Abbotsford BC Travel Guide

Abbotsford BC Travel Guide

Abbotsford BC Travel Guide

Abbotsford has been a town I have known about for ages but always treated as a pit stop on the way to Vancouver Island. Not anymore! Had I know what magic was waiting for me just off the side of the highway, I wouldn’t have waited this long to explore. For this visit, we were kindly flown out by Swoop airlines. (It was one of the easiest check-ins I’ve ever experienced to date.) For those planning a trip to the Fraser Valley region here’s my Abbotsford BC Travel Guide.


There was no shortage of amazing places to eat. In fact, there were such a plethora of choices, some of these recommendations are of places I wish we could have gone had we stayed longer. Did I know there would be such diverse food options available in Abbotsford? No, I did not. Was I pleasantly surprised there were vegetarian AND plant-based options? Yes, words cannot describe my joy when we began sussing out the area.

Cafes & Bakeries

The Polly Fox

The Polly Fox is a delightful cafe that has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly fare. Located on the main street of the historic downtown strip in a dreamy heritage building space. We had the Vegan BLT and a London Fog with soy milk – both were something to write home about!


Another delightful cafe in historic downtown Abbotsford is Oldhand. Their decor is like a breath of nostalgic air with old wooden chairs one would find themselves sitting in during a gym assembly back in the day. And I love it. Their London Fogs are also a true delight along with the vast array of delightful pastries. 

The Habit Project

There is nothing I love more than a juicery that has both amazing juice and minimal design decor. The Habit Project is a breath of fresh from their incredible in house made juices to the bright white surroundings.  We had the Jade and Ruby cold pressed juices as well as their chickpea caesar salad. SO GOOD. Just wow. 

Ivana Teahouse

Though we didn’t actually go inside to enjoy the Ivana Teahouse, it looks like a place I would love. It’s inclusion on this list is to remind me to check it out next time. And hopefully this time we’ll be there not on a holiday weekend when its closed! 

Sit Down Dining

Little Brother

Little Brother was another place that looked delightful but was closed due to the long weekend. It’s a cute brunch spot right on the corner for optimum people watching. What else can I say? The menu looks dope.

Brodeur’s Bistro

DUUUUUUUUDEEEEEE. I don’t know if this is just a phase but the call of the buffalo cauliflower has been strong. I can’t seem to get enough of it. And Brodeur’s Bistro delivered the vegetarian goods! Their mac and cheese deserves a chef’s kiss too. The menu is heavily populated with meaty dishes; there are a handful of veggie options to choose from. Did I mention they have buffalo cauliflower? 😎 


Brookside Inn Boutique Hotel

Located amidst rolling hills and few vineyards for good measure, the Brookside Inn Boutique Hotel is a relaxing getaway spot. Run by Chris & Sandi Buis, the most lovely hosts of all time, this quiet inn has everything including film themed rooms. We stayed in the Midnight in Paris suite which overlooked the Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates. While dining on a delicious breakfast made by Sandi, we spotted multiple American Goldfinches flitting from tree to tree. Their impeccably kept garden was the perfect spot to channel my inner Disney princess surrounded by cute critters. Also it’s 5 minutes from the Abbotsford airport so that’s rad too.


Historic Downtown Abbotsford

Hemingway’s Books

It was steady drizzling the day we spent in downtown Abbotsford so naturally we dipped into a used bookstore in between feeding times. Hemingway’s Books is a treasure trove of antique and contemporary books all priced reasonably. We took our sweet time wandering up and down every single aisle. A used bookstore on a rainy day is basically a scene in an indie movie I would watch. 

Montrose + George General Store // Yes Chef

Both of these shops were closed – Easter weekend is a tough one for non-essential services! But I pressed my nose up against Montrose + George General Store and Yes Chef. Can confirm they looked rad. I must stop by again and hopefully cross the threshold of each purveyor. 

