Welcoming Smash & Tess!

We are so excited to welcome Smash & Tess and offer their snugly goodness to our favorite LQs!

Owned and operated by a mother-daughter-bestie team, Smash & Tess has always had an obsession with stylish sleepwear. Matching pajamas have been one of their favorite traditions on Christmas morning since they can remember, but the search for cute, comfortable pajamas became nearly impossible as the years went by – there just wasn’t anything out there that they truly loved.

A few years of brainstorming, dreaming & serious fashion schooling later, Smash + Tess was born, finally bringing women the dreamwear they deserve.

Designed and ethically produced in North America, their line of premium loungewear invites women to relax, indulge and imagine, without ever having to leave the comfort of home.

They believe that women should feel confident and beautiful every minute of the day, no matter whether it’s spent in the boardroom, on a school run, or between the sheets after a day spent conquering the world.

They exist to change what women wear when enjoying their time at home or out and about!

They believe that there should be a well deserved stretch of personal time between work and sleep, when you can dive into your feminine side while still being confident and comfortable.

Their loungwear is effortlessly chic, using quality fabrics made to last.

Forget throwing on ratty sweatpants, yoga wear or flannels after a busy day of work – they’re here to bring you something you’ll be proud to wear, time and time again.

So, come on...you deserve it! Shop the collection to pre-order yours today!

September 07, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Into the Wardrobe: Your Summer Guide

It's here! It's finally here! Ahhhhh, sweet, sweet summer time! We're in the thick of it now, and we have all of your summer wardobe essentials, that you'll find yourself reaching for again and again for many Seasons to come. 

That's what you want in the pieces you carefully curate for yourself: items that speak to you, but also have the wear-ability to never go out of style. That way, when you have a favorite piece, you can love it eternally. 

So without further adieu, we give you the first wave of our Summer Collection!

The Luella Polka Dot Dress

A bright blue and white polka dot short sleeve dress with a v-neck and a button front with a self tying bow. The perfect midi length, made from that soft, stretch fabric our LQs love. Channel the perfect vintage vibe while being effortlessly chic. Dress this classic print up or down and pair it perfectly with a white pump.

The Harlow Dress

A navy and white striped, collared button down dress with an open back crossover twist, two quarter length cuffed sleeves and side seam pockets. Business in the front, and party in the back! This classic striped dress has the perfect modern twist, with a to-die-for back detail. Go seamlessly from the office to a night out with the girls!

Tie Tee in Kelly Green

A short sleeve, round neck stretch tee, with side tie detail. The side tie adds just the right amount of sophistication to a simple classic; not to mention, the color. We're all about modern twists on old classics. 

The Secret Garden Tee

A round neck, three quarter length sleeve, stretch tee with embroidered floral design. Bloom in our Secret Garden Tee. Just the right balance of comfort and whimsy, perfect for capturing those summer vibes all year long. 

The Ophelia Jumpsuit

A capri length, striped overall jumpsuit with ruffled shoulder straps, back zipper and side seam pockets. Ultra flattering, and sure to be the envy of all your friends! At LQ we love a jumpsuit, and what a jumpsuit it is...or should we say playsuit! Nothing says fun and flirty like The Ophelia! Prepare for the slew of compliments you're sure to receive wearing this number. 

The Swept Away Dress

A relaxed fit, striped tunic dress with a boat neck, cap sleeves, a gathered waistband and two front pockets. The Swept Away Dress is not only the perfect dress to throw on over your swimsuit, but also the perfect dress to wear out for ice cream. This is the definition of function, comfort, and cute!

The Summer Soiree Dress

Short flutter sleeve a-line floral dress with back zipper and side pockets; a classic silhouette, with just the right amount of fun. The Summer Soiree Dress is ultra flattering on all body types, and...it has pockets! You know how we feel about pockets!

The Make a Statement Dress

A self-tying wrap, stretch knit dress with an asymmetrical hem and keyhole, three quarter length bell sleeve. The Make A Statement Dress is ultra feminine and ultra chic, which makes it the perfect date night dress! Also, comfort is always key and with ultra soft fabric, this dress is as comfy as it is chic.

The Black Tee

A short sleeve, round neck, stretch knit tee with a relaxed fit and a asymmetrical hem with side slit. The Black Tee is a fun twist on a wardrobe staple. Add dimension to all of your classic looks (in any season). What we love about this piece is that the side slit bottom hem gives you look options. Leave it out, tuck it in or tie it to this side. This  is everything you want in a black tee. 

 

Rosebud Dress

A short sleeve, v-neck dress with a twist, in a soft blush color with the prettiest floral print. We're not kidding when we say this is the softest material and not to mention, comfy. This is a vintage look that we die for. Your Nan wished she had this dress when she had a bod just like you. Like all good things, this is a vintage inspired look that has come back around. Be forever ready for garden party season, in this little floral number! 

So many looks, to love and wear again and again!

Get shopping, ladies!

 

Photos: Hannah White

 

July 25, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Host with the Most: Sangria Ice Pops

  

You read that right. Sangria. Ice. Pops. Combining two of our favorite things: cool Popsicle treats and cocktails. A "Poptail" if you will. I mean, you know what fans of sangria we are, so we're invested. All of our refreshing summer drinks seem to be cropping up in frozen treat form, which is definitely a trend we can get behind.

You're probably thinking, how did I not know about this? Don't worry, we've got you covered and the process and is simple. I know you're thinking, "is there some kind of trick?" But, really you simply take your favorite recipe and freeze it!

First, you will need a DIY Popsicle tray to get started then you throw together your favorite sangria recipe. 

