Holiday Home Decor

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I asked on Instagram yesterday and more than 80% of you chose a holiday home decor post for today! Thank you for your feedback – I always love being able to provide you with posts that you want.

As you can see, my Christmas decor picks are very pink this year, with accents of gold and green. I am so excited to decorate this weekend and put together a full post on our holiday decor for this year. Josh is rolling his eye over how girly I am going with it, but I am not the least bit sorry – I am SO pumped to put this look together this year and to finally spend our first Christmas together in our home (Josh was on shift for the past two Christmas’s)

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My other top Christmas decor picks:

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In The Pumpkin Patch

Blouse (under $25!) | My Favourite Denim | Booties | Aviators | Lipstick

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Over the Thanksgiving weekend we enjoyed lots of time at our local farms. I had so much fun picking apples, stocking up on pumpkins for our entryway and of course, some treats! When we went it was pretty quiet so we were able to walk around and enjoy all the fun parts of the farm, including the slides and swing – it’s fun to be a big kid sometimes!

Apple Picking

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Turtleneck Sweater c/o Tobi | Denim | Booties | Sunglasses

Over the long weekend Josh and I headed to one of our local farms, Chudleigh’s, to pick apples for Thanksgiving dessert. One of the things I love most about where we live is that it is such a short drive to many local farms and farmers markets, while also being able to quickly hop on the highway and get into Toronto within in hour. Though I spent a number of years going to school and working in downtown Toronto, I definitely prefer this slower country life (never though I would say that).

With fall like weather earlier in the weekend I was in the mood to finally break out some of my cozy knits, and bake all the apple pies! This blush turtleneck was perfect for the brisk temperatures we had and would be so cute layered over a blouse!

With a couple Thanksgiving dinners, and the very full bag of apples we picked up at Chudleigh’s I decided to whip up a couple vegan apple pies. If you’re vegan, or dairy free like me, apple pie is such a simple dessert to make! I didn’t tell my in-laws that the pie was vegan until after they told me it was better than store bought 🙂

Below is my recipe (for a larger size pie dish):

Pre-heat your oven for 375 degrees

For the dough:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1.5 cups Vegan Becel
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Mix flour and sugar, add in half of the Vegan Becel, mix with the flour and sugar mixture, then add in the other half. I find it easiest to mix this with my hands.

Once the Becel and flour/sugar mixture turns to coarse crumbs, slowly add in the ice water, continuing to mix.

When the dough forms into a ball, wrap it in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  • 8 cups (approximately 5-6 large) apples
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Core and thinly slice the apples.

Mix all ingredients in a large pot, cover, and cook on low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apple slices have softened and are coated in the spice and sugar mixture.

Once the dough has been refrigerated for 30 minutes, take it out and unwrap the dough. I find it easiest to cover my counter with piece of Saran Wrap covering slightly larger area than the size of my pie dish, I also put a layer of Saran on top of the dough before rolling it out. Section out half the dough, roll it into a ball then flatten against the Saran as best you can. Cover with the other layer of Saran and roll it out to slightly bigger than the pie dish. Repeat this step for the top half of dough.

Place this first half of the dough in the pie dish, fill it with the apple mixture, then place the top half of dough on top of your pie, cutting slits in the center for vents.

Place the pie in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 for another 25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Enjoy!

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Thankful

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Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving! I hope that you Canadian readers  have been enjoying time with friends and family this weekend – and lots of pie of course! A few weeks ago I was feeling rather worn out and plain old grumpy, I had a whole lot going on and I felt so overwhelmed with trying to keep up. I am too often guilty of putting too much on my plate, then getting sick, getting behind, then stressing over it – this was one of those times. I had a big event for work, a few projects for the blog, a bunch of fun activities with friends, and multiple wedding weekends all within a three week span. After the last wedding I was feeling exhausted and just desperately wanted to stay in bed – I may have been a little sick at the time and not realized it – I pushed myself to go to church and teach my Sunday school class because I had also committed to that and didn’t want to disappoint the Volunteer Coordinator. At that time I was so annoyed and angry with everything I had going on, I just wanted everyone to leave me alone and was feeling resentful of all these great things in my life. When I got home from church I lay in bed and sobbed for a couple minutes before I realized that I needed an attitude adjustment (and a good night’s sleep). In that moment laying there feeling sorry for myself I realized that I really needed to be thankful for all of these things I have in my life – and learn to say no to some things/how to take time to relax. Since that day I have tried to have a more thankful outlook on my life because I am so blessed to enjoy the life I have.

