Scenes from my Week

colorful serving dishes {goodies I picked up on super sale at the William Ashley event}

Have you ever had one of those weeks that went by in the blink of an eye, yet painfully slow all at once? Time, man. It’s a mystery. I managed to jam pack a WHOLE lot into the past few days and kind of feel like my head is spinning as a result. Not only did I have a handful of wonderful client meetings, but I also managed to sneak in even MORE birthday celebrations (I am so good at this birth month thing), dinner at Gusto 101 AND an afternoon watching Crazy for You (um. SO good). To top it all off? I was invited to shop the preview of the William Ashley warehouse sale before it was open to the public! It’s something my mom and I have gone to every year for a while now, so being able to peruse the aisles sans crowds was extra exciting.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I completed some serious Christmas shopping. And may or may not have picked up a few awesome goodies for myself while I was at it… which is usually against my rules - oops. The sale is officially open to the public today, and I highly recommend the trip. Have an awesome weekend friends!! xx

Cinderella pumpkins {Cinderella pumpkins at the pumpkin patch}

gifted moet {a “congrats on your new business” celebration with my mom & sis}

fall magazines {autumnal recipe research}

chocolate river rocks {chocolate river rocks at St. Jacobs Market}

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Scenes from my Week

Garden rose arrangement {spoiled rotten with roses from my sweet friend}

Grief is a funny thing. Although we lost my grandmother almost 6 months ago, it hadn’t really hit me until this week. But of course, it hit me hard and fast and totally out of left field. Such a jerk, that emotion, isn’t it?

Jacquelyn | lark & linen {me, at 29 years}

You see, on Tuesday I turned 29 (which I was apprehensive about to begin with. I mean, we’re perching perilously close to 30 around here!). And though my birthday was wonderful in every sense of the word, I couldn’t help but notice an underlying sadness. Which in turn made me feel guilty because everyone was honestly so good to me all day long. But it wasn’t until I woke up Wednesday morning that I realized why. 

Colette Cafe Toronto {a birthday lunch at Colette Cafe}

In my 29 years thus far, my grandma has never missed a birthday. Not once. The card was always there on time, like clockwork, without fail.  And by the end of the day she’d call to let you know she was thinking of you (and to make sure you successfully received the card). For someone who REALLY likes birthdays, this has always made me feel incredibly special. Though I’ve of course had my moments since she passed, it really didn’t feel real until Tuesday. 

birthday glass {my birthday chalice, obviously}

But I know for certain that these emotions needed to be felt. And not feeling them is terribly dangerous for everyone involved. So I’ve allowed myself to wallow, just a little, all while reminding myself that it feels good to have had the opportunity to love someone so much that it hurts sometimes. Hug your grandma and enjoy your weekend, friends. I insist! 

Chocolate souffle {chocolate soufflé for two}

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Scenes from my Week

 bobbette-et-belle {mid-day break at Bobbette & Belle}

This week marks my very first as my own boss-lady and it was, in truth, all SORTS of amazing. Though I gave myself permission to slowly ease myself into this new role, everything is starting to come together fairly quickly. I had a couple of awesome potential client meetings, went for a handful of beach-side runs, and have started brainstorming some fun new ideas for this here blog. Though I was more or less planning on taking the week off for my mental health’s sake, I feel as if I accomplished a whole lot, on very little stress. Hurrah! 

This weekend marks Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada which means there are a whole lot of pies coming at my face. I’m pretty much just counting down the minutes #fatkid. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to my local readers. And I wish everyone else the most wonderful regular weekend! 

xoxo

cute-wrapping {brown paper packages tied up with string ribbon}

raspberry-syrup {fab idea: using this raspberry syrup in my sparkling water all week}

Beach {crisp beach mornings}

toronto-flower-market {floral goodies at the Style at Home event on Wednesday}

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BIG News!

lark & linen interior design

You guys have absolutely no idea how difficult it was to keep this a secret for the last few months (hello TERRIBLE secret keeper!) I’m feeling incredibly bittersweet about the whole ordeal, but have been DYING to let the cat out of the bag!

As of next Monday, I will no longer be editor for Style Me Pretty Living. I know, the thought gets me all choked up inside – I just love it over there. But I promise it’s for good reason… 

bright bedroom | lark & linen interior design

I am officially launching my own interior design business!! Ever since leaving my job as a full time designer to tackle the role of editor for SMP Living, I’ve been dabbling in freelance interior design work in my spare time. And the whole multiple job thing? It’s been nuts. Nuts!! I am not complaining – not even a little bit – because I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have gotten to do what I love (twice) every single day. But over the course of the past few months, things have really started to shift. Jobs have come in pretty consistently with little effort, and that little voice in the back of my mind just couldn’t help but wonder what could happen if I poured my heart and soul into it. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. There have just been countless serendipitous moments that have helped give me that final push to pursue what I’ve dreamt about doing since I was a little girl. To be my own boss. To own my own firm

stunning snowberry arrangement

So here I am, taking the plunge, and I’m totally terrified and beyond excited all at once. It’s a roller coaster around here, I tell you! Half the time I could squeal with delight and no more than a minute later I’m this close to totally tossing my cookies. Good times all around!

But if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that this never would have happened if it weren’t for you. Yep. YOU. You guys have given me a platform – a voice – and so. many. incredible opportunities. So thank you. Truly. From the very depths of my bursting heart. I just love you so!

girly meets edgy dining room | lark & linen interior design

So if you feel so inclined, check out my new site, pass it along to your mama (or that super rich aunt of yours who is DYING for a brand spanking new living room ;) and I will love you forever and ever for it. 

lovely living room | lark & linen interior design 

So what does this mean for Lark & Linen? Amazing, wonderful things! I can feel it! With more free time, I’m hoping to create more original content. Scour more jaw-dropping restaurants and beautifully designed homes. Scenes from my weekend will now be moved to Friday and referred to as Scenes from my Week (mostly because I have a feeling that running my own business will mean weeks and weekends will begin to bleed together, but also because, on the odd occasion, I do fun things I want to share during the week as well!) In addition, I hope to share a whole lot more of what goes on behind the design scenes around here! Full blown projects, mood boards, sample boards, design dilemmas, tips, tricks and all the beautiful goods. 

office | lark & linen interior design

And lastly, after a whole crapton of back and forth, I have made the decision to join an ad network to help generate some income while I get my business up and running. I know this is a hot topic in blog world and I so hope you know that I did not take this decision lightly. In the 4 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve only ever done two sponsored posts in fear of loosing my voice and your trust. I’ve seen so many blogs flounder the moment they decide to monetize, which has always made me hesitant to take the plunge. But I’ve also seen a number of them do so with ease and grace. And you’d better believe I’ve been taking diligent notes.

When it comes down to it, I just really need to eat (you know I like my food). But you have my word that I will always be completely, 100% upfront with everything I do. I would rather starve than loose your trust. And there is nothing. I mean NOTHING. I will ever help promote if I don’t, one hundred percent, wholeheartedly stand behind it (or wouldn’t gladly blog about it free of charge). My bar is set supremely high and it’s not going anywhere. Pinky promise. 

Onwards and upwards I say! I do hope you stick around for this journey! 

XOXOXOXO forever and ever. 

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Photography: Heidi Lau for Lark & Linen | Flowers: Sweet Woodruff  | My New Site: Lark & Linen Interiors

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Scenes from my Weekend

cozy-knit-sweater-+-casual-braids {cozy knits & casual braids}

On Friday, the weather cooled off just enough to justify busting out a handful of cozy knits, but not enough to tuck away the flats quite yet (my inner autumnal lover was terribly excited). Meanwhile, Saturday was warm and glorious – mother nature was totally showing off. Essentially, it was weather perfection around here which made for the most wonderfully well rounded weekend! Dinner parties were had, cotton candy pink bridesmaid dresses were dyed navy (an attempt to make it feel less bridesmaid-y. Verdict’s still out!), Buca‘s tiramisu was ingested (quicker than I’d like to admit), and on Sunday? Well on Sunday I woke up to the sound of the rain. And despite the fact that it cleared up by 9 am, I took it as a sign that I should totally stay in bed for as long as physically possible (complete with a really terrible – yet entertaining – book). 

coffee-run {tea amongst friends}

dyed-spoon {the results of a fun Saturday}

snow-berries {beautiful snowberries}

reading-in-bed {the laziest of all lazy Sundays}

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Scenes from my Weekend

pink-roses {beautiful blooms from Sweet Woodruff}

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this summer was borderline a write off. With an assortment of to-do’s on the schedule most every weekend, we were left with very little time to drink in the long, leisurely days that summer typically promises to bring. And though there was an undeniable crispness in the air this past weekend, it felt like the universe was giving us our much-needed summer hurrah. One final set of days to allow us to bid the season adieu as the weather shifts, the leaves fall and riding boots emerge. Not only did we put all our responsibilities aside to celebrate our 8 year anniversary (what!) but we also headed outside the city to spend the evening at a friend’s farm. She hosted her first annual barn party – complete with a bouncy castle, body painter and full blown DJ booth, as you do – and kicking back, tent popped up nearby, surrounded by the best of the best, was just what the doctor ordered. Fall, I’m ready for ya! 

curly-hair {because I got my hair blown out for the first time and that swoop needed to be documented}

prosecco-and-pizza {pizza & prosecco in celebration of our 8 year anniversary}

tent {barn party accommodations}

dahlias {crazy good dahlias holding strong (also from Sweet Woodruff)}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Jackson-Triggs-Winery {The Arkells concert at Jackson Triggs Winery}

This collection of photos right here is proof that you can’t always believe what you see online. With just four days left until we shoot our home tour, despite what the photos portray, this weekend was mostly spent prepping our place. I’m telling you, it has never looked better (and I’m so SO excited to share every last inch in the coming weeks). Though we did spend a good chunk knee deep in cleaning supplies and random household tasks, we somehow also managed to sneak in a handful of leisurely weekend activities. A Friday night in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quick Saturday brunch followed (later) by a wonderful dinner, and a super slow Sunday morning were a great way to balance out our massive list of to-do’s. 

hillebrand-winery {family dinner at Hillebrand Winery}brunch {messy hair don’t care}Wood-Restaurant---Toronto {a fabulous dinner at Woods}croissants {a slow Sunday morning}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Statement necklace & lace | Lark & Linen {fall shopping results}

Though this weekend was wonderful for a multitude of different reasons (some new wardrobe bits included), there is one specific moment that will forever and always take the cake: we found out that Justin’s sister is having a baby girl! The whole family got together on Saturday afternoon for our first-ever gender reveal party. I’m kind of loving this new trend, if for no other reason than it gives us all just one more excuse to celebrate. This will be the first baby in both our families and the excitement is absolutely palpable. A long weekend slam dunk, that’s for sure! Here’s some photographic evidence…

Club Monaco | Lark & Linen {sometimes I wish I could live in a Club Monaco store}

Chocolate cupcake | Lark & Linen {having a moment}

Gender reveal  | Lark & Linen {I’m going to have a niece!}

White bedding  | Lark & Linen {got my hands on the most luxurious bedding. I feel like a real adult!}

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Scenes from my Weekend

 condo{freshly painted bookshelves}

Our apartment has been scrubbed. Shelves have been painted. Our fridge is stocked. We’re like real adults over here! We spent our weekend knee deep in all things house related, and though it was exhausting, boy does it ever feel good. Fear not, though… we did still manage to sneak out for some fun. Dinners at both Agava y Aguacate and Patois were (seriously) enjoyed, summery backyard parties with really good people were had, and then some. In essence, we fully subscribe to the work hard play hard rule! 

colette-cafe {the beautiful Colette Cafe}

ikea{scenes from Ikea}

orange-roses {just-because flowers}

st-james {my favourite spot in the city}

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Scenes from my Weekend

red-lips {all dolled up for a 50th birthday party | wearing Lancome’s Rouge in Love lipstick, Topshop necklace & YSL Sunglasses}

It’s officially been an entire month since we spent a weekend in the city, which meant that we had a whole lot of Toronto time to make up for. And though I had every intention on scrubbing our place clean (oh, the dust bunnies!) dinners out and Leslieville Farmers’ Market’s bacon fest somehow snuck in there and took precedence. I’m a terrible adult – I know. But between finally seeing what all the hype was about at Electric Mud (totally get it now), playing photographer at a family friend’s 50th, and a day at the races for my dad’s birthday, it’s safe to say that this weekend was conquered. 

succulent-arrangement {backyard loveliness}

polka-dot-sheets {a lazy Saturday morning}

toronto {summer in the city}

buca {almond flavoured goodies from Buca}

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Scenes from my Weekend at the Cottage

cottage_beach-reads {deliciously mind-numbing reads on the dock}

I wasn’t able to get up to the cottage much in June or July, but I’m making up for it tenfold so far this August! Per my count, I’m 2 for 2 and have nary a complaint! This time, two of my girlfriends and I headed up for a weekend full of sunshine bliss. In dire contrast to last weekend, the sun was out in full force and it was the first weekend of the season that truly screamed summer. Truth be told, we barely left the dock. But when we did, it was for good reason (ahem: ice cream!) I’ve been feeling slightly under the weather for the last few days, and a couple of low-key lakeside days with my lady friends was just what the doctor ordered.

  cottage_floating {bliss}

cottage_taco-truck {the county’s slow taco = heaven}

cottage_retail-therapy {picnic blankets galore!}

cottage_sunset {in my pj’s before the sun set} 

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Scenes from my Weekend at the Cottage

cottage_bikini {summer in picture format}

Though I’d normally be bummed that the majority of our cottage weekend was overcast, it was honestly a blessing in disguise. Like the majority of people I know, our summer has been jam packed with various activities and, due to a serious case of FOMO, we’ve hopped around endlessly in an attempt to do it all. But this weekend was exactly what we needed. Long naps on the porch swing, more food than any one human should ingest, and sunset swims (when the skies cleared temporarily) made for the perfect way to recoup! 

cottage_country {cottage walks}

cottage_radishes {goodies at Hagerman’s}

cottage_reading{porch swings & new reads}

cottage_campfire {late night cottage bliss}

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Scenes from my Weekend: my Sister’s Wedding Edition

kathleens-wedding-7{wedding baubles – shoes from J. Crew, clutch from Asos, jewel bag from Bag All}

If my 4 hour nap on Sunday afternoon is of any inclination, I’d say that my sister’s wedding was an absolute slam dunk. Seriously. To be able to stand next to one of my favourite people in the world as she recited her I do’s is a moment that will surely be hard to top. I can confidently say that my sister is one of the most incredible people in the world (I swear to you, should you ever be privy to be in her presence you’d legitimately nod in agreement), and I absolutely cannot wait to stand alongside her for this next chapter in her life. 

Truth be told, I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t have enough photos for my SFMW post today as the entire weekend was a beautiful whirlwind. But I did manage to piece together a collection of little snippets to remember these magical few days! 

IMG_6456{one of the only photos I managed to get of us day of}

kathleens-wedding-3{wildflower bouquet details}  

kathleens-wedding-5 {my new brother in law!!}

kathleens-wedding-8 {dress details}

kathleens-wedding-11 {Justin & I}

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Scenes from my Weekend

flowers{views from Noemie’s farm}

So this was technically supposed to go up yesterday, but I’d say the fact that I was too utterly exhausted to string together a series of coherent words on Sunday was the sign of a really wonderful few days. This weekend? Oh, it was good. Rejuvenating. Soulful. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

As I mentioned on Friday, our friend Jess flew in from Sweden to spend the next couple of days with us. We kidnapped her mere minutes after her plane landed on Friday, and headed straight to our friends incredible new farm. To be honest, I always forget how desperately I need my girlfriends until I get the chance to soak them in for days at a time. These ladies right here are my lifeline – truly. They’ve been my rock(s) for over 21 years now, and I count myself lucky every. single. day. They fuel my absurdities, put me in my place when I’m out of line, and act as my cheerleaders when I need it the most. I feel fulfilled when I’m around them - and though it doesn’t happen nearly often enough, it’s so so good when it does.

iceland-chocolate{I don’t know what I love more – this packaging or the icelandic chocolate within}

barn{scenes from the barn}

rain-boots{Giroux, the magical cat that will turn any cat hater into a pile of mush}

field{attempting to hike off the embarrassing amount of food we consumed}

green-pes{picking peas for dinner}

girls 
{my people}

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Scenes from my Weekend

rooftop-pool-party
{rooftop pool party}

I hate to glorify the word busy, but this summer has been absolutely insane thusfar. Between trips to visit my grandparents, weekends in Ottawa, bachelorette parties and the like, I’ve felt as if every single summer moment up until this point has been planned and scheduled to the minute. With the next couple of weekends jam-packed with an assortment of other activities, I was left with this weekend alone to do exactly as I saw fit. And though my days were still jam-packed with (ridiculously delicious) dinners at Pai, rooftop pool parties and late night french onion soup at the new Cluny Bistro, I can’t tell you how nice it was to not have any real commitments. It was a leisurely summer weekend of the best variety and I am one happy camper! Plus, I was finally able to get my roots all fixed up and if you’ve seen me at all in the last few weeks you would know that this was a longggg time coming. 

flowers
{rainboots and flowers at Wish}

cupcake 
{peanut butter chocolate birthday cupcake for a girlfriend}

watermelon-jello
{reliving our university days with watermelon jello “shots”}

glamour-magazine-feature 
{my feature in the UK Glamour Mag(!!!!)}

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Scenes From My Sisters’ Bachelorette

bachelorette-survival-kits
{bachelorette survival kits (tutorial to come!)}

When my older sister got engaged last summer, it wasn’t long before we started chatting bachelorette party ideas (I mean, obviously!) Originally, we intended to forgo the typical messy affair for a sophisticated weekend in Niagara On the Lake – wine tours, fancy suppers, adorable bed and breakfasts… the works! Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to revisit our grand plans at the top of the hour. And since NOTL was no longer on the table, we decided to embrace the traditional bachelorette in all of it’s tacky, messy, wonderful glory. And honestly? It was an absolute blessing in disguise. As it turns out, you’re never too sophisticated for glittery pink sunglasses, inappropriate cookies and jagerbombs (so long as you start the evening with champagne and italian feast, of course)! It was such an honour to be given the chance to help celebrate one of the most amazing people I know – and I truly can’t wait for her wedding in just a few short weeks! 

the-girls
{pre-dinner photoshoots: mom, sister and I (wearing Tieks, Old Navy & Rachel Roy}

jac-kath-bachelorette
{bachelorette shenanigans}
 bachelorette-cookies
{cutest bachelorette cookies ever from the Ibakery}

light-pink-peonies
{the last of the seasons’ peonies for my sister (who also just bought a house!)}

bachelorette 
{Seriously. An awesome weekend}
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Scenes from Thunder Bay

packing
{packing for a weekend away}

On Friday evening we packed our bags and flew to North Western Ontario to visit my aging grandparents. Though Thunder Bay isn’t exactly the most beautiful city in the world, it’s filled with some of my personal favourite people. And what it lacks in architectural beauty, it more than makes up for in rushing rivers and towering pine forests. Seriously, the Canadian landscape is unlike anything else. In addition to the rustic surroundings, if you ever do find yourself over that way, it’s worth noting: their bowling alleys are totally on point. Like a time capsule straight from the 90′s. Also to note: I am a TERRIBLE, terrible bowler. You most certainly do not want me on your team. 

ps – notes from last summer in Thunder Bay right here

pps – The Hoito may be a world famous landmark, but the insides hurt my design loving soul. That said, their Finnish pancakes (with strawberry sauce) are kind of totally worth it… 

clouds 
{en route to Grandma & Grandpa’s}

grandpa 
{my favourite 92 year old}

art
{Thunder Bay’s teeny tiny art gallery}

grandma
{Grandma in Florida c: 1970}

 thunder-bay
{beauty downtown Thunder Bay}

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Scenes from my Weekend

strawberry-bellini{strawberry bellinis & cheese plates on the balcony}

sugar-beach{Friday night at the Wine & Spirit fest}

pool-party{annual family pool party}

havanese-puppy{Neville: the cutest puppy in all the land}

 guava-lychee{guava & lychee popsicles at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market}

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Scenes from my Weekend

montauk-couch
{couch shopping with my mom}

beer
{a year of dates No. 4: the Beaches BBQ & Brews Festival}

ice-cream-sandwich
{the most delicious mess for this weeks’ recipe}

fathers-day-gift-wrap
{gifts for dad}
dear-kate
{not usually one to air out my undergarments, but Dear Kate sent me this set and it’s seriously the most flattering, most comfortable pair I’ve ever owned}

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Scenes from my Weekend in Ottawa

sharpei-puppy
{meeting Moose!}

There are just a small handful of people that I would happily drive 9(+) hours for in a single weekend, and my dear friend Holly happens to be one of them. After meeting just over a year ago at our former design firm, we immediately hit it off and I somehow knew from that very first conversation that we would be lifelong friends. Within weeks of our initial introduction we were planning weekend getaways to cottages and beyond. I don’t know about you, but this very rarely (if ever) happens to me. Much to my original dismay, she’s since relocated to Ottawa where she started her own design firm, gotten engaged and picked up the cutest adorable sharpei puppy in all the land. And though our visits are less frequent these days, we’ve gotten really good at making them worthwhile every chance we get.

parliament-buildings-ottawa
{Ottawa Parliament buildings}
fresh-berries
{summer berries at the market}

pancake-food-truck
{pancake breakfast from Flapjack’s Pancake Truck}

terariums
{a bit of retail therapy}

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Scenes from my Weekend

color-me-rad-gear
{Color Me Rad gear}

For Valentine’s Day this year, I surprised Justin with a year full of dates – a surprise adventure once a month every month until February 2015. On the roster for May: a 5k run with Color Me Rad! In a nutshell, it’s a super-mini marathon of the 5k variety in which every participant decks themselves out in white and people throw colourful powder at you throughout. Silly, but so much fun and pretty much the most epic way to spend a Saturday. In light of full disclosure, if you had asked me at the 4.5 K mark if I’d do it again, I would have had some very strong words for you. But now that it’s over I’m totally and completely on board. I feel like the same can be said for childbirth… right? But I digress. 

The rest of the weekend followed suit with a handful of al fresco meals (including Thai takeout and boardgames on our own recently scrubbed balcony), and was finished off with a birthday barbecue for my brother. In other words? A pretty wonderful bright and shiny few days.

Color-Me-Rad---Hair
{the aftermath}

color-me-rad
{scenes from Color Me Rad}

white-wine-sangria
{sunshine & sangria}

Candle
{a scrubbed balcony, warm weather, and cocktails}
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CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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Scenes from my Weekend

balloon-backdrop
{scenes from my sisters’ bridal shower}

This weekend was more than bittersweet as we celebrated ends and new beginnings all at once. On Friday afternoon we laid my grandmother to rest, and though it was incredibly difficult to say our final goodbyes, I didn’t realize how desperately I needed that closure until that very moment. Per my grandmother’s request, it was an intimate interment with only immediate family. And honestly, it was beautiful. Just what she would have wanted, I’m absolutely certain. 

