Posts in Lifestyle
LIFESTYLE | Want S'mores?
s'mores.byamygrace

One of our favourite summer time indulgences ...

S'more Dip

Oven safe bowls / skillets
Chocolate Chips
Grahm Crackers
Large Marshmallows

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Butter the bottom of the oven dish & add enough chocolate chips that cover the bottom and add as much depth of chips as you would like.

3. Cover chocolate chips with marshmallows.

4.Put in 400 degree oven and let bake until marshmallows are turning light brown. 

5. Let cool for a few minutes and then begin dipping with crackers. 

ENJOY!

 

LIFESTYLE | Weekend Road Trip
weekend.roadtrip.byamygrace

Last weekend we took four days and visited family.  The drive from Bedford, Nova Scotia to Montague P.E.I is a stunner.  It has a way of calming and relaxing me.  The ferry that runs during the warmer months breaks up the journey & gives us a chance to enjoy the fresh air. 

The Highlights of a Family Road Trip & Visit 

Reading

Tradition has evolved over the years that when we arrive to P.E.I. we begin to swap books out, debrief on the latest reads and make new reading / life goals. I have noticed that Jeremy enters into reading here and that now that our 'little' is older her car travel rides consist of her flipping through books for hours.

Games

Having an uncle who is a board game youtuber has it's benefits.  We are constantly learning new games when we visit and laughing along the way.  This time it was 'The Mind' & 'Gladiators in An Arena' (heh) that really stuck out to us!   (I LOVE 'THE MIND')

Naps/Rests

Having a three year old with a nap-time has a way of setting the 'quiet time' tone, but I think it's safe to say that when all of you but one have a book in your lap and your eyes closed , it's time to admit defeat.  

Being

Although PEI has it's touristy activities which I am sure as our toddler ages we will take advantage of, visiting this family has a source of peace to it.  We take each day as it comes and don't overload.

 

I am not really sure how to define or explain that ease and peace that we find together but it's there.  As the years go by I am recognizing that the peace in togetherness and time well spent is so much more valuable then the next crazy adventure or the next task on my to do list.  

I left feeling refreshed & ready for the next wave of events and work.

 

LIFESTYLE | Lagom Lifestyle
lagom.byamygrace

This Summer I have been slowly working through this book and enjoying the beautiful aspects of what it means to live a 'Lagom' life.  Being a minimalist at heart and desiring a balanced life makes me more than open to this concept of "Not too little, not too much".

What I have learned so far:

Limit Work

In Sweden and other nordic countries working yourself to the ground is not something to be proud of.  You show up to work on time and you leave work when your work hours are over or leave early to pick up your children.  You put your full energy into your work when you are there and maintain attention and productivity but it is seen as a concerning and unhealthy habit to be working past your allotted work hours. 

Enjoy food!

There is no shame in having a 'Fika' moment as they call it: Coffee & a sweet with a friend (usually a cinnamon bun or other pastry).  Food is seen as a way to connect with others and nourish your body.  Diet is not restricted but is mindfully assessed and they especially enjoy taking advantage of what food is in season.

Move with Mindfulness

Movement and exercise is worked into their lifestyle.  Big on bicycles and early morning dips (morgondopp) the Sweden lifestyle is no stranger to cold weather.  They don't let that stop them from enjoying every season and reasons to get out there.   I use their joy for movement by finding every excuse to walk to the errands / places I need to be.  I may not be big on cycling myself or going out of my way to have a 'morgondopp' but I can start the day with yoga and stay mindful of what my day has to offer in various aspect of movement and adjust accordingly.

Embrace each season

As a Nova Scotian I find a kinship with the Swedish / Nordic lifestyle.  We have short Summers and long winters.  (or at least, it can seem that way) Looking at life through their eyes makes you realize how much more we can enjoy and find useful in each month of the year and how snow, cold temperatures doesn't have to stop us from enjoying both in and out of doors.

LIFESTYLE | A Wedding Shower
 Heidi Collins & Sean O'Briens Wedding Bridal Party Shower at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, NS.

