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!

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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.

i used to hate mushrooms.

Posted on: Sunday, September 28, 2014

ontario-shiitake-mushrooms

i used to hate mushrooms.  and now i love them.

well – i can’t say fully hate, i’d eat white cremini mushrooms as a kid as long as they were raw.
cooked?  NO THANK YOU!!!  especially the ones atop a pizzapizza… pizza.  yuck.
keep in mind that i also don’t think i was introduced to many other varieties of mushrooms as a kid either.

so when did this love affair with mushrooms begin?
when i started going to farmers’ markets in my area and getting mushrooms from the folks who grow them.
oh my goodness – delicious!  they know what’s going on.
my favourite right now being the shiitake mushroom.

panfried up with butter and a pinch of salt, it’s the simple and oh so yummy.
i find that i slow down when cooking these mushrooms, there’s this appreciation i have for them.
i’ll turn on my oven to a nice medium to medium high heat and put in a knob of butter.  once slightly melted i swirl the butter around the pan and let it sit.  sit until the butter bubbles and gets foamy.  then i throw in sliced shiitake mushrooms and let them sit for a solid minute without touching them.  then a little toss here and there, let them sit for another 2 or 3 minutes and then out of the pan and onto a plate to be devoured they go.

this method is particularly delicious over a camp fire.  so so delicious.
do you have a favourite mushroom?  or mushroom recipe?
i’d love to learn to make mushroom soup.  hmmm… i wonder if my local mushroom man will have any tips for me.

happy sunday – wherever you are!

for the love of beet!

Posted on: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

beet-red-hands

i’m just going to go right out and say it – beets are going to make your pee and poo a pinky red colour.
just accept it.
it’s worth it.
and you’re not dying.  it’s just the beets intense pigment.
beets are DELICIOUS!  and good for you!
win win!

here’s what i do…
oven can be anywhere from 350 to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
scrub beets – get that dirt off of them, because you’ll have gotten these beets from your local farmer – right?  they’re in season right now, there’s really no excuse.
grab a baking sheet.
lay the whole beets (greens off but skin still on) in a piece of aluminium foil, drizzle in olive oil and a pinch of salt.  make sure you have enough foil to enclose them into a pocket, folding and closing up all the sides.  throw baking sheet with beet package into the oven.
roast beets depending on their size and your oven temperature for 25 to 50 minutes.  beets are pretty forgiving, so you really don’t need to worry.  check them by piercing them with a knife or fork.  if it goes in smoothly, they’re done!
take the beets out of the oven and let cool long enough to where you can pick them up with a paper towel in hand and gently but firmly rub the beets skin off.  why the paper towel?  otherwise your hands will look like mine do above.

BEETS STAIN!
so be careful.
think about everything they will touch.
avoid pink stained kitchen equipment.

and there you have it.  easy.

the skinned beets can be sliced and added to many variations on a salad – that is, if you don’t just eat them by themselves first as a snack.  i completely understand and do not judge if that happens.  they are that good.
i love a simple green salad with goat cheese, beets, olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar.
something a little more fancy?  how about golden beets, sliced red onion and cara cara orange segments tossed in a vinaigrette made up with olive oil, salt, pepper, orange juice and freshly chopped tarragon.  then crumble goat cheese on top, because, why not!

what are you going to make using beets this season?

she came and went so quickly.

Posted on: Sunday, September 14, 2014

i really can’t recall when i felt summer arrive this year.  i’m someone who is cold most of the time, so what i call a hot summer day could be very different from what you call a hot summer day.  if you haven’t yet, i suggest that you reflect on your summer as i have below.  the stories and the remember when’s that you’ll want to share with others or hide away in your journal to be reminded of and laugh at later – those are worth remembering.  how small they may be.

i splashed my feet in any wadding pool i saw and then walked around barefoot until my feet were dry.

family-stratford

time spent with my family.  walking down the road, adventuring to stratford or just sitting and chatting around the dinner table, i love it’d all and i love them.  it’s this special love you grow to appreciate once you’ve been gone for so long.  the memories that fill that house hold a very special place in my heart.  i need to get my father around for long enough to get a new family photo.  he’s currently in Taiwan.

went car camping for my birthday – it’s not the remote outdoors that i love so much, but it sure gets close to it and gets me out of the city.  a fire on the beach with friends, listening to the waves crash in – it doesn’t get much better than that.  well, it does, if you add in the golden roasted marshmallows – delicious!

chilling and chatting at bars and coffeehouses.  with friends or with folks i’d never met before.  two bachelorettes under my belt this summer and three weddings whose dance floors i busted many a move on.  these feet can’t stop, won’t stop!

jillchris-bridalparty

in fact, i photographed a wedding!  my beloved friend Jill married her man, Chris and the silly fabulous fools that they are entrusted me to photograph their special day.  i was and still am completely honoured.  i’ll be sharing more photos from their big day a little later on.

