Bear Creek Waterfall

If you are curious as to why I am posting August photos during the peak of winter, I must confess that I had forgotten about them until now. Nonetheless, I find these to be rather comforting as I stare out of my window at the glow of the street lamps shining upon the snow. The changing of the seasons is a magical concept. It’s hard to believe that in only four months we will be out in shorts and t-shirts again. I must remind myself of this so that I may appreciate the wonderful aspects of winter before it is too late.

These photos were taken on our hike up Bear Creek to the Waterfall. This experience was without a doubt one of my favourite memories of the summer, even with the freezing water, scraped knees from climbing and stubbed toes from slipping… Still so worth it.

I think it will become a yearly tradition.

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5th Annual Lillegard Festival

Over the past years, it seems like I was always either working or out of town during the Lillegard Festival…

Except this summer.

Attending the event for the first time had extra significance for me since it was also an opportunity to reunite with old friends after living in the big T.O. for a year.

Here are a few photos that I took during the weekend-long event. Many of my friends are talented musicians, so feel free to click on some of the photos to check out their sound.

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Woodbine Beach, Thank You

I realize that I am sharing yet another beach post. Please bare with me.

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I want to thank you for your hospitality during this past month. You have helped create many memories that will forever remain close to my heart. You have gathered the east end folk many times and welcomed us with pleasant weather and breathtaking sunsets. You were patient with us when we played music and made bonfires. You joined in the songs with your waves and gave us wood to turn to flames. You showcased beautiful light and colours knowing that it would translate well through the camera lens. Woodbine Beach, thank you, for I can now reminisce about the good times and great friends as I soak in the Kelowna sunshine once more.

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Quick Update: If you have been wondering why I haven’t shared a blog post in so long, it is because we moved back to Kelowna. Surprise! The past month consisted mostly of packing, enjoying my last moments in Toronto, driving across the country once again, settling in, and finding a job. I apologize for the long delay, but I barely had enough internet to post to Instagram… And I love posting to Instagram.

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Balmy Beach

A very special guest from out west stayed with us for a whole week. Megan visited Toronto for the first time, and boy did we do a lot of things! From exploring the island to shopping in Kensington Market, going to a comedy club and some funky live music jams (and even a dance club.. yikes), without forgetting a Blue Jays game and beer tasting at the Steam Whistle Brewery, you could say it was a jam-packed week. These pictures are from our more relaxed afternoon, at Balmy beach by my house.

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Megan and Laurence being babes, as usual.

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Megan and I goofing off, as usual.

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Here is a little sneak peek from the mini photo shoot we had after sunset… I am in the process of building a portfolio, and I will be posting more on there!

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I had a lot of fun with this girl, and I can’t wait to see her again in the summer.

Montreal: Walk with the Cousin

I am in Québec for the next few days. Today I went for a walk with my cousin, Jack. We checked out the elementary school that our fathers attended when they were kids. The brick wall was the perfect opportunity for some portrait shots!

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Meet Lapuce the puppy:

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Go to www.emeverywhere.wordpress.com

Hey guys! Go to http://www.emeverywhere.wordpress.com !

I’m sorry if you’ve been trying to access my blog through the URL http://www.emeverywhere.com. Basically, I’ve now had it for one year (yay!) but it’s that time where I need to renew it. Sadly, I lost my wallet so I have to go get new cards at the bank tomorrow. (Unless it miraculously turns up today, which would be DA BOM)… Once that whole thing is sorted out then I will take care of this URL issue! Until then, you can keep visiting my blog at http://www.emeverywhere.wordpress.com.

Thanks for your support and I’m so sorry about the confusion/inconvenience!  Love you guys xx

Here is a visual representation of my feelings towards my lost wallet: ImageImage

Bird Sanctuary

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During the month of March I was blessed with the opportunity to spend a week in Kelowna for a couple of photography jobs. I was welcomed by these great friends and was taken to one of my favourite nature spots in the city: the bird sanctuary. Smelling the fresh air, admiring the lake, and being with these beautiful souls created a perfect moment. It felt so good to be home.

Dundas Square

Esther‘s sister came down from Montreal to visit a couple of weeks ago. On Saturday night, I took the girls out on a walking adventure downtown. Dundas Square is such a lively place on weekends. We had a few amusing interactions and also snapped some funky urban photos.

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Anne and Laurence

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Anne and myself

 

We have known Anne and Esther for longer than I can remember. I treasure their friendship greatly. Anne is now almost fifteen! It was fun hanging out with her and my sister now that they are older. It’s a whole new ball game and, from the looks of it, it’s going to be a fun one.

It is so important to have long term friends that know everything about you and with whom you are completely vulnerable, completely yourself.

We didn’t (and don’t) always all get along. After all, we’ve known each other through the hormonal mess that is puberty… But we pull through and let me tell you, it is worth it. What I am trying to say is that if there is someone in your life that you have known for a very long time but no longer speak to for whatever reason, maybe it’s a good time to accept them back into your life. It might just be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Eau d’été

The sun was shinning so bright this weekend that I was able to study out on the balcony in shorts and a tank top. The warm weather even inspired my mom to make “summer water” to help keep my brain sharp and hydrated as I drowned it in Financial Accounting review. This recipe tasted (and looked) so lovely that I just had to share it with you.

