packing for our honeymoon.

Wednesday, September 30

honeymoon // tops

This time last month we were in Ireland. le sigh.
It still gives me butterflies reminiscing on our honeymoon & I cannot wait to share our trip deets soon enough. Firstly though, let's talk clothes! This was the first trip ever that Steven and I packed all of our things together. We took two suitcases, one large & one carry-on, plus a backpack (thanks, Diana of 204 Park + Harlow High Street!) and my two favourite totes: an absolute classic & a canvas one with the sweetest message. Even with our largely neutral wardrobes - cheers, black + white + grey - and my trusted packing rules: similar colours + classic outfits + shoes matter, do believe me when I say we used all the space we had.

Alright, so, up on top. A sweet friend gifted me that wifey tee and it was one of the first items this happy new wife tossed in the suitcase, cliché et al. We knew our destination weather would be mostly hot & humid so I also tossed in every crop top I own (a wild total of four) for good measure. And no matter the weather, always pack a scarf! You just never know how absolutely freezing an airplane will be or when you'll need to keep your hair from going frizzy in the rain.

honeymoon // delicates
honeymoon // swimwear

I hate bras. TMI? *shrugs*. But seriously, at the ripe old age of 25 I am still waiting for the boob fairies to remember me so, until then, me & my As are gonna rock the heck out of lacy bralettes, sans underwire. The second half of our honeymoon called for beachwear and I was happy to oblige. See, a few years back I jumped off the bikini train & landed in a pile of high-waisted wonderfulness. I was the odd one out on the beach for a while but I felt confident as heck in my '50s getup. Do what suits you, gals (pun intended)! The kimono I packed as a beach coverup was the same one I wore while getting ready on the morning of our wedding (not ^^^ that ^^^ one, the link one).

honeymoon // dresseshoneymoon // bottoms

Dresses + honeymoons go together like Nutella + spoons. In July, I found a simple grey-blue maxi dress on the Zara sale rack, then proceeded to live in it all summer long. That LBD is the best H&M purchase I've ever made; I own it twice in black + once in royal blue. After getting caught in a downpour in Paris, we did have to buy some warmer clothes so I added the 93rd pair of black cigarette pants to my collection. As far as shorts go, I'm not really a fan of denim, which makes me thankful for the breezy, pattern-happy look that was oh so trendy this summer.

honeymoon // shoes

Never underestimate the power of a good shoe! I swapped out fancy heels/wedges for gilded, custom-made (!!!) flats ordered from Poppy Barley, a shoppe local to my home city committed to ethically manufacturing luxurious (and affordable) leather footwear. I own three pairs & cannot wait to grow my collection! On a different note, those black Nikes will be my first & last pair. After just one day of wandering Paris, my feet were aching. I really don't know how people run in those. Thankfully, my Birks and a oh-sure-toss-'em-in pair of strappy sandals saved the rest of the days.

And there you have it!
The pieces of my wardrobe over our two week, three country, six city long honeymoon.
Stay tuned for a bunch of semi-blurry iPhone pictures of the actual outfits!

tops: 1 // 2 // 3 + 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 + 8
layers: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
delicates: 1 + 2 + 3 // 4
swim: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
dresses: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 //
bottoms: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
shoes: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

* due to the rather archaic nature of my closet, many of the items
 I brought on our honeymoon are no longer around to be purchased
 in stores. If I couldn't find an item, a like one was used or linked.

a girls weekend.

Friday, September 25

Coming at you live from YVR! Hi, weekend, and hello, Blog Podium! YAY! I flew in last night, met my dad & stepmum for dinner (padre is also in town for a conference, though not one as fun as blogging: mining. uhhh?), then promptly fell asleep fully clothed atop my duvet. While I wait for the rest of my gals to arrive this evening I'm swinging by Poppy Barley's PopUp to pick up my newest pair: made-to-measure slip on oxfords. They are the ruby slippers to my Dorothy. And a cute side note: do any of you remember Katy Keene from Archie Comics? I burst out laughing when a friend sent me ^^^ that ^^^ paper doll picture and a note that read: 'I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU GET TO BREATHE THE SAME AIR AS JILLIAN HARRIS. Also. Is this how you packed but all in black and white?'
Seriously, my gals just get me. And now, some weekend internet reads :)

// A list of all the attendees of Blog Podium 2015 (!!!)

// Every tip ever for life in a tiny apartment.

// This Vanity Fair article gave me baby fever. Very well dressed baby fever, mind you.

// Do you believe in Mercury retrograde? *raises hand* Here, how to make the most of these crazed days.

// So far, this book is amazing. It is also heartbreaking, painfully hilarious, sad, happy, & so very real.

// On finding the perfect city (a secret: I'm not certain I ever will).

