#iheartscout; 405 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto

Guys, I’m going to get a little sentimental here and go off on a little tangent, but believe me, this all winds back around to Scout (which happens to be my absolute favourite little boutique in Toronto).

So, if you’ve visited my little “About” page, you’ve seen about a quarter of what is the main street (literally, it’s called Main Street) of my little hometown of Warkworth, Ontario. I heart Warkworth. I was born and raised there, and I still return at least once a month to visit my family. On almost every occasion home, I end up on Main Street, which is one of the three streets that make up the heart of Warkworth (Church Street and East Street are the remaining two).

The village has changed a lot since I was young. Present-day Warkworth is a tiny little village full of surprises and shops that celebrate the arts, good food, and at times, the whimsically absurd, with the majority of goods coming from crafters, artisans, and small-batch clothing and food companies. It’s this spirit that I love about Warkworth; it’s all about community and supporting the little guys with passion and creativity. (More to come on Warkworth in an upcoming post though, including the upcoming East Street Market and Warkworth Long Lunch—a community affair!)

So what does this all have to do with Scout? Well, I’m a smalltown girl at heart. I live in the big city of Toronto now, and I enjoy its little neighbourhoods, but Scout was the first space in this city that gave me this same sense of community and pure joy the moment I walked into this little shop of happiness on Roncescvalles a little over a year and a half ago.

Scout offers one-of-a-kind and handmade goods—that includes everything from stationary and books to jewellery, bags, candles, natural beauty products, brooch Bowies and Ron Swansons, and everything in between. When it comes to my purchases, I have two pretty big obsessions: jewellery and mugs. Scout perpetuates both with its stellar selections. Really, I’m just plain hooked on Scout and could gush over this place for seemingly ever, but every post must eventually end.

Before I sign off and leave you with a little sneak-peek gallery, let me offer a couple of tips for your upcoming shopping trip to Scout (because, you know you just have to go now):

  1. Bring lots of money, because you’ll want to buy everything
  2. If you need any help, just ask; the ladies at Scout are always super helpful and the absolute sweetest!
  3. If you like it, buy it; things can go fast and as any one-of-a-kind goods lover knows, when it’s gone, it’s gone. (I’ve learned the hard way…sigh)

For more information on Scout’s location and hours, head on over to

Monika McEwen Art Dolls

Monika McEwen; Nova Scotia, Canada

Meet “Hootie,” a little owl that will soon be taking up residence in my little niece/nephew-to-be’s room. I know my name for him isn’t all too inspired, but this little “Woods-Thicket Owl” is the creation of the much more imaginative mind of Monika McEwen. Based in Nova Scotia, Monika creates patchwork creatures, each with their own flare. There truly are no duplicates of these guys (I rifled through a bag of unique owls before finding just the perfect little guy).

An idea that stemmed from a way to keep the grandkids busy, each creature or doll Monika creates comes with his or her very own story. The Woods-Thicket Owl is just the beginning of the long list of inspired characters Monika offers, which also include tattered lasses, sea maidens and witches, Gollywoggles, and lots of animals. You can check out each of their stories on her Facebook page.

This is the story of the Woods-Thicket Owl:

“Say hello to a very mysterious creature known to all Forest Beings as a Woods-Thicket Owl. Generally featured in legends and mythology of various cultures, these intriguing birds are predominantly seen as good and wise. Know to inhabit most forests and woodlands, the Woods-Thicket Owl is only ever seen at night. With its keen sight in darkness, its quietest strength and mystical walls, this forest being is at its most powerful at nightfall.

So if you ever find yourself at dusk in the woods, know that the feeling of being watched is actually the Woods-Thicket Owl quietly keeping a careful eye. Rest assured that while this magical bird watches over all forest beings, if needed, the Woods-Thicket Owl will also protect you, comfort you and help to guide your way.”

Purchase information: See the Monika McEwen Art Dolls Facebook page for further details.