Monday, October 17, 2016

2016.10.17 Three Things

Did you know we are in the 42nd week of the year? Where did time go? We only have 10 weeks left of 2016. Here are a few things I have been googling lately.

I'm in need of new breakfast ideas. I like these ones:

Look at all the Seeds and Nuts!

Make breakfast for all week in 5 minutes?
 kamut dark chocolate energy bar1.jpg
Delicious Looking on the Go option!
I also still make Pantry Granola and love it! I'm just trying to cut down my dairy intake and the granola goes just so well with yogurt!


It's the season to get cozy, so I have been searching high and low for pillows (aka. I have bought and returned over a dozen). These are my favs:
Love the design and the muted colours.
Shibori all day

Pattern and pink? Yes please. 
Come on Hmong

Fair Isle Colorblock Pillow Cover
Ski Sweater Pillow

Winter Boots

Here I'm at a total loss. How many boots are too many? What do you look for in winter boots? What do you wear to work? I really like the following boots, but I'm not sure which one(s) are the most practical...
Image result for CHENERY boots
For getting around the city... and to work?
Image result for kork ease velma bootie
Are these considered winter boots? Mild winter boots maybe.

Northridge Star Suede WP + Insulated
Snowshoeing Adventures?

Image result for WOMEN’S LEA™ WEDGE BOOT
Wedge Winter Boots? Are these allowed?
Image result for cougar pillow boots
I can't decide if the fact that these are called pillow boots make up for the look?

Thursday, October 6, 2016


With fall here I should start to focus on getting fit for ski season. But for some reason the only planks I want to be looking at are wood ones. 

Scandinavian interior design
Love the light boards - allows for a darker pallet to not make the corner too dark

Rustic Interior Rustic Scandinavian
White washed but you can still see the grain. A modern version of the wide plank. - Also I'm in love with those pillows!
Image result for warm scandinavian interiors cabin
Never too much wood. Especially with those windows.
The floor planks add a bit of warmth to the black and white (and green) space.

Also - I think I've found my new favourite blog: Scandinavian Retreat. I want to live in all the places! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Baby Boy's DIY Decorations

I just finished helping my cousin with a little DIY for her son's room (more on that later) but here are some of the other options we were looking at.... 

1) Fabric Banner - This would be a simple sewing DYI, and you can use all those extra fabric pieces! Alternatively Baby Bump has a great selection...
Baby Bump Bedding

2) Talk about another simple DIY - I love this IKEA hack - Spice rack to secure book shelf! (this would also work great in my trailer). A little paint and attach to the wall. 
Via - Here

3) This one is a bit far fetched (aka more work and skill), but because I love wood walls. I was trying to create accent wood wall. This one is adapted from the talented Vintage Revivals who used this technique on her trailer floor. I would see attaching this wood pattern to a thin piece of plywood and then attaching the plywood to the wall. I think a narrow column of this would look great and not overpower the room!
Via Vintage Revivals

Friday, September 30, 2016

Stockholm Minimalism

While I try to muddle my way through cleaning up and organizing my house this fall, I thought I would post some inspirational places as motivation to let go of more material items. 

This apartment in Stockholm looks pretty perfect if you ask me. Clean, uncluttered, but still full of personality. Warm leathers balance the cool blues and greys. White walls contrast the warmth of a wood fireplace. Solid fabric colours but enough throw pillows to have a bit of fun! And the thoughtful clusters of personal items cut the sterility. 

As linked
Cozy fire nook
Just what you need, and a touch of beauty
Minimal everywhere but one nook. 
That fig tree. *heart*

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Goals

This fall I am feeling a sense of nostalgia mixed with urgency and denial. Nostalgia for the days of after work bike rides, sitting on my sunny porch, and getting my fingers dirty in the garden. An urgency to make the most of the last days with temperatures above freezing and sunlight past 5pm. Denial that another fall has come to pass and I feel none the wiser, like I have not grown since last year. 

Image result for fall sun set calgary crescent
Via Hiking Photography

As I watch the sun slowly cast an enchanting glow over the city as it falls behind the horizon, I can't help be feel a pang of sadness. An ache in my heart even the best ski videos cannot remedy. I envy those who love this season for all of its golden glory without a sense of foreshadowing.