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Eau d’été

(Water + Mint + Ginger) x let steep for 1 hour in the fridge

I don’t like following precise recipes, and I prefer improvising when it comes to measuring ingredients. Therefore I tend to write out recipes in a super simple manner. If you are not like me and prefer straightforward, specific directions, check out Martha Stewart’s version!

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Wish me luck on my final exam tomorrow!

Island

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It was so quiet on the island, as though we were the only ones there. The water was blue, and the wind was still. We could hear the song of birds and the soft waves brushing up on the shore, but nothing else. The cool, crisp air rolled in and out of our lungs. We were at peace.

“If I had to die right now, it would be o.k.”

It was that kind of perfect moment.

Winter Food + Studying

There is nothing better than grilled vegetables with Sriracha sauce to fight the bitter cold. Hot tea helps too.

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What’s on this plate? Spinach, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, red peppers, pumpkin seeds, sriracha

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Time to get back to Financial Accounting! Studying is surprisingly enjoyable when paired with delicious food.

Snowfall Adventures

Toronto was greeted with generous snowfalls today, which made the outdoors too beautiful to resist. I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. My escapade quickly turned into a sweet photographic expedition with my buddy Dimos, who decided to tag along and show me around Riverdale.

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We came upon a wall in Withrow park that was exhibiting a thought that often crosses my mind.

Though this is a difficult question to face, I constantly use it to assess my present situation and to motivate myself in moving forward. If at some point in my life I answer no, I like to see it as challenge instead of a failure. I like to treat it as an adventure back to yes. It’s the best way to progress.

Are you happy?

Care Package from the BC Homies

“Because true love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny”  ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I have left home just over six months ago. Not a single day passes where I do not think of my friends. Many times my heart will long for us to be together again. Many times I question my motives for leaving. I wonder why I exchanged such pleasant comfort for risk and uncertainty. Easy for difficult. Belonging for loneliness.

My nostalgia was at its peak during the holiday season, which included my nineteenth birthday. I really wanted my friends.

They must have felt it. After the trip to Québec, I was welcomed to our Toronto home with more mail than teens usually get in a year nowadays. I left my best friends, and they still care about me. This must be true love.

(O.k. I admit I cried too)

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Thank you my loves. I can’t even begin to explain how much good this did.

Moonbean Coffee Company

Before my Statistics final exam, I spent a number of hours studying at Moonbean Coffee Company, located in my favourite Toronto neighbourhood. Even though school is now over, I still visit weekly for a warm cup of tea (usually Milky Oolong or Genmaicha), which pairs up nicely with a good book.

Laurence decided to join me the other day. She studied for an English test. I took these photos and read The Hobbit.

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Moonbean Coffee Company

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For Caleb

I will start writing again.

Thank you for reminding me to post more, and making me realize that I have not published anything since my sister’s birthday back in October. Much has happened since, and I will try my best to share with you my wonderful adventures and introduce you to many interesting people through this blog.

I miss you friend.

PS. I started reading the Hobbit today

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Chill afternoon at Mission Creek Park (Always leave room for Jesus)

First Birthday in the City

My lovely sister is now fifteen years old. It is wonderful to see that as we get older, we look more and more alike. In high school, I would try to coordinate my outfits to match hers, just to we would look like sisters… Now I don’t have to!

Over the years, we have learned to deal with each other’s quirky habits and even enjoy each other’s company. We are sisters and also great friends, and it has been fun exploring the city together. I love her infinitely.

The End

laurence

Super Quick Pulled Pork Salad

Pulled-pork healthy salad with fresh, local veggies

Healthy pulled-pork salad with fresh, local veggies

Ingredients:

– A mom

– Pulled Pork

– Fresh Greens

– Cucumbers

– Tomatoes

Steps:

1. Get mom to make delicious pulled pork

2. Throw lettuce onto plate

3. Throw pulled pork onto lettuce

4. Cut remaining ingredients and add to plate

5. Eat & study for Statistics midterm

Turned a Cheap File Box into a Funky Bookshelf

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I turned a cheap plastic file box into a funky bookshelf. I found the box in the Home Office section at Value Village for $2. I desperately needed  some space for school books above my desk, and brand new shelves don’t exactly fit into my budget at the moment.

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Before starting any project, it is important to ask yourself these two questions:

1. Do I have music playing? – Having great music to set the mood will help time pass by faster. This is especially important for big projects that require dull, repetitive actions.

2. Do I have something delicious to drink as I slave through this? – This will act as a mini reward/pat on the back every time you take a sip. I made a Maple Cinnamon Latte with Almond Milk, though the possibilities are endless. Tea, coffee, juice, water, pop, hot chocolate, wine, rum… Your pick!