On Saturday, in dire contrast to a more solemn (yet equally beautiful) Friday, my mom and I threw my sister a bridal shower! The theme: a modern tea party, with an emphasis on delicious eats. We served whisky spiked peach ice tea, traditional high tea fare with a twist (cheddar cheese biscuits, early grey cookies…) and the most delicious raspberry chocolate cake from the best ever Toronto bakery. The room was full of some of my very favourite people, and it was, bar none, the very best way to spend ones weekend. 

peonies
{bridal shower assembly}
pinot-grigio
{patio pinot grigio}
ruffle-cake
{raspberry chocolate ruffles}
tea
{bridal shower tea, 3 ways}

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Scenes from my Weekend

packed-bags
{his & hers bags, packed and ready for the cottage}

Though I’ll never deny my city girl ways, there’s just something about country air that simply can’t be beat. On Friday evening, Justin and I packed our bags and headed east to join my family at the cottage for the first official country long-weekend of the “summer”. Though the weather didn’t exactly co-operate (it looks significantly warmer in these photos than it was, I promise), we still pretended it was warm all the same. Ice cream was ingested, patio cocktails were enjoyed, and we even managed to squeeze in not one, but two campfires (s’mores and all).

prince-edward-county
{nature walks}

slickers-ice-cream
{peanut butter chocolate at Slickers}

squished-face
{my little cousin’s freckled mug}

sunset
{until next time…}

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Scenes From my Weekend

wine
{date night: his & hers}

city-and-colour-concert
{City & Colour concert}

te-aro-Toronto
{patio weather at Te Aro}

iced-latte
{the first of many iced lattes of the season}

mothers-ay-gift
{Mother’s Day gift: a photo book of our South African adventure}

This weekend I…
:: Went to the City & Colour concert with Justin (amazing)
:: Sat on a patio (!!!) and drank iced lattes (!!!)
:: Went for a beach run (followed by Indian take-out – balance, you know?)
:: Started a new design project
:: Celebrated Justin’s cousins birthday
:: Soaked up the sun as much as physically possible
:: and toasted to my mom at the fabulous THR & Co.

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Scenes from my Weekend

eds-ice-cream leslie-street-spit-toronto linden-flowers neon-rachel-roy-blouse rhum-corner-toronto

This weekend I…
:: Scrubbed the crap out of our condo (we’re talkin’ baseboards & all!)
:: Watched an embarrassing number of scandal episodes during a very bleak & rainy Saturday
:: Potentially drank too many dark and stormies at the “new” Haitian restaurant, Rhum Corner(note: forget the griot, definitely try a rum concoction, and order the fish dish – oh man, so good!)
:: Shopped for summer something’s (and scored a neon Rachel Roy number on super sale)
:: Ate brunch on a patio (!!!) for the first time this year. (I still stand by the fact that Bonjour Brioche is an epic brunch locale, but we discovered that their caesars are… weird. Like, not good weird. All the same, a must if you’re ever in Toronto, just skip that step!)
:: Got ahead of ourselves with the first sign of warmth and headed over to Ed’s Ice Cream
:: And tried to make up for it all with a hike on Leslie Street Spit

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Scenes from my Weekend

lazy-saturday
{lazy Saturday morning}

I can’t even begin to tell you how satisfying these last few days were. After giving up most every weekend for almost two months (thanks NCIDQ exam!) I knew I had some serious time to make up for, and make up I did. With romantic dinners with my mister and group dinners with good friends, followed by drinks at Bar Montauk and late-night dim sum in Chinatown. In addition, I somehow managed to sneak in FOUR naps (I totally have my black belt in napping) and didn’t get out of  my pyjamas until 6 pm on Saturday. I read almost an entire book (Wally Lamb’s We Are Water, though not as enjoyable as his past books, is still a great read ps) and drank bottomless cups of tea. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there are zero complaints to be had around these parts. How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

concrete-necklace
{a birthday gifts for a wonderful friend}
la-carnita
{dinner at la Carnita. Advice: skip everything and go for the fish tacos & street corn}

hedgehog
{my little sister’s new pet}
rol-san-dim-sum_Toronto
{late night dim sum at Rol San}
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Scenes from Mexico

beach-2

If I’m being completely honest, our family vacation to Mexico can best be described as bittersweet. The trip itself was perfectly relaxing, filled to the brim with sand and sun of the best variety. The resort was lovely, the beach picture perfect, the company unbeatable, and the food? Well, we’ll just skip that part (read: awful).  

hotelbeach3

On our third day in paradise we received word that my grandma, who was forced to stay behind with my aunt (doctor’s orders), had taken a turn for the worst. Just three weeks before we left, we found out she had cancer. We were told we had six months, though we knew we’d be lucky to get half. 

DSC_0041drinks-on-the-beach

To find out your grandma wasn’t going to make it through the day while sunning by the pool is surreal. In truth, it rocked all of us to our core. My cousin who, for lack of a better word, idolized my grandmother walked down the aisle, a beautiful, picturesque, sandy aisle, with a void in all of our hearts. 

forestbeach justin-and-i

I’m lucky enough to come from a massive, incredibly close, incredibly solid family. Though it broke all of our hearts that we weren’t there during my grandma’s final hours, we were all together, as one solid unit and that most definitely helped get each one of us through.

beach-wedding-2 beach-wedding ashley-&-kris

We celebrated my grandma the best way we knew how: a poolside toast, rye and coke in hand (my grandma’s drink of choice). And we take comfort knowing that she’s no longer in pain, and alongside my grandpa, the love of her life. 

champagne-on-the-beach hanging-lanterns family-photo bbq-on-the-bech palm-tree    mexico-beachspatropical-plants

RIP Grandma, you’ll be sorely missed, but never, ever, ever, forgotten.   line
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CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend, Travel, Vacation
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Scenes From My Weekend

doctors-closet
{fact: tea tastes better in a golden mug – thank you sweet Monika!}

hamam-spa
{pre-vacation mani-pedi’s at Hammam}

bag-all
{slightly obsessed with Bag-All’s travel collection}

list
{list making for Mexico!}

patria-toronto
{incredible brunch at Patria}

This weekend I…
. Wrote my final licensing exam (!!!) .
. Celebrated with cocktails .
. Went to bed at 9 pm and loved every second (#gettingold) .
. Met my cousin for the most insanely delicious brunch .
. Treated myself to a fancy mani-pedi . 
. Cleaned the crap out of our condo – we’re talkin’ baseboards and all . 
. Started packing for Mexico (T minus 2 days!) . 
Your turn!

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Scenes from my Weekend

groceries
{weekend errands}

Are you guys as sick of hearing about my exam as I am talking about it? I’m thinking if I ever tackle a series of exams again in the future I’ll just take a break from the SFMW series as it feels as if the last few weeks have sounded more or less the same. The good news is that this weekend marked the very last time I’ll have to study for this darn thing! That is, of course, if everything goes as planned and I totally kick this exams butt!

Apart from the aforementioned study sessions, I did partake in a few outside activities: namely my sisters’ wedding shower. Plans are underway, invitations have been stuffed, and I’m excited for what’s to come! How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

doodle
{brainstorming my sisters’ wedding shower invites}

earth-hour
{earth hour dinner party}

tulips-and-crafts
{stuffing wedding shower envelopes}

balzacs-chai-latte
{my last NCIDQ study date EVER! Well, hopefully}
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Scenes from my Weekend

neon-bikini
{a new suit for Mexico}

The countdown to my exam is officially on: only one more weekend in which I must study and then it’s go-time! For the first time in my life I feel almost too prepared. There’s a good chance I started studying a little too early – but I keep telling myself there’s no such thing as being over-prepared. I’m ready though – this whole giving up chunks of my weekend is getting rather old.  

In addition to two more intense study sessions, I did manage to squeeze in a bit of fun. Justin and I went out on an adventure on Friday. And by adventure I mean we found a yurt in which to imbibe in some pre-dinner cocktails, and we ended our evening with some impromptu palm readings on our walk home. Though I don’t have any strong feelings any which way when it comes to psychics, my reading was incredibly positive – so fingers crossed that everything comes true! In addition, I finally tackled some serious roots on Saturday AND got to watch my little sister rock the court at her basketball game. All in all, a successful few days. How was yours?!

breakfast-bowl
{my new favourite breakfast (“recipe” to come!)}

succulent-garden
{a mini succulent garden}

latte-extra-foam
{lattes & hair appointments}

ceili-cottage
{cocktails in a yurt, downtown Toronto no less}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Watermelon-Cotton-Candy
{when you get your bill @ Dukes you get watermelon cotton candy!}

Despite the fact that Saturday consisted of an ELEVEN HOUR study session, this weekend was a pretty darn good one. My girlfriend and I took an 8-hour sample practice exam in order to prepare for the real thing and, though gruelling, we’re both feeling pretty confident about our ability to tackle the real deal. And because of our epic Saturday session, we were able to take most of the day Sunday to do as we saw fit. You guys? I brunched! I haven’t done that in FOREVER – I totally forgot what it felt like to have a few hours free. Also? What’s up with everyone’s birthdays in March – we celebrated three more this weekend. I’m not complaining, but is it just my friends who all happen to be born at the same time? How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

wedding-shower-planning
{the beginning stages of wedding shower planning for my sister}

Elle-decor
{a good mail day (thanks Jackie!!)}

st-patricks-day-outfit
{St. Patty’s Day ensemble: green & gold}

baby-gifts
{apparently when you turn 28, everyone you know starts having babies.
My favourite? This elephant hat fromThe Gap}

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Scenes from my Weekend

croissant-and-magazine
{the ideal study break}

Truth: 99% of this weekend was spent nose deep in the “books”. And by the books, I mean drafting my ass off as I prepare for my final Interior Design licensing exam. This one is a drawing exam and to say it’s intense would be a massive understatement. My girlfriend and I have been getting together every Saturday and Sunday to really prepare – and with just over three weeks left until the big day, we’ve officially reached crunch time! I apologize in advance if all you see for around here for the next few Mondays is photos of messy buns and pencil shavings. It’s not very pretty around here these days! But such is life, am I right?

Toronto-skyline
 {3 degree weather = serious excitement}

west-elm-goodies
{West Elm goodies}

beer
{Justin gets matchy matchy at my cousins birthday}line
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Scenes from my Weekend

richmond-station
{surprise date night at Richmond Station}

jewelry 
{girls’ night out essentials}

cheese-plate
{bachelorette party pre-gaming}

skyzoe
{trampolining at Skyzone!} 

tulips
{signs of spring at the St. Lawrence Market}

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Scenes from my Weekend

neon-sign

{dinner & drinks with my highschool girlfriends}

Lately I’ve been making huge attempts to stop the glorification of the word busy (great article, by the way). I really hate complaining about how nuts things have been, especially since I only have myself to blame. I’m the queen of biting off more than I can chew, and it seems to be getting worse as I age. 

This weekend was incredible, don’t get me wrong, but the combination of trying to balance a social life (dinner & drinks with girlfriends, a massive family slumberparty at my cousins’ new home, a trip to the Leslieville Flea Market…), paired with my attempts at squeezing in two 7 hour study sessions (I’m writing my final licensing exam in April) and this girl is wiped. WIPED! Plus you should see the state of my condo – the dust bunnies are currently birthing their own dust bunnies. Where does one sign up for a weekend to recoup from her weekend?
 
orchid

{round 2 of operation keep an orchid alive}

study

{NCIDQ study session}

breakfast-in-bed

{breakfast in bed}

leslieville-flea-market

{pretty things at the Leslieville Flea}

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Scenes from my Valentine’s Day Weekend

12-months-of-dates
{12 months of dates}

Let’s face it, long weekends are usually fantastic if for no other reason than you’re given three whole days. But this particular one was significantly more special. Though Justin and I don’t typically go over the top for Valentine’s day, in an effort to save money this year we both decided to keep it even more low-key than usual. Having removed any unnecessary expectations resulted in one of the best days I’ve had in a while. It turns out, a stunning bouquet of purple and white blooms, some take-out pizza from our favourite pizza place and a bottle (or two) of bubbly makes for the perfect evening.

Though we agreed to no gifts, I kind of couldn’t help myself and ended up arranging 12 months of dates for us. To say that we’re busy these days is a massive understatement. Between my day job at Style Me pretty Living, keeping up with Lark & Linen, studying for my final licensing exam and handling my freelance design work, all while trying to balance a social life is tough – I’m not going to lie.  I figured that making sure we had at least one full day dedicated to just us each and every month was a great way to ensure we still make our relationship a priority. I’m excited for what’s to come!

In addition, on Saturday my mom, sister, brother and I headed out to pick up my sisters’ wedding dress. It was a really special moment that I will forever cherish. To celebrate: sushi, wine, and cheese plates from Alex Farm (not necessarily in that order). All in all? A slam dunk weekend. 

pizza-and-champagne
{pizza & champagne}
valentines-day-gift
{the sweetest v-day surprise from Tieks}
wedding-dress
{picking up my sisters’ wedding dress}flowers
{Valentine’s day flowers}

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Scenes from my Weekend

art-store
{rekindling my love affair with Curry’s}

cheese-knives
{the prettiest cheese knives ever}

donut
{a creme brulee doughnut from Von}

mail
{a fabulous mail day}

breakfast
{brunch at Gilead}
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Scenes from my Weekend

champagne
{Friday night birthday bubbles}

This weekend, celebration was in FULL force as we rang in Justin’s 28th year. From birthday bubbles to Susur Lee‘s 17-ingredient slaw*, brioche-ladden breakfasts to three course lunches… All of which was topped off with drinks amongst friends at Duke’s Refresher Bar**. I’d say it’s safe to say that no calorie was spared. And once again, my affinity for all-things-birthday has been reaffirmed. And for someone who claims that he doesn’t really mind whether or not we celebrate, he wasn’t complaining when I made sure it lasted a solid three days. 

How was your weekend? Any over-indulgences happening over on your side? I’m feeling a little guilty and would like some company! 

* aka the best thing you will likely ever eat
** Toronto folks, a word of advice… Duke’s is FUN – and you get watermelon flavoured cotton candy with your bill

birthday-crumble
{birthday crumble}

oysters-at-pure-spirits
{oysters at Pure Spirits}

red-tieks
{helping support the American Heart Association with my red Tieks}

 blooms
{it’s amazing the difference $6 blooms can make. Anyone know what these are?}

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Scenes from my Weekend

brunch-at-skullery
{brunch at the Scullery}

Does it make me a total nerd if I tell you that one of the highlights of my weekend was discovering that the Super Nintendo console I found in my mother’s basement still works? It’s true! And the inner child within me cannot control herself. To the point that we may have skipped our Saturday night commitments to embark on a massive Super Mario World tournament.  

I’m feeling slightly guilty as it’s been SO long since my last SFMW post and I should be back with a vengeance, but instead I’m here to announce a 20 year old game is still working order and I spent a lot of time in pjs. Also? We got a new mattress cover. I know, this post just keeps on getting better and better. But in truth, after a number of crazy catch-up days since returning home from Africa, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. 

folded-clotches
{an organized closet makes me embarrassingly happy}

polka-dot-pjs
{polka dot pjs}

tiny-notes
{tiny notes from my sweet friend Victoria}

victorian-homes-Toronto
{the snow. won’t. stop.}

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Stellenbosch, South Africa

Oude-Werf-Stellenbosch
{Our gorgeous hotel, Oude Werfe}

Though our original plan was to fly into Cape Town to spend New Years eve, we could not for the life of us find accommodations. So a word of warning: if you’re ever travelling to Cape Town over a holiday, book a solid two months in advance! We ended up being forced to switch gears and heading half an hour east to Stellenbosch, where some of the worlds best wines are produced. And, honestly? It was a blessing in disguise. 

After having travelled for 40+ hours, we knew we would be exhausted and decided to splurge on a few nights in a beautiful hotel, wining and dining our way to relaxation. This was, of course, one of our better life decisions to date.  

Due to a jam-packed schedule (I’m a go. do. see type when travelling – I may have driven my brother mental), we unfortunately only had one full day in Stellenbosch. Now that I know how exquisite it is, I would have happily spent an entire week there alone. Seeing as our time was unfortunately limited, we hired a guide* to give us a wine tour and really make the most of our day. What began with a wine and chocolate tasting at Lanzerac, finished with a wine and cheese pairing, many hours later, at Spier. Needless to say, we collectively agreed that we need to go back.

Oude-Werf{my happy place}

stellenbosch
{the most incredible gardens}

lanzerac-winery
{our first wine & chocolate tasting (at 10 am, no less)}

Lanzeracc
{the rooftop view from Lanzerac}

delfraffe-winery-2
{the art and architecture at Delaire Graffe was unreal}

Wine-Tour
{can you even handle this view?}

gallery-wall-in-stellenbosch
{the gallery wall at Spier was perfection}

Wine-Tours
{better than I could have ever imagined}

wine-and-cheese-tasting
{wine and cheese}

*Our guide was named David and he was unbelievable. We LOVED him and highly, highly recommend him if you’re ever in the area. 

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Scenes from my Weekend

christmas-wrapping 
{we wrapped most of our gifts}

With long hours at work, a ton of social commitments and an all around jam-packed schedule lately, Justin and I vowed to not make any concrete plans leading into this weekend. What ensued was a blissful few days filled to the brim with perfection. Truly. After an impromptu double date (skating!) on Friday evening, we woke up to a massive Toronto-wide snow storm on Saturday. We bundled up and made our way over to my moms for brunch before heading out to help her pick her tree in the blustery cold. Feeling as if we had done our due diligence for the day, we then headed home where we didn’t leave the confines of our living room. Hot chocolate and Baileys was consumed en masse, Christmas movies were watched, and pure relaxation was had. Our Christmas shopping is all but done, our presents mostly wrapped and our peace of mind has been restored. Suffice to say this needs to happen more often.  How was your weekend?! I’d love to know!

plaid-sorrel-boots
{I bought these boots on super sale in the June & have been waiting for this}

skating
{double date night!}

baileys-hot-chocolate
{bailey’s & hot cocoa}

toronto-snow
{snow!!}

restoration-hardware-blanket
{stayin’ cozy}

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Scenes from my Weekend

garland 
{trying my hand at a homemade garland}

art-interiors
{sourcing art for a client}

stella
{this face!!}

toothy-grin
{a toothy grin at the One of a Kind Show}

williams-sonoma
{Williams Sonoma‘s stemware (kind of obsessed!) + fab white wine}

This weekend I…
:: Drank wine and ate cupcakes with girlfriends
:: Made a homemade garland (though Justin said it looks like our fireplace has a mustache… I’m kind of partial to it!)
:: Sourced some art for a client
:: Broke my “no buying anything for myself in December” rule at the One of a Kind Show. A few times…
:: Watched Chrismas movies! 

How about you!? 
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Scenes from my Weekend

christmas-in-the-distillery
{Christmas in the Distillery District}

brunch
{duck confit french toast (ridiculous)}

speakeasy
{drinks at The Libertine}

shopping
{shopping for a client}

selfie
{selfie Sunday?}

This weekend I…
:: Celebrated my best friends birthday at Carmen (highly recommend)
:: Went for drinks at The Libertine (also recommend!)
:: Stayed in my pj’s for the majority of Saturday
:: Met a fantastic new client for an exciting design project! 
:: Got started on my Christmas shopping (booyah). 
:: Made serious headway on our South African plans (!!)

How about you!?

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Scenes from my Weekend

shopping
{wedding dress shopping for my sister}

mouldings
{the most incredible mouldings ever}

wedding-dress-shopping
{shopping essentials}

cute-boston-terriors
{adorableness times two}

parade-casualties
{Santa Clause parade casualties}

bundled-up
{bundled up for the parade}

I have a feeling that these next few months are going to be chalk full of a few really incredible weekends. My big sister is getting married and, as her maid of honour, I’ve made it my mission for us to celebrate and indulge in this exciting time as much as physically possible. This weekend we shopped (and purchased!) her wedding dress, which automatically puts this weekend high above all others. Not only that but the annual Toronto Santa Clause parade took place yesterday which just means that it’s now legal to begin celebrating the season outwardly. And by outwardly I mean I no longer have to listen to Christmas tunes in secret. Woohoo! Good weekend indeed.

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Scenes from my Weekend

louvrier

{brunch at L’ouvrier}

When one of my favourite people in the entire world messaged me early last week letting me know she was going to be in town for the weekend, I knew good things were coming my way. After a late night catch up session over peppermint tea on my couch (oh how times have changed!), we headed out for a Saturday filled with lady-like activities. Brunch and shopping and Indie Arts Marketing galore. All good things indeed.  Topping it all off? A wonderful date night with my manfriend, filled with pizza & wine and movie watching. Suffice to say that this weekend has been conquered. 

photo-2 
{a perfect combo}

gladstone
{the Indie Arts Market}

kitty
{making new friends}

tea-&-crochet

{I’m officially 80}

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Scenes from my Weekend

High-Tea
{high tea at the Windsor Arms}

To be totally honest, I didn’t have huge expectations for this weekend. Justin left on Thursday evening for a few days away with the guys, and I didn’t really have any major plans in store. As it turns out, an epic weekend happened to be on the horizon without my knowing it. I ended up visiting a friend and her 2 week old baby (oh you better believe the baby fever is in full force), my best friend took me out for belated birthday high tea, I celebrated my cousins upcoming nuptials at her bridal shower, AND I discovered the most insanely delicious soup in the entire world (recipe to come!). In addition? A trip we’ve been planning for a very long time is finally coming to fruition. On Saturday, my mom, brother and I booked our flights to South Africa for New Years. Excited? That doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it. 

Rifle-Paper-Co.-Card
{celebrating my cousins upcoming nuptials}

Darling
{pored through the new Darling Magazine, & instantly fell in love}

Fall-in-the-Country
{the views en route to my cousins}

South-Africa
{yep, I’m officially going *squeal*}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Makeup{Friday night prep}

Halloween
{celebrating Halloween}

Pyjama-Day{an incredibly lazy Saturday}

Eggs
{scotch eggs at Table 17}

Shortbread
{the best shortbread. ever.}

This weekend I…
- Dressed up as a lion
- Celebrated Halloween
- Caught up with a friend I haven’t seen in 12 years
- Brought our mattress into the living room and had a movie marathon
-Spent all of Saturday in my pjs
- Ordered both pizza and Chinese takeout in the same day
(it’s okay, I’m judging too)
Your turn! 

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Scenes from my Weekend

The-Beach-in-the-Fall
{The beach in the fall}

Friends
{friends for 21 years and counting}

Veggies
{my kind of shopping}

Girls
{my lady friends and I}

Fall
{mid-nature walk}

Cheese-Plate
{a small portion of our epic cheese & charcuterie spread}

This weekend I…
.Snuck away to my cottage with 6 girlfriends in tow
.Ate SO much cheese
.Learnt how to crochet
.Went for a nature walk
.Cursed said nature walk when my friend found a tick on her arm
.Helped perform serious research and minor surgery on said tick (crisis averted)
.Met a 7 week old puppy (and fell head over heels)
.Realized (once more) that I have the most, incredible, inspiring, amazing group of women in my life
.Felt beyond loved

Your turn!!

