So Long 2015...

I am not one for spending time focused on the past but a wise person once told me 'you have to look back to know how far you have come' so I am taking that advice to heart this year and I'm looking back at the year we have had on Celebrating this Life.

Time for a little stroll down memory lane...

So many travels (*cough* humble brag)



My family and I spent the first few days of 2015 in Mexico


As always, a Disney vacation (where I got to finally meet my favourite Disney Princess, Rapunzel!)


AMH and I headed to Knoxville for the weekend to see Alabama Shakes


I was crowned Southern Belle in Kentucky (and sampled a lot of great bourbon here and here)


I did NYC in 24 hours


and I had a blast spending the day in Detroit!

So many incredible adventures



I went to Toronto Fashion Week to see the Hilary MacMillan show, while wearing a dress she loaned me from her current collection! 


I was invited to Island View Lilly Pulitzer in Oakville to try out the new spring collection!

Photo credit: Jordana of White Cabana's Instagram

I spent the day at Scandinave Spa with my friend and fellow blogger Jordana of White Cabana


The whole family walked the red carpet at the 156th Queen's Plate


and we met a real life country music star, Eric Paslay!

Oh so much baseball!



Tour of Miami Marlins


Watched a Cleveland Indians game from a suite!


Brought the whole family on field during the Buffalo Bisons Star Wars Night to watch AMH throw out the first pitch!


Was caught taking a selfie in front of the Diamond Club on a Cincinnati Reds tour


We wore our Blue Jays jerseys to Yankee Stadium


and we wore them again at the Rogers Centre during the Jays incredible race to the ALDS!


And we implemented two recurring posts on Celebrating this Life!



Crystal Reia, personal trainer and owner of Your Health-Your Choice, posts health and fitness tips every Wednesday


and I started posting fashion/outfit posts on Fridays!

So long 2015, you were a truly great year but it's time to make way for 2016! 

Dear reader, thanks for coming along this adventure with me in 2015. Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year! 

New Year's Eve Decorations

I am having a little family soiree at home on New Year's Eve. I stopped by my local Party City to pick up some decorations, I was thinking a hat or two and maybe a 'Happy New Year's' banner, but I left with a lot more! There is still time to pick up some decorations to throw your own party!

Here are a few of my favourite New Year's decorations at Party City this year:


Hanging decorations


Happy New Year banner


2016 foil balloons


Gold doorway curtain (perfect backdrop for a selfie station!)


Hats for the gentlemen...


and tiaras for the ladies


Confetti poppers


Party horns


New Year's necklaces

Check out Party City's webpage for a location near you. 

Are you planning a New Year's party? Attending one? Do you plan on sleeping through like I always do? (hoping that hosting a party will keep me awake)

*Not a sponsored post. I was just really impressed when I stopped by yesterday!

Detroit City Guide

I recently spent the day in downtown Detroit. While I have travelled through Detroit many times, this was the first time I set out on foot to see the city. For our adults-only weekend away we stayed in nearby Troy (you can read about that here, here and here) which was all about shopping. Spending time in The D was less shopping and much more site-seeing which I am detailing below...

{See}


Detroit is well known for it's architecture. The city is on the rise it's great to see so many of these historic buildings being restored to their former glory.



John K. King Books is a must see in Detroit. It is the largest bookstore in Michigan, frankly I doubt there is another book store larger in the world!


This is just one aisle we spent a fair amount of time in. There are aisles after aisles like this on four floors of this giant warehouse. When you enter, they give you a map to help you navigate to what theme you are looking for. We were on the hunt for architecture, Detroit history and Christmas themed books. I left with four old Martha Stewart Christmas volumes and literally jumped for joy when I found them. 

On my next visit, hopefully during the summer months, I would like to see

Comerica Park (because I love baseball!)
Belle Isle Park
Detroit Institute of Arts (rated as the #1 thing to do in Detroit!)
Fox Theatre (After seeing the exterior, I am dying to see the interior!)

{Eat}



Brunch was at Townhouse Detroit. Tasty and inventive menu items and delicious hot coffee. If you can, sit in the solarium. It was nice to have a full view of the city while we enjoyed our meal.

A few places I have heard good things about (and are all highly rated on TripAdvisor)

The Whisky Parlor
Wright & Company
The Hudson Cafe

{Stay}



On my next visit to Detroit I will do everything I can to stay at the The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. We stopped by to view the architecture and to see what a 200-million dollar renovation looks like (originally built in 1924, it was renovated in 2008). The common areas are beautiful, just as you would imagine with such a large scale renovation and I'm sure the rooms are just as beautiful. Westin is owned by Starwoods Resorts & Hotels which is my favourite chain to stay with when travelling as a family.  

A few more hotels I would like to stay at

Doubletree by Hilton - Fort Shelby (such a beautiful exterior and lobby)
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (attached the the GM Building)
Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney (Overlooks Comerica Park, perfect location if you're in town to see the Detroit Tigers play) 

{Photo Ops}




The Detroit Tiger outside Comerica Park


The Joe Louis arm AKA "The Fist"


Skating at Campus Martius Park (I previously blogged about it here)


The GM Building. AMH is a car guy so it was on his must see list. The have some amazing cars on display and you can sit in most of them!


The colourful wall at the Fort/Cass people mover station (photo from my Instagram)

We only had a few hours in the city but we managed to do quite a bit! I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on what to see in Detroit, leave your comments below! 

Holiday Haul

Santa was very kind to our family this year. A few items he managed to fit down the chimney...

For me


Hunter Boots in Military Red


Books, books and more books! I am an avid collector of old Martha Stewart books.


The classics


One of my goals for 2016 is to drink less, but when I do have a drink it will only be the good stuff!

For AMH


Late 1800's map of Detroit 


Lagavulin single malt scotch whiskey aged 16 years


My husband has recently taken up cooking and he received many new gadgets for the kitchen


The Oldest


His love affair with quirky socks continues (left Hudson's Bay, right American Eagle)


My advice for those with teens -- buy gift cards and wrap them in giant boxes like I did. It really throws them off when trying to guess the contents! 


The Oldest loves Japanese baseball! We ordered this online and wrapped it in the original mail packaging. The Oldest really enjoyed seeing all the Japanese postage stamps!

The Youngest


Nessie microphone for the budding YouTuber


BB-8 Tshirt and tickets to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens



 We had a wonderful Christmas filled with good food, lots of presents, and time spent with those we love. Here's hoping Santa was good to you!