Now remember, the summer sun is hot, and we're trying to stay hydrated, so I like to pack in the fruit. It's a cool treat. It's boozy. It's a snack. It's the best of everything. 

Something else you can do to sweeten the deal is add some simple syrup to your sangria mixture. This will make it more like a sweet treat. 

Fill those trays up right to the brim and freeze. Maybe you'd like to freeze them over night, (Preferably before a pool party. I'm invited right?) this way you won't be stuck standing outside the freezer waiting for them to freeze instantaneously. It's slower to watch things freeze, then to watch the grass grow. 

Finally, all you do is pop them out and enjoy! There's nothing as aesthetically pleasing as a Sangria Ice Pop in summer. Well, maybe a giant unicorn pool floatie, but I mean, why not do both?!

Invite the girls over, and pull these bad boys out of the freezer. Ta-da! You just became the most popular kid at the pool party. 

We browsed around for some other delicious Poptails and made a list of the ones we can't wait to try this summer: Tequila Sunrise Pops, Mud Slide Ice Pops, Pina Colada Pops and Mojito Pops, to name a few. What are some Poptails you've made or would love to try?

(photo inspiration found on Pinterest)

July 21, 2018 — Faith Farrell

The Scoop on Where to Get Cold Treats This Summer

(Hind Hart Studios)

 

Well, well, well, it's National Ice Cream Day! If you're anything like us you don't need an excuse to indulge, but if you do, today is your day!  

There's some things that are just better in the summer. While we're firm believers in ice cream all year long, there's just something about the sun beating down, your flip flops hitting the pavement, cone in hand. It really is the little things; life's small pleasures.

To celebrate in proper fashion, we thought we'd give you the scoop (see what we did there) on our top 5 places to indulge. Tis the season!

1. A & K Lick-A-Treat 

(Candice Tynski)

A & K Lick-A-Treat, I mean guys it's iconic. This little old school drive-in is pumping all Summer long. Sure to meet all your cool treat needs. From your classic cones: soft serve and hard. To homemade waffle cones, drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches. Not to mention toppings and dips galore. 

Located just across the parking lot from A & K Lick-A-Chick, doesn't get much better on a Summer night than dinner and a quick walk to dessert! Remember, it's cash only.

Get directions here

(@willowandtwigcreative)

2. The Bayside

(@mermaidfoodcb)

Another iconic little drive-in, it's tradition. The Bayside not only has a beautiful view while you enjoy a frozen treat, but they have dips galore. Can we talk about instagram worthy! A cotton candy dipped cone will have you swooning!

There's also bubble gum, birthday cake and peanut butter to name a few. Whatever your ice cream hankering, we're sure you'll find just what you're looking for. 

Get directions here

(@loadedhandbun)

3. George's Country Convenience

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd stop for ice cream. You would press your nose up against the glass and point to your favorites. If you were lucky you'd get a double scoop. Or a triple if you even dared. George's is perfect to feel that perfect summer nostalgia. They also have that old school candy you love!

And guys, they have soft serve frozen yogurt...made with real fruit! Get it in a waffle cone and up the anti. 

Get directions here

 

(@keshmb)

4. Chill Zone Cool Treats

It's all about location, location, location...even when you're having your favorite treat. What's better than digging into a mammoth ice cream drumstick? Digging into one while you enjoy the sunshine on Sydney's waterfront, that's what!

All your favorite soft serve and hard flavors with your favorite toppings. Not to mention their classic Chillzone Drumsticks. Guys, they have ice cream cake, and real fruit frozen yogurt, with a view.

Get directions here

5. Annie's Ice Cream Parlour

(@mermaidfoodcb)

New on the scene is Annie's Ice Cream Parlour. Ice cream on wheels. That's right, an ice cream food truck. Everything you love about a classic ice cream parlour, but with the ability to roam. Guys, this is dreams. 

Flavors and toppings galore. They have signature Annie's embellished cones with all the sugary goodness you could imagine. And that's not even the best part...they have ice cream tacos and burritos. Yes! You read that right.

Get directions here

 (@elizabethcross)

and there you have it. 

We strongly suggest an Ice Cream Bucket List! Do the tour! Taste them all! Do you have a favorite? Is there any where that is a must on the Island for ice cream? Let us know!

(Hind Hart Studios)

July 15, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Host with the Most: Sangria Saturdays

Summer time and the living...and the pouring of Sangria...is easy. There's not many things I like to put into a seasonal corner, (except Christmas theme socks, they are all the way in the corner) but, there is just something so satisfying about Sangria in Summer. 

Sangria Saturday is a summer tradition that I wholeheartedly believe in, and I'm putting out the call. Come join me friends...

I have Sangria-ed here, I have Sangria-ed there, I would Sangria anywhere. Which is all the more reason to develop your own brew. I'll tell you now, I have shown up to a Summer Shindig with a cooler full of mason jars, with the perfect Sangria to fruit ratio in each, ready to party. Sangria, party of one. (But, remember sharing is caring. And you may not make friends with salad, but you sure can with Sangria).

But, I digress...back to brewing up your own. What do we need? Well I like to mix mine up in a big vat. A large drink dispenser is ideal. Your Dad's lobster pot. That Crystal punch bowl that's been passed down three generations...be careful with that one at a party. 

Once you've chosen your vessel, its time to choose your wine. My fav is white wine Sangria, so I usually go for a nice fruity Moscato. For party purposes I usually double my batch and get two bottles. You can also choose whether to accompany your wine with rum or vodka. Now the choice is yours, as well as quantity. It really depends on how boozy you'd like your mixture. And remember, you can still Sangria with no booze at all. After all Sangria Saturday is a state of mind, not an alcohol percentage. 

