My Apartment Smells Like Burnt Sugar and Oranges.

The thunder is starting to roll in and I’ve just polished of a plate of crepes suzette. I think I might spend the day doing a scary movie marathon. I absolutely adore this time of year. The amazing late-summer storms make it that much better.

With Scotty taking on two food and nutrition classes (one Jr and one Sr), we’ve been brainstorming ideas and trying recipes. One of my specialties is crepes. I loooooove crepes. It’s my go-to when we have friends over for breakfast (and sometimes dinner). I think I ate crepes for dinner every night on our honeymoon. I never strayed from the pineapple and banana crepes flambed in dark rum. I honestly could not get enough.

This morning I taught Scotty how to make crepes and berry sauce. My Grandma always did hers with blueberries and this incredible vanilla sauce- I credit her with my fondness (obsesssion) for those paper-thin confections.

A few Christmases ago, after watching a cooking show, I finally got up the guts to flambe and made crepes Suzette for the family. Now I get excited to light my food on fire. I would argue that nothing makes your house smell as amazing as crepes Suzette.

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I won’t lie. I LOVE that Scotty is teaching foods. He knows his way around the kitchen (his specialty is muffins and fresh crab cakes), but it has only ever been when the mood struck. Now he is constantly looking up recipes and doing practice runs of what he’s going to teach the coming week. There’s something about the colder weather and shortened days that gets me excited to cook and I love that it’s something we can do together. To me, cooking isn’t a chore- it’s a great way to unwind after a long day at work.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with wild abandon or not at all.

-Hariet Van Horne

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And I Just Squeeked By On Rent.

Thank goodness we both found full-time jobs. We’ve been swimming in a very small pond. It’s been more like a mud pit. Being that we just took one week of unpaid vacation, August was a lot tighter than usual.

 

I won’t be shopping for a very very very long time, so this jacket is but a dream. But if I had the means to buy more than groceries and toiletries, I think this would be it.

 

It’s Here.

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Another semester fast approaching. A new contract signed. A yearning to “give back.” A running bug caught.

Life doesn’t slow. It keeps flying along, and I find myself challenged to dive in. I have this annoying need to control everything and an almost debilitating need to do everything perfect. The pace of life is beating that need out of me. It’s one thing to do things well: to pour yourself into them, but it is another when it is never good enough. When you’re afraid to try something new because you might make a mistake… that’s when you have a problem.

So right now my prayers (amongst many others) are to let go. To dive in. To live in faith of one so much greater than me.

Today I officially transitioned from “intern” to jr. designer. I have been given a permanent, full-time position which will allow me to take on more as a designer as I learn it. Today I was running all over a house that we will be renovating with a laser measure. I was assisting with our architectural lead in dimensioning everything so that he could go back to the computer and draft up an “as is” floor plan. It hit me: I’m exactly where I should be.

The blog won’t be fancy, and the text might be sparse, but I want to make record of this journey. My goal isn’t glamour. Instead, it’s to delight in simple things. To be proud of working hard. To find depths of faith and be endlessly grateful.

Happy September. It’s officially my favourite time of the year. The photo was taken on the first night of our vacation on the Sunshine Coast. Since returning from New Zealand, I have been in a mad love-affair with the west coast. Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand is stunning. I left a piece of my heart there, but I realized my soul lives for the west coast. If only the two were closer…

Finding Hope.

This morning’s run had me in tears.

Unless my alarm is set for 5 mins after the coffee pot turns on, I rarely go a run, no matter how honest my intentions were. Something always comes up, or, before you know it, it’s time to get ready for bed.

So this night owl sacrifices an hour of sleep to go for morning runs. It’s not a huge deal, it’s just what works for me. Now that I am no longer running off my feet serving, I just need those extra steps in my day. Once I am out that door, the music is pounding in my ears, and I’m just about to the beach- that hour of sleep is the furthest thing from my mind.

Morning runs are a saving grace in the summer heat, and they put everything into a far better perspective.

But this isn’t a post about running. Me and my steady 10 min/mile have nothing to give the sport of running. I am a taker: I’m in it for the mental health and rush of it (yes, even us slow and steady folk feel the rush… for me, it comes about 35 mins in).

As I passed through the gates to the beach trail, I was greeted by the low, orange sun which was far warmer than it has been in recent days. The Earth was showing gratitude for that warmth… steam rose from the ground and the water in the bay was eerily still. Ahead, just past the dyke, the silhouettes of hundreds of Canadian geese could be seen drifting silently along the shore.

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And then I felt it: first in my knees, and then all around me.

a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire…

a still small voice.

God. Everywhere. Tears spilled onto my cheeks.

 

After stopping to take pictures of the way the ocean disappeared into the fiery mist, I looked over my shoulder to see a giant silver moon dipping low to the trees. He was there. I could feel him.

