make your place smell like christmas by doing this.

Posted on: Sunday, December 7, 2014

simmering-pots

christmas is in the air.

Posted on: Saturday, December 6, 2014

christmas-tree-lights-2

there’s always that one day – i walk outside, take a deep breathe in of that cool crisp air – and it’s christmas time.  i can smell it and i can feel it.  that’s when i know it’s time to cozy up with a good cup of tea.
or hot chocolate.
or cider.
or – OMG – egg nog.  it’s definitely a favourite of mine over the holidays.  rum or no rum.  it really doesn’t matter.

christmaslights-mug

jazzy christmas music playing while the fireplace crackles on the tv (don’t judge, if only i had a real fireplace.)
the sweet smells of christmas simmering on the stove.  currently, apple, cloves, anise seeds and cinnamon.
reading your favourite christmas book while curled up on the couch with a blanket.
wrapping up gifts in brown paper and tying them up with string.  actually.  i’m not just referencing the sound of music here.
i love wrapping presents!  it’s almost as fun as giving them.  almost.  brown kraft paper is my go to because you can do so much with it!  stamp it, paint it, draw on it, or leave it bare to adorn a red bow.

christmas-tree-lights

there are so many things i want to do over the holiday season, and before you know it, it’s come and gone.  it’s december 6th already folks!  have you got your christmas shopping done yet?  i haven’t – but that’s okay.  there’s time.  shop local if you can.

or how about…

making something – diy – effort AND possibly sentimental!!! brownie points!
a fancy dinner or a movie date
go to the theatre, the symphony, the ballet
plan a three course home cooked meal
go skating
create a playlist you know they’ll love

whatever you’re gifting this year, do it with love.
because – it’s the thought that really counts.  at least, i’ve always thought so.

and all material gifts aside – it’s really the time spent with family and friends that’s the greatest gift around the holidays.

the travelling crockpot – adrienne’s dinner no. 3

Posted on: Monday, November 17, 2014

so… after a 6 month hiatus…

the travelling crockpot IS BACK!

here’s a quick recap of the previous travelling crockpot dinners – and yes – adrienne does know she’s behind, but we’ve planned a catch up meal in our future.  not to worry.

becky | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4  |  nikki | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4  |  adrienne | 1 | 2  |  our collective holiday feast

adrienne-TCP-3

adrienne’s turn to cook the meal, she started off with apple slices topped with chutney and aged irish cheddar.
for our main meal she toasted up freshly baked crostini’s slathered in garlic butter and served it with a fantastic bolognese sauce and pasta.  you can find the recipe she worked off of – here.
for dessert – a dreamy red velvet cake with heavenly goat cheese frosting.  seriously – that frosting.  i wish i had been there when she made the frosting.  i would have gladly licked those beaters clean for her.  i realize i didn’t share a photo with you of what the inside of the cake looked like, but believe me when i tell you, it was the colour red.  FROM BEET JUICE!  not red food colouring! (which is awful for you, ps.)  BEET JUICE!  adrienne cut up, pureed, drained and strained beets to get the juice to use as dye.  *jaw drop* i know – right?!?  impressive.

a funny thing about these dinners is that you never know how it’s going to turn out.  that’s the joy of cooking.  you win some and you loose some.  if only you could be a fly on the wall to hear the conversations that happen over a delicious meal and some good wine on a crockpot night.  there’s a story that comes along with that red velvet cake – but i’ll save that for an outtake post in the future.  why?  just because.  i’m slightly evil like that – and hey, why not give you a reason to keep coming back and check out the blog.  buahh haha

my weekend went a little like this…

Posted on: Monday, November 10, 2014

friday evening i ended up in pickering for some wicked axe throwing.  BATL has opened up a new location there.  if you’ve never tried out axe throwing, i fully encourage you to do so.  it’s completely addicting.

i read this article which i found super interesting.  it caught my attention because, well, i’ve always loved those coca-cola polar bears!
which led me to this commercial.
i’d love to know what you think!

and then there was this article.  beautiful.  i love the idea of taking the same photograph over many years.  maybe i should try this.

myweekend

all iphone.

made soup.  again.  my favourite thus far being… 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 2 cups of water with a bouillon cube, half a butternut squash and three carrots.  mmm. mmm. mmm. and then i made cookies.  coconut, oatmeal, walnut, toffee cookies.  just because.  and then there were dishes.  plenty of dishes after a weekends worth of cooking and baking.

laundry.  so much laundry.  sometimes i wonder how two people can have so much clothing and how often it feels like i have nothing in my closet.

i turned on some christmas music and started making christmas cards to give out to family and friends this year.  soon enough we’ll be putting up our tree.  i can – and should hold out i think until the last weekend of november.  we’ll see if i can last that long.

had a visit with the in-laws.  watched the senators sadly loose to the leafs.  yes – i live in toronto and i’m not a leafs fan. gasp!

tried to get as much sleep as i could.  even if that meant napping on the couch while josh watched a movie or played video games.  and my weekend mornings?  i didn’t set and alarm and i slept in as long as my brain would allow.  i haven’t been sleeping well so i’ve been taking all i can get.

and just like that – the weekend was over.  but what a relaxing one it was.  i feel content and at ease.  that might just be the jazz i’m listening to now.  who knows.  maybe i just need more sleep.  how was your weekend?

soup for the fall and winter.

