A Charming Day in Niagara-on-the-Lake

It is my absolute opinion that Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the dreamiest places in Ontario. I adore this little town. Situated in Niagara, 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 I could spend every day walking along these beautiful streets, with their little shutters and beautiful brick buildings.

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

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Since we only explored Queen Street, rather than visiting some of the historic areas throughout the town, we spent our day primarily popping in and out of the little shops that dot the street. There are a ton of small businesses along the road which I’ve come to appreciate even more since moving to a very small town that is quite reliant on their local shops.

One of the shops that is not 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 apparently Beijing!). 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 hideously tacky, but I swear it’s funny!! They actually had a line of really nice crewnecks that were very subtle and had the logo on it, so I bought a nice large grey sweater that I currently am living in lol.

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

Walking down the streets, taking in all the sights, was really the most fun ever. It was also really lovely to just spend a day alone with my boyfriend, chatting and enjoying the sun. The road of Queen St isn’t very busy, so there aren’t so many cars along the road which is nice. They also have horse-drawn carriages that come down the road quite often, which is so beautiful. I love horses so much and every time they pass, I make my boyfriend stop in the middle of the sidewalk to watch!

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It is simply not a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake unless I visit Just Christmas. In fact, the main reason 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 M A S S I V E. It seems like it goes on forever, up and down stairs, around corners, in little loft areas. For a Christmas fanatic like myself, it’s a dream.

It’s also a crucial part of my Christmas traditions! My whole family, including my grandma, late grandpa, and my boyfriend, all have red ornament balls personalized with our names. It’s something that’s been a tradition for us since before I was even alive I believe. But this past Christmas, we realized we didn’t have one for my pup (yes, we’re that crazy dog family) so my boyfriend and I decided to go out and get one for her.

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’ve always heard about the Prince of Wales Hotel and I’ve seen it from afar before, but for whatever reason, I’d 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 and beautiful. My little history-loving heart couldn’t take all the historic importance and the 19th century architecture. As we explored the exterior (I don’t think we even have enough money to open the front door), I just kept saying “oh my GOD” really loudly and dramatically, which got me a lot of interesting looks from very posh elderly patrons of the hotel and accompanying restaurant.

Also, it’s apparently extremely haunted. There’s a whole story about an American soldier going into a wooden house which stood in the Prince of Wales Hotel’s spot during the War of 1812 and he mistook a woman looking out the window for an enemy British soldier, piercing her with the end of his bayonet. Not a great time. There’s even a Trip Advisor review titled “Great. But totally haunted.” I won’t be staying there any time soon.

That being said, if you’re really into ghosts, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the place for you. Being such an old town, and the site of many War of 1812 moments, it’s apparently generally haunted. They even do ghost tours which I might gather the nerve to do one day, though I vow not to do the ghost tour of my own town lol.

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Interesting fact: this beautiful clock tower in the middle of Queen St is actually a cenotaph for those who were killed during World War I.

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Near the end of our trip, I was absolutely starving so my boyfriend lured me into the Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop. I’d been there before for gelato before years ago, but had never had anything from the cafe menu. Immediately after I saw the crepes, I was hooked. My boyfriend, shockingly, had never had a crepe before!! Luckily I fixed that haha. I ordered us a Chocolate Hazelnut Banana crepe, which is essentially nutella and sliced banana pieces. It was heavenly! Massive, too. If you happen to come to Nina’s someday, keep in mind that these crepes are very easily sharable. But very, very delicious.

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Finally, we reached the end of our trip (sad). I should mention that parking at Niagara-on-the-Lake is… interesting. It’s primarily street parking, meaning the dreaded parallel parking aka I made my boyfriend drive and park haha. I think there’s some parking behind the shops, in little parking lots but I can’t be certain where there are or if they even exist. Anyway, for parking on the street, you have to pay a parking meter. It’s $3 an hour. We stayed an hour and a half, so we had to pay $6 for two hours. But it wouldn’t take our credit cards! We tried credit cards, debit cards, and nothing. Which meant we had to use coins which we did not have, so we had to pop into a shop to break a twenty. It took a longgg time. Keep that in mind!

We actually parked right in front of Starbucks, which was fabulous as it was easy for me to grab my beloved 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! It’s very small and cozy, located in a white, old-looking shop with beautiful rich green shutters and green door. The barista who took my order was so sweet and it was just the perfect ending to the 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