Heidi Collins & Sean O'Briens Wedding Bridal Party Shower at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, NS.

wedding.shower.byamygrace.balloons

Being asked to host any event for people you love is a daunting task and it also a fun one.   You want to make sure that they have the experience and time they were hoping for and that the guests also enjoy themselves while being brought into the atmosphere.

We hosted this Wedding Shower event at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, bought some balloons & an emoji pictionary game off of Etsy and let the atmosphere take care of itself. 

What I loved the most about this event was how easy it was to enjoy the company of those who came.  The Stubborn Goat put us in the centre of everything which may seem daunting but it also meant we could easily get up, and talk with others and access the bathrooms.  As the evening turned into night the natural lighting gave way to the star like lights hanging from the high ceilings.  A truly magical effect. 

It is an honour to walk through this journey with Heidi.  She may be Jeremy's cousin, but for all intents and purposes she really was and is his sister.  So having the honour as a 'sister-in-law' to put together an event for her is one of the most precious and honouring of tasks.

Here's to many more opportunities to celebrate their milestones together.  

wedding shower.h&s
LIFESTYLE | Beach Days
walk.to.beach.byamygrace

When you grow up in a coastal city, the ocean becomes like the blood in your veins.  It is always there, like a heart beat.

Everything collapses on itself in the ocean.  Everything is stirred, pulled, mixed and churned. 

Everything is washed over.

We go to the ocean to be made new in some way.  

We are taking advantage of as many Beach Days as we can.  It doesn't take much.  Swimsuits, sunscreen, a few sand toys, towels, sandwiches, water, books & a healthy dose of a playful spirit.

beach.byamygrace
LIFESTYLE | Spring Toddler Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Center - Right Clockwise :  Fisher Price Doctor Kit |  Walmart,  Grey/white Lace Baseball shirt |  Carters,   White/Pink Star sneakers |  Zara,  Maya   | Indigo from Auntie Heidi,    Pink Tricycle  | Second Hand on Kijiji,  Jean Shorts  | Carters,  Blue and White polka dot Dress  | Zara,  Gaston/Antoinette books   | Indigo,   Purple Flower pants  | Auntie Jasmine & Uncle Tyler,  Blue and White Striped Pants  | Carters,  'Sea Ya Later' T shirt  | Joe Fresh from Grandma & Grandpa,  Flower Pants  | Carters from Mimi & Yeye,  White botanical Shirt  | Zara,  Girl Power athletic shirt   | Joe Fresh,   Bicycles & Balloons T.  | Carters,  Green Pets Pyjamas  | Carters,  Purple Bunny     | Gift from 'Cousin' Betty,   Dollhouse accessories  | From my 90's childhood stock pile. 

Center - Right Clockwise : Fisher Price Doctor Kit | Walmart, Grey/white Lace Baseball shirt | Carters,  White/Pink Star sneakers | Zara, Maya | Indigo from Auntie Heidi,  Pink Tricycle | Second Hand on Kijiji, Jean Shorts | Carters, Blue and White polka dot Dress | Zara, Gaston/Antoinette books | Indigo, Purple Flower pants | Auntie Jasmine & Uncle Tyler, Blue and White Striped Pants | Carters, 'Sea Ya Later' T shirt | Joe Fresh from Grandma & Grandpa, Flower Pants | Carters from Mimi & Yeye, White botanical Shirt | Zara, Girl Power athletic shirt | Joe Fresh, Bicycles & Balloons T. | Carters, Green Pets Pyjamas | Carters, Purple Bunny | Gift from 'Cousin' Betty, Dollhouse accessories | From my 90's childhood stock pile. 

It seems the bulk of this season was from Carters or Zara.  

For Zoë's third Birthday we were able to find an almost new tricycle that usually goes for over $60 and we were able to find it for $40..  She is also at an age of intense imagination and getting her the doctor set this spring really helped her with her fears of doctors and the unknowns.  It empowered her. 

We adore this blue/white polka dot dress and it is big enough that it will grow with her over the next few years.  

Having a toddler/pre-schooler with long legs and a slim body makes finding pants difficult but hopefully with the warmer weather we won't have to think about pants for a few more months.

