Welcoming Yellow Owl Workshop!



Here at LQ we're thrilled to be stocking Yellow Owl Workshop! Items chalk full of original graphics and bold colors, we're sure they will become one of your new favorites. 

Being one of your new favorites we thought you'd like to get to know Yellow Owl Workshop. Read on you pretty little LQ and get to know them a little better:


How it all began...

Christine Schmidt's art career began in primary school when she won a bike at the local grocer's coloring contest. This bike was red and had ten whole speeds! After a youth spent on the plains of Kansas City and art school in Washington D.C., she and her loverboy, Evan, moved west to a little place perched atop windy Bernal Hill in San Francisco. Fueled by too much black tea and public radio shows, she spent nights creating hand-printed cards and gifts. Seeking out local suppliers and working with fine, momma-earth loving materials, she began honing her line of wares. In 2007, after steeling her nerves, Christine took a box of her goods to some local stores, they placed orders and Yellow Owl Workshop was born.

Current day Yellow Owl Workshop now bustles with a team of hard-working ladies in a sunny Mission district studio. Though Yellow Owl Workshop has grown and can be found in stores worldwide, the original values of expert attention to detail, ecological awareness and premium U.S. made materials are evident in every product. Legend says if you hold a stamp set really closely you can probably still smell the Earl Grey and hear a "Radio Lab" episode.

Notable for a sophisticated yet playful aesthetic, the products include rubber stamps and stamp ink pads, greeting cards and a line of exquisite gold pendants. Though the product line is diverse, consistent themes of innovative function, original graphics and bold colors emerge.

While Christine is handling the creative side of Yellow Owl, she is incredibly lucky to have amazing people handling the business of Yellow Owl. Her husband Evan Gross, longtime friend Maria Niubo, and a band of super ladies, keep the studio humming along.

Christine and Evan live in San Francisco with their new daughter, Emmy, who will begin entering coloring contests (and hopefully winning bikes!) after she masters solid foods and crawling.

Shop the whole collection here!

October 09, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Meet the Maker: The Little Red Door!

Meet Terri Buckland, the hands and heart behind The Little Red Door, and our new favorite polymer clay earrings!  

Terri lives in a teeny, tiny but beautifully renovated cottage on Whynaught’s Cove, Nova Scotia! Her partner Christine and she moved there after making the decision that they wanted to live the simple life close to the ocean where they could look out the window and see the ocean tides and breathe the salty air!

They live on a huge property that happens to back onto hundreds of kilometers of wooded trails within the Peggy’s Cove loop. This is ideal for them because they have 6 rescue dogs who get to enjoy those glorious trails every day! Something many people don’t know is that her partner and she work with a local dog rescue to foster dogs in need.

They’ve adopted out lots of dogs to happy families, but have kept a few misfits along the way! Their dogs are all very small, and all but two are quite old. They each have unique stories that will break your heart and make you want to love them to pieces, which they do! Their dogs are super-duper happy now. They sort of think of themselves as a dog sanctuary… a soft place to land for dogs that most people wouldn’t want to adopt for one reason or another. They don’t have any children, so it’s just them and theirr precious fur-babies!

Let's get to know Terri and her process a little better!

How did you get into making earrings?

When we moved here, there was a shed on the property with a red door. It is a HUGE shed, it looks like more like a house! It had an old-fashioned wood-burning stove and cedar siding. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something unique! It just called for a hobby. We moved here in order to be more ourselves, and for me that meant exploring my artistic side. I decided to use the shed as a studio. When I picked up a paint brush for the first time in 2015 it was an act of bravery. I had no idea if I could paint. My main goal was to explore an urge I had to get back to some fun. I started out painting furniture. I started to make a little name for myself in the furniture artist world, and I was featured multiple times by Unfolded, the company that manufactured my favorite paint by Annie Sloan, as well as by several other prominent furniture blogs.  A dresser was my favorite canvas, and I’m so inspired by nature that I often painted botanicals on the furniture. Less than a year ago, we sold our big car and bought a tiny little one, and I couldn’t fit furniture in it anymore. Still wanting to be creative, that’s when I picked up clay for the first time in January 2018…less than 9 months ago!