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Scenes from my Birthday Weekend

candle
{kicked off the weekend in proper fashion}

This weekend I…
.Tested out my dear friends (incredible) beef brisket at The Depaneur
.Celebrated Thanksgiving, twice
.Won an intense game of Trivial Pursuit (first and last time that will happen, I’m sure)
.Brunched at Le Select Bistro
.Spent my birthday at a petting zoo/pumpkin patch (as most adults do)
.Ate more cake than I will EVER admit
.Turned 28 (and couldn’t be happier)

Now your turn! Any of you acted your age on your birthday, per chance? 

bistro
{birthday brunch at Le Select Bistro}

thanksgiving-dinner
{Thanksgiving dinner No. 1 of 2}

baby-goat
{feeding baby goats (swoon)}

goat-zipper
{debating between this as my all time favourite picture…}

hungry-cow
{…or this.}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Fall-Lake
{fall in full swing}

This weekend I…
.Saw Tommy, the musical (and it was excellent)
.Visited my sisters’ wedding venue (I’m so excited!)
.Picked up apple cider at the farmers’ market
.Warmed Justin’s sisters’ new home
.Tested out Starving Artists‘ brunch (amazing food, terrible service)
.Discovered Redline‘s coconut latte (life changing)
.Turned on our fireplace for the first time.

Your turn!

Fall-Forest
{a peek at my sisters’ wedding venue}

Farmers-Market
{we obviously had to}

Pumpkins
{happiness in pumpkin patch format}

Coconut-Latte
{Sundays}

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Scenes from my Weekend

DSC_0031
{making fresh pasta}

This weekend I…
:: Made homemade pasta on a whim, in my pjs, on Friday night 
:: Finally stocked up on tea (Davids Tea Kenyan Tinderet is The. Best)
:: Met a friend for brunch
:: Finally made it to the Toronto Underground Market
:: Saw Prisoners, and then proceeded to have to spend the night alone in our condo (terrible idea!) 
:: Spent the entirety of Sunday on the couch with my cousin, Thai takeout, cookies & Friends DVDS

Now you go!

DSC_0056
{stocked up on tea}

photo
{brunch at Beast}

DSC_0074
{my new favourite necklace (from TopShop)}

DSC_0081
{Sundays}

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Scenes from my Weekend

Blogpodium{last minute Blogpodium prep}

To say that this weekend was a good one would be the understatement of the century. Not only did I get to sit on a panel at Blogpodium alongside some women I’ve looked up to for longer than I can even remember, but I also got to put some faces to many of the beloved blogs I follow regularly. And each and every one of them were lovelier in person that I could have imagined. This blog thing? It’s kind of amazing. How was your weekend? I’d love to know! 

business-cards{cute Blogpodium details}

cocktail{cocktail hour}

coffee{my kind of Sunday morning}

nails{manicures & catch-ups with some girlfriends}

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Scenes from my Weekend

DSC_0053{Our incredible b&b}

This series of photos just proves that looks can be deceiving. Upon first glance you might think that two people snuck away to Niagara On the Lake to celebrate their seven year anniversary. What you don’t see is the fact that we both came down with ridiculously brutal head colds two days prior. And, upon discovering that we need at least a weeks notice to cancel our b&b reservations, we decided to head up all the same (wielding cold pills out of necessity). Our romantic dinner was interrupted by many a trips to the washroom to blow ones nose, and our very first winery tour was met with the need to head back to our b&b for a long afternoon nap. We only made it to two out of the many wineries we were hoping to visit, but made up for it by snuggling up with episodes of Orange is the New Black by 10:00 both evenings (in a comfy king size bed at least!) All this to say that though our anniversary weekend was inconvenienced by poor health, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else, with anyone else in the world. And I think we need a Wine County re-do at some point.

DSC_0111{a selection of local cheeses}

photo-(1){Hillebrand’s private tasting room}

DSC_0103{Southbrook Winery}

photo{bubbly at Hillebrand}

DSC_0073

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Scenes from my Weekend

dineen{an afternoon pitstop at Dineen}

No matter how hard I try to keep things low-key, I always end up jam packing my weekend full of activities at the last minute. I just need to come to terms with the fact that I have a serious case of FOMO. And that whole “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” saying very well might need to be true. Between dinner dates with girlfriends, improving my fall wardrobe by great lengths, and celebrating three family members birthdays, to name a few, it’s safe to say that there wasn’t a whole lot of relaxing being done around here. But honestly? I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

shopping{a little bit of retail therapy}

birthdays{family birthday celebrations}

terroni{I’m still loving cage lights & edison bulbs}

water{dinner with girlfriends}

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Scenes from my Weekend

cupcakes{celebrating Justin’s sisters first home!}

Despite the fact that I’ve been out of school for six years now, I always get weirdly anxious around this time of year (I have a feeling that I’m not alone here). Though summer isn’t technically over for another few weeks, the Labour day weekend will forever feel like the end to something wonderful. And to be honest, I’m just not prepared to say goodbye. This summer has been particularly great, and though I’m still in denial, we spent this weekend soaking up every ounce that remained. And it was damn good! Here’s a peek at what we’ve been up to the past few days…

coconut {smiling coconuts at the hot & spicy food festival}

outfit{rediscovered a favourite bracelet}

panda{and finished with a day at the zoo}

Giraffe

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Scenes from my Weekend

the-ex{my favourite ride at The Ex}

I haven’t been in Toronto over the weekend for almost two months now and though I will never complain about sitting on a dock, I have to admit that I’ve missed city life. Toronto in the summer is unlike no other. There’s always a multitude of different events and activities that occur throughout the season and most are more than worth a peek. This weekend was a particular good one for us to have chosen to stay put. Buskerfest was in full force, The Ex‘s foodtruck rally is a not-to-miss experience and with no real plans in sight we had full days to take advantage of it all!

tacos{fish tacos from Food Dudes food truck. A+}
cupcake{a peek at the food truck rally}
games{we did not win}
florals{these feel particularly pretty after weeks of being flowerless}

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A Few Exciting Things

Toronto-Life Toronto-Life2

There have been a few fun developments in the world of lark & linen as of late that I’ve been meaning to catch you all up on. I wasn’t sure how to properly do this so I decided a big ol blog dump was in order.

First and foremost, if you follow me on Instagram this might not be news to you (sorry for the redundancy you guys!) but I was recently featured in this months Toronto Life “City Home” magazine. If you know me by now, you might be aware that Toronto Life is basically my bible so I was pretty over the moon when they asked if I was interested in being one of six bloggers in their feature. When I opened the magazine a few weeks ago I was ecstatic to see my little face next to some of my personal Toronto based idols. People like Herriott Grace, Little House Blog, The Marion Housebook, Kitka and the like. Beyond. BEYOND.

Next, I’m not sure if you’re attending this years Blogpodium, but I’m going to be speaking! In between bouts of nausea and a few sleepless moments I find myself RIDICULOUSLY excited and honoured and flattered and all of those other verbs that go along with this role. I’ll be chatting “Old Media, New Media & Social Media” alongside Emma Reddington (of The Marion Housebook and Home Editor at Chatelaine), Rhonda Riche (co-founder of Covet Garden) and Margot Austin (Editor at Canadian House & Home). WHAT?! This still hasn’t exactly sunk in. And seeing my name alongside all of those crazy talented folks still has me reeling. 

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Scenes from Thunder Bay

Thunder-Bay-1_

Thunder Bay is one of those spots that simply feels like home. It’s not the prettiest of towns, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s where my grandfather immigrated from the Ukraine in the late 1920′s, where he met my grandmother, almost seventy years ago, and where much of my family still resides. And what the city lacks, the country makes up for in vast quantity.  Plus? It has persians. And finnish pancakes. So I’m not going to complain.

I’ve been visiting practically every summer for as long as I can remember. When we were much younger, we’d all pile into our van (six of us, plus a dog) and make the seventeen hour drive (each way) to spend two weeks at the cottage (an hour outside of town) with our grandparents. Sometimes we’d drive straight through the night, and others we’d stop halfway. Those years we made that pit stop we’d stay at a sub-par hotel in Sault St. Marie simply because it had “the worlds biggest water slide” (one that’s probably actually significantly smaller than I’m picturing at this time).

Now that said grandparents are 89 and 91 respectively, they’re no longer able to join us at the cottage (or camp, as we like to refer to it). Though we made a number of trips into town to visit, their country-side absence made this particular trip a little more than bittersweet.

I’m not one who usually embraces change. I tend to confront it slowly and carefully, always with a slight skepticism. And while this past week was incredibly relaxing, beautiful and fun in its own right, it was different. With it being just my mom, brother and step-sister this go around it was unusually calm and I think it’s safe to say that we all felt that void that lingered during those more silent moments. That being said, the quiet, the lake and just the right amount of breeze acted as the perfect recipe for finishing 4 books (thankyouverymuch!), imbibing in cocktail hour almost daily, and totally kicking my brothers’ butt at many, many a board games (I expect a comment from him below in due time!)

Thunder-Bay-2Thunder-Bay-3
Thunder-Bay-4Thunder-Bay-5tb2 Thunder-Bay-6 Thunder-Bay-7

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Scenes from my Weekend

camping
We went camping!! Or, rather, we went yurting. Which, as you may know, is infinitely better than camping itself. It basically takes all of the fun surrounding this beloved activity (outdoors, sunshine, campfires) and gets rid of the headache (setting up tents, sleeping on the ground…) After an unsuccessful search for a cottage rental, Justin, our friends, and I turned to Craigslist to see if we could muster up some last minute plans for the four of us to partake in. It turns out, Mr. Craig is pretty amazing because we got our hands on a Yurt at the Pinery  just three days before our departure. What ensued was a long weekend full of beaching, and eating, as all good weekends should.

camping-4DSC_0103camping-3camping-2camping-6

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Scenes from my Weekend

beaches{the Sandbanks}

 A few friends and I had been planning a couples weekend getaway for weeks now. We had originally thought we would end up camping in some random provincial park in north eastern Ontario until we got word that my cottage was somehow, miraculously, completely empty  (never in my life has this happened during the summer months). Naturally, we excitedly packed our bags and off we went. What ensued was a wonderful few days of gluttony (in both the food and drink categories) surrounded by a handful of really incredible people. With a sunkissed (ahem. slightly burnt) nose and a mild hangover, I’m ready to tackle this week in full force!

sfmw_j{sunsets on the dock}

bracelet {entertaining my inner 14 year old while the guys fished}

ceasars{breakfast caesars}

fish{catch of the day}

home{sadly, en route home}

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Scenes from My Weekend

al_jacYou guys are never going to believe it (I almost can’t myself) but that dresser we picked up off of craigslist? I FINALLY took the time to stain it. It only took a year to get my act together (pathetic) but I’m still ridiculously proud none the less. With Justin out at a golf tournament, I basically spent all of saturday knee deep in sawdust & stain. It was not a pretty sight, I won’t lie. Eight hours later, dyed limbs of all kinds and only two (maybe three) slivers and we’re left with a piece that’s ALMOST finished (I still need to add sealant, but we’re oh so close).

And because I’m nothing if not one who craves balance (I’m a Libra, after all), I made sure to treat myself the rest of the weekend. With a date night with that man I like, a rooftop pool day with my best friend, taking advantage of summerlicious, and over-stuffing ourselves at the T&T Night Market, it’s safe to say that this weekend was thoroughly enjoyed.

fun-slide pineapplerice-ballsdresserrooftop

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Scenes from my Weekend

ice-cream

Though cottage weekends are always special in their own right, this one just happened to take the cake. My cottage in particular is typically filled with, at minimum, 18 of us as all my aunts, uncles, cousins and the like gather to soak in summer as much as physically possible. For whatever reason, this past weekend was somewhat of an exception. Family pulled every which way for a multitude of different reasons left our cottage virtually empty. With 6 of us in total (my step-mom, dad, grandma and two girlfriends), we had peace. And quiet. And a bedroom to ourselves! Never in my life can I remember this happening.

So naturally we took advantage of it in full force: we basically didn’t leave the dock for the majority of the trip (safe for trips out for ice cream: legit), and the lack of bodies meant midnight boat rides to look for shooting stars (we found two!) All this to say: life is good. And I’m still trying to figure out how to make this last forever.

sunsetcottage---girls

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Scenes from my Weekend

marben{dinner at Marben}

Ok, first and foremost I have to tell you about Marben - because it’s absolutely delicious and you should probably make it your new mission to make your way there at some point. A few girlfriends and I planned to meet up for dinner & drinks on Friday evening, and ended up at this gem of a place. And, let me tell you, it far surpassed our expectations. Tucked behind an adorable garden in a quiet area of the downtown core, it’s definitely worth a visit (I mean, they churn their own butter and grow spicy lettuce!)

The rest of the weekend was exceptional in it’s own right. I thought it’d be tough to top Friday (something about an epic meal with some of your favourite people in the entire world is simply tough to follow). But a 50th backyard birthday party, a rugby game downtown (my cousin made team Canada!), patio drinks and beyond… made it undeniably lovely. Though the humidity was borderline unbearable and we were pretty sticky and gross for the vast majority (we won’t talk about my hair situation), I’d be more than happy if summer would just stick around forever. How do we make that happen?

prep{prepping for girls’ night}

sku{a summer sunset}

iced-latte{beating the heat with an iced latte from Rooster}

rugby{my cousins’ rugby game}

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0030{a champagne surprise for a special occasion}

You may have seen it on twitter mid-last week, but I recently found out that I passed two of my licensing exams. Naturally, this is grounds for celebration. Justin showed up wielding fancy champagne and adorable flowers which kicked off the long weekend in the finest of forms. With a slight champagne buzz, we then headed out to Bent, a restaurant I had been dying to try (verdict: absolutely delicious). The rest of the weekend followed suit. Seeing as both Pride and Canada day landed at the same time, the city was abuzz with activity and enthusiasm. We didn’t accomplish a ton to write home about, but we did manage to strike that perfect balance between hustle and bustle and total relaxation.

PS – There’s still time to enter the Annawithlove giveaway if you haven’t yet!

DSC_0033{in my opinion, carnations are totally underrated}

DSC_0039{looking for a little attention}

IMG_3524{my favourite backyard in all of Toronto}

IMG_3550{Canada Day firework remnants}

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scenes from my weekend

sfmw_1{Summer in the city}

Ahh summer – how I’ve missed thee. With Friday being the first official day of the season, we decided to kick it off in the best way we know how: overpriced beer and baseball (we won!) Though the weather report was anything but promising for both Saturday and Sunday, we decided to go through with our annual family pool party all the same – and rightfully so. The skies cleared mid-morning and we ended up being blessed with an abundance of sun and ridiculous heat (woohoo!) Two barbecue/pool parties later and I’m, admittedly, pretty wiped out. But feeling totally drained from sun and surf is the best kind of drained so I certainly won’t complain. I knew there was a reason I loved this whole summer thing. How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

sfmw_2 {beer & blue jays}

sfmw_3{annual family pool party}

sfmw_4{I wish I had my aunts green thumb}

sfmw_5{yearly volleyball match}

sfmw_6{mimosa brunch}

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Ravello, The Amalfi Coast part V

ravello_1Our last day brought us to the picturesque town of Ravello. We had originally planned to head to Capri on this particular day, but our trip was cancelled due to the wind and impending rain (insert soft sobs here)*. We grabbed the city bus from Maiori and made our way up to this teeny little town. Though I was slightly disappointed by the fact that we weren’t going to make it to Capri, Ravello had it’s own unique charm. It definitely held its own and then some.

Located directly above the Amalfi Coast, the mountainous views and expansive vistas of the rest of the coast were a refreshing change from the other seaside towns we had visited throughout the week .  I swear you could see the entire coast from up there, and it was absolutely glorious.

Much like the majority of our trip, we spent our day dining, shopping, and wandering about. At one point in the afternoon, the skies opened up and it began to pour down on us. We took cover in a nearby shoe store where I happened to pick up a pair of beautiful orange sandals (convenient, right? I have to add, the shoes in Ravello were quite incredible!) We then invested in a $10 umbrella (Justin’s only souvenir! He has more willpower than I do, I must say) and didn’t let the weather get us down.

Once we were done touring, we decided to hike back down to Minori** (and then make our way back to Maiori). There’s a really beautiful trail just to the left of Villa Cimbrone and I believe you can make your way to Amalfi this way as well (though you might want to triple check). You simply follow the signs that eventually lead you to your destination. The whole hike took around 45 minutes, and the views are absolutely breathtaking (and I really dislike that word, so you know I mean business). It rained off and on during the entire walk, but we had our trusty umbrella and hiking in the rain was really quite romantic. All in all, a wonderful end to an incredible trip.

ravello_2 ravello_3 ravello_4 ravello_5 ravello_6 ravello_7 ravello_8 ravello_9 ravello_10 ravello_11 ravello_12

*having missed Capri just means that we need to go back. Right? RIGHT!
**the hike wasn’t terribly difficult at all, but it’s almost entirely stairs (going down!) and they’re quite rocky/uneven. It gave my ankles a really strange workout – like I had never exercised certain muscles within them or something. By the time we got to the bottom they were all shakey and weird. No big deal, just a quick little warning!

Special note: though pricey (around $300), I’ve been told by a number of friends that this Ravello cooking class is incredible. We weren’t originally planning on heading to Ravello, and if we hadn’t blown our whole budget at this point in the trip, we would have budgeted for it for sure. Damn us and our responsible mindsets.

See: Part I Part II | Part III | Part IV Part V
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ps. A big thanks to Tieks who sent me a pair of their ballerina pink flats. They literally got me through my entire trip. I HIGHLY recommend them. Super comfy, and they fold up teeny tiny (so perfect for travelling).

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Amalfi, The Amalfi Coast Part II

amalfi_1
The next leg of our trip brought us to the gorgeous town of Amalfi. As an aside, we actually took the city bus (the Sita!) from Maiori all throughout the Amalfi Coast. It costs a euro or two each way (depending on how far you’re going) and it honestly couldn’t have been simpler. The drive was slightly petrifying (note: two buses passing each other at virtually full speed with merely inches to spare and a 2′ high retaining wall separating you from a ginormous, rocky death? It’ll take a few minutes off your life for sure), however it’s unavoidable no matter which way you navigate the roads. Distract yourself with the glorious vistas an you’ll be good to go!

Though significantly more touristy than Maiori & Minori, Amalfi was everything I could have imagined and more. Incredibly picturesque with all the charm one would expect. We spent the entire day getting lost through back alleys, soaking up the ceiling fresco’s at the Cathedral and eating our weight in gelato (seriously though). Throughout our back alley travels, we stumbled upon the most adorable little restaurant. With no real plans, we decided to stay for a drink and a bite to eat. Unfortunately I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where we ended up (bad blogger!) but we both agree that our afternoon on the teeny patio was our favourite moment of the entire trip. We must have sat there for four hours drinking entirely too much mid-day wine with essentially the whole restaurant all to ourselves. Pure magic, really.

amalfi_2 amalfi_3amalfi_4amalfi_5amalfi_6amalfi_7amalfi_8amalfi_9amalfi_10amalfi_11amalfi_12amalfi_13amalfi_14See: Part I Part III | Part IV Part V
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Maiori & Minori, The Amalfi Coast Part I

maiori_1
To be honest, at this point our trip feels like a momentary blip in time. It was beyond anything I could have anticipated, but it almost feels as if it never happened. Daily life has resumed in full force and our trip to Italy has since become a wonderful, yet distant, memory. So it feels especially nice to take the time to write everything out. To preserve it all, if you will.

We stayed in a tiny seaside town named Maiori, situated just a few kilometres east of Amalfi. To be fair, I wasn’t originally blown away by this little place. Having been basically destroyed during a flood in the 50′s and, as a result, since rebuilt, it was lacking that charm I had anticipated the weeks leading up to our trip. Over time, however, it grew on me in huge strides. It was calm, situated off the beaten path and had one of the most glorious, expansive, beaches out of all the places we visited throughout the week. It felt quaint and local and the more we explored the more we fell in love. Our hotel, though inexpensive (hello budget!) and nothing over-the top special, was clean, the staff were friendly and our oversized balcony had views of the glorious emerald coloured seas. We could hear the waves crashing as we drifted to sleep each evening.

Though we had one terrible food experience (my biggest pet peeve!!) on our very first evening (I found a chunk of a can in my pizza. A can!), we quickly learnt the ins and outs of where to frequent for true, local, italian eats. If you do find yourself in Maiori, I highly recommend Dedalo. The staff were crazy friendly, handmade pasta was abundant and the food was incredibly tasty. That being said, we collectively agreed that the best thing we ate the entire trip was also the simplest. It was something we stumbled upon during a moment of desperation while waiting for our bus. We rushed into a local butcher shop and asked him if he could whip us up some form of sandwich to take on the road. He quickly prepared a panini made up of fresh bread, layers of prosciutto sliced thinly before our eyes, and a generous, full-sized ball of buffalo mozerella. It was indescribable and it took all of our energy not to fight over the last bite.  We, of course, ingested a few more before weeks end.

Minori, a sweet tiny town situated just a 12 minute walk west of our hotel, became another spot in which we frequented regularly. Similar to Maiori, felt slightly more modern for the most part, yet had its own charm and personality. After visiting many of the more touristy spots, it was nice to head back to our little neck of the woods and socialize with the locals in these tiny, sleepy towns.

maiori_2maiori_3 maiori_4 maiori_5 maiori_6 maiori_7 maiori_8 maiori_9 maiori_10 maiori_11 maiori_12 maiori_13 maiori_14 maiori_15 maiori_16 maiori_17See: Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V
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all images original to lark & linen

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scenes from my weekend

99-sudbury{pretties at the Toronto flower market}

They say that photos speak a thousand words and this morning this might have to be true. It was a busy weekend made even busier by a broken blog (!!!) Apologies in advance while we try to sort through why these errors keep appearing. In the meantime, may I offer you a glimpse of my weekend in picture format? Thanks for sticking around despite these minor (huge) annoyances!

peonie{peonies!!}
samuel{a new-to-me brunch spot: Samuel J Moore}

50th{picked up a few stems for my aunts 50th birthday}

woofstock{a new friend, from Woofstock}

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Loving, Lately: the Travel Edition

lark-linen_bowls{hand painted bowls we brought back from Positano}

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything from this series and I thought it was high time to break the drought. Now, I don’t typically measure my happiness in objects, but there have been a few that have made their way into my life as of late that have been giving me an inordinate amount of joy. Sometimes it’s just about the little things, am I right?

