Posts tagged summer
LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019 Pre Schooler Capsule Wardrobe
Top centre - Clockwise :  White Cat Marie - Aristacat  | Gift from Auntie Heidi,  LOVE Swimsuit   | Joe Fresh,   Anchor Hat   | Fluffy Bottom Babies,   Rainbow Overalls   | Carters,   Water Bottle  | Gift from Yeye from trip to Hong Kong,  Puppies Sticker Book   | From Indigo for PEI road trip,   Star Sneakers   | Zara,   Whale  | long ago gift from Auntie Nicole,  Black Shorts   | Joe Fresh,   Rain Boots   | H&M,   Mermaid Pyjamas   | Carters,   Jean Shorts   | Carters,   Jean romper   | Carters,   Fingerling key chain  | gift from family friend,  Mermaid t-shirt  | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole,  Donought t-shirt     | Carters,   Mermaid   | Fluffy Bottom Babies

Top centre - Clockwise : White Cat Marie - Aristacat | Gift from Auntie Heidi, LOVE Swimsuit | Joe Fresh, Anchor Hat | Fluffy Bottom Babies, Rainbow Overalls | Carters, Water Bottle | Gift from Yeye from trip to Hong Kong, Puppies Sticker Book | From Indigo for PEI road trip, Star Sneakers | Zara, Whale | long ago gift from Auntie Nicole, Black Shorts | Joe Fresh, Rain Boots | H&M, Mermaid Pyjamas | Carters, Jean Shorts | Carters, Jean romper | Carters, Fingerling key chain | gift from family friend, Mermaid t-shirt | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole, Donought t-shirt | Carters, Mermaid | Fluffy Bottom Babies

Summer seems to be the season where we stick to our main few outfits on rotation. With hot and sticky days that go between 28 - 35 degrees the last thing you want is to regret dressing your child in something that is either too hot or just way too inconvienent.

New to Her

The Mermaid shirt, a second hand find from Auntie Nicole a.k.a Little Thrifted Closet was gifted to Zoë & she ADORES it. It’s lightweight and perfect for all that summer sweating.

Auntie Heidi also brought back a Disney stuffy ‘Marie’ from the Aristocats and Zoë has been carting it around ever since.

Still Going Strong

The H&M rainboots are still perfectly sized and should do us at least until the end of this year. They are great quality.

Whale was away for awhile while we dealt with renovations and a bug problem. He has since had his spout fixed and is sealed up for more cuddles on the couch.

Time to Go

LOVE swimsuit from Joe fresh is becoming too tight, before the end of this year we will have to find a new swimsuit.

Various T-Shirts that became too small / tight over the summer.

*Not picture here a two dresses and a beach cover up that Zoe wore off and on along with a few spare t-shirts that either were in the wash when this photo was taken or were already too tight by the time the summer was ending.

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019 Favourite Things
summer.19.byamygrace

This summer flew by fast for me. It didn’t feel as if I had enough time to truly enjoy the weeks of warmth, but I was able to find a few favourite things…

Strapless Romper

Aerie has become a place I reference when I am looking for something cozy and within my style. Finding this romper has been the staple of my first summer as an official ‘thirty something’. I adore it. It makes me feel completely comfortable, while also feeling very 100% me.

Anne of Green Gables 1985 Series

This Television Movie Series has been with me my whole life. I don’t remember when I first watched it and I don’t remember it ever not being in my life. I remember that my mother had it recorded on two VHS tapes. They were stored in her vanity drawers. Sacred tapes that weren’t out in the “kids” ‘free for all’ cupboard downstairs. At first, I remember it was something she brought out in the summer time and as the years passed I remember being able to sneak into her room and pop it in whenever inspired. This is a timeless adaption and I love coming back to it over the years.

Champagne Toast Candle

A simple single wick candle from Bath and Body Works. I love the name & the simple sweet scent.

French Affair Essie Nail Polish

Pink is a hard colour to fall in love with for me. It’s a colour of my youth and yet I am learning to find which shades of pink can follow into my adulthood. This is one of those colours. It’s electric, sexy and so much fun to wear.