I made it just for you

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It was just me out there (which is rare, because the beach is best at sunrise and the locals know that). Eagles circled overhead. Brown rabbits zig-zagged across the path and a huge owl watched me from a fence post.

I’ve taken care of you. I always will take care of you.

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Today was huge: Scotty was interviewing for a teaching position at 1pm. I have been a bit of a nervous wreck about it. I don’t like to complain, but these past five years have been hard. Very hard. Having one spouse navigate a career change is tough, but when BOTH spouses are in school and working weird hours?

With looming credit lines coming due, I have been a bit of a nervous wreck. I’ve busted out in cold sores and stomach aches in the past 48 hours, but taking in lungfuls of the steam rising from the earth; being flooded with breath-taking beauty; and being enveloped by Greatness that kept whispering over and over again,

I always will take care of you

filled me with nothing but gratitude. I was in the palm of my Creator this morning and he made certain that I knew it.

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Screw it.

I am back from 8 FULL DAYS with the husband, Sounds cheesy. I know. But the guy keeps me balanced (and I know i do the same for him). The guy makes me laugh, and tells me “it’ll be ok” all.the.time. And mostly, he’s right. Things don’t have to be so perfect most of the time.

 

I kind of apologize for taking the last 5 weeks off. But really, let’s be honest: you took the last 5 weeks off too.

 

I finally got around to going back through my archives and deleting all those picture and links that got destroyed by pinterest’s new formatting. I’m pretty much over it. That teaches me for showing you what I am inspired by. Now I’ll just show you the final product and give no credit to the original source of inspiration…

 

….okay, so I am still beyond pissed, but I’m now ready to deal with it, so we’ll just go from here. One of the things (amongst a million) that i have been able to be “in” on in my internship is a lot of the marketing meetings around the website and digital media at my job and one of the things I learned was that Google will decrease your “points” if you have “spiders” (links that lead no where: aka- my pineterest links that were suddenly broken that fateful day that they switched their formatting).

 

It’s all good. I deleted a shit ton of posts. Broke my heart a little and enraged me a lot, but I’ll work it out.

 

can assure you that I am back. I’ve got a game plan now and a lot of inspiration. clearly, I am heading bac to school which means that once a week is very doable and everything beyond that is bonus… because I’ll also be working as a design apprentice while I supplement with school. That’s right: foot is fully in the door. I am well on my way to a designer. Thrilling and chilling. All in one.

 

Also, stay tuned, theres a side job/company about to be launched by Sept 1st (at latest).

 

 

 

 

I’m Sorry (I’m Not Sorry).

Day 3 of the cleanse is wrapping up in a puddle of weakness.

But when you find yourself in Fort Langley being charmed off your feet, you throw caution to the wind and say “one scoop of cotton candy.”

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I’m weak. Oh well.

Becky and I found a lovely man who owns a Christmas Tree farm and sells live-edge slices of wood. We originally bought one to sand and finish for the design office reception area, but Becky went crazy with her belt sander and got bit by the furniture bug. We drove back out and bought 4 more slabs to fix up and sell. We also nabbed a bag of slices to make coasters.

True to her country girl, cute, yet rough and tumble nature, Becky already got us invited to sell our wares at the Christmas craft fair at the farm this winter.

I’ll find time to apprentice, do school and start a hobby company without any problem right?

Easy.

Ride.

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Day two of a cleanse. Was feeling some serious blues this afternoon. Couldn’t cure my afternoon slump with my regular sweets, and that apple just wasn’t cutting it.

I just got home from the most romantic hour on my bike (yes, the crazy nice electric bike I won in May). The evening sun was so golden, and I passed so many happy people out for a Sunday evening peddle too. I noticed a lot of people staring from their cars as they drove past. I am sure some people wished they were out on their bike (and not in their car), others were trying to figure out how this girl on a giant cruiser bike could fly up a hill so effortlessly, and others, I’m sure, noticed the big, goofy grin taking up most of my face.

My favourite part of the evening was when I looked over my shoulder and saw two cyclists gaining ground on me, I flicked the power on and took off up a hill… It’s strange to feel the wind rushing through your hair as you ride up a hill.

Tonight I Swore Like a Sailor

And I challenge you to make this recipe and not do the same when you sit down to eat it.

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I love to cook. I adore it, but I have been terrible at finding the time to do the things I love. Tonight I got home and began pulling things out of the fridge/freezer and my cupboards. I noticed I had both white wine AND carrot juice in my fridge (what are the chances?), and this recipe for a seafood hot pot started to burn hole in my stomach. I only had prawns and cod, but I felt ok with that.

I love movies like “No Reservations” and “Julie and Julia” that make the simple act of sitting down to a plate of food look like the most pleasurable experience. I love the sensuality and intimacy of food.