Unpictured: it’s Friday!! Happy weekend my dears. xx

lark-linen_pen{a silly South American llama pen from a dear friend}

lark-linen_sandals{sandals I picked up in Ravello – I can’t get enough of them}

lark-linen_tic-tacs{crazy collection of Italian tic tacs: watermelon, red orange & grapefruit, pineapple, papaya lime, lychee & intense mint}

lark-linen_tulip-surprise{coming home to fresh tulips from my mama who had been popping in periodically while we were gone to feed Miguel}

all images original to lark & linen

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Scenes from my Weekend

lilac-road{lilac lined streets}

We just returned from our cottage in Prince Edward County where we took advantage of the Victoria day long weekend. This time of year is always particularly beautiful as the country streets are lined with towering cherry blossoms and lilac bushes in full bloom – it makes the three hour drive infinitely more pleasant. During our three sweatpant-clad days we, admittedly, barely left the confines of our property. On Sunday, however, we reluctantly put real clothes on (sort of), as we headed out to visit some family friends, at The County Cider; purveyors of the most delicious peach cider in the entire world (truly. A big thank you to Grant and Jennifer!) Paired with views for days and warm summer-like breezes it was a wonderful welcome to the upcoming season.

sara_sparkler{fun with sparklers (photo credit to my brother’s girlfriend, Sara!)}

sunset{we get the most insane sunsets}

winery_2{afternoon pit-stop at The County Cider}

winery{views from The County Cider}

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Scenes from my Weekend

1 favourite-park {My favourite park in Toronto}

I’m thinking that Mother Nature and I have to have a bit of a chat because the weather this weekend was absolutely abysmal. It was cold and rainy and all sorts of miserable practically the entire time. Instead of fighting it, I did my best to find this silver lining: the chance to catch up on some leisurely reading, watch more than my fair share of movies, and not feel guilty when the entirety of Mother’s Day was spent indoors sipping tea and stuffing ourselves with crepes. But seriously though – Mother Nature? Smarten up!
 
2 mid-day-break{Cookies for two}

flowers{we hosted Mother’s Day brunch}

card{the best Mother’s Day card, ever}

5 crepe-fixins{crepe fixins’}

fam{my mom, brother and I post-brunch}

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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Scenes from my Weekend

eds-ice-cream_lark-linen| Ed’s chocolate toffee ice cream |

Apart from an (amazing) industry party on Friday night (which ended in bowls of mimosas at 2 am), I had virtually no concrete plans the past two days and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We meandered the city at will, mani-pedis were had, take-out Thai was thoroughly enjoyed, and Sunday afternoon was spent on the beach, ice cream in hand. It was exactly what the doctor ordered and I am now fully equipped to tackle the week ahead. Monday? Bring it!

klaus_lark-linen| cool fixtures at Klaus |

coffee-shop_lark-linen| a brand new neighbourhood coffee joint – aka my new office |

miguel_lark-linen| I inherited a hamster – his name is Miguel & he really likes cheerios |

beach_lark-linen| Sunday afternoon on the beach |

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Scenes from my Weekend

bellwoods-brewery | Bellwoods Brewery |

gweneth-paltrow-cookbook| A birthday gift for a friend (though I might need to treat myself too) |

brunch | Brunch at L’Ouvrier |

la-merceria| My new favourite spot: La Merceria |

necklace| My weekend uniform: this necklace & a soft, flowy blouse |

I kind of went a little buck nutty this weekend and I don’t regret it for a second. Seeing as it was my first weekend of freedom post-exam, I felt as if I had a lot of lost time to make up for. And so I did. With spa dates, and brunch dates, and drinks with friends (twice!)… I somehow even found myself meandering the High Park Zoo, ice cream cone in hand, late Sunday afternoon. Though I’m not exactly rested as I kick off the week, it was by far the best weekend I’ve had in some time! Freedom? I could totally get used to this.

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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Scenes from my Weekend

sfmw1Yep. This about sums it up! I officially write two out of three of my licensing exams tomorrow and, though I’m slightly terrified, I also couldn’t be more excited. Having a life oncemore? Here I come!

sfmw2sfmw3

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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Wanderings: Florida

florida - 01Though I’ve been back for just under a week now, I inadvertently took an additional few days off from this ol’ blog here. Is it alright for me to blame the Florida sun? I just couldn’t get my act together last week no matter how hard I tried. But I’m back! And I’ve missed you guys! So in case you were wondering what has kept me away, here’s a little preview in photography format.

Despite the fact that I was working the majority of the time I was gone (once-more, working from “home” proves its worth!), I still managed to squeeze in a bit of fun in the sun (this might be evident from this collection of photos). If I’m being completely honest, this mini getaway could not have come at a better time. Between long hours at “the office”, attempting 3-4 hours of studying each evening, and trying to manage some semblance of a social life (ha!), I had long been burning the candle at both ends (I legitimately thought I might lose it a handful of times there.) But they say that the cure to all ailments is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea, and such statement has never felt more true. So if you’re ever feeling more than overwhelmed, may I suggest the beach? It really does do great things for one’s soul.

florida - 02florida - 10 florida - 03 florida - 04florida - 05 florida - 07 florida - 11DSC_0119florida - 13 florida - 14 florida - 15 florida - 16 florida - 17

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The Man Behind the Blog

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 12.46.43 PM

Justin is currently holding down the fort over on Vmac + Cheese.
Check it out!

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scenes from my weekend

m&ms-small{Easter in candy format}

Though I did accomplish a great deal of studying, I also made sure to knock a bunch of necessary items off of my to-do list. Things like get a new bathing suit for Florida (check!) and indulge in cheese plates and paella at Patria with some lady friends (check, check!) Work hard, play hard was in full effect! Suffice to say, a good weekend was had around these parts. How was yours

shopping{stocked up on summer necessities for my upcoming trip. T-minus 5 days!}

sushi{sushi take-out & study sessions}

tulips{tulips in bloom}

cheese{mini-cheese plates. necessary.}

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Loving, Lately…

black-rooster-pillow {this pillow, from Black Rooster}

cupcake-liners{these cupcake liners, from the dollar store no less}

matches{these graphic matchbooks, from Illume}

red-velvet{red velvet cupcakes, from my kitchen}

iphone{this iPhone case, from Iconemesis}

Happy weekend my dears!

xo.

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scenes from my weekend

outfit{st. patty’s day outfit (necklace c/o RedEnvelope)}

beautiful-sky{fabulously blue skies}

ceasar{brunch with the family}

spring{bringing spring home}

I put this post together last night after an INCREDIBLY full weekend and I couldn’t even being to string more than a few words together. So now I’m back, with a fresh(ish) mind, ready to tackle some text. I’ve honestly been working on overdrive lately. I woke up on Friday with a raging headache and a sore throat that wouldn’t quit and knew I needed to cut myself some slack for fear of burning out. Between long days at work, studying for 3-4 hours every evening and trying to maintain even the smallest semblance of a personal life, I am completely wiped out. Though I did tackle a ton of studying this weekend, I also made sure to take Saturday off completely – celebrating St. Patricks day with some of my favourite people, and working on a fun project that I’ll be able to share with you a bit later. It felt good to let go, for just a little!  How was your weekend? Any St. Patty’s day shenanigans I should know about?!

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend

red-velvet-cupcakes{red velvet (the best)}

paper-straws{party prepping}

saturday-morning{Elle Decor, illume & study fuel}

brasaii{brunch at brasaii}

chicken-and-waffles{chicken & waffles – I get it now.}

I’m pretty impressed with myself, I have to say. Not only did I manage to tackle a good chunk of studying, I also celebrated TWO birthdays, and left the bubble that is my neighbourhood TWICE this weekend. These days, I’m lucky if I make it as far as my best friends place, a mere 10 minute walk away. The route from my condo door to our local coffee shop on the other hand is a path I’ve become very familiar with. Two adventures in two days. We’re moving mountains people! How was your weekend?!

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five things

I don’t typically fall victim to the meme type posts that tend to float around blogland in waves. But this recent topic, often entitled five things, has intrigued me. I typically try to keep things pretty light around here because, let’s face it, life can be heavy enough at times, and if I can help shine a little bit of bright, light prettiness on an otherwise shitty day, I consider my job well-done. But I can’t help but feel like there’s so much more to me that none of you have ever really been privy to. Though this only begins to scratch the surface, I thought it’d be fun to take part.

dad-and-jacquelyn

1// Justin and I met online well before it was considered acceptable to do such a thing. What began as simple back and forth banter over a website (similar to Facebook, well before its invention. Crazy!), turned into something really special. We spoke on msn (ha.) and then via text message semi-regularly for almost a year with no intention on pursuing anything on either of our parts. When we both realized we were nearby (at separate bars, no less) late one Thursday evening, we decided an impromptu meet up was in order. We ended up spending the entire weekend together and made it officially official three days later. We haven’t once looked back.

baby jacquelyn

2// When my parents were looking to purchase their first home back in the 80′s, they put a serious offer on the home that Justin’s parents currently live in (they didn’t live there at the time). The term small world comes to mind.

little-jacquelyn

3// My parents split up when I was 4 or 5. It was both the most traumatic (I was old enough to know something was wrong but too young to comprehend) and the best thing that’s ever happened to my brother and I. We’re now blessed with a huge, I mean crazy-huge, extended family (step parents, step sister, half-sister, more grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins than I know what to do with!). All of whom I am so insanely grateful for I could cry.

family

4// I speak french fluently. In the twelfth grade I switched to an english school and almost flunked as I didn’t understand the math or physics terms in english. I promptly switched back and all was right in the world again.

james & jacquelyn

5// Though things may appear perfect around here, I can assure you they are not. It is incredibly easy to make life seem like angels and butterflies in 5 pictures & 200 words a day. I too fall victim to the “I’m not good enough, smart enough, stylish enough” thoughts that often plague this world I’ve grown to love (and hate, at times!) I cry, I fight, I feel lonely, I fall, I pick myself up and I try again. And again. I OFTEN worry that this little spot I’ve carved out for myself here, filled with light and pretty things on the regular, makes someone feel less-than. Please don’t. And if you do, message me! I can tell you my woes as well ;)

Now you go! I would so love to hear a little tidbit of yours. Yes you, you silent blog lurker you.

ps. Apparently I’m now supposed to tag five people to do the same. I tag Victoria, Tobe, Leah, Samantha, Molly & Sally.

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scenes from my weekend

gilead-pl{afternoon walks}

his-and-hers-chai{his & hers chai}

rainbow-salad{rainbow brunch}

scenes-from-my-weekend{views from lunch}

black-canary-coffee-bar{a new favourite local coffee shop (& a new iphone case)}

Truth be told, I was a bit of a coffee-house rat this weekend. I am officially into the thick of studying for my licensing exam and find that my best work takes place when the scent of espresso permeates the air, I’m surrounded by soft chatter, and my fellow study buddy is close by. Now that I work from home, it’s nice to have a reason to get out of the house for a while, even if it means that I’m hopped up on caffeinated beverages for 48 hours straight. I’m forewarning you, there is a distinct possibility that this is what my weekends will look like until April. Apologies in advance!

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend

nadege-macarons-&-cocktails-small{girls’ night, complete with Nadege macarons & tarragon cocktails}

high-tea-at-the-ritz-2{high tea @ the ritz}

high-tea{so. many. sweets @ high tea}

manicure{mini manicures}

at-home-brunch{at home Sunday brunch & study sessions}

You wouldn’t know it from this series of photos, but the majority of my weekend was spent with my nose deep in the books. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it thusfar on this here blog, but I’m currently knee-deep in all things Interior Design related as I study for my licensing exam. Luckily, a handful of my very favourite friends are in the same boat which definitely alleviates some of the pain (study sessions paired with friends and fun treats are infinitely better than the alternative).

On Friday, I did manage to take a bit of a break as I squeezed in a low-key girls’ night for a friend in town from Montreal. Obviously we watched the Beyoncé documentary. And Saturday I totally snuck away for high tea & catch-ups with the lovely ladies that make up my family. Work hard, play hard, right? Despite knowingly starting this week with a fried brain, I have to admit it was a pretty fantastic weekend over all. How was yours? I’d love to know!

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made me smile:

DSC_0011 {fruit loops; because they taste like childhood}

DSC_0057{ my gorgeous Sweet Woodruff Valentines day bouquet }

IMG_2380{ having a temporary study buddy }

DSC_0183{ piles of old fashioned candy }

Happy weekend lovelies. xoxo

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scenes from my wintry weekend

 

lark-linen_winter-2lark-linen_winter-7lark-linen_winter-1 lark-linen_winter-5lark-linen_winter-3lark-linen_winter-4

It’s funny, the older I get, the more I realize that my parents are legitimately cool (don’t tell my fourteen year old self). These days, I find myself craving family time more than ever before. There’s just something about surrounding yourself with a group of people who have to adore you in every shape and form that leaves one feeling more than fulfilled.

Seeing as this weekend was deemed the family day long weekend, I decided to fully capitalize. Between family spa days, slumber parties and board games at my aunts adorable country cottage, embarrassingly long naps, and gorgeous wintry family hikes, we definitely took advantage of each and every day. It turns out that this season isn’t so bad after-all.

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0132 DSC_0156 DSC_0164 DSC_0178 IMG_2325braving nemo for the sake of a fresh baguette (worth it, of course)
hunkering down with floor beds & cookies
surely I’m not the only one who eats breakfast in the bath…
heart garland at the Junction Flea & brunch at Luna cafe

It turns out that snowstorms make for wonderfully relaxing weekends. All of this down time has left me feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and more than equipped to tackle the week ahead! Also? Our floor bed is still in place – I’m kind of thinking we should keep it that way for a while.

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scenes from my weekend: Justin’s Birthday edition

lark linen_sfmw1lark linen_sfmw2lark linen_sfmw6lark linen_sfmw7lark linen_sfmw4prepping for J’s birthday dinner | banana cream pie, in bed
an adorable birthday card | fancy desserts | a couple of breakfast muffins

This weekend was primarily spent helping one of my favourite people in the entire world celebrate his birthday. It isn’t often that ones birthday falls on a Saturday, and so we made sure to enjoy it in proper fashion. Dessert was had in abundance, unnecessarily fancy dinners were splurged on*, surprise drinks were enjoyed with friends, and Sundays were spent lounging (ahem. recuperating.) I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to spend the past couple of days. And one more OFFICIAL Happy Birthday to my love, Justin. You know. For good measure.

*Justin is a through and through meat & potatoes kind of guy. I saved up my pennies and treated him to, what I’ve been told, the best steak in the city at Jacobs & Co. We felt ridiculously fancy and had way too much fun. The bill came with take-away muffins to enjoy for breakfast the next day. Amazing. We highly recommend.

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0163IMG_2197IMG_2173

DSC_0203DSC_0180a snowy stroll | happiness | pretty things at the Interior Design Show
15,000 rosaries at the Gladstone Hotel | a stack of pancakes at the Drake

Each year I find myself looking forward to this particular weekend. If you haven’t been able to tell from my relatively lame Monday posts these days, for the most part wintry weekends are pretty low key in our household. We typically make it out for brunch, and perhaps the odd movie, but apart from that we tend to stay within the confines of our cozy condo. But this one is a always little different. Not only does the Interior Design show grace us with its presence, but the Gladstone Hotel holds its annual art installation: Come Up To My Room. It’s a weekend filled with art and design and inspiration of the very best kind. It always leaves me feeling incredibly inspired and ready to take on the week ahead. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, art does fabulous things for ones soul.

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0153DSC_0145DSC_0135 DSC_0174DSC_0123simple blooms  | my happy place at the St. Lawrence Market
pretty packaging | entertaining friends | a candlelit bubble bath

While weekends in general are always welcomed with open arms in our household, this one was particularly wonderful. On Friday evening a handful of girlfriends and I made our way to the west end of the city to check out Rock Lobster. Caesars (with lobster tails!) were had, wine (on tap!) was guzzled and laughter was abundant. Oh, and the food was pretty great as well. There’s just something about girl time that always leaves me feeling incredibly rejuvenated.

On Saturday Justin and I invited some friends over to watch the first Leaf game of the season. Obviously I put together a cheese plate – because hockey, cheese and figs are a natural pairing, if you ask me. And Sunday was spent catching up with a dear friend over brunch (if you’re in Toronto, check out Rose & Sons. It just opened, the staff are incredible – one of them was wearing an ascot. AN ASCOT! It’s kind of the best) and the food was fabulous in a simple, unfussy, fancy-diner kind of way. All in all, a great weekend indeed. How was yours? I’d love to know!

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0012 DSC_0110 DSC_0124 IMG_2046 IMG_2067| around the house | pho friday (and later, Django) |
| the end of an incredibly beautiful day | afternoon naps |
| requisite Sunday brunch |

Though we’re in the middle of January (which typically classifies as my least favourite month), the temperatures are on the rise and with it, my spirits. This weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered. A perfect balance between leisurely and loungy, and hopping around town in not much more than a light sweater. Though the ridiculously high temperatures at this time of the year are unquestionably alarming, I’ll take what I can and roll with it for now. How was your weekend?! I’d love to know!

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made me smile…

DSC_0013| these incredible earrings |

IMG_1803| really awesome friends |

DSC_0021| this plate |

DSC_0015| waffle knit tops & sweatpants
(a new uniform since I started working from home) |

DSC_0104| discovering that Montreal-style bagels are just a 10 minute walk away |

Now you go!

Happy weekend noodles <3

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scenes from my weekend

IMG_1960IMG_1952 IMG_1972 IMG_1992 IMG_2001gorgeous blooms | an organized desk | Sunday morning reads
the Frida exhibition | the famous staircase at the AGO

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a year in review

a year in review_lark linen2

I know that this probably isn’t the most creative post on the planet, but I  always enjoy looking back on the past year. I’ve been deeply inspired by everyones 2012 posts and felt compelled to throw my own together.  It’s a great reminder of everything that occured over the last 365 days, both good and bad, and it really helps put things into perspective. 2012 was, overall, a great year filled with a ton of ups – from my grandpas 90th birthday, to the launch of my new blog design, to a fabulous trip to Scotland and Ireland finished by an exciting job opportunity. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that I have zero complaints. Not a one. And I feel as if I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me! I have a feeling that 2013 is going to bring some pretty great things and I really can’t wait to see what’s to come. Onwards and upwards I say! And a very Happy New Year to each and every one of you – thanks for joining me on this crazy ride. xx

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lately

DSC_0001Justin surprised me with this gorgeous wintry bouquet

DSC_0179my moms cat, Hazel, got cozy

IMG_1885we spent mornings perusing the St. Lawrence market,
peameal bacon sandwiches in hand

IMG_1907tea was enjoyed in bed

IMG_1910waffle breakfasts were had with aunts & moms

DSC_0036 & New Years was celebrated in proper fashion

I’m back in action and I’ve missed you guys sincerely! Though I technically still worked last week, it was nice to take a little step away from this here blog to get re-energized and re-inspired. Here’s a quick peak and what I’ve been up to for the last week or so.  I hope that the holidays treated you well and can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!

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I have some news…

My office
I’m feeling a little guilty as I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’m not entirely sure why it’s taken me this long to confess, but a part of me believes that I wanted to make sure that everything came together before making the announcement. I’ve had pinch-me moment after pinch-me moment over the course of the last few weeks; it’s all just been too good to be true. But alas, it’s time!

I’m so thrilled to announce that I quit my day job and I’ve been hired to blog for Style Me Pretty at Home full time. As in, I get paid to stare at beautiful things day in and day out (pinch me). I can’t even believe that I get to oogle goodies the likes of what you see below while lounging in yoga pants each and every day. It’s been a crazy transition but I have honestly been grinning from ear to ear since I started on Monday. It’s hard to imagine that this is real life!

In case you haven’t heard, Style Me Pretty has recently announced the launch of their new blog, Style Me Pretty at Home. While we wait for our new site to get all set up and prettified, my new co-workers and I are holding down shop on the SMP wedding blog each and every Sunday, so be sure to check it out! And thank you all for being so supportive during the last 2.5 years. It’s been a whirlwind and without you none of this would have been possible.

Have the very, very best weekend my dears. xx

2012_9_sanfran_diy_0029$!x600 wintergathering_010$!600xwintergathering_020$!x600 whiteloftstudio_xmas_0053$!x6001st image: my own
2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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scenes from my weekend

DSC_0009 DSC_0028 DSC_0032 DSC_0038 IMG_1824Sue’s gorgeous apartment | morning tea | Montreal bagels in the making
birthday celebrations at Garde Manger | birthday brunch

On Friday evening my girlfriend and I hopped on a train to Montreal to visit our friend. What ensued was a weekend filled with birthday celebrations of the very best kind. Celebrating friends has, no question, become my new favourite pastime. Warm Montreal bagels were enjoyed over tea with grandmothers (theirs, not mine, but I kind of wish she belonged to me), afternoons were spent manicuring (it’s a verb) and after many failed attempts over the last year, we finally managed to score a reservation at Chuck Hughes Garde Manger for a fabulous dinner (it did not disappoint). If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that I’ve really mastered the art of a good birthday celebration (the secret: a beautiful city, outstanding food and amazing friends).

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made me smile


new bed sheets (because they make for the best nights sleep)


this wall of “granny-knit” socks


this collection of goodies lining my dresser


a to-go mug all dressed up for winter (obviously)


the prettiest paper bags to package tasty gifts for friends

For more in this series click here

ps: today is the last day to enter the Plum Pretty Sugar giveaway! Hurry!

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scenes from my weekend.


overdosing on sugar | holiday necessities | goodies at William Ashley
piles of wreaths | our condo-sized tree (we named him Desmond)

As you can see, we’re pretty serious about Christmas around here. The weekend was spent almost entirely preparing for the upcoming festivities and I couldn’t be happier. How was yours?!

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scenes from my weekend


a low-key date night at home
Christmas snippets (at Anthropologie)
shopping for gift wrap | goodies at Elte‘s warehouse sale
SANTA!! (at the Santa Claus parade)

This weekend was unarguably a good one. The Santa Claus parade took place on Sunday and, in my opinion, it’s one of those not-to-miss yearly events. In my mind, it officially marks the kick-off to the Christmas season and this excites me to no-end. If you’ve read lark & linen for any length of time you’ll know that Christmas is taken very seriously around here. I’ve tried to keep all-things-Christmas at bay the last few weeks as I know there are more than a handful of you that don’t appreciate premature festivities, but I have to admit it’s been tough!  I promise to let my American friends enjoy their Thanksgiving this week, but after that I do believe it’s fair game! Expect things to get very Buddy-the-Elf-like around here in the coming weeks.

ps: In case you missed it, check out how to easily make those votive holders above for yourself: click here!

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Scenes from my Weekend


quiet mornings | a bit of shopping | keepin’ cosy
chalkboard affections | a nutella cupcake

A lovely weekend indeed. My belly is full, our fridge is spik & span (I seriously scrubbed that baby – I feel so adult), and we even managed to throw in a bit of fun*. How was yours?!

*you MUST see Samsara. Don’t let the “wordless documentary” scare you away. It was absolute brilliance.

ps: I’ve been informed that those of you who subscribed to my blog via email received a whack of old emails late last week. I believe I was hacked. I’ve been assured that the problem has been rectified and want to apologize – I can only imagine how annoying that was! If any of you are still getting them please do let me know!