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turning a cheap plastic file box into a funky bookshelf

The first step and trickiest part of the entire project was drilling holes through the plastic to be able to hang it on the wall when painted. I am proud to say that after some time, my perseverance was rewarded.

turning a cheap plastic file box into a funky bookshelf

turning a cheap plastic file box into a funky bookshelf

I found some leftover wall paint hiding in the basement. “Special paint for plastic” is probably available at hardware stores but, since the shelf only cost me two dollars, I didn’t see the point of investing in special paint when I already have some at home. And there’s the budget thing. Do, however, feel free to get yourself the right kind of paint for your file box, if you decide to try this project.

One thing I learned about myself during this project is that my paint skills are rather lacking. I managed to get paint everywhere on the tarp, my hands, and my clothes. I am embarrassed to admit that when I went to clean myself up while the shelf was drying, I noticed in the mirror that I even had paint in my hair…

Point is if I can do it, so can you. It is worth the effort in the end. Check out the final result:

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I love my folding stand-up desk.

Let’s Get Personal

What do I want, really?

I want a big library with books and books and even more books. I want to live in a city in a loft with high ceilings and windows and brick walls and wood floors and a living room that is also a studio where I can paint and my husband can play music. I want to travel and work in orphanages and see the world and the many beautiful cultures. I want to document my travels and mainly just write all the time about everything. I want to go to Ecuador or Nicaragua or somewhere to teach English or French or art or anything else for a year as I perfect my Spanish. I want to graduate university with new and better work habits where I am organized and don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. I want to live in real life: where Facebook isn’t the first thing I think of when I take a picture or accomplish something or a major event occurs. Instead I’ll think of printing the photo to hang it on my wall, and I’ll think of calling my grandma or friend to tell the news. I want to act with love, patience and compassion towards everyone. I want to write letters and mail them to my friends for their birthdays. I want to take a stranger out for coffee and learn from him and be inspired. I want to collect music and tea and have tea-drinking-music-listening gatherings. I want to learn guitar and write a song and sing it to someone I love. I want to live.

I want to really live.

What do you want?

Teenage Dream

Okay.

I understand that I am seven months too old to call myself a teenager,  but do you agree that an attic bedroom with a patio door that leads out to the roof is a total teenage paradise? If I had this bedroom back when I was still in high school, I would have been the most popular kid in the class! I mean, everyone would want to come hang out at my house just so we could chill on the roof, smoking cigarettes and stuff. (Kidding about that last part…)

It’s still pretty cool now that I’m an adult though. I mean I can just take a blanket outside and listen to some tunes, read a book, drink tea. Charis, Levi and I had a mini photo shoot out there the other day.

Anyone else want to come over?

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Also notice that I am wearing velvet almost exclusively here. (If you want to send me a pair of velvet shoes, feel free!) The velvet shirt is from our beloved Value Village, and so is Charis’ cute jean dress. Who doesn’t love recycling clothes and getting a great $deal$ out of it?

Rainy Day Tunes and Nostaligia

Rainy Day

View of the roof from my bedroom

Rainy days are abundant here.

I enjoy them. They are cleansing, refreshing. Plus they are the perfect excuse to stay indoors, listen to music, and drink tea.

I am listening to Aidan Knight, one of my favourite musicians from BC. It seems like my entire high school experience included his album Versicolour playing on repeat.

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Levi also loves the rain.

A long time ago I remember my friend Hayden telling me Margaret Down was his favourite song by Aidan Knight. When I looked it up I found this live performance in the rain, since the song was not yet on an album. I don’t know about Hayden, but years later this is still my favourite song.

There is nothing more fitting for a rainy day than a live performance in the rain by Aidan Knight.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!!!!!

Mango Coconut Slush

This is a super simple refreshing drink that I’ve been enjoying, especially on warmer summer days. I made two different graphics for this recipe and I can’t seem to pick my favourite, so you get two-for-one today! For fun, I added a little poll at the bottom of the post. I am curious to see which one is your favourite, dear 125 subscribers. Feel free to vote!

(A little side-note; these photos are Pinterest friendly!)

Mango Coconut Slush

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Mango Coconut Slush

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The Really Really Free Market

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On the first Saturday of every month, I will be making my way to Campbell Park to treasure hunt at the Really Really Free Market. It is a beautiful concept that allows people to get rid of things they no longer need and to pick up unwanted doodads for which they wish to give a home. The best part about this market is that it really is free. Generous volunteers supervise the event and help organize the donations that are brought in as the day unfolds, and at the end of the day they take the left over articles to those in need.

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I visited the market for the first time last Saturday with Charis. I was smaller than expected, but the treasures were not lacking. We figured out that people keep bringing more donations throughout the day, so the key is to hang around for a little while. After about an hour, Charis and I collected some nice books, clothes, and a Cream record. May I remind you that we walked out of there with all these things for FREE. I love the Really Really Free Market.

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Sleeveless plaid shirt from the Really Really Free Market

Fashion on yonge

On September 4th, Charis and I attended the Vibe runway show at Fashion On Yonge. Located at Trinity Square Park by the Eaton Center, the event showcased fall looks by Ann Taylor, Bench, Danier, Gap, Mendocino, and more. DJ J-Lah did a great job with the beats. Here are some photos of the event:

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My favourite look of the night; props to Danier.

