RetreatPublished on February 16, 2020


  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Boden Melinda Stripe cashmere sweater; $230, Nordstrom

  • Curl up with Anthropologie‚Äôs Ernie & Irene Llama Pillow; $148,

Winter can be a tad on the long side in Ottawa, but the beauty of this is the retreat aspect that frosty days offer. I always slow my pace down in the colder months and lead life a bit differently. Sometimes that means taking off to somewhere warm for a little while, but mostly it means retreating within myself to lead a quieter life—and I love that!

While I have been described as being an extrovert, those who know me best recognize my true introverted self. That means my recharging happens when I am left alone. During those quiet times, I’m able to step back and assess what needs to be done next in my life.

I tend to spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, and I am always in awe of families who pack up the car and head to the ski hill on a chilly weekend. Those people embrace snowy days by swooshing down the hill, and then enjoy their well-deserved après-ski life. In this issue, we step into two versions of weekend-getaway homes—a chic, compact condo in Mont Tremblant and a stylish family chalet at Mont Ste-Marie. Both offer immense appeal for winter retreating and I could see myself curled up with a good book by the fire at either spot.

Reading is an important element of my quiet life. Turning the pages of a good book offers an escape and new perspectives on life. Typically, I think about books in terms of their entertainment value, but meeting literary agent Carly Watters has opened my eyes to the business side of books. As an avid reader, Carly offers up her top five books for 2020 reading.

Lianne Laing has awakened me to the merits of meditation. In her Fit At Home column, she gives us some tips and tools on getting started, with the message that it takes time and practice to truly quiet the mind and reap the benefits of mediation. To help you relax, Melissa Shabinsky offers up some quick solutions to creating a soothing bath experience, so you may want to start your calming process by running the water first.

May you find time to escape with our winter issue, which is packed full of the usual tips and inspirations, while also honouring the idea of taking time to step back and relax.



Mary’s Must-Haves

  • Boden Melinda Stripe cashmere sweater; $230, Nordstrom
  • Curl up with Anthropologie’s Ernie & Irene Llama Pillow; $148,

Mary Taggart

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