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Everyone has to grocery shop. Everyone has to eat. Tonight it was so gosh darn enjoyable. I do not hesitate to say that this is one of my top favourite dishes I have ever made.

It triggered a memory. It reminded me how much I love the simple pleasure of preparing food, and how a following a really great recipe can be such a great way to unwind after work.

Where Do We Go From Here?

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After passing by this little gem at school last month (yeah, BCIT is a concrete prison), it all made sense to me: I would rather a life of quirk and quaint over luxe and glamour. I often look at those women who are put together so perfectly and feel a bit slobish. I bring it on myself. I feel silly when things match too well, and I tug at my ponytail until little pieces of hair fall down around my face. I feel out of place when I walk into a boutique. Instead, I feel I am at my best in a thrift shop. I confidently flip through those clothing racks at lightening speed and march around like I belong.

I’m just not one of those fancy girls…

…but I ain’t no tomboy either.

I have more nail polish than I can keep up with. I love my eye makeup. My liquid liner and mascara are waterproof, and I’ll proudly wear them to the beach. “Oh my gosh, that’s soooo cute” is sighed daily as I gaze at something that just “get’s to me.” I’ll never own enough shoes and I am happiest in dresses. I cry just thinking about how much I love my husband, or my family, or my cats, or this new career path I am following. I am a total (and proud) girl.

Truth be told. I am just like the other 97% who never felt cool in high school: I’ve always felt awkward and I’m so relieved that the world is full of other awkward people. And I am beyond thrilled when that awkwardness is parlayed into creative genius whether music, literature, art or design.

I think it was this little moment between the car and another drafting class that gave me a moment of clarity I have never quite had. A moment when I breathed out and accepted that I’m not rich nor fancy. I’m not even particularly exciting. But I am happy. I contantly notice and I am inspired by the things that are different. I see humour in the little details. My heart jumps out of my chest whenever something sparks a new idea. I think all of my awkward friends are the funniest people I’ve ever met. I like to hum and sing when I am walking, and I don’t really care that I always get “busted” by strangers (standing at a cross walk, thinking I’m alone and then I notice the three people standing behind me… stopping now would only be embarassing, so I act like I knew they were there).

A guy made fun of me for living in one of the oldest apartments in town,

“I looked at those when I was looking for a place, but they were way too ghetto for me” (I stared at him in disbelief, partly because I couldn’t believe he was ok with being that mean to my face and partly because I ADORE my little apartment and all the cute elderly neighbours that live in it).

A coworker whined about her “old” (2006) car until she finally caved and bought a new SUV (my civic is a 2001, we have driven it into the ground, and I will cry my eyes out when it bites the dust- I have been preparing myself for that tragic day for quite some time).

I find myself in these moments all the time. The ones where people are complaining about the very thing I am thanking God for.

I count myself blessed. I’ve never cared much for the Jones’ and what they do. And in light of that previous post about finding a better way to use this blog, I think I’ve found a direction: sharing the little things, the quirky, the quaint, the cute and the swoons.

You’ll see what I mean soon enough.

I just want what I put out there to make people feel better about their lives and not jealous of mine. I don’t want to come across as a braggart, but rather, a thankful heart. There are so many great things in the everyday life that often get overlooked. Inspiration exists everywhere, and a beautiful life lies in the details. For those of you who know me and have (bless your hearts) followed me from blog to blog- my stumbling block has always been that I feel an inner conflict in that the blogger-world can often feel far too self-promoting. I feel uncomfortable with the hey look at me mentality (let me be clear, I pass no judgement on other bloggers. I am the girl who feels much happier to celebrate other people’s birthdays than my own, and I’ve been known to go as far as to keep my birthday a secret because I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. I am ALWAYS more than happy to celebrate other people).

Celebrating the details of life is something that everyone can relate to. It isn’t exclusive. A good book, a pretty sunset, an inspiring artist or a really great recipe are all things accessible to everyone in their everyday lives.

A beautiful life lies in the details…

My new mantra (did I steal that from somewhere? Probably).

I Still Have Dirt Under My Nails.

After I walked out of my summer semester at BCIT, I drove myself to Value Village and picked up some clear glass containers. I have long been admiring all the pretty little terrariums scattered just about everywhere I looked (it’s insane how expensive a “done up” one can be) and I had a bag of soil sitting on my deck waiting for me.

 

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I couldn’t decide between the pack of mini horses and the mini dinosaurs at the dollar store, so I bought both. In a perfect world, I would’ve found the moose and grizzly bear I had hoped for (yeah, this Canadiana thing is real).

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I have collected far too many little cacti. My bar cart and credenza are literally over-flowing with them. I’ve now started avoiding the floral section at the grocery store… it’s far too tempting.