Keep up with Kingston Turns 7! 7 Reasons “Kingston Isn’t Boring Anymore”

This month marks the 7 year anniversary since I moved back to Kingston and began this blog. I can’t believe how time flies! In the last seven years, I’ve had three jobs in this city, we’ve grown our family by two and I’ve started a Masters program to name just a few things. In that time, this blog has put me in touch with so many incredible people, local businesses and unique opportunities.

Although it’s always been a side project, it has enriched our lives in more ways than I can count. The point of starting the blog was to convince myself that Kingston is a happening place and far from the sleepy town I remembered and fled from as a young adult. I hoped that sharing the positive and diving into our community would give me a new appreciation for its beauty. And it worked! I only share positive experiences and specifically focus on small, local business and as a result I attract positive energy. Bonus: I’m often given a heads up on many of the fun things happening around town. This community is so supportive and if you put yourself out there, it’s very easy to find your people. For those of you who have been following along, thank you so much for reading and sharing my content! I appreciate you.

Local artist and founder of collective, ForWorld Studios, Francisco Corbett, has coined this phrase “Kingston Isn’t Boring Anymore” and put it on T-shirts that he sells in very small rollouts. I love this phrase so much because I 100% agree. Perhaps it’s because I actively look for the fun or that it has changed significantly over the years – regardless, I see such a difference over the last decade! Maybe a mixture of perspective and progress?

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Local Meal Gift Guide for New YGK Parents

We welcomed a new baby recently (our second, we have a toddler) and we were so incredibly lucky to have friends and family source delicious foods from locals spots to keep us nourished as we took in fresh cuddles and kept our toddler well-fed! I really benefited from having this blog because many friends tapped into it to pick from our favourite shops (best humans). This post is a shout out to friends who fed us for the first few weeks of baby’s little life. It’s also a guide for anyone who wants to bring new parents nourishing food from local spots while they settle into the chaos and unpredictability of life with a newborn.

Bread and Butter
So many great items to grab from this sweet and savoury heaven on earth! A few friends brought us their quiche, cinnamon buns, chocolate croissants, sourdough, carrot salad and ratatouille. All of it served our family well during the early, foggy days.

The Grocery Basket
Our favourite item from Grocery Basket was the shepherds pie. It was so rich and delicious and huge! It created many leftovers. I still have a couple of personal-sized items in our deep freezer from the Grocery Basket that I haven’t even broken out yet! Love having frozen items on hand for hectic days.

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Ways to Show Up for Indigenous Communities on Canada Day and Beyond

We are weeks into more discoveries of mass graves at various residential schools. It’s no longer enough to react to these repeating headlines with shock. There are things we can all be doing to support the communities that carry the trauma we read about. See below for a few ideas on how to show up and show support.

Learn and Unlearn:

Support:

Please note that if you’re sharing traumatic news headlines to also share the number for the national Indian Residential School Crisis Line that has been set up to provide support for residential school survivors and others affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

Updated: The Ultimate List of Kingston Patios

We’ve all been (im)patiently waiting to sit in the sunshine eating and drinking at our favourite local spots. There are so many incredible patios to choose from. I’ve tried my best to get them all in this extensive list with the help of my instagram followers! It is incredible how many of our local restaurants have survived the challenges of the past few years so please be patient, kind and generous while tipping (if able) when you visit! Be sure to check businesses’s social ahead of visiting.

Bella Bistro, 4050 Bath Road

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Kingston’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide and Meal Ideas

Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve had a Mother’s Day giveaway going for the last week to highlight all of the awesome gifts from local makers. If you entered and didn’t win, still consider checking out one of these awesome businesses for your Mother’s Day gifts. A quick recap:

Afiya Beauty’s Special Mother’s Day Kit: Rose body oil, bath soak, rose facial serum. (FYI, I use their products and love them!)

Cheesecakery + Found and Lost Art: Cheesecakery has teamed up with Found and Lost Art for an adorable jar and card set.

Heel Boy: A gift card for mom to treat herself to a new pair of shoes as the season changes is a perfect gift!

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Black In Kingston, A Year Later

I am still processing the news of the Derek Chauvin trial. I can say that it’s upsetting how shocked I was that the right thing was done. Finally. I don’t want to jump up and down and scream justice because George Floyd is still dead and one verdict doesn’t equal a change in policy. But it does set a precedent and send a signal to cops that they can be held accountable for their actions. Because that’s what happened. Chauvin was held accountable. After almost a year and several other cases of police brutality. After a trial that tried to humanize the man that was killed to justify his murder instead of vilifying his murderer. Accountability happened.

