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Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte


If you know me, road trips, adventures and being a tourist in my own backyard are kind of my thing aka I'm always up to treat myself to a mini staycation. This past weekend I had the pleasure of exploring the quaint area of Bay of Quinte specifically Belleville, Ontario located just on the other side of the ever so popular Prince Edward County.

So if you're like me and want to go off the beaten path of the 401 highway, I'd suggest that you add this beautiful area to your road trip bucket list! The small town charm, the foodie scene, the conversations, the community, the entrepreneurs - it's beyond amazing to see this area flourish! Driving through the picturesque back roads was the first delight I got to enjoy as I drove through from Kingston.

Aren't we lucky that we have such places so close to us?

 Here are a few of my favourite spots that I discovered during my visit:

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

THE HENRY CORBY HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST

Only a few blocks from downtown Belleville tucked away on a quiet street with other century homes, the Henry Corby House Bed and Breakfast was truly a cozy home away from home. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the warm and lovely host Tara and as I walked in and glanced around, my jaw dropped - it was as though I had walked into a perfectly curated Homesense house. Every corner was filled with such thoughtful touches - the accessories, the love seats, the beautifully decorated rooms, the comfy beds, aromatherapy body lotion, adorable reading nooks, snacks and more. All the small details simply made for a welcoming stay.

And of course, the best part of a bed and breakfast is the delicious breakfast on the morning of your stay. Scroll down to see what I had!

Where: 126 Bridge St E, Belleville ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

DINNER AT CAPERS

If you've never dined solo, then my friends that is something you should try at least once. Enjoying your own company while people watching is quite amusing especially with a glass of vino and in my case it was a Riesling from Sandbanks Estate Winery. My evening at Capers in downtown Belleville started early as I had quite the night planned out for my foodie self and it did not disappoint. The relaxed ambiance set the mood as some of my favourite oldie tunes played.

As a planner, I had already scoped their menus online and was surprised when they featured an appetizer that simply made me smile. As a kid at heart and comfort food lover, my first order was the deep fried mac n cheese bites with spicy ketchup. I'll let you soak that up...it sure made this gal happy as each bite was cheesy as the next. Crunchy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside. But if that got you excited then you'll love the second appetizer - rosemary, brown butter spaghetti squash with crisp bacon, shallot, goat cheese, and gooseberries. It was melt in your mouth delicious as the berries added a pop of freshness. I know I'll be trying to recreate this dish when I get home!

Where: 272 Front St, Belleville, ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

BEVIES AND SWEETS AT THE LARK

After visiting The Lark in downtown Belleville, bar seating may just be my new favourite way of dining and the best part, you may just end up chatting with the owner. The Lark sets the tone for the low key setting with a hip industrial vibe and as this new hot spot opened within the year and let's just say, it's now on my top 5 restaurants within Kingston and Prince Edward County - keep reading to find out.

Even before stepping foot into this restaurant, as they specialized in cocktail drinks, I was recommended to try the Suburban Divorcé. An intriguing name that made me want to try it even more. A mix of vodka, lychee, ginger, Thai chile, and lemon. After a sip, you don't expect the kick but it hits you and wow, the cocktail is bold and refreshing at first with an oomph of spice. Let's just say if you want to try something new, this is it.

You when I told you that I had planned a foodie itinerary for the night, well next up on the list was the cheese board with three divine kinds of Canadian cheese, a homemade blueberry jam, local honey, and crostinis. As I chatted with owner Alex, it was great to hear that The Lark serves seasonal dishes with their own twists and that's where dessert comes into play. Am I full yet? Getting there but I couldn't resist a Bengal spice crème brûlée. If you love autumn, then hop in your car because you'll be in heaven. Made with cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and coconut milk, it was the perfect sweet end to my night as I made my way back to the bed and breakfast to let my slight food coma settle.

If you're looking for lunch, happy hour drinks or a late night stop, add The Lark to your foodie list.

Cheers to an amazing foodie evening and sorry Kingston, The Lark beat you in the crème brûlée department.

