Social Distancing in Okanagan British Columbia

Ways to seize the day in the “new normal”

Many of us are looking for responsible ways to enjoy ourselves outside of our homes lately, and lucky for me, I ended up at a pretty special place last week that delivers on just that. Little Engine Wines in Naramata, BC is open for business and they are crushing the social distancing activity category. 

Social Distancing in BC at Little Engine Wines

For starters, they have a beautiful outdoor space, with green grass looking out into the vineyards and Okanagan Lake, and some comfy patio furniture providing just enough shade. They also have multiple sitting areas on both sides of the building so parties can effectively spread out. 

Shortly after we arrived, our table was set with 6 wine glasses per person lined up in rows, and then each wine was poured. Once ready, instead of a staff member taking us through each wine over the course of the hour, we were instructed to type in a specific URL and up popped our selection of wines with accompanying descriptions. Not only was this helpful in terms of social distancing from the staff but it also allowed us flexibility in our flow which was especially helpful since we showed up with 5 kids (cue sprawling green grass fields!)

Social Distancing in BC Little Engine Wines
This large sprawling piece of grass was helpful with the kids!


Not only were the social distancing protocols effective and non intrusive but the wines themselves were fantastic. A personal favourite was the white Unity, but all 6 were nice. A definite recommendation for something fun that you and your friends, partner or family can do this summer!

Social Distancing in BC Winery
Little Engine Wines in Naramata, BC

In addition to the winery, I also recommend boating (Okanagan Lake is truly stunning), and golfing. Stay tuned for more fun social distancing activity recommendations for this summer!

Toddler Travel and Pregnant in Costa Rica

Toddler Travel

I consider myself an expert at toddler travel as Yale (my toddler) and I have been traveling extensively since she was 6 weeks old. Most recently, we just got back from one of our many trips to Costa Rica. I’ve been going to Costa Rica for over a decade, and now that my parents have a house there, we are frequenting the Pura Vida nation even more. Which is AWESOME – obviously! This time around though, there was a little extra development thrown into the mix to make things extra…interesting. I am 5 months pregnant with my second child, AND “dad” had to stay home to work so I was traveling as a single parent with my super dynamic, super hilarious, SUPER active toddler. 

Everything went pretty smoothly, so I’m not here to playback anything dramatic, but I am here to impart a few pieces of advice on toddler travel and traveling while pregnant. I’ll also give a quick rundown of some new fave spots and aspects of travelling in Costa Rica. 

toddler travel costa rica
Toddler travel: Yale holding her (my) coffee and her monkey, approx 5:30am, about to take our first flight of the day.
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Victoria, British Columbia: Eating & Resetting

Charming, outdoorsy, and full of activities.

Charm, easy-living and seaside views are some of the things Victoria, British Columbia is known for. At just 85,000 people, it seems busier than it should be, I’m guessing because of its tourist qualities bringing in and entertaining more than just the locals. 

I was recently presented with an opportunity to visit my friend who was staying there for a week and decided to take myself on a quick mom-break and planned to do very little. I ended up finding quite a few fun things to do, but still definitely on the relaxing side of things – which is exactly what my body and brain needed. We were there during Spring Break and it was clear that it’s a pretty popular area for family vacations. Victoria has a lot of family-friendly activities to do from outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking and mountain biking to a bunch of quirky museums. I would definitely take kids along as it seems it’d be pretty easy to entertain with all the options. 

View from ferry from Tsawassan (just outside downtown Vancouver) to Victoria
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Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: Beachy Heaven

Yale and I loving life on Playa Hermosa in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa is what surf and hippie dreams are made of. It’s built up enough that you can explore a cornucopia of restaurants, bars and little nooks to hang out in, but it’s kept raw enough that the focal point is still the wild and free ocean, and during dry season, you’ll get nice and dirty from the dusty, unkept, main road. It’s relaxed enough that people from all around the world come to stay for a cheap hostel stay, but magical enough that influential and wealthy people like Giselle and Brady have a vacation home in the area. 

My baby enjoying life in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

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Family travel: my favourite baby carriers for adventuring and at-home use

Yale in the Deuter pack, while sturgeon fishing.

My favourite baby carriers and backpacks for family travel, adventuring and at-home use.

It’s no secret that travel is one my most fundamental spiritual, practical and lifestyle mainstays in life. I travel for business, and I travel for pleasure and more often than not, I travel for both. Since having a baby, not much has changed, but the main shift has been literally having a small human hanging off me at most times, as I move through the world. Because of this shift, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time sorting through ideas on what kind of baby carrying devices make sense for me, as a mother, an outdoors person and a traveller.  Below, are my top four carriers or backpacks that I find useful in different situations of motherhood and family travel, that I hope you’ll find helpful too.

