Thursday, 28 June 2012

Photographic Memory

Just like every other year, I will be driving up to me cottage for the Canada Day long weekend. It's no 4th of July but I could use the rest and relaxation and save the partying for next weekend. I love getting out on the water and becoming 'one with nature'. It is just so peaceful and calming and I still get excited to see the simplest of widelife. I enjoy city life (and probably take too much for granted) but I love the fact that when I want to, I can get away from it and find myself in a whole other world.

There will also be sun tanning and BBQs involved.

Make it a memorable weekend no matter where you are or what you're celebrating.
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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tips for Beautiful Healthy Hair

While still recovering, I thought I'd pull information and inspiration from a fellow blogger.

Emily Meyers shares her 10 Tips for Gorgeous, Healthier Hair on her blog Life, etc..

Starting with Part 1, her first 5 tips are;

#1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

#2. Lets talk about harsh chemicals.
#3. Vitamins.

#4. Turn off the heat!

#5. Good Product.
Check out her blog for a full explanation of each. I'll be following along to find out the last 5 tips, especially since my hair seems extra damaged in the summer with the heat and pool water, not that that will stop me from having fun. It's important to know how to prevent damage so that you're not always in a reactive state, trying to repair your hair.
Like Emily mentions, I too swirl my hair up in a high bun (wet or dry, often with a leave-in conditioner) and then either keep it up and out of the way, or unravel it when I'm ready to reveal beautiful wavy hair for the day. It obviously depends on your hair type, so you might have to use hairspray or other styling products.
This is my favourite product to use if I must blowdry my hair. I say must because I try to avoid it to prevent damage, and also since I don't think most days are worth the extra effort, ha!
TRESemmé Heat Tamer Spray is a protective spray to apply to wet hair before blow drying, curling or straightening. It's a super lightweight spray, doesn't get your hands sticky and has a 'pin' to lock it for easy travelling.
Thermal Creations is their entire product collection that's specifically vitamin-enriched and formulated to work with your hot irons and blow dryers, while protecting your hair from heat damage.
Emily also has some amazing hair tutorials on her blog which are super simple and will give you a professional look. I've been trying to figure out new ways to style my hair since it has gotten so long it's almost unmanageable. I love her Braided Headband!


Thanks for the tips Emily, and I hope you're all getting closer to Gorgeous, Healthier Hair...starting now.

* See here for Part 2

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Monday, 25 June 2012

CrossFit Competition

This weekend was the third annual Ontario Open at my sister's gym, Element Crossfit. CrossFit promotes a healthy competition, both in the physical and mental sense where you are pushed to compete with your own abilities. The slogan of the event was; Because Limits Exist to be Broken

We strive for personal bests and new accomplishments and the satisfaction is unreal. With CrossFit, the workouts are shorter and more intense than your standard workouts. We try to accomplish more in less time rather than dragging it on and on like I used to at the Big Box gyms. I have been doing CrossFit for 3-4 years now and I would never go back to anything else. I competed in this event, as I have in many others, not necessarily because I am at the competitive athlete level but it's a goal to train myself for and another way to push myself.

For those of you that might be intimidated, there are the regular "prescribed" weights and activities but you can scale them to your own level. For example, assisted pull-ups, kneeling push-ups and the list goes on. If my mom can do it, anyone can do it. And believe me, my mom has come a long way in her abilities.

The event this weekend was awesome. There were competitors in all divisions; Competitive (prescribed), Recreational (scaled) and Masters (40+ age group). The weather was amazing so most of it was outside. We even had an outdoor pull-up rig.

So, it saddens me that in my first post about my love for CrossFit I have to tell you that in a fluke accident I hurt myself during one of the workouts this weekend :(
It was hot, there was sweat and adrenaline, and the barbell slipped, folded my wrists back and sprained my right middle finger. In all my time doing CrossFit this is the only injury I have sustained. If anything, the regular movements help those with knee problems and other stiffness. I have been typing this post with my pointer fingers and will be back once I regain full motion as I do not want to strain any more than I have to.

If you have any questions about CrossFit feel free to ask. It's definitely something worth trying once. I used to dread working out because of the boring repetition. With CrossFit there's a different workout every day and I'm sad if I miss a workout. Plus it's a community that encourages and inspires one another. I'll be missing it for the next little while but I will be back in full force soon enough.  

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Friday, 22 June 2012

Photographic Memory

I think it's fun to go to the zoo no matter what age you are and no matter how many times you've been before. There are so many different creatures and it is amazing to see their natural beauty and their interaction with one another.

