Pure Lovin’ Chocolate

“I have a very big sweet tooth and I love treating myself to something that I wouldn’t necessarily eat during the tournament such as a nice-sized cake.”
— Maria Sharapova
But what could the tennis star possibly have if she wanted

chocolates and vegan and soy-free treats and was gluten intolerant?

Faster than your favourite search engine, here’s the answer:

Chocolates from Pure Lovin’ Chocolates!

The owners of Pure Lovin’ Chocolates are a mother/daughter team, Cyndy and Leah Blackburn.

Started through digestive necessity and desiring fine chocolates,

the Red Seal certified daughter, Leah, and her mother

developed these fine morsels of wholesome delicacies

based on Fair Trade and organic ingredients, such as chocolate and coconut cream.


Check out the various confections, such as (clockwise from the top) Hazelnut Hearts, Hot Chili Truffles, and Lemon Ginger Truffles………………… clockwise-from-top-hazelnut-hearts-hot-chili-truffles-lemon-ginger-truffles


……………………Pecan Caramel Cups  (top),   Coconut Almond Cups  (front)……..pecan-caramel-cup-rear-coconut-almond-cup-front

…………..Raspberry Truffles  (L),  Peppermint Cremes  (R),…………………….


…………..and my personal faves:  Maple Cremes and Peanut Butter Cups.
As the notice on the door under “Owner Operated”  proudly advises, “The person who built this business works here.”           That says a lot!sign-on-door

Pure Lovin’ Chocolates also offers packaged delicacies:


and also on offer is their organic Chocolate Caramel Sauce.

Check it out, either in Fan Tan Alley south of Fisgard or off Pandora Avenue entering Fan Tan Alley.

Pure Lovin’ Chocolate
#102, 3 Fan Tan Alley 

Open 11 – 6 Mon- Sat,  11 – 5 Sun.

A Stable Way of Life

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’Marilyn Monroe
Located at Mattick’s Farm, this store is the United Nations of Shoes. Canada, Great Britian, France, Israel, Portugal and Japan are some of the countries represented in the comfortable but fashionable footwear that is sold at A Stable Way of Life.
                                                                        Moccasins made in Canada
A Stable Way of Life 18
                                                                               Josef Seibel- Europe
 un Tour en Ville-France
Strive Sandals- British Designed                                                                             
                                                                          Yuko imanishi-Japan
A Stable Way of Life 14
 Traveling abroad or cruising above the 49th parallel?? Check out the following bags. A Stable Way of Life has an extensive collection of the Travelon Anti theft bags. These bags could protect Fort Knox! There is  “flexible high-tech chainlink stainless steel mesh” in the strap so it can’t be cut. There is a locking compartment so the zippers can not be opened easily. The bags are lined with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) material so that your credit card cannot be “read”, the bag can be hand washed and there is a clasp on the strap so that it can be attached to the chair when you take a break from shopping or sightseeing. Whew!!
IMG_5779The store also carries a large selection of scarves, colorful and fanciful socks and carry all pouches.

A Stable Way of Life
5325 Cordova Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC



M-Sat: 10:00-5:30pm


Impressa Home-Antique Store

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Impressa Home is a building of love and beauty; lovingly decorated on the outside….. and full to the brim with beautiful antiques and vintage wares on the inside. Come and take a peek.

 The combination of vibrant colours, patterns of stripes and checks and the vividness of floral scenes delighted our senses.
This was a store to explore; it spoke to our imagination. What would it be like inside??
 Antique chandeliers hung from the rafters, bureaus, dressers, mirrors, tables, and chairs were parked around the perimeter, fur coats, hats, and stuffed animals were placed on mannequins, tea cups and delicate crystals perched on counters and there was still more….
 It was a room of delight and wonder with a mixture of antique and vintage. Venture into Impressa Home!
Impressa Home
530 Craigflower Rd.
Victoria, BC
M-Tues. 11:30-5:30
Th-Sun. 11:30-5:30

LaLoca, Sidney

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”  —  Jane Goodall

Outside LaLoca

Walking into LaLoca in Sidney is like entering the market-of-the-world!

Tapestry, cards @ LaLoca

Christine, the owner, has travelled extensively throughout South America and sources her own products.
All items offered for sale at LaLoca are purchased as part of a fair trade partnership with individual women and artisans around the world.  Christine is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which signifies that producers are treated with respect and paid fair wages, development is fostered and environmental standards are adhered to.

Handmade sweater, LaLocaThese darling handknitted sweaters are made by women in Peru, using their own harvested alpaca wool.

Metal wall art, LaLocaSubstantial pieces of metal wall art are made in Haiti.

Handmade baskets, LaLoca These handmade baskets are from Guana.

       Felted wool animals, LaLocaHand-felted wool birds are made in Peru.

            More recently Christine also began sourcing items from India and Africa.

Handmade bags, LaLocaThese totes are made of hand-felted wool with embellishments in Nepal.

Neckpiece, LaLoca
Edgy jewellery like this neckpice is crafted by Zambian artisans in the South Luangwa using organic materials originating from the African bush.

Frog guitarists, LaLoca
Colourful frog guitarists are made from recycled tin cans in South Africa.

Clothing, LaLoca
here’s men’s, women’s and unisex clothing from Nepal as well as from Thailand.

Wall hooks, LaLoca
n assortment of colorful wall hooks comes from India.

Kisii stone
The K
isii stone carvings from Kenya are ultra-smooth and beg to be touched.

Mouse slippers, LaLocaThese adorable mouse slippers come in all sizes and various colours.  This pair was my specific choice as a gift for a family member.  The hand felted alpaca wool slippers are made in Nepal.