Posted on: Saturday, November 8, 2014

soup-recipe

i love soup.

it becomes a staple in my everyday lunch at work in the fall and winter months.

and it’s so darn easy!  my favourite?  sweet potato… with anything. i absolutely love sweet potatoes.

the past two weeks i’ve made all kinds of variations on the same soup.  i encourage you to do the same.

mix any of the following together – and hello yumminess!

1 tsp of olive oil, once pot is hot (medium to medium high heat) add
1 onion, fresh chopped garlic (i used 4-6 cloves each time) fresh chopped ginger (about 1 tbsp)
paprika
cumin
cayenne
i like to add the spices to a fairly dry pot to toast them a bit, then add
2-4 cups of water, depends how many vegetables you’ve chopped up
with a bouillon cube of your liking (or you could use any kind of stock)
sweet potatoes
butternut squash
carrots
leeks

slow simmer boil until everything is nice and soft
blend (hand blender, stand mixer, whatever you have) and then add
1/2 to 1 can of coconut milk
stir in 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar.
taste.  add salt to your liking.
top with roasted squash seeds if you like.
enjoy!

happy sunday – wherever you are!

stolen dance – milky chance.

Posted on: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

this song.
there’s more – but i shouldn’t talk about it…

i say – listen deeply with all of yourself and turn it up.

milky chance – stolen dance

enjoy – wherever you are.

birthday balloons.

Posted on: Sunday, November 2, 2014

logan-balloons-photoshootif you’ve been following along, you’ll maybe recognize this little man from this blog post back in april.

it was a pleasant surprise when Logan’s dad reached out to book another photo session.
it was his wife’s birthday and he wanted to surprise her with some photos of their son and thought it’d be cool to make them into a calendar for her.

ummm – okay!

so we planned out a bunch of different outfits and went on our merry way taking photos with Logan one brisk morning this month.  his wonder and joy for the balloons was fascinating.  his smile, his laugh – ugh, is he ever cute!  i can see why having photos at all stages of their childhood years is so important.  they change so fast!

happy birthday mumma!  your man is a sneaky one, but for all the right reasons! xo
and happy sunday everyone – wherever you are!

the wedding of jill & chris.

Posted on: Sunday, October 19, 2014

i had the honour of being my dear friend jill’s wedding photographer the first weekend in august of this year, as she married her love – chris.  with my brother by my side, we captured their big day.  it was something else.  something magical – filled with incredible amounts of laughter and love.  i can’t thank jill & chris enough for asking me to be apart of their big day.  i’ve gotten to learn so much about myself as a photographer along the way.  every individual and couple who has allowed me into their lives to capture memories that they’ll look back on years down the road – well, it’s a feeling i can’t get enough of and i can’t thank each of you enough for.  you’ve helped me grow.  i hope you enjoy the photos!  it was an incredible night that i’ll never forget.  i cried (a good cry of course!) as they had their first dance as husband and wife and then cheered and sang along as the groom and his band rocked out for the guests.  encore! encore!

chris&jill-2chris&jill-1chris&jill-bride-gettingreadychris&jill-weddingdress-hangingchris&jill-weddingdresschris&jill-3chris&jill-bridayparty-2chris&jill-groomsmenchris&jill-bridesmaidschris&jill-bridechris&jill-bridalpartychris&jill-firstdancechris&jill-receptionchris&jill-speecheschris&jill-purple-receptionchris&jill-bandchris&jill-band-audiencechris&jill-bridegroom

happy sunday – wherever you are!

the streets of montreal.

Posted on: Sunday, October 12, 2014

montreal-bike

there’s something about this bike – i like.

in a city where the street signs aren’t familiar and the language which shouldn’t be foreign to a canadian like me, well, it is.  the buildings aren’t blocking the sky and their bike lanes make sense, not disturbing the flow of traffic.  the fashion is all their own.  individual.  i feel as if i’ve transported to a far away place.  every street corner could be the start of a really good novel, it’s just waiting to be written.

i spent two weeks in montreal, quebec back in april.  if i hadn’t been out with a cold for the entire second week i would have wandered the streets more.  when you can’t speak the language, you feel isolated – at least, i did.  but rather than let it bother me, i embraced the alone time.  i walked just to wander.  no set agenda.  and then spent a solid 7 days resting in bed trying to fight off a cold that plagued me.

back to montreal, only for a few short days in may, work is what brought me there again.  no longer sick and no longer snow on the ground.  the vibe is immediately different.  it’s warm out – the birds are chirping and folks have started to take off the layers.  lounging in the park is where it’s at.  soak up that sun.

one more trip recently and it starts to feel familiar.  the metro is no longer confusing and i now don’t feel shy to say “merci” to the cashier at the local dépanneur.  my coworkers have inspired me to start learning french again but i’m incredibly shy about it.  we’ll see how this goes.

bon dimanche – wherever you are.

can’t let go of something?

Posted on: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

can’t let go of something?

take a picture.

i’m serious.  it’ll last forever.
this is – provided that you don’t loose your hard drive or delete everything by accident.

it was my mother who got me onto this idea a long time ago.
my brother and i would have projects from school that she wanted to remember but clearly had no room to keep them all.
and so, she’d set them up on an even backdrop, say on the table or outdoors on the walkway and she’d take a picture.

and then…

she’d throw that shit out.
because really, there is no reason to keep all of that stuff.
the memories are in the photographs.

wedding-bouquet-dried

like my wedding bouquet (flowers from a lady at the local farmers’ market) which even though i did hang to dry, i decided not to keep.  less is probably more.

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