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Blog

Rome (with kids).

Andrea Porritt

This was my third trip with my girlfriend Raegan, my second time visiting Rome, but it was our first time travelling with kids, and travelling together with kids! We've both done quite a bit of travelling, but never with babies in tow so we knew this would be a trip of firsts in many ways.

Since both Raegan and I had been to Rome before there was no pressure to squeeze the entire city and it's thousands of years of history into seven days. This worked out perfect for us as it allowed us to take a nice easy pace and have a quality and memorable trip as opposed to one filled with quantity that can easily be confused or forgotten.

It really allowed us to SLOW DOWN! This is especially important when travelling with kids! Don't try to replicate the way you used to travel before baby. Things are different now! So try not to squeeze too many activities or sightseeing into one day.

We would generally plan one big adventure a day which usually ended up being in the afternoon. Our mornings were filled with naps, cappuccino runs and making breakfast.

I really tried to stick as closely as I could to the same routine I had at home - which basically meant my days revolved around Inès's nap schedule. I never thought my life would revolve around nap times -  but now I am basically a prisoner! The timing is not always ideal, especially when travelling (hello baby jet lag!), and it often means sacrificing some activities or sightseeing, but a tired and cranky baby is not fun for anyone!

There were also days when things didn't always go according plan. We had a few days where Raegan and I were on totally different nap schedules, which meant some solo exploring and street wandering. A huge coup would be if we were able to get a lunch out together. And there were certainly days when we'd be up before dawn or in bed just after sunset.

Travelling with kids is certainly not easy, but I'm determined to keep at it! And I believe that making the extra effort to travel will ultimately have a positive impact on my little girl. I think the key is that you really just have to learn to embrace the craziness that comes with baby travel and smile at the fact that things will definitely not always go according to plan.

STAY

Travelling to Rome with a baby and a toddler meant that we needed a kitchen and laundry so we decided to go with an Airbnb. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment on Via dei Coronari in Navona - arguably one of Rome's most enchanting neighbourhoods, and centered around the spectacle that is Piazza Navona. It's narrow winding streets were the perfect exemplar of Rome's charm and quaintness and were perfect for daytime strolling, shopping, great restaurants and cafes.

Now the apartment itself was kinda hilarious and there were some serious issues with the suite. We were pretty screwed in terms of stroller accessibility. There were tons of stairs and the smallest elevator ever (we had to disassemble our strollers in order to use it and only one person could fit in it at a time)! We also needed 6 keys just to get in to the apartment (3 for doors within the building, 1 for the elevator and 2 keys for the apartment) RIDONC! It was such a huge pain in the ass to get in and out of, especially with the strollers, but on the plus side the neighbourhood was rad.

I did find myself using my Ergo Baby carrier a ton just because it was so much easier in terms of getting in and out of the apartment. The only downside to the carrier was that Inès and I would get pretty hot as the weather was quite warm in Rome. I did still use the stroller as I liked having it at restaurants so Inès could sit in her car seat instead of on my lap so I could actually eat my food.

Even though the apartment description on Airbnb said it was "kid friendly" next time I would try and book an apartment that was wheel chair accessible.

 

EAT

Gelateria del Teatro

There must be a million gellaterias in Rome but this one is consistently rated at the top of all the lists, and it just so happened to be conveniently located 3 floors directly below our apartment! 

Using only the freshest ingredients, this place has nothing to hide as you can watch the gelato being made through the large window. Inside is an amazing selection of gelato with some unique flavours like Raspberry Sage, Lavender White Peach, Sicilian Almond and my favourite Lemon with Rosemary and Honey!

Navona Notte

This place came highly recommended to us by Raegan's uncle. We tried going here twice (once for lunch and once for dinner) but they refused to seat us because of our strollers! So we thought we would attempt one last go but this time we put the kids in the carriers and headed on over for an early dinner. Luckily, this time we were able to get a great table outside! I'm so glad we persevered because the food was amazing - order the gnocchi with pistachio!! The service was also great and the staff were very friendly. This isn't haute cuisine, it's honest italian food in simple surroundings.  The atmosphere is great and be sure to get a table outside so you can people watch! They even comped us a limoncello each, we were two very happy mamas!

EXPLORE

Villa Borghese Galleria & Gardens

This was the one place I wanted to see while I was in Rome. So one afternoon Inès and I hopped in a taxi and headed out to the Borghese Gallery. Once we arrived I quickly realized that this place is NOT stroller friendly. Stairs everywhere! Literally the bane of my existence in Rome. There were about 20 stairs leading up to the entrance of the gallery and no elevator in sight. So with Inès in the car seat, I disassembled the stroller and started hauling it up the steps. Because I was by myself I had to do this in two parts. I took Inès up in her car seat and left her at the top of the stairs and just as I was turning around to head back down the stairs to get the rest of the stroller a man came out and started yelling at me "Madame, No...., No, No, No!" Apparnently, the entrance was down a different set of stairs!! So I had to carry Inès back down the steps, reassemble the stroller, find the correct entrance (with more stairs), disassemble the stroller, again, and carry everything down. Once again, I had to do this in two trips.

The crazy thing about this whole ordeal was that no one offered to help me!!!! I was actually kind of shocked by this. I don't know if it was because people are just in their own worlds and aren't paying attention or that people just aren't willing to help strangers??? But it was pretty awful.

Once I had finally hauled everything down the stairs there were signs everywhere saying that tickets to the gallery were sold out and that they were only accepting pre-sales for Saturday. I couldn't believe it! I just came all this way, had the worst stair disaster experience and now I can't even get into the gallery?!! I had no idea I had to buy tickets in advance! I was literally on the verge of a MAJOR meltdown. I decided to wait in line anyways. Once I got to the ticketing desk and asked if they were sold out for the day the ticketing agent said that I had come at the right time and he sold me a ticket! I was so relieved!!!!

Apparently only 360 people are allowed to visit the gallery a day, which means you must reserve in advance or you risk being turned away due to no availability. I'm pretty sure I got very, very lucky. Either that, or the ticketing agent took pitty on me and decided to sell me a ticket anyway.

Once I had my ticket I realized that the stroller was not allowed in the gallery (thank god I brought my carrier)!! I was however, able to check it at the counter. So I plopped Inès in the Ergo, left my stroller at the coat check and away we went. 

The gallery was amazing and if I had to pick only one museum to visit on my trip to Rome, this would be the one. The museum has one of the best collections of art in the world - sculpture, painting and architecture (the building itself is a masterpiece). And it's all in a space that's visitable in the 2-hour time allotment you have. Some serious swoon worthy (and very famous) works by Caravaggio and Bernini were my favs.

