A Charming Day in Niagara-on-the-Lake

I fully believe that Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the dreamiest places in Ontario.

I adore this little town. Situated just a bit away from Niagara Falls, it’s like stepping back in time into a quaint 19th century town with all the boutiques and cafes your little heart could ever desire. I wish that I could spend every day walking along these beautiful streets with their little shuttered windows and beautiful brick buildings.

Steven and I recently had a week off from uni for midterms so we decided to take a day trip out to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Fortunately, despite it being the dead of winter in Canada, the sun came out, the weather was tolerable, and we had a positively lovely day! Since it’s one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever seen, I took tons of photos and thought I’d share them all on the blog today!

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We only visited Queen Street rather than exploring some of the historic areas throughout town, so we spent our day just popping in and out of the little shops that dot the street. There are a ton of local businesses along Queen St which I’ve come to appreciate even more since moving to a small town that’s reliant on their local shops.

One of the shops that isn’t a local business, however, is the Cows Creamery which is an ice cream shop. It’s actually a chain of parlours from Prince Edward Island that has somehow made it out to Niagara-on-the-Lake (and according to their website, Beijing too!) I love the ice cream there however it was far too cold for a scoop so instead we decided to check out their merchandise. It’s all hilariously cute, as most of it is cow-related pop culture puns. It sounds so hideously tacky (which it is) but I swear it’s funny! They actually had a line of pun-free crewnecks that were really nice and subtle, so I bought a large grey one that I intend on living in from now on lol.

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Every time I visit Queen St, I’m in complete awe of this building. You know me, I’m a history lovin’ gal. The Old Court House is from the mid-19th century and it’s a wonderful addition to this main street. I adore.

Walking down the streets and taking in all the sights was really the most fun ever. It was also really lovely to just spend a day alone with Steven, just chatting and enjoying the sun. Vehicle traffic on Queen St isn’t so crazy so it makes for a very quiet, stress-free stroll. They also have horse-drawn carriages that come down the road quite often which is beautiful. I love horses so much and every time they pass, I make Steven stop in the middle of the sidewalk so we can watch them pass!

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It’s simply not a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake unless I visit Just Christmas. In fact, one of the reasons we went down there was to go to Just Christmas. Established in 1985, it’s known as Canada’s oldest year-long Christmas emporium. This store is MASSIVE. It seems like it goes on forever, up and down stairs, around corners, into little loft areas. For a Christmas fanatic (like myself), it’s a dream come true.

Just Christmas is a crucial part of my family’s Christmas traditions. Each member of my family has their own personalized red ornament ball that we put on the tree every year. It’s something that’s been a tradition for my family since before I was even born. Although my boyfriend has one (he got one within the first couple years of us dating), we realized just last Christmas that our dog doesn’t have one! Yes, we’re that crazy dog family that needs an ornament for our pet… So Steven and I went to get one for her haha.

We also bought a very cute marshmallow snowman ornament for our mini bedroom tree and a Jon Snow ornament for our main tree because he’s a cutie and it was only $3 lol.

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I’d always heard about the Prince of Wales Hotel growing up and I’ve seen it from afar but for whatever reason, I’ve never gone to see it up close. So this time, I insisted we went down that road and I’m so glad we did! The hotel was established in 1864 under a different name, being renamed the Prince of Wales after the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) came to visit in 1901. It’s positively huge, not to mention beautiful. My little history heart just couldn’t take all the historic importance and the 19th century architecture. As we explored the exterior (I doubt we have enough money to go inside the building), I just kept saying “oh my GOD” really loudly and dramatically which gained me lots of looks from posh elderly patrons of the hotel and restaurant.

Also, it’s apparently extremely haunted. There’s a whole tale about an American soldier going into a wooden house which once stood in the spot of the hotel during the War of 1812. He allegedly mistook a woman looking out the window for an enemy British soldier and pierced her with the end of his bayonet. Not a great time. There’s even a Trip Advisor review that’s titled: “Great. But totally haunted.”

I won’t be staying there any time soon.

That being said, if the prospect of American phantom-soldiers intrigues you, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the place for you. The whole place is apparently spooky (i.e. haunted) as hell. Most old towns are considered haunted, especially ones that were ridden with war deaths. They even do walking ghost tours which I may gather the nerve to do one day lol.

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By the end of our day on Queen St, I was starved and Steven lured me into Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop… Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that much of a struggle to get me in there. I had been there before for gelato with my godmother years earlier, but hadn’t ever tried anything from the cafe menu. Immediately after seeing they made crepes, I was hooked. Steven had shockingly never had a crepe before!! How have we been together 5 1/2 years and he’s never had a crepe? Luckily, I fixed that. I ordered us a Chocolate Hazelnut Banana crepe which is essentially nutella and sliced bananas. It was heavenly! Massive, too. If you happen upon Nina’s one day, keep in mind that the crepes can easily be shared between two (or more) people. But they’re extremely delish.