This season was a fun one, to see our three year old daughter grow in her intellect and her imagination.   It's always fun to see these little capsules and how they captured those few months of her life. 

LIFESTYLE | Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Top Centre - Clockwise:  Grey Sweater wrap  |  Bootlegger,   Striped Hoodie sweater |  Bluenotes,  Zap Toner   | Saje,   Black Pleather Jacket |  Suzie Shiers,  Black Dress  |  Reitmens,   Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan   | Chapters,   Blue tank top  | Second hand on a road trip,  Sail boat pyjamas  | La Vie en Rose,  Candle   | Foxhound,   Black Workout shorts  | Winners,  Sketcher Runners  | Soft Moc,  Light Ripped Jeans  | H&M,  Bamboo Sheet Masks   | Innisfree ,   Pink socks  | Winners (Lemon) ,  Graphic T |  Threadless,  Brown Leather Keds |  Little Burgundy,  Black Camisole   | H&M,   Four Leaf Clover Knic Knack  | Chapters , Green Pants   | RW&Co,   Heart Beat necklace | a gift from a bestie , White Linen Shirt   | Old Navy,   White Yoga top  | Local Yoga Store

Top Centre - Clockwise: Grey Sweater wrap | Bootlegger, Striped Hoodie sweater | Bluenotes, Zap Toner | Saje, Black Pleather Jacket | Suzie Shiers, Black Dress | Reitmens, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan | Chapters, Blue tank top | Second hand on a road trip, Sail boat pyjamas | La Vie en Rose, Candle | Foxhound, Black Workout shorts | Winners, Sketcher Runners | Soft Moc, Light Ripped Jeans | H&M, Bamboo Sheet Masks | Innisfree , Pink socks | Winners (Lemon) , Graphic T | Threadless, Brown Leather Keds | Little Burgundy, Black Camisole | H&M, Four Leaf Clover Knic Knack | Chapters, Green Pants | RW&Co, Heart Beat necklace | a gift from a bestie , White Linen Shirt | Old Navy, White Yoga top | Local Yoga Store

What is that!?!?! Is that some green sneaking into my wardrobe!?!

With the purchase/find of these green RW&co pants I realized that I really do like this shade of green.  It's earthy and it adds another tone that matches so nicely with my greys, blues, whites and blacks.  I am thinking this is a tone in which I will continue to add more of into my various capsules.

I was able to add some much needed articles this season.  My parents thoughtfully gave me the leather jacket for my birthday (Which I had been aching for after my brown pleather jacket bit the dust after six years of wearing it all the time a couple years ago.)  A white linen shirt which is loose and yet feminine and gives me something relaxed to be in that still can be worn to work meetings or just around at home.   And that black cami, which is so much fun to pair with the pleather jacket, a knit sweater, or just a pair of jeans. 

Reading Crazy Rich Asians slowly has been a fun additive to my spring and that heart beat necklace from my bestie away was a great comfort reminder of her solidarity.  

Missing here is another gift of a bracelet with the word Tribe on it from another bestie, an extra yoga top , under tank tops, extra pyjamas and pair of jeans. 

Overall, these were the tried and true articles of Spring.  The additions fulfilled a lot of my last needs.  The gaps of what I still need each season are getting smaller and smaller.  Very soon it will be just about replacing much loved but worn items along with a meaningful accessory or two. 

I LOVE THIS capsule wardrobe thing!!!

Can ya tell?!?!

 

LIFESTYLE | Spring Favourites '18
spring.2018favs.

1. Innisfree Masks 'bamboo'

Not crazy over mothers day, so these masks from Innis free fit the bill for me.  Some simple pleasures to enjoy during busy weeks. 

2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am savouring this book.  Knowing it was coming out as a film this year, I wanted to make sure I had read it before going to see the film.  Crazy Rich Asians is a deep dive into the various dynamics of the modern Chinese culture around the world.  It is deliciously descriptive, hilarious in it's delivery and so relatable to anyone who is remotely near or in the asian culture.  Cannot wait to see the film adaption!

3. Life Factory Water Bottle

Getting my H2O is more enjoyable when I am drinking through my 'bubbles'.  Easier to keep track.