This fall is definitely better than the August Angst I felt last year. In part because I got out and did a lot this summer. My summer goals focused my attention and allowed me to experience so many wonderful things! But also because I am trying to own it. Own these feelings of nostalgia and sadness and sit in them. Understand a bit of where they are coming from and try to be ok. Recognizing what works for me, what are healthy responses to these feelings. 

But it's easy to allow these feelings to pass without much thought. Soon it will be holiday season, and these feelings that swirl around will be swept away with the fall leaves. So I have decided to try three things to help me focus and try and catch some leaves while they are still in the air. 

  1. Reflect - This means slowing down, allowing myself to just be, be alone, be with my feelings, be in the moment. Be alone without being lonely, feel without dwelling, be in the moment without planning for the next moment. To have faith that spending alone with my feelings will not result in a negative spiral out of control. That it will bring me closer to the person I want to be. 
  2. Conquer Long-Standing To-Dos - This may seem like a simple task that doesn't deserve a spot on this list, but most of my to-dos remain undone because of my fear of failure. They are difficult tasks with no obvious solution, or method to execute. Thinking about them creates a sense of disappointment and pulls at the strings that are keeping my self-confidence blanket together. Before I unravel, I want to face them head on, and try my hardest to solve them. To look the fear of failure in the eye and at least try. To really believe that the only failure is to not try. The top three that nag at me are:
    1. Complete my night side tables - One is half built, the other one remains under my couch, in pieces. Where it has been for 1.5 years. I ran into a problem that the copper pipes did not withstand the weight of my side table top. I've found a solution. I am just not sure it will work, or I will implement it correctly.
    2. Image result for copper c tables
      Ideal final product
    3. Install my wood stove - I have owned the wood stove for over 6 months. It is clearly the season to install it (impending winter). I want to cozy up in front of a fire more than anything. But playing with fire is scary. Installation requires a lot of decisions. The method on how to install is ambiguous and likely very time consuming. I struggle with ambiguity and I don't have all the time in the world. 
    4. Fix my sink and drawer - They work, but poorly. They bother me. Every time I think about them, I cringe. I worry about them, I am embarrassed. They aren't hard fixes, but they are wreaking havoc on my mind.  
  3. Clean Out my House – This includes the basement, my computers, my mind and my soul. A clean house = a clean mind? Not only is this task something that I have been putting off, but it is also something that bothers me I discussed how organizing makes me happy almost a year ago! Having unaddressed clutter conflicts with my wholehearted desire to live streamlined. I have a theory that a streamlined life is a free life - one that allows me to do the things I love without the distractions or time consumption of stuff. Right now, my life is not even close. I pack it all away in the basement, hoping that out of sight equals out of mind. But that is never the case. The cobwebs that are collecting on my piles in my basement are also collecting in the baggage in my mind and soul. I need to physically and mentally / emotionally clear out and find what works for me.
Fall in High Prairie Alberta by Questa-Durron
Not a bad time to lay back and relax.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peg It

This weekend I came across these leather and wood peg hooks in a new store's change room. I thought they were ingenious: Hangers would lay flat wonderfully in the leather and the wood peg is just perfect for a purse. I would use these all the time to lay out my outfits for the week. If I did that... 

And then today - I found this hook round-up. And I swear I wasn't looking for it. I can't put holes in my walls so I definitely am not looking for hooks. 

But I found the source for my beloved wood and leather hooks. Not to mention so many more awesome hooks. Now if only I could convince my landlord to let me put a few holes in the walls!

Peg And Strap Wall Hook - Natural Maple
And I imagine it would look better with time! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

It seems that my posts recently have been more list a little less design. That was slightly intentional (focus on what I'm doing rather than dreaming about what could be). But list get long after a while... so let's talk about inspiration...

For anyone who has been to my house - I have a secret. The design/decor of my living room may seem original, and in general it was (especially since a lot of my furniture was inherited, not purchased). But, I did draw inspiration from another living room, no, full disclosure - by draw inspiration, I mean copied another living room.