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I am SO thankful that I have such an amazing husband who is so loving, supportive, caring, hard working (even though I make fun of him for only working seven days per month), and full of encouragement. I am lucky to have found someone who is willing to be my Instagram husband, who takes our two big goofy dogs out at 5:00 am before his sift starts, and who had a box of wine and bar of my favourite chocolate waiting for me after I finished a 75 hour work week.

I am so thankful for our awesome families, and the fact that we live within a short drive from them. They are always there for us when we need something, whether it be help with a car, someone to watch our dogs, someone to play a round of golf with, or just some company and a good laugh, they are always there. Josh and I are both lucky to have such loving and fun families!

I’m also thankful for our puppies. Those big silly dudes might drive me crazy at times but their cuddles make me forget all their shenanigans.

 

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^ I love these silly people so much!

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Another thing that I think I take for granted too often is that we have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, and clean water in the tap. Though both my parents worked for World Vision, and my mom continues to do overseas disaster relief work (she’s an amazing woman!), I often forget how incredibly lucky we are to be able to go out to the store when we need food, to turn on the tap and have drinkable water, and to live in a safe and comfortable place. It’s often too easy to open up social media and feel envious of things others have when we should just be grateful for what we have in our lives – I am still working on this one.

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These ladies also need a little more than a mention. I am so thankful for these beautiful women and everything that they are. They are hardworking, determined, caring, strong, and compassionate people that I am so lucky to have as friends! They have shown me what it is to be a true friend; whether it be teaching me how to make my own Play Dough when we were little, taking me traveling, throwing me the best bachelorette party ever!, bringing me wine, candles, and candy when I need it (can you tell the way to my heart yet?), to washing their hands and brushing their teeth 100 times after eating peanut butter and before seeing me, they are always doing something kind, loving, and thoughtful! I love you ladies so much.

I do want to mention that I also have a lot of great guy friends who are always there for me – though Josh tends to get the most of their time since they all play hockey together. I have a great group of guys in my life from my brothers to my besties, I am thankful for all of them! I love spending time with the guys, even if it means getting shot with archery tag arrows or hit with pucks.

I could go on with this for a long time, but I’ll try and wrap it up soon. I just want to quickly mention our jobs. Josh and I are both so thankful that we have our dream jobs – he landed his four years ago and I got mine around this time last year. Though sometimes our jobs can be tough and balancing our schedules is a unique challenge at times, we wouldn’t trade them for anything!

Lastly, I am thankful for YOU! We started this blog a little over a year ago without really knowing how it would go. There are SO MANY blogs out there nowadays and so many amazing women and men who put their heart and soul into their websites, whether it’s their full time job or not. I am so thankful that you have taken the time out of your day to visit my little space on the internet. I love being able to have a creative outlet where I an connect with people and share our passions! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope that you enjoyed this lengthy post and that it has inspired you to take a more thankful view of your life. With everything that is happening in the world today it is so easy to have a negative outlook, but the positive thankful view is so much more freeing! What are you thankful for today?

Holding on to Summertime

Dress | Sandals | Sunglasses

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This past weekend felt so much like summer. Everyone I was with agreed that this is the perfect weather; cool in the mornings and evenings, and hot during the day – it’s been delightful! With such beautiful weather to enjoy I decided to pull out this LWD for a friend’s baby shower, it was the perfect piece! I am obsessed with pretty little eyelet details, so when I spotted this dress I knew I had to add it to my collection.