4. Champagne Bubbles DW Home Candle

I typically enjoy having a small candle on my desk to light when I am working.  I replaced one that was emitting too much scent with this little one from Winners Homescense.  What I love most about it , is that it literally is amazing in the dark, showing lots of different bubbles.

5. Essie Coral Nail Polish

This colour added so much fun to my wardrobe this season.

6. Loreal Boho Babe Nail Polish

As much as I like a good shade, this nude colour is great for anything. 

7. Saje Zap Toner

Never having toner I thought I would add this acne fighting toner to my repertoire.  Ever since stopping breast feeding last summer I have noticed my monthly hormones are less predictable.  

8. White linen button shirt from Old Navy

This cheap linen shirt was all I needed to complete many outfits.  This is a staple I will always maintain in my wardrobe. 

Also enjoying 

- The Americans : for the history, intrigue & incredible actors
- Chardonnay: for that refreshing warmer weather beverage
- Gourmet Burgers : for the thick patty with cheese, and interesting condiments
- Wildewoman by Lucius : for the swing in my step
- Having a fan on while we sleep : for the deeper sleep

LIFESTYLE | We Heal Together
 Forever singing over each other.  'We are diamonds, rising up out of the dust'. 

Forever singing over each other.  'We are diamonds, rising up out of the dust'. 

The past month has been full of challenges.  I have been and still am processing the weight that comes with wanting to 'go through it', instead of around it.  How do I journey this healthy?  How do I use these broken pieces of me and others and stitch them into something that could be healing?

Amidst the pain, a new life is born.  Our best friends are now parents and everything that is raw, tender, new and reborn has happened.  They are absolutely beautiful in their newness and the love is expanding.  We get to open our arms to more of them.  More of who they are.  Our little is witnessing what 'new' truly is.  

Amidst the pain another best friend visits.  He brings with him that grace and peace that has been hard to anchor and we are again reminded that healing is not a solo job.  Healing is a collective agreement.  Healing is a raising up of eachother. 

I woke up the next morning after his visit with those song lyrics "You Make Me Brave" in my mind.  

We are called to embolden each other.  We are called to enter into each others pain and questions.  We are called to hash it out in the safety of acceptance of one another.  Without that safety, we cannot heal.  

I had so easily forgotten.

This was my calling too.  

Over any of the doubts I carry personally and professionally. 

That I seek to create a safe place for collective healing.  For myself.  For others.

& it's in that healing that courage and bravery is found. 

 

 Tender moments with Uncle and this new little life.  

Tender moments with Uncle and this new little life.  

LIFESTYLE | When You're Ready
ready.byamygrace

"Do it when you're ready." 

Simple words sent in an email.  

Simple.  

Empowering.

This isn't a few words on 'self-care'.

This is just a simple quiet moment recognizing that maybe it's not that simple.

Maybe, 
a few more intimate conversations with people who want to hold you.
a few more lonely days working through the pain.
a few more empty conversations of meaningless pleasantries.
a few more journal entries.
a few more deep breathes.
a few more rallying nights wrestling with deep thoughts.

To get to where you need to be.

To do what you need to do.

To say what you need to say.

To be who you need to become.

because the simple truth has always been:

Everything within it's own time.
 

LIFESTYLE | Farmers Market
 A very small market haul in May.  A flat of eggs, jar of honey & sausages.

A very small market haul in May.  A flat of eggs, jar of honey & sausages.

For anyone who knows us well, they know we adore going to the Seaport Farmers Market as much as we can.  Normally, this looks like every second weekend, but not always can we make it that often. 

Why do we love it?

It's local.

Their are many markets in HRM.  For us, the Seaport Market became a habit, and we love knowing we are buying from local vendors to improve our own local economy.  It means we have a relationship with the woman who sells us our eggs and we know that guy who sells Susie's Cupcakes (a local bakery)  while we drool over them every time. 

It's culture

We are exposed to the many cultures our port city is blessed to have within it's core.  The German bakers, the asian cuisine and the Indian spices are just a few.  Mixed with that all to well known maritime food and music. 