It was just so beachy and airy and generally inviting - everything in that room I wanted - and well half consciously and half unconsciously I have pretty much made a dolperganer. So now is the time to come clean, well half clean. Here are some imagines from Bri Henderson  (DesignLoveFest)'s remodeled living room. I'll refrain from showing you my living room - for now.

Yes, we have the exact same rug.

I need more plants. I was just looking at fig trees today at Plant

I've scoured the internet for that navy blue fabric to no avail. 

Teak dining room table? Check. Wax Wagner Tulum photo? Check.Seriously,  I'm just an imposter!

So essentially what I am saying is that if you would like to know how I am going to decorate the rest of my house? Just check out the Emily Henderson, the room's designer, and also my design, hilarious writer, life idol.  

Also - Christine - thanks for the content comment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Summer Goals - September Recap

Ok, so there is snow on the mountain tops and my furnace has kicked in - but I'm still not willing to admit that summer is over! 
  1. Plant a garden at the lake and at home
    • Status: I just dug up my garden at the lake and ate potatoes, beets, carrots, zucchini, and had wonderful spices all weekend long! It was just wonderful. Now I am thinking about how to improve my soil for next year! 
  2. Spend 7 days at a lake, especially shoulder weekends 
    • Status: 7 nights down! I was lucky enough to have access to the cabin on the September long weekend, so I took full advantage. It was such a great way to decompress and relax after quite a busy summer! The weather wasn't great but it was a blessing in disguise since it allowed me to really do nothing except for stoke the fire, read my book and cook (and eat) food! I'll likely be up there for one more night when I put the cabin and garden to bed, so I may even beat my 7 nights!
  3. Camp in my Siesta for 10 nights
    • Status: I've spent 4 nights in it so far. The last two nights were out of the blue and so much fun! The trailer isn't 100% complete STILL but it still worked great! With another trip planned for September, I'm at least going to get 1/2 way there! 
  4. Overnight camp in the backcountry for 5 night
    • Status: No change from last time - only 4 nights down - all from one trip!
  5. Go on 10 hikes / back country mountain bike rides
    • Status: Completed! My day hikes were  - Three sisters (Fernie), Bourgeau Lake (Banff), Lone Pine (Tofino), Barrier Lookout (Kananaskis), Bertha Lake (Waterton); my mountain bike rides were: Castle Mountain (Fernie); my multi day trip was to the Enchantments (Washington State), and I have 1-2 more in the planning stage!
  6. Have 3 BBQs at my house 
    • Status: Fail - it's hard to BBQ when I'm never in town! I've had one person BBQs, and people over for breakfast but nothing more... I am hosting book club this week, so if BBQs = people over then I can maybe sneak by. 
  7. Bike over 200 km on my road bike 
    • Status: After reaching 500 km, I kind of slowed down my riding, but did manage to go on a great road biking trip near Millerville, until the road became gravel! I really do love riding, but have noticed that it is quite hard on my hips. I'll have to be sure to keep on stretching them!
  8. Go to Waterton Lakes National Park 
    • Status: On an impromptu trip I went down in my trailer with a friend from out of town. It was way easier than I anticipated, and while the week leading up to the trip was very busy and I was hesitating on going... I'm so glad I did! I feel quite rejuvenated this week and it was great to see a place I've been dying to get to! 
Views from  the Price of Whales Hotel
Overall, I've done better than I anticipated for the summer, but I'm also exhausted, which makes me re-think my list for next year. I'm so happy I pushed to do all these things -  because it really got me out and didn't allow for any indecision, but I'm not sure that going at break back speeds is also what I want (the grass is always greener...) - As the leaves turn to yellow, I hope to take a few weeks to reflect, collect my photos and memories from the summer and take away some learnings from this summer's to-do list! 

The major up side is that even though the weather this summer has been less than ideal (thundershowers almost everyday), I managed to get out a lot. I feel like this list helped motivate me get out despite the weather - it's so easy to pull the plug when the forecast looks gloomy and plans aren't set in stone, but making plans and having a list to tick off really helps me get out there! 

