Adventures in Prince Edward County as a Resident

Friday, July 17, 2015

This summer has been fabulous. With Rockstar no longer working every weekend, we've been able to get out and get our county on. Following are some of the highlights of our summer this far, with local favourites (and new discoveries) interspersed throughout.

Wellington is the place to be for Canada Day, and even more so when there are bouncy castles, and music by Rockstar and his father.


The Grange Winery has a Friday Night Market, and when you throw in a picnic basket dinner, you have yourself the perfect start to the weekend.


While Rockstar was getting set up for a week helping out at the inaugural Old School Bluegrass Camp, the kids and I took off to explore the yearly Lavender Festival


The local child care centre, The Hub Centre, hosts free events throughout the year. Last weekend the kids and I joined in on their water day, complete with lots of sun and tasty treats.


Every once in a while we need our "kids free" time, and last week we ended up at the annual Jamie Kennedy Fish Fry. Rockstar was trying to fit in as an adult. 


You know who is a fabulous entertainer? Fred Penner. And watching Fred Penner do this thing at The Hayloft Dancehall was a magical treat for the entire family. Although pretty sure Eggs would tell you the bouncy castle and slide was the real headliner.


Apparently this spring and summer's rain put a significant dent in the strawberry population. So when Eggs and I heard there were some "pick your own" strawberry patches open for business, we did not wait to get there.


Since The Surf Burger House opened up 5 minutes down the road, we've been there, ummm, a lot. Best.friggin.burgers. 


A friend of Rockstar's opened up Go Fish Vintage, a tasteful, addictive, barn-shop in Hillier. We went, I drooled, I came home with some fabulous housewares. I need to go back.


So there you go, since I can't tap my own maple trees, house chickens, or raise alpacas, I might as well explore the festivals and businesses of those who can. Go county or go home!

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Mr Eggs Graduates Pre-Pre-School

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This morning the fam jam attended Eggster's pre-pre-school graduation.


Back in September, we made the decision to enrol him into a program through the Hub Centre, which runs a pre-school program two mornings a week. My original thought behind enrolling him was to get him out of the house a couple of days a week for socializing, and allow us parents time to bond with Miss A.


Since starting school, in collaboration with what we do at home and natural development, Eggs can now:

1. Count from 1 - 100, count by 10's to 100, and can recognize numbers from 1 - 100. We've been working on super simple math and counting by 5's at home.
2. Recite the alphabet and recognize both upper and lower case letters. In talking to one of his teachers, she tells me that if one of his peers are stuck on the alphabet, when asked, Eggs will help his buddy figure out the next letter.
3. Read and write his first name clearly, and can spell his full name (most of the time)
4. He's potty trained!!
5. His love of building and creating structures has exploded and is getting quite complex
6. He's now working on puzzles as large as 48 pieces


Obviously I love the idea of my son enriching his vocabulary and filling his brain, but witnessing his sense of independence continue to strengthen, and watching his desire to embrace new challenges is just as impressive.


We have already decided Eggs will return to his final year of pre-school come the fall, and Miss A will follow in her brother's foot steps the following fall. I'm incredibly grateful for this local program. Pin It

Food, Wine, and Alpacas

Monday, June 8, 2015

Yesterday was a fabulous day to explore the Hillier gems in Prince Edward County. Being my birthday today, I'm 25,  I wanted to hang out with my peeps and check out some old and new favourites.


We started the day enjoying a tasty brunch menu at Agrarian, made by another Gemini, Chef Neil. Nothing kicks off a fun day with a belly full of drool-worthy eats. From there we ventured over to family-run Broken Stone Winery, who welcomed us with a bubble wand, hammock, and wine for me. The hammock ... le sigh ... I could have stayed in that puppy all day long. And I would have, if were weren't heading to the main event .....


AN ALPACA FARM!!!! Do yourself a favour and head over to SHED Chetwyn Farms. Not only do they raise alpacas that you can admire and talk to, but they converted a chicken coop into a pop up shop, selling the most beautiful knits I have ever seen.


