Picnic in the Park

Gariloch hydrangeas dress

Dress: Anthropologie  (sold out, very similar options here and here | Plates: Anthropologie | Bowl: Anthropologie | Sunglasses: Prada | Sandals: J. Crew Factory | Cheese board: Indigo| Towel: Kate Spade | Picnic basket: my moms (thanks momma!)

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One of my favourite places to visit during the summer is Gairloch Gardens in Oakville. When you initially enter Gairloch Gardens, from the parking lot, it seems fairly unassuming, but as you get closer to the lake and catch a view of the flower gardens, gallery, and lake, you realize why this is such a popular spot.

Picnic set up

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A couple weeks ago, we packed up a basket, grabbed a blanket, and headed to the gardens for a picnic lunch before heading downtown for the Oakville Jazz Festival. One of the many reasons I love the gardens so much is that you can often find bridal parties taking photos there on the weekends. On this particular day, there were two sets of bridal parties taking photos, one of which asked if they could use our picnic set up.

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For our picnic we did’t want to bring anything too heavy, since it was a very hot and sunny day, so we packed some cheese, meat, and crackers, along with fresh fruits and fresh cupcakes from Hillary’s, from the Milton Farmers Market. It was so nice to sit, relax, and enjoy the view from the shade. We also squeezed in a bit of people watching and cheering on the bridal parties!

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I threw on this fun floral printed dress from Anthropologie, which I also wore to my Bridesmaid Brunch. I picked this dress because from the moment I saw it, I  couldn’t get the image of an elegant garden party out of my head. I love finding pieces like this dress, pieces that bring out inspiration, or a new creative idea. Though this picnic wasn’t quite the elegant garden party that the Oakville Gallery is hosting next month, I still loved wearing this and twirling around in the gardens all afternoon.

After our picnic, we packed up and toured around the gardens, and outside of the gallery. I have been here a number of times, and I am always blown away by the beauty of the gardens and landscaping, it’s such a great place to spend a couple hours and enjoy a picnic, or sitting down by the water.

Gariloch garden gallery view

Gariloch garden fountain

 

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Lavender Fields

Josh and I have wanted to go to a lavender farm for a while now, so when we discovered that there is one just a short drive from our home we planned a date to Terre Bleu. I was so excited leading up to going, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! I was planning on posting this next week, but I just found out that this weekend is the final one for this season, so get up and get going to Terre Bleu this weekend! 

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Dress: Anthropologie | Hat: Missguided | Sandals: Kate Spade | Sunglasses: Ray-ban

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When we first arrived, we stopped off at the big Terre Bleu sign at the front to snap some photos, then headed into the shop to check out what was available. There is something for everyone in there, as long as you like lavender. You can find lavender soaps, honey, macaroons, cheese, essential oils, and much more!

Terre bleu lavender macaroons

After perusing the shop, we headed into the first of two fields to explore. They do offer tours of the property, but we decided to tour around on our own. One of the first things we noticed about the fields was how abuzz they were with bees! Neither of us are really scared of insects, so we really found it fascinating, and comforting considering the recent decline of bee populations, to know that there were so many there working away and cross-pollinating all the lavender.

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After walking through the first field for a while, and snapping tons of photos, we headed back to the distillery, then through the forest trail to the Yellow Bench fields. This seemed to be the more popular field, but I think that is mostly because of the big yellow door in the middle of the field – there is quite the lineup to snap a photo in front of it. Instead, we snapped a few photos of this adorable dress from Anthropologie over at the distillery. I am obsessed with this print, the stitching on the built-in camisole, and the lace detailing at the bottom!

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Terre bleu lavender farm in the fields

Before you head out of Terre Bleu, be sure to stop for some lavender lemonade, lavender ice cream or, if you’re like me, get both! I picked the lemonade and Josh picked the ice cream, but I ended up stealing half of his because it is so dang good! I am not a big ice cream fan, but this was amazing!

