Fall Fairs and Events

Fall Fairs and Events

What could be better? The harvest of summer goodness is over, but the splendours of the fall remain on Vancouver Island. No matter what the weather, communities up and down the island are busy preparing for Christmas and making it easier for you to enjoy the season.

Grab some coffee and head off for a day or two visiting the fairs and events found on these sites. You can choose by region or date — or you can just take off when the mood strikes you after breakfast in your gourmet kitchen.




After a full day, you’ll enjoy returning to Love This Place for a glass of wine and a quiet dinner in front of the picturesque Salish Sea (also known as the Strait of Georgia) where the only sound you’ll hear is the crashing of the waves or the cry of a gull.

Sleep comes easily after a long day searching for treasures, doesn’t it?

Fall News

Fall News
How about blowing off those rainy-day blues with a little nourishment for the soul? Live theatre offers loads of interesting choices whether it’s at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, or in the world-famous mural town of Chemainus an hour away, or in downtown Victoria at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. You can easily take in a performance and be back at Love This Place for a restful sleep and perhaps a dream or two.

You will love any number of the upcoming performances at the Port Theatre — choices that range from the Nanaimo Concert Band concert to the 3rd Annual Chicks and Chocolate event. Check out their website at www.porttheatre.com for dates and times. There are lots of offerings for a variety of tastes.

Chemainus Theatre once again offers that traditional chestnut, A Christmas Carol beginning in mid-November. This is sure to please everyone and get you in the true spirit of Christmas. They sell out every year, so check their website for bookings: www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca

The vibrant theatre scene in Victoria offers so many choices that you may want to spend a night in the capital city in order to catch more than one performance. Belfry Theatre, Langham Court Theatre and the Royal Theatre are just three venues that offer drama, comedy and song, ranging from opera to boogie-woogie. Sounds interesting! Check them out at www.belfry.bc.ca, www.langhamcourttheatre.bc.ca and www.rmts.bc.ca

10 Great Hostess & Party-Planning Tips

  1. Theme – Having a theme is very helpful. Just one word can help you get the inspiration you need. Example: Beach, Blue, White, Medieval! It does not need to be complicated. It just needs to inspire you.

  2. Invitees – Getting the right friends together to create a fun atmosphere takes extra care and planning. Example: if you know someone really does not enjoy the company of another, it is better to not to bring them together at the same event.

  3. Gift – With a theme in mind, a small, thoughtful take-home memento or arranging a fun moment is a nice way to say good night. Example: for a beach party, it could be a shell or a pebble from the beach. Have each guest hold it and focus on an intention for themselves or for someone special. After they have had a moment to set their intention, get them to toss the shell or pebble (which now has the energy of the intention) into the ocean to represent a channel opening up for the intention to manifest itself.

    You get the idea! Another example is just having beautiful value cards available and, when a guest leaves, you have them focus their thoughts on an intention or get them to ask themselves to reflect on their day and what they need more of in their life at this moment. Then pick a card!

  4. Music – Make sure you have a mix of great songs. When dinner is served, the music should be a little lower and comforting. Example: Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are always a hit and, if your mother-in-law is there, you are sure to please.

  5. Food – If possible, have as much of the food prepared as possible. Having you running around is not pleasant for anyone. My favorite trick is to cater everything other than the main dish. On the other hand, some of my best memories are from evenings when we girls (or guys!) are getting the food together and cleaning up. The laughing and conversations that take place create a very relaxed atmosphere.

  6. Host – A host should be able to spend time welcoming, talking and enjoying the evening with the guests, which allows everyone to relax and have fun. I cannot tell you how important this is for the success of your party. (See #5 above.)

  7. Drinks – Having a cocktail that is a hit adds to the theme, gets folks talking and tasting. Example: Mojitos are always a hit! Remember to offer interesting non-alcoholic drinks for those who prefer them and still want to be “part of the party.”

  8. Decorations – I believe in “less is more.” It also depends on the theme. White tablecloths are my standard with small low vases with flowers to go along with the theme — white, pink, blue! Mix and match enough chairs for everyone to sit around the table if it is a sit-down dinner.

