Mar 29, 2013

Falling for Friday

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Well it's Friday again! What I'm loving this week doesn't really have a theme, but maybe you can tell that I love stripes? And black and white....don't even get me started on that gorgeous watercolour dress over at Modcloth (my current online clothing obsession), or the beautiful art deco  wedding dress! I have those Ikea shelves in my living room but would not have thought to do something like that in a kitchen, love the idea! Oh, and if I could have that bathroom someday, or even just a tub like that I'd be a very happy girl. I'm liking up with Just Dawnelle, Westover Manor, and Brandon & Shelby.

Mar 27, 2013

A Trip to My Favourite Burger Joint in Ottawa

While Ben's cousin was visiting, we took her and her friend to "The Works". As you can infer from my post title, it's my favourite place to get a burger in Ottawa. They have an extensive menu full of both unique and conventional combinations for your burger- including peanut butter and Kraft dinner! You don't just have to have a beef burger either, you can also have a chicken burger, veggie party, portobello mushroom patty and even elk meat! So really anyone can find something they like.

 I've tried a few different combinations there, my current favourite is the "peppercorn broiler" - a beef burger covered in a peppercorn crust, topped with bacon and Gouda cheese. I opt to add cream cheese as well- might sound weird but it's amazing! I also love that they serve all their drinks in different sized measuring cups, very unique! I am addicted to their super thick milkshakes and die cut fries. I LOVE coming here and introducing friends and family to this restaurant. We had such a great time! (It totally seems like I'm writing an add for this place- but I just really love their burgers.)

Winterlude 2013

I was so thrilled to make it out to Winterlude this year. For reasons I cannot seem to remember, I haven't been since 2010- and I live fifteen minutes away! I've always loved going every February to check out the ice sculptures. My memories go as far back as when I was very small and my parents used to pull me on the ice in a wooden sled. When Ben and I were attending the University of Ottawa, we used to walk over to the Rideau Canal between classes to check our the ice sculptures and enjoy a beaver tail- that was awesome.
Anyway, this year Ben's cousin and her friend were visiting from New York, so we made a real effort to make it down town to take part in the festivities. I already shared my phone pictures from the night here. Now here's the pictures from my camera:)

 We happened to pick one of Ottawa's coldest nights to be outside. I was extremely grateful for the fire pits that were there- the warmth from their flames instantly soothing my throbbing fingers and toes. We spent about two hours taking pictures of the ice sculptures, enjoying delicious beaver tails and watching hundreds of people skate on the Rideau Canal. I would have loved to be out there skating myself, but that just didn't work out this time. I'm so glad we made it though, I can now add this trip to the file tucked away in my memory that holds all of my other Winterlude adventures. I look back on all of them with fondness (and always forget about how cold I was).

Mar 19, 2013

Falling for Friday...On Tuesday

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So I am VERY late with this post, but I hope all is forgiven- I had a very busy weekend celebrating my anniversary with my man:) So last week what I was falling for is 'home decor' themed, because I am in the process of re-doing our bedroom and living room (started the process on Saturday). If we had the room in our bedroom I would LOVE to have that chair- I am also obsessed with having reading nooks in general. I am thinking about doing some kind of black and white photo board either over my desk or in the living room just like the second picture. I just love everything about that loft in the third photo- the long table, the stacked books and photo collage, the stairs, the natural light! That one is more of a dream, than something I can make a reality. Finally, I just love shelving and these honeycomb shelves would be perfect in our living room! I'm linking up with Just Dawnelle, Westover Manor and Spearmint Baby.

7 Years

Photo taken in 2007 (I think) while watching The Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup Playoff's at a bar (hence Ben's necklace).

Seven years ago on the 13th of March 2006, Ben and I decided to embark on this crazy, wonderful journey together. I was young, I was nervous, but I took the leap. Let me tell you, it did not take me too long before I realized that I had found someone truly wonderful. Within that first year I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He is my best friend, someone I can be completely honest with, and I look forward to coming home to him everyday. I am posting this much later than I had intended (life happens), but- Happy 7th anniversary Ben, I hope you know how much I love you!