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scenes from my weekend


signs of blue skies after a week of rain | brunch with friends
a triple caramel chocolate doughnut from Glory Hole
neighbourhood walks | oversized scarves & hot chai lattes

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Made me Smile…


a good mail day (c/o glossybox)


“tough” decisions at brunch


flowers from my mom


fall baking


getting things done around here
(like finally finding & hanging that cabinet in our foyer)

Happy weekend poptarts!

psst… for other posts in this series, click here

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scenes from my weekend


pizza & friends | a Halloween staple (though I find them repulsive)
so much rain | we went for minimal decor this year
decked out for a Halloween party! (my best friend and I were sashimi)

I spent very little time at home this weekend which, as you may have noticed in the past, is quite unlike me. I felt as if my former-university self was out in full force and it was nice to have her back! I bar hopped with friends (stopping for mid-evening pizza at North of Brooklyn – I highly recommend it), attended multiple Halloween parties, and didn’t get home until almost three am on more than one occasion. It was a nice change of pace from my usual routine. Because lets face it, sometimes you just need to leave the dishes in the sink, the laundry piled high and let loose with good friends.

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scenes from my weekend



|pumpkin scones | corn mazes|
|pumpkin patching | Häagen-Dazs (thanks mom!) | some fresh air|

I had minor surgery last Wednesday (nothing to worry about!) and as a result, ended up more or less bed ridden for three days. Added to my list of things that had never occurred to me: people totally spoil you when surgery is involved. Chocolates are brought, moms make pumpkin scones (and turkey soup!), breakfasts are made, dinners are delivered and many an episode of breaking bad is watched. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

On Saturday I woke up feeling a bit more myself and felt the sudden urge to get out of my pyjamas. Not able to partake in any strenuous activity, we obviously headed north to the pumpkin patch. Some fresh air,  bright yellow leaves, a new pumpkin and a few buttertart squares later and I was (almost) back in business. It turns out, love, sweets & some seasonal activities are exactly what the doctor ordered.

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scenes from my (birthday) weekend


|a mid-day snack break|


| the best birthday card. ever. |


| tea & presents in bed |


| dinner with (amazing) friends |


| my moms homemade birthday cake! |

For as long as I can remember, I’ve claimed October as my birth month. Justin likes to kindly remind me that I’m supposed to get a day (maybe a weekend) but I’m generally relatively quick to correct him. I’ve never struggled to find a reason to celebrate life, and I simply like to believe that October is mine for the taking (though I’m willing to share with the rest of you October babies). Over the years I’ve gotten quite good at extending the festivities throughout the month*. Somehow, however, every event pertaining to this years birthday happened to fall within the confines of this past weekend. Three dinners, two brunches and drinks with friends in 2.25 days. A birthday extravaganza of the very best kind. To say that I was spoiled would be the understatement of the century. You all managed to make me feel so very special and I can’t thank you enough. So far 27 is off to a really great start.

*Cute side story: my aunt feels the same way as I do in regards to birthdays. She has always jokingly, yet openly, considered may to be her birth month, ensuring to schedule lunches and pedicures sporadically throughout. For her fiftieth birthday my uncle and cousins decided to get together and give her exactly what she’d always wanted: an entire month of birthday celebrations. They put together a calendar, called her friends and family, and had everyone take over one day of the month. In effect: celebrating her birthday in one way or another each and every day of may. Every evening before bed she was presented with a truffle and a poem explaining what she’d be doing and with whom the next day. She was left totally in the dark on her daily plans until the night before. How adorable is that?! That story will forever bring a smile to my face.

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Scenes from my Weekend


a (very) low-key friday | some mid-day shopping
last minute trip planning | the view from a friends cottage

Justin and I leave next Saturday for our trip to Scotland and Ireland and I honestly cannot wait! Though a chunk of the weekend was spent tying up loose ends, finalizing trip plans and running some errands, we did manage to find some time to relax. A well-balanced weekend is always a bonus in my eyes.

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scenes from my weekend


polka dots & plaid | ramen & Sapporos at Kinton
getting lost in the country | goodies at the Christie Antique Market
incredible fireworks from our balcony

Justin was working evenings last week (ie: he would leave for work at 5:30 and I’d arrive home at 6) which meant we were literally on opposite schedules for days on end. Feeling slightly disconnected as a result, we made an effort to spend the entire weekend together to make up for lost time. We managed to accomplish a number of activities that had been on our to do list including taking in a Tiff film (no star sightings though – unless George Stroumboulopoulos counts?), visiting the Christie antique market and dinner at a ramen noodle bar that I’d been eager to try. On Saturday evening, after a long day, we decided to keep it low-key and hang out in our pjs with a movie. Midway through the movie, fireworks began going off right outside our window. We quickly headed out to the balcony, blanket in hand, and spent a solid twenty minutes taking in what was easily one of the most amazing firework display I’ve ever seen. We’re still unsure where they came from and what they were for (Tiff maybe?) but it only further solidified our love for this incredible city.

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scenes from my weekend


in the country | antiquing | afternoon refreshments | views from the boat
too many ice cream options (I opted for chocolate truffle)

Labor day weekend is always bitter sweet. While I no longer attend school, in my mind it will forever mark the official end to summer. On Friday afternoon, a few girlfriends and I packed up and headed up to my cottage in order to take advantage of the last few ounces of sunshine (and that extra weekend-day). The rules were as stated: no makeup, no hair products, and if your clothing items aren’t made of the softest cotton, they aren’t allowed to make their way into your luggage. Everyone abided with no complaints, which resulted in a very relaxing, wonderfully fulfilling, and successful send off to one of my favourite seasons.

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scenes from my weekend


our view while biking to The Ex | date night | brunch with friends
Saturday at the St. Lawrence Market | market goodies

If you can’t tell from the pictures above, a pretty wonderful weekend was had around these here parts. Instead of dwelling over the fact that the season is coming to an end, I’ve decided to embrace what’s left and really soak it all in. Between a surprisingly romantic date night at The Ex (including gondola rides and gourmet food truck dinners), multiple al fresco brunches, catching up with some girlfriends, and a handful of hours spent relaxing on the couch with my feet propped up, I’d say I made the most of it. How was yours? I’d love to know!

 

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scenes from my weekend


new lip shades | my wedding ensemble | a favourite clutch
the boys, looking dapper | wedding details | popcorn and movies in bed

This weekend was one in which my family and I have anticipated for months to come. After eight years of dating, my dear cousin and her wonderful now-husband tied the knot! Though Billy has always been considered a part of the family, we were able to make it officially official with one of the best weddings (ahem, parties, really) I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. She’s the first of nine Clark cousins to do the deed and has most definitely set the bar high for the rest of us. Family, food, champagne galore and more love than you could ever imagine – I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend. Needless to say, Sunday was spent ENTIRELY in our pyjamas and I don’t regret a single second of it.

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scenes from my weekend

street art of the pink variety | new stripes | puppies & board games
necessities | Sunday brunch

I haven’t been feeling 100% lately and decided to take it somewhat easy this weekend. Apart from a fabulous dinner at The Black Hoof (seriously. so good) with a dear friend, the rest was pretty low key. Lots of lounging in pjs, and tea of different varieties; board games with family, and snuggling with puppies. And it was all topped off with a Sunday date-day: a leisurely trip to Ikea and a fabulous brunch at Keriwa Cafe. All in all, a wonderful few days.

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scenes from my weekend


| sunsets | evening swims | little sisters & top knots |
| fresh produce | wet braids & boat rides | banana-chocolate cones |

Let me just say that ones cottage does really good things for ones soul. I’m currently trying to get out of relaxation/mini-vacation mode and it’s proving to be difficult. Excuse me while I pretend I’m still there.
I hope your {long} weekend was swell!

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scenes from my weekend


after work snacks | a family friends glorious backyard | hair did
rooftop views | and summery drinks

I am now more convinced than ever that life would be that much sweeter should summer stick around forever. It has been a good one so far, and this weekend was no exception. Between late night pizza dates with my favourite boy, lounging in the sun with friends and family, barbecued steaks and more patio beers than I should admit to, I am one happy little camper.

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scenes from my weekend


a bottle of wine with my family | salade niçoise | my cousins kitty
the asian street food festival | unapologetically stuffing our faces | out and about

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made me smile:

What are a few things that made you smile lately? I’d love to know!

 

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scenes from my weekend {wedding edition}


pre-wedding cupcakes | hair did | the beautiful bride (and me!)
the bouquet | the ceremony | the bridal party

I’ve never had this much trouble narrowing down my weekend pictures. This one in particular was filled with so many incredible moments, all of which were beautifully captured; a handful of moments, frozen in time. As mentioned, a few girlfriends and I took Thursday and Friday off to spend some time together, and celebrate one of our dearest friends weddings. We hopped from pool, to spa, to patio and back again all while jokingly referring to ourselves as ladies of leisure. It was an indulgent few days, and my wallet and I are no longer on speaking terms, but I can’t deny I had a ton of fun (and will be on a spending hiatus indefinitely).

On Saturday, my friend of twenty years married the love of her life. It was an intensely beautiful ceremony and I could not be happier for both of them. She is the first of our friends to tie the knot, and my first time as a bridesmaid. It was such a wonderful feeling being able to stand up and vouch for two incredible people, and I can’t wait to watch them grow into this next phase in their lives.

It’s safe to say that these past few days will be very tough to top.

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scenes from my weekend


sock buns & birthday parties | post-bar poutine | brunch
ceasars on Saturday | lunch with the girls | Sunday in the city

I’ve taken Thursday and Friday off of work this week in order to spend some time with my best friend who has just arrived from Ireland for our friends wedding. Despite the fact that I still have three work days to power through, I’ve found that I’ve already managed to submerge myself into what I refer to as “vacation-mode” where calories and alcoholic intake are of no concern (photos above as evidence). I know I’ve said it nineteen times too many, but I so love summer and all of the glorious things that come along with it. This weekend was a good one – made even better with the excitement surrounding the next few days. I apologize in advance if posting is light this week. There’s a chance I’m off playing with my friends!

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scenes from my weekend


the wine & spirits festival at sugar beach | father’s day gifts |
snuggling in my moms bed
celebratory dinners at Lemeac | my brothers graduation | family feet

Apologies for not being around yesterday to share my weekend with you, but I was away with my family in celebration of my brothers graduation. While the weekend started off at a slow and leisurely pace, it quickly picked up on Sunday morning when we made our way to Montreal. Making the six-hour drive (one way) to visit a place for just under twenty-four hours is not for the faint of heart, you can rest assured. It was a whirlwind of a trip and now that I’ve returned it doesn’t really feel like I was gone at all. But it was a special one, filled with celebrations and laughter and lots of bubbly wine. Short and sweet, in the best possible way. We’re all so very proud of my little brother (who currently holds a University degree in his hands), and we cannot wait to see what great things he’ll get up to next!

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scenes from my weekend


a wonderful city | pool parties
fulfilling clichés: bike baskets & baguettes | summer attire | family events

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scenes from my weekend

a cold & rainy few days | around the house
fireworks, in the rain, from our balcony
a wee shopping spree | a lazy sunday

I really don’t have much to report about this particular weekend as I accomplished virtually nothing of significant value. Justin headed to the cottage (golfing with the fam!) and I opted to stay back and get a few things done around here (these things still remain quite un-done, mind you). The weather has taken a SERIOUS turn for the worst (holy freezing and off and on rain!) which prompted me to spend the majority of my time indoors – more often than not, wrapped in blankets, tea in hand. I managed to sneak out on Saturday to treat myself to a mini shopping spree (my summer wardrobe was in dire need of a facelift). And as I write this, I’ve dragged my duvet to the couch and Teletoon retro is on TV (inspector gadget is not quite as exciting as when I was 8, but it’s bringing back some serious memories). It was unquestionably one of those weekends, and I am not complaining one bit. How was yours? I’d love to know!

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scenes from my weekend

a new purse | a day at the races | fancy hats
a balcony garden | Sunday afternoon 

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{belated} scenes from my weekend

white wine sangria & board games | maple bacon ice cream
early mornings at Brickworks | jays games | flowers picked by Justin

For the most part, my rule of thumb is to escape the city whenever a long weekend hits. After a ton of running around the past few weeks, Justin and I decided that we would forgo cottage plans (we did not miss the traffic, let me tell you) and meander the city as we saw fit. Having no concrete plans whatsoever allowed us to host a last minute party (complete with sangria and board games), take in a jays game (which eventually led to a backyard barbeque) and wander the streets in search of ice cream and warm patios. The weather could not have been more perfect and the weekend in it’s entirety ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered.

Psst! You may have noticed a few changes around these here parts. I deemed this blog redesign as cursed months ago and I wasn’t even sure we’d make it here. But with the help of my trusty sidekick (slash designer) Aprile (who pulled serious strings for me. Oh how I love her) we finally made it! There are still a few wonky things and bits that need to be updated (hello sidebar that is still the same as it used to be) but we’re so so close! I hope you like it!

Important: the weblink has changed from http://www.jacquelynnicole.wordpress.com to http://www.jacquelynclark.com. You may want to update your bookmarks if you want to keep up with your daily dose of l&l!

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Made me smile:


I used to entitle these posts “happiness is” but it never quite felt right claiming that the secret to happiness is a cute set of salt and pepper shakers or brand new boots. Every time I would hit publish something would churn in my stomach for I felt I was sending the wrong message. When I originally started this sometimes series, I did it with the intention of placing the focus on the little bits, those small moments that make your day just that much sweeter. I’m a firm believer in finding the light, the silver linings and appreciating the little things and that’s exactly what I’m trying to convey. From here on out, I will be referring to this series as “made me smile” for it feels more fitting. Yes, finding that dress you’ve lusted over on sale is something to smile about, as is making your way home without ever having to stop at a red light or purchasing a bag filled primarily with brown m&m’s (they taste the best, I swear it!) Little tidbits of my days that, in the grand scheme of things, are superfluous, potentially superficial and not necessarily the secret to happiness, but do deserve some recognition in their own right. What are a few notable things that made you smile lately? I’d love to know!

Happy long weekend sunshines (oh look, another reason to smile)!

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scenes from my weekend

saturday morning | baseball in the park | siblings
crabapple trees | mothers day pedicures 

This weekend marked one of the first in which it really and truly felt like spring. Mother nature must have read my strongly worded letters for the weather has finally taken a turn for the best. Between a birthday baseball game for my big sister, drinks on her boyfriends back porch and brunch al fresco for mother’s day, we definitely spent as much time as we could enjoying it. I am now more excited than ever for the warmer months ahead!

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scenes from my weekend

drinks with the girls | spring in the city | my new bike!
pesto scrambled eggs at Frankly | treats at Bobette & Belle 

Have you ever had one of those insanely productive weekends that, looking back, make you wonder how on earth you managed to squeeze it all in? Well that’s what just happened. The spring cleaning bug has recently hit me (hard) and our place has never looked better. Each cupboard, each drawer, each item has been diligently cleaned, sorted, organized (or tossed) and it feels oh so good. On top of clean fest 2012, I managed to indulge in a serious girls night (including but not limited to dinner, thyme infused beverages, and avocado face masks), visit my grandmother and help celebrate Justin’s moms 50th birthday. The best part? I found a bike! A really cute bike for a mere $45 (his name is Leopold and he marks me officially spring-ready). I would be lying if I said I feel rested; in fact, I may need a weekend from my weekend, but I definitely feel fulfilled.

Ps lark & linen is getting a bit of a facelift of sorts. If things seem a little wonky over the next few days please bear with me! Things are about to get a whole lot prettier over here.

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scenes from my weekend


dinner at Defina | organizing our friends new condo | post-move beverages
his & hers tea | organizing our own cupboards 

The fact that we were recruited to help our friends move on Saturday (at 8:30 am no less) meant that we were given a free pass to do absolutely nothing of serious value the rest of the weekend. And so that’s just what happened. All of the unpacking and arranging that ensued on Saturday encouraged us to get our own apartment in shape (which to me is the equivalent of a good time. I love me some organizing). We, of course, made sure this was balanced out with a delicious dinner out (me) a Jays game (Justin), a nap of epic proportions (for the both of us) and a silly movie (The Five Year Engagement: hilarious!) All in all, a really great weekend. How was yours?

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year two


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

This past Monday, lark & linen turned two. I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at a few things that I’ve managed to accomplish in the past year. From India, to New York City to five-year anniversaries with a certain boy I like – it’s definitely been a good one. I can’t even begin to explain how this blog has changed my life, made me appreciate the little things and stimulate my creativity in ways I never could have imagined. It’s been so much fun and I can’t imagine I’d be doing it if it weren’t for you. I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for joining me, supporting me, and encouraging me over the last two years. You guys are pretty great and I wish I could give each and every one of you a big ol’ hug. I get the sense that it’s only going to get better from here on out.

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scenes from my weekend.

date night at Guu | leopard & coral | my cousins wedding shower
birthday gifts for a friend | catching up with the girls

I will never tire of weekends that strike that perfect balance between on the go and nowhere important to be.

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scenes from my weekend


all packed | en-route | Saturday morning
Grandpa & I | keeping warm

On Friday evening my family in its entirety flew to (the oh-so-glamorous) Thunder Bay to help my grandpa celebrate his 90th birthday. Being surrounded by loved ones for an entire weekend is something that I’ll never tire of – especially when there’s a legitimate excuse to celebrate. And so we did. We celebrated the man who worked 80 hour weeks to ensure all four of his kids could go to college. Who breaks into dance when the room bursts into a rendition of “happy birthday”. Who is never short of jokes (even if my grandma thinks they’re crude). Who, to this day, curls three times a week, each and every week (and can out-lunge me any day). Who still insists he hand out ice cream money (yes, I’m 26). And who, at ninety years of age, never hesitates to climb onto his roof during a storm to shovel snow off of it for fear of it collapsing under the weight. My grandpa has led an extraordinary life and it was so amazing to see the outpouring of love for him on Saturday.  There is no one like him in this world and let me go on record when I say that I hope I inherited his genes.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

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scenes from my weekend {Easter edition}

spring | happy puppies | decorating easter eggs
nature walks | easter dinner 

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scenes from my weekend.

Saturday morning | thriving succulents | earth hour
hash skillet | brunch at Barque

I don’t have much to report from this weekend other than the usual schtick. It was low-key and wonderful, with a touch of party thrown in for good measure. I bid two of my best friends goodbye as they take off on their next adventures (tear) and finally got around to seeing The Hunger Games (addicted). The best part? After a few weekends on opposite schedules, Justin and I finally got to spend some quality time together. Hooray! Oh and I may have found my new favourite brunch spot. It was all I could do to not lick my plate clean at the end of my meal (and it was well worth the trek from our east-end condo). A successful weekend, methinks.

How was yours?!

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scenes from my weekend

tulips from Justin | Saturday (moccasins and popcorn)
finally getting around to making a few changes in our bedroom
driving with the sunroof open | shopping 

In comparison to last weekend, this weekend was extremely productive. We’ve finally launched operation-get-bedroom-decorated and I’m excited to announce that we’ve made quite a bit of headway already. Apart from staining side tables and picking up bits and pieces around the city, I snuck in a pitcher of sangria with a girlfriend, and headed out to see the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (which I highly recommend, by the by). It’s all about balance, you know? Happy monday you guys!

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scenes from my weekend.

homemade pasta | what became spaghetti alle vongole | kitty!
gearing up for st. patricks day | spring at kensington market

I would be lying if I told you that I accomplished anything productive this weekend. Apart from purchasing a bag of chia seeds (which had be on my to-do list for a while), it was slacker central in these here parts. But isn’t that what weekends are for?! I did manage to spend Friday cooking with my mom, sister and aunt (which is my favourite form of quality time); and while no green beer was ingested on Saturday (I know.) green shoes and regular coloured beers were present (success!) As for Sunday, when we finally arose from our slumber, Justin and I headed to Kensington Market with no real plans in sight. We found lunch, and chia seeds, and a fun little sidewalk garden but really just needed an excuse to be outside and enjoy the spring-like weather. I think it’s safe to say that this weekend was a success.

ps today marks one year since Justin and I officially moved in together. An apartmentaversary, if you will (it’s a thing!) This excites me.

Happy monday folks! 

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scenes from my weekend {halifax edition}.

views from the plane | beautiful Halifax | Justin & I
fresh smoked salmon | a family friend’s backyard | olive oil tasting shop

When we found out that my brothers basketball team had made it to the National Championships this past weekend, we quickly packed our bags and headed to Halifax to support them from the stands. Although they made a valiant effort (and I’m so proud of my little brother who won player of the game!) they didn’t make it past the first round. Fortunately, this resulted in ample time to explore the city at will. Indulging in fresh seafood of all kinds was definitely the highlight of the trip. And what Nova Scotia lacks in cute shops and coffee spots it makes up for in surprisingly good pubs, and kindness unlike I’ve ever seen*. All in all it was a wonderful weekend, and it’s amazing what a little getaway with the family can do for one’s soul.

*From strangers on the street who’d call a friend if they couldn’t help with directions, to traffic that would completely stop should you stand on the sidewalk and even contemplate j-walking, I was blown away by people’s friendliness. The security guards at the airport were not only smiling, but laughing and making jokes (although I’ve been told Torontonians are surprisingly friendly, this is unheard of). I can confirm that what they say about the Maritimes is 100% true and it’s possible I’ve been hauled up in big city life for a little too long.

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scenes from my weekend.

sushi | chandelier at One | eggs benedict
shopping | chocolate chip banana muffins

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happiness is…

colourful meringuesbowls of hot chocolate
neon-pink kitchen accessorieschandeliers made from velcro stripsand this collection of Ladurée “L’Art de Recevoir” books

Happy weekend poptarts!

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scenes from my weekend.

tulips at the market | french baguettes
olive oil & balsamic vinegar samplers | crêpe fixins’ | brunch with the girls

With Justin away at a hockey tournament, my girlfriends and I took it upon ourselves to take over the condo for a mini-dinner party, followed by a slumber party (and brunch the next day). Together, we spent Saturday evening attempting to make buckwheat pasta* and digging into my stash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar samplers. Naturally, we paired both with a bottle (or two) of prosecco and made sure to follow with dessert.

After a crêpe brunch on Sunday, we finished off with pedicures and a long afternoon nap**. Now adorning fuschia-pink toes (ready for an early spring!) we definitely tipped the scales towards an indulgent few days. I’m so glad I have such a great group of ladies to keep me company while Justin isn’t able. They make wonderful substitutes, though, I must admit, I am glad to have him home.

How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

*it only kind of worked
**Sundays should always be conducted in this fashion 

ps. I started painting as per my February resolution. I’ll be sure to show you the results once it’s complete (which could be months from now – time is at a premium at the moment). I forgot how much I enjoyed this process

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scenes from my weekend: montreal edition.

breakfast buddy | inspiring artwork | the old port | brunch at le cartet
the girls and I | an afternoon snack

In light of the Family day long-weekend, my girlfriend and I made the trek to Montreal to visit one of our best friends (and really take advantage of that extra day). It’s safe to say that our weekend revolved solely around food, and I have zero qualms about this. We more or less hopped from restaurant to restaurant, strolling through downtown and popping into random shops in order to waste time before our next big meal. It was so nice to spend the last few days with some of my very favourite people (whom I, unfortunately, don’t see nearly enough) and I’m counting down the moments until our next overly-indulgent girls weekend.

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scenes from my weekend.

skating necessities: cashmere handwarmers & oversized scarves
my early valentines day date
skating at Samuel Smith Parkdinner at Grand Electric
tea and glitter manicures (a la Emily)

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scenes from my weekend.

