9.30.2011

trying something new...




Just recently I discovered my Dad's old Yashica FX-3 SLR camera that I used back when I was in college. We had a short spurt of photographic knowledge thrown at us, but I didn't really feel like I got to experiment artistically with the camera. I decided to use Miley, my little siamese kitty, as a test subject to see if the camera is still working ok... but in hindsight it probably wasn't the best idea I had because she moves around. A lot. She gave me glamour eyes for about two seconds before deciding that posing for the camera was beneath her if I wasn't going to allow her to chew on the dangling strap. For some reason she really likes the smell of the camera bag as well (which results in more chewing). She's pretty cute though, right?

I'm hoping to use this medium for more of my posts. I love the quality and nostalgic feeling that film produces. For once I have to actually think about the photo i'm taking, rather than snapping off 100 shots in two minutes. I have A LOT to learn about light, and using a manual camera in general, but it's pretty fun to drop off film, excitedly awaiting the results (ok, I only waited an hour, but still)... remember that?

Photos: My own, from film

9.28.2011

wedding wednesday {no.5 + 6}...


Unfortunately last week I missed Wedding Wednesday, but happy to be sharing a little more of the plans today with two major tasks accomplished. Last weekend my Maid of Honour and I headed back to the dress shop so I could show her "the dress", and luckily she loved it just as much as I do! Having her there to see the dress was one of those crazy wedding moments... sort of like, "Wow. I can't believe i'm here, trying on wedding dresses, with my best friend." I'm happy it went so well.

We also got the chance to try out some bridesmaids dresses and I think we've found the perfect one! It's a strapless dress by Bill Levkoff, chiffon instead of the usual satin, with a sweetheart neckline and a hem that falls just below the knee. It's flowing and elegant, and amazingly... comes in the EXACT colour I was imagining in my head. That never happens. It's called Victorian Lilac, and blends in perfectly. It looks a little different online (it's not as grey in real life), but you can take a peek here. We haven't decided quite yet, but it's a high contender.

This past Saturday was a big one though, as I officially said yes to the dress! I've tried on the same dress 3 times now, and never want to take it off. It's elegant and sophisticated in a gorgeous shade of ivory and I can't wait for Rick to see me in it! It was nerve wracking choosing a dress so early (I won't see it for 8 months now!), but at the same time it was also a really easy choice. I wish I could show you all, but I just can't take the chance. However, i'll be sure to show you in a year or so!

Also, remember those engagement photos I promised? I haven't forgotten. I'll have them soon, and can't wait to share...

Photo: Via Snippet & Ink by photographer Molly Watson

9.27.2011

local love...






Aren't these photos captured by Alicia Bock just beautiful? They're taken at an Outstanding in the Field event, held at Back Forty Acres farm. I would love to attend one of these dinners. Guests dine outdoors on local food, including food from the very farm they're visiting, bringing their own plates and cutlery along with them. Isn't that an amazing idea!? They're travelling all over the world now, and i'm hoping one day Canadian locations make on their list...

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for more of Alicia's gorgeous photos!

Photos: By Alicia Bock

9.26.2011

a new week...


Hello everyone, Happy Monday! This week as Fall slowly creeps in, i'm looking forward to focusing on wellness and a good night's sleep. I've created a schedule for myself, and hope to just really focus on making the right choices. A friend and I were talking about how if you flip through all the fitness magazines or websites, information always varies from one day to the next. One day a single study can send people bolting for some superfood, and the next day, too much of that food can cause all kinds of problems. I think it's important to just get simple... to favour fruits, veggies and grains over sugar, meat, dairy, and processed foods. Easier said than done I know, but I think it's mostly the planning part. Eating healthy isn't rocket science, right? It's just planning to have those foods readily available once hunger strikes. That's what i'm trying out this week, starting with lots of warm water...

We all know the benefits of drinking water - flushing out toxins, restoring moisture, hydrating skin, etc., but it's best to drink it warm rather than cold. Cold water can actually over-stimulate the kidneys, and frankly I find it harder to drink (although we're all different - you may prefer cold). There's something about ice cold water crashing into my stomach that doesn't feel too great. Room temperature or hot water on the other hand - no problem. Drinking a glass first thing in the morning really helps, as it's good to replenish what you've lost overnight, and i've also been slowly trying out all different kinds of herbal tea to see what I like best. The simplest approach though? A glass with a slice of lemon in it. Super easy, and adds a bit of a flavour too.

I actually don't have any fruit juice or pop in the fridge unless I have guests over, because I find I just won't drink it and 3/4 of the jug goes to waste. I prefer water, but haven't been drinking nearly enough!

What about you? Do you prefer hot or cold water? Are you drinking enough?