Monday, September 12, 2016


Life mission 3,496: Find the best Spaghetti Sauce.

The leaves are changing colour - there is a crispness in the air and there has even been snow in the mountains. Fall is definitely here. And with fall comes my desire to cozy up, tuck in and eat a lot of pasta! 

Years ago I discovered this lasagna recipe from Gluten Free Goddess which was to die for! 
This is what got me hooked on the sauce - by far one of the best lasagna recipes I've tried!

I realized that it was the sauce that had all the flavours I loved. Since then I have been trying to adapt it into a meat spaghetti sauce with moderate success. Until last night! (Thanks to Jo Mama) I think I finally cracked the nut, and now have to pen the recipe before I forget all the random ingredients I threw in. 


1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 can tomato paste
1 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers 
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (I forgot this but imagine it would be great)
4 very large garlic cloves (2-3 tablespoons of cut garlic)
2 lbs of ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 a white onion diced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp or more of red wine
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan Cheese
Spaghetti noodles


  1. Dice onion and garlic, keep separate
  2. Place onion in skillet and cook on medium to high heat
  3. Add ground beef to onions, add half the garlic to the skillet and continue to cook at medium to high heat until meat is fully cooked
  4. In a blender / food processor - add diced tomatoes roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes - blend until pureed
  5. Pour tomato / roasted red pepper mixture into a large pot, add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, the remaining garlic, balsamic vinegar, molasses, olive oil, red wine, and the spices, less the salt and pepper, put on a low simmer
  6. When meat is cooked add to the pot of sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Either keep pasta sauce simmering for hours (adding extra water if need be) or let it simmer for another 40 minutes (so it has simmered for about an hour total) and then boil some water for pasta 
  8. Spoon onto pasta, top with parmesan cheese (you can also add parmesan to the sauce)
  9. Lastly - I think this could be used for meat lasagnas as well. It goes great with Portobello mushrooms!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Packing List - Day Hike Summer

I'm excited to be going on my 10th hike / mountain bike of the season! Knocking off another summer goal

Since I'm usually scrambling to get my sh*t together - I made a list of everything I had on my last hike which had us going through rain/hail/sun and wind and got me through it! 
After the rain out came the sun
  1. At least 1.5 liters of water, I like to have two containers and put electrolytes in one
  2. Hiking boots – runners are also good - or even trail runners  - see this article
  3. Hiking socks – not cotton, and two pairs - just in case one gets soaked 
  4. Gators – for mud and scree
  5. Hiking Pants - I usually wear lulu lemon ¾ length pants with no cotton, I sometimes bring shorts, but as I get up high in altitude I typically find it gets cold enough that I don’t need them
  6. Rain pants – I rarely use them, but always bring them
  7. Wick away T-Shirt x 2 – I like to change into one for lunch, typically a long sleeved T-Shirt, I lean towards a T-Shirt instead of a tank top because of backpack straps
  8. Light down jacket/ warm lightweight layer 
  9. Rain jacket
  10. Mitts & Toque (always)
  11. Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, lip sunscreen/chap (always) 
  12. First aid kit (I make my own so it is lightweight
  13. Food: Lunch (sandwich), snacks (homemade trail mix!!) and 2 extra bars in case its longer than I anticipated
  14. Water purification tablets, again a good to have in case I run out of water
  15. Knife because I usually don’t bring my lunch pre made and have to cut cheese on the trail
  16. Rope - not always but sometimes, I feel like it will come in handy
  17. Bear Spray, especially with the current berry situation!
  18. Hiking poles - Some science is still out as to if it alleviates pressure on your joints, but I would rather play it safe. I typically only use them on the way down.
Other things I bring for the car are:
  1. Coffee for the drive out, I leave a little for the drive home
  2. Cooler with beer/soda/cold water
  3. Sandals for changing into when returning to the car
  4. Snacks for the ride home
  5. Good tunes! 
 Let's hope this list helps my packing tonight! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Goals - July Recap