Justin’s birthday streamers*the St. Lawrence Market (in search of dinner fixins)what eventually became dinnerwool socks & floor beds

This weekend we managed to strike that perfect balance between doing nothing and accomplishing plenty. On Friday, we celebrated Justin’s birthday surrounded by friends and family of the very best variety. He was spoiled. It was well deserved. Meanwhile, Saturday was dedicated towards kicking this head-cold I’ve been sporting straight in the kisser. We built a floor bed** and watched far too many terrible movies (seriously – movie recommendations people? I’ve had no luck in this department lately) and ate leftover cake until our stomachs hurt. It worked (thus proving my theory: cake cures all). Take that sinus’!

Oh, and then I got bangs (and glasses)!

Happy weekend indeed

*I stayed up late to decorate our bedroom door with streamers for when Justin awoke on his birthday. When got up the next morning he thanked me for his “door papers”. I love boys (and I’m particularly fond of him).
**a floor bed: one air mattress + all of the blankets and pillows you can find plunked in front of a television (or fireplace). Bonus points if you build a fort.

ps. Today’s the last day for the sneakpeeq giveaway!  

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scenes from my weekend.

ice cream & moviespuppy bed-heada paperclip chandelier (30,000 paperclips in total)the Gladstone’s Come Up to My Room eventSunday brunch

ps. don’t forget to enter the Seakpeeq giveaway if you haven’t already!

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goals & resolutions.

Come January, the thought of coming up with any sort of resolution always seems like a daunting task. It’s generally one in which I tend to avoid (hence the incredible delay of this post). I often feel as if I’m setting myself up for failure from the get go. I mean, lets face it, I won’t ever go to the gym three times a week – and I don’t need to beat myself up for it. When I saw this post on pennyweight it seemed like something I could easily stick to. By breaking goals and aspirations down on a month to month basis and turning them into a pretty graphic chart of sorts, I’m much more likely to accomplish said task and it gives me something to look forward to for the upcoming month. The following are a few things I will strive to achieve throughout the next year:

January :: make bread from scratch | February :: start painting again |
March :: take a cooking class | April :: do something nice for a stranger |
May :: organize my desk | June :: re-attempt an herb garden |
July :: take a roadtrip | August :: walk/bike to work every day |
September :: rent bikes & go on a picnic | October :: spend a day in bed |
November :: learn how to knit |
| December :: make a gift for a neighbour I haven’t met |  

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scenes from my weekend.

{stella stretching}{breakfast in bed}{sneak peek: a project in the works}{bridesmaid dress fittings & snacks}{post-massage – aka taking advantage of my benefits the moment they kicked in}

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scenes from my weekend.


I won’t lie, I debated about whether or not I would even post today as this weekend was truly the opposite of earth shattering. In light of staying authentic and sharing both the exciting and the not so exciting, I figured why not. With the weather quickly turning on us (read: absolutely freezing), our first snowfall last Thursday and virtually no plans in sight, everything was in place for us to spend the weekend in hibernation mode. Apart from a quick trip out for groceries (sustenance) and brunch (more sustenance), the majority of our weekend was spent snuggling on the couch, hot chocolate in hand, hair unkempt in the very best way. We watched more movies than I can count, our kitchen cupboards have never been more organized and I have never felt more rested. It’s very possible that this was one of the better weekends we’ve had in a while.

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happiness is…

{golden teacups}

With this week being unusually busier than most, I have found myself making conscious efforts to sit back, breathe and take a moment or two to myself before tackling the next task. Making sure that I don’t work through my entire lunch and still hanging out with friends after work has made huge improvements on my level of productivity when I really get down to it. I’ve mentioned before that it’s important to focus on the positives and try to avoid being overwhelmed wherever possible (a mantra that usually helps me: “will this REALLY matter in a week?” If not, let it go.) Focusing on the little things in life is equally as important and really do make a difference in your levels of gratitude.  These are a few little things that have made me happy and have added to my otherwise stressful week.{embellished tops}{fresh scones & crème fraîche}
{mimosas}{baskets of chocolate}

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scenes from my weekend.

{saturday brunch at l’ouvrier}{two of my very favourite people}{board games & champagne}{getting ready}{girls night out aka happy to be reunited}

After almost six months in Ireland, one of my best friends has returned home. While I rarely struggle to find a reason to celebrate any occasion, this one was deemed worthy of a little bit extra. Whether it was mimosas at brunch, a second bottle of wine at dinner, or accompanying our mid-evening board game with a sip of champagne, the girls and I definitely made up for the last six months apart. I’m just so thrilled that she’s home.
ps: I added the rest of my Barcelona pictures to my Facebook page if you care to take a look!
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scenes from my holidays: Barcelona, Spain.

{cupcake shoppe}{sagrada familia}{justin & I}{Gaudi’s Casa Battló}{Cava (& tapas)}{meandering the streets}{the most beautiful architecture}{views from Park Güell}{Park Güell}{sunsets}{small cafes}{bliss}

When all of our original New Years plans began to disintegrate, Justin and I found ourselves searching for a plan B. Originally, we contemplated heading south for a few days to ring in the New Year, just us two, but when we found this amazing deal to Barcelona (it was actually less expensive than 3 days in a sup-par  hotel in Cuba) we knew we had to take it. Booking our trip just two days before leaving (and the day before Christmas), admittedly, gave my type-A personality some serious anxiety but in the end I’m so happy that we did.
We spent 5 nights in what can easily be declared one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever laid eyes on. We hopped from Gaudi building to Gaudi building (seeing the Sagrada Familia in person was so surreal, and I was able to cross something off of my wishing well!), drank cava and ate tapas late into the night, enjoyed our fair share of inexpensive beer and sangria and meandered the streets at will. We rung in the New Year in an old tavern, complete with walls that had been built in the 11th century, eating grapes with locals as the clock struck twelve*. I can already feel that 2012 is going to be a good one.

*the Spanish tradition is to ring in the New Year with food and family. At midnight, you are to eat 12 grapes, one at a time, before the clock stops ringing. Every grape you fail to eat is equivalent to a month of bad luck in the upcoming year.

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scenes from my weekend.

{champagne celebrations for a friend’s birthday}{late night pizza}{spiced rum & eggnog}{holiday tabletop decor at a Christmas party on Saturday}{wrapping gifts on Sunday}

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scenes from my weekend.

{twinkling lights}{warm chocolate chip cookies & elf}{messy buns}{a day dedicated to baking}

{reindeer at the distillery christmas market}

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scenes from my weekend.

{aka the place where hot chocolate lives}{a wee patch of snow that got me more excited than I care to admit}{cutting down our own tree}{christmas!}{lil sis & mugs of hot chocolate}

I’m lucky enough to be with a guy who’s as enthusiastic about Christmas as I am. His biggest worry is that it won’t stop raining and by the time it gets cold enough for snow, the clouds will be out of moisture. I agree with him wholeheartedly. This is a legitimate concern.

That said, we really went big this weekend. I’m talking Christmas everywhere. From the Distillery District Christmas market (where we purchased our very first ornament together. I know. Aww!) to cutting down our very own tree and hauling it home, and decorating not one but two of them, all while ingesting far too many cups of overly sweet hot chocolate; I’m convinced we could be the best Christmas elves in existence. We would easily give Buddy a run for his money – and I say that with confidence.

Our halls are decked. Our tree is lit. Our mugs are prepared. We are ready.

A forewarning: be prepared to get all sorts of festive up in here over the next few weeks. 

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scenes from my weekend.

I managed to make it out for a friends birthday on Friday evening, embellished silk shirts, heels and all, only to have to leave unexpectedly early due to a sudden bout of nausea. Waking up in the wee hours on Saturday morning with the flu (or food poisoning - the verdict is still out) was not something I was anticipating. I’ve now been sick three separate times within the last five weeks (most of which have just blended into one another). I’m no doctor, but I’m going to make an educated guess and say that this isn’t normal. Having been on the go, working hard and playing harder the last few weeks have left me feeling drained, exhausted, and clearly susceptible to any and every bug in existence. I’m convinced that my getting sick (thrice) is a sign from the universe forcing me to slow down. So that’s just what I did. I cancelled my plans for the rest of the weekend, trading in dinner reservations, brunch dates and family parties for cozy flannel pyjamas, stacks of movies and japanese takeout. I definitely feel better this morning, and really hope that my health is on the up and up.

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scenes from my weekend {nyc edition}.

{the view atop the Soho House}{red velvet cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery}{shopping in Brooklyn}{the east village}{camembert & honey at Betto}{strolling through Central Park}{Monet’s Water Lillies at the Met}

We managed to jam pack a lot of activities into our 48 hour whirlwind trip to New York. There’s no denying the buzz that hums through the city and I’m convinced that it’s what kept us on our feet for hours on end.

We stayed at my cousins apartment in the East Village. Having someone to show us around proved to be far more time effective than times past when we’ve navigated the city ourselves. Not having planned anything in particular before leaving, we were left with ample time to meander the city at will. We brunched at the Soho House*, perused the High Line, frequented sample sales (hello $198 sequined top for $35) and acted the tourist at Magnolia Bakery. Between Italian tapas in Brooklyn, Sundays strolling through Central Park and hours in the presence of Monets and Van Goghs at the Met I’m left inspired and deeply moved by a city so unbelievably fantastic. It really is unlike no other.

*for the Sex and the City fans, you may recall the episode in which Samantha tries to sneak in to the Soho House after waiting far too long for her own membership. I will not lie, I felt fancy brunching at such a place.

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scenes from my weekend.

{saturday morning: tea & pinterest}{a coffee date with girlfriends}{pho & friends}{clementine season has arrived!}{the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic game}

Lately these posts have seemed a little lacklustre, if you ask me. My weekends have consisted of eating pho, drinking tea and catching up with friends. While I’m perfectly alright with the idea of ordering pizza and drinking wine with a girlfriend, sleeping in until inappropriate hours and finally getting my hair done, it definitely leaves me with limited material for posts. I, for one, am not complaining. But I do apologize for my elderly behaviour, and promise I am fun! Most of the time.

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scenes from my weekend.

I hadn’t been feeling 100% for a few days, but on thursday morning it really hit me. Head spins, sore throat, absolutely zero energy. I was more or less bed ridden (or couch ridden really) for two solid days. A Friends marathon and catching up on The Young and the Restless (guilty pleasure) saw me through. The weekend was spent in much the same manner. Lots of tea was ingested, lots of cuddles were had and I even made out for a long walk and blueberry waffles on Sunday. I’m definitely feeling more up to speed this morning – I’m convinced it was the waffles. Those things are magical you know.

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scenes from my weekend.

{lunch at fusaro’s}{decked out for halloween: a loofah & mr(s). messy}{saturday afternoon: shopping}{french fridge magnets}
{making ourselves comfortable at ikea}

After what can only be considered as a ridiculously busy few days last week, this weekend was absolutely necessary.

On friday evening we donned our Halloween costumes (I dressed as a loofah) and headed out to a friends costume party. We were joined by mythical creatures the likes of unicorns and linosaurs (lion-dinosaur combo, obviously), Archie Andrews, rainbow cake (procured by the unicorn) and bowls filled with candy.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing weekend appropriate things. Things like brunch (of course), shopping with a girlfriend (I ended up getting the blouse with the wee birds, and I found the most dreamy winter jacket that exists. Seriously. It feels like angels) and trips to Ikea.

After a number of naps, and scrubbing down our apartment (I love me a clean apartment) I think I’m finally prepared to tackle the week that lay ahead.

ps.Happy Halloween everyone! Did you know that calories don’t count today? It’s true. So go ahead and indulge in those teeny tiny little chocolates (is it just me, or did they get significantly smaller this year?)

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happiness is…

{hot chocolate that’s really just made up of dark chocolate shavings}{a selection of loose leaf teas}{oversized knit sweaters}{homemade chocolate chunk cookies}{texture (and warm beds)}

Those of you who’ve been around for a while may remember my “100 things”series; a series in which I spent 10 weeks listing 100 simple things that made my days just a little bit brighter. I had so much fun putting it together back then and I knew that I wanted to keep it up in one way or another.  Here are a few simple little things that are currently making me happy. What are some of yours?

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scenes from my weekend.

{bins of pumpkins}{finally getting my watch fixed}
{an organized closet}
{late night cacio e pepe}
{sunday brunch with my mom & sister makes almost anything better}

What began as a promising weekend quickly turned south on Saturday night. With Justin headed north to help his grandparents re-do their roof (yes, he’s a keeper), I found myself with the place to myself and no concrete plans in sight. My thoughts included carving pumpkins, thai takeout, a stack of movies and some girl-time. Friday was fun.
Saturday was dedicated to menial tasks like organizing my closet (maybe I colour coded my clothes. maybe.) and finally fixing my watch (after almost a year). It’s amazing how satisfying theses things are (there’s a chance I’m type-A).
In the evening, my girlfriend and I headed out. While driving west on the Lakeshore we got into an accident with a transport truck. Luckily nobody was hurt; unfortunately the car didn’t have the same fate. There’s an estimated thousands in damages, but our lives are in tact. A solid trade-off if you ask me. And although we were left unscathed, I’m overwhelmed with the idea of what-if. The what could have beens. So the moral of this story (and I don’t think we can ever remind ourselves enough) is enjoy every second. All of them. Because really, you never know. Now go hug your neighbour, give your mail-man some cookies and tell your mom you love her. Because I say. And it’s my blog so i’m allowed to be bossy.

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scenes from my weekend.

{sweet birthday notes on the bathroom mirror}{pretty packages}{the most delicious cupcakes}{sparkly dinner tables}{my moms frozen chocolate cheesecake: to die for}

Confession: I had dessert five times this weekend. The madness has got to stop! I believe it’s safe to say that I’ve exhausted the most that I possible could have out of my birthweekend. Thank you guys so so much for your comments, your tweets and your sweet birthday emails. You sure do know how to make a girl feel special. Now excuse me while I lunge & squat my way to work – I must work off these calories.

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happy birthday to me!

found 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Today I turn old! Well, I suppose 26 isn’t exactly old, but if you ask five-year old me she’d say otherwise (hello grandma!). Kids are so silly.

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than with friends, family, oversized balloons and a little bitta sparkle. That gold cake wouldn’t hurt either, if you’re wondering.

Now excuse me while I go and bask in the glory of my birthweekend! (You see what I just did right there? Bam. Three day celebration! Because I say!)

Happy weekend lovelies!

Oh, and Whitney Johnson is our giveaway winner! Weee! Congrats Whitney!

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happiness is…

{the $1 pumpkin currently adorning our dining room table}{boot weather}{the cutest salt and pepper shakers that ever existed}{the first salted caramel hot chocolate of the season}{delicious restaurants that serve jars full of warm cookies for dessert}

Those of you who’ve been around for a while may remember my “100 things” series; a series in which I spent 10 weeks listing 100 simple things that made my days just a little bit brighter. I had so much fun putting it together back then and I knew that I wanted to keep it up in one way or another. Here we are, almost a year later, and I’m back with another rendition. Here are a few simple little things that are currently making me happy. What are some of yours?

ps today is the last day for the giveaway if you haven’t entered yet! I’ll be drawing a winner tomorrow afternoon.
pps if you so please, head on over to the lovely Alexandra’s blog, Avoiding a Quarter-Life Crisis to checkout my interview!

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scenes from my weekend.

{montreal’s city hall}

{autumn}{bouillon bilk: an incredible food experience}{the prettiest dessert: bourbon jelly, chocolate w.maple bacon & carmalized bananas}{gratuitous self portraits. other people do this, right? *awkward silence*}
{old montreal by night}

We jokingly referred to this past weekend as that time we ate our way through Montreal, and while we weren’t serious at the time, thinking back, it’s pretty accurate.
My mom, aunt, uncle and I headed to Montreal Friday afternoon to visit my brother. You see, he plays basketball for Concordia and always has a tournament Thanksgiving weekend. My mom and I can’t bear the thought of him being alone for Thanksgiving (and he can’t come home due to said tournament), so for the past 3 years we’ve brought Thanksgiving to him (in the form of us, of course. He’s very thankful for us, I’m sure :) ).
In years past we’ve attempted to cook a Turkey in his too tiny kitchen (fail), we’ve had a turkey dinner catered (better, but with paper plates on our laps and a shortage of cutlery in an apartment inhabited by three 22-year-old boys it left us feeling slightly unsatisfied). This year we decided to forgo turkey dinner altogether and splurge on a few delicious meals instead. We celebrated two separate nights (because that’s allowed when you don’t get turkey on thanksgiving – you must make up for it somehow you know). On Saturday night we headed out to Bouillon Bilk where I ingested a couple of the most delicious dishes I think I’ve ever eaten (for real – they were omggood) and on Sunday we headed out to Le Local. Between our heavy, rich, intensely delicious meals (complete with more than one dessert) we spent the rest of the weekend leisurely strolling through the city, stopping for ice cream (it was HOT in Montreal), for plates of pastries (yes, plates) and the like. We justified our indulgences by the fact that we walked mostly everywhere, and the idea that we’ll be eating salad for the next week. Promise.  How was your weekend? I’d love to know!

ps if you haven’t entered the giveaway yet, make sure you do so!

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scenes from my weekend.

{treats at hammersmith‘s}{tea + saturday mornings}{the view from ontario place}{a late night dinner at terronis}{nuit blanche at the pantages hotel}
There’s no denying that October is officially here. The weather has instantly turned cool and crisp and Sunday was spent almost entirely in a grey drizzle (it was wonderful). I, for one, am not complaining as I enjoy the slow, cool days that come with the season, not to mention the events that surround it (ahem, my birthday for one. Yes, it’s an event! or at least I think it should be…) Every first Saturday of October the city opens up from 7pm to 7am for an all night art event entitled Nuit Blanche. Toronto is transformed into a hoard of different installations where buildings glow eerily, water fountains make music, you’re encouraged to bring a sleeping bag and camp out at Bay Station for a Toronto-wide slumber party and you feel absolutely safe walking the streets at 5am. While the art doesn’t consist of the most mind-blowing pieces you’ve ever seen, the energy of the city is palpable. Despite the fact that we were forced to bring out our coats and mittens (and the night was much, much colder than years past), it’s definitely one of my favourite events and made for a wonderful weekend. As a bonus, staying out until 4am made it perfectly acceptable to sleep in until noon on Sunday and only get dressed to head out in search of food. Hibernation mode is almost in full effect and I’m all for it.

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scenes from my weekend.

{what’s left of my anniversary flowers}{wonton soup & party planning}{housewarming party spread}{party straws!}{sunday afternoons in the distillery district}

After more than six months of living together, Justin and I finally got our acts together and had all of our friends over for a housewarming party. I’m unsure that we’re allowed to  call it that after such a prolonged period of time (and considering the large majority of our friends have already seen the place), but it was a great excuse for all of us to get together. We snacked on delicious cheeses (I love me a cheese plate), some leftover snickerdoodles (I froze half the dough last time, pre-planning for any impromptu cookie cravings) and drank blackberry cocktails out of mason jars (and colourful paper straws!) The rest of the weekend was spent dining with my family for my step-moms birthday, and lounging around in pyjamas; a perfectly balanced weekend, if you ask me.

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scenes from my weekend.

{warming up with pho}
{waiting for brunch}
{saturday morning}{a sneak peek at a project that’s coming along nicely}{delicious treats in Kensington}

The weather has recently changed on an impulse and I’m all for it. Instead of feeling sad to see the summer months pass us by, I’ve quickly embraced the crispness that fall has to offer. This weekend I busted out my new boots, broke out my scarves, met a girlfriend for piping hot pho and didn’t feel guilty when I spent my entire Sunday in pyjamas watching movies. On Saturday, my mom and I cruised from one end of the city to the other on the hunt for items to complete a project we’re currently working on. We treated ourselves to brunch at Mildred’s Temple, perused the streets of the Kensington market, and made sure we always had something warm in our hands to sip on. Summer’s been great, but I’m ready for the slow leisurely days of fall (and the comfy socks that come with it).

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scenes from my weekend.

{champagne celebrations}{anniversary flowers}
{from our balcony}{cirque du soleil}{adore him}
{late-night cream soda floats}

This past weekend was spent celebrating our anniversary. Five years in and it keeps getting better; I think I’ll have to keep him. We decided to forgo presents this year (although he did surprise me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers I’ve ever set my eyes on), and instead, spend time with each other doing things we may not otherwise do. We drank champagne, we headed out for romantic dinners, we ate cream-soda floats at midnight, we saw Cirque du Soleil, and we spent some much-needed down time, just us, with no distractions. On Friday we headed out to Cafe la Gaffe for dinner, primarily because they have the best tiramisu in the city. We proceeded with the evening by testing out fancy bars (like bar chef) and not so fancy bars (like the Cameron house, with live country music and all). It was a wonderful weekend and I could not ask for more. I’m left feeling a little bigger, whole-heartedly content, and more loved than I could dream of.

 

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scenes from my weekend.

{soaking up what’s left of summer}{the cottage epitomized}{perfect for a midnight snack}{grandmas garden}{a tea break}{birthday cake gone bad}

Mother nature was sweet enough to give us one last warm weekend, which is more than I can say for the last few days (read: cold, rainy, more cold). We headed up to the cottage where we partook in beach days, campfire nights and heading into town to do some mindless browsing (and tea breaking). On Sunday, my little sister and I spent hours perfecting an apple caramel cheesecake for my dads birthday. After he blew out the candles the entire thing slid off the plate and onto the floor. See? Things aren’t always perfect in blog land. We salvaged what we could of the cake, and we all went at it with a spoon. Mashed cake tastes almost as good as pretty cake anyway.

I feel like I’ve accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish this summer (read: lots of lazy days by a lake). I’m almost ready to retire my ballet flats and bust out my boots and cozy socks. But if mother nature were to grace us with a few more days of warmth, I, for one, would not complain.

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scenes from my weekend.

I spent this past weekend soaking up the last little bits of summer that remain. From bare arms and lacy tops to meet friends for drinks on Friday, to brunching al fresco at Bonjour Brioche (where I obviously ordered the homemade blueberry lemonade, because if that isn’t summer in a glass then I don’t know what is). On our way back home, walking off the calories that is eggy bread and gruyère, we stumbled upon handfuls of new-to-me stores in Leslieville. I couldn’t help but treat myself to some olive lavande Savon de Marseille soap.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately; purchasing myself little gifts that I otherwise wouldn’t dream of (like $27 soap from France, which is so indulgent it’s ridiculous). You see, I’ve been excited to share with you that both Justin and I have accepted new jobs. Today is his first day so if you have a few good vibes to spare feel free to send them in his direction. And next Tuesday will be my turn. I must admit, I am sad to be leaving what has become a comfortable, happy little bubble filled with tons of freedom, some great clients, and even better co-workers who I can safely call my friends. But I am excited for the opportunities that lay ahead. With that in mind, last night Justin and I celebrated. We celebrated with wine and pizza at Queen Margherita (some of the very best), and nutella crème brulée. And soap, of course. Soap from France, because it’s a life necessity (but let me tell you, the bottle is gorgeous (and reusable) and the soap smells like love). All to say is that things are good. They’re really, really good. How was your weekend? I’d love to know.

update: I’ve gotten a few comments/tweets/emails asking what I’m going to be doing at my new job. Just to clarify, I’m still going to be working as an interior designer, I will just be switching firms. The new firm is much larger than my current one, and has a larger focus’ on residential/hospitality design. I’m really excited to further pursue other aspects of the field! 