Next choose your fruit. Regardless of what other fruit I choose, I always choose lemons. One, they remind  me of Beyonce and make me feel powerful. And two, I find them the most refreshing. I slice them in nice rounds. And I remove all the seeds. You don't want to be heimlich-ed later, and also if you chose a drink dispenser this is the kind of thing that can clog your spout (as well as cutting your fruit too small).

My next go to is strawberries, pineapple and mangoes. I hull my strawberries and slice them long. I pick up a debarked and hulled pineapple, cut it in half the long way and slice it up. Now mangoes for me are a struggle. It is rare that I find myself capable of cutting them without being left with a mushy mess. I opt to buy a bag of frozen mango and dump it in. We're for Sangria-ing smarter, not harder. Choose whatever fruit is your favorite. 

Now I throw all my fruit in, and pour in all the liquor (or not). I also like to pour in two parts Tropicana Mango Pineapple juice. I've also been known to on occassion throw in one part pink lemonade. It depends on my mood. But, you can use whatever juice you see fit. 

Now I like to marinate it all over night. But if your short on time, two hours to chill should be fine. 

Now for the best part! The serving.Keep a slotted ladle handy, scoop out some fruit. I like a balance of each, place them into your glass. And fill to your desired height with your summer loving potion. Now at this point I love to add something a little bubbly to the mixture A sparkling water, or a Sprite family soda to top it off. Because bubbles make everything more fun. You could also throw in a few sprigs of fresh mint, if you're feeling fancy. 

And Ta-Da! You're Sangria-ing on a Saturday Friend! What is your favorite Sangria recipe?

 (photo inspo from our trusty Pintrest and one from our girl Faith's personal collection)

July 14, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Meet the Maker: Blooming Lotus Creations

Meet Courtney Oldham, the beautiful face behind Blooming Lotus Creations, a mama bear, soon-to-be nursing student, yoga teacher, and creative and adventure seeker.
 

Courtney was born on the mainland, but has called Cape Breton home for most of her life. She spent several years after high school living in Alberta, but after the birth of her son, she moved back to the island. Since then, Courtney has worked tirelessly to be able to stay here permanently, creating opportunities for herself through yoga, her passion for mala-making, and helping others. 

Courtney is a go-getter and our kinda gal. Let's get to know her and her malas a little better! 
 
 
 

First of all, what is a Mala?

A Mala is a sacred string of beads. The word 'mala' comes from a sanskrit word meaning "heavenly garland". Traditionally, malas have 108 beads crafted from gemstones and/or wood and are often finished with an additional guru bead and a tassel. The guru bead is a sign of gratitude for those who have helped us along our journey of self. Malas are often used in japa meditation, which means to recite. This is where our “mantra” comes into play. A mantra is simply this. A word, sound or phrase recited over and over again to aid concentration in meditation. The tassel is said to represent enlightenment.
 

Why 108 beads?

108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and Yoga, and there are many reasons why:

  • There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 x 2 = 108.
  • The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.
  • Some say there are 108 feelings: 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.
  • Some also say there are 108 sacred places on the body and 108 stages on the journey of the human soul.

How do you use your mala for meditation?

You start by holding your mala in your right hand draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead. Our malas help to keep us grounded and in the present moment.

How did you get into mala making? 

As a kid I always had a love for rocks & gems (I never really knew why). Then yoga came into my life, and I started to connect all the dots. I at first got into making earrings and bracelets, nothing with gems. Then after attending a mala making workshop I fell in love with the whole creative process of making a mala, (setting intentions and choosing gemstones based on what healing properties you needed). Then I realized I wanted to share the mala love with my Cape Breton community.

Where did the name Blooming Lotus come from?

I have been forever drawn to the lotus. The story of the lotus is all about it growing in muddy water, yet still blossoming into the beautiful flower that it is. It's kind of how I try to live my life. Things can be tough sometimes, but the tough stuff makes us stronger and you always come out on top as long as you push through. I try to live my life with a really positive outlook (some days are way harder then others), and with my beautiful pieces I hope that the wonderful healing properties of each gemstone will help others to live the life of a lotus flower.
 
 

What does your creative process look like? 

Its different every time to be honest. A lot of my work is custom and the creative process is amazing because I get to connect with people on a really deep level. Some people are sharing their stories with me, so I get to make something beautiful for them based on these experiences.
 

Where is your favorite place to create?

Believe it or not, it's on my floor with lots of space & music. 

 

What inspires you?

Other people and their stories. They are the reason I create 
 

What does creating something with your own two hands mean to you?

I've never really been good at anything artsy like painting or sewing, so my work makes me feel really proud that I've found something that I feel I am creatively good at. I also love being part of something that is very meaningful to not only me, but to others as well. 

 

What has been your greatest challenge on this creative journey? What has been your greatest success?

My greatest challenge is probably finding a balance. I am a mom first. I work full time. I'm a yoga teacher & I will be starting school in September. My work isn't something that is quickly thrown together. It takes me time to create. So I'm trying to find that balance for myself.

My greatest success is just taking the leap of faith to start this journey, and having so many amazing people who love the work I am doing.

When you look to the future, where do you see this creative endeavor taking you?

I just want to continue to create and share. I have some big visions in mind for down the road, for sure! 

Thanks so much for sharing your story and your creations with us, Courtney! You can find her beautiful gemstone pieces in store and online.

July 08, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Wedding Crashing 101

Wedding Season. Those good weather months where all acquaintances and their dog seem to decide to give the old nuptials a try. Sometimes it can be daunting. You can only paper cut your finger so many times opening invitations. You only own so many magnets. But what if you didn't have an invitation? What if you were part of a folk singing group from Salt Lake City? Yeah, you are.

