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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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.

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.

maple cinnamon latte with almond milk

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!

turning a cheap plastic file box into a funky bookshelf

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.

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!!!!!

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.

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

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!