17/12/11- Traditions


What traditions do you carry on every Christmas? Have your traditions changed after getting married or having a family of your own?

One of our traditions is our awesome traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner. We've always celebrated Christmas that way, and I can't imagine not doing so. It's a very special dinner, with lots of family history. Part of the dinner involves perogies, which my cousin and I make every Christmas Eve morning...

 So tell me, what traditions do you cherish?

15/12/11- Homemade love

As mentioned in a previous post, a friend and I got together recently to do a little crafting to make some homemade gifts. 

Every Christmas season I have a enlightened moment where I consider whipping up fantastic homemade gifts for family and friends, but the moment leaves and I don't do it. Saying that, I always make truffles to give away and have been doing so for years and years, but would love to do more. 

I also spoke to a friend the other day who is giving away homemade gingerbread, shortbread and Baileys. (Homemade Baileys! I had no idea!!! I think I have to try that just for fun). What a great idea.

I'm thankful for the motivation from my friend to create these gifts, of which both turned out perfect! 

So...do you create any homemade gifts for friends and family? Do you have an annual treat that you make each year to give away?

A little peek at our creations. Apologies for the poor image. The flash on my lovely camera decided to stop working and I am now left with poor photos and no camera. Boo.

12/12/11- Chew chew, its lunch time!

This weekend my cousin, friend and myself attended Market Collective. I took only two photos and they were pretty poor, so chose not to blog about that event.

However, if you are in the YYC area, I highly suggest attending a Market Collective event sometime. (There is one again next weekend). We made sure to get our Christmas-themed photo taken with the odd outfits and humorous poses as well...what a hoot!

A few weeks ago I went for lunch with a friend in a small town just south of Calgary. We decided to lunch in the cute cafe that is located in a train car! The food was great, but of course the idea of eating in a stationary, old, CP rail train car was more delightful!

After this we checked out a local shop with excessive antiques. Will share the photos soon.

9/12/11- Christmas Crafting

Last night my friend and I got together to create some Christmas gifts for friends. We made a few very cute gifts that she had found on a blog. (Oh blogs, what would we do without you?)

Cute Christmas crafts deserves great supplies. 

We went to the local quilting shop in her town to find some fabric, and what a treat! This was no ordinary quilting shop. The building which it was located in was well preserved and loved. 

The floors, ceiling, lights- and all the little touches around the store were beautiful. 

Now, you may want to see what we created...but I will have to save those pics till the gifts are given. I don't want any recipients to see the photos on here in advance of Christmas!

8/12/11- Gingerbread house time!

Yesterday I had the pleasure to make a gingerbread house with my cousins children. Oh so fun! 

I purchased one of those pre-made kits, as though I do love to bake, I am not an architect. ha! The thought of making each piece to an exact size was too much- maybe another year.  

The kiddies did a great job of decorating, I was the builder of the house and icing squeezer. 

Do you make a gingerbread house every year? 

'Look! There's the one I put on'

29/11/11- Taste of Maui Tuesdays- Pineapple Coconut bread

It's the revival of Taste of Britain Tuesday! Though this week is a little different... It's taste of Maui Tuesday. 

When we were in Maui driving the Road to Hana, there were all these great little roadside stands selling homemade goodies like banana bread, coconut bars, fresh fruit smoothies and so on. I believe I saw on stand selling pineapple coconut bread. 

Upon arriving home (to the cold dry city) I was missing that Hawaiian feeling. (If you've been to Maui, you know what I am talking about) So I decided to try this very tropical recipe. 

I found it on this website and gave it a try. 

The recipe was pretty easy, and the house smelled amazing as it was baking. 
So tropical...I could almost hear the ocean waves crashing ;)

The 'bread' was more like a cake, and this is mentioned on the website. I found it to be almost a little too moist, and I had to bake it for a bit longer than what the recipe said. If I were to do it again, I'd use less pineapple, as that is what caused this cakey moist texture. 

However, it was delish! If you want a little tropical in your cold days, give this recipe a try. 

24/11/11- AGA

Earlier this week I drove up to Edmonton to attend to some bits and bobs. 

One thing on my list of to do's was to check out the Art Gallery of Alberta. The AGA had opened just after I had moved to England over two years ago, so I've missed out on seeing it till now. 

The exhibitions were great, and the layout of the gallery is nice as well. 

What I was also so impressed with was the building itself. A pretty amazing space to be in... I guess the architect decided to juxtapose the angled windows with a steel ribbon referencing the North Saskatchewan river with the Aurora Borealis. 

21/11/11- Cycle Sundays, Maui style

I miss my weekly posts for Cycle Sundays. Patty and Betsy (my two bikes) are home in England, so I've not done much cycling lately. 

(That, and I am not a fan of cycling on snow, our current weather here in Canada)

In Maui there were many locals on bikes around the small towns. Lots of them had bikes similar to my town bike, and there were many Cruiser bikes. (How cool eh?)

Life in Maui seems so slow paced, riding a bike around town for your daily ventures seems to fit well into that laid back vibe. 