I want a pack of alpacas. Rockstar says no. However, when he heard that llamas, the cousin of the alpaca, scare off coyotes, his "no" had some wiggle room around it. No, I did not come home with a pack of alpacas and llamas, but it will be something we explore. And no, explore does not mean execute the addition of llamas into our family next week. For a couple of years now, we talked about possibly adding Irish Wolfhounds into our clan 10 years from now. In reality, llamas would be much cheaper, and the names I picked out for the Wolfhounds, Wallace and Dougall, will transfer well.



Decision made. For my 29th birthday (AKA 4 years from now), I will be getting more land, and 2 llamas. Or 1 llama and 1 alpaca.

Be jealous, it's ok.


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5 Things My Almost 3 Year Old Taught Me As a Triathlete

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today was an incredible day. Eggs, who will turn 3 in 3 weeks, participated in his first triathlon, County Kids of Steel. When I decided to sign him up, I didn't know what to expect. Ok, I expected it to be an exercise in watching people heard cats, and for me to get a good laugh. I was dead wrong, and during those 10 minutes of his racing, my heart exploded at least 20 times.

{Eggs trying to intimidate one of the other 3 year old. There were 3 in total}

5 things my almost three year old taught me today.

1. Always warm up before a big race. If that means joining in on a game of tag, practicing your cat walk in front of the mirror, or pretending you're Darth Vader into a fan, just get yourself moving!

2. Don't be afraid of the unknown. Just do it! Throw on a fancy hat, jump in the pool with a bunch of strangers, and kick them legs!

{Eggs still has not mastered the tricycle and needed a little help to get moving}

3. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's okay to struggle, and asking a stranger for a little push to help you accomplish something is not a failure.

4. When you fall, get up and keep going. Sure it may be scary, and you may need a hug from someone you love, but once you get up and keep going, that hug is only moments away.

{Crossing the finish line!}

5. It's not always about being the best. Sure winning is awesome, but sometimes just doing something new, and successfully completing that new thing is fulfilling enough.

My little dude makes me proud every single day. But today, was beyond anything I was prepared for. My little guy walked away with people he didn't know, jumped into a pool, trusted volunteers to help him swim and ride his bike, and ran all by himself to cross the finish line.

The last words my little big boy told me tonight, was how much fun he had at his race today. So, so, so, proud of my little mister.

You can watch a little snippet of his race here. Pin It

Little Free Library Prince Edward County

Friday, May 29, 2015

On Wednesday night, I was invited by the Awesome Foundation PEC to pitch my AWESOME idea. Bringing the world phenomenon, Little Free Library, to Prince Edward County. I wish I had my pitch on video so you can see the power of sticky notes to convey a message.


While I did not receive the grant, what's happened since is quite exciting. After the meeting, I was approached by one of the Awesome committee members, and was asked what we can do to install a Little Free Library outside of his business. The next day, someone who was in attendance at the meeting, emailed me telling me he's been wanting to roll this into the county for years, and was exciting someone else was interested as well. He offered up his help, and his house as a future location

There is a local community facebook page where yesterday I posted the following call for action:



Do you know what happened?

  • 2 other businesses reached out to tell me they'd love to have a library on their property
  • 2 residents in rural Prince Edward County also reached out telling me that they would also install a Little Free Library on their properties
  • A local illustrator of children's books has volunteered to donate some of their books
  • A city Councillor has offered to help in any capacity he can to help us get this movement moving 
  • A local artist offered her painting skills to help decorate libraries
  • Numerous offers of book donations
  • Creator of the PEC App reached out to tell me he will get our future mailboxes on their app
How excellent is that?


So next steps? I reached out to a few local businesses about sponsoring a mailbox. I've also reached out to the local high school about having their construction students help create some mailboxes. 

I'm toying with the idea of hosting a building workshop, where anyone and everyone can bring materials and as a team, help one another create some memorable libraries. 