Where: 199 Front Street Suite 104 Belleville, ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

NETFLIX AND CHILL

No night is complete without a bit of Netflix and chill. As I got into my jammies and snuggled into bed to watch the latest episode of Riverdale, I made myself some tea and nibbled on artisan milk chocolates from Donini that were so graciously provided in a welcome package.

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

SUNDAY BREAKFAST

 You know what's amazing when traveling alone? Getting the whole bed to yourself where you can lay on your back and starfish it out. And that's preciously what I did. As I enjoyed the ample space, I realized that I had chosen my breakfast to be served at 8am and could smell the aroma of goodness which quickly got me out of bed. Seated by a big bay window at the front of the house, the table setting truly gave me design inspirations for my own home. As breakfast was served, waffles with local maple syrup were my choice, I was joined by a lovely couple and another guest who made the morning quite enjoyable as we chatted about the city and convinced them to come back for a night out.

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

CAFFEINE BREAK AT THE BRAKE ROOM

As the morning progressed and I checked out of the bed and breakfast which was quite hard as I jotted down so many design ideas for my house, my day of discovering the region (and burning off some calories) was just about to begin but first, coffee. I had heard of The Brake Room on Instagram and had seen rave reviews so it was a must to visit.

This semi-new spot to the coffee scene in Belleville is all about serving its community of coffee lovers and cycling folks. As I took in the surroundings of the shop, I placed my order for a vanilla latte and a blueberry pop tart, oh yes I did and I even got some to go for my foodie partner-in-crime. As I took a seat, I spent some me time to do some reflection.

Where: 34 Dundas St E, Belleville, ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

DAHLIA MAY FLOWER FARM

As I plugged in my next location into Google Maps to head to Trenton also known as Quinte West, I grew slightly impatient as I drove out of Belleville to Dahlia May Flower Farm. Again I had stumbled upon their Instagram page and what girl doesn't love flowers because I was swooning over the gorgeous bouquets of flowers and arrangments. What started as a small family operation by owner Melanie Harrington specializing in growing beautiful varieties of flowers has now blossomed into a flourishing business! I can't wait to return next spring and summer to see the greenhouse filled with dreamy fields of flowers.

But what truly inspired me to venture to this area was to see the work of a young female entrepreneur who took an idea and with passion grew it big while still staying geniune and humble. It was a pleasure to chat with her as I picked our bulbs for my garden at home. It is places and stories like this that fuel me to discover our region.

Where: 1226 Stockdale Rd, Trenton, ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

GRILL'S ORCHARDS

As my last stop before heading back to Kingston, Grill's Orchards was an obvious stop. Known to locals and families for their corn maze and pumpkin patch, Grill's has been serving the community in Quinte West for over 80 years! As soon as I walked in, it smelled like the savoury and sweet goodness of fall. There was something for everyone - jams, apple cider, turnovers, pies, hot drinks and of course apples.

Where: 886 Grills Rd, Quinte West, ON

Staycation in the Bay of Quinte

MMM DONUTS...

The infamous words of Homer Simpson, Glazed and Confused and Wannamaker’s Bakeshop in Belleville are bakeries that you definitely need to add to your list if you have a sweet tooth and makes for the perfect treat to head back home with.

Where: 144 North Front Street, Unit 1, Quinte West

Thank you to the folks at Bay of Quinte for organizing this amazing trip!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Being Grateful This October

Being Grateful This October


Being Grateful - Thanksgiving

Being Grateful - Thanksgiving

Being Grateful - Thanksgiving
As we celebrate the many blessings in our lives this month, let us be reminded of the people that supported us and loved us along the way. Your mom cheering from the sidelines as you start your first job, your dad jumping up and down as you score your first goal or your best friend convincing you to go on a date with that cute guy - the list goes on.

Live each day with a grateful heart.

This year and honestly every day, I’m thankful for supportive friends and my amazing partner. When you live a long way from family, I've realized that it is important to build a tribe of people who love and accept you just the way you are! And remember quality or quantity folks - my friend group may be small but they are truly amazing. I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many kind and thoughtful people that my heart is so full of gratitude.