This was my encounter with a Peacock. When I was yonger I was surprised to learn that it was the male peacock that was so colourful. I suppose since women are naturally more beautiful typically the ones to fancy ourselves up, for ourselves and for men, it's hard to believe that the males of many species (birds, ducks, lions, etc.) are the ones that naturally have more colour or detail. These males go around boasting themselves, try desperately to attract a female. This peacock in particular was strutting his stuff and shaking his feathers and it was hilarious to see the females run behind him to hide. If only all males put in that effort. But we need a lot more than looks, honey.

I think it's about time we had our men step up. Although, I must say, sometimes my boyfriend spends more time on his hair, than I do mine. Does your guy put in the effort or could he polish up a bit? What would you say about this little fact of nature?

Have a memorable weekend and let your colours shine!
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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Current Crush: Newspaper Nail Art

My Current Crush, linking up with Framed Frosting is Newspaper Nail Art.

This design trend has been around for a little while now, however I still have not tried it myself. Where does the time go?

The good news is (no pun intended) I already have the perfect nail polish for the basic newsprint look, Samoan Sand by OPI. As you can see from some inspiration photos below, any colour goes.


White, Grey or Neutral for the traditional look, or the oh so popular Mint can now be even more stylish. 


All you need is your favourite nail polish, 10 pieces of newsprint sized to cover your nails (or just the tip if you'd rather), a strong top coat and a dipping container for water, vodka or rubbing alcohol.

It has been tried and tested with each method so you can choose your preference. If you're going to have a cocktail or martini while doing your nails, use the vodka. If you want to keep it simple, use water. You might just have to hold the piece of newsprint a bit longer for the ink to transfer. 

Note: Writing will show up backwards.

After the transfer, wait a few minutes for the ink to dry and then apply one or two top coats.  

Transfer Newspaper Articles, Crosswords, Images and Alphabet Letters. This is super fun but also sophistocated for the classy business woman.


Here's a quick step-by-step video just in case.

Have you tried this technique?
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer = Strawberry Season

I know everyone is bursting with joy since today is the Summer Solstice. Being the longest day of the year, you'd better make the most if it!

With strawberry season underway I'll be picking up strawberries like there's no tomorrow. I won't necessarily be picking them, although I do have the fondest memories of sneaking samplers while picking fresh strawberries in the fields. In Ontario, we are very lucky to have fields devoted to strawberries so this is our chance to get the freshest local fruits and the best way to savour the flavour is by preserving some extras for those long cold winters.

Jam is typically made by either cooking down the fruit until its own pectin is released to thicken the jam or by using a commercial pectin mix (usually extracted from citrus fruit peels). I still find it best to use the Pectin, that way I save the cooking time and don't need to sterilize the jars ahead of time. Just wash them in hot soapy water. Now there's no excuse why I can't make my own.  

30 Minute No-Cook Strawberry Jam Recipe

1 3/4 Cups Crushed Strawberries
4 Cups Granulated Sugar*
1 Pouch CERTO Liquid Pectin
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Makes 5 Cups

Note: Pectin types (liquid, crystal, etc.) are not interchangeable with this particular recipe. Each will have their own similar recipe on the box.

*You can substitute an equivalent of Organic Cane Sugar, Honey or Agave Nectar. Results and flavour may vary.

This becomes 'freezer jam' which you can store in the freezer for several months. I personally try to keep some to last all year round until I make the next batch. The freezing aspect prevents mould. You can also keep it in the fridge if you'll use it within the first couple months. You'll be sharing some too, right?

My mom sometimes does the whole nine yards with cooking the berries and sterilizing the jars. This still has the sugar or equivalent, just not the pectin. She has a lot more patience than me.

Cooked Strawberry Jam Recipe

4 Cups Crushed Strawberries (about 2 pounds whole) 
4 Cups Granulated Sugar*
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice           

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F. Pour into hot sterile jars, leaving about a half inch from the top. Seal on lids. 

If you will be sharing the jam and it will be eaten right away, simply place in the refrigerator. If this will be your winter supply, submerge sealed jars in a water bath. For detailed instructions on a water bath canning, click here 

Bon Appétit!
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Figgie Shoes on Facebook

The lovely ladies at Figgie Shoes linked my post up on their Facebook page. If you haven't already, check them out.

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Prada VS Payless

Alright, so I do not have the cash flow to afford something as perishable as flats from Prada. One of these days. I do have my oh so sexy Prada shades which I am oh so careful with, however I am a lot more careful with my eyes than my feet. My latest Payless purchase were these Claire Scrunch Flats from dexflex by Dexter seen on the right. They are ultra comfortable (unlike some of those flats that eat your heals) with their dexflex technology, as well as ultra stylish, clearly inspired by these Prada scrunch flats shown on the left (available in a few different styles). For those of you willing to invest and with $298 in your pocket, these Pradas are exquisite. As for me, I am a lot more comfortable spending $24.99 which means I will likely be able to afford a second, third and maybe, just maybe a fourth pair of flats to get me around this summer.

