adjusting to the thought of being able to read for four uninterrupted hours, I settled in just fine. While I wasn’t curled up on the front porch with a book, I passed the time listening to my 89 year old grandpa tell stories from the 1930’s, playing scrabble on the front port and eating my weight in home-cooked meals. One evening in particular was spent sitting on the boathouse for over an hour just watching an electrical storm off in the distance. It was easily one of the most amazing (and eerie) sights I’ve experienced.

I must admit though, I am happy to be back amidst the hustle and the bustle of my busy city life, only now with a clearer frame of mind. But if I can offer any advice (and this is something I’m sure I’ll have to refer back to in the near future) it’s that it’s okay to sit and watch the rain fall for a solid half an hour. In fact, it’s encouraged. It does more good than you know.

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend, Vacation

be right back…

images found here & here

As of 6:00 this evening, I will be on vacation. My family and I are headed to my grandparents cottage in Thunder Bay for a week of pure relaxation. I’m hoping that this trip pans out something along the likes of these photos. Additionally, I cannot wait to spend my time taking naps in a hammock, feasting on homecooked meals, sneaking samples of my grandmothers homemade jams and preserves and brushing my hair as little as possible. Also, a bra will fully be optional (sorry lil’ brother).

Have a wonderful week lovelies! I’ll see you back here shortly.


india part IV: udaipur.

{the view from our hostel rooftop}{taken on our boat cruise}
{i’m thinking this may not need a caption}{bats + sunsets. quite amazing, actually!}{the city palace, and a happy man!}{the city palace}{views from the monsoon palace}

The final leg of our trip took us to Udaipur, considered to be the most romantic spot in India. Surrounded by lakes, portions of it reminded me very much of Venice. It was shockingly beautiful (quite the dramatic change from the desert town of Jaisalmer and the big city of Jodhpur/Delhi).

We had dedicated this portion of our trip to relax and rejuvenate before I had to head back home. With many palaces, both on land and on the water (literally. in the middle of it), it made for the perfect backdrop to enjoy long dinners right on the lake. One evening, we sat and watched the sunset underneath a tree filled with bats (we realized this after we had sat down). As the sun set behind the mountains, hundred and hundreds of oversized bats began to emerge. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time. The perfect place to end an incredible journey.

(See Part IPart II & Part III)

I’m headed up to the cottage for the long weekend, but I’m hoping to post the rest of my pictures on my Facebook page. If I don’t get them up before I leave, they will definitely be up on monday. (click here to like lark + linen on Facebook and to be notified when the pictures do make their way up!)

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies, and thank you for letting me share my Indian experience with all of you! I’m humbled by all of your incredible comments. You guys are seriously awesome.  

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation

india part III: jodhpur & ranakpur.

{piles of the most incredible fabric}{the mehrangarh fort}{the blue city}{the market}{the clock tower}
{ranakpur’s jain temple}

Next up on our whirlwind tour of India was Jodhpur, the blue city. We barely had a full day to see it, so we made the most of it that we could.

On our way to visit the Mehrangarh fort, we stopped in at what we thought was a small antique store. We quickly realized that we had stumbled upon a gold mine. Eight stories of the most lust-worthy fabrics, shawls, scarves and blankets that you’ve ever seen. (It turned out that we had found the manufacturer for many of Luis Vuitton and Hermes’ products – of course my aunt would find such a place. She has a nose for these things). Much to my cousins dismay, us girls spent far too much time selecting the items that needed to make their way into our homes. I ended up purchasing a handful of pashminas and an incredible hand embroidered bedspread that would surely cost an arm and a leg had it been purchased here (note: it was $50. I feel guilty for paying so little).

After touring the (quite spectacular) fort (which still had many dents in the stone walls from where canons had tried to penetrate years ago), we rented a car and hired a driver to take us to Ranakpur. Hiring a driver sounds so fancy, but really, it’s the norm in India and it’s actually extremely cost-effective (like $40 between 4 people for a six-hour drive kinda cost-effective). Never in my life would I ever attempt to navigate through the traffic and intensity of driving in India. The drives themselves almost deserve their own post!

Initially we had intended on heading straight from Jodhpur to Udaipur, but after talking to a handful of locals, we were convinced we had to stop halfway to see a Jain temple in Ranakpur, a sight unbeknownst to many. While the Taj Mahal was overwhelming and did every bit of justice to the hype surrounding it, I truly believe it’s safe to say that it didn’t hold a candle to this temple. Imagine 1,444 two to three story white marble columns holding up turrets and domes and the like for as far as the eye can see. Each and every column intricately carved with the tiniest little detail, and each being drastically different from the next. Every visible remaining surface equally beautiful, equally intricate and meticulously carved. I feel confident when I say that I don’t think that I will ever again see another man-made item quite as incredible as this one. I have far too many pictures of it, but none of them do it even the smallest bit of justice. I’m so pleased that we made that detour.

