Thursday

Solar storms are the best kind of storms!


Living in the far north has inspired my new found love of astronomy. 
Every day I check the space weather website to see if I'll get to see any auroras at night. 

This past Tuesday we witnessed one of the craziest light shows you could ever imagine. According to my trusty space weather site, a coronal mass ejection (a huge blast of solar wind) hit the earth, causing the incredible swirling auroras we got to see.

This is what it looked like right above our little apartment...


 The colours were so intense, and my neighbours and I just stood there in complete awe looking up, as the lights whirled across the sky at incredible speed... I wish I had taken a video instead. Photographs really don't do it justice.


And after about 20 minutes, it all just disappeared, and it was just a normal night sky again...
but honestly, I can't stop thinking about it!

Next time I'll take a video to share with you all : )

Friday

Have a glorious autumn weekend!


Today is the first day of fall, and it feels right to move on.
We've been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, and it's time for us to move on as well. 

Today we start the big drive back up north
We've been living in the north for just under 3 months now, and so far it's been wonderful.... but so far it's been summer up there. I have to say, I'm a little worried about this inevitable winter that is coming. How am I going to survive 6 months of minus 30 to minus 50 degree weather? (likely a lot of tropical vacations!)
I'll keep you posted.



Happy Autumn everyone.
oxo

Thursday

A 17th-Century villa in Tuscany? Yes, that would do....






Dede Pratesi's incredible 17th century home in Tuscany.
Isn't that kitchen amazing?!

Tuesday

A very different Burberry


I must say, I am very inspired by Burberry's spring 2012 RTW collection. 
It is, quite simply, a lot of fun. 


I love all the colours, the patterns, the beadwork... it all feels kind of crafty and down-to-earth, almost DIY. And while I can't afford anything in the Burberry collection, it still leaves me feeling uplifted and inspired. Definitely a success!


photos via style.com

Monday

One fine weekend in September

 What a glorious weekend!
We're back in the Montreal area and it is just gorgeous here. This is most definitely my favourite time of year.

On Friday night we finally had the chance to eat at Montreal's Garde-Manger (it only took a month-in-advance reservation)... well, it was worth the wait! The lobster poutine was everything I'd hoped it would be : )

 On Saturday we headed out to the country for my family's annual salsa-making day. A day we all get together to turn my parent's garden harvest into deliciously spicy canned salsa. We've been doing this for 10 years now.... it has become quite the event!
 
Somehow it always seems to end with the men having a chilli pepper eating contest.
While the rest of us enjoy all the splendour of autumn in the country...


I hope you had a lovely weekend too : )

Friday

Pictures from Portland


There's no doubt about it, Oregon is one beautiful place! We loved Portland as a city, but being the nature lovers that we are, we especially loved all the lush greenery that surrounds it.
We did all kinds of day hikes to mountain lakes and wild flower meadows, it was breathtaking.

And back in the city itself we spent our evenings trying all kinds of delicious restaurants and street food. Portland is definitely a great place to eat and drink : )

It was just what we needed... the perfect balance of city and country.
Have a wonderful weekend!
oxo

Monday

Portland's Über Cool Ace Hotel

 We arrived in Portland yesterday to sunny skies and temperatures above 30 degrees. I haven't felt heat like that in a while. So far, we are completely loving it here.

The Ace Hotel is über cool. It's quite the little hipster hang out... perhaps a little too much so for my husband's liking (seems like every male in the lobby is wearing skinny jeans and has a wild moustache)... but he's liking it anyway ; )

As for me, it's the little details about this hotel that have me smitten... like the wool Pendelton elk blankets on the bed, the clawfoot tub and soap-on-a-rope, the record player in our room and it's fabulous selection of records...

I love the hotel lobby with it's vintage photobooth, and the fact that there are Leonard Cohen lyrics printed on the wall....

And of course that there's a Stumptown coffee right off the main lobby.
(I love that it says "good luck" under the coffee cups!)

We were so tired last night that we ended up eating dinner at the restaurant next door, Clyde Common, and we're so glad we did because it was incredible! I love how everyone sits at long communal tables.

So far so good, on this little vacation of ours.
Happy Monday to you all.
oxo

Saturday

Lately up north...


Some friends took us mushroom hunting the other evening. They taught us how to identify the chanterelles and where to find them. It was actually a lot of fun. We picked a bunch of them. It made me feel like we're really "living off the land". And just the other day we picked 2 buckets of wild blueberries and stored them in the freezer for those cold winter weekends. We've turned into real foragers! 

I've also started sprouting on my windowsil. This is a very rewarding hobby. Just a tablespoon of alfalfa seeds and 5 days later you get a ton of sprouty goodness!

And Friday we left the north and started the 1450km trip back to Montreal. It's a long drive and requires a lot of coffee, but it certainly is beautiful.

We have two weeks off now, and we'll be spending the next five days in Portland, Oregon.
Busy, busy... but I guess that's the way we like it!
I wish you a fabulous weekend.
oxo
Vanessa.

Wednesday

The Sidewalks of New York Scarf


How much fun is this "Sidewalks of New York" wool scarf from Kate Spade?
I love it!

Tuesday

Simple decadence: chocolate covered ice cream balls with toasted coconut


These little desserts are so much fun to eat.
All you need is some regular old vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips for melting, and some toasted coconut.
Read on for the how to...

Monday

Weekend Moments: Into the Wild


We've been living up in the far north for just under 2 months now, but we haven't really ventured too far from our home village yet. 
But this weekend we went on a little adventure. 
We paddled out to an uninhabited island to do some exploring. This is true wilderness... only you, the plants and the animals. Our more wilderness-savvy friends brought pepper spray and bear bangers, but luckily we didn't need to use them : ) 

Walking through the spruce forest was simply magical. The forest floor was covered in a thick, cushy layer of lichens... which felt like what I imagine walking on clouds might feel like.

Buried in that thick forest floor are all kinds of little treasures.... like the most flavourful berries I've ever tasted.

I'm so glad we finally made it out "into the bush", as the locals up here call it. We've definitely been missing out, and I can't wait to explore some more.

The weather has really shifted up here in the past few weeks.
The days are getting shorter and a lot colder (this morning it was 2 degrees celsius). But the up side to this is that we get to see the aurora borealis more clearly at night.
 It's magnificent!

I hope you've had a fabulously long labour day weekend.
xo

Sunday

Travel plans... going to Portland


So we've just booked a very spontaneous short trip to Portland, Oregon next week. I've never been and I'm really looking forward to it.
We're going to be staying at the funky modern-meets-bohemian Ace Hotel. Apparenlty the room comes with a record player and a clawfoot tub...say no more, I'm there!


Do you live in Portland or have you been there before? I'd love to hear your suggestions of where to go and what to do.
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