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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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.

Anne and Laurence

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.

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.

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.

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

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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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!

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!

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.