It's fresh

Knowing I am buying from farms that bring their produce in from various places over Nova Scotia gives me a peace of mind and also an amazement over how differently they taste in comparison with the grocery stores imports.  Even something as simple as an egg from a local free range farm tastes completely different than from super store. 

It's community

Even though many of the people we knew who lived in the downtown core have since moved away , we still find it amazing the people from our lives we bump into.  The market has a way of creating enjoyment for everyone's tastes buds and ultimately, I love how connected I feel to my city every time we go. 

VARIOUS CAPTURES at the Market.

 Very much pregnant. 

Very much pregnant. 

 Winter/Spring Haul 2017

Winter/Spring Haul 2017

 Winter 2017

Winter 2017

LIFESTYLE | 29
29.byamygrace

No one tells you that the older you get the more you love yourself and the better life can be. Sure, there are always battles, trials and heavy situations to journey... but just having the opportunity to wake up and inhale a new day and get at life is an incredible honour. To live and breathe in fresh air is the biggest gift. 

If anything, I am journeying this last year in my twenties with a deeper sense of awareness of how much I have changed and become since turning 20. Amy then in many ways is foreign to me, and yet, the Amy now still has that core within her. I am still addicted to stories, musicals, raw emotional music and driving solo with the windows down and the volume turned on the loudest notch. I still dance and organize every inch of my life. 


Yet. 


I have shifted and learned more about what it means to be Amy. All of her. As she is. Without approval, affection, adoration. 


I have learned what it’s like to walk alone and yet not feel alone. I have learned to breathe and I have learned what my middle name really and truly means.  

Here’s to this last year of my twenties and whatever else they have left for me. 

LIFESTYLE | Third Birthday
z.lai.third.birthday

Three Years.

For three years Zoë has been changing the atmosphere around her and it was this past year that she took her expression and communication to the next level.  One day she was saying only a handful of words and still in diapers and the next she was retelling stories with description and using the bathroom like it was no big deal.  

As a parent each of these stages can feel like a lifetime.  Patiently being there for a little spirit with the right balance of encouragement, comfort, presence and peace.

We have always sensed that she held a lot inside and processed internally.  It wasn't until this year that we were able to truly see how beautiful it all was.  Zoë's ability to connect deeply with the world around her goes into a place that humbles me.

She is the spirit that deeply sees.

She is the spirit that deeply hears.

She is the spirit that deeply feels.

I am not sure what this all means as she grows, but what I do know it means in part, is that as parents Jeremy and I are called to be more vigilant with our actions and communication with each other and the world around us.  

To model what it means to feel all emotions with acceptance, presence and the knowledge that to live a deep and whole life, one must accept every layer of emotion.

Sometimes, I want to be selfish, have my own pity party and temper tantrum.  Believe you and me...there are days that I have a bubbling up of emotions that need to be dealt with and yet that is where she teaches me.  Her presence is teaching me that I cannot just let my own emotions and issues bubble over onto her, for that would do more harm than good, but that I seek a healthy and true processing release that allows her to witness these emotions in ways that models to her it is okay.

It is okay to be sad.

It is okay to be confused.

It is okay to be angry.

It is okay to be hurt.

It's how we process them, feel them, act on them and experience them within our lives and project them out to others that matters.

In our home I have put words on a wall, tucked quietly beside a light switch a reminder for us and anyone else who feels deeply.

"We have room for all of your emotions here."

I want that to be true for my daughter as she grows.  That her home is her safe place.  That her parents are people who feel lot's of things and who are not scared to process and journey through those feelings.

Three years seems like such a short time, but in three years, she has taught me more about how I express myself than any of the twenty-six years before.

 

LIFESTYLE | Spring Films
spring.films.byamygrace

The Secret Garden

A classic on all accounts.  There is a beauty in this version that comes out in the cinematography and music.  It transcends the medium and get's into your soul. 

The Importance of Being Earnest

The introduction to this film was given to me by a close family friend who is no longer with us.  The memory of her knowing that I would find this film exceedingly funny and enjoyable is one I like to revisit.  A classic Oscar Wild this is full of humour and complex story lines.  A lighthearted mood.