The bonus about visiting this museum is that it's also a park. The Villa Borghese Gardens is the third largest park in Rome. So if you're looking for shade, a place to feed your baby or a quiet spot for a nap on-the-go, this is where you'll find it. It's also the perfect spot for an escape from sightseeing and crowded tourist attractions. 

So after all that, would I say it was worth the visit.... definitely yes! Although my experience was certainly not easy or smooth, and could have ended terribly, I'd have to say it was still worth it and I'm so glad I went. Worth a visit forsure!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is a true architectural wonder and one of my favourite 'tourist attractions' in Rome. It's also one of the best preserved buildings of ancient Rome.

Outside, the pillard portico entrance is imposing but the interior is a real surprise. As soon as you walk in your first instinct is to look upwards at the dome. The oculus, the only source of natural light, is a round opening in the center of the dome. It's open to the sky and the floor is even gently sloped to allow for rainwater runoff.

There are some beautiful frescoes and the marble floors are amazing. There are also some monumental tombs set in the wall of the Pantheon, including that of the artist Raphael (on the left side as you enter). Bonus: there is no charge for admission and no security screening!

Bananas for Basket Bags.

Andrea Porritt

With Spring finally here, it's time to prep our closets for warmer days ahead. And that means swapping out my heavier winter pieces for some new easy breezy warm weather essentials. So I thought I'd start with my handbag. Nothing says springtime strolls, picnics at the beach and al fresco brunches quite like a basket bag. I'm jumping on the basket bag trend this spring and I won't deny that I love that these bags are super popular.

I love the natural colours and textures and the overall earthy vibe they bring to any look. Whether you pair them with your favourite dress or denim cut-offs or some tailored pants and a blouse, they add this effortlessly chic element to any outfit.

The great thing about this trend is that there are soooo many different styles and lots of very affordable options! From oversized straw totes to mini rattan box bags and wicker baskets, this stylish carry-all is a fashion favourite. I've rounded up a few of my favourite options below.


Baby & Body: 4 Month Update

Andrea Porritt

Inès is 4 months old! FOUR MONTHS!!! I swear there are times when I feel like I've known her my entire life. And then there are times when I'm so amazed that she's actually here. My life is obviously forever changed. 

Since it's been a while since my last blog post I'm sure you can tell that I now have a hell of a lot less time on my hands!! Lol.

BABY

She's skyrocketed to a whopping 17 lbs 6 oz and is 27 inches long! That's in the 97th percentile people (which is where she was charting at her 2 month check-up)! So suffice it to say she is currently wearing 9-12 month old clothing and even a few 12-18 month pieces. She seems to be outgrowing items lengthwise on the regular.

She's so much more engaged these days. She now likes to watch me when I'm walking around the house, especially in the morning when I'm making breakfast.

There's been lots of smiling, cooing, giggling and squealing. I especially love the smiles I get when I go into get her in the morning or after each nap. She's also starting to laugh, and seeing her do so is one of my absolute favourite things. She can hold up her head and is starting to really grab at stuff, mostly toys and my hair! She also sucks the life out of her hands. She is working hard at rolling over, but hasn't totally figured it out yet. She's growing so fast and getting stronger everyday. I just love this little person so much and I'm so thankful every single moment for this precious baby girl.

Favourite Things - She LOVES seeing her reflection in the mirror. I've heard that she won't become aware that her reflection is actually her until about two years of age?? Not sure if this is totally true, but regardless, she sure is a big old ham whenever she sees that cute baby face in the mirror. She also likes car rides, going for walks and loves bath time.

Eating - 100% mama's milk.

Sleep - Inès has always been a good night sleeper. But when she hit 3.5 months she started to regress. Dennis was away at work when this started to happen. After two totally sleepless nights I was emotionally and physically exhausted so I decided to call in the reinforcements. I phoned up my mom and told her to pack a bag because she was coming over to help me sleep train. 

After 3 nights Inès was back to sleeping through the night! She now sleeps in her crib in her nursery.

I stick to a really consistent bed time routine which starts at 5:30pm with a nice warm bath, followed by a little massage with my absolute favourite Organic Baby Balm from Nezza Naturals. Then it's into her pj's and sleep sack. I start nursing her around 6:15pm and then she's usually asleep in her crib by 7:15pm. She will sleep through the night and tends to wake up sometime between 4:30am - 5:30am. I'll get up, do a diaper change, nurse her, and she'll go back to sleep for another couple of hours. 

The sleep training has also made a huge difference to her naps! While she was always a great sleeper at nights, she would rarely nap in her crib during the day. She now naps 3 - 4 times a day for 45 - 60 minute stretches in her CRIB! This never used to happen.  CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

After she wakes up, I nurse her and then we hang out, play games, read books, etc. before she needs to go back down for another nap. Generally she will need to go down for a nap after about 90 - 120 minutes of wakefulness. I put her down drowsy but awake, and she is now able to self sooth and fall asleep on her own.

Through this process I've definitely learned about the power of persistence, consistency and routine, and how effective they are together. I've also learned a lot about my baby girl and have become more familiar with my own strengths. Though I am by no means a perfect parent (the perfect mother doesn't exist), I will strive to keep learning.

Our new sleep and nap routine has been game changing. This is one happy mama over here!

But that's enough of that - let's talk about sore tits and c-section scars!

BODY

C-Section Recovery - The first few days were pretty awful. Whenever I tried to use my core muscles (so.....pretty much most of the time) a sharp pain would shoot through me and I felt like my incision was going to explode. Sneezing, laughing, coughing were all no fly zones and getting in and out of bed was no picnic either. But after that first week or so things started to get a lot better and overall my recovery has been pretty amazing.

Body - I lost all the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy fairly quickly, which I think had a lot to do with the fact that I worked out and stayed in shape throughout my pregnancy and the fact that I'm breastfeeding. But it still took a week or two before my belly was back to being flat-ish. I had a little bit of linea negra near the end of my pregnancy, but that is long gone. It just ended up fading away. 

My boob size has exploded, as to be expected when breastfeeding. I did get a little bit of Mastitis, a.k.a. boob flu. What a bastard of a thing to get. Luckily I caught it really early so I was able to get on the antibiotics asap before I got deathly sick.

Workouts/Fitness - Because I had a c-section I had to wait 6 weeks before heading back to the gym. I really wasn't allowed to do anything during those first 6 weeks (not even vacuum) so I basically lost all the muscle tone that I had built up before and during my pregnancy. So when I was finally able to go back to the gym I felt like I was starting back at square one.

I've been doing my regular workout routine - which includes 4-5 days a week of either bootcamps, weights and/or cardio. I feel like I'm slowly starting to get my body back. Except for the two watermelons I have on my chest - these are cumbersome and definitely make running kinda uncomfortable. I also feel like I have this layer of fat left over from pregnancy that doesn't seem to want to go away. I've been told that it won't be until I stop breastfeeding that my body will truly start to feel back to normal again. Regardless, my workouts keep me sane and centred. They help to keep me energized for the day and I feel stronger, more focused and less anxious.