Freewheelin’ Records // Confetti Floral Design 

Here are two more businesses that looked intriguing as I gazed through their inviting windows. Both Freewheelin’ Records and Confetti Floral Design were admired from the sidewalk but are two shops I would make the time to pop into. 


The Tulip Festival

Did you even go to Abbotsford if you didn’t go to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival? Well, technically, yes… but why would anyone want to miss this?! It’s like going to the Netherlands but without the hassle of expensive flights etc. Beyond being complete eye candy, the tulip festival is a great way to kickstart spring and get in the mood for more blooms to come! And if you lived in the prairies, a great way to escape the dusty aftermath of winter. The dates vary season to season but you can usually count on it happening in April. 

Maan Farms & Winery

Petting cute animals and drinking a flight of wine created from berries are two experiences I never knew I wanted to combine, until now. The Maan Farms and Winery is a must when in the Abbotsford area. They champion a completely in house production of their wines from ‘ground to glass’. Assuming that their wine must be ultra sweet because it’s made with fruit is a miscalculation. Their selection of wine is a wonderful spectrum of sweet, dry, crisp and everything in between.

Castle Fun Park

Alas I have no photo of the Castle Fun Park because I still haven’t had the pleasure of going there – but this summer!!! Mark my words I will mini golf there. It HAS to happen. I cannot drive by that castle one more time without having experienced it from only the highway!

Abbotsford BC Travel Guide

The fun doesn’t just stop in Abbotsford, I’m also putting together my Fraser Valley travel guide too! If you’re in the Abbotsford area, the drive to Harrison Hot Springs is a definite must. With that said, I’m looking forward to my annual west coast road trip this summer. This time, I can stop by again and fill up on juice from The Habit Project and enjoy a quick round of mini golf at the Castle Fun Park! As always, I will continue to update my Abbotsford BC Travel Guide post and the Google Map as I continue to discover more with every visit. I’m always open to new recommendations so please leave those in the comments below! And for more travel content check out my On The Road section.

photographs – Jesse Sand + Sandy Karpetz

Many thanks to Swoop Airlines & Abbotsford Tourism for arranging this amazing trip!

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Cocktails with Sandy – The Best Spicy Caesar

Cocktails with Sandy – The Best Spicy Caesar

Cocktails with Sandy – The Best Spicy Caesar

50th Anniversary Edition

CAN YOU BELIEVE THE CAESAR IS 50 YEARS OLD? It’s over the hill! It’s a Canadian Classic Cocktail and I want to share with you my favourite versions of it. Keep watching for some fun Caesar trivia and two delicious recipes to try out on this blessed holiday. So I present to you: Cocktails with Sandy – The Best Spicy Caesar 50th Anniversary Edition. If caesars aren’t your thing, check out some of my other cocktail recipes for a Cognac Crusta or a Reposado Margarita

Happy #NationalCaesarDay!

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My Bedroom Tour

My Bedroom Tour

My Bedroom Tour

Come one, come all for my bedroom tour! I’ve been in this space for almost 4 years and things are finally starting to take shape. And by that I mean I’m no longer living in a construction zone. Thank goodness. I’ve even made a little video to accompany this room tour. Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more content like this. 🙂 Not every video gets its own blog post! Anyway, shall we begin?


Most of the pieces in my bedroom were either thrifted (hello second hand IKEA night table) or inherited from my family. The solo chair was bought from WINNERS quite a few years ago. I loved it because it’s a reproduction of the classic mid-century modern Barcelona chair. Drool. I’m not at a point in my life where I’m comfortable dropping some mad cash on an authentic 60s chair (one day!) so this one will suffice until then. My second night table is actually a laundry hamper that belonged to my Baba. I love that it’s covered in a soft pink velvet! The mirror I bought at Goodwill years ago, it’s actually supposed to sit horizontally on top of a dresser… but when have I ever followed any “supposed to’s” when it comes to style? The lamp is an art deco antique table light. This too I took from my parents when they sold my childhood home.