I love that both these options are available, so I don't necessessarily need to spend and arm and a leg to be fashionable, although then I'd only need to buy one shoe. That was a bad joke, I apologize. Happy shopping!
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Monday, 18 June 2012

Euro, Euro!

As many of you may or may not know, Euro Cup 'Football' 2012 has begun. If you're a sports fan, you already know. But, if you didn't even know that they call soccer 'football' in most other places around the world than I'm going to shed some light on the event. The most crucial piece of information to know is that there will be a lot of crazy partying by one of the teams at the end of each match. With the Euro Cup happening once every four years, teams are anxious for some playing time and so are the fans. Now, whether you're American, Canadian, British or Spanish you can get in on the action for a taste of Europe. Literally.

This weekend Greece (so that means Greek people and fans around the world) were celebrating their most recent win. Living around Toronto I had the opportunity to venture into 'Greek Town' on the Danforth. I always love going there for Souvlaki or Gyros.

Saturday night I stopped by a patio for some Saganaki (that famous flambéed cheese). This is me on the patio, with live music playing in the backround, flowers around (and in my hair) and just a warm atmosphere all together.

Walking the streets we stopped for gelato, which is so very typical of the european lifestyle. In Europe they tend to emphasize the enjoyment aspect rather than the mere consumption. So, for enjoyment's sake I got the white chocolate as well as the chocolate hazelnut gelato. What? They're small scoops. Very refreshing for a warm summer's night.

Don't you just love taking advantage of these opportunities? What is your favourite European experience?

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Friday, 15 June 2012

Photographic Memory

The reason I love taking photographs is because it really does help me capture the moment, both in time and obviously through photographs that I can share and look back upon. Spending that extra second to focus mentally and through the lens, imprints that moment and image deep in my mind and memory.

Being a designer I am a very visual person, always trying to set up the perfect views and layout in which someone can experience a space, not just live or work in it. Designs are only really helpful to my clients or other individuals with a similar concept or need. What I want to share with everyone is my photography, professional or amateur, because beauty can be found at any moment, any place, and if you capture's timeless.

I would like to share photos of my life and mostly my inspiration, found so easily in nature. Today, I invite you to share my Photographic Memory.

While walking through the forest near my house, I was not alone. Yes, I had a dog at my side, however there were bees and butterflies dancing through the field of flowers sucking up nectar as they went. This was a beautiful sign that spring was in the air.

Make it a memorable weekend.
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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Current Crush: The Mirrored Box

For the Current Crush event hosted by Danielle at Framed Frosting, co-hosted this week by Carly at Lipgloss and Crayons, I am sharing my Current Crush: The Mirrored Box.

Everyone has issues with storage. The worst is even if you have everything neatly tucked away, there are still boxes which scream out storage. A fabulous design trend is the Mirrored Box. This a stylish way to modernize a space as well as reflect its surroundings (which are likely other fabulous design pieces). I have some similar to these as jewelry boxes for stud earrings and things that aren't so easy to hang or display. A perfect holder for anything from business cards to buttons. Whatever it is, it will be disguised as fabulous!

This design trend has been around for a while but if you haven't picked one up yet, better yet, you can make your own mirrored pieces! Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff shows an easy step-by-step for how to make your own mirrored plant box...with supplies from the Dollar Store. Simple and stylish.

The list of possibilities is endless.

If you're looking to add more green space to your home, this grass mirror design by Nokki is ultra modern in material (mirror/aluminum) and form, however it contrasts so beautifully with the different grasses sprouting within.

Could you see something like this holding herbs in your kitchen?

Do you have any old mirrors that can be transformed into something new?  
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Graffiti - Express Yourself the Natural Way

I always get a guilty pleasure out of seeing Graffiti. As a fellow artist/designer I cannot help but appreciate the details, the colours, the playful sense about it, however as a naturalist, I find it best to express my creativity in more productive ways.

I've found a few creative ways to incorporate graffiti into your style or space, without the spray can.

Deborah Thomson of Figgie Shoes specializes in shoe artistry. She designed these personalized wedges for her client's wedding day. Her "Graffiti Love" wedges incorporated details like; Mel + Marc, their wedding date and even a charicature of their dog. Check out the details, and of course the colours!

I would have to choose something a bit more conservative from her Bridal Collection for my wedding day, however I could definitely strut down the street in these or wear them to a stylish event. These would not be tucked away in the closet though. I would have them up on a shelf to be displayed as art. Beautiful.