Mar 11, 2013

26 and Blessed (Life via Instagram)

I took a break from most forms of social media this weekend (well, except for Instagram). I knew that I was going to be busy and I really wanted to take the time to enjoy being with my friends and family without distractions. (So I took a break from cleaning too, ha!) So if you know me or have read this blog, then you probably know that I love birthdays. I also love prolonging the celebrations for as long as I can get away with it. Ben and I spent last week cooking/eating some of my favourite meals, watching movies and spending some time being creative. I love that Ben will sit down with me and draw while I paint or blog! Ben also gave me a break from cleaning last week- which was amazing.

Delicious breakfast;)

Hanging with my sister and grabbing lunch at Big Rig two weekends ago- loving her new red hair!

 As usual, we're dorks!

 The start of birthday week indulgences- it hit the spot!

 Getting colourful

 Birthday week indulgences part two: Ben made me basil spaghetti with cheesy broiled tomatoes- a favourite!

 Birthday week indulgences part three: Tried a new recipe- stuffed peppers. Oh man are they ever good!

Because there is a part of me that refuses to grow up (and Ben knows this) we watched one of my favourite childhood movies.

Some pretties arrived from Lisa Leonard last Monday- early birthday gifts to myself! My Initials necklace is from a few years ago (discontinued) and the earrings were a free promotion but my bracelet can be found here . Headband: MuchloveillyStriped shirt: 
Gap, Long Cardigan: Urban Outfitters

 So Friday arrived (my actual birthday) and it was wonderful. 

Got my free birthday Starbucks.

Cute message from the kiddos:)

Gifts from the kids- including a Starbucks gift card, wohoo!

My boss baked cupcakes for me and ordered my favourite Indian food, Ahar for lunch! So generous!

My AlloraHandmade  modern pearl rosette necklace arrived just in time! I snagged this during an Insta-sale (they're in retirement now). Happy birthday to me! 

As you can see, I was spoiled at work. Did I mention that the sun was shining too? The past few years there has been a major snowstorm on this day, so I was quite ecstatic about the weather! 

My man sure surprised me when I got home from work! Unbeknownst to me, he had taken the day off from work (he even left the apartment at 6am as usual to fool me). He went out to do some shopping for me, and then cleaned the apartment with my sister. When I got home from work, they were waiting at the door. Ben was holding an Oreo cupcake with a lit candle. (From the cupcake lounge, my favourite cupcake shop in Ottawa!) I truly was surprised! Turns out Ben had gotten me a whole box full of my favourite cupcakes- so thoughtful! Ben has always been that way- especially when he gives a gift, it's something he puts a lot of thought into. He also ordered me my new favourite Lisa Leonard necklace (the one I posted on my first "Falling for Friday" list!), and a couple of fun things for the apartment. My man is good to me:)

Chalkboard slabs and birthday messages.

After a quick change it was off to dinner down town at Edoko- a Japanese restaurant where they cook the food in front of you- so fun! A bunch of my friends and both my siblings were there, it was great to spend the night with them eating, talking and laughing hard! Oh and don't get me started on how amazing my meal was- I got the steak and shrimp, so delicious!!

My free mango ice cream. The chef banged a gong while they serenaded me!

My friends got me some sweet gifts including a Bobbi Brown under eye concealer that is like magic, and gigantic jars of my favourite marinara sauce. (Sounds odd, but I am in LOVE with this sauce, so I was both excited and amused.) I felt so much love on this day- between the phone calls, messages and the well wishes from friends I got to see in person.

Some of my Instax mini shots from the night- not my brother and I striking a Charlie's Angels pose in the Center-favourite!

While it used to bum me out that lot's of people send Facebook messages now instead of birthday cards, I also think it's pretty cool. You get to hear from people that you otherwise wouldn't- gotta love those Facebook reminders;) 

My weekend was pretty fabulous too. It started with breakfast in bed from Ben. 

After a lazy morning I was off to the spa! 

"Don't goooo!" He sure is cute:)

My family's gift to me was a spa day- facial, manicure and getting my hair done. I was in heaven. I had never had a facial before and have decided that they are my new best friend. So, so relaxing! After the spa, there was a family dinner at my parents place, and my Aunt and Uncle came as a surprise! We enjoyed pot roast, sweet potatoes and a salted caramel fudge cake (sooo good!) , and shared childhood stories. Birthday celebration part two = success.

Loving my new hair and feeling refreshed.

Family photos- I LOVE my family!

