Monday, December 5, 2016

oh christmas tree

for the past four christmases, we have ventured out toward lions bay to chop down a christmas tree. we usually end up around an area called brunswick beach - originally chosen on a whim as a nod to jeff's home province, brunswick beach is a beautiful little community just a moments drive from the sea to sky hi-way. it's quiet and still and probably not somewhere we are meant to forage a christmas tree from, but i am nothing if not a stickler for tradition, and this has somehow become a big one.

this year we were lucky to have jeff's mom and dad in tow- we managed to fend off the rain and soak up a few gentle moments at the beach - we watched otters wrestle over a crab they had pillaged from a near by crab trap, we watched ferry's slowly float by and disappear behind islands and low-laying clouds, we had a few perfect moments breathing in the damp, salty air and taking in the sounds of the waves coming in and out.

afterward we ventured to our special little spot on the side of a steep hill to find a perfect little 5 foot tree. now buried in lights and a few too many ornaments, it's the perfect addition to the winterscape that has slowly been taking over our living room.

Monday, November 21, 2016

12 days of holiday baking roundup (plus a few extra)

a couple christmases ago, i partnered up with a few of my most creative friends to compile a '12 days of baking' series- highlighting 12 of our most favourite holiday baking recipes. many of these are still in heavy rotation at our house, so the thought of recreating the wheel seems totally unnecessary, but i did want to take a moment to once again share these awesome recipes, plus add a couple new gems to the list to keep things interesting.

1- salted butter caramels
2- ginger whoopie pies with cream cheese icing (becky zimmer)
3- whipped shortbread
4- sweet and spicy mixed nuts
5- cocktail crisps (anna palmier)
6- lemon squares (michelle walker)
7- simple cinnamon buns (stephanie nigh)
8- glogg- mulled wine (carina theideke)
9- anne's gingerbread (anne thorburn)
10- almond roca
11- sugar cookies
12- brown sugar shortbread (kristen powell)

plus three more recipes i am eager to try...

1- tartine's salted chocolate rye cookies
2- the kitchen magpie eggnog cookies
3- salted caramel pretzel bars

ps- some (still awesome) gift guides HERE

Sunday, November 13, 2016

christmas in vancouver 2016

photo by alison page | wreath by rogue florist
so, im a bit of a dork, and i spent the better part of an entire saturday going through and finding pretty much every christmas activity around vancouver in december. (my initial intention was to find a few new activities for us to do this year and it all sort of just snowballed...)

the end result is a fairly lengthy list that i figured would be worth sharing with anyone local (and somehow knowing that it might be of use to more people than just me makes the insane amount of time i spent putting it together somehow worthwhile)

hoping you can find something new to enjoy this holiday season. and if you have a favourite activity that i didn't make mention of, please share!

and of course, just keep scrolling if you aren't in vancouver or the thought of christmas in november is giving you hives. ;)

Friday, November 11, 2016

gratitude tree

by all accounts, it's been a pretty crappy week in the world. like most people, i have found myself wallowing in the aftermath of the us presidential election. terrified for what this new government means for minority groups and already marginalized people in the states. fumbling to find any sense in this senseless outcome. doing my best to hide my feelings of disgust and the deepest anger from my young son while trying my hardest to ensure this disgraceful example is one that is NOT to be tolerated, echoed or glorified. it's a lot.

so today, more than ever, we needed something to distract our focus. a little bit of a light and positivity in an otherwise gloomy moment in time. so finn and i crafted a gratitude tree. we collected a few branches from the yard, and cut some leaf shapes out of white cardstock, and spent time together sipping tea and coming up with lots of things that we have to be grateful for in this lifetime. and as is usually the case with these types of activities, there was A LOT that we have to be grateful for.

and although this little tree doesn't take away any of the the fear or upset, the worry or stress or anger or feelings of complete helplessness, it is a good reminder that in spite of all that, there is still gratitude.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nelson - a weekend in the forest

this past weekend, a few of my closest girlfriends and i met up in nelson for our 3rd annual women's weekend. each october, we travel from our homes in ontario, alberta and bc to spend a few days catching up, working on our selves, and reconnecting. there is always a flood of emotion and gratitude, long, deep conversations, lots of laughs and a few tears, tarot cards, delicious food, and typically a late night dance party or two. at the end, we each leave feeling refreshed, reenergized, and with a head full of ideas to take home and work on until we meet again.

this year we stayed at a beautiful airbnb a short ways from the heart of nelson - the ivory thistle cottage is an amazing straw-bale structure on the edge of the forest. it was an absolute dream.

last year, i started the tradition of taking a portrait of each of the women over the course of the weekend. this year letting each of them pick a spot that felt beautiful to them. i can't help but smile looking at each of these photos- 4 beautiful women that were somehow blessed into my life- always there to push me further on my path to finding the truest and best version of myself. sigh- words just aren't enough. i'm so grateful we each carve out the time to ensure this weekend is a priority.

(and portraits from our 2015 retreat in dead man's flats, alberta...)


Monday, October 3, 2016

our summer on film

as it always does, summer seemed to be over just a quickly as it begun. we didn't do a lot, but we enjoyed it all- spending time at the beach, visiting family and friends in victoria and calgary, and soaking up as much sunshine as we could before the rain set in.

i shot a few rolls of film over the last few months. film has been a lesson in patience for me. it takes time to thoughtfully use up 36 exposures, and then more time to make it down to the lab to have the roll developed, and then (if you happen to be married to my husband) a really really long time before he is able to bunker down and scan all the negatives in. sometimes the photos have been built up and so highly anticipated that they are a bit of a disappointment when all is said and done. but there is always always a gem or two- a forgotten day that you are surprised to see captured, and that makes all the waiting worth while every single time.