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Men

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Charis and I were fortunate to take part in the Fashion Show, sponsored by My Great PhotoShop Skills.

Zucchini Noodles

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My new favourite vegetable is the zucchini because of its unbelievable versatility. For lunch we made zucchini pasta. It is so simple to make and only requires a potato peeler to create the noodles. Then they are heated in a pan until soft, and voilà!

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We combined the noodles in a pan with coconut oil, baby Bok Choy, mushrooms, green onions, sesame seeds, and roast beef.

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zucchini noodles

St-Lawrence Market

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Charis is finally here and we have a fun week ahead of us! Yesterday morning we took a stroll through the wonderful St-Lawrence Market. Here you can find everything from fresh vegetables to grass-fed meat. You can even buy coffee that has been roasted on location.

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It is in my nature to take photos everywhere I go, and it can sometimes lead to interesting interactions. As I was snapping photos of Charis near some lovely colourful fruits, one of the “Fruitists” (guy working in the fruit stall), spontaneously requested to be in one of the photos. He even took off his work coat and struck a pose!

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Kitchen: Tuna Bites and My First Letter

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I got a letter in the mail today! My first letter in the new home. It is from my beloved Charis who is coming to visit me in September… We are going to have the time of our lives!

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For lunch, I mixed tuna and avocado and decided to eat it in the form of cute little bites. The recipe is so simple I was able to write it out as an equation. Why complicate things?

(cucumber slice + tomato slice + tuna and avocado + olive slice) x toothpick = ta da!

A Day Trip to Penticton In Good Company

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Stopping for iced lattes at Bliss Bakery in Peachland

Before moving away, I had the opportunity to take a short road trip along the Okanagan lake with my dear friend Megan. Since doggy Levi loves car rides and swimming, we decided to bring her along and make the beach in Penticton our destination. DSC_0282 DSC_0273 When passing through Peachland and Summerland, the highway was decorated in more fruit stands than I can count on my two hands. We made a stop at Little Acres which has everything you could ever want: ice cream, maple syrup, local fruits and vegetables, homemade apple juice and hot sauce, and a magnificent view of the lake. DSC_0313 DSC_0335 It was Megan’s nineteenth birthday two days ago. We met in grade seven and have since become great friends. Together, we have enjoyed the good times and suffered through the lesser ones in high school and during our first year of university. We have survived the power of change for six years, and there is no doubt we will stay friends through this big move. Honestly, are those not the nicest eyes you have ever seen? DSC_0431 DSC_0432 Here’s a little video!

Toronto Islands: Festivalous Festivities

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Last Saturday, Laurence and I went to the islands for the first time. Taking the ferry to get there was quite an experience in itself. The sun was shining and the breeze was fresh as we cruised over the waves, away from the city.

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We attended the final (though our first) ALL CAPS music festival. After five  years, the 2013 event was announced as the last celebration. We were happy to be a part of it.

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Many Toronto musicians took part in making the event successful. It was great hearing different sounds and talents from our BC locals. One band from Vancouver did hit the stage in the afternoon though, and I have to say it made us somewhat nostalgic. At this point we were missing home.

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Vancouver band Beekeeper

On Sunday, the afternoon shows took place on the beach. How delightful it was laying in the sand as we listened to Eons harmonizing with the sound of waves hitting the shore!

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Pachamama on the beach

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Sunday evening ended in dance, with the very groovy Catl  and the grandiose Rich Aucoin. A wonderful end to a memorable sisterly weekend.

One of many sparklers during Rich Aucoin's performance.

A sparkler during Rich Aucoin‘s performance.

Thanks to my sister's photographic contributions for this post.

Also, I got a haircut. Special thanks to my sister‘s photographic contributions for this post.

Good Morning!

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Happy Monday everyone! I would like to share two things about my morning.

The first is my absolute favourite summer drink: Almond Milk Iced Latte. Bonus points if it’s in a mason jar, like mine today.

Second is my marvellous hair. I guess it’s humid in Toronto today. At least Monica understands.

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Ellison Provincial Park: Camping Photos

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Our awesome setup at Ellison Provincial Park

I spent Friday to Sunday camping in good company at Ellison Provincial Park, about 45 minutes from Kelowna. I can safely say that my last weekend in British Columbia was well-spent. When times are too stressful and busy, visiting the outdoors can be the best way to cool down and rejuvenate. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until we actually got there. Trees and green all around, the sounds of birds, the smell of pine trees and campfire, no set schedule, and laughing friends made for the most wonderful weekend.

Ellison Provincial Park is my friend Olivia’s favourite. I am honoured that she wanted to share this place with us. She has been coming here with her family for the past ten years. Do you have a favourite camping spot?

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The lovely Charis

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We played a ton of card games over those three days. Speed and Cheat are probably in my favourites.

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Emerson

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This candle keeps the bugs away: a must-have!