Ideally we (OK, I) would love to have them custom built, although in reality, anything can become a little free library. Heck, I'm looking at our vintage gramophone, wondering how we can turn that into our own library.



I know some people who hear I am doing this will roll their eyes and say "OK, sure, another thing you're going to do" and have it end up going no where. This is different, very different. This is for my kids. This is my way of giving back to a community in a way that will cost be very little but my time. So roll your eyes all the way to my Little Free Library, and pick up some gems.

If you are interested in being part of the Little Free Library PEC Community, email me at littlefreelibrary (at) gmail (dot) com and lets get this literacy training moving!




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The Hayloft Dancehall and Joel Plaskett

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Last weekend, The Hayloft Dancehall re-opened its door under new management, and both Rockstar and I are thrilled a place this excellent is our local hangout. It's like the owners choose to live close to us, knowing how awesome we are and how we are advocates of good, live, music.

(The Hayloft Dancehall, Prince Edward County)

The owners of the Hayloft are smart business folks and have a no bs approach, and zero interest in stupidity that results with an over abundance of alcohol consumption. They have a shuttle bus that does 2 round trips from the large villages in the county, resulting in less drinking and driving, and less loitering into the twilight.

(The Mercenaries)

Did I mention they are a live music venue? No DJs kids, meaning during set breaks, the house music is turned down, allowing one to engage in a conversation with others, and highlighting the band is the main attraction. They have already announced a number of great acts (we've already seen the The Mercenaries, a great dance band, and Juno winners, The Strumbellas) and Rockstar and I are anxiously hoping they book Joel Plaskett. Wouldn't that be awesome? Joel Plaskett in a barn? And when they do book Joel, Rockstar will execute the plea of his life to get an opening slot.

(The Strumbellas)

What's also resulted from the opening of the Hayloft, is the number of bands/musicians being booked into our B&B. Our vision when opening the B&B was to not only caterer to families and dog owners, but to target musicians traveling through. And here we are, in the start of our second year, and that's what's happening, thanks to the Hayloft. Musicians = late breakfast. Woot!

(The Hayloft Dancehall Banner in our B&B)

When you come visit the county, be sure to check out the upcoming schedule at The Hayloft. And when they book Joel Plaskett, I will let you all know, so we can plan the ultimate sleep over at Casa Kelly.

(PS, there has been zero news about Joel Plaskett coming to Prince Edward County, but when he does, the only place he should play is The Hayloft). Pin It

Drama Llama Comes to the County, and the Kelly Kids Take on the Chickens

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There's been a lot of drama going on in the county these days. This latest article posted in the Star caused quite the political sh*t storm in the community (I have an inside source), and really takes away from the awesome addition of the Creamer Family to the county and their story: A great family, who already run two successful businesses in Toronto, who was looking to move to the county and stumbled across a county landmark that was up for sale, and took it as a sign and decided to re-launch the legendary hot spot. The End.

{Miss A and me at the Waupoos Winery Petting Zoo}

Instead, you have a debate of an "us vs them" perception of a fabulous community. The county folk vs the transplants. To be honest, while I hear about this community division, from everyone I talk to, I haven't been exposed to it yet. I've read about it, and hear comments on social media about "Toronto trying to show us how to party in a barn!" but I have never been treated like someone who doesn't belong.

{Miss A and Eggs at the Waupoos Winery Petting Zoo}

There are perceived "cliques" of transplants who gather together regularly, support one another's business by leveraging eachother, but what's wrong with that? I too surround myself with people I like, who encourage me to be a better person, who through their own success encourage me to put myself out there. I'm pretty sure these "cliques" don't hand out membership cards, with strict rules that you must originate from Roncesvalles to hang with the cool kids.


When we decided to move to the county, it was 100% based on an mls listing. Yep. We were not regular visitors, we're not entrepreneurs, we're not rabid wine enthusiasts, it was this house, that turned out to be located in an up and coming hot-spot. So friends, don't fall for the "Bringing Toronto to the County" hype. It's  people like you and me, relocating to a enriching community, looking to live their life away from the big smoke. Pin It