  9. Children – If children are going to be at the party, making sure they can join in on the activity planned is fun for them. We recently had a Bocci tournament and the children could team up with their parents if they chose to. Having hot dogs before the adult meal is a really good idea! This year, I got huge, beautifully decorated cupcakes for each child to have after dinner. No messy cake to clean up!

  10. Appreciation – It is an honour to have friends and family to serve and share your time with. Open your heart and feel the love. That’s what folks take home with them and remember long after the party is over!

Top 10 Things to do in Nanaimo, BC

Centrally located on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo can lay claim to a colourful and
interesting past as a Hudson’s Bay Company fort. Valuable coal was discovered in the
mid-1800s and mined from rich seams in the area for the burgeoning colonies of
Vancouver Island, British Columbia and the rest of the British Empire.

1. Taking a walking tour of the downtown area can bring much of this history alive in a
variety of sites. A good place to start is the Nanaimo Archives which can help plan your
historic tour. If you want something less formal, just get a downtown map, a good pair
of walking shoes and stroll around the old town on Victoria Crescent, Commercial Street
and Front Street. There are dozens of old storefronts and bars, as well as the antique
Palace Hotel on Skinner Street which will take you back in time just by walking past it.

2. From the harbour, ferries can transport you across to Newcastle Island Provincial Park,
or over to Gabriola Island where residents live the “island” life, separated from Nanaimo
by a short hop. From Departure Bay a few minutes north of Nanaimo, BC Ferries go to
and from Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver if you’re planning on a vehicle day trip to

3. The Suneymuxw First Nations, members of the Coast Salish, have lived in this area for
millennia. There is plenty of evidence in the Nanaimo area to appreciate what their
culture was like pre-contact (before the arrival of the white man). Petroglyph Park, just
a 5 minute drive from downtown Nanaimo, has some startling examples which are
thousands of years old. There are also many cultural exhibits available for viewing in
the Nanaimo Museum on Cameron Road near the Vancouver Island Conference

4. Another site not to be missed is the Nanaimo Bastion, a former Hudson’s Bay Company
outpost built in 1853, which is located just 1 block from the Nanaimo Museum. Although
closed for remediation in March of 2010, its site interpreters will return to share the
fascinating stories of the early settlers’ lives in and around Nanaimo in the mid to late
19th century.

5. For some awe-inspiring beauty, Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of
Vancouver Island is not to be missed. A drive out to the west coast is about 3 ½ hours,
so you may want to spend a little R & R time at the world famous Wickaninnish Inn near

6. Other destinations within easy driving distance of Nanoose Bay include the skiing resort
of Mt. Washington
in the Comox Valley, and the seaside communities of Parksville and
Qualicum with miles and miles of flat, sandy beaches just ready for building sand

7. And don’t forget the little town of Coombs with the goats on the roof of the local country
market! You have to see it to believe it.

8. If you’re anxious to experience some salt water thrills in the Nanaimo area, there are
pleasure boat charters and kayaking companies based in the harbour marina along
Front Street. Fishing charters may also be arranged from here if you’re itching to catch
that elusive salmon.

9. For an even bigger thrill, head to city of Campbell River, about two hours north of
Nanaimo. Row out to the mouth of the Campbell River to test your luck against the
mighty Tyee salmon (over 30 pounds). No motor boats allowed — just the sound of
nature and the screaming of the fishing lines when one of the great ones snags the bait
and makes a run for it.

10. After a long day of adventure, head back to the sanctuary of Nanoose Bay with a crab
or two from the dock, a piece of freshly caught salmon or some fresh oysters for dinner.

What could be better?

Top 10 Things to do in Victoria, B.C.

1. The capital city of Victoria is a beautiful 1.5 – 2 hour drive from Nanoose Bay. You can
easily make this a day trip, returning to your oceanfront sanctuary in the evening.
Start out early in the morning on the Island Highway, pausing for a fresh pastry and
coffee at about the halfway point at Russell Farms near the world-famous mural town of
Chemainus. This is a great place to stock up on fresh produce and local fruit for the
journey as well. Notice the vineyards on either side of the highway as you travel south
through the Cowichan Valley towards Victoria.