Photo Album #2

Completing our second family album wasn’t easy during such a busy season, but I did. & so glad that Zoë can flip through our memories.

Summer Anthology

I have a thing for seasons and this collection has a way of bringing the words and the atmosphere of the season together.

With A Twist Kate Spade Dish Towel

Nothing says Summer more than this.

IKEA Glass Food Storage Containers with Bamboo Lids

Adoring IKEA’s glass jars with bamboo lids for the ‘finally’ renovated kitchen.

Glass White Pen

A bit addictive to write on all the jars in our kitchen.

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019 Playlist
playlist.summer2019.byamygrace

Summer is the perfect time for a good mixed tape.

Here is what I am listening to this season

Summer 2019 Playlist

Stand outs

Heavy | Bird Talker

Entering into summer I am feeling a sense of curiosity and joy of what is to come after so many months of slogging through some tough personal decisions. Investing in others and finding a way to connect on deeper levels through the summer months of sun and salt water.

Counting Every Blessing | Rend Collective

This version of Rend Collective’s song, (with the ukulele) is a lovely light hearted song about staying thankful and grounded in what remains true. A perfect ‘drive to the beach’ song.

I’ll Be There | Jess Glynne

This song has such a great vibe and I love dancing to it with my daughter.

I Found You | Alabama Shakes

Blues Rock brings me right back to blues dancing until 2am on sticky hot summer nights in my early twenties. Something about this type of music takes you straight into your core and summer nights is when I listen to this the most.

Mamma Mia | Mamma Mia Soundtrack

Does this even need an explanation? A summer musical song for the car rides.

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019
Bedford basin.

Bedford basin.

and here we are in summer…

How did this happen I wonder? It’s as if I fell asleep as the spring rain begun, awoke with the trees in full bloom and our loft filled with humid air once again.

I enjoy preparing for the turn of the seasons, but I confess, this season there has been less preparation and more of a treading water while I wrap up the ever running list of action items. They haven’t all been attended to in time, but a feeling of satisfaction for what has been dealt with lingers with me today.

I am approaching the summer with a bit more intrigue.

Personally

we are over half way done a kitchen renovation. Getting close to putting the counters in gives me hope and interest on what is to come once we have it finished (meaning a functioning kitchen, I’m no sucker, I realize this won’t end anytime soon) and how we will celebrate the hard work we have slogged through doing it mostly (90%) ourselves.

Professionally

finishing up a short documentary with Claire Fraser (adding the last segments along with colour grading and music) while also taking on a new roll as a ‘Women in Film and Television Atlantic’ board member. It all leaves me very curious and intrigued over the next few months.

I am welcoming curiosity into this next season of my life and I wonder where summer will take us?

LIFESTYLE | Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2018
summer.capsule.2018.byamygrace

Top Centre - Clockwise: Blue tank top | Frenchies, Blue / White striped Dress | Banana Republic, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan | Indigo, Blue T-Shirt Dress | The Gap, Blue dress | Second Hand from Jasmine Alexander, ‘Faux’ Lipstick | Mac, ‘There in Heartbeat Necklace’ | Bryan Anthonys from Jasmine Alexander, Blue Tank top | Modcloth.com , Folded up Black romper | The Gap, Sleep Aromatherapy Body Cream | Bath and Body Works, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop | Bench, White and Yellow Striped Scarf | Indigo, Starfish Keds | Softmoc, Nutragena SPF moisturizer | Shoppers Drug Mart, Joggers | Roots, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser | Sephora, Green Shorts | The Gap, Tribe Engraved bracelet | From the bestie Nicole Payzant, Jean Shorts | H&M, Off White Jersey Summer Dress | H&M, Lagom Book | Indigo, White silk Tank | Bootlegger

BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE….

Can you tell what colours I like by now?

This summer I finally felt like I had a fully well developed capsule wardrobe to pull out for the summer.

What I Added

Banana Republic Blue Striped Dress : Bought for the purpose of wearing to the Wedding Shower I was hosting as a Maid of Honour, and for any future special summer events that happen in our coastal city / atmosphere.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Tank : I wear my two yoga tops on a weekly rotation and one is loosing it’s appeal, I thought adding something motivational and different for my ‘spring/summer’ workouts would be a great boost and also practical way to get me motivated.

