Posts in Lifestyle
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.   

LIFESTYLE | Winter 2018 Playlist
Winter.playlist.18.byamygrace

Being a 90's kid, I grew up with that mixed tape concept.  


I also grew up in a pentecostal church.  My exposure to music started from day one and although it was predominantly praise and worship music, music of all kinds became my love language and how I still connect with that secret place in my spirit.

Unbeknownst to my parents (at least I think they were unaware?) I spent endless amounts of time making my own mixed tapes from the radio.  Country, rock, pop, classical.  I borrowed CD's from the library tasting everything from Enya, Billie Halliday, Avril Lavigne, Soundtracks from The Princess Diaries to Titanic, broadway musicals....  I had a thing for Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Doris Day, Duffy, Solitudes series, Lifehouse and Disney...

As I live my life, there will always be a mixed tape/playlist to go along with the season.

Here is my latest.  

Winter 2018 Playlist
 

LIFESTYLE | Cocooning
cocooning

For anyone higher north of the equator this time of year tends to be darker, colder and ultimately a dip in our natural vitamin d exposure from the sun. 

Natural Winter State

A friend so perfectly put it:

"I am cocooning like crazy!" 

Instead of fighting the cocooning why not embrace it?  

Embracing the Cocooning

1. Sitting in the sun by my window and reading whenever possible. 
A beautiful underrated healing act for the soul when everything around is dark and wintery.  

2. Reading Sherlock Holmes aloud with my husband.
One cannot read this series without hearing the staccato clinical and British tone.  Fun for anyone who likes to read aloud.

3. Doing a puzzle.
My mom has many of the puzzles my late Nanny had done.  Borrowing a wintery theme and picking away at it here and there is a simple pleasure.

4. Facetiming long distance besties and even close ones while cozy.
Thank god for FaceTime.  Nothing like getting tea/coffee/hot chocolate and a snack at hand and having conversation with friends.

5. Exercise videos inside.
Popsugar Fitness, Blogilaties, Yoga with Adrienne are all exceptional workout content online for FREE!  If it's too much of a drag to bundle up for the cold, move your hot tush inside.  Your body will thank you. 

 

A few out of house ideas:
- attend a hot yoga class
- Eat at a favourite pub/Hyggelit restaurant
- Bundle and walk in nature with a hot beverage
- Ponder and wonder in a local library.
- Visit friends in their comfort zone.

LIFESTYLE | Winter Films
winter.films.byamygrace

Films & Television best watched in Winter from my collection:

Parenthood

This series ranks one of my all time favourites.  Coming from what I consider a larger family in todays North American Culture I found myself identifying with the insanity and coinciding love that occurs within family dynamics.  It's realistic, sentimental and perfect to cozy up to on a cold day.

Annie

There are many versions of Annie the musical now, but for me it will always be this.  Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks to me is the best representation out there.  This is where my love for acting arrived.  Seeing this as a kid made me feel like I could learn to act and sing someday.  (spoiler alert:  I did! ;) 

Little Women

Is there any question?  So many women I know watch this around Christmas time.  It encapsulates that beautiful girl hood festive feeling , yet still carrying a strong feminist message.  I love everything Marmie is in Susan Sarandon and of course, Wynona is a perfect Jo March. 

The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe

The snow.  Just watching this beautiful magical story will be reason enough to watch this during the winter season.

The Phantom of the Opera

It's eerie, it's mysterious and beautifully played by Patrick Wilson, Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.  It is beautifully captured in film! I spent endless months of my life singing to this soundtrack, which is currently making a comeback in my playlists.

 

Other films & tv not from my personal hard copy collection:

The Lord of the Rings - For the Sega.
A Little Princess - For the tears and beautiful message.
Frozen - For the modern animation lover who just has to 'Let it Go'
Ice Age - For those wishing to laugh at an animated sloth
The Crown - For the history and the cinematic vibes.
The Americans - For everyone wishing they were undercover just like this family.
Home Alone - For the classic Christmas lover.

Theres too many to list...

 

 

LIFESTYLE | Winter Reads
winter.reads.byamygrace

From my personal bookshelf:

Little Woman - Louisa May Alcott

A classic fiction that is full of nostalgia, womanhood and festive vibes.  This is one to pull the reading socks on and warm cozy blanket over with.

The Little Book of Hygge - Meik Wiking

Also being a book I would choose for Autumn, this one carries into Winter as well.  I enjoyed reading this in sections over the cold months.

Year of Yes - Year of Yes - Shonda Rhimes

With the winter brings a New Year and it's the perfect time to get inspired by Shonda's experiment with looking at life with 'yes's' instead of 'no's' in a healthy way.

The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin

Another great kick start to a new year, Gretchen offers a different experience for every month of the year.  A perfect monthly devotional of sorts.

