A Few of My Favourite Things: Part One (GIVEAWAY)


There are so many different things going on here in Ottawa at any given time. Seriously. I know it doesn’t seem that way, because you have go to digging, but there are actually super cute cafes and must try cuisine, different ways to pamper yourself with amazing makeup artists and hairstylists, cheap yoga and a variety of fun ways to get that super hot bod you always wanted, the coolest You Tubers and movers and shakers around; our city is seriously abundantly awesome.

As a local writer, I’m always on the lookout for things to check out, and I’m amazed at how much content is actually out there. I’ve come up with a column about a few of my favourite things. Sometimes there will be products that aren’t necessarily local, but they’re just so uber cool that I have to include them. So, here’s my first attempt at this. Also, there will be giveaways and discounts as well….obvi. I hope you really enjoy them and want to try them out too!

Local Food – Bite This, Suzy Q, and Kochu

Bite This 181 Richmond Road

This adorable place is like a food truck shack. Or a food shack. They began their Ottawa food journey in 2010, setting up shop in a parking lot on Scott Street, across from Westboro’s Trailhead Paddle Shack. The truck quickly developed a serious following and found its new home at 181 Richmond Rd. across the street from the Superstore. It’s got a super cool vibe, with a picnic area out front, and more importantly my dear Ottawans it’s winterized, with a shelter and heaters so customers can stay warm. The endearing thing is that everything is made fresh-to-order and is totally worth that wait. I order the Pad Thai-One-On (a take on traditional pad thai) every single time and I hear good things about the “big honkin’ juicy burger”. If you’re into the foodie scene, this is the next spot that you should check out (if you haven’t beat me to the punch).


Photo by Hollie Grace James

Kochu 361 Elgin Street Unit 5, 266 Preston Street

Beginning their restaurant reign on Elgin Street in 2008, Kochu specializes in healthy Korean and Sushi dishes, prepared fresh and right before your eyes. After five years of business and venturing into online ordering and delivery service, they launched their second location at 266 Preston Street (Little Italy) in 2013. Here, it’s a “boutique-style eatery” with healthy take-home meals, a chic nocturnal sake bar (definitely have to try this out), and a funky little sit-down area. Cheers to sushi and sake!


Photo by Hollie Grace James

Suzy Q Doughnuts 969 Wellington Street West

I’ve got to add some sweetness, because who doesn’t love it? Especially doughnuts. I have to limit the amount of times that I make doughnuts runs to a few times a year because I could always eat every single one in there. Especially since Suzy Q is like pretty famous here, with their unique flavours, and although there are some staples, the rest are ever-changing, especially during the seasons. My favs: London Fog, Salted Caramel, and Blue Vanilla Fruit Loop. Plus they have the popular Maple Bacon, which is a must-try.


Photo by Hollie Grace James


They had be at the word “bag”… and after reading the story behind this company, I was even more amped to place my order. The deal is that they recycle thousands of pounds of military surplus that would otherwise be thrown away. Here’s how it works; combining these durable materials with other military grade fabrics, they incorporate them into fashionable designs. They also empower veteran employment by working with U.S. manufacturers that are owned or partially staffed by veterans, and they donate 10% of their profits to veteran initiatives, thereby amplifying a core aspect of their mission.

S&P embodies a revolution in “made in USA” sustainable and social impact fashion. Walking around with this amazing bag that makes it look like you just walked out of a Coach boutique is great, but the best part is the meaning behind it – this is not just a product. Creating positive change already, the goal is to emotionally and physically touch civilians in their everyday lives. The aim is to remind them, in a beautiful way, of the challenges countries and veterans face, and the power that every person has to help.

Nail Art at Copesthetics

Don’t we all love a little pampering once and a while? Some treatments are simply to keep ourselves keeping up, others are trendy and we want to jump right on that, and some are all about the relaxation. My thing with manicures was getting them ever once and a while from the cheapest and closest place. But I noticed this new trend in nail art and I was amazed at the intricate talented abilities. So I decided to get my nails done at Copesthetics after seeing their super cool Instagram. Jessica is the owner of this company, renting a space out in Salon Bliss. After starting hr venture outside of the city in Thunder Bay, she’s now back and building her clientele. Copesthetics has a great atmosphere, and Jessica has actual talent to add to this nail trend. My nail art was “fishnet accent for a classy punkrock kind of Saturday”, and that perfectly describes what you can see – there are the black nails with a tiny stone, and a couple “fishnet” nails. It’s perfect nail art- not too extreme, but a little something extra. My manicure lasted for two weeks because she used a gel polish, and I went back for another regular mani at $30.00 – I’m hooked! I won’t go with the crazy cool nail art trend every time, but I did want to give it a go, and I’m so glad that I did because everyone loved it. Whatever service you get (manicure, pedicure, brows), you’re going to be pampered. So sit back, relax, enjoy your “me” time, and come out looking on point. If you want trendy, unique, or just something regular, this is the place to go. Check out everything you need to know, including her “12 Days of Christmas Specials” here.