Roots Joggers : I looked high and low. It could be that I was looking in the late spring into summer, but even still the joggers I found for women were either too cheap / thin in fabric or had insane detailing that ruined the look. I do not want ‘rips’ pre-made into my joggers thank-you….let’s leave those for the girlfriend / boyfriend jeans! Roots joggers although expensive on the outset, I imagine, will last me many years. They are plush, cozy, durable and make me feel attractive. There are many a rainy day or Sunday early writing morning that I don’t want to be in jeans or yoga pants. These are a great alternative, & admittedly, my husband is glad that I am not stealing his joggers to wear on a damp day!

H&M dress : insanely cheap. This jersey dress cost me about $18 give or take , has pockets and flows perfectly. Being short in stature with ample sized breasts, most dresses that hang without some sort of form to it make me look pregnant, but this one doesn’t! It has just the right shape to indicate my body shape underneath and also just enough flow to feel like I can be out and about with a more relaxed posture.

Bootlegger White silk Tank: I bought this knowing I wanted it for work occasions. Although it is a bit low in the cleavage area I have found that when I wear it, I only have to be aware when I am bending down and in awkward positions. Of course, being a mom, that seems like all the time, but wearing this to events has been a a confidence booster. White in the summer is such a breeze.

What I am thinking of letting go of

The blue dress that Jasmine has in my closet that we have shared through out the years has a slight rip near the top of the back. I am reticent to get rid of it, even though I know it is not fixable (The fabric is sheer there and just not worth my time to fix it, although this specific dress has certainly given Jasmine and I years of wear and memories.)

What isn’t pictured here:

Swim suit, flip flips, runners, workout shorts, pyjamas.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Favourites 2018
summer.fav.18.byamygrace

Succulent Terrarium

We made a terrarium a couple years back but (SOMEONE ...ahem... not me...) over watered it, so we had to dump it.  This late Spring early Summer we started anew with these beautiful new succulents from The Flower Shop.

Beach Towels

Since 2011 we have been using old Beach Towels of mine and Jeremy's parents.  This year I waited for a sale on these Luxurious oversized towels at Bed Bath and Beyond.  No regrets.

China Rich Girlfriend

#2 in the Crazy Rich Asians Series, this book lives up to it's expectations.  Funny, true and insightful.

Beach Rocks

Collecting beach rocks is a way of anchoring ones soul to the ocean.  Hopefully this year I will get around to painting these.

Starfish Keds

Walking everywhere in these shoes.

Morning Breeze by Juke Ross

Something about this song gets to me.

"Take all your things and take the past with you, Your selfish ways I cant wait to loose. I'm… With the morning Breeze, I was right by your side But your arms released me, now I'm flying high..."

Lagom

Reading this book during the summer months has been a sort of meditation.  Remember not to take life so seriously and take it one section at a time.

Yellow Striped Scarf

I have had this scarf since 2010 from Indigo, and it continues to inspire me in the summer months.

Aromatherapy Sleep Body Cream

This is an affective cream for calming the senses.

Other favourites:

The Good Place - For the extreme laughs & character development.
Mad Men - Re-watching this series is so much more impactful at age 29 then when we first watched it.  Let's be honest, 10 years ago we watched it for Don Draper (Jon Hamm), now, with new eyes we watch it for Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss)
S'more Dip - For that seasonal snack
Nova 7 Wine -  This one in particular
 

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 | Summer 2017 Toddler Capsule Wardrobed
From top centre - clockwise:   Hat |   Carters  , watering can & tools |   Indigo,   Bunny Skip Hop Backpack |   Indigo,   Heart swimsuit |   Joe Fresh,   Canada Outfit |   Joe Fresh,   Heart Pants |   Children's Place,   Sandles |   Joe Fresh  , Lace Shoes |  Zara,  Jean Shorts |   The Gap,   Lace Top |  Korea,  Green Sunglasses |   Carters  , Blue & White Flower Romper |  Joe Fresh,  4 Calico Critters |   The Bay,   Canvus bag |   Chapters/Indigo,   Pineapple Guy | Gift from  Auntie Nicole,  Potty Time Book |   Indigo.