This is where you forget being a Lady, and you become a Legend. These are the stories you tell your grandchildren. That's right. I'm talking about Wedding Crashing. That epic activity first recorded by that rag-a-muffin team Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Each are legends in their own right. I mean, they literally wrote the book. 

So let us transcribe the first ten rules of Wedding Crashing care of V and C but with some LQ flare.

Rule #1: Never leave a fellow Crasher behind. 

 As in Wedding Crashing, as in life. Firstly, it's fun to be part of a team. What's more fun than crashing a wedding? Crashing a wedding with friends! And as any great sisterhood, you would never leave a solider behind. That goes for Mary over there complaining about how her feet hurt, don't even mention her questionable footwear choice. And it goes for Rita over there who is ninth grade, slow dance, making out with the Groom's uncle. You arrived together, and you'll hit a late night drive-thru together on the way home as you swap war stories. 

Rule #2: Never use your real name. 

This almost goes without saying. It's the key to any great disguise. Any great ruse. A crucial key to any back story.  George Costanza's Art Vandelay knew this, and so do you. Who is your Art Vandelay? 

Rule #3: Never confess.

Plead the fifth always. They can never prove anything. Same goes for your mother's cashmere sweater you borrowed without asking, dropped a hot wing on, and just put back at the bottom of the hamper. How did she not notice that stain when she took it off...you don't know. 

Rule #4: No one goes home alone. 

Now this really depends on the motive of your crashing. Maybe your goal was to have someone lend you their sports jacket, and carry your shoes. Maybe your goal was to end up eating chicken nuggets in bed alone. Or maybe it was to roll around your BFF's living room, watching Friends until the sun comes up, while eating shredded cheese from a bag. They all sound good to me, Boo. Never lose sight of your goals. 

Rule #5: Never let a girl get between you and a fellow crasher. 

The old Bros before Hos mentality. But you already knew that, you're a Lady. This goes in for the traditional sense. But, also don't let creepy Aunt Martha dance up between you and your crashers on the dance floor. For a tiny old lady, why is she so handsie?

Rule #6: Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention in a negative way. Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms. 

You're living your best life. You're any one you want to be. It's not only a good night, it's a great night. No one knows you sing off key in the shower, or the number of selfies on your phone. You're the most powerful you've ever been. Use it. 

Rule #7: Blend in by standing out. 

No one suspects the girl dropping it low with Nanny Dorothy to Run Around Sue was the girl who wasn't invited. Let your cover story write itself. " You don't know cousin Belinda?! That's her over there dropping it low with Nanny Dorothy. Yeah, I heard she just got back from rescuing elephants in Thailand." It's me. I'm Belinda.  

Rule #8: Be the life of the party. 

You will never see any of these people again. I mean, even if they recognize you over the avocados at the grocery store while you're wearing your Clark Kent hipster glasses...Belinda who? That time you got carpet burn from practicing the worm in your bedroom when you were 12, it was for this moment. No holds bar. This is Belinda's night. She is the party. 

Rule #9: Whatever it takes to get in, get in. 

 Accept all challenges. Just because you wore your best lashes doesn't always mean you can shimmy in the front door. Most wedding venues have been known to have multiple points of entry. The food has to come from somewhere. Someone has to take Nanny Dorothy's elbow on her way back from the bathroom after her third flute of champagne. That someone is you. Hello Nanny Dorothy's new best friend. 

 

Rule #10: Invitations are for...wimps (of the cat variety). 

This life has conditioned many of us to wait to be invited to the party. And sometimes that means we miss out. Missed opportunities, dreams unfulfilled, just because we were waiting for some kind of validation. Well guess what? You're a strong, independent woman and you don't need no one to invite you to that party. You are the party. 

And when we get right down to the bottom of it. As I read back these rules...really, they're good for life. Friendship, confidence, being un-apologetically yourself, while being unafraid and just doing you. Girl, we need to start wedding crashing life!   

Do you have a wedding crashing story? Tell me! And if you don't, if you did crash a wedding, what would your backstory be? Let us know!

July 07, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Cape Breton Bucket List: 20 Beaches To Visit This Summer

It's the smell of the salt brine air as your hair whips across your face. The sand between your toes as you race down the beach where your family set up camp hours before. It's the white swirl of salt that dries on your skin as you stretch long on the sand, your heart beating like the surf. It's the salt you taste on your lips as you stop for ice cream on the way home with your eyelids heavy from the sun....

It's almost that time again, friends. Beach season on Cape Breton Island! With 80+ (not to mention the locals-know-best-kept-secrets) scattered across the Island, there's no end to the sea/lakeside adventures you can have. If a white sandy beach is what you crave, you need to look no further than your own backyard. 

In collaboration with Explore East, we've rounded up our top 20 beaches to visit this summer. Get out your swim trunks and your flippy floppies... here we go! 

1. Inverness Beach

(photo: Explore East)

Gorgeous soft sand, coupled with some of the Island's warmest shallows, makes Inverness Beach perfect for families. No wonder it's a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Take a walk on the 1.5 kilometer sandy beach or stroll on the boardwalk above the beach and catch glimpses of golfers on the Cabot Links course. (I know Larry David has golfed there in the past... that's who I'm always looking for...) On a clear day you can even catch a view of Prince Edward Island in the distance. 

Walk along the shore in search of beach glass and other lost treasures. Or take the boardwalk to see farther vistas with the wind whipping through your hair. It's the perfect place to set up a game of beach volleyball, or stretch out under an umbrella with a good book. Ideal for beach naps and picnics with friends. The best hot dog of your life is ready to be grilled and eaten here, while you wiggle your toes in the sand. Also the perfect place to take your furry BF along!