Photos: By Liz Risby and Elena {Pretty Light}, both on Flickr

9.24.2011

the arrival of autumn...






Can you believe it? It's almost the end of September and Autumn is officially here! There's so many wonderful things i'm looking forward to, like hot apple cider, walks along a leaf covered path, apple picking and baking pie, cozy sweaters and scarves. One of my favourite seasons for sure!

Today I headed out to the farmer's market for some butternut squash for soup tonight (as it seems like the most appropriate meal to welcome the new season), and the first of Fall's pumpkins were already out for sale. Bright orange with a beautiful glow, I couldn't help but pick one up now to decorate the balcony. Along with a pretty new mum plant and a few oddly shaped gourds, my place is looking a little more cozy for the season...

Happy Autumn!

Photos: My own

9.21.2011

sea salt scrub...


I'm a big fan of epsom bath salts and other salt scrubs, so I was happy to come across a post by Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves for Rose Geranium Sea Salt Scrub. I've never smelled rose geranium before, but described as sweet and fragrant, similiar to a rose itself, I can't wait to make this homemade scrub! Full recipe (and more great photos) here...

9.20.2011

signs of fall...







During the lunch hour today I headed out for a little walk in sunshine along the riverside by my office. There's a large flock of Canadian geese that come back to hang out along the water's edge in the Fall, but it's always a little sad to see them fly off v-formation later on. It's a sure sign that cooler weather is on the way when they head down South (frankly, I think they have the right idea). We're not quite there yet as just the tips of the leaves are starting to change colour, but before you know it, it'll be a sea of red, orange, and golden hues...

Photos: My own.

9.19.2011

rainy monday...


Hello everyone, how was your weekend? It's a gloomy, rainy Monday here today, and there's a certain heavy quietness all around. It's a little odd, and has me wanting to curl up with a cozy blanket, a good book, and endless cups of tea...

We had yoga today though, which always does some good no matter what mood your in. It was difficult at times though, making me vow to never stop practicing for more than a few weeks in between class "seasons" again. I feel like i'm learning all over again! With all the bad posture and leaning over desk computers all day everyday, it's no wonder how our bodies can revert back to that awful tension so quickly (at least mine anyway). Definitely glad to be back in yoga again...

Photo: By Charlotte Bland on Flickr

9.16.2011

friday at last...



Friday is here at last, and with brings my best friend for a fun sleepover and wedding dress shopping on Saturday. I can't wait to try on the one I liked most again for her to see. Plus, we can do a little bridesmaid dress perusing while we're there.

The mornings have cooled off quite significantly this week and my closet seems ill-prepared. I'm dreaming of new cable knit sweaters, plaid flannel, and leather boots. It's definitely time to shop a little! I read this Scandinavian saying over on a Cup of Jo yesterday, that "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes". How true. If you're all bundled up properly, the cold weather shouldn't be as bad. Advice I really need to try and remember this Fall and upcoming W***** (yeah it's waaay too early to name that season).

For now, i'm enjoying the Fall sunshine... Happy Friday!

Photos: Threading in the Choirs by Michael A. Muller

9.14.2011

wedding wednesday {no.4}...




Lately i've been thinking about wedding cake, as i've made a few "tasting" apppointments, and started thinking about what kind of cake we'd like to have. I'd like to do something a little different from the regular fancy tiered cake, and kind of have my mind set on one small top tier in fondant icing (since Rick loves it) and the rest of the tiers would follow with cupcakes. I also recently came across this lovely setup of a few separate cakes with pretty floral detail and whipped buttercream icing – much easier to cut than one tall fondant cake! Either way, i've made a note to remember that not everyone actually eats the wedding cake, so it's best to account for 2/3 of your guests, rather than having a whole bunch of unused cake left over. Makes sense to me!

Photos: Via Blog Unworn, flowers by Saipua

9.13.2011

the skinny...


Even though i'm mad at J.Crew for raising their prices for Canadians (seriously ridiculous), i've been obsessing over this skinny leather belt. Wouldn't it be perfect wrapped around a cozy cardigan, to wear with skinny jeans and Fall boots?

Photo: J.Crew

9.12.2011

giving in to fall...


Hello everyone! Hope your weekend went well, and your Monday as smoothly as possible. Today was a great beginning to the week, having started up yoga again. Our noon hour class left me feeling calm and content all afternoon. It's amazing what a little yoga can do for your day. I'm so glad we're back at it again.

With just a few weeks left until the official first day of Fall (September 22nd), i'm starting to feel like it's already here. The early days when it's still quite warm out and you can get away with just boots, jeans and a light sweater, are really the best days. It's that even temperature where it's not too hot, and not too cold, that I love best.