From top centre - clockwise:  Hat | Carters, watering can & tools | Indigo, Bunny Skip Hop Backpack | Indigo, Heart swimsuit | Joe Fresh, Canada Outfit | Joe Fresh, Heart Pants | Children's Place, Sandles | Joe Fresh, Lace Shoes | Zara, Jean Shorts | The Gap, Lace Top | Korea, Green Sunglasses | Carters, Blue & White Flower Romper | Joe Fresh, 4 Calico Critters | The Bay, Canvus bag | Chapters/Indigo, Pineapple Guy | Gift from Auntie Nicole, Potty Time Book | Indigo.

Summer is that time of year where you spend the least amount of time in any clothing that sticks to you.  It also, for us, was potty training season and this meant that our little 'Z' spent most of her time pant-less.  If we were home, she was usually just in a t-shirt or dress. (not pictured here are 3 dresses that she grew out of and we are not packing away.)

These are the items she spent the most time in this summer minus one dress that is pink, that is featured in her Spring Capsule of this year.  Many of the items she had from last year and still fit.

My personal favourites are her new shoes from Zara which opened in Halifax recently, her backpack, and blue romper that I wish she had worn more (potty training & rompers don't go together.)

 

LIFESTYLE | Last Weekend of Summer
endofthesummer.byamygrace

It's no secret that I love seasons.  That idea of a season changing and bringing something new.  I love seeing what three months can bring and finding ways in which to celebrate them.

TO CELEBRATE:

We had a few friends in, ate a skillet of S'mores, BBQ sausages and other snacks.  We caught up, shared laughs and walked down to the water to light some sparklers.  It was simple really but in life, it's the simple things that count. 

Celebrating summer is more than just a reason to have a party, it's a reason to reflect and look forward on what is to come.

Here's to you Summer and every little lesson you gave me.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Films
summerfilms.byamygrace

I used to own a ton of movies.  Now, with Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. and living a minimal lifestyle it seems less necessary.  

I paired down my DVD film collection over the years and decided that for me, I only will pursue owning copies of musicals.

Musicals are not just a collectors item for me, but also a passion.  I adore the art form of musicals and I am in the practice of re-watching musicals more often than a non-musical film. 

With that as a disclaimer.  Here are my Summer Film recommendations from our small collection at home:

1. LALA LAND

New this year, a musical which is an absolute dream for anyone who grew up on 'Singing in the Rain' and everything 'old Hollywood'.  I adore Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and was completely caught up in the tale of two people trying to make their dreams happen.  Set in the 'love it or hate it' L.A., the best time of year to watch it, is when you too, are sweating on your couch with the fan blowing.  Another day of sun anyone?

2. MAMA MIA

Another summer musical set in Greece with everything 'Summer Love' and hilarity in the mix.  It's the perfect mother / daughter summer evening date.  Lemonade anyone?

3. FATHER OF THE BRIDE

Classic rom-com with the focus on the fathers inability to relax and let live.  Martin Short and Steve Martin have a way of keeping me in stitches every time I watch it.  EVERYTIME.  Also... there are some tears to match the comedy.  Tissues anyone?

4. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

Maybe it's being set in the Caribbean that makes it perfect for summer or maybe it's my memories of watching this film with my cousin during summer sleepovers.  Our fingers covered in dorrito crumbs, burping from the insane amount of pop and gummy worms we inhaled.  Either way, this one is a summer movie of nostalgia for me.  Doritos anyone? 

5. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

From childhood this series was always watched in the summer.  Being maritimers only a skip and a hop away from Prince Edward Island, our connection with Anne is deep in our veins and of course every single line of this Made for TV movie series has been memorized forwards and backwards.  Raspberry Cordial Anyone?

 

Films I don't own but would re-watch for summer time

- The Notebook
- The Parent Trap (1997)
- Singing in the Rain
- Then & Now
- Finding Nemo

LIFESTYLE | Summer Reads
From my Bookshelf.

From my Bookshelf.

It's no secret that I adore reading and I adore the changing seasons.  

