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Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

As businesses start to re-open, I wanted to share an incredible project I stumbled upon while scrolling through my Twitter feed.

A local Kingston woman and her family have made it their goal to spread positivity and hope during these times through 'Kindness Rocks'. As many are struggling, these uplifting hand-painted vibrant rocks provide a smile while also offering a simple reminder to support our local businesses.

"The idea to start the shoutout to local businesses, was our way of showing a little love and support during quarantine. We were hoping to encourage people to shop local and help out the many amazing little businesses around town."

- Mel Baker

As we face a new normal, it's small gestures like this one and many others that have been popping up within our community that are sparking joy in a creative way to support those in our city. I wanted to share a few of these rocks as they have such an amazing message behind them and showcase a few of my favourites spots in Kingston:

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston
Image thanks to @MelB44 via Twitter

Kindness Rocks in Kingston
Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

We will get through this together!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
Dear Kingston, Let's Support Local

Dear Kingston, Let's Support Local

⁣Kingston has come to a standstill. A silence like no other as we #stayhome. A once-bustling city with people out and about, laughter in the air, restaurants bumping... is no more. While there is a lot of uncertainty around the world, there is also a lot of hope. And as places open back up with precautions and attempt to return to 'normal', it'll take time. As a city with the most restaurants per capita in Canada and as a proud locavore and foodie, our local restaurant and food scene need our support. This is a time where we need to come together as a community to rebuild and slowly recover.

This is our home. This is our happy place that brings us joy. 

The culinary community has been adapting to this new reality by offering online stores, deliveries, curbside pick up and more, so let's support the people and places that make our hometown a wonderful place to live. Whether it’s doing takeout, supporting a local farm by signing up to a CSA or buying locally made products such as milk, eggs or cheese, it is our time to regain our strength as a community. Until the dust settles, we will get through this together!

Be a tourist in your own city and #SupportLocal!

So please do me a favour. If there’s a local spot you love, go show them some love.

My heart goes out to family, friends and other entrepreneurs that have had their worlds turned upside down during the past few weeks. Kingston is an amazing place and we know darn well the value and importance of community. So let's try our best to support our local businesses in any way we can. ❤️

Here are a few ways you can help a local business while social distancing:

Order meals for takeout or delivery.

Buy a gift card now to spend later.

Give them a shout out on social media.

Write a positive review via email, Facebook or Google Business.

Like, share or comment on their social channels.

Share your favourite stores in your social networks.

Talk about your love online or with your friends.

Send messages of support on social media.

Recommend friends to them if they are looking for a particular product.

Order your supplies from local businesses online.

Better yet, plan your next staycation in Kingston. While travel is not possible now, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan for adventures later when restrictions are lifted. Take this time to dream up your next local adventure.

Dear Kingston, Let's Support Local

But Why Support Local?

Plain and simple, it shows you care about the local community that you live in. You’ll be able to put dollars back into it and the other people who call it home, too. Every purchase made from these businesses helps the owner provide dollars for their workers, keep the lights on, and put food on the table for their families. Your support gives our local economy a chance to thrive and hopefully, fingers crossed, recover in time. But know that for many, this may not be a reality and they will be forced to close their doors.

Remember that our community of passionate people keep our city alive and gives it its unique flavour. So by supporting those businesses, you also ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of our community. Also, in some shape, way, or form, we are personally invested as our friends, family and neighbours are local business owners or are employed by those owners. We celebrate when our favourite local business succeeds and we mourn when they're forced to shut their doors. Sadly this was the case for The Alibi in downtown Kingston who did not survive. Give this article a read!

On a personal note, Kingston is why I am a locavore - a statement that rings true to my time living in the city. I didn't know it at first but with the proximity to local farms, farmers' markets and best of all restaurants, the city of Kingston is a haven for foodies craving true local cuisine.

And in true foodie fashion, I have to share a few of my Kingston favourites:

Mio Gelato
Pan Chancho
Sapporo Sushi
Sima Sushi
Bella Bistro
Silly Yak
Baltic Deli
Pilot House
Red House
Bubba’s Poutine
Rustic Spud
Mesa Fresca
Amadeus Cafe
Tango Nuevo
The Everly
The Pasta Shelf
Sally's Roti Shop
Mamma Mia Pizza
Shawarma El Mina
Coffee Way Donuts
North Roast - Coffee
Kingston Coffee House
Chinese Palace
Rose & Crown
Copper Penny Grill N' Home
Peter's Place Restaurant
CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse
NORTHSIDE espresso + kitchen
Kingston Brewing Company
Iron Duke on Wellington
Namaste - Indian Food
Cards Bakery
Bread & Butter Bakery
Brothers Quality Meats
Enright Cattle Company
Limestone Organic Creamery
Memorial Centre Farmers' Market

Next on my list to try:

Miss Bao
Pisanos: Old School
Smoke 'N' Barrel Kingston

And obviously, even though this post was directed at foodie spots, I can't leave out a few of my favourite retailers as well:

Whit Kingston
Agent 99
Fancy That
Plant Shelf
LSP Designs
Potter's Nurseries
Atkinson Home Hardware
Wonderland Escape Rooms and Board Game Lounge
and the list goes on!