 

Fall Uniform

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Chambray Shirt | White Denim | Green Vest | Microsuede Mules | Grey Tote Sunglasses

I have been such a slacker this week! I have been working half days where I have the morning off and I feel like I am just so unproductive right now, unlike the days when I start at 6:30 am and am done at 2:30 pm I am always so productive on those days. I think I need to re-work my schedule for the next couple days so I get it together and get back on the productivity train, AKA stop slacking on these posts.

With the warm days and cool nights we have been experiencing lately I have been layering my looks, or changing a few times throughout the day to stay comfortable. I love being able to intermix basic pieces to make the most out of my wardrobe during this transitional time. I am obsessed with this simple look, styled for a night out by simply topping it off with a statement necklace and this long vest (also seen here).

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Fall Wedding Guest Outfit

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Burgundy Dress | Nude Sandals | Clutch | Lipstick

As events season is beginning to wind down at work, wedding season is gearing up when it comes to friend’s and family. Over the next month J and I have three back-to-back wedding weekends to enjoy. With that in mind, I went on the hunt for the perfect fall wedding guest dress. I am a lover of burgundy and navy, especially when paired together like this; I am obsessed with the embroidery and beading on this dress – it’s gorgeous!

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Stripes & Florals

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Striped & Floral Dress | Microsuede Mules | Grey Tote | Sunglasses |Lipstick

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret about this shoot location for today’s post. I actually used to work here and, honestly, I didn’t exactly look forward to going there everyday. I won’t share where this is, but I will share that it is a place that took a long time for me to go back to, now on much more enjoyable terms. It’s funny how in life you have those things, people, songs, foods, or places that stick with you, for good or bad, and how you can turn them into something good (or great if they are already good) . I love that I now have a new perspective and outlook when visiting this space.

Anyhow, onto this look. As I mentioned in my last post, summer is sadly beginning to wind down. If you live in the Toronto area (like I do) you always know that summer is coming to a close when the CNE (Canadian National Exhibit) commercials begin to air. This week they have been in full swing. Though we are approaching September the summer temperatures aren’t breaking, which means my dresses aren’t going anywhere just yet. I will be sad when the day finally comes when I actually need to pull out a pair of pants and sweater; until that day comes you can expect to see as many feminine and floral dresses as I can squeeze in – especially when they are this adorable, and affordable! This fun floral number is another super affordable piece from SheIn. I feel like the majority of my purchases have been via SheIn lately. If you have been considering purchasing something from them but are hesitant about the quality, rest assured that their products are surprisingly well made for the price. The shipping can, at times, take longer than desired but you can choose to pay for shipping and have it guaranteed if you have an event/deadline for your purchase. My only piece of advise is to go one size up in their items as they do tend to fit small. I general wear a size 6-8 and find that it is safest to order a large from this site in order to be comfortable in their clothing. I hope those details help and that you all have an awesome weekend! Thanks for reading.

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In the Gardens

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Floral Faux Wrap Dress | Microsuede Mules | Aviators | Lipstain | Purse

If you have been following me on Instagram you would know I have been on a west coast adventure for the past week. Sadly, it will be coming to an end today :(, but our time out west has been amazing and we have so enjoyed every moment (well, aside from the traffic on the way to Lake Louise & Moraine – more on that later).

One of the places I was really looking forward to visiting during our time on Vancouver Island was The Butchart Gardens. I has been looking up places to visit in the area so we would have some ideas when we arrived at my friend’s house, the gardens was top of my list. It was so stunning with almost everything in full bloom. We had a great time touring around and learning about the many different types of flowers – I need to brush up on my knowledge! One of the things we were most impressed with was how dog friendly they were. We were staying with my old colleague from Dog Guides so we brought her dog with us, it was amazing to see how welcoming and accommodating the staff were with her pup.

After touring most of the gardens we ended up in the rose gardens, my favourite. As you can see if was pretty bright, and busy, that day but we did our best to capture some of the gardens for you to enjoy.

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When I knew we would be going to the gardens I picked out this dress because it was just the perfect fit for this background! I was really comfortable throughout the day, even with that hot sun beating down! It’s the perfect dress for a summer garden party or for dinner out with a jean jacket on top!

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