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What to Pack

Old school physical book, Onnit Shroom TECH Immune and Shroom TECH Sport, are 3 of my 9 favourite items to travel with.

Beyond the obvious of my iphone and computer, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite items I travel with – always, and automatically. I’ve been experimenting my whole life on what is most effective, so you don’t have to. What to pack can sometimes make or break a trip.

I find if I have these items, then I’m set – both mentally and physically.  Some key components to enjoying your travels, whether it’s for business or pleasure are: you get enough sleep, you feel healthy and energized, you can relax or dial it in at any given time. The combination of goods listed below ensures I have tools to have all these components nailed down regardless of if I’m in the middle of no-where in an exotic newfound location, or just hanging at my parents place. Full disclosure: the first three products are from Onnit, a company that I am officially partnered with, but I can genuinely say these three products are very effective for me and even if I wasn’t partnered with the company, I’d still be purchasing them. 

What to pack…

Onnit Shroom TECH Immune. I take two capsules during breakfast on the days I travel (extra germ-y days like planes, trains, big cities etc). If I feel like my body is not at its best, I take at least two capsules every day during my travels. If I’m feeling good, I generally just prioritize taking them on the actual travel days. (This is my go-to at home as well if I feel a cold coming on. It legitimately works very well for nipping anything like that in the butt).

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GIRLS TRIP IN PALM SPRINGS

We booked our girls trip in Palm Springs because we wanted to feel our skin sun kissed, and let’s be honest, a little crispy, from those rays. What we ended up getting was next-level heat. We experienced a heat wave with highs of 105 farenheit and thankfully our itinerary allowed (mostly) for this kind of heat and we had a pool with our AirBnb house. The following are suggestions for any time of the year in this weirdly sleepy yet simultaneously somewhat trendy area.

The famous Joshua Tree National Park.

Day 1 …

Like on most travel days, we were craving substantial nutrients upon arrival. Thankfully we found a place to deliver on that, right away. Palm Greens Cafe is in a nondescript plaza (like many things in Palm Springs) and is perfect for a casual lunch where you want to load up on your vitamins and minerals. They offer super healthy bowls, salads, wraps and smoothies and juices. The service is pretty relaxed (read: slow) so go in with a true vacation mentality.

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COSTA RICA: LIVING LA PURA VIDA!

As is commonly known, the trademark expression used in Costa Rica is “pura vida”, and once you’ve experienced life here – whether it be one week, or an entire lifetime – it is abundantly clear that this is a no BS expression with regards to the country that breeds fresh air, fresh food and happy people.

I first visited Costa Rica in 2007 and immediately knew it would be one of my favourite countries in the world. On this most recent trip a few weeks ago, my love for the country was even more solidified – possibly because I was there with my whole family (including baby), possibly because I met and worked with some locals, possibly because I’m going through a time of my life where I appreciate the “pure life” even more.  Regardless of the reason, I am totally feeling the country on a whole other level and am excited to go back soon.

Boats in Tambor, Costa Rica.

Tambor, Costa Rica.

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Food Guide for the Windy City

Chicago. To most, a coveted city full of fascinating and powerful people – former presidents, TV and media moguls, world class athletes. To me – up until my latest visit – just another American city, often compared to Toronto, my hometown. Because of this latter bit, I have to confess I didn’t feel the curiosity I usually feel for places I don’t know much about – if it’s always being compared to my hometown city, why bother exploring it? Well, as I discovered recently, there’s a lot to be admired about the Windy City. And yes – it does remind me of the place I grew up in, but in really fantastic ways: the people are friendly, the shopping and food is world class, and it’s a relatively clean place for being such a large metropolis. We were there in the heart of the winter so our focus was on food, with a little shopping and health and wellness mixed in. Herewith, my food guide –

Shared platters at Girl and the Goat in the West Loop, Chicago.

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Whistler in the Winter: Part Two

On top of the world in Whistler!

You know a travel destination is a true gem when you can easily write not one, not two, but three blogs on the same location! I’ve written a blog on Whistler in the winter, and Whistler in the summer, but I still feel compelled to share my experiences once again as I’ve come across another round of great finds.

For a list of my favourite hotels in Whistler, see my first piece (January 2016)

If you’re looking for more of a livable space, with a kitchen and laundry, Evolution in the Creekside Village is a fantastic option. We stayed in a two bedroom, two bathroom condo. The building has two large hot tubs, a heated pool, steam room and sauna and it was never overly busy. Possibly the biggest plus to this accommodation is that it’s ski in/ski out. There’s a small grocery store in the same complex and a gas station and pizza place serving super delicious food across the street. Since it’s ski in/ski out, you won’t need to head to the main Whistler village much, but when you do, it’s only a 5 minute drive (or approximately a 45 minute walk on the Valley Trail with stunning views).

The Valley Trail connect’s all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods. So good!

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