Mom Life - Don't get me wrong I love my baby girl, but there are days when I just don't feel like moming. It's especially hard when Dennis is away at work and I have to "be on" all the time and I get pretty worn down. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but Dennis works away, alternating between one month at home and one month away at work. It's definitely more physically challenging for me but it's more emotionally challenging for him, being away and feeling like he's missing out on so much, especially when Inès changes by the day. But apart from that I really can't complain, everything is going really well and Dennis and I are just so smitten with our little munchkin. Lots of learning curves involved folks!

 

My Birth Story.

Andrea Porritt

So excited to introduce Inès Audrey Grant to the world! She was born December 20, 2017 at 4:03am and weighed 7 lbs 3oz and was 52 cm long.

This post is looong overdue. I've been trying to find the time to put together my birth story for quite a while and finally I slowly started writing little bits here and there while she slept between feedings. So here it goes....

My birth story wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it, but then again, who's is?

If I could sum up my experience in a few short words it would be: Oh My God, What (insert profanity here) Just Happened?!!!

Some of you mamas out there might feel the same way I do. Awestruck, thunderstruck, moonstruck. Completely amazed at what your body just accomplished...but now your body is...things are not quite...look at that BABY...

Oh my God. What just HAPPENED?!

It all started on the morning of December 19th (my due date was December 16th). I woke up just before 8:00am to a huge wet spot on my side of the bed. I thought to myself, OMG did I just pee the bed?!! I got up to go to the bathroom and a rush of clear fluid started gushing down my legs. I wasn't really sure what was going on so I called my Mom, who's been a nurse at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) for the past 40 years, and told her that I think my water just broke. She told me to call the doctor because if my water did break and I don't go into labour within 24 hours I could get an infection. So I called my doctor and shortly after Dennis and I had thrown our bags into the car and were on our way to the hospital.

The clinic I've been going to throughout my pregnancy, Maternity Care Westside, is headed up by Dr. Bronnie Hautala who has 3-4 midwives that work with her. They all take turns being on call so you don't know who you're going to end up with the day you go into labour. I had a fairly good experience at Maternity Care, however there was one midwife that I just did not like. And of course she was the one that just so happened to be on call the day my water broke. Just my luck. So suffice it to say I wasn't off to a great start.

Dennis and I checked into the hospital around 10:00am. The midwife met us there. She examined me, told me I was only 2 cm dilated and that I should go home. By this point I had started to get some mild cramping in my lower back.

So Dennis and I left the hospital, ran some errands, went out for lunch and then headed home. By about 2:30pm the cramping in my back had started to get a lot worse! I called the midwife, explained that I was experiencing some serious low back pain and that I was going to need some sort of medication. All she told me was that I should monitor my contractions for the next hour and then call her back. I'm sorry what??!! There was no chance I was going to wait around for another hour in serious pain.

So back to the hospital we went. They checked me again, but there wasn't any progression from earlier that morning so they loaded me up with some morphine and sent me home, again.

I soon learned that the excruciating pain I was getting in my back was in fact back labour! For those of you who have never experienced back labour it basically feels like the most horrid, terrible, excruciating and intense pain in the world that is localized in the lower back and peaks during contractions. I literally felt like my back was breaking with each contraction. I had to hold onto Dennis whenever I got a contraction because they were so unbelievably painful! Seriously the worst pain I have ever experienced! EVER!

When we got home I turned out all the lights, laid in bed and felt like I was going to die. Literally going to die.

By about 7:00pm I couldn't take it anymore, so back to the hospital we went! This time there was no chance in hell I was going to let them send me home, the pain was just so completely unbearable. So we checked back into the hospital and told the first nurse I saw "Get me an EPIDURAL NOW!!!!"

They put us in a room where we waited for what seemed like forever. Finally the nurse came in and I asked her where the hell my epidural was?! She said the midwife had to check me first and that I would have to wait because she was in another room with another labour/delivery. I said, can't you just check me?! I really don't feel like waiting for the friggin' midwife. So they put us in a labour room, I got into a gown, hooked me up to the monitor and put in my IV. After a quick internal check they told me I was 5 cm dilated. 

My Mom happened to be working at the hospital that night and came down to our labour room around 9:00pm and didn't end up leaving until it was all over. Thank God she was there because that nurse who was looking after us was pretty much useless. To start things off she inserted my IV wrong - it was inter-tissue so all the fluid was swelling up around my wrist and I ended up with a massive bruise because if it. My mom had to alert the nurse that it needed to be fixed. Later in the night my IV bag ran out of fluid and was sitting empty, so once again my mom came to the rescue and had to tell the nurse to change it. Dennis and I were so glad she was there!

The midwife was also totally useless and pretty much ignored me. She would walk into our room every so often with her arms crossed and just stand there and look at me as I laid on the bed in pain. At one point during a contraction I even caught her laughing at me! Like I was overreacting or something! She just did not care about my well being or how I was coping. She was definitely not supportive or felt like she was ready to help at any moment. And she didn't tell us anything in terms of what was going on with the baby, or things I could do to try and get more comfortable, nothing. Just awful.

By about 1:00am I hadn't progressed at all since I first got to the hospital earlier that evening. I've had the cadillac of drugs - laughing gas, fentanyl and several epidurals and nothing seemed to be helping.  Finally, they called in a specialist - Dr. Yoshida to the rescue!!!

He came into asses me and said that I was still only 5 cm dilated (you should dilate 1 cm every hour) and that the baby was sunny side up - which would explain the insane back labour! He monitored me for a while and then suggested I go on the oxytocin drip to see if we could speed things along. By about 3:00am, I had progressed to 8cm - by this time the pain had migrated from my low back into my pelvis where it was now bone on bone and there were a few issues that had started to arise with the baby's heart rate. Dr. Yoshida said we can either amp up the oxytocin in the hope that more time would potentially allow my uterus to flip the baby so its facing the right way and to try and get me to 10 cm so that I could actually start pushing. Or we could consider a c-section. Without hesitation I said give me the flippin C-SECTION! By this point I was pretty much willing to walk down to the operating room myself!! There was no way in hell I was going to try and be a hero and wait it out in crazy pain for who knows how long to see if maybe my baby would flip so that I could actually start pushing. Are you nuts!!??

So they prepped me for surgery. Luckily both Dennis and my Mom were able to be in the operating room with me. I've had two ACL reconstructions (knee) and one rotator cuff repair (shoulder) so this was not my first rodeo in terms of surgery. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, I would be lying if I said there wasn't a bit of cold fear in my heart as they strapped me down to the table. Definitely grateful for the curtain that conceals everything... as drugged up and numb as I was I could still hear everything, including the word "scalpel".