Get directions here. 

  

2. Cabot's Beach

(photo credit: Explore East)

Who doesn't love a secluded "secret" beach. Put on those exploring shoes, and don't forget your sunscreen, and get in the "know". 

Cabot's Beach is known by a few names. It's also been called Cabot's Landing, Aspy Bay and North Harbour. The beach is 8 kilometers of sand that is divided into five separate sections by harbour inlets. A beautiful hidden gem!

Perfect for hiking and exploring, you'll be able to let all your friends in on one of our Island's little secrets. Don't forget to pack a lunch. Snacking hikers are happy hikers!

Get directions here

 

3. Meat Cove Beach

(photo credit: Explore East)

The island's most northerly beach, where the road actually does end! Meat Cove Beach is towered over by the Cape Breton Highlands and is flanked by rocky headlands. Take a left at the cafe, and a short walk down a steep road leads you to this sandy pebbled beach.

Make a day of it, and take a drive right to the edge of the world. Some of the most beautiful views can be seen along the way. 

Not only is it great for swimming and beach-combing, but it's also the perfect locale for catching a glimpse of whales and seals offshore, all while having your toes firmly planted in the sand. I mean, you really can have it all. 

Get directions here.

(Photo credit: Explore East)

  

4. Ingonish Beach

(Photo credit: Expedia)

This one goes without saying. Arguably the most popular beach on the island, it's rightfully so with its 2.5 kilometers of gloriously sandy beach. 

Skip from saltwater to Freshwater Lake with just a few steps across the barrachois (coastal lagoon) in between. Surf lifeguards are on duty on the ocean side during July and August.  There are accessible change houses, washrooms, and a hiking trail on site. Not to mention a playground, tennis courts, soccer field and picnic area. Canteen concession is open daily in good weather during the summer. 

Get directions here

 

5. Warren Lake Beach

(Photo credit: TreesT and Maple)

Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s largest lake. Witness resident loons and incredible mountain scenery.

The lake warms up quickly in the summer to provide an enjoyable beach adventure for the whole family to splash among the shallows.   

Keep in mind there are no lifeguards on duty. But there is a picnic area, pit privies and a hiking trail on site. 

Get directions here. 

 

6. Fishing Cove Beach

 (Photo credit: Explore East)

Fishing Cove Beach is not your average destination. It's a hidden gem located at the end of a 6 kilometer trail (12 kilometer round trip) that descends over 1,100 ft.  It's also the one and only designated wilderness camping sites left in the Highlands, so an overnight stay is a must (register with the Park visitor center beforehand).

Fun fact: Until 1915 it was home to a lobster cannery and people say you can still find the remnants of the foundation.

Ideal for all summer Island adventurers with swimming, wilderness camping, hiking, fishing, and photography opportunities. Not to mention whales and seals. This one is a real deal hike. It's best suited for the capable/experienced/determined adventurer.

Get directions here

 

7. Dalem Lake Beach

(Photo credit: Meghan Finney)

Dalem Lake is a popular park on a small lake with comforting hardwood-shaded picnic tables on the shore and a white sand beach. It's perfect for your littles to splash around, especially if they're still a little small to navigate ocean waves.

Dalem Lake Provincial Park is just 4 kilometers north off Highway 105, so it's a great any-day adventure when you're short on time. A little more convenient than schlepping the whole family on an ocean adventure. There is a boat launch (for non-motorized boats), not to mention a 2.2 kilometer beautifully groomed trail. 

It's perfect for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, bird watching and exploring the area’s wildlife with the whole family. 

Get directions here.

 

8. Margaree Harbour Beach

 (photo credit: Faith Farrell)

Grassy sand dunes, dramatic cliffs and a working harbour to the north surround this beach. A favorite among the locals, you can sun yourself on the sand as you watch lobster boats return home.

A little off the beaten path, this is another gem at the end of the road. Shore Rd. tapers off to a gravel road, and down the hill you'll find parking below two lovely lighthouses. The beach is just beyond the dunes.

Perfect for all your favorite beach activities. Pack a lunch, stretch out under an umbrella, fly a kite. This is a place where you have a Beach Day. Capitals all the way. 
Get directions here.

 

9. North Bay Beach

(photo credit: Faith Farrell)

For those seeking a quieter, more secluded beach experience, this long expanse of sand beach is very inviting. 

Nearby picnic and washroom/change areas makes North Bay the perfect spot for relaxing, swimming and beach-combing. 

This is the beach you seek if you love to look at driftwood like sculptures. This is where you go to listen to the waves. 

Get directions here

 

10. Belle Cote Beach

(Photo credit: Candice Tynski)

This is a nice long beach with a mixture of sand and lovely round pebbles worn smooth by eons of wave action, absolutely perfect for combers. The beach run is spanned on one side by a vast breakwater, making it feel like a world apart. 

Located just north of the Harbour Bridge, the easiest foot access to the beach is at the south end of the breakwater on the northern end of the wharf. Look for an opening in the boulders, not far from the big anchor.

A great place to get away from it all, and let your dog friend frolic. Walk along the coast looking (and sniffing) for treasure. 

Get directions here

 

11. Chimney Corner Beach


(photo credit: Joshua Wludyka)

This is the choice of local folks not only because of its sheer size, but also its privacy from the road. This gorgeous, clean beach is cradled in a cove, and offers safe swimming with long shallow water areas and great views.

It also offers a fresh water stream which crosses the beach and empties into the gulf; perfect for kids (and adults alike). There's rocky point to be explored, even in bare feet. A path leading to the beach has been worn smooth by generations of curious traffic.

Cape Bretoners travel from Baddeck and Sydney to enjoy Chimney Corner's perfection.…

Chimney Corner is best suited for swimming, exploring and having a picnic with family and friends.