The Artists Way - Julia Cameron 

For the artists or artists-at-heart who wish to journey their way into creativity.  This book is not only used in many university art courses as a work book but also used by many professionals in the world to shake up their perspective about themselves and the world around them. 

LIFESTYLE | Toddler Capsule Wardrobe Autumn 2017
   Clockwise from Top Centre:  Toddler Jackson Figure Skates with Guards -  Second Hand,  Madeline Pyjamas -  Really amazing friends at a Baby shower , The Spirit of Christmas -  Indigo , Bird Tree House Shirt -  Zara , Red hooded jacket -  Second hand from my years of toddler life , Kitty Pyjamas -  Carters , Socks -  Carters , Beige Pants -  Carters , Hair Bows -  Carters , Lazy Caturday -  Carters , Pink Joggers -  Zara , Shoes -  Zara , Puppet Mouse -  Mimi & Yeye from Europe , Jeggings -  Carters , Grey Graphic Shirt -  Carters , Lace dress -  Baby Shower gift , Cable Knit Sweater -  Carters

Clockwise from Top Centre: Toddler Jackson Figure Skates with Guards - Second Hand, Madeline Pyjamas - Really amazing friends at a Baby shower, The Spirit of Christmas - Indigo, Bird Tree House Shirt - Zara, Red hooded jacket - Second hand from my years of toddler life, Kitty Pyjamas - Carters, Socks - Carters, Beige Pants - Carters, Hair Bows - Carters, Lazy Caturday - Carters, Pink Joggers - Zara, Shoes - Zara, Puppet Mouse - Mimi & Yeye from Europe, Jeggings - Carters, Grey Graphic Shirt - Carters, Lace dress - Baby Shower gift, Cable Knit Sweater - Carters

This season Zoë grew out of every pair of pants, her arms and belly were coming out of almost every shirt.  As the Autumn progressed, it seemed we only had a few options that would keep her warm. 

Zara arrived in Halifax around this time and we found with much surprise that the pants were able to be adjusted to the waist of the child and the clothes were just the sweetest take on childhood. I fell in love with their designs for children.

That being said, I am a big believer in 'less is more' so we didn't go crazy.  We bought 2 pairs of pants pictured here and put one aside for Christmas, a shirt and a pair of better fitting shoes.  

Wanting to capitalize on the seasons and the activities that a family can participate in, we found these perfect Jackson Toddler Figure skates on Kijiji in our city. In perfect conditions and with Guards!  Being a later learned 'figure skater' , it melts my heart to see her learn how to skate and no matter what interests she takes up as an individual, I am just so happy to see her learn and explore them. 

After a summer of mostly no pants (potty training) it was a joy to find clothes and outfits for her again, even if a bit of a financial strain.  

This capsule truly captivates our littles life this past season and it excites me to keep doing them!

LIFESTYLE | Autumn Capsule Wardrobe 2017
  Clockwise from centre:  White & Gold Tank -  Bootlegger  , Apple Bourbon Candle -  Foxhound Collection , Brown Felt Hat -  Indigo , Denim button shirt -    Banana Republic   (technically my husbands...but I like to wear it too) , Green Dress - Second hand -  Jasmine Alexander , The Little Book of Hygge -  Meik Wiking,  Sherlock Holmes Book, Dark straight leg Jeans -  The Gap , East Coast Lifestyle Hoodie -  Psuedio , Charcol Grey Sweater -  MEC  , Black Pleather Pants -  Zara , Plaid Pajama Pants -  La Vie En Rose , Autumn 2017 Darling Magazine -  Darling.com , Black Sheer tank top -  H&M .

Clockwise from centre: White & Gold Tank - Bootlegger , Apple Bourbon Candle - Foxhound Collection, Brown Felt Hat - Indigo, Denim button shirt - Banana Republic (technically my husbands...but I like to wear it too), Green Dress - Second hand - Jasmine Alexander, The Little Book of Hygge - Meik Wiking, Sherlock Holmes Book, Dark straight leg Jeans - The Gap, East Coast Lifestyle Hoodie - Psuedio, Charcol Grey Sweater - MEC , Black Pleather Pants - Zara, Plaid Pajama Pants - La Vie En Rose, Autumn 2017 Darling Magazine - Darling.com, Black Sheer tank top - H&M.

 


Keds.


These brown leather keds were being sold at Little Burgundy at the Halifax Shopping Centre.  The moment I saw them I fell in love.  What is not to like about these Keds?  They match perfectly with Jeans or black pants or basically any outfit you want to give a taste of sophisticated casual to.  


Black pleather pants.
 

Bought from Zara. I have learned to love the way different fabrics and textiles compliment eachother and I noted how amazing a leather texture mixed with other fabrics can be.  It's endless fun.


White & Gold tank.  

I love highlights of chromatic tones, so it was a no brainer when I found this top from  Bootlegger.  