 At 4:03am it was all over. I was the proud mama of a beautiful baby girl! Dennis even got to cut the umbilical cord. And just like that it was all over. It seemed like as fast as the pain came it was gone, sort of like coming up from under water. 

I got to meet her shortly after once I was in the Recovery Room. They handed her to me and she latched immediately! I watched her nurse, just watched her because I didn't need to intervene, it was like she knew what she was doing. 

Huge shout out to Dr. Yoshida!! The best! He was calming, direct, very thorough and had a great sense of humour. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend him as he exceeded all my expectations. His communication skills were excellent (unlike my useless midwife) and kept us informed without using hard to understand medical terminology. A total pro! I mean he basically took me apart and put me all back together again - and he got it all right! He even made the incision low enough that I'm pretty sure nobody will ever see it except Dennis and the girlfriends I show after I've had a few drinks ;)

The pain, the fear, the drama is all starting to become a distant memory now. Dennis and I had to compare notes in order to recall all the events of that day. Then we swore to each other that we definitely won't be doing that again any time soon!

My mom, Dennis and Inès. That's me in the background...strapped on the operating table looking like death (but so relieved that it was finally over!)

One week old.

One month old!

The Oversized Coat.

Andrea Porritt

With some crazy snowstorms this year and a whole lotta blah weather in between, I'm thinking we should just skip January, February and March and go right into spring! Since I can't really do much skiing this year, with the new babe and all, the only positive thing about this crummy winter weather is getting to hide my postpartum squashy belly with oversized clothing and lots of layers. Ha!

Enter: my new favourite coat!

I was super excited when I heard that Mansur Gavriel was launching coats as well as a beautiful collection of knits this season. I've been a fan of their handbags for a while and am still totally smitten with the red lipstick lined black leather bucket bag Dennis got me last Christmas. 

I had been eyeing their oversized wool coat since they launched their Ready to Wear collection this past fall and when I saw that it had gone on sale on Boxing Day I couldn't resist!

Menswear inspired, this oversized coat takes it's cue from boyfriend jeans with it's boxy silhouette, structured yet slouchy lines, giant pockets and notched lapels. Personally, I love wearing oversized clothes, especially outerwear, and being a tall girl I also love the fact that this coat is long!

I LOVE this coat. And it's designed to go with absolutely everything. Easy, elegant and made from the finest Italian fabrics, this coat sets my heart aflutter in a major way. It completely transforms any outfit, remaining functional and ideal for cozing up during those winter days. This chic and cozy cover-up would also be perfect for those looking to upgrade their airport ensemble. This coat is pretty much sold out, but I've linked some super similar ones below (and most of them are on sale!!!).

Modern Nursery Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

I have been so excited to reveal my nursery and today is the day!! When I first started designing the space one of the main things that I had to focus on was making it gender neutral. Dennis and I decided not to find out the sex of our little babe and I of course wanted to have everything fully set up and ready to go for the big arrival.  The space also needed to be calming for me as I know I'll be spending a LOT of time in there... So I decided on neutral colours and lots natural textures - wood, linen, wool - to tie everything together.

I kept all the furniture in the room neutral so it would all blend nicely and not make the room feel too small. The crib is Babyletto which we purchased from Westcoast Kids in Vancouver and I love the clean lines and stylish design. The glider and dresser are both from Lexi and Lake here in Kelowna. The dresser is definitely my favourite piece in the room, it was also the most spend-y. As a design lover I dread the bright, plastic-y aesthetic of most baby gear, which is why I decided to invest in a forever piece that I know I will love long after the nursery days are over. These beautiful quality pieces helped create a gorgeous framework for me to work with and helped set the tone for the entire room. 

Once I had these main pieces nailed down I started to build the rest of the room around them - rug, drapes, decor, etc. It was a bit challenging as there are so many options to choose from! I wanted it to feel clean and uncluttered, modern but cosy.

I struggled a bit with the rug but eventually settled on this scandinavian inspired wool rug from Ikea. The rug is a creamy light beige, which layers really well with all the other whites happening in the room. I knew that a totally all white rug would be a bit of a problem, but I find this one to be a little more forgiving. I layered it with a faux sheepskin and man is it cosy! My chocolate lab Rypien is especially fond if it!

The window treatments are from Restoration Hardware. I ordered them online and am quite pleased with how they turned out - they're great quality and add a nice amount of softness to the room. I went with the Belgian Heavyweight Textured Linen in Natural. I find that linen in particular has such a beautiful texture and I love the way the fabric drapes and breaks. Although these drapes are lined they aren't blackout, but I did install a roll down blackout blind for the same window. 

I knew I wanted to add a bit of pattern, something really soft and not too busy, but wasn't keen on the idea of wallpaper. So I decided to go with some decals from Urban Walls for a little fun and whimsy. I decided on their irregular shaped dots in light grey and placed them randomly on the wall behind the crib. Unlike wallpaper, these were an installation dream! And they totally made the space feel special without being labour intensive. Just peel and stick! But what I love most about them is that they can easily be removed and won't damage your walls!

And of course no nursery would be complete without a mobile, and this brass moon mobile from Restoration Hardware was such a great addition to the space.

Many of the pieces I bought for the nursery were purchased sight unseen which can be tricky! Not being able to see a product before committing to it can be terrifying. I kept thinking... what if it doesn't go together? What if it doesn't flow? But somehow it all worked out in the end. I was patient with my choices which I think had a lot to do with it. It took me about two months to complete this room - including sourcing all the pieces that I wanted and waiting on products to be shipped. Everything came together slowly and eventually the room came to life. 

This is one lucky little baby. And I'm clearly a very lucky mama who's job it was to design such a special space. This nursery might just be my new favourite room in the house! All the hearts in the world for my little babe.

Modern Nursery Reveal
Modern Nursery.

Pregnancy: What I've Learned.

Andrea Porritt

Hi everyone! Well today marks 39 + 6, and I simply can't believe that we're only one day away from our estimated due date (Saturday, December 16th). ONE MORE DAY PEOPLE!! I'm ready to pop...seriously ready to pop! So today I wanted to share this last round of bump photos and some final thoughts on my pregnancy. Being so close to the finish line, I've been feeling a lot of mixed emotions lately. I've also been trying to get as much rest as possible, soak up this last stretch of freedom, and try to wrap my head around the fact that I'm going to be a mom VERY soon. Yikes!

I've certainly learned a lot over the last 9 months, about babies, pregnancy, and coping with all the changes it brings to my body. It's been quite the journey.

