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?
Please note that this post has been updated to include menu updates and additional menu options from new restaurants!
Generally speaking, there’s not much to do these days but eat, walk and nap. Lockdown life is lame, yes. But Kingston restaurants are trying to make the best of it and offering up some delicious, pre-fixe menus to accommodate all needs: Want a romantic, hot dinner for two? They’ve got it. Want a family meal? No problem. Vegan? There’s something for you. Prefer to take and bake? You see where this is going. The nice thing about the menu options is that the theme is ‘healthy choices’ so it’s very in line with many new year’s resolutions to ditch junk food and pack in the nutrients.
After I shared the original Holiday Shopping Guide, I did a call out in my Instagram stories to ask which local shops I missed. Our community is so passionate about supporting small business, the list grew and grew! After a very scientific (cough, an instagram poll, cough ) asking if I should turn the community-curated list on Instagram into an official post, the response was yes. So, here it is. This list is a collection of community suggestions to continue shopping local. I discovered many new gems! Thank you to everyone who sent along their favourite spots. I can keep updating once a week with new shops if you have any recommendations. Share them in the comments. Continue reading →
I’ve got a confession to make. I am a very messy person! I try on a bunch of different outfits before leaving the house and don’t put back the rejected blouses and skirts. My closet typically resembles some sort of clothes monster with unhung dresses and and trousers pooling on the floor. It’s not a great situation. But that all that changed this weekend! Is it too late in 2020 to use #newyearnewme? Closet organizer, Jocelyn, of Popped Closet came over and turned my closet into a space my mom would be proud of. Jocelyn is new to Kingston and she brings this magical skill of transforming cluttered spaces and turning them into soothing, organized, colour-coated dreams. And all without judgement. Just kindness, enthusiasm and efficiency. I can’t stress that enough! Continue reading →
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Kingston is filled with talented artists and makers. And there is no better time of year to celebrate them then right now. It can be really easy to just hit up Amazon Prime and have the gifts delivered to our doorstep but there is also an opportunity to engage with our local entrepreneurs. As you finish up shopping for your loved ones, consider supporting someone from our community. You can find some of the vendors I mention at the Kingston Holiday Market on weekends and many of them sell online as well! Continue reading →
If you’ve found yourself at the corner of Princess and King street in the past 20 years or so, you’ve likely stopped in to clothing stores Fancy That or Roundstone. These shops are a staple of Kingston’s downtown and where you’ll find great deals on June 16 as downtown Kingston celebrates DKShopfest. DKShopfest is a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting our locally owned shops while scoring great deals. I wanted to learn a little more about Fancy That owner, Maria Cronk. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email. Read below to learn how Fancy That started and what Maria loves most about being a Kingston shop owner.
Keep up with Kingston: Please share how Fancy That started? How many years have you been open?
Maria Cronk: Fancy That Group started in 1974 by Inger Sparring (my mother) in Brockville, ON. We started as one small store in Brockville, ON and grew over the years. At one point we had nine stores across Eastern Ontario! Now, we have two stores in downtown Kingston (Fancy That & the Roundstone) and one store in Brockville (Limestone & Ivy). IN 1979, my brother, Dan, joined in the business, he runs our store in Brockville, and I joined in 1985 to run the Kingston stores.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more times: I love Bella Bistro and the Bella Market. Their attention to detail is impeccable, they always source locally and as a result their food quality is s top notch. I wrote about The Bella Market when they first opened and now that they’ve been open a few months, I want to share with you how much I love their pre-made meal options. As someone who loves to cook and doesn’t love buying processed frozen meals from the grocery store, their pre-made meals are perfect when I’ve had a busy week. When I visit Bella, the staff are always happy to share their culinary expertise and I love how excited they get about their food! I appreciate how they can always share a personal experience and insight on anything I am considering picking up. Continue reading →
I am always looking for new ways to enjoy Kingston — new places to visit and new foods to try. Luckily, there is always a new spot opening up in our wonderful foodie city for me to explore!
I recently celebrated a birthday and wanted to try a new space that my friends and family wouldn’t have visited yet. I saw that Black Dog Hospitality Group — the umbrella company of popular restaurants Dianne’s, Chien Noir, Atomica and Harpers also offers catering. Initially I thought I would host everyone in my house and cater in but decided against that idea (boo clean up!) and settled on hosting a dinner in their catering space – Black Dog Food Lab. This hidden space downtown on Ontario steet is decorated beautifully and perfect for an intimate gathering! Continue reading →
The countdown to Christmas is officially on and this is the perfect time to share all of the goodness that Kingston’s makers have to offer. Thanks to a few very festive markets
— you can easily support local and treat loved ones this season. Scroll down to see where you can find your locally sourced Christmas gifts.
And believe it or not, visits to Bella just got even better because they’ve introduced a market. This is exactly what the west end needs. A space curated for the on-the-go food lover who needs to pick up a ready-made dinner on their way home among other great offerings. Continue reading →