The last few months have been quite the journey for me from a busy work schedule and trying to put my self-care first while also balancing the side hustle life. I chatted about this before but I've slowly learned to shift my mindset and rather than thinking I was selfish or guilty for taking time to myself or rescheduling plans, I realized that I needed to be at my best to fully function and to give time to others, which is so valuable nowadays. So having friends and a partner who understands this, has been immense and I couldn't be more grateful for this.

 My life is far from perfect, but it’s so easy for me to beat myself up over the smallest thing. It's been a few years now but thanks to my partner's transference of positive thinking, it has allowed me to focus on happiness and see what I'm fully capable of whatever comes my way.

 What are you grateful for?

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Get Your Hustle On at the VentureClub

Get Your Hustle On at the VentureClub


Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

For all my Kingston side hustlers, entrepreneurs, boss babes, and lads, this one is for you. Say hello to the coolest new coworking space in downtown Kingston - The VentureClub. Why do I love it? It's a pretty sweet space that's practical, minimalist in style and has some great perks while having laid back ambiance which fits my personality!

The solution for digital nomads? Coworking!

Okay, are you unsure about what I'm actually talking about? Don't worry and no need to go over to Google. Coworking spaces are essentially shared workspaces. At the VentureClub, you’ll see a mix of folks in deep focus at private desks and others striking up engaging conversations at large community tables or being busy bees in semi-private offices.

For someone like myself, who has a chaotic schedule aka a day job while also managing a side hustle, a loving partner and the most adorable dog, let's just say that finding the time to get stuff done is easier said than done. (And hey if you're a working parent, more props to you!) But with a work hard, play hard attitude and knowing that time is of the essence, the VentureClub is the perfect hideaway to get sh*t done while still being creative, especially from the bureaucracy of a traditional working environment.

"Focus on being productive instead of busy."

While I could stay at home on my days off or weekends and lounge in my PJs, let's be realistic I know myself and know that I need to get outside of my environment to actually be productive. Let's face it, working from home can also be quite lonely and perhaps coffee shops are another great place to get your coffee fix and get out of your house, but you’re still technically working alone.

Check out a few of the reasons why I choose the VentureClub:

Kick Up My Feet

When you're connected to all things social and digital, a well-deserved break is always needed. At the VentureClub, their dedicated kitchen lounge offers couches where members can take a bit of time away from their computers and socialize with each other. But honestly, a change in scenery is always good for the brain to regroove itself. Sometimes the best work is done when you snap that laptop shut and get inspired by your surroundings.

Better yet, it also offers a full kitchen stocked with snacks, pop, juices, muffins and more. VentureClub makes it a priority to keep minds and stomachs well-fed.

Give Me All The Drinks & Motivation

Sit. Work. People watch. Do it all with unlimited coffee and free beer on tap to celebrate all the hustlin'. VentureClub totally gets the work hard play hard concept with its dope amenities aka an arcade basketball, ping pong table, and a swing, it's all about crossing those to do lists and going the extra mile to then reward yourself.

Flexible Memberships

    But let's chat about the nitty gritty of the space because let's admit it, that is ultimately the most important part of a coworking space. Where am I going to work?! With perks of lightning fast internet,  24/7 access, personal mailbox, reception services and being dog-friendly, the VentureClub offers flexibility compared to traditional offices and the benefits of daily rentals of rooms and meeting spaces. There is something to suit everyone's work style.

Check out their price plans and daily rentals.

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

They carry my local brews from Mackinnon Brothers Brewery and Spearhead Brewery on tap!

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

The most comfortable couches to get work done!

Coworking in Kingston - VentureClub

Interested in checking out this cool space?