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If you have time this week, head up to Terre Bleu to check it out! This is the last weekend for their yoga in the fields classes – how relaxing would that be!? If you can’t make it this weekend, don’t fret, they are still open after this weekend. You can find out more about their fall and winter activities by visiting their website.

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Boozy pops

  • When I was younger, one of my favourite things to make in the summer was fresh fruit popsicles. Now that I’m older, I like to amp them up a bit and make boozy pops to enjoy with my girlfriends on hot summer nights. This recipe can be enjoyed on its on as a popsicle, or added to your glass of Rosé Moscato, or some bubbly!

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Recipe:

Directions:

  • Finely chop the peach & raspberries, measure out 1/3 cup of each and place it in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add 1 cup Rosé Moscato of your choice and ½ cup San Pellegrino to the bowl, refrigerate for an hour
  • Steep two teaspoons of the Midsummer Night’s Dream tea in 1 cup of 96 degree water for ten minutes.
  • Remove the tea leaves/teabag and let the tea cool
  • Once cool, add the tea to the combined fruit, wine and sparkling water
  • Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze for about 3-4 hours. Once your boozy pops are completely frozen they are ready to enjoy. Either serve them on their own, or put one in a wine glass and pour champagne, sparkling wine, or more Rosé Moscato on top for a trendy summer treat!

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Makes about 12 small popsicles

White Pineapple Blouse

One of my summer staples is a white top, paired with denim and a little leopard print – my favourite! I found this white top at Anthropologie last spring I fell in love! It is feminine, fun, light & airy, plus anything with a pineapple print is good in my books. This particular print isn’t available this year, but there is a super cute lemon version available right now! Trust me, you will wear this time and time again this summer, and next!

I wore this outfit out to get fro-yo and walk by the lake with our puppy, Odin – below. He’s a seven month old mix and is a total goofball. We got Odin from a rescue organization in London, ON, when we knew our time with our foster dog, Morris, was starting to come to an end. We think he’s part German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and maybe some Husky and Lab; basically he’s going to be a giant and he’s a total lovey-dovey suck. You’ll be seeing more of him in future posts as we work further socializing him and working leash manners.

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Farmers Market Finds

One of the things I love about the summer and fall months is the shopping at local farmers markets – and the flower market! This past weekend we met up with my girlfriend at the Milton market to do some shopping, and shop we did!

It was a bit cool and rainy when we arrived, so we stopped in at Hen & Roost to pick up some coffee before heading down to Main Street to see what the vendors had in stock this week. We were quickly distracted by Hillary’s Cupcakes, because who doesn’t want to eat cake for breakfast!?, then headed into Muse Studio & Market to visit the adorable owner, Lena, and inquire about her upcoming Creative Studio events calendar, but more on that in a later post :). With cake in our bellies and coffee in hand, we made our way through the booths to pick out our groceries. Josh and I didn’t have a ton on our list, but by the end we all had arms full of food, including a blueberry pie for Josh from Springridge Farms, and quesadillas with guacamole & salsa from 50 Pesos for me!

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check out your local market – it will be a beautiful weekend for it! If you want more information about the Halton region farmers markets, the full list can be found here.

Dress: Anthropologie | Sandals: J.Crew Factory | Purse: Juicy Couture (similar, less expensive, vegan leather option available at Urban Outfitters)

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Summer dress & sunflowers

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Sundress & Sunflowers

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Summer shirtdress & sunflowers

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Becoming Mrs. Alexander

Friday, January 29th, 2010, the day that forever altered my life. It began uneventfully, I went to class – I was in college, majoring in Business Marketing at the time – came home and studied for a while then met some friends for dinner. We were celebrating my friend Adam’s birthday, my friend Jessica’s younger brother was hosting a party at their parents’ house that night to celebrate his friend Steve’s birthday. Jessica and Adam have been close friends of mine for a number of years, and Steve and Josh grew up together. Jessica brought me to the party and Steve brought Josh, the feud over who is responsible for our relationship is one I doubt will ever end. I will forever be on #teamjess!