Let's keep the heart of our city going!

And if you're reading this and you live in another city, the message is the same, please support your local economy during these times.
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Rosalyn Gambhir
Homemade Bread The Easy Way at Home

Homemade Bread The Easy Way at Home

Are you slightly bored or going stir crazy at home? Well, you're not the only one. Since we've been in quarantine, it seems like everyone and their mom's are suddenly baking bread. Yup, even so, that grocery stores are facing flour and yeast shortages - it's crazy. Obviously, for me and many others, nothing beats delicious, homemade bread. But the smell of freshly baked bread, now that's on a whole other level - it's inviting and oh, so comforting!

So while we all try to find creative ways to stay busy while social distancing, making baking has been quite a popular hobby. And you guessed it, I hopped on the bandwagon but more so because neither bae or I wanted to do another trip to the grocery store.

I'm sharing one of our favourite recipes so far below. We ended up with a bit more dough than anticipated after it had risen. Our solution was to obviously get another pan, roll the dough into balls, glaze the top of the dough with some butter and crush up garlic for added taste. It was uber good and our version of Jack Astor's cheese garlic pan bread which now that I'm thinking about, has me drooling!

Making bread for the first time

Making bread for the first time

Making bread for the first time


Recipe by: Chef Michael Smith


5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
2 1/2 cups of warm water


Step 1

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, evenly distributing the salt and yeast throughout the flour. Pour in the warm water and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon until a moist dough forms. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates all the loose flour in the bowl, 1 or 2 minutes in total.

Step 2

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 12-14 hours. The dough will double in size and bubble, and long elastic gluten strands will form without laborious kneading.

Step 3

Dust the dough lightly with a bit of flour. Oil hands lightly and, with your fingertips, gather the dough from the outside edges to the middle, knocking it down into a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few moments until tight ball forms. Toss the ball back in the bowl and lightly coat with a splash of vegetable oil, turning to evenly cover.

Step 4
Gently roll the dough into a thin log that fits end to end in a lightly oiled 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and, without covering, rest it a second time. In 2 to 3 hours it will double in size once more.

Step 5

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 °F. When the dough is ready, bake for 45 minutes.

Our version of Jack Astor's cheese garlic pan bread.
Bon appetit!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
We Will Get Through This Together

We Will Get Through This Together

Truth: It’s been a long and tiring week and a half staying up to date during these challenging times. My heart has been heavy and I've been overwhelmed. There's a sense of loss of normalcy and a loss of connection.

We are all feeling a number of things right now from being anxious or worried and that's okay because the world is changing.

This weekend I finally took a moment to let everything sink in and reflect. I've been avoiding talking about what's happening (publicly) as it adds to my anxiety and positive thinking lets me coast and avoids stress (I know I’m not alone). As things progress, the matter at hand has to be addressed in some way. Our reality moving forward will be different but life doesn't stop. This blog has always been a space of positive vibes and I plan to continue that. I look forward (with you all!) to share practical yet inspiring ways to uphold our Kingston spirit in the face of this global challenge.

And know that this is a time where we need to come together as a community more than ever to support one another. We are all in this together. Our daily lives and routines have changed to staying home and social distancing. We're going to crush that curve. There's no avoiding the facts and props to all you introverts out there, we're vibing! (Gotta add a bit of humour when you can during these times.)

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19

I’ve transitioned to working from home for the next few weeks in light of our current environment and being in a social media and communications role, I'm fully aware of everything surrounding COVID-19. But please know, that it will get better in time. We need to remember that the health and safety of those around us and ourselves are a priority. So listen to your local authorities as they know best.

For now, let's take a few deep breathes and know that we will emerge from this stronger.

I'm wishing everyone good health and good vibes as we continue to navigate this future together. To all those who are working on the front lines during these times, THANK YOU immensely.

Scroll down to read my go-to tips on how we can get through it day by day.

Focus on Your Mental Health

Let's admit it, the situation is stressful for everyone and it is normal to be concerned, anxious or worried. Everyone responds differently and know you are not alone.