Autumn


was a crisp blast and I found a lot of growth in this season.  Personally, professionally and even stylistically.  It's been enlightening to see how my wardrobe has shifted with it.  How worn pairs of pyjama pants had to be tossed, socks got holes in them, legging tights worn through from not enough care and what new items make their way in to curate and cultivate a style that gets worn daily.

LIFESTYLE | Quality Over Quantity
qualityoverquanity.byamygrace

Quality over quantity is never a bad thing.

In all aspects of life this rings true.

We crave that meaningful moment. 

The more I focus on quality the more I find meaning in my life.  Quality time with my friends and family is more important than spreading myself thin for them.  Quality clothes are more important than a full closet of clothes that wear out fast.  Quality food that nourishes the body and soul, rather than food that just fills the moment of emotional desire or is cheaper to buy. 

However one spins it, there is a beautiful surrender when we start to let the quantity fall away and the quality rise up.  

 

LIFESTYLE | The Weekend Brunch
weekend.brunch.byamygrace

There is nothing like a weekend brunch with good friends or family. 



It's the quality time, the exhale, the sip of coffee while the sun comes in the windows.

Over the years I have learned that a brunch is an opportunity to connect on a different level.  It's the beginning of the day and our minds are in a different place than if it was evening.  One of us was going to work, little Z would eventually have a nap and I was definitely whirring with week planning and weekend chores.  

It's that soft music playing in the background, that showing off of toys as the 'little' proudly and sneakily makes a tower.  It's that reflection on our favourite TV Shows and hints at our dreams.

I'll forever be sliding these moments into our lives because I love them.  I love seeing beautiful moments happen amidst the weekly grind.

The Weekend Brunch is a beautiful thing.  

 

LIFESTYLE | Autumn Reads
 Straight from my bookshelf..

Straight from my bookshelf..

I don't own as many books as I read, but I do hold close the ones that I want to reread and enjoy on a seasonal basis.  

The best reads on my bookshelf for Autumn:



The Little Book Of Hygge - Meik Wiking

I had been eyeing this book in bookstores for over a year and decided it was the perfect book to read throughout the colder months of this year.  So far I have been loving the little headings, delightful layout and various descriptions and ways to create a more Hygge lifestyle.  This is a yearly re-read.

A Study In Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

A big fan of all things Sherlock Holmes I bought these books this year for Jeremy and I to read together.  So far I am enjoying how the cadence of the book is so intone with the setting and characters.  It is a delightful mystery read.

The Hound of Baskerville - Arthur Conan Doyle

We have not yet gotten to the second instalment of Sherlock Holmes but I have no doubt that it will be just as enjoyable.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

You either love or hate this book.  I loved it.  I loved how it challenges readers to think about society and the way we pit groups of people against others just in how we perceive them.  This was a rapid read for me.  

The Giver - Lois Lowry 

Another read that I missed in school and read as an adult with Jeremy.  We thoroughly loved how this dystopian world was crafted and the way it challenges readers to think about how control affects us as a society.  

The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins

All thrillers are fun to read this time of year with Halloween and everything getting darker and more mysterious as a season.  I couldn't put this book down and although you either love or hate this book I ADORED it.  I found it's plot twists were great and although I could sense where it was going it kept me guessing if I was right or wrong the whole time.  This novel is as entertaining as it is an open dialogue about the way narcissistic and controlling people try to alter the truth for their own purposes.  

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

The classic Autumnal read!  Jane Eyre is creepy and enticing as it is sensual, vivid and profound!  Jane as a character is an incredibly strong and capable woman with a belief in her own ability to pursue value in life and is absolutly swept into romance with Mr.Rochester and his mysterious past.  This is a prime example of a woman from the 1800s writing past her time.  Charlotte brings us a woman who has depth, integrity, insight and tenacity along with compassion, history and desires past "whats wrong or right".  This is by far my all time favourite novel.  

LIFESTYLE | Crisp Walks
 From the best little nook along the Bedford Waterfront.

From the best little nook along the Bedford Waterfront.

This weekend didn't start the way I thought it would.  I saw an expanse of good weather and I conjured up many different outdoor family activities.  In the end, little Z came down with a bad cough and congestion, and we ended up pouring the majority of our Saturday into keeping her happy. Not as sick as she could have been, but definitely not the kind of sick we would want to expose to the wind and chilly air that has creeped into our little part of the world.

Instead of going for a family walk like I had imagined, I woke up Sunday morning and went on a solo walk.

It was crisp, sunny and fresh.  Sometimes in those solo walks we find pieces of ourselves we forgot about.  Just in the quiet of our own mind.  I tend to listen to podcasts or music while I walk and even while I was listening to a podcast, I found that the space of being my own person out in nature was a refreshing experience.  

Don't get me wrong.  I walk in nature a lot.  Just not often alone anymore.

Shared or solo, crisp autumn morning walks are a beautiful thing. 

Little nook.byamygrace