Banners, LaLoca               Handmade wall tapestry, LaLoca

Banners with quotable messages are from Indonesia.
Of all the striking, colourful items on display everywhere, my personal favourites were the stunning wall tapestries are handmade in Bolivia.

What a  treasure trove from all over the globe!  A true gem.
2367 Beacon Ave, Sidney

Tue – Sat 10:30 am – 5 pm


Butter Baked Goods Gourmet Marshmallows

“Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which are kinda the same thing.” Marthastewart.com

On the urgent suggestion of a friend, (What!!! you have never had Butter Marshmallows… Oh…I couldn’t stop eating them…good to the last one!) Lil and I hurried over to Dig This on 3rd Street, Sidney, BC to purchase a package of Butter Baked Goods Gourmet Marshmallows.

IMG_5664As you can see they would make wonderful hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or ‘I was thinking of you’ gifts.

Dig This carries 3 flavours (there are currently 18 flavours) and I chose the Toasted Coconut. It was delicious! Good bye store bought marshmallows, hello Butter Marshmallows!



Butter Baked Goods Cafe is a neighbourhood bakery in Vancouver, BC. Rosie Daykin’s (owner and baker) vision is to bake and sell “…yummy baked goods you remember from your childhood, made from scratch every day using only the best ingredients in everything produced.” The gourmet marshmallows put her bakery ‘on the map’.


found at
Dig This
9813 3rd Street
Sidney, BC
M-Sat 10-5:30
Sun 12-4

Lilaberry Home Decor

That we got elegance
We got built in elegance
And with elegance…elegance…
We’ll carry it off.

(from Hello Dolly)

A shop that is elegantly decorated with chandeliers, and ornate furniture made out of reclaimed pine, Lilaberry is the place to shop for items that will freshen up one’s home. Discover tablecloths and glassware from France,

IMG_5653La Rochere glassware,


dripless and odorless candles from Germany ,


and an assortment of linens (including tablecloths, aprons, runners and placemats) from April Cornell.


It is a delight to peruse the nooks, crannies and shelves of this shop. Chris (the owner) has an exquisite eye for buying quality wares that are not only useful, but beautiful to behold.



Plus she has invaluable tips on how to decorate with one item in more than one way. The following pictures are of Lili’s tablecloth that she bought at Lilaberry……

Calla lily organza tablecloth 7

Calla lily organza tablecloth 6
2474 Beacon Avenue
Sidney BC


Pages Used Books

“A Room without books is like a body without a soul”


Pages- Used Books Mar 24

Located in Trafalgar Square which is on the corner of W. Saanich Road and Wallace Drive, Pages Used Books is an impressive bookstore. Though the square footage is small the bookcases are tidy, clean, well ordered and labelled. It is a pleasure (as it always should be in a store devoted to books) to browse amongst the many titles that are on the shelves.

Pages- Used Books Mar 24

There are occasional chairs placed throughout the store, inviting one to sit, open the book and read.

Book lovers never go to bed alone. (Amen)


Pages Used Books
7103 W. Saanich Rd
Brentwood Bay, BC



La Rochere Glassware

“Elegance is timeless”Habeeb Akande

La Rochere Glass Collection


La Rochere glassware


Founded in 1475 (a few years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue) La Rochere is the oldest glass factory in France. The clear glass and sturdy construction is a mixture of sand, soda and lime. The glass is dishwasher safe and lead free. The collections include the Dragonfly, the Napoleon Bee, and the Fleur de Lys emblems.

La Rochere glassware
La Rochere glassware

I own the Napoleon Bee glassware and I love the elegant but sturdy stem and base. The glasses are casual enough for breakfast and lunch but will also look delightful on the dinner table.


I have discovered three stores that carry this delightful collection.

French Vanilla Home & Garden
1848 Oak Bay Avenue,
Victoria, BC

Bungalow Gift Shop
2525 Estevan Avenue,
Victoria, BC

Lilaberry Home Décor
2474 Beacon Avenue,
Sidney, BC

House of Savoy

“If you wear things you adore, you just look better.”  — Margherita Missoni

Walking into the House of Savoy consignment boutique, immediately our eyes were drawn upwards and all around, as there are eye-catching gowns presented everywhere, even high up on the walls.
House of Savoy5 (Medium)
The boutique is well organized and offers good quality and name brand clothing, shoes & boots, jewellery, accessories and even vintage pieces.

Lili had to try these “sensible boots”, nearly brand-new.
House of Savoy9 (Medium)
Linda found the perfect fit in a blue coat – and it’s reversible!  Completely unique and gorgeous!

House of Savoy8 (Medium)
Great finds at amazing prices!  A definite gem!

House of Savoy
1869 Oak Bay Avenue

Mon – Sat 10 am – 5 pm.

French Vanilla Home & Garden

LA VIE EST BELLE – Life is Beautiful


What Do I Love About French Vanilla Home & Garden:

  • A small store with a heart for the rustic French look.
  • Beautiful soaps, candles, glassware……
  • Owner Sheila is friendly and gracious
  • The store is the supplier for Jeanne d’Arc Living magazine and books from Denmark.
  • Jeanne d’Arc magazines are STUNNING! This is French-Nordic country style of decorating at its best.
  • Yes the magazine is pricey…just over $18.00 but the content is substantial and the advertisements are at the back.

Jeanne d'Arc Magazine Jeanne d'Arc magazine

French Vanilla Home & Garden
1848 Oak Bay Ave.
Victoria, BC



T-Sat: 11:00-5:00