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.

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.

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.

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?

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

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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!!!!!

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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Red Carpet

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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.

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.

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!

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?

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!

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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Bertram Creek Regional Park

 

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Bertram Creek Regional Park
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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.

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Janèle

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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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