// Washable cashmere? Heck yes! Four Kit and Ace outfits that are perfect for autumn.

// Here is what happens when you toss half of your wardrobe.

// A home tour that had me moments away from booking a flight back to Paris.

// How to create writing habits, you know, if you must.

//You can (finally) Follow my blog with Bloglovin !!!

// My dear friend, Janine, launched her redesigned blog this week!

all the feels for blogging + Blog Podium '15.

Wednesday, September 23

Happy autumn, friends!
My favourite season arrived well before the equinox, as it usually does, and I have welcomed it with open arms. I love this time of year; the way the air feels, the vibrancy of the colours, the mellowness that takes over after those hectic summer months. What has completely caught me off guard, however, is the fact that September is nearly over. I don't mean that in a blinked-and-missed-it-all sort of a way; it is more so just a conscious note of how preoccupied my mind has been. I'll be the first to admit to having bitten off a tad more than I can chew with regards to coursework this term. And lately, there is a quiet, aching sense of homesickness than has taken up residence in my mind. Thankfully, though, my calendar is covered in happy distractions to balance out the absurd amount of textbook readings & paper reviews I've so diligently committed myself to. The first of which is Blog Podium (!!!).

Sometimes I find it difficult to articulate exactly what it is that leaves me all goo-goo over blogging. There is a plenitude of aspects that are enjoyable - the creativity, the narrative, the thoughtfulness, the dedication. Oh, and that sense of accomplishment every time you hit 'publish'. Each is important, yes, but even all together, they aren't everything. The everything is the community; it is the women I've met since first starting a blog in 2011. I won't keep you long on the corner of sappy street & heartfelt lane, but it goes without saying that all of the inspiration, guidance, laughter, "yes, you just get it!" moments, and good, good vibes that come from this blogosphere really have bloomed (and are blooming) into some of the most genuine friendships in my life. Laugh if you'd like but there is something nearly magical about the way you can grow a connection via the internets, then meet for that coffee or yummy dessert or at a networking event and feel entirely like old friends. Admit it, it's pretty neat.

Anyways, back to the fabulousness that is taking place this upcoming Saturday: Blog Podium! Certainly one of the highlights of this year's conference (aside from the gathering of like-minded bloggers! ahhh!) is the location: hi there, West Coast. Vancouver is just a hop-skip-jump away. I remember getting more & more excited as I watched the list of local attendees grow - bloggers, creatives, companies! Needless to say, I am looking forward to soaking in some serious internet wisdom, developing new connections (aka putting voices to the twitter + instagrams @s I've come to know daily), and learning a thing or two in the photography department.
Plus, there are six of us #yegblogpodiumsquad gals sharing adjoining rooms - Breanne, Janine, Nicole, Kristina, Diana, and myself. Doesn't that have bathtub full of chilled vino, definitely not enough space for all the clothes, selfies galore, & '90s dance parties written all over it? It's gonna be good. AND, at 25, I finally have a 'business' card with my name on it - say what?!

More upcoming happy notes: I am finally scribbling some posts about our honeymoon (thanks for the shove along, K!). I also have another little series on the go; it is full of warm fuzzies & good stories. Then, the hubs is coming to visit over Thanksgiving weekend. I am secretly hoping he brings the cat. And, a month from now, I fly back to Edmonton to witness our sweet friends' wedding! So like ... whatever, school.
I may not be too cool for you, but the spare time I do have is filled to the brim with the good stuff.

[ mug // Anthropologie  - day planner // Merci - crazy talented art // Justine Ma Design ]

a happy weekend.

Friday, September 18

From now until mid-December I have no commitments to be on campus on Fridays and the plan is to toss those textbooks in my weekender every chance I get. So, hi there, #YEG! I flew in last night, woke up next to my hubs this morning, and all feels right in the world. One of my little brothers is also flying in for a visit so while us four kids are in the same city at the same time (a rarity!) we're taking our mom out for an early birthday dinner. I am hoping to go for a morning run through the river valley - this photo was all the convincing I needed. We've also planned a good old fashioned movie night in. You know: popcorn, way too much candy, some vino, our two silly pets, & lots of warm blankets. It feels good to be spending a long weekend's worth of time with my people. What are you up to? Here are some links to enjoy!

// Keeping blog posts organized can be challenging. This DIY planner is really helping.

// A mesmerizing video by a talented, mindful animator.

// If you'd like to get to know the city in which I was born & raised a bit better, start here.

// My grandma lent me this book and I quite like it so far.

// A fellow classmate is documenting her research on yoga, university classrooms, & learning.

// I have one particularly bad habit that I am consciously trying to break.

// Scandal is amazing & I want to drink wine just like Olivia, even if it's wrong.