One bike I spotted on my travels... 

20/11/11- Back, brr...

Well we are back from Maui!

I'm already missing looking at this...

The view from our balcony aka lanai

And drinking these...

Mai Tai

An amazing trip, Maui really is an island paradise. Thank you for the comments on my last post, the flowers really are beautiful eh?

This morning I woke up to -31. Not cool Canada, not cool. 

16/11/11- Where have I been?


Where have I been for the past two weeks you ask? 


We came out here for my oldest BFF's wedding, which was so beautiful and amazing, and along with that have had a fantastic trip to Maui. 

We've got a few days left, and before we leave this island paradise I wanted to share some photos of some of the wonderful flowers found on the island. 

Mahalo for sticking with my blog during my absence. Once I get back home to Canada, will share a few more snaps. But for now, its back to the warm island air and pina coladas. 

2/11/11- Yar!

I attended a fab family birthday party on the weekend. It was for a lovely three year old whom I adore, and it was a dress up party. The guest of honor was a pirate, and all the children that attended dressed up as well. 

I took some fun photos that I was going to share, but ran out of time to make a decent blog post about the party. So instead I will just show these two photos of shoes. 

A good friend here at home is a drama teacher and always teaches her students the importance of shoes and how it creates a character. The shoes are the first piece of a costume an actor/actress receives, and once they have those shoes, they should not rehearse without them. For they put you into that character from the way you walk, to how you hold yourself on the stage. 

I thought of this when I looked at these two photos. 

(Playing musical islands. Like musical chairs, but since it was pirate themed it was islands)

(My cowgirl boots and the birthday boys pirate boots. Love this pic).

Exciting trip happening this week, so I may not blog as much, but will post some pics to tempt you of warmer climates when I get a chance.

31/10/11- First snow

What's that falling on my windshield? 

(FYI I was stopped at the red light and took this photo. Driving and taking photos is dangerous!)

Yup, it's snow!

However, the good thing about this snow is that it only was in certain areas of the city, and melted by the afternoon. The first snowfall is always fun and pretty, but after many months of it, let me tell you, its not so fun!

29/10/11- Artsy

Serious art evening last night with my artsy friend. It's been ages since I've done artsy/journaling projects. 

It was a great way to spend a night! Add in a little cake and wine, and you are set!

28/10/11- Young bakers

I've been doing some childcare whilst I've been home for my cousins children whom I love. I'm learning a lot about the wee ones, and of course enjoying the funny things they say, and their outlook on the world. 

There are some great toys out there these days, and this is one I've noticed a few times. 

Wood cupcakes. 

The icing tops can be interchanged between the wood bases, and you use your icing (aka markers) to decorate the cakes. Once complete, stick on your candle (attached with velcro), and your cake is complete!

Too cute.

27/10/11- Minnewanka

How beautiful is this?

Taken at Lake Minnewanka a couple weekends ago. The lake is close to Banff, and believe it or not is used for scuba diver training. There's not much to see down below, but the frigid mountain temps make this lake a interesting training ground for new divers. 

25/10/11- Who needs a boat?

Last week I went for dinner with a fellow sushi lover. Sushi is something that is not so prevalent in my English home, so I take advantage when I am in Canada. 

We tried a new place, and the best part was the sushi train they had going around! How cute. A sushi boat is always lovely, but this was my first time picking food from a moving train. (And a CP Rail train at that).

If you live in the UK, tell me where your fave place to get sushi is. (So I know for the future!)

24/10/11- Life Made Lovely Monday- Vinyasa

Lululemon has to be my number one fave store here in Canada. I adore it all, but have to restrain myself from buying excessively when I go there. 

They have a great scarf in store these days called the 'Vinyasa scarf' which is made of a lovely jersey material, and has snaps for closure. I love it, but my crafty brain said 'You could make that!' (Does anyone think this too?)

So I went to the fabric store to get some rather inexpensive jersey fabric to give it a try. My Mom also has a fantastic new sewing machine here, a nice change from the old girl in England.

A short time later (hand sewing on the snaps took the longest!) I had my very own Vinyasa inspired scarf :D Happy days! 

(Teaming up with Life Made Lovely today for this domestic moment)

(Lovely plaid shirt I have on isn't it? No, just cause I am home in Canada does not mean I wear plaid, it just happened!)

22/10/11- Market Collective

This weekend my friend and I attended Market Collective. A market showcasing local artists and artisans and their wares. My cousin has attended a number of the Market Collective events and raved about it. So we thought we should check it out.

I love attending events such as these, those which shine a light on local artists work. And of course with any market, shopping is involved! 

Local musicians jamming throughout the day. 

The photos from photographer Amy Victoria Wakefield were beautiful!

A couple other fave tables of the day were Chika Ando's quirky illustrations and Cinder & Sage's unique jewellery

My one purchase of the day was this print from Tara Put. She had some lovely and very creative pieces- check out her etsy shop here. Isn't it lovely?! 

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