Feature, Travel

Have you met Tippi?

December 16, 2014

Lone Wolf Magazine posted a great little inspiration story that’ll get you dreaming of the Jungle Book, The Magical Life of Tippi Degré. It’s absolutely worth the read (and hour spent watching Tippi on YouTube and researching her charming life). Tippi’s parents are wildlife photographers and she grew up in the 90’s following them on various assignments around Africa–and basically having more adventures than most people experience in their lifetime! Thanks to Lone Wolf for putting this dreamy little distraction on my radar. Tippi is completely reminiscent of a real-life Mowgli.

Feature, Home

Christmas decorations – tales of our first Christmas tree

December 14, 2014

Even though we’ll be celebrating with Doug’s family this Christmas, we couldn’t help getting our own little tree. I love the holidays, but ever since I left my family home for university, I always felt a disconnect when all the shops, streets, and friends’ houses were beautifully dressed up for the holidays, but my little place was always just… normal. I’ve never really had a ton of space for decorations and they always seemed fairly low priority–especially because of how little time I would spend there during the holidays.

This year is different, both Doug and I are totally subscribing to the holiday spirit. Earlier this month, we made an impromptu after-work trip to a Christmas tree shop and picked up what we thought was an apartment-friendly sized tree. Ours is probably four feet short. When we got it home, we realized we probably could have gone for a taller, thinner version. But we love our little shortie.

Being our first tree, we didn’t have any decorations (other than a beautiful little wooden “First Christmas as Mr. & Mrs.” ornament that our extremely thoughtful wedding photographer and friend Kirstie sent us), so we decided to make some with some crafts we had around the house leftover from the wedding. We cut stars out of cardboard, painted them grey and then used Martha Stewart transfer adhesive and foil sheets to gild them in a messy, homemade way. We made a nice big one for the top of the tree and hung the smaller ones from the branches with a little coloured twine. We wrapped some burlap around the base of the tree and tied it with a little red ribbon, instead of a traditional skirt. I think it adds a little bohemian vibe!First Christmas Tree

I think next year, we’ll string some cranberries and popcorn to add a little extra since I imagine we’ll have a taller tree. My parents’ tree has a great collection of little ornaments that spans their years together as a family and I really love how eclectic and meaningful it is.  I hope ours will look like that in years to come.

Do you have a Christmas tree? How did you decorate your first one?

Fashion, Feature

Cozy up with a cape

December 6, 2014

As soon as December hit this year, I launched myself into holiday spirit. I don’t know whether it was because November was a pretty heavy work month and I needed a break, or because, what’s not to love about the holidays? We’ve been wrapping Christmas gifts, decorating our (first!!) Christmas tree and just generally getting cozy and festive.

Shopping for Christmas gifts a week or two ago, I stumbled on one of the best purchases I’ve made in what seems like years. Pretty typical to find the best gift to myself while shopping for loved ones, but anyway… We were in Roots and as soon as I spotted the cape, I knew I was going to wear it to death. So far, I’ve worn it every single day in some capacity, either as a scarf, a shawl and of course as a cape. My cape is the best thing ever and everyone needs to get one.

The cape I bought seems to be sold out, but here is a great little collection of capes to help you get cozy.

1) Pure DKNY Cozy Cape $350.27
2) Topshop Checked Cape at Nordstrom $62.20
3) Madewell Cape Scarf  $79.50
4) Club Monaco Arleta Cape $695

Feature, Food

Apple Rosemary Crêpes – Breakfast Treasures

November 15, 2014

Some weekend mornings call for a little creative rifling through the cabinets in search of something delicious for breakfast. This was one of those mornings and Fried Applesthe result turned out pretty delicious! As with all projects like this, one ingredient sparked the whole idea. In this case, it was some Boursin my friend Rose gave me after her halloween party two weeks ago and it’s been sitting in the fridge haunting me ever since. Actually, scratch that, I must have forgotten about it, because, if I hadn’t, I’m sure I would have found some crackers or bread or something and wolfed it down in one sitting.

Anyway… our hodgepodge ingredients wielded us Whole Wheat Rosemary Apple Crêpes and they were awesome. Check out the recipe below.

Whole Wheat Crêpes
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup of milk
-1/2 cup of water
-1/4 teaspoon of salt
-2 tablespoons of butter

Whisk together the flour, salt and eggs, slowly adding the butter and wet ingredients. Beat until smooth. Add approximately 1/4 cup of the batter to a lightly butter pan preheated on medium. Carefully tilt the pan in a circular motion to distribute the batter into a thin crêpe. Cook until lightly browned (about 2-3 minutes) then gently flip using a spatula.

We topped ours with some thinly sliced apples lightly fried in butter with cinnamon, a healthy dollop of Boursin and some chopped fresh rosemary.

*Crêpe recipe was slightly tweaked from All Recipes Basic Crêpes Recipe

 

 

Fashion, Feature

Cuddle Up – Sweater Dresses

November 12, 2014

Well, it happened on Sunday. Buckets and buckets of snow and the temperature finally dipped below zero… Waayy below. I had a (conveniently) scheduled dental procedure yesterday, so have been lucky enough to have an excellent (if not exactly comfortable) excuse to cuddle up at home. But, soon enough–tomorrow to be exact–I’m going to have to leave the house and go to work. The sweater dresses in this cuddly collection are the perfect companion on chilly days where leaving the house is inevitable. Worn with a nice thick pair of wool tights and chunky boots, they will warm up the coolest of days. Extra bonus: because these are technically also shift dresses, they’ll never get that frumpy, stretched-out look that some of the more fitted sweater dresses tend to have after a few wears.