(See Part IPart II & Part IV)

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation

india part II: jaisalmer.

{colourful details lining the streets of jaisalmer}{deserted streets – save for a lone cow, naturally}{an efficient way to carry ones parcel (the beginning of some impressive balancing acts we witnessed)}{views of the city from the jaisalmer fort}{rows of turbans just dying to be photographed}{my camel, daniel (I couldn’t have come up with a more suitable name)}

{trekking through the thar desert}

The second leg of our trip took us south to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We stayed in a $10 a night hostel that was easily nicer than most hotels I’ve visited in Canada. I shared a room with my aunt and we lucked out by being placed in a room with thick stone walls, hot pink silk curtains and bright cotton bed spreads.

After touring the Jaisalmer fort and palace (at 850 years old, it’s the oldest fort in the world that still has inhabitants living within its walls), scoping our many a pashmina and spending an evening sitting atop our hostel roof with the owner, eating and drinking some of his personal specialties under the stars, I didn’t think the trip could get much better.

Our second day in Jaisalmer brought about a camel trek that we had previously arranged. We were driven into the centre of the Thar desert to meet our trek leaders and our respective camels. Mine was named Daniel and he was quite handsome, if you can’t tell.

After a three hour camel ride further into the desert, we stopped to set up camp on top of the dunes. While we watched the sun set over the sand, our trek leaders began to cook our meal over a small fire, and proceeded to bring us cups of hot, homemade chai while we relaxed (and maybe played in the sand… a little).

Next, we feasted on an incredible meal of dal, rice and homemade chapatis (did I mention all of this was done over the fire?!), we hung out telling stories before retreating to cots that had been set up for us under the wide open sky. We drifted off to sleep after watching countless shooting stars, and it was easily one of the best nights of my entire life.

(See Part IPart III & Part IV)

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation

india part I: delhi & agra.

{the spice market in old delhi}

{the busy streets of old delhi}

{delhi apartments}

{first views of the taj mahal}

{inside the baby taj}

{the view of the taj from the agra fort}

{the agra fort}

The first leg of my trip began in Delhi. My cousin and his girlfriend had been on exchange in India for the past six months which was what originally prompted me to consider traveling to such an amazing country. He had raved about it since the start and I knew that I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go (one that may not come up again in my life). So together with my aunt (his mother), we made the long trip, and I’m so happy that we did.

Delhi is a huge bustling city that is big, dirty and beautiful all at the same time. The first day of our trip, feeling jet lagged and overheated, Dylan (my cousin) & Tammy took us to old Delhi to hit us with a bang. I must admit, I was first very overwhelmed and wondered what I had gotten myself into, but that feeling passed quickly as I got used to the bustle, the people and the extreme heat (umm was it ever hot – can we just take a moment to talk about how we each drank about 4 litres of water every day and very rarely peed? I don’t think that’s normal). Old Delhi in particular is a loud, intense, busy (understatement) little spot. We rented a bike rickshaw and visited temples, toured through spice markets and wedding markets and stepped over sleeping men in very narrow streets in order to get to places we wanted to get to.

The next day, my aunt and I awoke bright and early to make the trek to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. After a quite pleasant train ride (which is more than I can say for all of the other train experiences we were about to be faced with), we arrived just after the sun rose. Upon my first glance of the Taj I actually got choked up. I had to hold back tears as it was so overwhelmingly beautiful and I just could not believe that I was there, in person, to see it for myself. At first, still feeling overwhelmed by the culture shock and the heat (I can’t tell you how many Indians were even complaining about the heat – we were constantly told that we were crazy for travelling through India in the summer and most closed shop for the afternoon to nap in any shade they could find), I had thought to myself that if the next two weeks turned out to be absolutely horrible (they were not), it would all be worth it for that one moment that I laid eyes on the Taj Mahal.

The rest of the day was spent visiting the baby Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort (which was infested with monkeys – perhaps the best kind of infestation methinks) and eating what can only be described as some of the most incredible food I’ve ever had the pleasure of ingesting.

(See Part II, Part III & Part IV)


i’m back!

image found here

Hello my little kumquats! I’m back after what can only be described as two of the best weeks of my life. India was beyond words, beyond anything I had ever expected and I can’t wait to share it all with you. I’ve only been back for a few hours and am desperately exhausted slash really need to brush my hair. So please give me a little bit of time to get my life back in order (and try to tackle these tangles). In the meantime, you can head over here to check out my guest post on Bijou and Boheme, if you so please!