Making sure you are working on your mental health now will be beneficial in the long run, as there's a lot of uncertainty in our future and we’re facing a lot of new things as a society. Whether it's seeking therapy, starting to journal, getting into meditation, walking your dog, calling a friend, soaking in a tub or cuddling your kids, find what works best for you to stay happy and healthy.

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19

Gratitude and Positive Thinking 

Think positive! Mindset is key to getting through this pandemic. I've practiced the method of positive thinking for a few years now and with these challenging times among us, it is more important than ever to not get buried in the rabbit hole of darkness. So if you see yourself focusing on something negative, think about a few things that have made you happy today or that you're grateful for. And despite the negativity around us in the news and social media, you have the ability to deal with the situation and move forward.

And! To keep the positive vibes going, don't forget to smile and laugh, play music while you're prepping dinner, have a little dance party with the kids or get a good night's rest.

Working From Home

There are a number of us who have had the opportunity to switch over to working from home and remotely due to social distancing. My biggest tips are to set a schedule and sticking to it, use video chat (Zoom is my favourite!), definitely take breaks (for water, snack, lunch) and get up and move around.

If you're a mum or dad trying to juggle working from home and supervising your kids, it can certainly have the potential to create stress and family conflict. So be sure to communicate with your spouse, set a daily schedule for your family and having some semblance of structure will be key. Things won't be perfect and do your best.

I've also linked one of my favourite Youtuber below Mogan Yates who has lots more great tips!

Take Breaks from the Media (Seriously!)

This one might be my go-to because there is SO MUCH on the news and social media right now that it has become an anxiety-fueled space. Every time I open either Facebook to Twitter, my heart starts to race a little because I'm always thinking about what will be posted today. Shutting off the noise of social media by taking a break can be the healthiest boundary you set for yourself. You'll thank me later.

Make Your Own Damn Delicious Avo Toast 

Inspired by a recent email by the amazing gals at the June Motel in the County. Since we are now confined to our homes, let's learn to finally make avocado toast on your own. 🥑🥑 Recipes below:

April’s must-have toppings
Sauteed spinach and fried eggs with extra everything but the bagel spice

Sarah’s trusted favourite
Low carb toast and loads of Siracha

Courtney’s gourmet twist
A drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar and a hearty scoop of hummus

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19 - Avocado Toast
Avo Smash at Northside Espresso & Kitchen in Kingston, Ontario.

Netflix & Chill

Netflix is saving the sanity of people all around the world and coming to the rescue to all of us who are social distancing during this pandemic.

Here's a list of some of my favourites shows to watch:

 Love is Blind
Schitt’s Creek
Gossip Girl
Gilmore Girls

Shop Local...Online & Takeout

My heart goes out to friends and other entrepreneurs that have had their worlds turned upside down right now. Kingston is an amazing place and we know darn well the value and importance of community. Let's try our best to support them in any way we can. As a foodie, I know some of my favourite Kingston restaurants are offering contactless delivery and take out services such as Red House, Olivea, Bella Bistro, the Silly Yak, Tango Neuvo and so many more.

Several of them are updating their Facebook and Instagram pages constantly daily with menus, so be sure to go visit their pages!

Get Outside

 There's nothing quite as healing for the mind as being outdoors and immersed in nature. But with social distancing on everyone's mind, wherever you may be, try your best to get some fresh air and appreciate Mother Nature during this downtime.

We will get through this together. ❤️
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Rosalyn Gambhir
Celebrating Spring at the City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at the City of Kingston Greenhouse

Happy March! 🌷

Spring is definitely in the air with the beautiful sunshine and weather we had this weekend. To soak up the rays and dream about warmer temperatures, bae and I headed to the City of Kingston greenhouse on Sunday where we had a chance to see tropical plants and spring bulbs (my favourite!) that included daffodils, orchids, tulips and hyacinths. Honestly, all the fresh and vibrant colours made me so happy and got me out of my weird funk or winter blues if that's what you want to call it.

It was quite neat to see the process in which the City goes to grow all the plants and flowers that are displayed all across Kingston parks. And with a new profound interest in gardening thanks to bae who has the biggest green thumb (and Laura LeBoutillier of Garden Answers), it was even more special.

 Don't forget!
The greenhouse is open for free visits from 2 to 4 p.m. on February 9, 16, 23, and March 1 and 8, 2020.

Scroll down to see a few of my favourite snaps:

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Where: 111 Norman Rogers Dr., Kingston, Ontario
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Rosalyn Gambhir
[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=] [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= (twitter= (instagram=

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