Surrounding my home with little bits of seasonal decor / items keeps me feeling fresh and renewed daily.  It's a trick I play on my anxious spirit and I love how it grounds me.

For the Summer these reads already on my bookshelf are the perfect fit for hot days in a hammock, on a beach or even curled up on the couch while it rains. 

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery


Being a Canadian east coaster means this just comes with the territory for summertime.  Not only is summer the time of year we visit the Island but it is also the setting of most of this classic book. 

The Help - Kathryn Stockett


Not only is this a rapid read, but it is deep and comical.  I have a hard time with books about racism, the war etc.  Mainly because I find they leave me greatly affected and sad.  Which, of course is important and something I believe any piece of artistic work should aim to do.  Reveal truths and be raw.   But one isn't always in a place where being deeply saddened by literature is desired.  This book brings such a great literary addition to my library.

The Nest - Cynthia C'Aprix Sweeney


You either love it or hate it, and I LOVED it!  Maybe it's the way this writer makes everything feel classy and absolutely real at the same time, or maybe it was the ending.  Either way, family dramas are always a win for me.  I read this quickly.

Better Than Before - Gretchen Rubin


I read this last summer alongside my Aunt and underlined the heck out of it.  Reading about personality and characteristic tendencies is a great discussion tool and there was nothing like sitting on my Aunt and Uncles porch with white wine while my toddler napped discussing our own traits in the summer heat.  Reading this book and the conversation around it is one of my favorite summer memories. 

LIFESTYLE | Summer Mindfulness
summer.mindfulness.byamygrace

Making space.

At the beginning of the summer I wrote down my three values this season.

Writing.  Beach.  Water

Three things.  

Somehow I keep finding ways to sabotage them.  Be it adding another responsibility to my list, saying yes to something I felt obliged to say yes to.  Make my weekends busy with to dos when I could have been at the beach, the list is endless.

Before I enter August, the mid way mark, I want to honour myself and these three values.  Because clearly I haven't done it yet.

How?

 

When I review the upcoming week ask myself, is what is filling my days and time reflective of these three values, writing, beach and water?

If not, then do what needs to be done to postpone, delegate, renegotiate but do this every Sunday.

Begin each week knowing that I am honouring these things.

Every season has it's needs and goals.  This summer I need to respect myself and these values long enough that they get heard. 

UPDATE | Summer of Writing
summer.writing.byamygrace

This Summer I am minimizing distractions and focusing in on two specific projects.  This means a lot of time at my desk and a lot of time learning formatting programs and editing skills.  

Both of these projects are women centred and focus on highlighting women through story, history and project creation.

I will be updating on my progress here and starting in July, monthly newsletters.

I am aiming to develop two specific pieces that bring multi-dimensional women to the spotlight and in one project specifically, to give a voice to how personality stereotypes limit our understanding of ourselves and others.  

Women supporting women isn't just a hashtag, it's a force to be reckoned with and I hope that as I bring life to these two pieces I will be able to align this work and myself with women who will breathe life into it and me.  

Heres to the ones who dream.  

 

UPDATE | Summer Writing Space
writing space.byamygrace

"WRITERS ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE
Never take a writer for granted.
They are snipers armed with words.
They know how to aim with sentences.
How to fire with paragraphs, and
how to immortalize their kills in verse."
- Nakita Gill

I am heading into a summer of writing and spending a lot of time in here.  

Currently, I am getting it ready so that my focus can be maintained in this space.  Minimizing clutter, reviewing notes and making sure that even the candle I light is exactly the type of scent that will inspire me.  

These may seem like simple silly things, but I am an atmospheric writer.  I write best when I set the stage.  Past posters of two of my plays above me to remind me that I have done a thing or two, pictures of two women who have seen me through the worst and the best, an ampersand ornamental to remind me that there is always more to come and a fluffy mat for my bare feet in the early morning or evening.

For my deep and fun loving toddler, I have an Ikea table and chairs, with various creative elements and toys at her disposal.  The IKEA cart with various supplies 'crayons, play dough, paints, colouring books, etc).  Daily we come in here and practice what it means to give your creative self a ponder.  

Next time, I will show you my desk at a closer look when I have the appropriate camera to capture it.  For now, this will do.