Another brilliantly beautiful concept utilizes old and new moss to write or decorate spaces. This is a DIY must! Simple instructions were found on Popular Mechanics.

Also, Artist/Eco Graffitist Anna Garforth has several professional examples of this type seen around the world both on the streets and in galleries. Examples include; The Big Bang, Moss Cross and Grow.


Anna has also created a typeface called Polinate, using dried pressed flowers and branches. Amazing.

I stumbled upon another blog showcasing this same moss design and was very happy I did. Lynne Knowlton writes a blog entitled, Design the Life you want to Live. The title alone is inspiring and its definitely worth checking out for other design tips. She seems like a fabulous woman, with a great sense of humour!  

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Coast to Coast

So, I am very very new to blogging but loving the growing community that is out there. I have been following blogs that I've heard about through word of mouth but now that I've stepped into this world myself, I see what I've been missing out on. Everyone has something unique to share with the world and so I hope you read a bit of my story and follow along with others on this amazing journey.

Through Meg's Mingle Monday (Life of Meg) I found Shane Prather who started up Bloggers Coast to Coast on her blog Whispering Sweet Nothings. She is developping a mapping system to identify nearby bloggers and to showcase her following of bloggers across America.

I'm going to get in on the action. See you there!

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Japanese Bathtubs

I love how 'natural' and 'eco' are becoming so trendy in the design world, as well as in retail and the food industry. It is always important to get the details on products since some throw those terms around too loosely, however I find the best part of natural home furnishings is creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility with nature's simple beauty. We tend to forget that in a lot of places, natural is the norm, and somehow we have gotten so far away from that, its good to be back (when possible). 

Japan is setting the trend for modern interiors to incorporate natural elements in beautiful ways.





Each example is open concept, incorporating wood, stone and glass. Outdoor scenery becomes a part of the space, also allowing natural light.

I understand that due to space restrictions and construction barriers this might not be a reaslistic option, however it clearly directs where the focus should be when we are cleansing our bodies and minds. Try to find more natural elements to include in your home. Choose soft, soothing and earthtone colours. Simplify. Go back to nature.  

Oh how I would love to soak in the middle of the room surrounded by nature, rather than tucked away in a corner, concealed by a curtain. We have locked doors for a reason, right?

Do you allow yourself time for a bath?

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Summer Flats

I picked up my latest summer flats at Payless because I do so much running around its more worthwhile for me to pay less more often. A larger investment in shoes seldomly lasts as long as I would hope so I tend to splurge only on more classic items. I wore these daisy flats out to a backyard party this weekend and the peep-toe was perfect, allowing my toes to breath, while the rest of me was sweating.

Check out these coral beauties by American Eagle for Payless.

My weekend was full of sunshine, backyard gardens a little poolside relaxation with my best friend. I love how much the sunshine automatically lifts my spirit.
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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Stormy Skies

I took this shot sitting out on my lunch hour, just in time before the storm hit. I couldn't believe how magnificient the sky looked as the waves of clowds rushed forwards. I can still see a sparkle of light which is a reminder that after the rain comes the sun. I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to spot a rainbow, this was a sight on its own. 

This song comes to mind. It's a mix between Trance & Angelic music. 
Lost Witness - 7 Colours
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Milan Architect Creates Vertical Forest


A high rise forest is under construction in Milan. This pair of apartment towers at Bosco Verticale, the tallest of which is 27 stories, will be home for not just its residents, but for the forest area that is otherwise displaced by expanding construction. These buildings will host 900 trees, measuring either 9, 18 or 27 feet tall, as well as a wide range of shrubs and floral plants. Each apartment tower will be the equivalent of 90,000 square feet of forest, if measured on flat land. That is amazing!

Bosco Verticale uses a system that optimizes, recovers and produces energy. It creates a microclimate by filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and noise pollution.

For further details of the construction, visit Architect Stefano Boeri's complete website;

Is this the new trend for construction or just one man's dream to see a healthier planet? I think it is the responsibility of the construction companies and manufacturer's to set the precedent. This would be the safest way for me to live in a forest and I'd love the view!
Photo by Boeri Studio

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Tuesday, 5 June 2012


So, browsing through blogs I came across Life of Meg by Megan Porter. She has a weekly blog reel named Mingle Mondays for her followers to list their blogs and connect with others. Since I am just starting out I thought this would be a great way for me to find more blogs to follow, as well as hopefully find others that will share my journey.

Just a handful of the blogs I've checked out so far;

This is an amazing group of strong and independent women…how inspiring!
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