Get directions here. 

 

12. West Mabou Beach

 (Photo credit: Another Walk in the Park)

West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is a natural environment park with a beautiful large sandy beach and dune system at the mouth of Mabou Harbour. Not only is there a beautiful beach, but the park consists of beautiful old farm fields and marshes with several walking and hiking trails nearby, as well as a quaint little picnic area. 

Perfect for making a day of it with swimming, hiking, fishing, and bird watching. And if you're doing all that, you better throw in some picnicking as well! 

Get directions here. 

13. Black Brook Beach

(Photo credit: Another Walk in the Park)

Take in the ocean views at one of Cape Breton Highlands National Park’s most popular beaches bordered on one side by a gentle waterfall and intersected by a freshwater brook on the other.

Take a dip in the ocean, and rinse the salt and the sand away at the end of the day in the Highland's fresh water. Bring along a boogie board or learn to body surf the large waves that crash along this beach. We guarantee you've never laughed so hard, or had more fun. But prepare for some bumps and bruises...and possible sand burn. Trust us, it's a thing. But, battle scars are half the Island fun. 

Change houses, washrooms, picnic shelters, a playground, picnic tables, fire pits and hiking trail heads are all on site. Keep in mind there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.

Get directions here

 

14. Point Michaud Beach

(Photo credit: Trip Advisor)

An exceptional 3 kilometers of sandy beach (that is supervised in July and August). With a back drop of marram grass covered sand dunes and large cranberry bogs, it's a majestic vista. 

Ever wanted to try surfing? Now is your chance! Rent a board or book some lessons and try your luck on the waves. Point Michaud also features a boardwalk, picnic tables, change house, and vault toilets.

Get directions here. 

 

15. Cheticamp Gypsum Mines

(photo credit: Faith Farrell)

This is a short hike on an established trail/ATV track that leads you to a beautiful, secret swimming spot near the town of Cheticamp.

This trail follows the old railway line from Cheticamp harbour to the base of the mountain, just below the former mine’s location. The Cheticamp Gypsum Mine operated from 1908 to 1939. 

Being an old rail line, the trail is wide and flat and has recently been regraded and cleared out to welcome hikers, bikers, ATVs, skidoos, and skiers alike.

The main trail will take you to the base of the mountain where you will be directed by signs to the short climb up the hill to the lake. Once the old mine, now willed in with fresh spring waters, has been a well visited swimming hole for Cheticamp locals for decades. The locals always know!

I mean aqua blue waters against white gypsum cliffs...right here on the island. A sight that all should see!

Keep in mind the water in the lake is of unknown depths and has a sheer drop-off mere feet from the shore. It's a good idea to always use the buddy system. And the lake provides the excellent opportunity to take your favorite floatie along, and float the day a way. Nothing says Cape Breton summer than floating on a unicorn in a Gypsum Mine. 

Get directions here

 

16. Whale Cove Beach

(Photo credit: Whale Cove Summer Village)

A few kilometres south of the village of Margaree Harbour, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this beach is smaller compared to some of the others but it has a beautiful bluff which is perfect for a stroll. Plus, the sunsets here can be amazing!

It's in plain sight of the road and there's parking above on the grass.   

Get directions here.

 

17. Mira Gut Beach

(Photo credit: Go Cape Breton)

Where the Mira River meets the Atlantic Ocean, you can relax on the sand and watch the sand bars rise from the waves, presenting the perfect warm shallow splash zone for the kiddies. 

Make sure to bring along your pail and shovel, this beach is ideal for working on your sandcastle skills. Just 22 kilometers south of Sydney, it's a quick car ride away. There is a life guard on duty through July and August. 

There is an unsupervised portion of beach on one side, but keep in mind, there are currents there. There are also large break water rocks, but they can be dangerous to climb on. The smart beach goer is a safe beach goer!

Get directions here. 

 

18. Big Pond Beach

 

(Photo Credit: Ashley MacEachern)

On the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes (our favorite salt water lake), this is a great inland beach. A sand and pebble beach with incredibly clear water that gets deep quickly and is typically calm.  Makes it a great choice for the whole family.  You can spend hours just ducking and diving underwater. Give a Seal a run for it's money. It's a favorite among swimmers. 

Enjoy a great drive along Route 4 to get there. It is a great place to stretch out with a summer read and partake in a waterside picnic. Watch bald eagles and kingfishers over the lake and take a load off.  Keep in mind that Big Pond is unsupervised.

Get directions here.

 

19. Kennington Cove Beach

(Photo credit: louisbourg.ca)

The beach at  Kennington Cove is one of Cape Breton's hidden treasures. It offers one of the best sandy beaches on the Island. Two, to be exact.  If you continue on through the trees, it will bring you to the second beach. The waves are a little bigger here, but that just means more fun. And, you often have this beach to yourself.

One of the beach's most unique features is that it is near the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. At this historic location, the British landed in 1745 and 1758, beginning sieges that lead to the fall of Louisbourg. It has sand and history. 

Make a whole day out of it, take a tour of the Fortress, and then hit the beach. And don't be fooled if you get there early and it seems a bit foggy, or the tide is high. The surf will recede to expose soft sand, and the fog has been known to burn off so fast in the heat, it will make you miss it. 

Get directions here.  

 

20. Pollett's Cove Beach

(Photo: Adam Hill)

It's quite a trek to get there, but once you do, you're in paradise! It's said to be one of the most beautiful places in Canada, but don't take our word for it. 

The spectacular highland terrain on the northern tip of the island is the province at its wildest and most rugged. 1000-foot cliffs meets yet-to-be-discovered plant life meets world class scenery in complete enchanting isolation. 