With July almost here - So I thought I would recap on my Summer Goals...
  1. Plant a garden at the lake and at home
    • Status: Completed - I've planted a garden at the lake, some pots and a very modest garden at home. I could plant more in my backyard at home, but I'm happy with the amount I have planted - Plus I just LOVE coming home to my plants every night. I even re-planted my terrarium that I over watered and killed this winter! My garden at the lake has even held up (kinda) with the crazy weather we've been having! (but the deer ate the beet tops!)
      Starting to Grow!
  2. Spend 7 days at a lake, especially shoulder weekends 
    • Status: 4 nights down, 3 to go - I'm finding it hard to find time to get out there and just bailed on one night.. I have to keep on remembering that it's less than a 2 hour drive! However, I just spent the long weekend up there - and could have stayed for days!
      Nothing like a lake sunset.
  3. Camp in my Siesta for 10 nights
    • Status: I've spent 2 nights in it so far. I have fixed it up to 80% complete, but I know that if I put the finishing touches on it, I will want to use it more. But getting 10 nights will be a challenge. I just have to go camp by myself one Friday night and realize how simple it is!
  4. Overnight camp in the backcountry for 5 night
    • Status: 4 nights down - I went on a backcountry camping trip for 4 nights and 5 days - it pushed the limits of my comfort zone but was awesome and is inspiring me to get out more!
  5. Go on 10 hikes / back country mountain bike rides
    • Status: 6 days down - that 5 day camping/hiking trip really helped me with my summer goals! I just went to Barrier Lookout the other weekend, and it was just perfect - not too far, not too long, but great views! I also have some planned for when I'm on the west coast!
      More hikes & more waterfalls!
  6. Have 3 BBQs at my house 
    • Status: What is the definition of a BBQ? Does brunch count? I had some friends over for that and then BBQed at a friends house... Ok, none of that counts. But I'm trying! It will have to wait until August - which may be a good thing since a) I don't have a couch at the moment and b) we've been having some wicked thunderstorms
  7. Bike over 200 km on my road bike 
    • Status: As I arrived to work today (on my bike) I was over 500 km. So for the first time ever, I will have to increase my goal! Whoa, this is a new experience for me! Signing up for the Grand Fondo Badlands was a great motivator to get in the saddle!
  8. Go to Waterton Lakes National Park 
    • Status: Well I didn't get there this spring, but there is hope for some time in August - or I'll put it in my Fall to dos. I imagine the colours would be stunning in October!
Overall, I'm happy with my progress. They are really helping motivate me to get out and just do it! My weekend indecisiveness which leads to staying at home has really dropped since I always have a list of amazing things to fall back on! Plus I really am enjoying the summer - I kind of feel like its half over, when really it has just started! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Packing List - Overnight Hiking Trip with Snow

Packing List

Lay it out. Pack it up.
Here is what I took on a 5 day, 4 night backcountry trip. I would say it worked out pretty well (surprisingly - I'm a notorious over packer). The most unexpectedly enjoyable/well used items were: Scarf, two water bottles (vs one), pen and paper and crampons.

I will definitely reference this list again!

