weekly (un)wind: forever young

Above from the top: (1) Family time (2) Bestie birthday party celebrations (3) Jeff's sister makes beautiful cakes (and cupcakes) in the Ottawa area! (4) Patio time. Yum!

Jeff left for Vancouver last Monday morning, and it's definitely been a learning curve for me. I'm far from being the perfect housewife! Cooking and cleaning tumble to a more permanent spot at the bottom of the to-do list more often than not. When Jeff left, all of a sudden my shortcomings became a bit more noticeable. Never having lived alone, I'm appreciating some independence to learn to do things for myself. He gets back later this week (5 more days babe!), and we're very excited to have August to catch up and enjoy the rest of the summer.

I had the opportunity to do a 36 hour getaway to Toronto last week to see Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake at the Rogers Center. During the encore, they performed "Forever Young": I was with a girlfriend, sweating and smiling and singing out "forever young/I want to be forever young" and so were 35 000 of my closest friends. I love when you have a moment you know you're going to remember for the rest of your life. That was definitely one of them!

Recently I've learned that no money in the world, no material item, can replace a moment or a memory. Going forward my "fun" money is much better invested in experiences. So much more meaningful!

This past week I've been brainstorming and planning like crazy for a big project I've been working on. I feel like I always have multiple projects on the go, but I love to be busy. Taking a leap of faith is scary, and so is hard work, but I feel ready.

That's my weekly update! I am loving the scorching hot weather and am looking forward to sitting by the pool and spending time with Jeff's nieces and nephew this upcoming weekend.

To give me time to produce a fantastic list, I've decided to include links with my weekly unwind only once a month. Below are my links for July!

- 5 ways to make some extra money (!)
- A conversation about scrapbooking: also, this unconvential approach to scrapbooking. One of my new favorite hobbies!
Passion projects: what are they, and why should you have one?
- What should I read next?
- A roof with a view - Rooftop bars around the world 
- The joy of making physical things
- Adorable summer prints
- Watch the first Instagram video trailer
- Summer recipes: fish taco bowls & lobster and potato salad
- Not sure how I feel about this project yet
- Check out this preview of the new Marc Jacobs beauty collection for Sephora
- Turn any quote into a masterpiece
- This charming short film made my day
- It's hard to resist temptation: an engaging article about willpower 

And this month I'm coveting..

- this adorable necklace
- this popsicle coin purse & these matching earrings
- these cute and colourful tea towels
- my home needs this cheeky doormat

Happy Thursday!


weekly (un)wind: I Believe in Maniacs

This is what I woke up to this morning. Jeff made me my favorite meal (Who am I kidding? Every meal is my favorite meal!) and served it to me on our patio! Spending time on the patio with Jeff is one of my favorite summer "day off" activities. I wish we had the opportunity to do it more often.

Jeff is leaving on Sunday to do some traveling for work. Being together for 4 and a bit years, this will be our longest time spent apart. We're trying to take advantage of all of the together-ness we can until then!
Finally some flowers (and much needed colour) near our building! A big celebration as we've been surrounded by construction since we moved in.
Missing Mexico right about now! Our friends have come up to visit the past two weekends and we had fun reminiscing. We exchanged memory cards and it was fun to see some new pictures (like the one above at the Mayan Ruins!) Although Ottawa is having a total heat wave right now, I could do with some relaxing beach time - Somewhere far, far away preferably!
 Last week Jeff and I went to some second-hand stores. It's become the only place I shop for books. You can't beat the prices! I found the above and couldn't help cracking a few open and taking myself back to my pre-teen years.
Ottawa's biggest music festival (arguably one of Canada's biggest festivals, at that) is taking place right now. I absolutely love going to Bluesfest. The atmosphere is comforting: so many good memories are associated with it. I've been going ever since I hit my teens. Great food, drink and music. Oh, and always great company. My close friend and I hit up Sunday night to see a stellar performance by Tegan and Sara.
Tegan and Sara 
We got all bundled up expecting a torrential downpour. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised with a pink sunset. Perfect night for live music!
I came across the above quote on Gala Darling's blog. I truly believe you have to do work you are passionate about. I love taking my work home with me: coming up with creative ideas and incentives to better my business is something I thrive on. Constant growth contributes to my happiness at work and is something I look forward to on a daily basis.

"I wouldn't wait for Monday. I don't believe in weekends."

Happy Wednesday!


Stuff My (boyfriend) Listens To

Today is a work day for me. The busiest of the week!

If I had the day off, the following is what I would be doing:
Eat from one of our (new) food trucks in downtown Ottawa
Listen to the new records Jeff and I found when we were shopping this week
Re-organize my closet and wash all my makeup brushes
Lie by the pool and read my book

Instead, I made up for it with the following summer mixtape. While I (pretend) to be doing all of the fun activities I listed above, I'm listening to these songs. They're mellow and light. It's feel-good music - happy and carefree!


So, pack a picnic and go enjoy this beautiful Saturday. Maybe bring along my playlist so a piece of me will be out enjoying the day as well!

(side note: Jeff wants me to make it very clear that he does NOT listen to Robyn. Ha. I love the 90's!)


weekly (un)wind: Canada Day Festivities!

Growing up I was on the shy and more introverted side, which is why it surprises me that as I've gotten older I've come to be quite sociable! In fact, in the last year I've realized I just can't say no to any sort of social gathering. I love doing dinner, drinks, movies, coffee, planning (and attending) small and large parties alike and especially any event that revolves around dancing and getting silly! 
Red and White Wine Sangria
Living in Ottawa, Canada Day has always been a huge celebration for Jeff and I. His parents have a big and beautiful backyard (equipped with pool and tiki bar), where we invite all of our family and friends for an all-day party, ending the night with fireworks and sparklers.

It's a great way to kick off the summer months, and has become a fun tradition that's created lots of memories!
Parliament Hill on Canada Day! Celebrating in the nation's capital.

 "And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."
The Great Gatsby
It's always sad going back to work after a long weekend, but I'm looking forward to an exciting and action-packed July!
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