// 6 Tips for Overcoming Travel Anxiety (written by my home city gal, Nicole).

// I think I have finally found the perfect oversized camel coat.

// This was the first song to play after we were pronounced husband & wife! He chose it; I love it.

[ photo via this blog; a beautiful space & an interesting article]

our wedding weekend, via our iPhones

Tuesday, September 15

That right there is the last photo I have of us before we became husband and wife. It was taken in the parking lot after our rehearsal dinner, when we snuck away from our bridal party (whom were all working together to fit two 30" balloons into the back of a vehicle: serious hilarity, trust me) to have just a few moments to ourselves. We were giddy & teary-eyed & still laughing over the events of the evening.

Hi there, one month anniversary of marriage (!!!). Somebody hand us a bottle of bubbly and some star stickers. I went for a run & to class in one city and Steven went to work & the gym in another city. It really kind of sucked. We're the first to admit to clicking through these exact photos, the ones that'll probably never leave our iPhones, when we find ourselves particularly lonely and unable to chat. Soon enough, I know we'll be face timing (or maybe we'll luck out and be sitting side by side!) as we click through our pro, drool worthy wedding photographs, but for now these gems are what we have to match to our memories of the happiest day of our lives.

Here are the three whole photos I have from my morning as a bride. The gals, my sweet bridesmaids, are incredible women - suffering through my beloved '80s films, creating stunning bouquets (Margo, I heart you & you amazingly talented, wonderful soul), eating leftover doughnuts, and getting entirely glamorous. Even now, it makes me smile to hear how relaxed everyone felt that morn'. And me? I felt oh so at home amongst my ladies.

Not one of these snaps were taken by moi - props to the hubs! Look at those selfie skills! Each of our venues and photography spots (a small local art gallery, a historic hotel, a family friend's private residence, & an eclectic restaurant, all in the heart of our beautiful city!) were breathtaking in their own way and complete reflections of the two of us.

I swear that black square is a photo. In fact, it's a special one. Laying in our hotel bed, we snapped one last photo on our wedding day. The timestamp is the very best part: 4:43 am. We danced until the sun nearly rose, took a longer-than-expected stroll back to our hotel, devoured pizza & laughed until we cried in our room, then made our debut as a married couple by singing one of my bridesmaids a very happy birthday in the morn'. That, my friends, is how a wedding is done. 

breakfast muffins.

Monday, September 14

Everyone, say hi to my hubby, Steven!
( My love, thank you for supporting your wife's blogging, you patient man ).
And thank you for actually writing down your recipes so they can be shared. He never does that and it drives me nuts. Think about it! What if it tastes so, so good one time & then you can't remember next time what you added last time and then it never tastes that good again?! The terror, I swear.

Anyway, here are two extra healthy, entirely gluten free breakfast anytime muffin recipes!
My in-laws always send us home with the freshest produce from their small town garden and after we've had our fill of stir-fries, Steven looks for other ways to use those veggies up. Hence the additions of shredded carrots & zucchinis - howdy, 10-12 servings of greens a day!

(makes 20 muffins)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1/2 grated unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrots

- preheat oven to 350F
- mix bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, protein powder together
- stir in quinoa flakes, zucchini, carrots
- stir in chocolate chips
- scoop batter into lined muffin pans
(or in 'piles' on cookie sheet)
- bake for 15 - 18 minutes
- devour !!

(makes 20 muffins)
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 eggs
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 banana, mashed
2 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
1 cup grated carrot

- preheat over to 350F
- combine dry ingredients in a bowl
- in a food processor:
- add eggs, honey, vanilla, coconut oil / pulse to mix
- add dry ingredients to wet bowl / pulse to mix
- let mix sit for 3-5 minutes
- add apple cider vinegar, banana, veggies to bowl / pulse to mix
- scoop batter into lined muffin pans
- bake for 20 - 25 minutes
- devour !! (and keep leftover muffins in the refrigerator) 

And there you have it! Two batches of deliciousness & one cameo by our feline sous chef, Clark! 

a quiet weekend.

Friday, September 11

September will forever be my favourite month. It has little to do with my birthday and much more to do with returning to school, the changing colours outside, & the reconnection to a routine after the busier summertime. Since moving back to my 'uni town' (as my baba calls it) on Tuesday, I've mostly settled in. The closet has been organized, the meals prepped, & I managed to pop by the campus bookstore early yesterday morning to pick up the last of my textbooks. That leaves the next few days to be spent devouring the last of my summer reads & going on a few long walks.

What have you got planned? Here's some light reading to start you off well & good . . .

// Feeling pretty confident that this is the perfect flourless chocolate zucchini muffins recipe.