  1. Stove & shield
  2. Stove Fuel
  3. One 2-person pot
  4. Knife (not a multi-tool)
  5. Multi-tool (I didn't use)
  6. Spork
  7. Fair Share Mug
  8. Two water bottles (2L worth of water total; 1-1.5L, 1-0.5L)
  9. Wash Cloth
  10. Camp Suds
  11. Waterproof matches & lighter
  12. Water purification system
  13. Rope for hanging food
  14. Food
  1. Extra pair(s) of underwear - brought one merino wool one - amazing!
  2. Long underwear (top and bottom)
  3. 3 pairs of socks (1 - wool, 1 - hiking, 1 - silk liner)
  4. Sports bra
  5. Non-cotton long leggings 
  6. Merino wool T-shirt - I like t-shirts so my backpack straps don't rub my skin
  7. Long sleeve base layer - I use my lulu lemon running shirt 
  8. Mid-weight base/mid layer
  9. Light puffy (non-down filled) sweater 
  10. Rain Pants
  11. Gore-tex shell
  12. Hiking boots (not waterproof but comfortable)
  13. Gaiters (I used short ones)
  14. Scarf (and neck warmer for winter camping)
  15. Digital watch with alarm
  1. Tent (shared)
  2. Tent ground cover (shared - we used an emergency blanket)
  3. Thermarest (R 3.4 for sleeping on snow)
  4. Sleeping bag (good for -7C)
  5. Headlamp
  6. Hiking poles
  7. Extra baskets for poles (important for snow)
  8. Deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, comb
  9. Ear plugs
  10. Lip chap, gum
  11. Sunscreen and lip sunscreen
  12. Hat
  13. Sunglasses
  14. Backpack rain cover
  15. Repair kit (for Thermarest, and tent - or just put duct tape on your hiking poles)
  16. Toilet paper
  17. Ziplock bags (although likely your food will be in these)
  18. Map (in ziplock bag) and compass
  19. Whistle
  20. Pen / paper
  21. Cards
  22. Book(s) - I brought an ereader with back light - really great!
First Aid Kit (homemade - based on Clever Hiker)
  1. Carabiner
  2. Pain/sleep/diarrhea
  3. Bandaids 
  4. Moleskin & second skin
  5. Antiseptic
  6. No stick gauze
  7. Sports tape
  8. Scissors
Winter Gear
  1. Large Down Jacket
  2. Down mitts
  3. Crampons
  4. Snow Shoes
  5. Ice Axe
Things to note: 
  • I rented my ice axe. Given the number of times I'll use it and the cost (cheap!) to rent, I opted for the rental.
  • I no longer wear hiking pants. They are too thin to provide any significant warmth, don't always allow you to move with as much flexibility, and the fabric/cut are generally quite unflattering. Leggings all the way.
  • Learning from my friend, having a change of clothes for 'night time' really improves comfort level and helps me feel warmer. Whenever we get into camp and have everything set up we would change out of our 'day clothes' and into our 'night clothes' - I would even take off my bra which really helped when it came time to go to bed!
  • Ear plugs (and I wish I would have had an eye mask) make sleeping in a tent 10x better! Especially with someone else / during the long summer days
  • I like to follow the rule: One item per I like having one of each, but no more than one of each.
  • I like to have my stuff compartmentalized, so I can just grab one larger bag out of my pack with say all of my kitchen stuff in it. Plus it makes me misplace stuff less. 
  • When in doubt, don't take it. The weight rarely out weights the comfort of having the item (minus things that keep you warm and full).
  • I watched a lot of Clever Hiker episodes on lightweight hiking (to help with my perpetual overpacking)
  • You can do it! We are so much more capable/adaptable/resilient than we think - and it's so much fun! 
Light packing helps on the ups!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three things... (2016.06.09)

Three things I have been loving these days:

MM Lafleur
There are so many dresses and tops I would love to wear to work... Plus the models have the most amazing poses! 
Love this feminine but not floral top

"A material so comfortable, it will give your yoga pants a serious run for their money" And it's machine washable? Sold.
So that's what I look like when when someone does something wrong...
What a great classic dress, a V neck that isn't too deep! 

They also have this service call the Bento Box, where you fill out a questionnaire and then they send you a box full of items they think you would like - including jewelry! You just mail back the items that don't work. Unfortunately it's only currently shipping to the states... Or else I would be signing up!

Block Heel Shoes

They are a great mix between high heels and flats and keeps things dressy in a no none sense kind of way, Now with a sprained ankle, getting a pair has become more pressing. I ordered the following three pairs of shoes, hoping one of them will work out

Gravity Pope

Gold Detail

Bow detail

They are sooo nice and comfortable! But quite a high heel still 

Brunch & Aquafaba
I had some friends over for brunch on the weekend and it was just the loveliest time. It was nice to get together before the temperatures soared into the 30s. I have fallen off the brunch wagon with my intolerance to eggs (it really limits the options!) so I took this opportunity to try out some eggless brunch recipes. Let me tell you Aquafaba is a game changer. 

A little icing on the top

These waffles were pretty darn delicious and fluffy, and I couldn't really tell that they were egg free! I would probably add less sugar next time.

I'm also excited to try some of these recipes.