Get 1 month of FREE hotel desk use at the VentureClub using my discount code: ROSALYNFREE

Book a tour now: http://ow.ly/GScU30lo4WQ


This blog post was sponsored by Venture Club. All opinions stated are my own.
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company


After years of watching X-Files and being addicted to sci-fi shows, never did I imagine that I would be dining in a crop circle. This bucket list experience was finally checked off as my foodie partner-in-crime aka my fiancée and I were invited to attend a unique event last night hosted by Kara and Darold Enright of Enright Cattle Company at their family-owned farm in Tweed, Ontario. If you haven't heard of them or had the pleasure of tasting their quality meat, then we'll have to rectify that asap! Quite a few Kingston restaurants incorporate Enright beef into their menus such as Pan Chancho, Chez Piggy, Olivea, and more, so no need to worry or Google the nearest shop.

And if there's one thing you need to know it's that,

"Enright truly prides themselves on raising the best quality product possible while maintaining exceptional animal welfare practices, making environmentally conscious decisions and building a sustainable business in agriculture. All animals on the farm are raised on a natural, all-vegetable diet without the use of artificial hormones."

That is truly amazing. With that in mind, the evening was nothing but exceptional (weather included) featuring a delicious 3-course meal, live entertainment, a fashion show and of course a family affair with all hands on deck. The menu of the event was crafted by none other than local chef Clark Day of Bayview Farm as his chefs Francois Drolet and Will Arnaud were onsite cooking up a storm over an open fire.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

As we made our way into the crop circle, we had the opportunity to sample tasty delicacies of summer sausage from charcuterie boards that paired with pickles and freshly made focaccia bread. My oh my was I in heaven and dinner hadn't even started. As we strolled around the circle saying hi to the vendors, my drink of choice was a Huff Estate rosé to cool off as the sun beamed its rays down (not complaining but it was slightly warm). Along with local wines, the fabulous Laura of Mackinnon Brewery was also onsite pouring craft beers.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

DINNER IS SERVED

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company
As we were seated at our table with the lovely Heidi Bergeron of Fête Beach Boutique (one of many side ventures!) and her hubby along with Kingston Strategic Designer Brian Dodo and his wife across from us, the evening was filled with conversation and good food. We couldn't have asked for better company. The best part was that the board we ate on was also our departing gifts to take home! Every detail was accounted for, the hay bale seating covered in quilted blankets to the handpicked flowers set on each table.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

STARTER

Served on a custom-made board, our first course was seasonal mixed greens.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

MAIN

This perfection of a main consisted of a curried potato salad with Gunning's sweet corn slathered in melted butter and grilled Enright ribeye - paired with Huff Estates 2016 Cabernet Franc. Let's just say that we'll be recreating this meal at home!

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

DESSERT

This dessert was the topper of the evening as it showcased the perfect combination of seasonal summer eats. This Ontario peach and Wilson's blueberry crumble simpled melted in your mouth.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

With tummies satisfied, not only did guests enjoy a great ambiance but between courses, we also were able to admire the craftsmanship of beautiful farm-to-fashion leather goods including handbags and wallets that were showcased with lovely linen clothing from Fête Beach Boutique, styled by local stylist, Jesse of Closett Candyy.

Produced by Enright Cattle Company and designed by Canadian Artisan James M. Brooks, these beauties are stunning, hella soft and best of all, LOCAL!

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company

In summary, the dinner in a crop circle experience by Enright Cattle was filled with such joy as we saw familiar faces, met new ones, enjoyed delicious food and were able to see a family come together to host a beautiful event on their farm. But it was also a moment to celebrate the culinary, fashion and musical arts in the community which was even more rewarding to be in attendance.

Dinner in a Crop Circle at Enright Cattle Company
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Life Update & Tips on Blogging

Life Update & Tips on Blogging


Hello, my beautiful friends! I have truly missed you all.

So I've been somewhat MIA recently, okay well a few months and while I could say that I was recharging my batteries or laying on a sandy beach with no cell service, I honestly wasn't but I wish I was. I wouldn't say I was necessarily feeling "uninspired" either,  I was just feeling inspired in other areas of my life, other than blogging aka my day job as a social media coordinator for historic sites along the St Lawrence corridor. Sometimes when you have a lot going on, it's hard to focus on life and blogging.