// Wise words from a fit genius in my home city on literally moving through stress.

// The very real difference between blogging and writing.

// Behind the scenes photographs from one of my favourite film sagas ever!

// If we were to honeymoon in the '50s, a surprise trip would be it!

// "Today, the tree stands as a reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth."

// A truly inspiring woman and creative mind turned 80 yesterday.

// Two guides for packing for a n y w h e r e !! Travel Light + Pack For Where?

// And I'm planning to live in this sweater for the entirety of fall.

// Well, safe to say my new favourite day of the week is whine Wednesdays.

// Kristina reads really good books & writes really good reviews.

// Truth be told, our favourite meal in Belfast was here.

[ photo via this tumblr, a constant source of happiness for book lovers everywhere ]

taking stock // September

Thursday, September 10

I am a words gal, through and through. It's funny actually. A part of my wander back to blogging happened when I noticed the scribbles below my 'gram posts becoming so much lengthier. I could legitimately see myself trying to tell each story of each little square on that curated grid. It's always been a hard thing to balance (for myself anyway) in this social media savvy world: the urge to capture a moment from behind a lens & the absolute wonder that comes along with just soaking it all in. Words are my happy in-between. I can stand in awe of where ever my feet are and quietly memorize. Then, later, I pull out a pen and commit it all to another sort of memory; the way the air felt, the way the people moved, the way that cool metal wrought iron looked just like lace trim.

So here are some words on all the current feels. Taking Stock.
I have dedicatedly read Pip's blog since 2011 and am so happy I still do.

Writing: lists, as usual.
Cooking: breakfasts!
Reading: It's What I Do & This is Happy at the same time; heavy but goooood.
Wanting: one of those big, fluffy, blanket bath towels.
Looking: through our honeymoon photos, over & over & over.
Drinking: more tea, less coffee.
Playing: James Bay on repeat.
Deciding: to prioritize wisely.
Wishing: my hubs was here. Okay, and the pets too.
Enjoying: the feeling of writing again.
Waiting: (impatiently) for Blog Podium at the end of the month (!!!)
Liking: this pace, right here and now.
Wondering: if this whole 'morning person' gig will stick.
Loving: the subtle hints of fall.
Browsing: property listings ... but not where you'd think.
Watching: Scandal! how was I so late to this party?!
Hoping: and trusting in this path. 
Marvelling: at how fast this summer flew by.
Needing: more sleep.
Smelling: essential oils.
Wearing: socks + slippers. hi, chilly fall air. 
Following: all of these inspiring Pinterest boards.
Noticing: the thoughtful changes marriage has brought to our lives.
Knowing: twenty-five is going to be just as good great as twenty-four.
Thinking: it's due time for a hairstyle change. Parisienne fringe? I think so.
Admiring: a close friend's strength.
Sorting: through the archives of my old blogs.
Buying: flights home.
Getting: organized for the semester ahead.
Bookmarking: wool coats for winter.
Giggling: over Virgo horoscopes.
Feeling: patient. 

this is us.

Tuesday, September 8

On my twenty-fifth birthday, my gift to myself is blog. Again x2 (the blog, not the birthday).
For the third time, I'm scribbling away on a little corner of the internet, writing out a story that is special just to us. Okay, maybe to our moms too. And probably to my gals, who always dedicatedly read ... usually. So, without further ado!

My name is Aislin. My husband goes by Steven.
We are newlyweds as of just a few short weeks ago (!!!).

Let me begin by saying our first year of marriage does not look to be what either of us ever would have guessed. I am finishing my degree in one city while my husband & our two pets remain in another city (my home city, his adopted home city). We did this same long distance rigamarole last year too. It was lots of things; lonely, stressful, oddly hilarious, sad, happy, strange, and really, an adventure for us both. This time 'round we have wisdom + experience on our side, and while we're being truthful, because that's what you do on these internet pages that everyone gets to read, we've lucked out with a  very real case of newlywed elation paired with that honeymoon stage giddiness.
Bring it, long distance, we're ready for yah.

While discussing this upcoming year and what its purpose was, what the intentions of yet another chunk of time spent apart means for our lives, we somehow circled back to the importance of having writing in my life. Since I was little, I've always kept a journal (usually two or three at a time). Over the years, I've scribbled short stories and scripts and notes and thoughts and yes, blogs too. Writing is my solace. After more than a few heartfelt talks about priorities, routines, and rituals, the sparkle that would be our little blog began to twinkle. Like it says, this is just another place written as an ode to us; our marriage, our travels, and our tribe, plus his really yummy recipes and my never ending lists.

So, you know, hi! Bonjour!
Welcome; cozy up, stay a while! All those good things.

Here's to the first few words of the very first chapter of Mr and Mrs L.


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