30 March 2017

the watkins

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A couple of weeks ago now, I was asked by my cousin and his wife to do some family/maternity photos for them, and of course I said yes! They're expecting their second daughter at the end of May, and I'm so excited to meet the newest member of the family! We went into the woods around Royal Roads University, and lucked out with a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. It rains pretty much nonstop this time of year on the west coast, so we were so happy for nice weather.

I forgot how hard it is to take pictures of little kids, and Arabella was running wild for most of the shoot, but we managed to get her to sit still and smile for a couple shots, and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Not to mention those last two photos. We had the hardest time trying to convince her to hug/kiss her momma's belly. She finally gave in and as she put her little hands onto her mom's belly, the baby kicked, resulting in the sweetest reaction from Arabella.

Taking these photos really got my creative juices flowing again. Hopefully this is just the beginning of many more photoshoots to come!

29 March 2017

vancouver christmas market

Way back in December, before Christmas, Madi, Jessie, Laura, and I moseyed on over to Vancouver for a cute little Christmas day trip in the city. The main event we had planned was visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market, which was the cutest little Christmas market down by the water that reminded me so much of the christkindlmarkt that I visited in Vienna in 2013. We wandered around the market, drank hot apple cider, snacked on some churros and went for a ride on the carousel. It was such a sweet experience.

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Other highlights from the day included stumbling upon a fantastic little restaurant where everything on the menu costed $4.95. We were pleasantly surprised by the great service, good food, and decent serving sizes for our less than $5 meals.

We also did some shopping, wandering, and day drinking, and really just had an all-around great time.

I love these girls and that city.

06 February 2017

christmas in the blossom park pad

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I'm so beyond late posting these photos, but our first Christmas in The Blossom Park Pad deserves a post of it's own, so here it is! One of the best parts of having my own home now is decking it out for each holiday or special occasion.

Neither me or Madi spent Christmas at home this year, so we didn't get a big tree like we had originally planned. We did, however, decorate our little baby tree with lights and ornaments, and I think it turned out pretty dang cute. 

The day these decorations had to come down was a very sad day indeed. 

05 February 2017

a year in review {two thousand sixteen}

This post is so late now that I really considered not even posting it. But 2016 was a big year and I love having these "year in review" posts to look back on, so here I am, in February, summarizing all that 2016 was to me.

Where do I even begin?

2016 was one hell of a crazy year. More hell than crazy, to be honest, but wasn't it like that for everyone? 

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The year started out pretty rough. I've already touched on this in a post, so I won't go into too much detail here, but depression kicked my butt for the first few months of 2016, and it's taken almost the entire year to recover. 

Once March came around, and I had started to come out of the fog, I had made the decision to ditch Nanaimo once and for all. I needed a fresh start and I needed my best friend, so I decided to move to Victoria. Madi and I were well on our way to moving out into our own place by April. We house hunted for a couple of weeks, then moved into The Blossom Park Pad on May 1st. We lucked out with the sweetest little basement suite. We have the best landlords and it's in such a great area. I love our little home so much and couldn't imagine a better first place of my own. 

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2016 was the year I started, and dropped out of, college. On May 2nd, a day after moving into our new house, I started the Spring semester at Camosun. I spent most of May and June studying chemistry equations and drinking coffee by the gallon. I nannied the sweetest little boy in the mornings before I went to school, and I had a good little routine going for me.

The semester was over by the time July rolled around. I started nannying another little boy for a different family and started working at Shoppers Drug Mart on evenings and weekends. Most of my summer days nannying were spent in coffee shops, at parks, or at the beach, and it was really nice to have a job that took me outside every day.

August brought with it an amazing trip to California where I visited my sister for the first time in almost three years. It was a much anticipated trip and I was so happy to be out travelling again.

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School started back up in September, and by October I was drowning in algebra equations. My classes were going really well despite the heavy work load. By November, something snapped though, and I had an epic mental breakdown. I ended up dropping out two weeks before finals, which seems a little nuts to me now, but it just goes to show how messed up my mental state was in those days.

I have absolutely zero regrets of dropping out. The second I stopped going to classes, I felt infinitely better and more at peace. School just wasn't right for me yet, and that's ok.

We also got a cat in November. We rescued a 6 month old tabby from a local animal shelter, and named her Olive. She's the best little cat in the whole world and we love her so much. I can't even remember what our home was like before she was in it.

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In December, I quit my job at Shoppers and spent a week over Christmas with my family in Vancouver. I haven't spent that much time with my mom since I lived with her when I was seventeen, and it was so nice to have so much quality time together.

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And that's 2016 for ya! It was a complicated year with lots of issues, but it also held lots of exciting new things, and a lot of good memories. I'm happy to put the year behind me, and hopeful for a better year in 2017. So far, 2017 is off to a much better start.

18 November 2016

summer in socal

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Way back in February, in the midst of cold weather and funky feelings, I hopped online and booked a summer trip to California for just over $200.

By the time August rolled around, it had been nearly three years since I'd visited my sister, and after working crazy amounts of hours all summer, I was in desperate need of a vacation.

I packed my bag, hopped on the ferry, and started my adventure to the golden state. The feeling of peace I felt on the ferry right over to Vancouver was unforgettable. I stayed outside on the upper deck, warm wind blowing in my face, and enjoyed the sunset as the ferry moved out of the bay and out into the open sea. It was so calm and quiet, and I was beyond excited to finally be out travelling again after a year of staying put.

The majority of this trip was spent exploring new parts of California that I had never been before. We stayed in Big Bear Lake and ventured down to Lake Arrowsmith for a day, and my goodness, that part of the state is so gorgeous in the summer. We rode gondolas up the mountains for remarkable views of the lakes, and whipped down the mountainside on bobsleds. We rented a boat to cruise around Big Bear Lake on my last morning there, and took turns driving around and purposely crashing into waves, wanting to get sprayed to cool off from the warm summer heat. 

Before we headed to the airport for my evening flight, we stopped at Venice Beach for a walk on the boardwalk and to hit up our favourite hole-in-the-wall pizza joint for a slice. We walked down to the water to dip our toes in, but it was so beautiful and inviting that me and my sister ended up crashing around in the waves in our clothes. 

As I was waiting to board my flight in LAX, I was sandy, sun-kissed, and sad to be leaving my sister and this glorious trip behind. 

I think that's the best way I've ever left California- sandy and sun-kissed.

I can't wait to visit again soon. Summer in SoCal is way up there on my list of favourite things.