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do though working in the tourism industry is hella busy come summer time. I work evenings, weekends you name it but it's pretty sweet. Though it hasn't given me much time for my side hustle of blogging, which in reality it is the number one item that motivates me in all aspects. In fact, it's always been the thing that relaxes me most and brings me joy after a long day. And truthfully, blogging gave me the skills to land my current gig.

Rosalyn Gambhir - Life Update & Tips on Blogging
Snapped by the lovely Claire Bouvier at Doner Studio
There were times in the past few years, where I've personally been all-in with a full-time, a part-time job along with the side hustle and a few projects on the go. Crazy right? With that comes the skill of time management and self-care. Blogging and freelancing can take a lot out of you. Working with brands, creating posts, posting on social media, always being on top of your Instagram story game, etc.

Sometimes you just need some time to recharge and that's totally okay. I find that if I'm burnt out, my posts don't come out as good and I don't actually end up ever posting them. I'm the type of person that won't post something if I'm not absolutely in love with it and there are several posts that have sat in draft mode for months.

While this lifestyle still hasn't changed all too much, this year has been more intense than any other. A lot of my brain power has been going into my day job which isn't a bad thing. In the blogging world, you’re told to be consistent but if you need a break, no one should be telling you otherwise. You now yourself best. If you're feeling like you might need a blogging break, then just go for it.

Rosalyn Gambhir - Life Update & Tips on Blogging
Mackinnon Brewery's Sunday Market
While my hiatus was somewhat unintentional, as one week passed by another flew by and then it was a few months. I could say I'm sorry but my mind needed the time off. During this time, I attended a university friend's wedding in the beautiful Muskoka, my fiancee Ryan and I hosted our first bbq at our new home over May long weekend, I went to Boldt Castle with my mom for Mother's Day, checked out Mackinnon Brewery's Sunday market with the girls, explored new foodie spots such as Spearhead Brewery along with Otter Creek Farms Food Truck in Kingston, celebrated Ryan's 35th birthday with friends and the list goes on.

Essentially I wanted to acknowledge this slight break from blogging but thoroughly enjoyed being present and snapping candid shots here and there for Instagram rather than thinking too much about the perfect gram.

With that said, I am BACK and what better way to celebrate than to share some blogging tips:

Do It Because You Love It

This is a big one - do it because you love it and you will do it forever (hopefully).

In a world where social media dominates, it isn't shocking that many are living towards the numbers,  from likes to followers but that isn't the gateway to happiness. It may for a short period of time, but in the long run, you need to figure out who you are and what motivated you at the beginning to drive your passion especially if you are interested in blogging. You need to love the process and that will allow you to continue this journey, rather than starting and then coming to a complete halt (which sadly I've seen too many times).

So my number one tip is to start with the right intentions.

Time and time again, I have seen people start a blog because it's the ‘it’ thing to do. Don’t look at the numbers or money, because I’ll be honest - you won’t be able to maintain your blog with that mindset, especially since these are longterm goals. In the words of Gary V, you've already lost.

Making It Work

Success doesn't happen overnight - it takes persistence and tenacity to get your foot in the door. But patience is the holy grail of hustling to get your way in the blogsphere. You can't be afraid to go the extra mile and while there's lots of ugly, you also need to also find a middle ground that will allow for work-life balance. Trust me - juggling a day job, freelance writing, blogging, and the list goes on, I have found my happy medium that keeps me sane yet I love it all. You need to work hard to play hard - no blogger woke up one day and instantly got invited to glamourous events. They worked their butts off to get to where they are today!

Sharing The Love

This is probably the biggest takeaway of all. Boys and girls, that means getting off your high horse and stepping away from negativity - no competition, no agenda and pardon my language, no freakin' bullshit. Comparison is noise - rather find your tribe aka build a support system of like-minded gals who have your back.

Rosalyn Gambhir - Life Update & Tips on Blogging
Peonies bush at our new home

See you on the next post friends!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n543/Rosalyn_Gambhir/Rosalyn_1.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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