As many of you know already I've never really loved being pregnant. It sort of feels like a lifetime. Let me tell you... it's been a long 9 months. I can't even remember what it feels like to not be pregnant, let alone what my stomach used to look like or how to "suck it in". 

The last two weeks have been especially tough. This period has certainly been the hardest part of my entire pregnancy as I've basically felt like I was born pregnant. I feel HUGE! Maybe this is all part of  Mother Nature's  plan... wait until you're super annoyed and uncomfortable so that you actually start to look forward to labour.

At my 38 week doctor's appointment I was 1 cm dilated but when I went this week there was virtually no change. I've done two membrane sweeps in hopes of moving things along, but it would appear that this babe is unwilling to budge at the moment. I feel like I'm starting to get negative towards this whole waiting game, I'm trying to embrace it and be positive and optimistic but man is it hard! Everything is just so completely out of your control!

And to top it all off I've gained 2.5 pounds in the past week! In terms of my total weight gain it's a bit hard to say as I never weighed myself before I got pregnant - scales do not exist in my house. My first doctor's appointment/weigh-in was at around 3.5 months and since then I've gained a total of 12.5 pounds.

Everything seems pretty squished in there, and I get full really fast so I've been eating lots of small meals throughout the day. I haven't had any major cravings although I have been drinking a LOT of ice water lately! I feel like I'm thirstier than ever! No stretch marks to report, I haven't slept through the night in months and baby kicks are weird!

I really can't complain too much though. Compared to some horror stories I've heard I've had a really easy pregnancy with absolutely no complications. I'm pretty happy that I never had to experience morning sickness, so I feel like I won the lottery in that department! I did experience a little bit of fatigue in my first trimester but nothing major and last week I had to have an ultrasound because I've been measuring small but the results came back normal. 

I also haven't had to buy any maternity clothes which is a major bonus. I'm still wearing all my normal clothes, although I am limited on what I can actually wear so I've been getting creative with some of the pieces I already have in my closet. For instance, the shirt I'm wearing in the pics below is actually a dress! I did a post about it back in the summer that you can see here.

One thing I did love was that I never used my pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy! Being pregnant actually challenged me to continue life as I normally would. Fitness has always been a big part of my life and I've continued to workout 4-5 times per week throughout my entire pregnancy. My goal was to stay as fit as possible so I never tried avoiding my workouts just because I was pregnant. In the end, I believe this helped me experience less aches and pains and has helped keep my energy up! I'm really hoping this will pay off in labour too!

People often ask me if I'm "ready"? On a physical level, yes I'm totally ready, the nursery is pretty much finished, the car seat is locked and loaded, and I've packed "The Bag". But on an emotional level it's a bit of a different story and would have to say no I'm not ready. And that's not because I'm not excited, but simply because I can't even begin to wrap my head around what it's going to be like to have a child and to care for it every single day for the rest of my life. How can you feel ready for that???!!! I'm looking forward to it, but I have to admit that I simply can't fathom what lies ahead for me.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty anxious, nervous and scared. All to be expected before labour and contractions right??? I know my body is built for this and that I can do anything I put my mind to. I know I am strong and capable so I'm trying to keep the positive vibes going and be confident. Really hoping that everything goes smooth with minimal discomfort and ZERO complications. Hoping that this babe comes fast and is healthy, healthy, healthy!

Right... I'm off to have a baby. I'll update as soon as I'm able, but make sure to follow me on Instagram as I'm sure that will be the first place I'll post the news! Wish me luck and I'll see you all on the other side!

outfit details

 Zara Sateen Shirt Dress | Citizens of Humanity Rocket Denim - similar here and here | Marc Fisher Ankle Boots - similar here and here | Chloe Small 'Faye' Bag |

An Overall Update.

Andrea Porritt

Well I'm officially 36 weeks pregnant! Yikes! Only 4 more weeks to go... hopefully!

My growing bump is making a BIG fashion statement and has started to make dressing during my third trimester, well... tricky. I'm trying to go with it but some days I walk into my closet, let out a huge sigh, then turn around and walk out. I've chatted with lots of my girlfriends and other amazing ladies who have kids and I've yet to meet a single one who felt totally gorgeous during her third trimester. Big and uncomfortable? Absolutely. Glamorous and chic? Not so much.

Staying motivated to look cute while being 36 weeks pregnant is starting to become challenging, but I'm determined to stay the course. One of my go-to's has been overalls! I've been wearing them throughout my entire pregnancy and not only are they stylish but also super comfortable and versatile! I wore them a ton with slides during the summer but now that it's fall I've switched to sneakers. My high heel wearing days are pretty much numbered at this point.

The only downside is that they can be a bit tricky to take on and off, especially when it comes to my incessant bathroom visits (frequent urination anyone?!). But at this point they're just too comfortable for that to even matter. I love them too much to care and the roomy waist is a dream come true. Hoping these babies keep me looking and feeling good right up until D-day.

Sweater Dress.

Andrea Porritt

I bought this sweater dress back in September and I've been living in it ever since! I've been transitioning into fall clothing and I love that this sweater dress still fits, even with my growing bump! It has been on heavy rotation lately! I've worn it a ton with knee high boots (so I don't have to wear pants) but also thrown over jeans - definitely one of my fall favourites. 

I haven't had to buy any maternity clothes yet... I've really just been playing around with the things I already have in my closet, trying to get the most from some of my classic looks. I mean just because your pregnant doesn't mean you have to go out and spend a fortune on maternity clothes that you're only going to wear for a few months. A little improvisation goes a long way!

I'm about to hit 34 weeks this Saturday and then the 6 week countdown begins! Everything's been going well and I've been feeling good. My belly is definitely getting bigger and it's starting to get in the way - bending over has started to really suck. I guess I thought my belly would be softer and move with me a little more but man is it HARD! One of my girlfriends told me I have one "really awesome ab" right now. My one-pack is on fire! Ha!

Pink Teddy Coat.

Andrea Porritt

I hate to break it to you guys, but winter is just around the corner..... Which means, it's time to start thinking about coats.

Being 32 weeks pregnant I am all about wearing anything super cozy and snuggly, and this pink teddy coat fits the bill. If you've ever dreamed about wearing your bathrobe all day long get yourself a teddy coat! Named, of course, for its stuffed animal like texture. I bought this coat on sale at the end of last season and was so excited to bust it out this year. 

Being in my third trimester I am all about being comfortable, but I also don't want to compromise my style either. I find that a teddy coat can be a great compromise as they are super cute and cozy but also irreverent and edgy all at the same time.

Finding the perfect teddy bear coat can be a bit tricky. Sometimes a teddy coat can have the perfect shape but a cheap looking/feeling texture, or vice versa - the material and texture is perfect but the shape is awful. But the best thing about teddy coats... They aren't fur!