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Seth

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On our way to the cliffs

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When walking here with a flashlight at night, you would think Slender Man was chasing you.

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The beautiful Okanagan Lake

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Cleaning dishes

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Drying dishes

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Olivia, Emerson, Charis, Seth, Laurence

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Olivia and her crazy faces

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Stay classy!

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All packed up and ready to go… The end!

Hopefully this made you want to go camping. Go ahead and take a break, you deserve it!

Packing and Unpacking

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My mom and I have been unpacking old boxes that were buried deep in closets and corners of the garage, simply to sort through them and pack them up again. Today we found big bins full of our kid crafts and projects. We had a good laugh going through these.

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I found what was probably my first written English essay. I decided to share it as the spelling is simply horrendous and it shows just how difficult learning a second language can be. I’ve made it this far though! Bet my writing doesn’t seem so bad anymore….

It took my mom and I a while to figure it out, but here are a couple of words that gave us trouble, along with their true spelling.

“yose” = was

“quald” = called

“adeus” = others

“stayl” = style

“dithit” = didn’t

“tilleud” = tired

“billing” = being

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Props to my mom for keeping these treasures. My siblings and I can look back and see our improvements or simply have a good laugh. Anyone else’s mom keeps boxes and boxes of your old drawings and letters?

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Today I also made homemade raspberry & peach sorbet. Next time you make a smoothie, freeze it in a big container instead of drinking it. Then pull out the container to thaw for 30 minutes, and use a spoon to scrape out the frozen smoothie. Ta-da! Your very own sorbet.

Lois Lane: A Beautiful Clutter

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Megan

I finally visited Lois Lane. I have been anticipating this day for a very long time.

Sitting on the corner of Clement and Ethel, the old building is dressed in piles of vintage decorations, signs, etc. You cannot miss it. The outdoor space is completely filled with antique furniture. The real treasures, though, are hidden inside.

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A retro shop such as this one is the perfect place to get your hands on unique accents for your home. Of course, these pieces can be somewhat pricier than than the cheap-labour-walmart-sold alternatives. But ask yourself, does price really matter when you are supporting a business in your community, caring for your environment by reusing, and getting an original piece that will give your home a different flair than everyone else’s common IKEA decor? If you still aren’t convinced, go check out Lewis Lane for yourself and you will fall in love with beautiful things that even powerful retail outlets cannot provide at a dirt-cheap cost.

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After spending much time exploring the first floor of Lois Lane, my friend Megan and I ventured upstairs. I was amazed at the sight: a beautiful clutter of chairs. It felt like we were in the scene of a movie. This is likely the most unusual yet charming room I have been in. In the past I would never have paired the word “beautiful” with “clutter”, but that is the first thing that came into my mind when I walked upstairs. See for yourself, it truly is lovely.

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Lois Lane Warehouse – 1189 Ethel Street, Kelowna

Kettle Valley: Trails

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My cute little doggy and I looking into the distance. I just love these beautiful mountains!

The trails behind my house are without a doubt my favourite part of our neighbourhood. I can walk there for hours at a time. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Most of the trees are burnt; leftovers from the 2003 fire. Some people fail to see the beauty in these trees, but they are a big part of what I love about these trails. To some extent, it is what defines them. When looking at the scenery, you know that the place has a story because you see burnt trees everywhere.

Perhaps you have noticed my new header photo. The other day, the kind Conor Teahen came to Kettle Valley and took photos of me so that I may have a sweet header for my blog. I know what you are thinking: “Silly Emilie, there is no way that the background in your header photo is real, it’s too beautiful!” And I say: “Yes it is real, and even better, it’s basically in my backyard!”

And just incase you can’t get enough of that beautiful scenery, here are a few more photos Conor took of my siblings and me. I have a hard time picking a favourite, but I’d probably have to go with the hair flips.

You?

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Theails behind my house are without a doubt my favourite part of our neighbourhood. I can walk there for hours at a time. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Most of the trees are burnt; leftovers from the 2003 fire. Some people fail to see the beauty in these trees, but they are a big part of what I love about these trails. To some extent, it is what defines them. When looking at the scenery, you know that the place has a story because you see burnt trees everywhere.

Perhaps you have noticed my new header photo. The other day, the kind Conor Teahen came to Kettle Valley and took photos of me so that I may have a sweet header for my blog. I know what you are thinking: “Silly Emilie, there is no way that the background in your header photo is real, it’s too beautiful!” And I say: “Yes it is real, and even better, it’s basically in my backyard!”

And just incase you can’t get enough of that beautiful scenery, here are a few more photos Conor took of my siblings and me. I have a hard time picking a favourite, but I’d probably have to go with the hair flips.

You?

UBCO: Fine Arts Building

Nadine Bradshaw, a very talented artist

Nadine Bradshaw, a very talented artist

My beautiful friend Charis at the "Continuum" exhibition

My beautiful friend Charis at the “Continuum” exhibition

Some of Nadine's super fresh artwork

Some of Nadine’s super fresh artwork

On April 20th, friends and I attended “Continuum”: an art exhibition showcasing the works of seven Fine Art students graduating from UBCO this year. We were welcomed with fine live music by Joshua Smith, a beautiful cheese platter and other goodies, and art everywhere we set our eyes.

