A Love Letter to Vitae Spirits

Dear Vitae Spirits,

I’m a fan of a nice cocktail. And I’m a fan of a craft brewery, especially the ones with a taproom. But,Β prior to my visit to your charming establishment on a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia,Β a craft distillery that served the public was a nearly foreign concept to me.

One of my favourite aspects to travelling is getting to taste all the local flavours — including, of course, local beverages. As my awesome group of travel companions and I traipsed around town in the hot sun, we looked forward to finding Vitae Spirits, which was tucked into an otherwise unassuming neighbourhood.


I generally associate spirits (even the really classic ones) with getting a little fancy. Usually, they’re something I enjoy with friends on special occasions or night’s on the town. I think: cocktail lounge. So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the vibe of Vitae Spirits was totally chill. The other group enjoying their beverages during our visit were playing a boardgame (and I feel that really tells you all you need to know).


While your bartender-mixologist (?) walked us through the small but fun menu for sampling, I took in the simple, modern cool aesthetic of the space. Having the distillery equipment, with all its gears and gadgets felt kind of steampunk, in the most fun way.



I’ve been a gin and tonic girl for a long time now (extra limes, or a gimlet if the mood dictates) so I was delighted to taste your modern flavours, as well as the Paw Paw Liqueur, which was a total first! I had only ever read about paw paw until then.


Cheers to you, Vitae Spirits. Thanks for providing a unique and refreshing experience on our tour of Charlottesville.

xoxo Krista


A Love Letter to the Farm Women’s Market

Dear Montgomery Farm Women’s Market,

It was, without question, a standalone highlight of visiting Bethesda, to step inside your beautiful doorway and peruse the wares of the many women vendors of your market.

During an era where the rights of women feel as though they’re being slowly stripped away, it is a wonder to experience the comfort of knowing that women such as those of your co-operative market have long been the workers, the providers, and the community builders.


Established in 1932, by farmers’ wives, your market has been the destination for preserves, baked goods, produce and more for many generations now. While the offices rise from the pavement that surrounds you, I feel relieved to know that so many patrons value the home-grown goods over the shiny corporate alternatives, that are much easier to come across, albeit far less soul-satisfying.


In a fun moment of serendipity, it was during my first visit to the market that I was also able to taste my first Girl Scout cookie. As a Canadian and former Girl Guide myself, of course I had to support the young female entrepreneurs in their cookie-selling! Plus, I was anxious to try a few of the new-to-me flavours offered by the American contingent. (I went with the Caramel deLites and I was NOT disappointed.) Plus, it just felt appropriate to make a purchase from the next generation of women-in-business (cookies or otherwise).

IMG_7141I have learned recently that the ongoing development of downtown Bethesda has driven up the rent of the market space significantly. It breaks my heart to think of another faceless corporation bulldozing in to sell discounted fast fashion or some other single-use plastic-esque business.


While I may have a new, much closer, farmer’s market to visit, I will cross my fingers and toes that the community will continue to support the Montgomery Farm Women’s Market. Bethesda and all of Maryland will be better with this ongoing piece of history that supports women and the wonderful ways they have always contributed to the local economy.

xoxo Krista


A Love Letter to Snow Days

Dear Snow Days,

I’ll admit it, I once took you for granted.

When you grow up with at least a couple of the magical, unexpected days off, it’s easy to assume that the trend will continue. I remember, when I moved to Thunder Bay in high school, that we were sent home less often because it was too snowy than because it was just too cold. (Yes, that’s correct. When it’s so cold even the school board deems it better to stay warm and indoors.)

Snow day in Halifax
The eve of a snow day in Halifax.

As a professional (and adult) there was no decline in the pure delight of receiving the notification that business days were cancelled. Instead of mornings with my ear glued to the radio, I would make sure my phone was next to the bed with the alerts system activated so that I would know right away if I could count on a few extra minutes beneath the covers the next morning.

Snow day in Baltimore
A snowy day in Baltimore. 

Even living in Baltimore afforded more snow days than we had expected — although, yes, the criteria for a cancellation was significantly lower. If there was enough snow that required sweeping (yes, sweeping, not shovelling) from our front stoop, then a snow day was imminent.

Being both self-employed and working remotely with clients (possibly in much warmer regions), brings with it a loss of that hopeful, enchanted announcement. I miss the relief of the broadcast that declared, “Go ahead and cozy up for some pancakes folks. All that’s expected of you today is to stay warm and *maybe* shovel the driveway.”

Blowing snow in Cape Breton.

Perhaps one day I’ll find something that bears an equivalent source of joy but, until then, don’t go changing. While some people spend their winters wishing away the snow, I only wish for more.