When I arrived at their house, I had no expectations of anything substantial happening that night, and I certainly didn’t expect I would meet my husband! Josh and I talked all night, and a few days later we went on our first date. The following Sunday, while watching the Super Bowl, he asked me out. Now six and a half years later, here we are. Our time together has been a great adventure that has flown by; we have traveled together, bought a home, fostered a Future Dog Guide puppy, started and grown our careers, and now started this blog. Below are some of my favourite photos of our years together thus far.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014, Josh took me out for breakfast at our favourite place – Ben & Florentine’s. After breakfast we headed to Hilton Falls Conservation to hike to the falls. As we were walking to the falls, Josh kept trying to steer the conversation toward talking about what I was looking forward to in our future, but I was not getting it. As we approached the falls, we noticed that the river atop the falls was calm and shallow enough that we were able to walk across. We stood at the top of the falls for a while looking out at the view and talking. He was eventually able to steer the conversation the way he wanted and while we were standing at the top of the falls he reached into his backpack and said he had a gift for me. He pulled out a mid-sized white cardboard box and handed it to me. When I opened the box all I saw was a whole lot of tissue paper. Under all that tissue was small round container with a jeweled stiletto on top, wrapped in a hot pink bow. When I got a good look at the container I noticed it had our initials engraved on it with a heart. As I removed the bow and took off the lid Josh dropped to one knee and I finally realized exactly what was happening. Honestly, I was so flustered I don’t remember exactly what he said other than ‘Marry Me’. I cried happy tears, which Josh said was his goal, and laughed because right where he knelt was on a big tree stump and he was wobbling all over. We spent a few minutes after just enjoying being engaged and on our own, so we thought.

Once we got to the other side of the falls where the main lookout is a man came over to us and said he had noticed what was happening and started taking pictures. He took down Josh’s email address, snapped a few photos of Josh and I together and congratulated us. We are so grateful to him for having taken some photos and sent them to us; I cannot express how much we appreciate it!

We spent the next four hours just relaxing by the falls and touring around the conservation grounds without anyone, aside from the strangers who saw what happened, knowing we were engaged. I highly recommend that if you can take time to enjoy it with just the two of you that you do; that time together was so special and is something I will never forget.

Once we announced our engagement, it was a bit of a whirlwind of celebrating with friends and family. The night of our engagement, we went to Scaddabush with our friends Matt & Cassie, who got engaged a few weeks prior. The following day I stopped by my best friend Alexa’s parents place and was greeted with a full spread, champagne, and sparklers. I have to take a moment to gush over how amazing our friends and family are, and how incredibly loved they make us feel. We are truly blessed to have people like them in our lives!

My mom and my girlfriends know me very well and did such a beautiful job of putting together a great shower, bridesmaid brunch, and a really fun bachelorette party! For my bachelorette, I mentioned a few things that I liked to Alexa but asked her to keep the days plans a surprise, and she did a marvelous job of ensuring none of the girls spilled the beans. We started at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a spa with a bar inside what could be better!?, then we headed next door to Wilbur Mexicana {if you know me, you know I LOVE Mexican food!} where more girlfriends joined us. After dinner we headed to Elle Fitness and Social. I had mentioned about a year back that I wanted to do a Coyote Ugly dance class but I was tricked, by my sneaky friends, into thinking it was not available – I am so glad it was! It was so much fun to get to dance with all my friends, then dance on the bar at the end. To end the night we got dressed up and headed over to Wildflower. For only having given them some ideas of what I wanted, they nailed it!

All the pre-wedding events were so much fun, and I am so glad I was able to enjoy them with all these ladies. Below are some photos from each of the events.

Friday, July 1st, 2016 was a dream! I married my best friend and had so much fun celebrating. We had such a great time, and couldn’t stop smiling. We have only seen a sneak peak of our wedding photos , with many more to come in a few weeks. Once we have the rest of the photos I will share a full wedding post. For now, I am just thrilled to be able to share a few photos with you and, more importantly, to be Mrs. Emelia Alexander!

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Wedding photography by Deanne MacRae