Outfit details

Aeryne Paris Teddy Coat - similar here and here | Citizens of Humanity Liya Torn Denim | Isabel Marant Leo Eyelet Velvet Flats (currently on sale!!) | Quay Australia 'After Hours' Sunglasses

Nursery Ideas.

Andrea Porritt

I've slowly been working on clearing out the nursery room - it's basically been the junk room since we moved into our house almost two years ago. The original intention was to make this room my office with beautiful built in bookshelves, but all that changed once we found out we were pregnant. So I've spent the last few weeks slowly going through everything, throwing stuff away, shredding old documents and moving things out.

My vision for the nursery is to have it be as uncluttered as possible, which could be challenging since it seems like you need an endless supply of stuff for a baby. I really want to keep things to the basics and only get the things that are absolutely crucial. I haven't really started purchasing yet, but I've slowly been researching and creating a plan so that I know everything will work together.

The room isn't huge but it isn't tiny either so I have some flexibility that way, but I definitely don't want to fill it up with stuff just because. Besides the crib, glider/rocker, and dresser I'm also considering a cozy neutral rug and a small floating shelf for toys and books - and that's hopefully it. I think that's pretty standard right? Am I missing anything??

I'm going to hold off on any decor and accessory items until I get the main pieces in place. Again, I'm not planning on going nuts here... Just a few key pieces that will add some texture, tie everything together and make the room pop. I've been eyeing up some baskets for storage, a cool mobile and of course some pretty wall art.

Well, that's really all the updates I have so far, excited to get it started and share it with you guys! For anyone that has done this before - I would love some advice on what I'm missing, what's absolutely necessary, and what I don't need that everyone says I do, etc.

Since we don't know the sex of our little babe I've decided to keep the overall nursery plan and design pretty neutral. Here are some of my favourite neutral nursery ideas...

Here are a few of the actual items I'm considering...

We're Pregnant!!!

Andrea Porritt

Well it's official, Dennis and I are happy to share that we are expecting!

I thought something was up back in March when we were on our ski trip in Austria but it wasn't until a few weeks later when my boobs got mega sore that I thought I should investigate a little further. So I peed on a stick in Ventura, California back in April when we were on our California road trip and sure enough, it was positive. Dennis was super excited and I went into major shock! "WAIT, WHAT?!" "NO!!", I said. "ARE YOU SURE?!" "HOLY SHIT!!"

Although I don't exactly love being pregnant, I have to admit it's been pretty smooth sailing so far - at least in comparison to some of the horror stories I've heard.

The first trimester was pretty breezy -  yay for no morning sickness! I did however find myself crawling into bed at 7:00pm on more than one occasion. And there was one incident with a container of fresh greens and herbs whose aroma instantly triggered my gag reflex in a big way. I never actually threw up but that was the end of salads for a while. 

My second trimester was pretty low key as well. Except for when Dennis came home from work with a cold and gave it to me!! It was basically one of the worst colds I've ever had, compounded by the fact that I couldn't take anything for it. I felt like death for about four days.

I'd say the most annoying symptom I've experienced so far is having to pee ALL THE TIME! I used to be able to sleep through the night no problem, but now I have to get up at least 2-3 times just to pee! I mean seriously?! This little bean must be dancing on my bladder because I feel like I have to pee every 5 minutes. It sucks! The urge never stops! And when I do give in there really isn't much that comes out. It's driving me nuts! Has anyone else had this same experience??

I'm now into my third trimester and everything seems to be business as usual. Besides the frequent urination, I've also started getting a little achy in my lower back and have been woken up in the middle of the night on more than one occasion by a muscle spasm in my right calf. WTF? The last time this happened, it felt like a gun shot! Oh the joys.

Dennis and I have chosen not to find out the gender of our little nugget. Don't get me wrong, there is certainly a part of me that really wants to know, but we're waiting till December 16th for the big reveal. Only 10 more weeks to go!

Calamigos Guest Ranch.

Andrea Porritt

When I asked my bestie Raegan if she would be up for escaping to California for a few days her answer was immediately "YES!" Girls trip here we come!!!

Raegan has been one of "my people" for a long time and we've certainly seen each other through a lot over the years - travel, heartbreaks, laughing till we pee our pants, shopping, babies, breakdowns and endless love.

With four nights at our disposal and her little 8 month old mini me Fletcher in tow we were looking for a no muss no fuss kind of vacay. We wanted to go somewhere where we didn't have to think about drudgery, dishes or deadlines, and simply just indulge in good food, conversation and some much needed R & R.

Whenever we go on trips together we do like to kinda 'do it up'. So we decided to stay at the Calamigos Guest Ranch, which had been on my radar since I stumbled across it on Instagram a few months ago. This rustic yet elegant resort rests on 200 dreamy acres tucked away in the hills above Malibu and includes vineyards, several pool areas, gym and a spa.

We stayed in one of their two bedroom bungalows, which was perfect as we each had our own room with separate private en-suite baths, courtyards and outdoor showers! The king bed was super comfortable and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep every night by 9:00pm.  Except for the last night when I stayed up and watched the Emmys on the giant Smart TV in my room.

Complimentary breakfast was available until 11:00am every morning and featured an ah-mazing breakfast buffet! You name it, they had it - omelette bar, waffles, pastries, fresh fruit and the most delicious avocado toast. We definitely indulged to the fullest!

During our stay we also ate at the property's trendy outdoor restaurant - the Malibu Cafe, did yoga in the vineyards, hung out poolside, and soaked up some of that glorious California sun at the resort's beach club. It was certainly the making of a dreamy girls getaway.

Sateen Shirt Dress.

Andrea Porritt

It's been a less than ideal summer here in the Okanagan, at least in terms of weather. It all started out with a damp, cool and very rainy spring. It rained so much that Okanagan Lake hit its highest level on record, which caused beaches to disappear and houses to fill and flood with water! As the weather heated up things didn't get much better, as we went from floods right into forest fire season. And it has been super smoky here ever since! The Smokanagan!!! The smoke has been so bad that on some occasions you can't even see the other side of the lake, let alone the mountains.

Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to fall! And to kick things off, I'm starting with this awesome Sateen Shirt Dress from Zara. I was all about dresses this summer and I've decided to carry this vibe right on through to fall.

The one thing I love about this shirt dress is its versatility! I've been wearing this dress a fair bit lately and find myself switching up the overall look with shoes and accessories.  I kept this look casual and sleek with a pair of loafer slides (my new favourite shoe for fall) and a shoulder bag. Once the weather starts to get a little cooler I plan on layering this shirt dress over jeans - my answer to fall's chilly-but-not-cold temperatures.

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Off The Shoulder Dress.