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scenes from my week.

There’s something special about returning to a place where time seems to have stood still; a place that I’ve been frequenting for the last 25 years of my life, and can count on the fact that the juice glasses will remain the same, as do the pots, the pans and the stove that is surely from the 50′s and has helped feed its fair share. Visiting my cottage in Thunder Bay is one of those spots that holds ridiculously happy childhood memories and I hold it very close to my heart. It’s a place the epitomizes a Canadian summer: the fridge is always full of beer, when you walk through the bush, you must have a bear whistle tied around your wrist, just in case, the lake is refreshingly cold and the sunsets would make your heart skip a beat.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent the large majority of my week lounging on the dock, catching up on books that I’ve been meaning to get through but could never finish due to a lack of spare time. While I was originally fretting about the idea of being in the middle of nowhere with no connection to the outside world for an entire week, something I haven’t done since I was quite young, it ended up being just the ticket. Having literally nothing that needed to be done but watch the waves roll in, or the sun set over the lake was a welcome change from my mind reeling with a million different thoughts, ideas and things that need to be done. After adjusting to the thought of being able to read for four uninterrupted hours, I settled in just fine. While I wasn’t curled up on the front porch with a book, I passed the time listening to my 89 year old grandpa tell stories from the 1930′s, playing scrabble on the front port and eating my weight in home-cooked meals. One evening in particular was spent sitting on the boathouse for over an hour just watching an electrical storm off in the distance. It was easily one of the most amazing (and eerie) sights I’ve experienced.

I must admit though, I am happy to be back amidst the hustle and the bustle of my busy city life, only now with a clearer frame of mind. But if I can offer any advice (and this is something I’m sure I’ll have to refer back to in the near future) it’s that it’s okay to sit and watch the rain fall for a solid half an hour. In fact, it’s encouraged. It does more good than you know.

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend, Vacation
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scenes from my weekend.


From take-out pizza and a movie on Friday to mimosas at an alfresco brunch on Sunday, this weekend was chock full of classic combinations that sometimes just can’t be beat.

After a low key evening with Justin on Friday, the girls and I packed up our bags (yet again) and headed to Burlington to visit our girlfriend and her new home. We hiked through Websters falls, we flipped through bridal magazines while sipping on prosecco, finding inspiration for her upcoming nuptials, and we spent the evening in her backyard, feasting and laughing and simply enjoying the company. Throughout the weekend, we jokingly referred to ourselves as ladies of leisure as we hopped from one waterfront restaurant to the next; because sometimes you just have to put life, budgets and reality on hold and simply enjoy some good old-fashioned, frivolous girl time.

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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flor.

When I first came across Flor carpet tiles, I must admit I was a little bit skeptical. I knew that there were benefits to these tiles in a corporate setting, but I couldn’t imagine them in my home (or any of my client’s homes for that matter). Not too long later, I was put in touch with one of their PR representatives who offered to send me some tiles in order to take them for a test-run.

The tiles arrived and we promptly installed them. We opted for this line, and I could not be happier with the result. The quality of the British wool is wonderful. It’s thick and exquisitely soft and I often find myself sitting on the floor rather than the couch to enjoy it (I’m a designer, and sometimes we’re weird – no judgement please!) The installation was a piece of cake and I feel confident when I say that you can’t tell that they are carpet tiles. While you can’t exactly compete with a wonderful hand-knotted silk and wool Tibetan rug (or something of the like), I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this rug. Having lived with it for a month now, I would confidently recommend the line to anyone looking for an inexpensive alternative to an area rug.

And if I may be so bold, may I recommend this one? Lately I’m all for the re-dyed antique rug look and this line definitely fits the bill. It’s a great alternative to the (much) more expensive versions found on the market these days.

disclaimer: while the area rug was given to me to review, this post is unpaid and all thoughts and comments are 100% my own. 

CATEGORIES | Art & Design, Life, Random
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scenes from my weekend.

I decided early in the season that any and all spare time must be spent by a lake, whenever possible. On Friday evening, my girlfriend and I packed up the car and headed to Prince Edward County to do just that. I think it’s safe to say that, while we didn’t really accomplish much, we definitely made the most of our long weekend. Between raspberry lemonade on the dock, to picking up fresh berries at a stand on the side of a country road, to napping in the grass (and on the beach, and on the porch swing and…). It was everything I could have hoped for and more. I definitely feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the busy (understatement) week that lies ahead.

ps. I know some of you are already in the know, but for those of you who are not, I have a Facebook album filled with scenes from my weekend, outtakes. If you care to see some from my cottage long weekend later this evening, head on over to my Facebook page! They’ll be up tonight.

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend.

{champagne celebrations for my cousin who just accepted a wonderful job opportunity. Also: tealights in mason jars are my new favourite things}{flipping through old photo albums after my grandpas memorial on Saturday}
{my handsome grandpa in his navy gear}
{fields filled with sunflowers on the ride home}
{watching the fantastic mr. fox with friends in the park on sunday evening}

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend.


It’s been a while since we’ve had a weekend with virtually no concrete plans. I don’t know about you, but I find that summer comes and goes so fast and it seems as if everyone wants to capitalize on it one way or another. There always seems to be some sort of event to attend, somewhere to be, something to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining one bit as we’ve had a ton of fun, but I must admit that it was nice to wake up when our bodies told us we were rested and carry on through the rest of the day with the slow leisurely pace that summer is supposed to bring.

We realized that with all of the going-ons lately, we have not had a moment to ourselves to go out alone and just be. So Saturday morning we packed up the car and headed north. Destination: a “secret”* beach outside of the city.  We brought the necessities: a bottle of prosecco, a red and white blanket, some cous cous salad and Stella. The day was spent in and out of the water in attempts to cool off, taking mini naps on the lawn and teaching each other new card games (something I learned: I am terrible at explaining the rules of a game and it often seems as if I’m adding in new rules throughout to benefit myself. I swear I am not! I simply forgot to tell you that part…) As the afternoon lingered into the evening, we packed up our picnic and headed home. But only because we wanted ice cream.


*We did not do a sufficient amount of research and our “secret” beach ended up being loaded down with cottages and the like.  As a result we may have set up shop on a small patch of grass next to a deserted road. Minor details. It was still wonderful.
And adding to my wishing well: find a real secret beach in which to spend our plan-free summer days from here on out. I’ll keep you posted with how this pans out. There may be picnic test runs in the near future. 

 

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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quotes & such.

found here
First of all, I wanted to say thank you for all of the love and support you’ve shown me with regards to my post yesterday. Your tweets, your comments, your emails and virtual hugs mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I miss my grandpa terribly but feel so loved, inside and out, through and through at this moment. So thank you.

It feels weird to transition into something else after the last few days, but I know that life must go on. That said, posting may be light over the next little while as I figure out how to adjust and digest this life without one of my very favourite people.

So here we go, attempting to move on.

A few of you recently emailed me asking what was written and hung up on our new art wall (this post here). It’s an exerpt from a novel called the Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I have not read the novel myself, but stumbling upon its quote a few years back really hit home for me and no words since have struck me the same way. Here it is:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it is not pretty, every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, YES!

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
-The Invitation

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gramps <3.

grandpa & I, c. 2006

I usually try to stay away from things that are incredibly personal, or difficult to deal with on my blog. The reason being is that, for one, I like to maintain some sort of anonymity. Secondly, there is so much out there that happens on a daily basis that we’re all forced to deal with, why drag it here, to my happy place? I prefer to keep this spot positive and joyful, a place where people want to come and visit during their moments away from reality.

That said, it’s also important to realize that things are not always butterflies and rainbows. Stuff happens. Crappy stuff. And sometimes it makes it easier to appreciate the sweet when you know what sour tastes like. I’ve gotten to know and love so many of you over the last year, and would like to share what I’ve been going through lately with you.

Yesterday morning, after a long, grueling battle with cancer, my grandpa passed away. He left behind four children, their respective spouses, a wife, nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild, all of whom not only love each other, but legitimately crave time together. Seriously. Everyone gets along. That there is a testament to the type of man that he was.

He was the man who brought his wife tea in bed, every morning, and prepared a candle lit dinner for her every Friday during their 55 years of marriage. He was the man with the greatest belly, and the belly laugh to support it. A man with incredible stories, including the time he had the opportunity to serve the Queen breakfast during his stint in the navy. He had thirty men lined up in the kitchen,with every ingredient you could imagine on hand, ready for anything she desired, only to have her order a bowl of cereal. He laughed as he told the story, every time. The man who sat at the head of the table, eight grandchildren in tow (at the time, my baby sister wasn’t around yet), playing military lunch* with soup and grilled cheese. A man who suffered for a year now, in pain that I could only begin to comprehend, without even an iota of a complaint. He never missed a beat, or a party, until the very end. This is the man who, at the age of 72, funelled rum and coke’s at the pleas of his teenage grandchildren (we were 19, I swear of it!) It’s safe to say that he lived his life to the utmost fullest until the very end. My heart aches at this moment, but I feel relief knowing that he’s no longer in pain. His legacy will go on in the form of his incredibly loving, and supportive family. A family that I count my blessings to be a part of, every day. The best there is in this lifetime, I swear. R.I.P Gramps, you will be sorely missed but never, for one second, forgotten.


*military lunch: 8 kids, 8 bowls of soup, 8 grilled cheeses, with Grandpa at the head of the table commanding our moves: “one spoonful of soup with three and a half noodles on it”, “bite the corner of your grilled cheese” to be continued until our lunches were finished. To date these lunches are still my favourite childhood memory. I only recently realized that this was his ploy to get 8 kids to finish their meals. Brilliant, and incredibly fun.

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condo life: art wall.


Remember this post of yore? After much contemplation (and some serious voting action from the likes of you – thanks guys!) Justin and I finally got our act together and filled up that sad, blank wall in our dining ‘room’ (I say room lightly as it’s more a dining corner – wahoo condo living!) Since finalizing our decision to go the direction of the art wall, we’ve been collecting items to frame. Seeing as we’re both on a tight budget, we knew that we had to be savvy with our selections. Luckily, I was able to dig through my files (both of the computer and of the old-sketchbooks-in-my-mother’s-basement variety) and found a bunch of personal art and photography that worked quite well together. Take a look below (and click on the image for a larger view) to see where our pieces surfaced from. I’m happy to say that thanks to the $1 printed card I purchased in India and my Coulson Macleod prize from a challenge I entered back in October (here), the wall was virtually free! Oh happy day! I’m so pleased with the results.

and if you’re looking to attempt an art wall of your own, here are a few of my tips:

::At least one element should remain consistent throughout to tie the pieces together as a whole unit. A few examples: use the same frames, stick to a similar colour scheme (all black and white images, all highly saturated images…), use pieces in the same medium (all photographs, all oil paintings…), or stick to a similar theme (landscapes, family photos…). While I believe that one element should be consistent, some of the most interesting art walls I’ve come across mix and match mediums, colours, and/or frames, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it.

::The most common mistake made is not hanging art at an appropriate height. The rule of thumb is that the centre of your cluster should be at eye level (ie 5′ off the ground). That isn’t to say that you can’t extend your art wall from floor to ceiling for the most wonderfully dramatic effect.

::Chose a spacing between your photos and keep it consistent. In our case we chose a 1″ gap between each frame.

::Get creative! Tack up an old strip of photos or frame a pretty peacock feather. There are endless possibilities.

::Asymmetry is beautiful, so long as balance is maintained. For example. If I had two or three light and bright pieces on one side, I would balance out the other side with a single heavy, perhaps dramatic piece on the other.

::And lastly, there are no real rules and like most things, to each their own; these are just guidelines that I find helpful when completing a cohesive scheme.

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scenes from my weekend.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing is going wrong, but everything isn’t going all that right either? You know how it is; your dryer stops working so your top is a little damp, you just miss the bus and have to wait half an hour for the next, and then when you finally do get on there’s a big accident up ahead and you just sit there in the thick of traffic hoping that every one’s okay? Well that was Friday for us. We headed to the beaches to celebrate Canada day with sparklers and fireworks which seemed to me like a recipe for a good time. By the end of a string of strange events, ones in which made us feel as if we were in the twilight zone or a part of some hidden camera show, we just had to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and call it a night. Luckily though, the fireworks did not disappoint (even if the rest of the night was more or less a bust).

On Saturday we awoke early ready to start again and headed to my cousins for a day at the pool where we proceeded to drown ourselves in refreshing mojitos. A perfect rebuttal to an otherwise disappointing Friday.

The rest of the weekend followed suit with a backyard barbecue at my moms followed by a late night bike ride to Toronto’s best ice cream shop: ed’s real scoop  - a must try for any of you that have yet to do so. With flavours like maple bacon or crème brûlée (along with standard favourites like vanilla bean and callebaut milk chocolate), I always leave satisfied.

And as a final note, I realize that I did not wish you guys a happy Canada day! For shame. I hope it was glorious. And for you American folk who are currently sipping on red, white or blue drinks, happy independence day to you!

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend.

This weekend was a particularly good one as we headed north to go white water rafting. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any pictures of our day due to my camera not enjoying the idea of water, but know that it was an amazing adventure and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s up for a little bit of a challenge. After watching YouTube videos before departing (bad idea), I was incredibly nervous. It ended up being a lot less scary than I was expecting and I really enjoyed the whole experience. After a whirlwind, high intensity Saturday surfing the rapids, we spent the rest of the weekend at our friends cottage nearby. We hung out on the dock, napped in a hammock, spent the afternoon floating on the lake and drank a little too much beer by the campfire. All in all, it was the perfect Canadian summer weekend.

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scenes from my weekend.

{views of the city at the wine and spirits festival}
{live music + wine = bliss}{brunch dates with this guy (isn’t he cute?)}
{neighborhood walks}{sunday afternoons in the city}

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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condo life: succulent love.

When I moved into my first apartment (almost 3 years ago), my good friend gifted me these amazing white ceramic planters. At the time she had filled them with bright pink gerber daisies and I was as happy as could be. Since the demise of said daisies, the incredible semi-circular pots have sat unused, empty, waiting for some love and affection. I’ve racked my brain over the last few years trying to think of something special I could do with them. Grass? So 2008. Lavender? It would surely perish at my touch. I should admit: I am no gardener. My last attempt at a herb garden failed miserably (I’m trying again with only two low maintenance herbs this time, I’ll keep you posted), and the last thing I want to do is spend my time, money and energy having to refill these bad boys over and over as I continue to kill every green thing that crosses my path. And then entered the succulent. Similar to a cactus, these babies require little maintenance (it’s okay if you forget to water them) and lots of sun (perfect for our southern facing condo). Knowing me, I’ll manage to do them in somehow (although the orchid my mom purchased for us two months ago is thriving, so maybe my curse is lifted?) But for the moment, I can’t help but gaze at them longingly as they don our previously naked windowsills.

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scenes from my weekend.

{brunch at toast with a girlfriend (go and get the cranberry cream cheese stuffed french toast. you won’t regret it)}
{accidentally stumbling upon woofstock at the st. lawrence market as we picked up groceries for a dinner party on saturday. some dogs were wearing little hats and tutus, others had their very own strollers or were strapped to their owners chests papoose-style (ridiculous but also very entertaining)}

{unlimited amounts of fresh ontario strawberries at the farmers market}{fresh berries for breakfast on the balcony (we’re getting so much use of our new patio set)}
{the beginning of what will eventually lead to a mini herb/flower garden}

I’m feeling under the weather today and am currently wrapped in blankets, tea in hand, price is right on the television (the young and the restless is next. the best part of a sick day: cheesy soap operas). So here is an abbreviated version of a wonderfully relaxing weekend.

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scenes from my weekend.

{strawberry peach sangria}
{primping for girls-night}
{birthday cake at a friends barbecue}
{new hairstyles}
{delicious brioche at the leslieville farmers market}

Justin headed north to the cottage which left me with the apartment to myself. On friday evening the girls came over for a mini dinner/slumber party. We made strawberry peach sangria using this recipe and it was enjoyed while sitting on the balcony breaking in our new patio set. After a little too much of said sangria, we donned our highest heels and headed out to Nyood in the west end to continue our little shindig.

The next morning we awoke to cold and rain (and possibly a slight headache) which prompted us to cancel our plans and curl up on the couch with all of the pillows and blankets we could find. We spent the day eating strawberries and scrambled eggs on toast while frying our brains with movies and mind-numbing television. Luckily the weather sorted itself out in time to head out to a barbecue to celebrate a friends birthday.

Sunday morning brought about the grand opening of the Leslieville Farmers Market which ended up being such a huge success. Most of the vendors sold out of their stock by 11:30 in the morning due to an overwhelming response, which is so exciting (and they will, as a result, bring double the stock next week). We stuffed our faces with far too much incredible local, organic, sustainable, affordable (!!) free-range food and lingered in the grass in the middle of the park until well after everyone had left. And in celebration of the markets incredible success thus far (and all of my friends serious hard work), we headed over to the patio at Le Papillon on the Park where we continued to feast on beer and poutine (a perfect recipe for celebration if you ask me).

disclaimer: While not all weekends are rainbows and butterflies and I often omit any negativities that happens throughout (because who REALLY wants to read about arguments or traffic jams or what have you on a monday morning) this one really was absolute perfection. Summer: how I love thee.

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events: leslieville farmers market.

found here

I’m just going to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to inform you of an awesome endeavor that one of my very best friends has taken upon herself to initiate. On Sunday, Leslieville (in east Toronto) will get it’s very own farmers market! The market will be open from 9-2 every Sunday from here on out until October. She has 21 vendors lined up selling everything from coffee and baked goods like fresh bread and pies, to fruits and veggies, free range, grass-fed meats, eggs, honey, fresh cheeses, prepared foods, jams and preserves as well as fresh crepes, quiches and poutine. Um. Hi deliciousness! I’m so so proud of her as she’s worked her little tail off the past few months to make this happen. There will be live music, delicious food and a guaranteed good time. (Seriously. I wouldn’t tell you all about it if I wasn’t absolutely sure it will be worth your while to make the trip).

For more information head on over to www.leslievillemarket.com And hopefully I’ll see you Sunday?! (ps how awesome would for me to actually get to meet some of you in real life too! Weekly groceries and new friends? Double whammy!)

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scenes from my weekend.

Friday night was unfortunately spent curled up on the couch, ginger tea in hand, nursing Justin back to health after a mild case of food poisoning. (Sometimes weekends aren’t perfect, let me tell you!) Luckily, he felt a world of better on Saturday and we were able to make our way to my dad’s place for a family barbecue in celebration of my brother’s birthday.

After a late night, too much food and (admittedly) drink, we woke up embarrassingly late on Sunday. Fortunately we made up for our laziness by plowing through the rest of the day. We made our way to Ikea where we proceeded to purchase a patio set for our balcony (hello summer evenings outdoors!) and some frames to complete a few upcoming projects. We ended the day indulging in the best pizza in the city (pizzeria libretto, alternatively: the love of my life) and taking in a late movie. (Have you seen Bridesmaids? It’s hilarious and you should probably mosey on over to your closest theater at your earliest convenience)

CATEGORIES | Life, Scenes from my Weekend
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scenes from my weekend.

First of all, I’m not sure what happened over the weekend, but hello new followers! I have a feeling that most of you have come from this post on Sofia’s Journal. Man that girl is so awesome, wouldn’t you agree?? Anyways, I like you all, so please stay awhile.

And now my weekend:

Mother nature must have listened to my pleas as the past few days could not have been more perfect. As mentioned on Friday, my extended family and I (and by extended family I mean there were 18 of us) headed up to the cottage to get it summer ready and take advantage of the long weekend. With temperatures soaring upwards of tank top weather (which is better than t-shirt weather but not quite adequate enough for bikini-times), we spent the majority of the weekend outdoors. Between blowing bubbles on the lawn (that were purchased for my little cousin, but lets face it, more enjoyed by us), hanging out on the dock and spending the larger portion of the evenings in front of a roaring bonfire, I can confidently say that this weekend was conquered.

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i’m back!

image found here

Hello my little kumquats! I’m back after what can only be described as two of the best weeks of my life. India was beyond words, beyond anything I had ever expected and I can’t wait to share it all with you. I’ve only been back for a few hours and am desperately exhausted slash really need to brush my hair. So please give me a little bit of time to get my life back in order (and try to tackle these tangles). In the meantime, you can head over here to check out my guest post on Bijou and Boheme, if you so please!

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two things.

found here

Two things!

1) Congratulations to Lisa, our blog giveaway winner! Lisa I will contact you soon with details (for the nosey folk, I used random.org to select the giveaway winner)

2) I am off to India! (well, on Sunday). I am desperately excited and terribly nervous, eek. I’ll be gone for two weeks and I don’t know what I’m going to do without you guys! I’ll miss you so, but I’ll bring back lots of pictures, lots of stories, and perhaps some treats & souvenirs for another giveaway (we’ll talk). Have a great two weeks my little sunshine biscuits!

xx Jacquelyn

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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

The weekend began as dinner and drinks for a friend’s birthday and ended at a huge Easter feast with my entire family in tow. In between all of the eating (and drinking) and celebrating and chatting, we definitely found those imperative moments to sit in our pyjamas drinking tea and catching up with friends who’ve made the trek from Montreal to celebrate said birthdays (me) and moments to break in the golf clubs for the first time this season (Justin). While the beginning of golf season ultimately means that spring and summer are quickly on the approach, it also means that I’ll be saying goodbye to my boyfriend for most Sundays. Sigh. Goodbye Sunday boyfriend!

I hope that you all had an amazing Easter!

ps: if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to go here and enter the giveaway!

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wanderings: India.

found herehere & here

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have heard me rambling on about a trip I’ve recently booked.

You guys, I’m gong to India! INDIA! I flip-flop between utter delight and extreme excitement (like the want-to-jump-up-and-down-and-scream-EEEE kind), to nerves and anxiety and back again. Can we talk about how the flight is 18 hours long?! That’s a heckuva long time to be suspended in the air. But nonetheless, I’m going to India! I can’t even wrap my mind around this. I can’t get over how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to take such an adventure in my lifetime. I’m so grateful.

My cousin and his girlfriend have been in Delhi since December and have invited me to be their guest. We’ll begin in Delhi and make our way to Agra for a day before heading to Rajasthan for even more adventure. I leave on May 1st and will return on the 15th with a buttload of pictures and stories to share with all of you. Taj Mahal, here I come!

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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

The weather was just starting to warm up and feel like spring when it decided to take a turn for the worst. The majority of the weekend was filled with rain (and snow!) which gave us the perfect excuse to do almost nothing.

On Friday, we celebrated my cousins recent engagement which was an event that ended up lasting well into the night (or early morning, really). Waking up to grey skies and miserableness outside on Saturday allowed us to spend the majority of the day in our pyjamas, without feeling guilty. We contemplated putting real pants on to head out to dinner and a movie, but opted to stay in with a rented one instead. A wise choise, methinks.