Photo by Hollie Grace James

Photo by Hollie Grace James

So, we come to the end of my very first column of a few of my fav things. I’m already working on the second, and I hope I can offer you a variety of things to explore right here in our own city. So, get out there and try some things out! They might become a favourite of yours as well.


This is your chance to win a couple of things I’ve written about. One lucky reader will win the following:


  • Follow My Instagram Page (@holliegracejames)
  • Post a comment below letting me know how you’re thankful for our veterans

Contest closes Sunday December 11, 2016 at 7 p.m.

I may have some more Suzy Q Gift Cards, and I’ll be offering up additional entries on Twitter (@holliegracej) and Instagam (@holliegracejames) so keep your eyes on your feeds!

Hollie Grace James

Hollie Grace is a freelance writer, willfull and wild, living in Wellington West with her main man and tortie kitten. She has a passion for experimental ideas, immersing herself in whatever piece she may be working on. If you're so inclined, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram (@Hollie_GraceAnne), and Twitter (@Hollie_Grace7). (#7 is lucky in both the Western and Chinese cultures. That's why she chose it. Fun fact of the day!)


21 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    Love any company that supports veterans! They do the job that most of us can’t.

  2. Sandie Tilbury says:

    When I think of Veterans, the first person who comes to mind is my Dad. He served overseas during WWII on board many Navy vessels. He wasnt on the front line, but he was my hero. He spent his final years at the Perley Rideau Veterans Home where I had the chance to meet so many Vets in person. What a great bunch of unassuming guys. Heros all. My Dad rests at the National Military Cemetery where it is easy to see the number of men and wiomen who gave their lives for our freedom. Veterans, the living and the dead, are those on whose shoulders our freedom rides.

  3. Jennifer Holmes says:

    I belong to a family of veterans-father, father-in-law, uncle, cousin, brother and husband. I am in awe everyday of their commitment to our country and the people in it 😀

  4. Rosa says:

    I don’t think enough people understand exactly what our veterans do. Obviously, Sword & Plough does understand the significance of our veterans. Forever grateful…

  5. Deborah says:

    How wonderful to read about all these terrific ventures – hats off to these entrepreurs and all our vets!

  6. Joanne says:

    I admire, respect and thank our veterans for all of the work that they do for our country. I arttended the Remembrance Day Memorial this year. It was very moving and reminded me of the sacrifices that have been made for my freedom and safety. I also feel very lucky and proud to be Canadian!

  7. Maria says:

    (comment from my 12 year old son) Because they did what most of us won’t so that we never have to.

  8. Thanks for introducing me to Sword and Plough! Love that they not only honour veterans but are actually helping them.

  9. Ronda Mcdiarmid says:

    I bought my guy a bag a few years ago that was like this concept – so I am so glad that there is a company that honours and reuses! Thankful always, for the work that Canadian veterans have given to our country!

  10. Meagan says:

    We’ve started teaching our daughter about the importance of recognizing Veterans, taking her to Beechwood Remembrance Day ceremonies since she was a baby.

  11. Lauren says:

    Veterans’ issues are close to me and my family – my grandpas, grandma and father all served their countries. Companies like S&D are doing excellent work and I applaud their business model!

  12. Janessa P says:

    My grandfather was a veteran, and I’ve slowly been collecting the stories about him even though he’s passed. I’ve always been intrigued by his story, especially since he was so young (16) when he started. It was difficult on him, but he had a lot of people around that helped him through. I’m especially thankful for different programs that help veterans, such as the legion, as they helped my grandparents for years. This seems like a wonderful initiative, and they are producing beautiful pieces with great meaning.

  13. I’m thankful for everything I have due to what veterans did in the past for their families and others. We all owe our lives and families lives to veterans. Our country would never be the same.

  14. Camila B says:

    Growing I had a friend whose dad was a war medic. I’ve never met someone who cared so much about making everyone around him laugh. He took such good care of his family and did everything to support his 3 beautiful daughters who are now studying to follow their dads footsteps. Talk about a role model.

  15. Hasna says:

    Forever grateful for our veterans. My father is a veteran and now has a TBI. Grateful the help and support for him.

  16. Melissa says:

    Very grateful for our brave veterans! They do a lot for this country and deserve respect.

  17. lynn CLAYTON says:

    very grateful for our veterans my husband is a retired solider

  18. Renee Marcil says:

    Very happy for our veterans for all they did

  19. Katherine F says:

    Our veterans have given so much for our country. I am grateful for what they have done every day. Canada is an amazing country – so proud!

  20. Hollie says:

    Thank you SO much to everyone who commented! I loved hearing all the bits of your very personal stories & experiences. It really made me happy that you all shared.:) WE HAVE A WINNER AND It’s Anastasia Turner!!! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly if you don’t see this.:) I still have to draw for the second Suzy Q gift card, so stay tuned!

  21. Hollie says:

    Congrats Karen Goetzinger. You have won the other gift card to Suzy Q. There are tons of awesome flavors there right now. Enjoy!!

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