So when I came across this delicious looking Apple Butter recipe, I just knew it's time to give in. Apple butter is basically a reduction of cooked apples until it reaches a smooth, "compote"-like state. It can be used on things like toast with a little cinnamon, or plain on thick french bread, and even in stir-fry recipes. With a slow cooker, plenty of apples, and a few other key ingredients (no sugar!), you can make a whole batch overnight. I'm going to give it a go in the next week and see how it turns out...

Photo & recipe: The Seasonal Family

9.09.2011

antigravity...



This upcoming Monday i'm finally getting back to a regular yoga class! My absolute favourite yoga teacher is coming back to where I work for two classes a week during the lunch hour. It's such a nice break from the busy day and the results are wonderful. I can't wait!

Have you ever heard of antigravity yoga though? I first heard of it from Rick's sister who said it was a little too crazy for her, being wound up in cocoon-like state, but after seeing this video over on Lululemon I have to admit i'm intrigued. There's something about floating seamlessly through the air while stretching that seems like it would be totally relaxing (and fun!).

What do you think? Have you you tried antigravity yoga before?

Video: Lululemon

back to basics...


Along with starting up a new blog for a fresh perspective, I had also wanted to start making some healthier changes in my daily life. Too much to do and too little sleep has gotten in the way the past few months, but now with a relatively free weekend i'm looking forward to detoxing from it all a little. Now, I don't mean detox as in 1-cup-of-juice-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner-craziness, but just avoiding the bad stuff, and stocking up on the good! Hoping to avoid all processed foods, sugar, and dairy when possible and stocking up on veggies, fruit, and whole grains again. Drinking lots of water is definitely a must and heading to bed much, much earlier as well. It's definitely needed. Tomorrow, I clean out the pantry and fridge!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, here's a few weekend links...

Becoming Gwyneth... (I wonder if she's read this?)

Photo: Scan from Whole Living Magazine Jan/Feb, by Raymond Hom

simplicity...



"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
– Leonardo da Vinci

There's something about a simple room that speaks volumes, don't you think? I love that textured blanket!

Photos: Scans from Detox for Life by Josephine Collins, photos by Polly Wreford

9.08.2011

september sky...


You that moment when you're driving down a country road, just before the sun starts to set, when the light is perfectly right and the clouds are beautifully stretched across the sky?

I finally had my camera with me!

Photo: My own.

9.07.2011

wedding wednesday {no.3}...



In order to stay organized during this whole wedding process, i've been trying to think of different little tasks I can do now, rather than waiting until a few months before the wedding when everything's coming together quickly. I know for sure that I want to display some family wedding photos (all the way back to Rick and I's great Grandparents) in really ornate gold frames. I love the vintage feel and the history to it, which will fit in wonderfully with our location. I've made a mental note to keep an eye out for some antique ones and hope to frame some photos soon!

9.06.2011

creative wandering...


Back again after a great long weekend. It's always nice to have an extra day off... kind of wishing it was a holiday week too. September sure moved in with a chill though, with the temperature suddenly dropping and grey skies overhead, but i'm sure it'll warm up again soon.

On the weekend I was thinking about how Fall always seems to be a great time to try out new little creative side projects (something about spending a cozy time indoors). I think it's just some sort of creative-type-restlessness though. Do you remember pressing flowers when you were little? I had the "official" kit when I was younger, but i'd love to try it out again with some of the last of Summer's flowers. There's something a little "English" and romantic about it. Like the prettiest of bookmarks just waiting to be discovered in the book above – 100 years old and the new owner found them tucked inside! Now that's something you can't do with your Kindle...

Do you ever find your creative side wandering?

Photo: By rabbitrabbit002

9.02.2011

casual weekend...



Happy weekend everyone... i'm planning on taking things slowly, with some major sleeping in tomorrow and a lazy breakfast with a cup of tea and a good book. I have a birthday party Saturday evening where i'm taking pictures, and then it's whatever goes for the rest of the weekend! I'm really hoping Rick and I will be able to make it to the local fair though. It happens every Labour Day weekend in a nearby town, and I haven't been in years. I think we're due for a ferris wheel ride! What are your Labour Day plans?

9.01.2011

end of season...





Can you believe it's already September 1st? This upcoming long weekend always has me wishing I planned a trip somewhere right on the beach... the "last" weekend of the Summer (although I do have other weekend plans, lol). Spending some time at the beach, shopping at small town boutiques, and reading a good book on a sunny porch sounds perfect. I do love September though, and looking forward to all it has to bring... I can barely wait to shop for a new pair of leather boots!

Photos: Stephmodo - Elle Decor no.177, Honeytree print on Etsy, Country Cooking of France, Dustjacket Attic, by Em_rocker on Flickr