Andrea Porritt

When it's blazing hot outside, the last thing you want to be feeling is constrained by your clothes. So to stay cool, I've been taking advantage of some hot weather trends, especially flowy off-the-shoulder pieces like this pretty blue dress. These pieces allow you to show a little skin without revealing too much, they're also sexy, fresh and help even out those pesky tan lines!

I wore this dress to the Kitsch Wine party over the weekend and it did not disappoint. This was my second time attending the event and it's always lots of fun and filled with endless wine to get you in the mood!  

Remember, you always need the right accessories to complete your summer look. Rattan bags, leather slides and gold jewellery do it for me!

Off-the-shoulder dress

Laundry Room Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

It's laundry room reveal day!

It's easy to dismiss a room as a purely functional and utilitarian space and not give it much thought or effort. But whenever we decide to start a new project big or small I flip right into full design/plan/execute mode! And once my mind is set on something, I do whatever it takes to fulfill that vision (within a reasonable budget of course). Thank you Dennis for dealing with my stubbornness. 

Now since this is a laundry room, we needed a place to hang clothes. I wanted something simple that didn't take up too much space so we added a closet rod that extends from the wall all the way over to the cabinets. This has worked out perfectly as it gives us lots of space to hang clothes!

Our laundry room is located on the main floor of our house. It's sandwiched between the kitchen and the garage which means that it also serves as a bit of a mudroom. So it needed to have a closet and lots of storage space. Other must-have features I needed in my laundry room included a deep sink and plenty of counter space for folding clothes.

I intentionally kept everything soft and neutral to create a calming atmosphere while featuring a combination of crisp whites, modern lines and luxe materials that feel on trend yet unique and timeless. I also couldn't resist including some greenery! I mean who doesn't love a cactus and a few orchids!

Laundry Room Reveal.

Laundry Room Details:

White Subway Tile Backsplash - Small's Tile & Flooring

Tile Flooring - Small's Tile & Flooring.

Riobel Faucet - Bath's by Design.

Wall Colour - Benjamin Moore 'White Heron'.

Lew's Hardware Bar Pull Series in Brushed Brass.

Light Fixture - similar here and here

 

Maxi Ruffle Dress.

Andrea Porritt

Even though jeans and denim are my go-to, there's nothing that can compare to a beautiful maxi dress. I am a huge fan of maxi dresses this summer and this one from MISA Los Angeles is no different. Maxi dresses have it all - casually stylish, feminine, comfy and elegant. They're also super versatile and easy to wear, from lounging at the beach to strolling around the farmers markets to date night dinners.

Since there are maxi dresses for just about any occasion and there are so many reasons to wear a pretty dress during the summer, so I added a few other favourites below.

Embroidered.

Andrea Porritt

I just ordered a bunch of new dresses for summer and this little number was the first to arrive! I'm all about easy dresses in the summer time and this one ticks all the boxes. 

The fit is relaxed, effortless and oh so comfortable - the material is super soft and it even has pockets! I was worried that this dress might be a bit sheer since I ordered it online and didn't have a chance to try it on before hand, but it's perfect - no VPLs  (visible panty lines) here!

Embroidery is such a big trend this spring, and I love that we're seeing colourful embroidery on everything from jeans and t-shirts to bags and shoes. Embroidery has been around for a long time, but this year this artful trend is making a serious comeback. Spring is coming up embroidery!

This Free People dress is a perfect example of how embroidery is the perfect mix of feminine and boho, and it comes in four different colours! I paired mine with my favourite flatform espadrille sandals that I bought last year, but this dress would look great with just about anything, from slides to heels. I know I'll be living in this dress all summer!

Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Embroidered Summer Dress
Emboidered Summer Dress

Ski Trip: Lech, Austria.

Andrea Porritt

Dennis and I have been wanting to do a European ski trip for a while now, but we never quite got around to it during our Canadian ski season because the conditions were always so good.

Since a number of European ski resorts stay open right through spring, we decided to opt for a spring ski break instead. And when it comes to spring skiing in Europe you can't beat Austria! So we packed up our bags and ski gear and headed to Lech, Austria for a week of skiing.

 The pretty village of Lech, Austria.

The pretty village of Lech, Austria.

Now skiing in April may be considered low season, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you choose the right resort, a spring ski break can have some great advantages. My personal favourite being that the warm sunny weather makes for ideal après-ski conditions on the mountain terraces!

 The pretty pink facade of the Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

The pretty pink facade of the Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

Three flights and one bus ride later we finally arrived in Lech am Arlberg! This wasn't the easiest alpine resort to get to, but I suppose that's part of its appeal. Sitting in a narrow valley surrounded by mountain rimmed plateaus, Lech is a vision of alpine neatness with its snow covered houses, hotels and a very old church that was built in 1390.

 Village wanderings, Lech, Austria.

Village wanderings, Lech, Austria.

Once a humble farming village, Lech has become the winter hideaway of the well-heeled and well-known and combines a beautiful setting with superb skiing. People watching in the main street of Lech was an activity all in itself, as in the thousands of euros in designer clothes that would strut past - some good, and some not so good.

 The place to go for custom ski boots and glam gear. Strolz, Lech, Austria.

The place to go for custom ski boots and glam gear. Strolz, Lech, Austria.

 Strolling through Strolz, Lech, Austria.

Strolling through Strolz, Lech, Austria.

 Chalet chic, Lech, Austria.

Chalet chic, Lech, Austria.

An important tip, regardless of conditions or terrain, don't forget to don your most glamorous ski outfit. I noticed that in Lech, the european ski style race was definitely won by neon ski pants paired with an equally loud jacket. It's all about getting noticed here! This was certainly a contrast to Dennis and I's ski wardrobe - monochromatic with lots of black, grey and white. But when it came to après-ski, the trophy fashion item was without a doubt a massive fur or fuzzy statement coat. From what I could tell, grunge doesn't fit in too well in Lech, but you could try to go it alone.

 My kinda place. Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

My kinda place. Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

 St. Christof, Austria.

St. Christof, Austria.

 Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

Now, Lech is not the place to go if you want an extreme après-ski experience. St. Anton has plenty to offer in that department! Lech is a very traditional Austrian ski resort with traditional Austrian culture, and thus they're approach to partying is more refined. That isn't to say it's staid, there is always a lively atmosphere, but Lech is not, at heart, a hard core party town.

 Auf dem berg (At the mountain).

Auf dem berg (At the mountain).

 Yummy lunch. Schneggarei, Lech, Austria.

Yummy lunch. Schneggarei, Lech, Austria.

 The outdoor pool at the Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

The outdoor pool at the Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

Austria is a German-speaking country, and needless to say, Dennis and I's ability to grasp the der-die-das of it all was pretty much non-existent. Thankfully, this wasn't a problem in Lech, as most people spoke some degree of English. So long as we knew how to order a bier and a wiener schnitzel, and say danke, then we were fine.