It's an 18-km, 4-8 hour hike over three mountains, so strap the bare essentials to your back and spend 48 hours completely off the grid with wild horses. It's ideal for swimming, camping, hiking, berry and plant-foraging, bird watching, whale and seal watching, and photography. As night falls, prepare yourself for one of the best displays of star clustered skies you will ever see.

In Pleasant Bay, look for Red River Road. Follow the pavement, and keep going when it turns to dirt. Follow it past the Gampo Abbey monastery and shrine, until the road's end, at a small parking lot. The trail starts with a width of an ATV trail. Passing a small yellow cottage, the trail soon narrows to just a footpath.

Get directions here.

And there you have it!

Twenty elements of what makes this place so magical. How it was shaped by the ocean, how the ocean shapes us. And in the summer time we return to the shore, like reconnecting with an old friend. There is no greater anticipation than that first wink of bright blue on the horizon as you rattle along a back road with everyone you love, and a life time of supplies. That's summer. It's an action. It's a feeling. It's precious and beautiful.

We want to know what your go-to beaches are? Do you have deets to some hidden gems? Tell us! 

Now pack that cooler, beaches. ;) P.S. Here's some of our favourite beach accessories!

1. "Save Me Your Bottom" Bottle Opener

2. Foggy Tide Mini Wave Wanderers

3. Little & Lively Sun Bonnet

4. East Coast Tee

5. Under The Sun Sunglasses

June 28, 2018 — Faith Farrell

We'll Always Be Daddy's Little Girls

Over at LQ, we're our dads' #1 fans! It's so easy to take all they do for us for granted, but this weekend we're singing their praises. Singing it loud, and singing it proud. And we don't want to hear anything about our singing voices...after all we got that from you! And yes, my Johnny Cash voice is the same as my Bruce Springsteen voice...

So Happy Father's Day, big guy! 

You're just the greatest! And out of all the dads, that's really saying something. I mean, how many of them have a #1 Dad mug AND t-shirt?!

Not just anyone would let us express our early make-up interest by volunteering to be our model. Even when our color choices made our little brother cry when he saw you. That blush shade just didn't go with your moustache. And you never complained about the rash that make-up gave you. In our books, that makes you the absolute best.

Regardless of your sometimes questionable wardrobe choices, you really are the cat's pajamas. No, not everything goes with camouflage (and yes, we can still see you), but you're a trend setter. No, not everyone is wearing socks with sandals, but if everyone was jumping off a bridge, you wouldn't do that either. 

I mean, you've told us a million times, and we've started to believe you. Any one can be a Father. But, it really takes some one special to be a Dad. And you're doing it! 

We've always been impressed by your physical prowess. For teaching us how to flex our gangling little kid muscles. The proper form of a cannon ball. For taking the time to teach us that a real lady should know how to throw a real punch. And we all know that you don't land a lady like mom with just that winning personality. We all know she's with you for that bod. And because you can make your pectoral muscles dance. After all, we get our good looks from you, isn't that what you're always telling everyone? Oh, and our brains. Wait, what do we even get from Mom? Oh yeah, that's right, our attitude...

You've always taken the time to teach us those valuable life lessons, that some day we'll pass along to our human/fur children. You taught us that life isn't always easy, but it can be worth it. That most often the things that worry us most are the things that work themselves out. That it's okay to be different, because being different is what makes us special. How to stand up for ourselves. And that sometimes it doesn't matter how much sugar you add to those lemons, sometimes you just have to go for the oranges, and that's okay. 

Thanks for answering all those late night phone calls with a "WHAT?! What? Okay, bye." And showing up in record time with the Pajama Taxi. For also driving all our friends home, regardless of how out of the way it was. And for putting up with all those off key renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody from the back seat. You were already kind of deaf in one ear anyway, right?

Over the years we've really tested your patience. Like that time you took us fishing for hours, but by the time we got home we were hit with a wave of remorse and felt too bad about the little fishes flopping around in the bucket. So you took us back so that we could dump them back in.  Sometimes you didn't always understand us, and we haven't always seen eye to eye. But, you have always had our back. And we (and the fishes) thank you. 

From how to catch a tad pole, to how to properly mix paint colors, to the best milk ratio for the creamiest mashed potatoes. For the TV only seeming to ever be on the Discovery or History channel. You've taught us that we are capable of doing anything we put our minds too. That we may not be the best at everything, but it's at least worth a try. And maybe we wouldn't tell mom about it when she got home...        

For all the tea parties you attended, all the imaginary tea you drank, and opting to give Teddy your chair when he showed up late and hadn't even bothered to RSVP. For all the nights you got home late from work in the summer, and took us swimming anyway, until the sun went down. For all the shoes you booby trapped over doorways that fell on our heads. For finding us crying when we lost our two front teeth because we were convinced they would never grow back in, and for taking out your false front teeth to show us it was okay...and that some how made it all better. For wearing that hideous clown tie we gifted you when we were four to all important life events since. For joining the annual egg hunt six Easters ago, and pushing us to the ground on the run towards a cream egg. For being the first on and the last one off the dance floor. Quite simply, if awesome only went to ten, you'd go all the way to eleven. 

Just look at the daughter you raised, You did a great job, if we do say so ourselves. 

And you know it to be true when your children post your picture on the internet. Here's looking at you, Dad!

(Meghan and her Dad)

(Faith and her Dad)

 

(Melissa and her Dad)

Don't forget to browse all our Father's Day Card selections! 