The Brass Bed

The brass bed is a particularly important piece to me because it was my mother’s. When she was 12 years old, she bought it second hand from a neighbour with money she saved babysitting. I just thinks that such an adorable story but also very my mom. Trust her to make an investment purchase at the tender age of 12! So practical. She likes to tell me about a Homes & Home Decorating course she took in High School. She flunked one project because she insisted on spending all her fictitious money on an expensive couch and leaving the rest of the house empty until she could “afford” to get the exact furniture she wanted. Her teacher did not agree with this way of thinking but it makes perfect sense to me. Maybe that’s why my place is still so empty? 🤔


I will admit, I have 3 major musts when it comes to my bedroom: 100% cotton sheets, a silk sleeping mask, and comfortable pjs. These are a few mainstays I have discovered and fallen in love with:

Muji Pajamas 

Whether flannel for winter or light cotton in summer, Muji makes THE BEST pjs of all time. I usually opt for the men’s versions because I love them oversized and prefer the patterns/colours they have available. They insanely comfortable. In addition to that, they also have reinforced seams on the crotch of the pants! And as a person who spends an absurd amount of time at home working in pjs, I’ve come to really appreciate this detail especially since I love sitting cross-legged. 

Slip Silk Sleeping Mask

I cannot even travel without this, let alone live my life in general without a sleep mask. When I become so sensitive to light pollution, I do not know. But the Slip Silk sleep mask has been my saviour. Perhaps you recall me gushing about this in my post about How to Have a Restful Sleep

Casper 100% Cotton Sheets

Fabric is key when it comes to having a comfortable sleep. I have converted my entire bed (aside from the mattress) to Casper. Currently I’m enjoying:
– breathable cotton sheet set (which is 100% cotton and currently on sale too),
– the pillows that make me feel like I’m snoozing at a 4-star hotel
– a super fluffy humidity fighting duvet cover 

*All of these items have been gifted to me but I actually use and love them + would not share otherwise*


My bedroom tour couldn’t be complete without a random smattering of precious little nothings. Of course there are pussywillows from the farmer’s market and peacock feathers I found on the ground on Gabriola Island. There are wild peacocks just traipsing through yards there! There will always be a touch of bohemian flare in my spaces thanks to a healthy dose of Stevie Nicks music and writings from Pamela Des Barres. It’s just my essence, okay?

Precious Details

My Bedroom Tour

Thanks so much for stopping by to take a peek at my bedroom tour! It’s one of my favourite places to be especially since my bed is such a cloud! If you have any candle suggestions, I’m all for that! Especially if said candles are earthy and musky! 

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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Night Time Skincare Routine

Night Time Skincare Routine

Night Time Skincare Routine

Some might believe this to be a arduous task, but there is nothing I love more than a thorough skincare routine. It’s my time to relax and wash the day off both literally and figuratively. Sometimes I’ll be accompanied by a podcast, or maybe even a YouTube tutorial (how meta) but I will always complete every step like it was my religion. Keep scrolling for the full Night Time Skincare Routine video + product listings.


The first step is cleansing. If I happen to wear makeup, I’ll use Bioderma Sensibio H2O or Vichy Makeup Wipes

Biossance Antioxidant Cleansing Oil*- I love using this on a heavy makeup day – it removes everything!
IMAGE Skincare Max Cell Cleanser* – This cleanser works well with my Clarisonic
Clarisonic with the sensitive brush head*  


Even after a double cleanse, I love to do a quick sweep of my face with toner and then add a refreshing spritz just for good measure. 

Wildcraft Clarify Toner in Bergamot & Rose*
Origins A Perfect World White Tea Lotion* – also part of the Clean at Sephora list!

