Hey everybody! It’s been a while! I’ve been through a bit of a transition as of late, but I’m now house-sitting in the tree-lined community of Cambie Village in Vancouver, taking care of a gorgeous cat named Max in a 111-year-old heritage house painted powder blue. My payment? A basket bursting with fresh produce delivered to my doorstep from Glen Valley farms each Thursday. This week I received crunchy cucumbers and zucchini, a fragrant fennel bulb, lettuce, juicy beefsteak tomatoes, six cobs of sweet corn, wild blueberries and leeks. Plus, a friend dropped by to share some extra beets they had on hand. I was set to eat fresh and local all week long. Then a good friend of mine, pastry chef Merri Schwartz, who also founded the amazing local food childhood education program Growing Chefs, took me to the Kits Farmer’s Market on Sunday where I picked up organic Okanagan peaches, sweet-as-pie golden cherry tomatoes, apples, tiny apricots and golden brother tomatoes. Then we headed to the best cheeserie in town, Les Amis du Fromage, for some goat cheese and bocconcini. Below are pics of some of the meals I cooked up over the course of the week.
Tell me, have you been eating local this summer? Any good recipes to share?
I’ve been wanting to write about a luxurious yet frugal find I recently discovered for a while now, so I decided to use this as an opportunity to kick off a new department. Each week I’ll highlight a Frugal Luxe product that feels, looks and acts like a high end counterpart, but for much less coin.
I recently discovered Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Hair Conditioner for dry damaged hair, $3.99 and I’m head over heels. As I mentioned in earlier hair-related posts, I have wavy, dry, frizzy locks that need all the moisture they can get and my strands just drink this creamy elixir of avocado, shea and olive oil up. I normally have to blow dry and straighten before my hair can look decent, but with this Garnier product my hair will air dry to a cascade of shiny, sleek waves. Once upon a time I splurged and tried Kerastase Nutritive Lait Vital Conditioner, $32 and I have to admit that I got much better results with this gem. Bonus: it doesn’t contain silicones.
It has mixed reviews on Makeup Alley so it may not be good for those with finer tresses but if you’re on the market for a new conditioner, I’d give it a go.
Hey, have you stumbled across any frugal luxe products lately?
Bf and I love staying at B&Bs for the local vibe, free breakfasts, coziness and value. So I thought I’d start sharing some of the experiences we have when we stay at B&Bs in this new department Bed, Breakfast and Beyond.
Over Christmas, we traveled from Montreal to visit my family in Vancouver. Things are always crazy busy when I go home for Christmas because I’m trying to fit in as much family and friend time as possible. But this year was even more intense than usual because I brought my boyfriend across the country to meet my folks for the first time.
Needless to say, about halfway through the ten-day trip, I was starting to feel like I needed a vacation from my vacation. So when bf and I decided last minute to go to Whistler midweek, we were happy to find out that there was one room available at The Inn at Clifftop Lanefor about $200, just a five minute drive outside of Whistler village.
Overall our stay was great. The owner was very welcoming and helpful, especially when our car got stuck in the snow and he helped to shovel and salt us out of driveway.
The room was small but very cozy and clean, the queen size bed super comfy with fine cotton sheets and we had a view of the mountains and of the snow-sprinkled evergreens in the front yard. I was happy to discover that what looked like a regular bathtub in our bathroom was actually a jacuzzi with extra powerful jets. But if that wasn’t enough, there was also a hot tub in the backyard where you could take a soak beneath the canopy of giant evergreens with snow flakes floating down from the sky. We didn’t take advantage of it because we ended up going to the Scandinave baths but it would have been great after a day of skiing if we had been there for more than one night.
Breakfast was served on the main floor of the chalet. We went down in our pjs and sat at a table for two next to a warm fireplace with panoramic views of the surrounding forest.
The food was okay but it was definitely not the best part of our experience at Hilltop. The homemade spiced apple coffee cake and the coffee were very good but the eggs benedict was cold and overcooked.
Still, I’d highly recommend The Inn at Clifftop Lane for someone looking for cozyness and good value in Whistler. When we were there at Christmastime, prices were a little higher than the rest of the year when they drop as low as $125 a night.