  1.  Club Monaco “Bria” Sweater Dress $198.50
  2. See by Chloe Leopard-intarsia Wool Mini Dress $560
  3. Clu Too Pleated Sweater Dress $207.35
  4. Diane von Furstenberg Harriet Knit Tunic Dress $498

 

 

 

 

Food

Caramel cinnamon buns – weekend spoils

November 8, 2014

Cinnamon RollsIs there anything more comforting than waking up in a cozy place to the rich smells of an extravagant breakfast? We’ve been lucky enough to have a truly mild fall this year. After a crazy snowstorm in September that brought down a lot of old and unsuspecting trees, it’s been really warm and sunny. I’ve heard whispers that we’re in for it next week with temps set to drop and so we’re cuddling up with some gooey caramel cinnamon buns this weekend (and maybe some mulled wine). This recipe is a little rich for my taste, but for a first stab at cinnamon buns, I’m pretty happy with the results.

I went for a highly rated recipe for “Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Buns” on All Recipes. What is your favourite cinnamon roll recipe?

On a separate note, we’ve been baking with dough so much lately that I’m dying to read Peter Reinhart’s book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I even made my poor brother watch Reinhart’s TED Talk, The Art and Craft of Bread, it was so interesting, but turns out not everyone is as into dough and bread making as I am!

 

Feature, Travel

Riding around Copenhagen

October 29, 2014

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? Over the summer we took a week to visit our friends Sonya and Anders in that modern city. It was amazing.

Firstly and most importantly, everybody bike rides in Copenhagen (and Denmark for that matter). Because of heavy taxation on cars and fuel, it’s the primary mode of transportation for many Danes. Which I assume is why so many of them are in such great shape and healthy looking. We were hanging with locals, so the first thing we did when we got there was rent a couple of bikes–ours were total beaters, which I think added to the experience. In Denmark there are very strict rules of the road for cyclists and everyone rides fast, so our hosts were a little nervous that we’d miss a cue and get bowled over by a well-dressed Dane. We rode everywhere! No part of the city went unexplored for us on our trusty steeds. Plus, I know head safety is important, but none of the Danes wear helmets… which means that we got to fly around the city with the wind in our hair. Nothing is more glorious than that.

We rented a “penthouse” apartment on Airbnb, which we thought was a steal until we got there and were informed that in Denmark, pentCopenhagen - KCS Balconyhouses aren’t actually coveted apartments. Turns out, they’re pretty inconvenient because there are rarely elevators, so tenants of penthouse suites have to huff it up several flights of stairs. Ours was a fifth floor walkup. The apartment itself was gorgeous, sunny, high ceilings and decked out in sophisticated, minimalist Danish style. The tenants of the apartment were about our age and we think they probably posted the apartment up on Airbnb once a month or so to supplement their rent. We loved the place, it was just the right size for us and they had an awesome espresso machine that we made more use of than we probably should have. I’m now doing some pretty serious wishing for an espresso machine of my own here in Calgary…

The Danes have such a distinctly minimalist sense of style and decor. It seemed like everyone was dressed worthy of being snapped by a street style photographer, but they were still dressed practically enough to ride their bikes. Everywhere we looked we found crazy furniture, candlesticks, lighting fixtures, dishes and housewares, all of these items were very cool, but nothing was so trendy that it would go out of style. That just seems to be the Danish way, they like to live well, but simply. They buy very little, but everything is of excellent quality, well-crafted and will last a long time.

Another cool thing we learned that because winters in Copenhagen are long, dark and cold, the Danes have invented this concept called hyggewhich basically translates to coziness. They invite friends over, light tons of candles and play board games or otherwise keep each other company during the dark months.

We had such an incredible time visiting Sonya & Anders in Copenhagen and left feeling that we should really adopt some of the Danish ways, they really have it figured out. I even spent the much of the summer riding my bike to work to try and preserve the spirit!

Copenhagen Musts:

Fashion, Feature

Chelsea Boots – Best Worn Kicking Leaves

October 25, 2014

Here is my dream fall day: it’s a warm day, the leaves are all varying colours of golden red, something delicious and fragrant is cooking slowly at home and I’m wandering around kicking leaves. In fact, I’m probably wandering along the river and through the city to Kensington with Doug to add a record to our growing vinyl collection. Oh yeaahhh. Let it be fall.

Golden Leaves2It’s easy enough for me to daydream about gorgeous Canadian fall days because I’m writing this from Shenyang, China, where I’m hosting media events to get people in China dreaming about winter in Canada… even though I’m still dreaming about going back home to fall in Canada. Don’t tell anybody, I even hope it doesn’t snow until December.

Can’t you just imagine kicking around leaves in this little collection of Chelsea booties? My personal faves are the Gap or Madewell ones, though the cheeky leopard print calf hairs from Isabel Marant are pretty bad ass. The Duo Boots are my practical addition, since with the gold detailing, they’d do double duty in the office.

1) Duo Boots Anton US$195
2) Gap Chelsea Boots $89.95
3) Madewell Chelsea Boots $208
4) Isabel Marant Étoile Dewar Booties $660