oh goodness did i laugh.  i laughed – a lot.  i’ve been blessed with some of the greatest friends anyone could ever hope for.  friends that love me for me.  friends that allow me to love them with all of myself.  old friends who will always be there, and new friends that feel old – it’s simply the best.  surround yourself with folks who challenge you, who inspire you, who push your buttons and can make you fold over in a giggling fit of laughter.  your life will be better because of it.

cntower-moon

and of course – take a little time to relax.  to just, be still.
while a thunderstorm rolled in and came down over the city, i sat on the balcony in candlelight and painted.
another evening, in my rocking chair, i stared at the supermoon.  for a long time.
sure, i could hear cars driving by, people hollering and airplanes flying over head – but i could also hear crickets and the cool wind blowing in my hair.  it was peaceful.
while in new brunswick when the sky had gone dark, i looked up at the millions and trillions of stars above.  it’s something you don’t get to see when you live in a light polluted city like toronto.  i have no idea how long i stood there but my neck definitely hurt after.

so – what little things did you get up to this summer?
happy sunday – wherever you are!

bakerbots baking – a weekend treat.

Posted on: Sunday, September 7, 2014

bakerbots-toronto

bakerbots here in toronto is well known for their cookie ice cream sandwiches, but on the weekends they also have other yummy treats like cupcakes, cakes and even lemon meringue tarts!  if you go, don’t be surprised to wait in a line to get your hands on a delicious treat.  the inside is tiny so very few people actually fit inside, the line moves fast though and it’s well worth the wait.  for those folks with a dairy or gluten allergy, you’re in luck with dairy free ice cream and vegan gf cookies available.  just don’t forget to bring cash!  no debit or credit is accepted here.

i enjoyed a half ice cream sandwich (one cookie cut in half rather than two cookies) on a captain peanut cookie with peanut butter and jelly ice cream.  it was gone before i even thought of taking a photograph and the last thing i ate before i felt a horrible cold coming on.  i blame the changing weather – i always seem to be bed ridden for a few days between seasons.  so here i am, sharing photos of decadent cakes with you while i chug back orange, ginger, beet and lemon juice.

happy sunday – wherever you are!

and the clouds roll in.

Posted on: Thursday, September 4, 2014

toronto-storm

i do love weather.  i think i get it from my aunt heather.
remember when i shared with you the fog over the ozarks and the rooftop before and after the storm.
don’t expect this to be the last city and cloud shot you see.  this new apartment is top notch in terms of the view and mother nature sure likes to put on a good show.
my camera and i are not complaining.

mmm cake.

Posted on: Monday, September 1, 2014

wedding-blog-10

with the help of family and friends, the bride saw her vision through to the end.  and what a beautiful vision it was!  would you look at this colour coordination!  at the home of her in-laws, the stunning bride and groom were wed.  mother nature was kind and didn’t shed a tear all day.  by now most of you know my love of portrait photography – and sadly with that love, i often forget about all the little details that go into a wedding so i thought i’d share with you just that.  the bar (pictured above) was the cutest thing ever!  a stand alone little house if you will, where guests could walk up to the “drive-thru” window and request a drink from the handsome bartender/family friend (also pictured above) or walk inside the little building to the full bar – grab a drink, write marriage tips for the happy couple, warm up from the chilly evening air and grab sparklers for the evening.  SO CUTE!!! seriously.  i wish you could have been there to see it.

wedding-blog-11

we partied well into the evening, dancing and playing with sparklers.  the guest book was signed by candlelight, and at the end of the evening we all piled into a big yellow school bus to take us downtown to continue the festivities until our feet ached and we were all yawning from happy exhaustion.  it really was a perfect day surrounded with friends and family and copious amounts of laughter.  my heart is full.
congratulations katherine and andrew! xo

wedding-blog-12

take it easy – you’re on vacation.

Posted on: Friday, August 29, 2014

NewBrunswick

hello from New Brunswick!  if you can believe it, i haven’t taken off more than 2 days since my honeymoon which has been almost 2 years ago now!  with the long weekend here and flying into New Brunswick for a wedding, i decided to take a few extra days off and now officially consider myself to be on vacation.  WHOO HOO!!!

Dog-Susie

we often visit around christmas and new years as josh has a lot of family here but it’s a rare treat when we get here during the summer time – and i’m not complaining one bit!  when i woke up this morning after a lovely sleep in a family members guest bedroom, the dog and i ran outdoors to take some photos.  those are cows just over the hill in the first photo – i bought new sneakers the day before, so i really wasn’t willing to run up the hill for fear of sinking to my knees in wet mud – sorry.  : )

Dog-Susie-2

i’m hoping to share a few photos with you each day of my vacation, so keep coming back to check it out!  trying to challenge myself to blog more than i have been.  let’s see how it goes!

happy long weekend – wherever you are!

 

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