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Finally, we reached the end of our trip - sad. I should mention though that the parking on Queen St is… interesting. It’s primarily street parking which means the dreaded parallel park. Aka I made Steven drive and park there lol. There is limited parking behind some of the shops but those are the first spots that are gone. For parking on the street, you have to pay a parking meter - $3 an hour. We stayed an hour and a half so we paid $6 for two full hours as there’s no half-hour options, which was fine. But it wouldn’t accept our credit card! We tried both of our credit cards, our debit cards, and nothing. So we had to use change which we didn’t have so Steven had to go into a bakery to break a twenty while I waited by the car and prayed a cop didn’t come by to give us a ticket. It took a longgg time. So keep that in mind! Bring change!

We actually parked right in front of Starbucks which was fabulous as it meant I could easily pop in and grab a caramel macchiato before hoping in the car for the long drive home. Let me just say that this is the cutest Starbucks I’ve ever seen! Whenever I go inside, I talk about how badly I want to live in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s a very small, cozy cafe located in an old white building with beautiful green shutters and a green door. The barista who took my order was so friendly and nice. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

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And here’s my outfit that I wore to Niagara-on-the-Lake! Would it be a day out if I didn’t take a snap of my outfit, really?

Beret - Joe Fresh
Jacket - Forever 21
Sweater - Gap
Jeans - Garage (I only ever wear Garage High Rise Roller Jeggings, they’re so flattering and comfy!)
Ankle Boots - Madden Girl by Steve Madden

Have you ever been to Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Getting Back into Things...

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Hi everybody! As lovely as my holidays were, it's definitely nice to be back to blogging on a regular schedule. And to end off my first week back to blogging is my Friday Thoughts post!

  • Monday was an absolutely crazy day. My family and I walked outside of our house to find rushing water throughout the entire garage. It looked as though we'd had a gas leak. We went into full-on panic mode - grabbed the dog, called 911, and ran across the street. One hour and two firetrucks later, we found out it was actually a water pipe that had burst and was mixing with gas that was leaking from a can my dad uses to fill the snowblower. It was so terrifying but thankfully it wasn't anything in the end.

  • This dreary weather has already begun to get me down... I'm so eager for spring weather. Thankfully, we've had a huge bout of rain and warm-ish weather which has melted most of the snow. This summer-lovin' gal is soo over winter.

  • I've been recently binge-watching The Royals with my boyfriend and mum, and New Girl on my own. I had started to watch The Royals awhile back but then forgot about it. We've finally nearly gotten caught up. But I've been especially into New Girl. I love Zooey Deschanel, and especially love her as Jess Day.

  • On Wednesday, I got a chance to go out and have brunch with my very close friend who I have not seen in well over a month. It was so lovely to catch-up over my favourite breakfast, eggs benedict. I always love reuniting with friends, especially when I haven't seen them in forever!

  • My mum got a chance to rummage through my grandma's old photo albums this week whilst visiting her in Hamilton. She took some pics of the best ones, and that night we took a trip down memory lane, where I realised from photos like this one that I've got the same hairdo now as I did when I was a kid lol

Lil me

Lil me

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you all have a marvellous weekend!

Lots of love

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Harry Potter + Snow

Happy Friday to you all! Another Friday... jeez, before we all know it, it will be Christmas Eve. Who's excited for Christmas!? I know I am. Seeing all of the Blogmas posts from blogs I follow has only amplified my excitement. Maybe I'll have to partake in Blogmas next year....? We'll have to wait and see! But, for now, here's my weekly update for you.

  • I've started to re-read the Harry Potter series! I'm not really sure why, but I suddenly got into a very Harry Potter mood this week. I watched the first and then the final films last night, and today I've been lounging around in my Ron Weasley sweater, reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I'm already onto Chamber of Secrets lol
  • A few weeks back, on Black Friday weekend, I ordered two vinyl records from Urban Outfitters as there was a ridiculous sale on records (something like "buy one, get one 50% off"). SO I ordered the Moulin Rouge and the 500 Days of Summer soundtracks. Flash forward to this week, they still hadn't sent a shipping confirmation or anything so I started to panic. Then they said 500 Days of Summer was back-ordered. So Moulin Rouge unexpectedly arrived yesterday afternoon. And today, 500 Days of Summer arrived... along with another copy of Moulin Rouge hahaha, so I guess I have two copies now??
  • Exam season is upon us! I get lucky every time, being an English major who takes a lot of online classes and classes that prefer final papers over exams - I only get two or three exams per term. But my boyfriend isn't so blessed. He has two exams tomorrow, one mid-day and then the other at night. So tomorrow will be a sucky day for him :(
  • There is snow expected for tomorrow and I could not be any more excited. I love the first good snowfall of the season. I've been eagerly awaiting our first snowfall for weeks now, after a fifteen-min snow tease last month. My family thinks I'm nuts (they're not snow lovers). I don't even really like snow. I just like it in December, but once Christmas is over, I'm like bye. 
  • I'm getting very excited for my trip to Florida. We live Christmas day, as usual, and I can't wait to see all that Disney has in store for this magical Christmas season. I truly believe that Disney wins when it comes to holiday decor. I just love to see all their decorations - I promise to share it all with you guys!