CATEGORIES | Life, Vacation

a transitional space.

found via Design Therapy via Boutique Homes

Boutique Homes is a website I happened to stumble upon recently, and I’m so glad that I did. Their aim is to provide incredible vacation home rentals; many of which are created by some pretty notable and talented architects. This home in particular is designed as the perfect transitional space for the days that linger between summer and fall. I wouldn’t mind curling up with a book and a blanket in any of the rich, charcoal gray and chocolate-brown spaces, wrapped up to protect myself from the coolness of the morning. Yet, when the sun makes an appearance and the temperature rises, I could just as easily sit outside to enjoy a light lunch and take in the expansive views. 

CATEGORIES | Art & Design, Exteriors, Interior Design, Vacation

scenes from my vacation. part III: Victoria.

We made it to Victoria on the Friday afternoon for the last leg of our trip. An incredible time was had, and I’m not even sure how we managed to squeeze in the amount of things that we did. Between touring beautiful downtown Victoria, visiting a real live castle, numerous hikes, camping on the pacific ocean, surfing in Tofino, a $3 breakfast at the navy base (in honour of my grandpa, an incredible man and ex-sailor), a brisk walk through Cathedral Grove, swimming at any and every moment we could muster up, a ride in a fire truck and high tea at the Empress Hotel… we saw it all. We did it all.

{beautiful victoria}

{high tea at the empress hotel}

{a beautiful old victorian house-turned-bed and breakfast}

{the view from atop mount doug}

{cameron lake}

{a pit stop for a swim while on the way to tofino}

{en route to tofino}

{cathedral grove forest}

{beautiful victoria}

{at our feet as we camped}

{surfing at long beach}

{low tide}


scenes from my vacation. part II: Vancouver.

After a quick pit stop to float in a long, lazy river, two more winery tours and an incredible lunch at Nk’Mip, overlooking the small town of Ossoyoos; we made the long drive through the winding roads with incredible views, up mountains and then back down again, finally arriving in Vancouver late Wednesday night. We only had one full day to do as we pleased and experience the city, so we did what we could. We woke up early and headed to Stanley park for a long bike along the sea wall. And the evening? Well, it was spent feasting at the most incredible japanese restaurant I’ve ever been to. The next morning we spoiled ourselves with room service as we packed up to make our way to Victoria.   

{the view at lunch in Ossoyoos}   

{we made light work of that cheese platter}   

{jackson triggs vineyards}   

{the drive to vancouver}   

{the view from stanley park}   

{bike riding through the park}   

{sneaking a kiss by the ocean}   

{800 year old trees}   

{the olympic flames}   

{he followed our ferry to victoria}   

{the view from the ferry}


scenes from my vacation. part I: Kelowna.

I’m back, and I’ve missed you guys so! I don’t even have the words to properly describe the past couple of weeks. Breathtaking? Amazing? Incredible? They just don’t seem to fit the bill. I’ve taken more photos than I could possibly chose from, so please, prepare to be bombarded with images of mountains, lakes and the like. I’ll be splitting my trip up into three separate days, so stay tuned, if you’re interested!

Our first stop was Kelowna, a city located in Okanagan Valley, wine country of BC. We flew in early on Sunday morning, opened our first bottle upon arriving at the resort, and didn’t stop until, well, yesterday, if I’m being honest. Situated just north of the US border, Kelowna is an extension of the Sonora Desert. The land is an incredible mix of mountains, coniferous forests, and deserts. By far my favourite leg of this trip.

Although our visit was short (three days), we made the most of it. With wine tours and extended lunches overlooking the Okanagan lake at Mission Hill Winery (wow. just wow.), a day trip on a friends boat, and a late night dinner at Quails Gate overlooking the lake (wrapped up in blankets to protect ourselves against the chill of the night, naturally), we left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and definitely, definitely plumper.

{our first peek at the mountains}

{the view from the resorts patio}

{the beach}

{a long, incredible lunch at mission hill}

{mission hill sights}

{a wine tasting… with cheese. mmm. cheese.}

{my boyfriend. his name is Justin & he’s pretty cute.}

{my stepmom. she’s taking advantage of our boat cruise with wine in hand}

{my baby sister. her name is Kelly & she’s loving life.}
{yes, she’s still my baby sister.}


luxury resort.

With my vacation approaching in just a few short weeks, I can’t help but be drawn to a few incredibly beautiful, perfectly designed, immaculate retreats.

Amangiri in particular has really caught my eye. Located in Utah, practically in the middle of the desert, it isn’t the type of location you would think you’d typically want to get away to, until you check out these views.  

The hotel and spa have been designed to blend into their landscape with colour, materials, texture and scale, as to not disturb their surroundings. It’s incredible! Where do I sign up?


found via Alexandra Campbell via Amangiri

CATEGORIES | Art & Design, Exteriors, Interior Design, Vacation