 Sunday was equal parts lazy and fun. I got to sleep in (thanks in part to daylight savings throwing me off), caught up on my TV shows and stayed in pyjamas until 1pm! Afterward Ben took me out for the afternoon to some of my favourite places.

Happy corner of my bedroom window.

Ready to go- I love celebrating with him!

We grabbed some Starbucks and I flipped through some magazines at Chapters. Then we took out time browsing Ikea like we used to and picked up a couple things- there was a black and white pillow calling my name.

 My Ikea date;)

We concluded the afternoon at Michael's, where I mostly window shopped- so indecisive about art supplies this time around. I was also feeling quite hungry despite the hot dogs I polished off at Ikea. We went home for a bit of downtime where I enjoyed a coconut cupcake. 

Then it was off to the movies with some friends. We saw "Oz- The Great and Powerful", it was good! We stopped at Tim Hortons afterwards to chat, then parted ways. You would think that I went straight to bed after arriving home, considering it was 10:30 pm. Daylight savings time was still screwing up my internal clock I guess, because I stayed up to put away laundry, read and watch a bit or TV. Somewhere around 1am I fell asleep- it did NOT feel good to wake up today! But that's ok. I don't mind feeling tired today after the awesome weekend I just had.

The birthday celebrations are over now. I loved and cherished every minute of it. Now I have our anniversary to look forward to it two days, I cannot wait!

Mar 7, 2013

Thoughts On My Last Night of Being 25.

25 was a lot of things.

It was the year I had a small freak out about getting older (don't judge, for me 25 was one of my scary ages).

It was the year Ben threw me an amazing dinner party, and we got a couple of cute pictures together, (should share about that in this space soon).

The year we met my friend Morgan's new baby girl Jill, and fell in love.

 The year we went back to NYC, and had photo shoots during a hike in Sunken Meadow and at Long Beach.

The year I was walking thisclose behind Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield and determined that they are both even better looking in person! (Then immediately regretted not saying anything to them once they walked away).

The year we made a lot of trips to Kingston to see our friends and even spent a week of our summer vacation there.

The year we celebrated Ben's 26th birthday by going cave spelunking.

The year we ate out a lot and discovered a new favourite cupcake shop and Indian restaurant.

 The year I started drawing and painting again and loving it.

The year I spent almost my entire summer outside with the kiddos at work- enjoying the sunshine with picnics, trips to the park, wading pools and Popsicles.

 The year I fell even more in love with my job.

 The year I went canoeing with my aunt and cousin and we all wound up jumping into the water and swimming in our clothes.

 The year I discovered new coffee shops, book stores and antique shops.

The year I watched my good friend get married-and cried.

 The year I was a bridesmaid for the first time and caught the bouquet, (and Ben subsequently caught the garter, which was caught on video).

The year Ben and I started seriously talking about marriage.

 The year that almost my entire family had scary health issues- myself included.

The year I finally stopped caring about my weight.

 The year that my sister moved in with us and we purged a lot of our belongings to make room, (felt so good-yet we still have too much stuff).

The year that Ben and I went to Gatineau Hills several times and did a little photo shoot.

The year that I climbed a tree on Thanksgiving.

The year that I started my record collection- thanks to my anniversary gift from Ben.

 The year that I read "Bloom" by Kelle Hampton and "Two Kisses for Maddy" by Matt Logelin and each book changed my perspective in different ways.

The year we brought Huck home, and had to keep all counter tops and table surfaces clean- because he is mischievous and knocks everything over

 The year Ben agreed to let me decorate for Christmas early to cheer me up.

The year I was actually able to surprise him with a larger Christmas present.

The year I finally got a typewriter! 

The year we celebrated Christmas and New Years with our good friends.

The year Lone Star became a favourite 'girls night' dinner location for me and my close girlfriends.

The year Ben and I had an amazing Valentines Day at home and spoiled each other.

The year I got back to blogging.

The year I learned a lot about what I want.

The year my family and friends showed me just how truly amazing they are.

The year I went from being incredibly discouraged to being inspired and so grateful for everything I have.

 And so much more.

On the eve of my 26th birthday, I am happy to close to door on 25- knowing that while it threw me some curve balls  it was a great year full of amazing memories. I am eagerly anticipating the next roller coaster that 26 is sure to take me on. More tomorrow.