happy birthday, sister

laurabirthday2015

Is it completely selfish of me to be really excited to come to Alberta to celebrate sister’s birthday because it coincides with perfect fall temperatures, sunny days, and larch season? Let’s be honest, if her birthday was in July I’d probably be like “well, I hope it’s great, your card is in the mail*, enjoy Village, see you in September”.

I love this little muffin the most and when I’m in Ontario it sometimes doesn’t feel like we’re 3300km apart. We’ll text regularly, send one-liner all knowing emails, or numbered lists with all the pertinent information. And then I get here and I remember what it’s like to laugh at inside jokes while lounging on the couch or being starry-eyed over a certain few “rock stars” and chat about them like they’re our besties. 

We’re spending 3 days in Kananaskis and Banff making various stops at our favourite pretty places for photo shoots and 2 days hiking to see the larches. Hiking for me is incredibly enjoyable and incredibly difficult (ahem, Southern Ontario is not a place of high altitude and higher mountains to “practice” for hiking in the Rockies) and sister is the only person I can imagine spending a day with crawling, huffing, puffing, nearly crying, taking a lot of breaks as she calmly tells me I can do it and to keep going while we very slowly get to our destination. 

Experienced hiker I am not, but I can take a hella flattering photo of your best angles at the summit. 

It may be her day but I’m the luckiest one to have the best sister and spend this week in my favourite part of the country singing songs on the side of a mountain. 

 

*the card is awesome this year

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friday, i’m in love

Lake Agnes

Hello from Calgary; my second home. After a mediocre sleep I bundled up (oh, you know, it’s only 30C cooler here than Southern Ontario) and walked down 17th for my most favourite latte from Philosafy. 

While a downside of my job is not having real vacation time, a perk is being able to work from anywhere. So, I was snuggled under a blanket yesterday watching New Girl and CSI: Miami and today I’m at a cafe in Eau Claire. Laura and I both work for the majority of my time in YYC and both take 1 workday off to trapeze through the mountains. It’s larch season*, babes, and we’re gonna soak up every minute of it’s splendor for the next 3 days while celebrating sister’s birthday. 

And sunrises. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched he sun rise over the Rockies. 

Follow along on instagram/IG stories. 

 

*as seen above, larches are an alpine tree that grow in the boreal forests of Canada and Siberia whose needles turn bright yellow for a few weeks in the fall. 

friday, i’m in love

Calii Love

  • I was in Toronto last week, the event was about 1.5km from Calii Love Co in Yorkville, which happens to be across from a Subway stop. Obviously I needed to make this my first stop for a latte and to check out Toronto’s first bleedinghearts lovewall (artist: JGoldcrown – check him out on instagram). Honey making the latte was so, so slow but it was delicious and the wall super cute. 
  • I agree with this so much. Why your significant other doesn’t need to be your best friend. And for that matter, why you don’t need to rank your friends. Preach, Anna. I, too, have a small group of friends, most of whom serve a different purpose. Do I want comfort? Celebrity news? Someone to kick my butt? Gossip? Swooning? To chat politics? Books? TV? 
  • I transitioned from iced coffee to hot coffee on September 1 and my favourite hot coffee “hack” is to sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the grinds before the pot it brewed. And ps: this is how I make an at home cafe au lait with just strong coffee, some milk, and a jam jar. 
  • do I need any new fall clothes? Oh absolutely not. Am I on the hunt for a new cute sweater? You betcha. Something different/unexpected. I’m not really sure what exactly that is yet. I saw a bunch of American bloggers posting cute ones from August’s Nordstrom sale, but there isn’t a Nordstrom anywhere near here and US prices + exchange + shipping wasn’t affordable in the end. 
  • can someone please come over, pick me up, and deposit me in the gym? It’s literally across the street and I’ve woken up at a decent time to go before work but I just can’t make it out of bed and into the gym. I hate it there. I hate exercising (whhhhyyyy is it so boring?). But I am also seriously hating my body at the moment. (at the moment, hahahahaha…or for like, the last 16 years. But whatever. I will say, sweater weather is great for hiding everything you hate in a cozy sweater)  
  • this home tour is overwhelmingly gorgeous! You need to take a few minutes out of your day and have a look. I liked my apartment for about 12 seconds and then I read this and now I think I live in a gross hovel. (I also fully understand that some/a lot of these design choices were made possible with partnerships and sponsorships, none of which I have. Also, there are so, so many less options when on a budget in suburban Canada)

oh hello, september

september

sipping: a pumpkin spice latte. Hahahahaha, I totally am not. I legitimately hate culinary gourds. PSL makes me want to vom. I did however wake up on September 1 and beeline it to Starbucks for a hot cinnamon dolce latte. Hug in a mug. My falltime caffeinated bestie. 

burning: leaves. The candle from Bath & Body Works. The last thing I need is more candles but B&BW was having a big sale a week or so ago and $10.80 for 3-wick candles seemed like a good excuse to buy a few. Perk of working from home is that once the temps drop I burn candles all day and coconut candles are not welcome from September – March. 

(be more basic, right?

listening to: The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Passenger. Wow. I adore this album. It is so, so chill. Like, hi, sip your latte, light your candle, swaddle yourself in a blanket, read a book and listen to indie music. Aka: my Saturday plans. 

watching: The Sinner – loving it. Just finished Handmaid’s Tale – unexpectedly loved it. 

reading: an early galley copy of Allison Winn Scotch’s newest book (coming in January) Between You and Me

baking: these brownies. They make 2-4 servings. They are chewy and fudgey and easy to whip up when you need a sweet treat that doesn’t make a ton of sweet treats. (subbed a handful of chocolate chips for M&Ms

loving: cool mornings

hating: pretty much everything else. I’m having a rough week emotionally. And most foods are giving me insane stomach aches; I’ve been existing on toast, cantaloupe, and iced coffee. Yes, I know how acidic coffee is, and no, I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me while I want to rip out my intestines if I even see a tomato or ear of corn. 

2 ingredient peach jam

Peach jam. More accurately, this is probably considered peach compote. Did you know for the FDA to label something “jam” it needs to be about 55% sugar whereas a compote is slow cooked fruit in a sugar syrup.  

Now, I’m not one to meticulously read labels or make everything homemade to avoid weird ingredients (hi, I love diet coke) but other than orange marmalade (my #1 favourite, I’m totally an old lady, spread) I make my own jam. Compote. Stewed fruit to spread on lightly toasted buttery bread. It just tastes better and there is 1-2 tablespoons of sugar instead of 55% sugar. 

peachjam3

According to the Vineland Growers Co-Operative, 98% of Ontario’s peach crop comes from the Niagara Region. And yet, even though we’re in the height of peach season, in the last 3 weeks I’ve yet to have 1 good peach from the grocery store. I’ve waited till they smell sweet and are soft to the touch but they have still been a little tart. Not good enough. 

So I made jam. Any fruit can be made better with a little heat and a little sugar. And a little cinnamon because I love cinnamon and peaches so much. 

peachjam2

Do you want the easiest recipe that can hardly be considered a recipe? 

[yumprint-recipe id=’6′]


ps: these peaches and cream cookies are also really, really good.