Father of the Bride II

A longstanding favourite in my family, Father of the Bride II has the same quality as the first film with an added double pregnancy to the mix.  Steve Martin and Martin Short are the best as a duo.  I could watch these characters for days.

Virgina's Run

Filmed in Nova Scotia it's hard not to love this movie.  With it's beautiful embracing of our coastal weather in it's cinamatography to it's beautiful choices in music, this film follows a young girl who wants to overcome her own personal pain and put it into her passion for riding horses, while still keeping her family happy.  If you you're a Nova Scotian by birth like me or never been, this film will make you fall in love with this place.  

Girls

When I watched the first episode I thought I wouldn't watch it anymore.  There was something gritty and too revealing about this show.  It was uncomfortable.  I was put off and annoyed.  I thought, I'll watch episode 2 and then leave it.  That's when I got it.  These 'girls' were me.  Different, sure.  But they were my age, asking the same questions and trying to find their place while mostly failing at it, and sometimes succeeding.  For me Girls was a banner show where I realized the lines can truly blur on how much you related to a character and how much impact characters can have on your life as you watch them grow and evolve.  I and my best friend grew along with Girls and when Season 6 ended and the show was done, it was bitter sweet, but I will ALWAYS remember those spring days watching or re watching girls in our pyjamas because the day just seemed too much to handle.  Girls took us from girls to Women.  

Secret Garden

My favourite Korean Drama.  A classic Freaky Friday moment occurs between a young man and a young woman who can't stand each other.  Something about each other not only intrigues them but they are now stuck together in order to find a way to switch back to their bodies.  It's a simple concept put into a love story that just has all the spring vibes and feels.  

 

Other Spring Films & Television

Thoroughly Modern Millie - Throwback 1920's musical in New York.
The Catch - Only two season of cat & mouse lovers with a light hearted tone.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The rise of the feminist character
Tuck Everlasting - Whimsical, bright, light and love ache.
Bambi - Animated with nature in mind.

LIFESTYLE | Spring Reads
IMG_2035.JPG

Spring Reads!!!

In a nut shell:

I Capture the Castle | Dodie Smith

For the spring romance and the whimsical way of describing life.

The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgosn Burnett

For the nature and beauty around us.

Peter Pan | J.M. Barrie

For the imagination and pure delight. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit | Beatrix Potter

For the child in us.

Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert

To shake us up, to inspire and absolute come alongside our own journey.

We | Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel

For the reminders of how we should treat each other.

LIFESTYLE | Winter Toddler Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Top Centre Clockwise:  Pink Striped Shirt |  Zara,  Taupe Dress |  Zara,  White winter hat |  H&M,  Winter jacket |  Joe Fresh,  Pink Boots |  Joe Fresh,  Pink Pom Pom |  Bib & Tucker,  White Cable knit sweater |  Carters , Grey Dream Big Shirt |  Carters,  Ice Skating Sticker Book |  Indigo,  White Cable knit Mittens |  H&M,  Winter Girls leggings |  The Gap,  Nordic Leggings |  The Gap,  Merry & Bright Shirt |  Carters,  Today Book |  Indigo,  Grey Zip Sweater |  The Gap,  Winter graphic shirts |  Carters,  Red Horse Pyjamas |  The Bay,  Water colours |  Micheals ,  Paint Brushes | Korea, Fisher Price Dollhouse people |  from my childhood,   Buiscuit Book series |  Gift from Great Aunt Susan and Great Uncle Neil

Top Centre Clockwise: Pink Striped Shirt | Zara, Taupe Dress | Zara, White winter hat | H&M, Winter jacket | Joe Fresh, Pink Boots | Joe Fresh, Pink Pom Pom | Bib & Tucker, White Cable knit sweater | Carters, Grey Dream Big Shirt | Carters, Ice Skating Sticker Book | Indigo, White Cable knit Mittens | H&M, Winter Girls leggings | The Gap, Nordic Leggings | The Gap, Merry & Bright Shirt | Carters, Today Book | Indigo, Grey Zip Sweater | The Gap, Winter graphic shirts | Carters, Red Horse Pyjamas | The Bay, Water colours | Micheals , Paint Brushes | Korea, Fisher Price Dollhouse people | from my childhood,  Buiscuit Book series | Gift from Great Aunt Susan and Great Uncle Neil

This was such a fun capsule to grow.  