Lech, Austria.
Lech, Austria
Hotel Gasthof Post, Lech, Austria.

STAY.

Hotel Sandhof

We stayed at this hotel based on recommendations from a few members of my family who stay here every year for their ski holiday. However, our initial impressions were somewhat underwhelming.

Since we were staying here for a week, we decided to book a junior suite to ensure maximum comfort and plenty of room for all our gear. Unfortunately, the room was much smaller than what we had expected and was definitely NOT a suite! I would say it was more akin to a standard room at an average hotel back home. I will forever be amazed at the value for money of hotels here in North America versus those in Europe.

On a more positive note, the location of the hotel was great, right in the centre of town and just a few steps away from the ski lifts. This is a family run hotel and the hotel owner, Martin, was great - welcoming, friendly and very helpful - I had asked him if he could give me a few recommendations on some fabulous Austrian wines to take home, and he kindly obliged - recommending some of the finest wines from Austria!

When we booked this hotel, we decided to spring for the half-board option which included an extensive breakfast buffet and a 5-course dinner with salad bar and cheese board for the duration of our stay at the Sandhof. The food was traditional but good, and we got to sample all the classics - Semmelknödel (dumplings), Fritattensuppe (sliced pancake soup), Weiner Schnitzel (no explanation needed), Tafelspitz (boiled beef) - I left this to Dennis - and last but certainly not least, and my personal favourite, Spätzle (Austria's answer to mac & cheese). There was also a fondue dinner and an Austrian evening with live traditional music.

The staff were nice, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were overtly friendly. And we did notice that there seemed to be varying levels of service depending on whether you were a first timer to the hotel or a repeat visitor. In my opinion, none of this should really matter and everyone should receive the same level of service and attention regardless of familiarity. 

Hotel Sandhof, Lech, Austria.

EAT.

Balmalp

This place has got it all... Great food, superb design - a mix of traditional alpine style and sleek modern lines - and an atmosphere you would normally find at a beach club. We ate here twice for lunch and the food was always yummy - I loved the pizza and the Asian stir-fried dishes. The ambiance was buzzy, the music was super cool and the outdoor terrace and bar have fantastic panoramic views across the valley. This is the place to go for a sunny lunch with glorious views!

 Lunch with a view at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

Lunch with a view at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

 The outdoor bar at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

The outdoor bar at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

 The outdoor sun terrace at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

The outdoor sun terrace at Balmalp, Lech, Austria.

Rud-Alpe

One of the best mountain restaurants in Lech, Rude-Alpe boasts traditional wood panelled dining rooms and a lovely sun terrace with great views overlooking the village of Lech. The food was hearty and consisted of local specialties and traditional Austrian cuisine. The service here was by far the best out of all the mountain restaurants we visited in Lech - fast, attentive and friendly!

 Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

 Cozy interiors, Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

Cozy interiors, Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

 Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

Rud-Alpe, Lech, Austria.

Hospiz Alm

No trip to Lech would be complete without a gastronomic pilgrimage to St. Christof to dine at the Hospiz Alm. We stopped in here for lunch and although the food was good, the wine was by far the highlight! If you're a wine aficionado like me try and get a quick tour of their bomb shelter cellar - it's one of the best stocked cellars in the area! From the classic decor to the red and white tablecloths and lederhosen clad waiters this place has bags of traditional character. And in case you need anymore convincing, there's also a slide alongside the stairs down to the bathrooms to assist inebriated and overfed patrons! What more could you ask for!

 Hospiz Alm, St. Christof, Austria.

Hospiz Alm, St. Christof, Austria.

 Dennis with the wine list at Hospiz Alm, St. Christof, Austria.

Dennis with the wine list at Hospiz Alm, St. Christof, Austria.

Ice Bar, Hotel Krone

Located at the bottom of the piste, right in the heart of Lech, this popular outdoor bar (with heaters) is predestined for a bit of après-ski people watching. Now in order to après in style you'll want to skip the hot toddy and opt for a glass of rosé champagne instead while you watch skiers finish their last runs of the day. It's the perfect place to sit back, relax, and soak in the majestic mountain peaks while you let your eyes wander.


EXPLORE.

The Arlberg region consists of eight linked ski areas - Lech, Zug, Warth, Zurs, Stuben, St. Anton, St. Christof and Sonnenkopf. A lift pass to Lech will get you access to the entire Arlberg region, including Zurs, Stuben and St Anton. In all, the pass covers 305 km of slopes and 87 state-of-the-art chair lifts and cable ways.

Lech, Austria

The lift system is incredibly well planned as it allows you to ski continuously to any of the eight linked ski districts and villages. The infrastructure of the lifts themselves was also quite impressive with fancy high speed chairs, perspex covers for extra warmth and protection, as well as padded and heated seats!

Lech, Austria
Lech, Austria
Lech, Austria

The skiing and snowboarding terrain at Lech and the associated resorts consisted mainly of open mellow interlinked pistes that were mostly suited to intermediates. There was certainly some great off-piste terrain in Lech, however most of the really challenging stuff was in St.Anton. But since few advanced skiers venture over to Lech the upside for us was that the off-piste areas didn't get tracked out as quickly and we managed to score a few great powder finds.

One thing that is definitely different when it comes to skiing in Europe versus Canada is that the mountains are virtually devoid of trees! This has the advantage of being able to access more terrain, but it also comes with the disadvantage of poor visibility on bad weather days. 

Lech, Austria

It wasn't exactly a great season when we visited, and the snow conditions were far from ideal. The south-facing slopes got pretty slushy by the afternoons, but some of the north-facing slopes held their conditions well and made for some enjoyable off-piste riding.

Most of the time we would go on little ski tours and move from one drinking and dining establishment to the next. And if the weather was nice, we'd add some sunbathing to the agenda!

Lech, Austria
Lech, Austria
Lech, Austria.

 

 

Blush Flush.

Andrea Porritt

It's been feeling pleasantly milder as of late, and I've slowly started to shed my oversized knits in favour of something a little more transitional on the outerwear layering front.

Enter, the duster coat, a slouchy longer line version of its close cousin the trench. I came across the Mya coat from Aéryne and although this coat is billed as a trench, it fits quite nicely into my 'duster coat' requirements - lightweight, a relaxed fit, and hits just below the knee. This coat has tricky, trans-seasonal layering on lockdown!

The transition from winter to spring is always so refreshing, and for me, the undeniable colour trend for the season ahead is pink. But not just any pink. Blush pink! This ultra feminine shade looks great on every skin tone, and it's the easiest colour to style with pretty much anything you own.