June 15, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Tips and Tricks to Being the Very Best Wedding Guest

Ah, Wedding Season. That time of year when every magnet you've ever managed to take home from both exotic and domestic locations, pins squares of shiny potential all over that fridge of yours. You carefully put your best ensembles on rotation, which includes raiding all close closets. You scientifically test which of your clutches can contain all necessities...including a comfortable pair of flats. At this point you may feel like a seasoned veteran. But, let's be honest, you're always up to making wedding attendance smarter, not harder. 

 

 

 1. Get those RSVPs in!

 How nice! You've been chosen as tribute...I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid. But, you've been declared important enough to receive an invitation. And wouldn't you know it, you've also been garnered important enough to be fed. That means, that little Bride and Groom need to know how much food they'll need. Let's be honest that's a long day, and it doesn't matter how many stuffed chicken breasts you've had this season, you need that free meal ticket. All good wedding guests know setting a base for that reception is key to success. I mean they already put a stamp on it, get that puppy to the mail box.

 

 

 2. Be on Time. 

There is a time to be fashionably late...weddings aren't really one of them. I mean it's one thing to take your shoes off and tuck and roll into the back of your friend's outdoor farm wedding. It's another thing to accidentally slam that ancient church door to the words, "or forever hold your peace." Girl, they thought you were Becky with the good hair, showing up and taking names. That's not how you want to go down in wedding history. Heck, get there early. 

 

3. Avoid wearing white.  

This seems like it would go without saying. But there will always be that associate in your friend group that says, "are you sure I can't just wear this dress? It's more of an off white. It's almost beige." No Heather. You can't. Of all the traditions we seem to get away from, that just isn't one of them (unless otherwise indicated on the invitation). And you don't want to be that girl. People don't forget. They won't remember what the Bride herself wore, but by Beyonce they'll remember that little faux pas of yours. 

*The good news is, it also used to be that you couldn't wear black either. The sensitive Bride becoming offended by the funeral chic look. But every girl loves a good little black dress, so we shattered that stipulation (next the glass ceiling). So get Gothic and wear your best black. Also if you mourn that your gal pal is marrying Berkley with the ham hands, and sub par IQ...this is a peaceful way to share your grief with the world... 

 

4. Be cool trying to nab the best snapshot.

Odds are the happy couple have probably hired a photographer to immortalize the big day. That's a trained professional. Someone with one of those big cameras with the million times zoom and an assistant. If that professional is not you, if you have received no professional training, get the heck out of the way. Roberta doesn't want to look back through her wedding album only to see your phone blocking her face, because you were in a battle with your girlfriends on who could get the best freelance shot or Instagram story. Think about unplugging, and being completely present in your friend's moment. The real framers are going to be the ones you take at the reception later, trust me. 

 

5. Do bring a card or gift. 

I get it, times are tough. You're an adult, out in that mad, mad world on your own dollar. You have to feed your dog. Your cat demands wet food. But, long gone are the days where you can just show up bringing that winning personality. And though someone's grumpy aunt might tell you different, we're firm believers that it is the thought that counts. Bring at least a card, I'm sure you're local dollar store has many lovely selections. And no matter what you put in it, it's the thought that counts. Some morning after, that newly wed couple is going to fall on their knees in gratitude that you enclosed a regifted 20 dollar McDonald's gift card in your wedding stationery offering. 

*If not, ancient wedding cannon dictates that you have one year to show up with a gift. Get something on sale.  

 

6. Keep negative comments to yourself. 

Yes, a large gathering like a wedding is often the breeding ground for sarcasm and snark. And you might not be able to understand why Abigail dressed her wiener dogs in flower crowns, and walked them down the isle in lieu of a bouquet...but that's okay. It's Abigail's day. And if she's about wiener dogs in flower crowns, so be it. Everyone is trying their best. Those wiener dogs are trying to keep it together. Rule of thumb is everyone always likes Nice Nancy so much more than Negative Nancy. Negative Nancy doesn't get invited to parties. No stuffed chicken breast for Negative Nancy. 

 

7. Don't monopolize the Bride and Groom's time. 

They are the main event after all. Folks have traveled far and wide for this. They owe everyone a little face time, all two hundred and fifty of them. So don't hog them. Give them an old "OOOO" "AAAHHHH" and a couple of hugs. They have to make their rounds so they can lead their best lives on the dance floor later. 

 

8. Mix and mingle. 

We know you and your high school clique laugh about your slogan "no new friends." But weddings are excellent places for friend/family groups to overlap and create sheer awesomeness. You feel powerful when your life friends end up liking your work friends, and vice versa. You're a friend matchmaker from heaven. So help the old Bride and Groom out. Yes you'll be on Grandpa's Beer Pong team pre-supper while the Bride and Groom are gone for sunset pictures. Be a born mingler. 

 

9. Monitor your cocktails. 

I know, you came here to party. And I know that pint of Fireball fits so neatly in your clutch next to your emergency flip flops. We're all for letting loose. But, just a PSA: don't be that girl. You know the one that fell out of her shoes on the dance floor. Three inch heels didn't seem that high, until you fell three inches without putting your hands out in front of you. Don't be the girl that passes out at her table, before the midnight pizzas come. And don't be the girl that drinks too much and ends up crying in the bathroom. You're getting older now, take your time, and don't forget to hydrate.  

 

10. Leave it all on the dance floor.

 

People will forget the vows that were said. People will forget what color the bridesmaids wore. People will forget what they ate. But what they will never forget the time that they had. Help out your Bride and Groom by leaving it all the dance floor. Weddings are make or break by the dance floor vibes. This is the moment you've been waiting for. Get it, Girl!

 

Majority of photo inspiration provided by our LQ Courtney Mackenzie of her big day! Taken by Hind Hart Studios. 

 

June 09, 2018 — Faith Farrell