From last year, her snow gear all still fit aside from the hat and mittens.  A quick jaunt to H&M for the next size up was all we needed to do to make sure she had all her snow gear ready.

Christmas pyjamas and a Christmas dress were a must for me to have for her.  There is something so special about having a special pair of pyjamas and a special outfit for the holidays.

For christmas, we gave her first shopping request.  The pink pom pom stuffy.  It took me by such surprise when she pointed to it and asked to buy it.  Of course this being in October when she saw it, I had so much fun tucking it away for christmas.  She and anyone who see's it gets a good laugh.

Another hit was her Dollhouse gift for Christmas.  Which, let's be honest was mine.  My mom stored my 1990's fisher price dollhouse and ALL, and I mean ALL of it's accessories.  Z has no idea how much more to the dollhouse there is.  Every special occasion we are gifting or rather 're gifting' the accessories to the house and she cannot get enough. 

"You play with my dollhouse with me" is her favourite phrase.

The zip sweater is a favourite as it''s easy to put on and off around the house and her little shirts have been fun to pair with her leggings. 

I have a feeling that not much will fit her next Winter length wise, but I do believe that the cable knit white sweater will still be carried into next winters wardrobe and maybe her Zara striped shirt.

LIFESTYLE | Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Top centre clockwise:  Reading socks |   Indigo ,  Darling Magazine. Issue 22 |  Darling  , Green Sweater |   Bootlegger,   Chrome Nail Polish |  Essie | Quo,  Naked Heat Pallet |   Sephora,   Bedazzled Gloves |  Gift , Innis Free Rose Mask |  Amazon , Blue Jeans |  The Gap , Thigh high winter socks |   Aerie  , Christmas Pyjamas |   Suzy Shier   , Plaid pyjama pants |   La Vie en Rose  , Romper |  Korea , Black turtle neck |  Winners,  Pleather Pants |   Zara,   Gold top |   Reitmans,   Grey Sweater |  MEC

Top centre clockwise: Reading socks | Indigo, Darling Magazine. Issue 22 | Darling , Green Sweater | Bootlegger, Chrome Nail Polish | Essie | Quo, Naked Heat Pallet | Sephora, Bedazzled Gloves | Gift, Innis Free Rose Mask | Amazon, Blue Jeans | The Gap, Thigh high winter socks | Aerie, Christmas Pyjamas | Suzy Shier , Plaid pyjama pants | La Vie en Rose, Romper | Korea, Black turtle neck | Winners, Pleather Pants | Zara, Gold top | Reitmans, Grey Sweater | MEC

This winter I embraced the hyggelit aspects of winter by focusing on warm and cozy item additions.  

For Christmas I received two cozy pyjama sets from La Vie En Rose, one pictured here, the pink plaid pants which came with a t-shirt that says "The Snuggle is Real".  The grey socks are a quick find at Aerie and another Christmas gift in the white reading socks.  I also found this beautiful green sweater from Bootlegger which I needed badly!  

These items really did add a comfort to the cold days! 

Not pictured here are the year round yoga wears with the addition of these Yoga Pants from Aerie (they were in the wash when I took this photo), tank tops for underneath shirts and a few carry over items from Autumn that I used in this capsule.

The other mention is the Naked Heat pallet I painstainkly researched and saved for.  I have not been known for makeup skills but over the course of the past three years have been learning more about products and what works for me.  These tones are my absolute favourites and I figured with youtube tutorials etc it would be a great way for me to embrace learning how to properly apply eye makeup using the right techniques and shading. 

LIFESTYLE | Faith Like This
four.leaf.clover.byamygrace

Once upon a time I believed that in a yard full of three-leaf clovers there would be at least one four leaf clover.  

I believed that I could find it if I just tried.  Despite the lawn mower trimming them all down, despite the surplus of them.  

Once upon a time, I considered that the thousands, if not millions of three-leaf clovers were a blessing.  For the more of them there were, the higher the chances of finding the one four-leaf clover.