I was lucky to receive an invite from Nadine, one of the artists displaying her work that evening. I fell in love with her “Unfocused” series (displayed above) and was amazed with her strong presentation skills. Not only did she show us beautiful paintings, she also set up an interactive projector that revealed a portrait photo which would gradually blur as we approached it. Taking the extra step and setting up this technology was a good idea, as the projector clearly harmonized with the theme of her exhibit and made it all the more memorable.

After “Continuum”, I read about Nadine’s work in UBCO’s newspaper. This made me love her work even more as her theme is explained more elaborately.

“Her final project “unfocused” delves into the themes of mental health and perception, where Nadine problematizes our looking relations.”

Nadine also reveals her inspiration.

“My influences came from ideas I collected when I first started my degree in psychology. I was interested a lot in mental health, and how ones internal environment [affects] their experience of the physical environment and the connections they are able to make to people and spaces.”

Reading the article helped me understand the behind-the-scenes of her work, seeing it with new appreciation.

My two favourites are this one and this one. Well, who am I kidding, I love them all.

My friend Brandon and I admiring art.

My friend Brandon and I admiring art.

Perspective: Kettle Valley Village

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The Kettle Valley Neighbourhood in Kelowna (I live here)

Sometimes the adventure is right outside your house.

It is pouring rain and the sky has been growling. I just got home. I decided to go for a bike ride in this weather. No raincoat. Just a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals.

Yes, I got some weird looks. A girl biking and laughing in the pouring rain isn’t the norm. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done!

It was an incredible experience. Rejuvenating. Being the witness of a beautiful phenomena. The Earth cleansing, moisturizing. And I was right in the middle of it.

I try to practice what I preach. I’ve blogged about seeing things from a different perspective. I’ve said that situations are what we make of them. So today, instead of looking at the rain from the comfort of my home, I experienced it.

I appreciated it in a whole new way. I’d encourage everyone to try this. It is a lot of fun.

It makes you feel freeeeeeeeeeee

Rainy days also make for interesting photos!

Rainy days also make for interesting photos!

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When I got home, my brother welcomed me with our family's video camera. A bit embarrassing. I got him to snap this photo.

When I got home, my brother welcomed me with our family’s video camera. A bit embarrassing. I got him to snap this photo.

I love rain.

I love rain.

When I got home, I made myself a Rainy Day Salad. I don’t know if that’s a real thing, I just made it up.

Anyways, making it was easy peasy lemon squeezy… Though it didn’t involve peas or squeezed lemons.

1) Sauté some mushrooms and green onions with a drop of coconut oil.

2) Add some red peppers (or any colour you want) that are cut however you want. I diced mine.

3) Cut some left over pork (or chicken, or whatever is in your fridge) into bite size pieces and dump it in the pan.

4) Throw in a handful of spinach leaves. (My mom used to pronounce it “Spynak”… Thought I’d share that with you)

5) Pour everything into a bowl.

6) Mix in diced avocado and tomato.

Done. At this point you can add salt and pepper if you want. I don’t, but I respect your life choices…

Happy rain!

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Rainy Day Salad

Perspective: Stanley Park

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I am a lover of nature and of all things unique. While walking around Stanley Park in Vancouver, I was amazed. The park’s flora is so diverse: no two plants are the same.

Most people who visit are especially impressed by the grandiose trees. I have to say that they certainly did capture my attention. Though it was not their height or width that appealed to me, it was the large variety of skins.

I proceeded by gathering photographs of the different tree barks. I assembled the pictures on this page and came up with a new segment: “Perspective”. It is so important to look at things differently. Hopefully my “Perspective” posts will encourage some to view things in their own life under a new light.

My personal favourite has to be number 6 bellow. Perhaps because I have never seen such a distinct pattern on a tree before, perhaps because it inspired me to look more closely at the rest of the tree barks.

Which one appeals to you?

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Let me know!

Gastown

Gastown is beautiful at night.

Gastown is beautiful at night.

We went to Gastown in the evening. I love walking in that area. The sidewalks are made of brick and the trees are illuminated at night. It is beautiful. Even the streetlights are unique and stylish.

The area was rather quiet this particular evening. Perhaps there was a big party somewhere with everyone, and they forgot to invite us.

Dad

Dad

That’s alright. We visited Mo-Mo Sushi and had a party for two. If I would only be allowed to eat in one place over and over for the rest of my life, I would most likely choose a sushi shop. When we do go, my dad always orders many different kinds and we all share everything. My highlights this time included the barbecued eel roll, the seaweed salad, and the fancy tuna sashimi. I love trying new foods, especially if they seem out of the ordinary.

Seaweed salad

Seaweed salad

Tuna sashimi

Tuna sashimi

After the feast, we decided to go for a ride on the sky train. We walked to the nearest station, and bought tickets. I was surprised to see that they leave the entrance gates unlocked, meaning that we didn’t even need our tickets to get through… Apparently they operate using a system of trust. I love that. It is so positive.