What does your creative process look like?

I am extremely influenced by nature. My partner and I travel around the Maritimes, and I photograph it! I actually have a separate Instagram account dedicated to my photography. It’s so important for me to create from a place of love and authenticity. Two of my favorite quotes, which I also use as my creative mantra are: “Work is Love made visible.” -Kahlil Gibran and “Let what you love be what you do.” -Rumi

I create from a place I call “Flow” -from a God given place- which is sacred. I honor it by staying true to my own visions. What happens to me is, when I’m out in nature or meditating or dreaming, a spark of an idea, inspiration, or vision comes into my mind that represents a thing I love. For example, the first clay earring I ever made came to me after I walked the little picturesque village in Peggy’s Cove. I sat down and out popped this little abstract representation of it! Sometimes, I recreate a scene, sometimes it’s the color of a sunset, and other times it’s the way a rock looked in the sunlight. I adore it! I feel very, very happy when I’m making my little clay creations. My designs and creativity can not be forced. It flows in when it’s ready.

Where is your favorite place to work?

I recently designed an office space in my home. It is a total sanctuary. It has crispy white walls, with beautiful floor to ceiling shelves that hold my earring art. My own artwork covers the walls like a gallery. My essential oils and gemstones are also on display as well. I love this space.

What inspires you?

The Maritimes has so much beauty and I feel that we are so fortunate to call this place home. We have so much coastline, clean air, space, freedom and beauty! I never take it for granted. Since picking up a paintbrush in 2015 I’ve been inspired by botanicals, succulents and the scenery of our provinces. I call my creations after the thing that inspires it. I currently have four inspired collections: Beaches, Places, Nature and Nostalgia.

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

Everything. I can’t even. This is the pinch me part! I couldn’t have dreamt in my wildest dreams that I had any talent at all, let alone having a successful business that is based on my own creativity. Creating something, for me, represents the belief in myself that I have something to offer. And that is everything, isn’t it? I think so. This business is love, made visible.

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

The greatest challenges have led to my greatest successes!  Anyone who creates anything knows about the feeling of vulnerability there is in putting yourself (your work) out there as an artist. As I step into this path of “being seen” it is constantly having to keep in check the reasons why I do this…which is for the love of it. Not for the money, or the popularity, or the approval, or the social media likes. Those are so tempting to follow though! The greatest challenge has been the willingness to make mistakes publicly and be judged…for me, that takes a lot of bravery! What if the earring falls apart? What if people don’t like them? What if I didn’t make enough and someone has to wait longer than I promised? What if I accidentally send it to the wrong address? Well, since I am a human, it’s very possible that I’m not going to be perfect. But, I always, always work with integrity and do my best! So, if I make a mistake it’s ok! And that’s been my greatest success: showing up for myself and being willing to try despite being scared! It’s a triumph. The personal growth has been huge.

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

This is an uncommon practice as a business owner, but I don’t make goals. Well, that’s not true…I have one goal, which is to always follow my bliss! I think’s that’s the surest way to have success! I feel like life works out when you are being yourself, working with integrity and staying in alignment with what is true for you at the time.

The growth that The Little Red Door and Terri Buckland Creations has had is astonishing to me! I started out making these for myself, and I was initially giving them away for free. Then suddenly 20 people wanted earrings, and then 50. It has been a truly magical journey. Creating from a place of love, making the things I love and then getting to incorporate my artwork and photography and design skills to enhance my creations is an absolute dream come true! I have so much love for the people who seem to love my little creations as much as I do.

I do have some exciting ideas that are naturally evolving, and soon I’ll incorporate some new things into The Little Red Door offerings. We’ve got a major gift culture going on, where people are sending earrings and notes to their loved ones though me, and I have some exciting ideas around how I’m going to support this gift culture. I can’t wait to share as the vision and idea evolves!

I love that people think of their earrings as little pieces of home. I hope that my creations continue to create light in some small way in the hearts of others, as it does my own.

Shop the collection now! 

September 17, 2018 — Faith Farrell

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


2. The Bayside


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


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



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


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


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