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Twinkling Lights

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Welcome back, everyone! So sorry I missed posting yesterday. I got so caught up in a million things I've been doing lately, that it totally slipped my mind that it was Thursday! But, it's Friday, and that means it's time for a weekly update.

  • My house has been full of Christmas spirit and excitement as we prepare for our big Christmas party next weekend. There is so much more work put into throwing a party than it may appear from the eyes of a guest! Despite all the hard work, I can't wait to have all of our friends and family over to celebrate the upcoming holiday season.
  • We took part in our very first town Christmas celebration on Thursday. Every year, the town we've moved to throws this event called Light Up Night, where everyone gathers in the park and sings carols, then at 7pm they flick a switch and light up a bunch of Christmas lights. It was so much fun. Everyone was so genuinely happy to be there together. The decorations were adorable. There were even volunteers handing out Tim Horton's hot chocolate for free, which was so thoughtful. I'm so happy to be living in this town. Walking down the main street, past windows of Christmas decorations, made me really grateful for this move. I can absolutely see myself living here for a very long time and also raising a family here.
  • My mum and I started watching Mindhunter on Netflix, and so far I'm really enjoying it. We're only a couple episodes in so far but it's super intense and absolutely fascinating. My mum and I are huge true crime nuts, so to see the characters interact with actors portraying real criminals is so interesting to watch.
  • I've been loving how many Christmas films they've been playing on television lately!! I'm getting sooo excited. It's a month till Christmas after all!!
  • I received a book in the mail this week!! I always love when packages come earlier than expected, and this one came about a week early. It's called My True Love Gave to Me and it's a collection of 12 holiday-themed short stories by a bunch of YA authors, including some of my favourites like Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins. So far, I'm absolutely loving it!!

That's all for this week. Have a fab weekend!!

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Films and Winter Hand Soaps

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Hello, hello, hello everybody! I have no idea how we've reached yet another Friday.  Anyway, I'm not complaining, as another weekend is upon us - woo!! But before I can begin to celebrate the weekend (aka sleep), here's my weekly Friday Thoughts update for you all!

  • Earlier this week, my family, boyfriend, and I saw Murder on the Orient Express at our nearest movie theatre (which is actually forty mins away haha). We all absolutely loved it! Kenneth Branagh did a fantastic job in this film, as did the rest of the cast. I was seriously impressed with the filmography, the storyline, and the acting of the film. I can't wait for it to be released on DVD.
  • I went a little bit Bath & Body Works crazy this week... My boyfriend had offered to buy me a few hand soaps, as we were running out of the last bunch we'd purchased a few months ago. But they had a huge "buy 10 for $25" promotion, and my boyfriend never ignores a good deal sooo..... guess who has 10 new wintery scented hand soaps??? Haha
  • Finally, the world and I are starting to synchronize in preparing for Christmas. The buses in Hamilton are starting to read "Seasons Greetings/Merry Christmas", I went to a mall tree lighting, and my town has put up a ton of lights and decorations for our big holiday celebration next week. I don't feel so ahead of myself anymore!
  • My boyfriend kindly bought me an adorable 12-pair set of Christmas-themed socks off Amazon and gifted it to me on Monday. Choosing which Christmas socks to wear is a big deal to me now... Never thought I'd say that lol
  • I watched 500 Days of Summer for the first time in, like, four years. I forgot how much I loved it. The "You Make My Dreams Come True" scene puts me in the best mood - it honestly has me giggling out loud, especially when he sees his "reflection" in the car and it's Harrison Ford lmao.
  • We've nearly finished decorating the house for Christmas! We have two trees left to trim (yup, two) and then all we have left to do is wait for the holidays!! Eeeeee I'm so excited - can you tell? Haha
  • On Tuesday, my family popped into our favourite store at the mall in Hamilton: Cinema. Cinema is a dvd shop - one of the last, might I add - that has sooo many movies and especially ones you'd never think of. We bought a three-movie pack that had in it Love Actually, Holiday Inn, and The Family Man.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Felicia x