We ended up taking a line that was only underground. So no sky train this time. It was still a lot of fun and the metro is surprisingly clean. Getting around by train made me eager to be moving to a big city. Once in Toronto, I hope to never use a car. Trains, buses, bikes and feet will be my new best friends.

Dad buying train tickets

Dad buying train tickets

Hey it's me

Hey it’s me

 

English Bay

English Bay sky; interesting building by the water

English Bay sky; interesting building by the water

When we visit Vancouver, we usually stay at the Sands Best Western in English Bay. It is a beautiful neighbourhood for casual morning walks (obviously accompanied by casual photo-taking) and it is an area dense with cute boutiques and restaurants. There are always new shops to explore. The ocean and gorgeous mountains may seem like minor details, but they truly make all the difference.

The Red Umbrella; dad and his omelette; my beautiful latte

The Red Umbrella; dad and his omelette; my beautiful latte

One morning I was really craving eggs so we decided to try out The Red Umbrella, only one block from the hotel. One must not be fooled by the mediocre exterior and the cafeteria-style tables and layout, because the food was delicious and –most importantly– the coffee was up to standards. I would go back there for breakfast any time.

English Bay beach; The Boathouse Fish & Chips

English Bay beach; The Boathouse Fish & Chips

After our breakfast, my dad had to go back to the hotel to finish some work. I decided to go walk around for a while. At one point I turned a corner and saw The Boathouse Fish & Chips Restaurant. Though I am not a fan of fish and chips, I love this place. The deck offers a beautiful view of the bay, but I mostly love it because of the great memories it has hosted. When turning the corner and seeing The Boathouse, I couldn’t help tearing up.The last time we ate there was last summer, during my grandpa’s last visit from Quebec before he passed away. That was a wonderful evening: enjoying the sunset from the deck while eating our fish & chips and laughing and bonding as a family. Because of great memories, I love The Boathouse. I love English Bay.

 

Deer Lake Park

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My father needed to drive to Burnaby and Vancouver to interview people for a PSA for the Nature Trust of BC. He suggested I come along and, of course, I did not hesitate. Our first stop after the long drive was Deer Lake Park, in Burnaby. While my dad was busy filming, I had some time to explore the area and take pictures. The park is beautiful: a view of the city across the lake, majestic trees, and never-ending bird songs.

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The Nature Trust of BC is an organization that I truly respect. We visited the office in North Vancouver and I had the opportunity of meeting many passionate, dedicated people that make up the staff. They work very hard to protect natural habitats and endangered animals in British Columbia. They are constantly acquiring more land in order to protect it from industrial development.

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The trees at Deer Lake Park did not fail to impress me. Some had trunks so wide and were covered in moss, while others were very skinny and dressed in the greenest leaves from the ground to the top. At first glance they may all seem the same, but when taking a closer look it is made evident that they are all entirely unique.

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To make my visit even more interesting, I was lucky to meet a new friend. Yiling innocently stopped me and asked that I take a photo of her with her iPhone, but we ended up talking for a long time about school, life, travel and adventure. She was in the process of finishing final exams, and then the lucky girl would be on her way to Germany. We still keep in contact via email, and I look forward to seeing her again someday, somewhere!

Rotary Beach Park

Waving goodbye to the daytime.

Waving goodbye to the daytime.

I have three favourite trees in Kelowna. This is one of them. Its roots are planted on the edge of the waves, deep in the sand of Rotary beach. The tree splits into two parts, creating a perfect spot to perch and gaze at the beauty of the Okanagan Lake. During a spontaneous drive with my little brother, I decided to stop here for a few photos.

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Rotary Beach Park, Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC

Rotary Beach Park, Lakeshore Road, Kelowna, BC

 

My brother William sitting on the tree.

My brother William sitting on the tree.

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UBCO: Starbucks Coffee

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Although the famous company has never been my coffee shop of choice, I have sincerely enjoyed studying and meeting friends at the Starbucks located at UBCO. It has been the main destination for our Tuesday and Thursday get togethers that were followed by our 11 a.m. psychology lectures throughout the semester. The pictures above are of the lovely Tia and were taken on the last day of classes. I met Tia in calculus class at the start of the year. She is so open-minded and fun, she made math lectures more tolerable.

Bertram Creek Regional Park

 

Bertram Creek Regional Park Kelowna, BC V1W 4J4

Bertram Creek Regional Park
Kelowna, BC V1W 4J4

For the past three days, I have been enjoying the sun in summer dresses and shorts. Reflecting on the month of March leaves me astonished. The Earth took an opportunity to remind us that we have no control over our environment. We have no dominance over weather. March included everything from hail to sunshine, reminding us that we are vulnerable beings in respect to the Earth.

Sometimes selfies can look cool.

Sometimes selfies can look cool.