Sunday was topped off with brunch with my girlfriends at a local hotspot, Gilead. With shelves lined with homemade preserves and compotes, as well as crème fraîche brought in from the chef’s own farm, it made for the prettiest (and tastiest) spot to linger and catch up with some of my favourite people.

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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

On friday evening I packed my bags and headed south-west to Windsor (one of Ontario’s uglier cities, if you ask me). My little sister was playing basketball in the provincial championships and asked me oh so nicely if I could come and support her. While my brother and sister got the athletic gene, I on the other hand (really, really) did not. But of course, I obliged. A weekend spent with family, in a hotel room, with room service at any given time is always a bonus.

While windsor wouldn’t be my first choice for a weekend getaway, it ended up being a ton of fun. We lost in the second round on Saturday, which was a little disappointing, but it just meant that Saturday night was left wide open. We headed to Lake Erie (to my dads winery) where we threw a massive barbecue for the whole team, complete with private tours of the facilities (wine making is so fun!)

Seeing as we were not playing on Sunday, we were free to sleep in, lingering longer in bed than deemed necessary, and ordered room service (which was naturally enjoyed in bed) before making the long drive home.

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scenes from my weekend.

{saturday morning at the st. lawrence market}
{delicious salts in pretty packaging}{stella has officially moved in}
{touring the new neighbourhood}{a hot tea & an almond croissant}
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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

This weekend was one of those ones that went by in the blink of an eye, but somehow still felt like it lasted forever just due to the amount of stuff that we jam-packed in there. Do you know what I’m talking about? I think you do.

What began as a relaxing evening in with a girlfriend quickly turned into a trek up north to visit my grandparents, a whirlwind of acquiring our pillows and curtains and trying to get them in place, as well as a sunday spent at the old apartment painting it back to its original colour before handing over the keys (the end of an era you guys). It did, however, end with the condo to myself, a bubble bath, and a big mug of peppermint tea. Oh, and cute doodles left on the mirror for when Justin returned from his late evening hockey game.

ps. don’t mind that my book is sopping wet. I mistakenly turned on the tub jets before the water was high enough thus splashing water EVERYWHERE. (It’s actually my moms book. Sorry mom!) Sometimes I have blonde moments. Sometimes.

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{belated} scenes from my weekend.

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This weekend was a particularly good one as we have officially moved into our new place! We’ve unpacked and set everything up for the most part, now all we need to do is turn it into a home. I figure some new curtains (coming soon), pretty throw cushions (also on their way) and some much needed artwork on the walls should do the trick. My mom purchased the pretty lilac coloured orchid that made its way into a few of my pictures, and it instantly made our place feel more like home.

We’re currently internet and cableless (which proves to be difficult when trying to blog) so we spend our evenings cooking together and playing guess who with a glass of wine. While it’s been lovely so far (really, living with a boy is kind of awesome), I must admit a part of me looks forward to Thursday when everything gets set up and we can join society once again.

Happy Tuesday loves!

xx

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lately.

antique plaster mirrors

drawers filled with discarded photos // a collection of vintage alarm clocks

a refinished table for an upcoming project

an incredible Thonet chair that the owner refused to sell to me (I gave my best puppy dog eyes too)

fabric. so much fabric.

packing. so much packing!

with much needed (and well deserved) ice cream breaks in between.

back soon lovies.

xx Jacquelyn

all images via lark + linen

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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

Operation make-apartment-suitable-for-a-boy is well under way and I’ve got the fabric to prove it. After spending a lot of the weekend tackling apartment-y things (can I tell you how much I hate moving?) we have more or less settled on our fabric selections. We’ve gone for an organic cotton for our curtains and a mix of textures and colours in a linen fabric for all of our pillows and such. We’re going for the natural feel here, folks. All that’s left is to get em all made (hoorah)! I can’t wait to share it all with you.

After a busy few days last week (both at work and on the home front), I took the Sunday off for some much needed girl time. The ladies and I kidnapped our friend Jess (blindfold and all) and surprised her by taking her to the Scandinavian Spa for her birthday. We spent the day venturing from hot pool to eucalyptus sauna, to cold pool to what I like to refer to it as the nap room. We finished off the day at our friends restaurant, Le Papillon on the Park, where we indulged in more than I’d like to share. It was the perfect ending to an incredible day. What is it about hanging out with a handful of your absolute favourite people that just puts everything back into place? I’m rested and ready to tackle the crazy week that lay ahead.

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scenes from my weekend.

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It slipped my mind that the family day holiday is one that only Ontario (& Alberta) have the privilege of celebrating. You may have been wondering where I disappeared to yesterday. My apologies. You may rest assured that I was enjoying the day bundled up at my cottage with said family.

This weekend was filled with a handful of polar opposites. Between hoping around from province to province (from Toronto, to Pickering, to my cottage and then Montreal and back all over again) we managed to find time to read a stack of magazines, indulge in cups of hot tea and play intense board gamed at the kitchen table. Between lobster and shrimp dinners to midnight pho and piles of general tao chicken (after unsuccessfully driving around Montreal at midnight trying to find a nice restaurant that is both open and willing to fill our bellies). From preparing for a loss as we watched my brother’s basketball team slowly fall behind on Saturday night, only to win with two three pointers and 1.9 seconds to go in the game. Between finding the perfect icy tobogganing hill in order to really make a mark on that sled, to warming up in front of a crackling fire. From the stress of packing and unpacking and repacking some more, we still managed to find some time to sit, to enjoy, and to decompress for all of the things that lay ahead.

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scenes from my weekend.


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This weekend was chock full of celebrations, as all weekends should be. On friday we celebrated Justin’s birthday with his family. The combination of delicious Thai food, a pile of presents, and a chocolate on chocolate cake is one that is not to be beat.

On Saturday the celebrations continued as my roommate and I threw another little get together in his honour. His friends arrived en mass, we wore birthday hats (well, I wore a birthday hat) and headed out to a bar for 25th birthday shots. The evening ended with cold leftover pizza, which is much more appealing than it may sound.

After our standard brunch on Sunday we headed over to my dads for his annual Steelers Superbowl party. Being a die-hard, dedicated Steelers fan, he throws a huge party each and every time they make it to the end (which has been quite often these past few years). While the standard fare is generally present (chips, dip, wings, steak, beer & a large pot of chili - hello men), he also likes to keep things interesting with unlimited bottles of champagne, oreo cheesecake cupcakes & haagen daaz bars at halftime – making it my kind of party. Despite being forced to tailgate in the frigid weather pre-game, the party was a great success and a ton of fun.

The conclusion: I’ll be eating a salad at every meal this week.
Except for tonight because I’m enjoying a winterlicious meal…
and also, I made this cake and there’s a lot left and it’s too delicious to not ingest.
And this is why I don’t diet.

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scenes from my weekend.

images via lark + linen

This weekend began on a Thursday, as I feel most good weekends should. My bearded boyfriend and I headed out for our version of date night: a romantic dinner at Mildred’s Temple; a small splurge every here and there as we try to save. We feasted on gnocchi poutine (omg) paired with wine and the like. It was lovely.

On Friday, knowing we need to get creative with our plans if we want to save money as discussed, I had the brilliant idea to make pasta from scratch before heading out to see a movie. Three and a half hours and four bruised palms later, we sat down to eat at midnight and rented Despicable Me instead. Despite our hunger pains all night, the pasta was unbelievable (thank you J for his serious kneading skills) and the evening was perfect.

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating birthdays of those whom I love. In between episodes of embarrassing reality tv (I don’t even want to admit what I was watching for most of Saturday), I made salted chocolate caramel cupcakes using this recipe for my mom and my best friend. In the evening we headed out to a pool hall (cupcakes in hand, naturally) to toast to my best friends 26th year of life.

On Sunday, after running a few errands like a proper adult (ugh. adulthood), I met my mom, sister and aunt for dinner at our favourite Thai spot in the city. After stuffing ourselves with curries and coconut rice we headed back to my place for tea & cupcakes.

Just a quick Happy Birthday to my Momma. The strongest, wisest, most inspiring woman I will, without a doubt, ever meet.

Here’s to a brand new week you guys! Make the most of it

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scenes from my weekend.

Friday night I donned my sparkly top, my prettiest baubles, and headed out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. As the evening ended, we treated ourselves to late night poutine; one of the better life decisions I’ve made. (When you’ve had a couple of drinks, calories don’t count – another one of my life rules). The rest of the weekend happened to be a soup & a movie kind of deal. With a cold trying to sneak up on me, I caught up on episodes of Entourage, watched far too many cheesy TV movies, had many Stella cuddle-fests (the best kind) and drank my weight in tea. I did, however, find a small quantity of productivity on Sunday evening and managed to make homemade granola using this recipe. It’s delicious and I cannot stop snacking on it. This probably isn’t so bad considering the result was FOUR LITRES of granola-y goodness and I need to get through it some how. Seriously though, you should try it. Would you like me to mail some to you? I certainly have enough to go around.

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scenes from my weekend.

Some fashionably late scenes from our anniversary. As mentioned, the majority of my pictures from the weekend were mistakenly deleted. Le sigh. I may have cried. A bit. Just one tear, really! Most of my pictures from my romantical weekend away, gone. Sniffle. But really, I figure if that’s the worst that happened, I’ve really got nothing to complain about. At all.

It really was an incredible weekend. The mansion was beautiful, in true mansion style. The food? Amazing. The company? Even better. We saw waterfalls, drank entirely too much champagne and slept in way later than necessary. And as a bonus, we didn’t stumble upon any ghosts. After all my worries, in the end this was a little disappointing. Funny how that works.  

As an aside, if you’re ever happen to find yourself in the St. Catherine’s region, visit Wellington Court. The food and wine are both incredible. And look, the chandelier was so pretty! I am a happy girl.

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scenes from my weekend.


This past weekend we headed up to my boyfriends family cottage in the Muskokas. The evenings were spent relaxing by the fire, enjoying a game or two of beer pong (with my boyfriends grandmother, no less!), and ingesting entirely too much food. Our days were filled with mini adventures, making little friends, taking baths in the river, playing games of bocce ball, and sneaking away for long afternoon naps & private little moments. And on our long drive home, I was feeling a little silly and asked my boyfriend if he would pull over so that I could attempt to pet a cow and pick wild flowers. He obliged without questioning me (love him to pieces), and when I got close to the cows I wasn’t sure what to do, so I took pictures instead.

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scenes from my weekend.

I felt the need to include a couple images of the Jack Johnson concert we attended last week. I know, I know, technically they’re from Tuesday, and Tuesday does not exactly fall on a weekend, but I think we can bend the rules a little for Jack, no? It was an amazing concert and as far as I’m concerned, he deserves a little rule bending.

Now for real. Friday afternoon our office decided it would be a good idea to skip work, clog our arteries and beat the heat by seeing a movie. So we did just that. (Have I mentioned I work at an awesome firm?) After a quick trip to Poutinis (mmmm), we headed over to the theatre and saw Inception. After mulling over the plot for the greater part of the weekend, I think that I may have figured it all out. I might have to see it again though [tonight], you know, just in case.  

In the evening, we headed over to my mom’s place to take advantage of the backyard while she’s away. We put together an impromptu barbeque and we feasted on grilled chicken and Greek couscous (this recipe is so good. We didn’t have time to run to a health food store for the quinoa, so we used couscous instead). We eventually headed over to the beach for the jazz festival. Naturally, we missed the actual music, but we arrived just in time for drinks, so not all was lost.

Saturday morning we moseyed over to our favourite breakfast spot on the beach, just beating the rain by minutes. The afternoon was spent giving our entire apartment a serious scrub down. And it felt good.

I picked my boyfriend up from the airport late in the evening, and we did nothing. We laid down and we talked and we caught up and it was wonderful.

We woke up early on Sunday and made our way back to my apartment. After a quick brunch we met up with my roommate’s cousin who’s in town for the week and made our way over to the Canadian Open.  Her cousin, Candice, is married to Tim Clark, who was playing in the tournament. Unfortunately he didn’t win, but it was pretty amazing none-the-less! It was an incredible day filled with a little too much beer, too much sun, and a lot golf.

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scenes from my weekend.







Friday night was pretty uneventful and exactly what I needed. I helped my boyfriend shop and finish up the rest of his packing for his trip this week. When all was said and done, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and a movie, and spent the rest of the evening on the couch; me soaking in the last little bits of him for the week, and him trying desperately to stay awake for me after a busy few days.

Saturday morning he was off bright and early, and I was left to sleep in a little bit (yay!) Late in the morning, I met up with Danielle and we accomplished some of the shopping we needed to get done for her bedroom. We had quite the successful morning and grabbed mostly everything that we needed, some of which was even on sale (booyah!) The rest of the day was spent lounging by the pool, stuffing ourselves with spring rolls and grilled cheese made with brie (not at the same time, naturally. Also, you should know that calories don’t count on Saturdays. New rule.) After popping by my aunt’s place to wish her a happy 50th birthday, I ventured over to my dad’s place where I spent the late evening in bed watching old episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker (and loving every moment of it).

Sunday we were up early and headed up to Muskoka to visit my little sister who’s at camp for two weeks. Instead of joining the activities organized by her camp, we sprung her loose and headed over to a family friends cottage nearby for a swim and a barbeque. These family friends happen to have three Newfoundland dogs. If you’ve never seen one of these before in real life, picture a bear, or a small horse, and that’s more or less the size of these things. They are incredible! I bonded with the smallest of the bunch, Cassie, and we had moments, as you can see. I really wish you could experience these dogs in real life. They are massive. Huge. Ginormous. It took all my will to not hop on to the larger of the three and go for a ride! For real, he probably could have done it.

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scenes from my weekend.







Friday night, after stuffing ourselves with inexpensive sushi (isn’t that the best kind?), we headed over to the Pilot to celebrate the 25th birthday of one of my most wonderful friends (and luckily for me, a pretty awesome co-worker too!). After a few too many cocktails and late night macaroni and cheese (always a tradition at our place). We packed it in for the night.

The next morning, I found myself with the place to myself (which doesn’t happen ever! We have an open door policy around here with a lot of welcomed visitors). I lounged on the couch, sipped some homemade chai tea and watched a few hours of mind numbing television. It was wonderful.

Later in the evening, my boyfriend and I headed over to my aunts place to celebrate her 60th birthday. My grandparents flew down for the event, and we found our whole family together for the first time in forever. We celebrated in the backyard, by the pool, with a small group of people and a whole lot of love.  As an aside, the party was catered by a small bakery on Carlton street called Daniel et Daniel. If you ever get the opportunity, go. The food is incredible, innovative, homemade, fresh… and the staff is fantastic (and not too hard on the eyes – bonus!).

Sunday was spent in typical Sunday fashion. I caught up with some of my lady friends at the Red Tea box for high tea and fancy desserts. And in the evening, my boyfriend and I took advantage of Summerlicious at a cute Italian restaurant just North of the city.

After a wonderful weekend, I’m feeling under the weather this morning with a vicious headache that won’t seem to let up. I’ll be taking the afternoon off to nurse my poor head and catch up on some sleep. Here’s to starting the week off on the right foot ;)

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scenes from my weekend.

This weekend was filled  to the brim with celebrations with friends, barbecued meats, fancy dinners, not-so-fancy wings and beer on a patio, fireworks, backyard gatherings, white wine spritzers, puppies on the beach, s’mores with nutella spread and late night hot tubing.

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scenes from my weekend.


Friday evening my boyfriend and I escaped our busy lives and spent a much-needed evening just us two. We sat across from each other on a tiny patio, ordered entirely too much wine, and talked for hours. I’ve been blessed with a boy who I can easily call my best friend. It seems as of late we’ve been so pre-occupied with other life plans that our alone time has been put on the back burner. It was nice to be with just him. Just us. For the entire evening.

Saturday we headed over to my aunt’s place for a small backyard wedding ceremony. The rain was not our friend, but it held off just long enough for them to say their vows. It was a beautiful ceremony with only family and close friends. The rain didn’t damper anyones spirits as we continued the celebration water-logged under umbrellas.

We woke up late on sunday morning in a champagne induced haze, and took advantage of the sliver of sunlight that graced us with its presence by eating breakfast by the pool. The rest of the day was spent as it should be: cuddled under blankets, watching TV movies, and ordering take-out while listening to the thunderstorm outside.  Ahh Sundays.

With that said, I need your help. I’m still new at this blogging thing and I struggle with what you guys are interested in. This is primarily a blog about design, my findings, and the things that inspire me, but I don’t want to remain completely anonymous either. I’m not sure how interested you are in my life, or if you’re here mainly for the design aspect. Should I keep up with these Scenes from my Weekend, with little glimpses into my world or focus mostly on designy things that I find inspiring. I really need your honest opinions. I’m open to constructive criticism here, people! Please let me know, I’m torn.

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scenes from my weekend.

Thursday evening, Alyssa (my roommate) and I attended the Wine and Spirits festival at the distillery district. There were live bands, great food, and lots and lots of drinks to sample. Towards the end of the night, a quite-older man began hitting on us. Luckily, my step-mom witnessed this from across the tent and swooped in to save us. She pulled the “oh, come look over here,  I have something to show you!” maneuver. I love it when you get to the age when you realise your parents are actually cool.

Every year, on father’s day (which also happens to be my grandpa’s birthday), my family holds an annual pool party to celebrate the wonderful men in our lives. This year was no different. For the first time in a long time, every single one of us made it out to my aunt’s place to celebrate (there’s now 27 of us in total – it’s such wonderful chaos!) We played volley ball, bocce ball, stuffed our faces with delicious treats, and, towards the end of the night, somehow, the majority of us ended up in the pool with our clothes on (I’m not going to name names, but dad… and James… I’m looking at you).

Sunday was the most perfect of all Sundays. Just the five of us gathered at my dad’s place for another mini pool party. I spent the afternoon challenging my little sister to hand-stand competitions in the pool (I won, naturally), and I took a two-hour nap in the shade on the lawn. My brother, little sister and I then cooked my dad a father’s day dinner, and we finished the night off with a game of yahtzee.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful dad’s out there (mostly, my own), and a happy, happy first day of summer!

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scenes from my weekend.

Four things to note:

1. I started my herb garden! I just hope that it takes. Our apartment faces north-west, and I’m not sure they will get enough direct sunlight… Does anybody with a green thumb have any suggestions?! I did my research but I’m very new at this.
2. A fresh avocado spread on toast with salt, cracked black pepper and melted sharp cheddar is a wonderful breakfast alternative.
3. Carole’s Cheesecake is pretty, but their New York cheesecake is not entirely worth the calories (please refer to my Life Rules).
4. At certain times of the year, the fields we pass on the way to visit my grandparents are neon green.

Happy monday, loves!

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scenes from my weekend.

ice cream, patio dinners on the beach, & long walks with excited puppies

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scenes from my weekend.

Strawberries, sunsets, lounging in the grass, jet-skis, vintage finds &  sand dunes. These are my magical words. The weekend was absolutely perfect. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better weather, or a more incredible group of friends.  Now, please excuse me while I tackle the work that is piling on my desk.

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scenes from my weekend.

My weekends haven’t seemed to disappoint as of late. This one was filled with laughs, friends and so. much. food. Friday evening we gathered at the Royal cinema on College street to see my incredibly talented friends film screening. She’s been working on it for so long and has been through so much and it was incredibly exciting to see her name up on that big screen. I got all giddy and butterfly-like and just wanted to canoodle her and tell her how proud I was of her. Instead, we all went out for a late dinner at La Forchetta and celebrated over duck risotto (totally racking up those risotto calories, let me tell you), and glasses of wine.

The next morning we woke up at the ungodly hour of 9 am (on a Saturday. I didn’t know this hour even existed on a Saturday) to make it to a Model Suite sale hosted by Brad Lamb. We were told that there would be all sorts of designer goodies at up to 65% off. Score! Unfortunately, it was an incredible waste of time as when the doors opened at 10:00 am, everything that was worth anything already had a sold tag on it. Now I’m mad at Brad and his stupid Bentley and all of his accomplishments (note: I am not a morning person). I sent him bad thoughts and evil looks and decided that food would fix it (as per usual). We ventured to an incredible brunch place in Corktown called Morning Glory. Nothing on the menu cost more than $6.50 (apart from the omelets at $8.50, but this was acceptable because they were so light and fluffy and they tasted like angels and love mixed together and sprinkled with cheese – trust me), everything was delicious and it was all served on vintage plates you would probably find in your grandmothers cupboards. I will be going back. Again and again.

After brunch we headed over to Leslieville and did some perusing through some of the antique stores. We stumbled upon a store that I am pretty sure was designed just for me called Flik & Company. If I won the lottery, I would go and clean out the place.

I left with this bad boy for a measly $5.00, while my friend left with an incredible vintage drafting table for $200. If you’re ever in the neighborhood you really should take a look. The staff is so kind and the stuff is incredible.


Sunday, the girls and I got together to do a clothing swap. We each cleared out all of the unwanted clothes from our closet, got together, sorted through it all, took what we wanted from each other, and dropped about 6 tonnes of leftovers off at Goodwill. I scored a handful of really nice things, including a turquoise tunic from Spain! Because of all the hard work and good samaritan-like activities we endured, we treated ourselves to ice cream from Dutch Dreams. The place is always packed, with line-ups out the door and huge papier maché ice cream cones and wooden cows all over the place. There was so much eye stimulation and it was all so very exciting.

Next weekend has a lot to live up to.

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scenes from my weekend.

I must say, this was quite the successful weekend.

Friday night a group of us gathered to celebrate the success of our good friends new restaurant, Le Papillon on the Park. Honestly, I’m not just saying this because I’m totally biased, it was incredible. Beyond what I expected. Seriously. Go. Talk to Steph (the tall, dark, handsome one with hair you will probably be jealous of) and get the french onion soup. I left the restaurant with my heart all swollen – I’m so proud of Steph - I’ve been blessed with such incredible friends!

Saturday I humoured my boyfriend by watching the big UFC fight with him and a few friends. Never will I ever understand why someone would voluntarily request to be punched in the face on national television; but it was definitely more entertaining than I was anticipating.

And yesterday? My mom, brother and I celebrated mothers day over shiitake & asparagus risotto, followed by cupcakes from The Designer Cookie, and we finally got to see the Babies documentary! Great success.

found via The Designer Cookie & Mama’s gift

If you’ve never made risotto before, click on the link to the recipe above and try it out. I’ve heard that risotto can be pretty finicky. This is the only one I’ve ever attempted, but it’s delicious and it’s never failed me!

As for the cupcakes, they really were terrific, but I probably wouldn’t go back there. I’m a sucker for detail and the package they came in was something you would find at a local grocery store.   I feel that if you’re calling yourself The Designer anything, everything should be top-notch. I want my $3.50 cupcake to come in a pretty, environmentally friendly package with a cute little ribbon. But I’m kind of a nerd like that.

Note: I even had to put them on a plate for my cupcake photoshoot – that’s how bad the packaging was!

And because it isn’t mothers day without your daughter posting pictures of you with big hair for the world to see; here is a picture of my mother when she was around my age. Look how foxy she is!

<3 you mom.

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