I believed.  I trusted an inner knowing.  

It was more of a promise whispered in my heart.  If I looked for it, it would be there.  It might take a long time, but I would go and find it before the lawn mower was done it's job.

I mused aloud.  My mother shook her head.  Attempting at discouraging such a thought.  

"You don't just go and find one.  And they are all three-leaf clover.  You know that."

I knew that, but I also knew something deeper.  

That my faith in that one clover was bigger than a worldly truth.

So I looked.  With the lawn mower gaining ground on it's already cut grass.  I started in the uncut portions.  I sat and looked at each clover one by one.  

I don't know how long I sat there.  I don't remember. 

But I do remember finding my four leaf clover.  The one I knew that was promised to me.  

My sass has never left me and I admit I was proud to prove my mom wrong.  That I found one and I knew it all along. 

She was floored.  She dropped what she was doing and called her mother, she recalled that story many times to anyone who would listen.  She celebrated with me.  Over this promise I found.

And that is the thing with our faith.  It just has to be bigger than what we already know.  

And when God whispers a promise in your ear, you don't gaff at it, you listen.  You let yourself fill up with excitement and you dare to believe that this incredulous faith is all it takes for that promise to be fulfilled.

There are promises that may not be fulfilled in our time, ones that create an ache in our spirits we are not capable of understanding.

What is important, is not that we see every promise / hope that we have fulfilled, but that we live our lives with a faith that is hope filled, joy filled and grace filled.  

This Clover, for me, is a symbol.  That when it comes to the dreams I hold within my heart, all I am being asked of is to have a Faith Like This

LIFESTYLE | Favourite Things - Winter 2018
winter.2018 fav things.

I am not sorry Winter is coming to a close, but I do believe that digging into some Hygge values inspired me to enjoy the reasons for cozy and winter outdoor activities as much as I could.  

Kicking Horse Coffee

There is something about a warm cup of coffee when the winter blues is knocking.  A bit of energy and a reminder that some places are still warm, even if it is just your insides.

Aerie Yoga Pants

My two yoga pants were both cut off mid calf and didn't keep me warm when doing yoga in the wee hours of the winter morning.  These pants are stylish but long and keep my whole leg warm while I stretch for the day.

Jackson Figure Skates

 Now with a two year old, we were able to introduce her to skating and I had a chance to love my skates again.  SO thankful I invested in professional figure skates as a teen.

Moleskin Notebooks

Jasmine Alexander introduced me to moleskin notebooks years ago but I never knew how I would use them.  Then, I realized that I could use them for themed field notes: Here I have field notes for Spiritual, Professional  and Wellness life.

Essie Penny Talk

I adore this rose gold nail polish and it is a perfect pairing with festive parties and events.

Quo Best Dressed

A new addition this year, another chrome to add for parties and it really just makes me feel a bit edgy.

Newfoundland caramel sea salt Chocolate Bar

Finding a good rhythm for my work is a seasonal challenge, and I found this chocolate bar is a perfect item to have stowed away in my desk.  Every work session I allow my self 1/4 of the bar and replace it when it is gone.  Motivation is key.

Throw Back printed photos 

Getting our photos in order so that our little can pause and reflect on who her parents were before her was important to me.  Finishing the pre Z days little photo album of highlights was a great feeling and I can't wait to complete the 'Little Bedford Family' album this Spring and Summer.

Soft Moc Boots

The truth is, you don't know how wonderful a pair of boots are truly going to be until you are using them day in and day out.  These boots are still in excellent condition after buying them last year and I am thrilled to see how they make me feel during the autumn and winter months.

LIFESTYLE | Winter Air
winter.air.byamygrace

Getting outside during the winter can be an absolute slog and convincing battle, but there is something that happens when we get out for our daily "fresh air" that fills me inside and out.  It gives me a renewal and a clear mind.  

Is it the air?

The nature?

The way we bundle to stay warm?

Either way, it is a form of therapy and I soak it up.  I always feel clearer headed after fresh air.

And winter air does have a beautiful way of cutting into the heart of the matter and bringing us fully into the present.