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A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Alright, before you can say it: I know I jumped the gun a little on this outfit. It’s too early for sailor shorts and sleeveless tops.This is an outfit better suited for a July long weekend with a humidex of 41 degrees celcius (sorry American friends, I keep my temperatures Canadian). But when I saw the 26 degree forecast for Thursday, there was no stopping me. Plus, my recently thrifted blouse ($4.99) and Guess flats ($7.99) went so well with my not-so-recently thrifted shorts ($11.99) it would be a crime not put them all together ASAP.

Anyways, this is the kind of outfit that makes me want to get involved in some rollicking 1960s summer adventure. Maybe with a bike, some soda from a glass bottle, and at least three other quirky companions (and yes, I am describing Now & Then). While I’m too old for seances in the graveyard and stuffing my bra with pudding (the bras do that for you now!) that doesn’t mean I can’t get up to a few little adventures of my own.

Not long after we took these photos, I stuffed that leather backpack full of wine and tostitos, and took a walk down the street to my friend Sandra’s for an impromptu potluck. It was lovely. Spring and Summer not only bring back sailor shorts and tank tops, but patios and evening walks as well. It brings the city of Hamilton back to life. While Hamilton possesses a different sort of beauty in the winter,  the warmer months are so much more conducive to urban living. I feel as though I can finally take full advantage of this little city once again!

My friends and and family will tell you I’m quite the advocate for Steel City. Since committing to Hamilton a few years ago, it gives me new reasons to sing it’s praises every day. It’s a welcoming and inspiring community to be a part of. Since you can’t all partake in my tostito and merlot adventures, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite Hamilton-based blogs to paint a picture of why I can’t wait to get outside again. Together, they perfectly illustrate the diverse and creative people that make Hamilton a city worth exploring.

Love it a lot: If you google “Hamilton” after reading this post, you’ll undoubtedly come across articles on the transformation of James Street North. To make a long story offensively short, in the early 2000s, artists from all over the map flocked to James Street North due to an abundance of cheap studio space. That influx was the catalyst for a district renewal. James Street is now the home of Hamilton’s monthly Art Crawl, the yearly Super Crawl festival, and many unique and creative independent businesses. White Elephant, for example, is a “delicately curated handmade and vintage shop”, and the ladies behind this store are the bloggers behind  Love it a lot. This blog not only gives you a sneak peak into the store, but provides glimpses into the lives of these ladies, and the beauty they encounter in this city. Plus, they are hosting a vintage dress sale next week. Weee!

Beaux Mondes: Hamilton rarely looks more stylish than when it’s behind the lens of these two. Seriously. They paint an incredible picture of the city. They’re very selective in their focus, writing only about the things that truly inspire them. Their elegant photography and diverse mix of people, products, and places create a sophisticated magazine of Hamilton life.

Crackers: Whenever I get all high-and-mighty about giving up the mall, I head over toCrackers, and it totally cuts me back down to size. This blog tells the tale of a Hamilton-area family who broke up with the Super Market, which is way more work. It reminds me that the walk to Hamilton’s Farmers’ Market is one I need to make more often.

My Edit: I’m sure all my readers have heard of Jentine before. She’s the thrift-champion of the world! She also happens to live not ten minutes away from me. Jen not only proves that you can dress fabulously without leaving the city, but if you look past her stylish ways, you’ll noticed the diversity and beauty in her outfit photo locations. Her blog is a a portfolio of stylish looks and Hamilton locales. Plus, I’ve met her in person – and she’s all kinds of awesome. She’s also a landscaper, so she’s paid to make this city more beautiful.

Love Elycia: If people Like Elycia call Hamilton home, how can it not be amazing? Elycia is crafty and quirky, and her blog is a testament to her creative and colourful outlook on life. It’s a journal of all the little adventures she has every day. She’s artistic, industrious, and incredibly funny. And she loves cats as much as I do. Hamilton is lucky to have her.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list, I hope it’s given you a small taste of the city I love. This is a city worth exploring, with or without a bike and some soda pop. I’ve already far exceeded my self-imposed word count on this bog, so here are a few more #HamOnt blogs to check out:

Happening Hamilton: A blog about culture and community in Hamilton | Spotted Gazette: A Hamilton Photo and DIY Blog  | Needlework: The blog of a boutique fabric shop on James North | The Beehhive: An urban craft collective out of Hamilton | This Must Be the Place: A blog from a girl who fell in love with Hamilton

If you’re in Hamilton, I look forward to more adventures with you this summer. If you’re not, I hope you take the chance to look around your city or town, and learn to love your home as much as I do mine. Happy travels!


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