Night Time Skincare Routine

And that’s the ~short~ list of all the products I use on my face in the evening. If anyone has any questions regarding this thorough routine, I am happy to answer them. And thank you for coming to my TED Talk 🙂


Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Grace be unto you, Urban Decay has launched a new nude palette to replace my beloved NAKED OG. I am counting my lucky stars that it arrived at my door as a complete surprise last week. Of course I couldn’t wait to “dip into it” as the beauty guru’s so like to say. And dip I did do. My first dip I even made a YouTube video of it which you are more than welcome to watch. 🙂 Or continue scrolling for my more in depth review of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette. As well as all the other products I used to achieve this lewk. Happy Neutrals to you! 🥰


While I was rather taken aback when I found out the NAKED OG palette was discontinued, I made peace with it. Mostly because I had an unopened palette that I purchased at a Sephora VIB sale. It was a “just-in-case” purchase but clearly I am clairvoyant. I anticipated this move by Urban Decay. JK I’m just a makeup hoarder and I’m trying to justify my collection. ANYWAY. The NAKED OG was revolutionary when it was released in 2010. I discovered it thanks to Rumi Neely when her blog Fashion Toast was at its peak. It made me develop a deep love for neutrals when previously I had despised them. Love and hate is truly a fine line.


My most recent Urban Decay review was of their most recent NAKED launch, the much buzzed about Naked Cherry. For those interested, head on over to my Urban Decay Naked Cherry Easy Tutorial. Or keep scrolling for more Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette goodness.

Locked and Reloaded

During my test out/try on, I ended up using quite a few of the shades. This included: Bribe, Barely Baked, Angel Fire, Retro, Reputation, Burn, End Game, Bucked, and Blur. Basically the whole palette short three shades. That’s pretty impressive! In my experience, the ability to use so many shades in one look isn’t a regular occurance. For whatever reason, the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette has conjured up the right formula for eyeshadow alchemy. I am here for it. I am wearing it. And I cannot wait to continue to delve deep into this palette and create more looks… most likely ones that are on the lighter side.

Still drooling over this blush and highlighter combo 


Here’s a quick list on the products I used on my face:

*GLOSSIER Priming Moisturizer
*MAC COSMETICS Prep + Prime Fix+ (Did you know you can buy MAC at Sephora now?!)
*IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil Free Matte in Light Medium
*NARS Lasting Radiant Creamy Concealer in Affogato
*STILA Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten
*TARTE Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blissful

*In case you’re ever wondering, this is my unedited skin*


All of the things I used on my eyeballlzzzzzz

*KISS Looks So Natural Eyelashes in Shy
*MAC COSMETICS Paint Pot in Painterly 
*BENEFIT BADgal Lash Mascara in Rich Black
HOURGLASS Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette (I live for this eyebrow pencil and have bought it for years!)
*TARTE Lashy and Flashy Eyelash Curler
*URBAN DECAY Naked Reloaded Palette
*CHARLOTTE TILBURY Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Eye Cheat
*CHARLOTTE TILBURY The Classic Eye Powder Pencil in Audrey


Here is the extensive list of products I used on my lips 😉


*NUDE BY NATURE Moisture Shine Lipstick in Pale Coral
*TOO FACED Rich and Dazzling High-Shine Sparkling Lip Gloss in Sunset Crush (Limited Edition!)

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Thanks so much for joining me while I dipped a toe into this new palette. For more beauty and travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I would very much appreciate it as I’m s l o w l y growing my little channel. Also, I would love to know what you think about the new Naked Reloaded palette. Will you get it? Have you tried it? Do you miss the OG palette? Leave a comment below! 

Until next time….. Toodles! xo SJ

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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As always anything marked with a * indicates product I have been gifted but are under no obligation to post about. 




Canada is currently in a polar vortex. My latest fashion icon is the Michelin Man; it’s all about the layers. Since I’ve decided to avoid the reality outside my window, all I can bring myself to share on this space is memories from warmer times. Here’s my Arizona Travel Diary from my trip last winter. Hopefully this will keep us all warm until the weather passes and becomes a bit more humane. I also created a list and video about some of the weird places I love in Arizona. You can check that out here: Weird Arizona – 5 Strange Places to Visit on a Trip to the Arizona Desert.

xo Sandy Joe

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