Photo by Tandem X Visuals on Unsplash

It’s been almost a year since a local officer, Brad Hughes, argued that George Floyd played role in his death by not complying to police. He confidently shared on his Facebook page, “Had every single one of the deceased in the high profile cases in the US not resisted their arrest but instead complied, sat themselves in the cruiser and fought their case in the court room rather then the street, they’d ALL be alive today.” That is simply not true. It’s been proven over and over (Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed). And a reminder to any devil’s advocates out there that non-compliance should not equal death. His statement was/is absolutely unacceptable, particularly coming from a police officer. It’s unsettling to know that someone who sits in such a power position holds such problematic beliefs. And real change means that he would be publicly reprimanded for those harmful words and given more training on implicit biases.

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Black-Owned: AA DJs

If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!

AA DJs was put on my radar because someone tagged them in the Black-Owned Business directory and then I had the opportunity to listen to their set last summer for a few nights at Stone City Ales and I spent my whole meal bopping my head and shrugging my shoulders. Ayanda and his team bring great energy to the space. They also produce a really great photo booth! Find out a little more about AA DJs.


When and why did you start AA DJs?
AA DJs got started in May 2017, because one of my best friends and I saw a need for a new approach to the experience couples got from DJs at weddings. We felt the client experience, overall visual presentation, and music style could be updated and refreshed to better suit the needs of people getting married these days.

Why Kingston? 
The community. We both grew up in Kingston, and it’s always been home for us. What better place to start a business than somewhere surrounded by your friends and family, inside of a city that has so many great small businesses to draw inspiration from? #YGKLove haha.

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Black-Owned: Cher-Mere

If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!

I met Aba years ago at a local event and we’ve been connected ever since. I admire Aba for all of the work she does for our community (she does a lot of volunteer work and is on many, many committees!) while running two spas (and raising four children!)! My favourite items from Cher-Mere are the moisturizing hair products and body oil, they are especially appreciated in winter when everything is dry! This past year Aba has been responsible for the Let’s Talk Kingston series that’s done a wonderful job of breaking down barriers and having honest conversation about the things that impact our community. Learn more about Aba below.

Why did you choose Kingston? 
I came to Kingston to go to Queen’s for an undergrad from Engineering and then along the way I decided to do a Masters and then along the way I started to do a PhD and then along that way I was in a relationship and got pregnant and had four kids and we became Kingstonians officially (laughs). My husband always says “I wanted to go to a big city” and we kind of just ended up here. But we really like it here.

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Downtown Kingston is Lit

Downtown Kingston Light Installation

I don’t even know if the term “lit” is popular anymore but I am going to roll with it for the purpose of this post which is to tell you about Kingston’s beautiful light installation downtown. The bright, twinkling, (they literally twinkle), lights are certainly needed at the end of this dreadful year. No, they will not act as the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, however, with Christmas around the corner it’s important to find the silver-linings available to us and hold on tight to them! We can’t control  the current state of the world but we can control how we react to the madness! Continue reading

A Good Review: Our Latest Purchase from Kingston’s Carloft.ca

 

I am going to preface this post by saying the whole reason I started this blog was to share great experiences I have in our community. Most of the time it’s related to food and I am always happy to support local. This post is a little different! It’s about our recent trade in experience at CarLoft.ca’s Kingston‘ location. It was awesome enough that I feel the need to tell you about it.

About a month ago (when we were not in the middle of a severe covid outbreak for our region) we finally decided to test drive a vehicle we had our eyes on. For full context, we bought a brand new truck five years ago and we are over it. It was very much the Kingston thing to do coming from the GTA (a driveway, no street parking, shorter commutes = truck). But it’s not practical. And we’ve been talking about trading it in for months. I digress…So about a month ago we test drove a vehicle and liked the salesperson who helped us, Devon, so we grabbed his business card. Three weeks later after more consideration, we texted Devon to follow up. Fast-forward and we have said goodbye to our truck (we named it Buck) and hello to our newer, more affordable, SUV (name tbd). If you’ve been patient enough to read this far, thanks for sticking it out. Continue reading