The only power lies within ourselves. It is how we choose to perceive these uncontrollable circumstances that allows us to carry on . Predictably, psychologists state that those with an internal locus of control live better lives. These hardy individuals know that a situation is what you make of it. If I am ever trapped in a violent hail storm again, maybe instead of being afraid I will chose to be amazed.

Fresh bread, raspberry jam, assorted fruit, and some brie cheese (brought back from France)

Fresh bread, raspberry jam, assorted fruit, and some brie cheese (brought back from France)

For now the storm is absent and the warm weather is welcome. Bertram Creek Regional Park is tucked away from the city with plenty of trees and beauty. A pile of blankets and flavourful food make for the ideal morning. Though I must admit that today sadness was roaming about, being Janèle’s last visit to Kelowna before Shanda’s departure for a great adventure, and possibly her last visit before I move away. We have no way of knowing how long it will be before the three of us are reunited.

Janèle

Janèle

Shanda

Shanda

It is important to remember that the power of our mind does not only apply to weather. It is easier to view our separation with eyes of sorrow, but it is more beneficial to see it as an opportunity. We will see each other again someday, and it is clear that we will appreciate it much more than if we lived side by side. It is easy to take people and things for granted when they are nearby. We are programmed to habituate. Being apart will make our visits significant and memorable.

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Bean Scene Coffee Works

Bean Scene 274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna

Bean Scene
274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna

A hidden fissure along Bernard Avenue; one will easily walk past without giving the coffee house any attention. However, anyone who sets foot inside will most likely fall in love at first sight or at first sip.

Every coffee shop has its regulars –those clients that visit often enough to be recognized  by the baristas and perhaps even called by name– but only once have I seen regulars that drop by so routinely as to get to know one another in addition to the employees. It is no surprise that this is a common sight at Bean Scene, who gives customers every reason to come back.

Great decor, art, and overall vibe.

Great decor, art, and overall vibe.

In North America, coffee shops are a common meeting place and hang out destination. This means that furnishing and decor should be given important attention. As shown it the picture above, Bean Scene has taken this into consideration when creating a inviting and cozy setting to enjoy a coffee and good company. The beautifully decaying wood floors and brick walls are an homage to antiquity and a homely welcome to customers. The soft lighting creates warmth while the diversified artwork pleases the eyes and promotes creativity. Most importantly, the seating is comfortable. It is true that the couches above are not only fashionable but also conveniently pleasant to sit on, which is the most important.

Decor is certainly critical, but it can not keep customers coming back if the coffee is not of good repute.  It is called a coffee shop after all. The ultimate strategy to diagnosing a respectable coffee house from a mediocre one is simple: ask for a cappuccino. If you are asked to pick a size –usually between 12 oz, 16 oz and 20 oz– and are given the equivalent of an overly foamy latte, you are sitting in an amateur coffee shop. A traditional cappuccino should be served in a 7 to 10 oz cup, with approximately half of it being espresso and the rest steamed milk.

Benjamin drinking a traditional 10 oz cappuccino.

Benjamin drinking a traditional 10 oz cappuccino.

Now with every worthy topic comes various opinions by various people of various expertise. I would not go about calling myself a coffee specialist as I have much to learn, but I wish to share my background, so that you may determine how seriously  (or lightly) you wish to consider my opinion.

Thanks to my open-to-experiences coffee-loving mother, I drank my first Starbucks Vanilla Soy Latte when I was twelve. If you have ever drank anything from Starbucks, you know that they make their drinks ridiculously sweet unless specified otherwise. My tastebuds were enthralled with the first sip, which helped me form a positive opinion on coffee. My passion for it began to grow when I was fifteen and hired at a coffee shop. I quickly got sick of overly sweet, specialty drinks as the sugar distracts from the taste of the coffee. I began focusing on the basics. I loved learning about coffee, and I now find it easy to tell an evil shot from a heavenly one as I have drank so many bitter espresso shots (mostly my own when training at the coffee bar). I am now eighteen and I have worked in three different cafes in the last three years, I have over one hundred volunteer hours at my hospital’s coffee stand, and I still love to read and learn about coffee. I especially love to drink it.

You can always find latte art on Bean Scene's cappuccinos.

You can always find latte art on Bean Scene’s cappuccinos.

To me, a worthy cappuccino is just like the ones offered at Bean Scene. It is served in a 10 oz cup that is preheated with hot water before pouring the espresso shots, followed by the formation of latte art with velvety micro foam. Latte art is not a necessary step to a good drink, but a clear distinction between the steamed milk and crema on the surface of the drink is always a good indication that the cappuccino will taste honourably. I apologize if the terms I just mentioned were jargon to you and I hope that it will inspire you to learn more about coffee. It’s easy.

In any case, may I suggest that even if you disagree with my opinion on the ideal cappuccino(I respect critical thinkers!), you should still go down to Bean Scene and try one for yourself. Perhaps you will feel inclined to leave a reply to this post.

Who is in the photos?

Benjamin is my respectable uncle who is currently living in Paris, France. He shares my love of coffee and I was thrilled to take him to Bean Scene (274 Bernard Ave Kelowna) and hear his thoughts on the place. He approves.