2. Once you’ve travelled over the majestic Malahat on the Island Highway, you’ll enter the
maritime capital of western Canada, Victoria, BC. Continuing your journey all the way
to the end of Douglas Street (named for a colonial Governor of Vancouver Island) will
place you at Mile Zero of the Trans Canada Highway at the Pacific Ocean. From here,
you’re a stone’s throw away from Beacon Hill Park, a refuge of peace and tranquility
with magnificent gardens, a children’s petting zoo and miles of walking trails.

3. Feeling a bit peckish after your tour of Beacon Hill Park? Find the Beacon Hill Drive-In
across Douglas Street and fill up on the best soft ice cream cones west of Coney Island.
In the mood for a little more “upscale” nourishment? Walk a block north from the park to
the venerable Fairmont Empress Hotel for an experience you will never forget. Time
stands still in this beautifully restored 1908 hotel. Every afternoon, English “high tea” is
served on fine china and silver service with scones, berries, Chantilly cream, tea
sandwiches, crumpets, preserves, pastries, tarts and proper pots of steeped tea.

4. Now you can walk off all those calories strolling around the Inner Harbour, across the
street from the Empress. Entertainers and First Nations artists provide nourishment for
the soul, and a fleet of miniature harbour ferries can transport you from point to point for
an informative look at the city.

5. For the adventurous and hardy walkers, there are two destinations that ought not to be
missed. Of course, they’re also accessible by car, should you prefer. The first is
Victoria’s Chinatown, with its impressive Chinese buildings and interesting shops — an
easy 5 block walk from the Inner Harbour. You can stroll around by yourself, or perhaps
sign up for a Hidden Dragon Tour in the evening.

6. The second is Craigdarroch Castle, a 10 block walk up Fort Street, where the restored
home of the influential Dunsmuir Family, with its magnificent architecture and gardens,
showcases the power and wealth of this Scottish immigrant family and their influence on
the development of colonial British Columbia.

7. If you only have the day to spend in Victoria and don’t have time to see the world famous
Butchart Gardens
(a half hour drive from downtown), head north on Rockland
Avenue to Government House, the residence of the representative of the Queen, the
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The thirty-six acres of gardens feature native
plants to BC, as well as imported flowering shrubs and trees, and are all maintained by
a volunteer army of gardeners. Guided tours may be arranged for a nominal fee, or you
may wander around the public garden areas on your own at no cost.

8. Another Victoria highlight is a visit to the Parliament Buildings, adjacent to the Fairmont
Empress Hotel. While free guided tours showcase the history of the province and the
beautiful interiors, you may also wander around the gardens in front of and behind the
Buildings on your own.

9. On the opposite side of the street to the Parliament Buildings stands the Royal British
Columbia Museum
, showcasing the width and breadth of BC’s economic and cultural
history. After you’re finished viewing these interesting displays, purchase a ticket to the
IMAX theatre and enjoy the impressive show of the day, while giving your feet a break!

10. During your stay at Nanoose Bay, you may have an opportunity to witness bald eagles,
seals, deer and even the occasional whale
. If you want to pursue a dedicated tour of
whale watching while in Victoria, there are tours departing from the inner harbour on
days when the weather is suitable and there have been sightings in the Gulf of Georgia,
or Salish Sea as it is now known.

Without counting, we may have gone over the “Top 10” list here. You may choose any
or all of these suggestions for a full day in the capital city, before returning to the peace
and quiet of your sanctuary at Nanoose Bay.

Should you wish to investigate any of the suggestions above, just Google the name and
you will find direct websites for more information and hours of operation.


The only business plan for my right brain

I love recommending things that have helped me along the way. And for The Right Brain Business Plan, what better way than to tell you all what I told Jenn Lee, the course creator:

I thought the whole course was terrific, I loved doing the vision board work and felt it helped me create the business I wanted. I love the feel and creativity you created for the course. The course material was inspiring and so enjoyable to work with. I felt motivated every week. You rock Jenn! I have recommended this course to many. It has helped me focus and enjoy the process of putting a business plan together.

I loved it so much I became a program affiliate. I hope The Right Brain Business Plan inspires you to create the business you’re dreaming of!

Fun at the beach!

Family fun at the house, to walk out the door and go beach combing, swim, and then eat smores at the camp fire. What more could you wish for as a kid!

Another thank you!

Seth Godin- his books guided me, and helped me, become a better business women! Seth’s books are a must read, if you want to be a leader in the world of marketing today.

The food

Seven great places to eat in the area:

1) I love the Urban Beet Food Co – yummy, tasty and fresh. They offer a special menu of fantastic meals that have only 450 calories. The fresh turkey burger and quinoa beet salad is my favourite! The incredible desserts are made in-house by their own pastry chef. They make a great Americana misto as well!

2) The Blue Ginger – best sushi in town.

3) The famous Cactus Club  You always know what to expect – great service, yummy food and a fun, upbeat atmosphere.

4) Kasira, the best Thai food in Nanaimo.

5) Giovanni’s Ristorante – an Italian experience. This restaurant has the best homemade Italian cuisine, and is located in beautiful Qualicum Beach.

6) The Crow & Gate Pub replicates an authentic English Pub, exactly like what you would find if you were visiting the English countryside. It is a little bit of a drive to get to, but it is outstanding. www.crowandgate.com

7) Love This Place! Go grab fresh crab from the dock of Schooner Cove, nutritional greens from Nanoose Edibles and have a feast at the house! Or call Ann from Occasional Occasions (250-390-2588) for the freshest, most delicious meal. She will bring it to you to enjoy, while you relax in your own space.

Thank you!

A huge thank you to those who have inspired me to push myself outside my comfort zone. I am a happier, more satisfied human being than I ever thought possible. For me, this business venture was not the beginning of my heart transformation, but it was the beginning of me finding and understanding my passion and finding my business instincts again. When that happens, “Wow – look out!” The law of attraction opened up and everyone I needed showed up. The beginning of my transformation began at a fantastic women’s event in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I have been fortunate in my life to be touched and loved by so many people, but there are some folks that I call “Inspirational Leaders” who have the power to help change others through their own self-knowledge and inner peace, a peace that only comes from taking the time and doing the tough work to find your authentic self. Only then can you truly inspire others.

Danielle Laport is one of those gems. She has inspired me in many ways. I remember hearing her speak at the women’s event I attended. My body began to tremble and I realized I had a lot of stuff I needed to get unstuck to become the person I so wanted to be. Danielle has been my loving, caring and sharp-as-a-tack business adviser, and I love the fire-starter sessions we have had. I trust her wholeheartedly, her intuition is uncanny and I thank her for all the amazing resources she has given me. I will forever be her biggest fan.

Todd, my mentor and best friend, with whom I get to live the rest of my life, guides my innovative mind and gives me the freedom to do what I need to do. I am truly blessed to have someone love me that much. We are a great team! I love you and I am truly blessed to have the life I have.

My mother, who said regularly to me and my siblings, “Do not waste your time with those who do not make you feel good about yourself.” I did not understand how important those words were until about 2 years ago. How we allow people to affect our lives is our choice. That is power. Her loving and supportive nature, her way of always seeing life through rose coloured glasses — I could never have accomplished this project without her, as she spent her precious time looking after my three awesome children as I journeyed back and forth to Vancouver Island from Kelowna to get Love This Place ready. She is truly one of a kind.

My amazingly creative design team:

Sarah Bray. I have such a beautiful site, as you can see, because of her.

Kelly Parkinson, who made this site so authentically me.

Jennifer Lee of Right Brain Business Plan who offered a fantastic course which opened me up to so many possibilities.

Pamela Wise of Premiere Talent Management - the best girlfriend, mentor and life teacher I ever had. She is my biggest fan. Thank you for your help and input whenever I needed it.

Judy McCallum, my editor, friend and mother-in-law, who should quit her job and follow her passion to write! Never too late to start! “Grandma Moses began painting when she was 80, completed 1,500 paintings after that, and 25 percent were completed after she was 100 years old! It’s never too late to rediscover your true calling.” I read about Grandma Moses,in one of Lance Secretan’s books. Her support has been motivating.

Alec Watson for his amazing photography of the house.

Suzanne Teresa for my great head shot.

Tony Puerzer for the fantastic Virtual Tour of the house.

Kelvie Barker of West Bay Design for helping me with my design vision for the house.

I must thank God, Bhudda, the Universe, and all things loving and beautiful, as well as all my friends and family who have taught me so much about myself, good and bad, through this process. I am ready to fly!