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Last month Kendra + I hosted our third (yes third!!) Sweet Happenings gathering. I was honestly humbled by the overall response + incredibly excited to welcome an entire room of new faces with unique perspectives. Our Spring gathering was inspired by Hygge, the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures – A ritual I was quite fond of whilst living in Scandinavia and a wonderful reminder to acknowledge ordinary, meaningful moments in the every day.

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We gathered in the beautiful space of Aviary Studio + mingled over deliciously crafted cocktails by Whiskey Muse. Reece prepared a gin, cucumber and rosemary cocktail along with a Whiskey, Orange + Vanilla syrup cocktail with subtle hints of ginger and chocolate. All of it – so good.

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As always, my favourite part of these events are listening to creatives talk about what they love. Their stories. The kind of stuff that gets them out of bed in the morning. As the conversation flowed through the room, I could’t help but smile. Here we had a room full of creatives all in attendance for the same reason – community. But their paths and perspectives so different yet the energy + connections that came about were truly inspiring.

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Our gorgeous blooms were created by Rogue Florist.

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An extra big thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors and to Andrea + Stella of Aviary Studio for allowing us to host in their beautiful space!  We’re excited to see where our gatherings will lead. To find out more about the event and attend one in the future, head over to the Sweet Happenings site.

Photography by: Jan Heuninck
Cocktails by: Whiskey Muse
Florals by: Rogue Florist
Venue: Aviary Studio



I often turn to scrolling through Instagram when I’ve reached a hump during the day + need a little extra inspiration. One of my favourite accounts, Marianne Jacobsen is a photographer + stylist from Aarhus, Denmark. Everything from the colour, lighting and composition are always spot on.

Lucky for you Midwesterners, She’s headed to Chicago in June and has available bookings! If you’re interested in working with her, head over to her website for more info. I’m a tad bit jealous I won’t be around during her visit.



Baking something sweet on Sundays has become a ritual over the winter. It’s much easier to welcome the cold, wet weather here in Vancouver when cinnamon wafts from the oven in your warm, cosy apartment. Over the weekend I invited Kendra over to help me prepare cinnamon rolls. This recipe is relatively easy + the rolls are so tasty! There’s enough to even share with your friends + colleagues, after indulging, of course;)

Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from Hand Made Baking)

makes 18 rolls

6 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1tbsp quick-rise (instant) yeast
1 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk – heated to 115 degrees F/45 C
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Oil a large bowl + set aside. Mix 5 cups of the flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt together. Add the warm milk, butter, whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Continue mixing, if the dough is too sticky begin to add the remaining 1 cup of the flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough begins to form into a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

On a lightly floured surface knead the dough until it’s smooth and springy, about 10 minutes. If dough is sticky, incorporate a little flour. Once the dough is kneaded, form it into a round, put into oiled bowl. Cover bowl with a damp dish towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about 2hrs, or until it has doubled into size.

1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
Milk, cream or half & half for brushing on the rolls (I used milk)
1/2 recipe tangy cream cheese frosting

To make the filling: Whilst the dough is rising, sift into a bowl the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Deflate the dough (punch it down, really) transfer dough onto floured surface and roll it out into an 18 x 14 in rectangle. Evenly spread the butter on the dough, followed by the filling. Beginning with a long side, roll dough into a log, pinching the seam to seal it. Let dough sit for a minute or so while you liberally butter two 9in round cake pans. Set them aside.

Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 18 equal pieces, each 1 in thick. Lay the rolls in the prepared cake pans, cover the pans with a damp cloth and allow to rise for an hour.

After the rolls have rested for 45 mins, position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375f/190c.

Bake the rolls for 18 to 23 mins, until tops are golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center rolls comes out clean. If you tap on the rolls, they should sound hollow.

Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar;)
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1tsp orange juice
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
pinch of fine-grain sea saltMix all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth and well mixed.

Once out of the oven, brush the rolls lightly with milk. Allow to cool in pans for about 10 mins before frosting + serving!




It’s mid-February – I realize I’m a tad late on this! January is usually a quieter month, but this year was quite the exception. I moved into a new place shortly after traveling what seemed the entire month of December.

I’m truly looking forward to a more relaxed few months ahead filled with loads of writing + posting here. There are a few travel posts coming your way, but before that, here’s what 2015 looked like and what I hope 2016 to be!

Highlights of the year (in no particular order):
+ My photograph published in National Geographic
+ Visiting friends on the East Coast
+ Trip home in the summer to my beautiful cousin’s wedding where I also introduced James to family and friends (and they loved him!!! of course ;)
+ Teaching my first design workshop to aspiring designers
+ My little sister making the trip to Vancouver. Twice this year !!
+ Running the Berlin Marathon with a new PB of 4:02
+ Exploring Italy and Spain with B
+ Hosting our second sweet happenings
+ Turning thirty; feeling more and more comfortable with who I am and what I want
+ Ending the year with most the wonderful Christmas trip to England. With us both being so far away from our families it meant a lot to finally meet the people you hear so much about. It was perfect in every way.

Here are a few intentions I have for the year ahead:

+ Continue with running. Another marathon, anyone?
+ Research in human-centered design
+ Spend more time writing here
+ Reading more for fun. Maybe even start a book club.. Interested ?
+ Enjoying more of the everyday
+ More time with my favourite people. Above everything else:)




I love Florence dearly; I spent the summer of 2007 (my first time ever abroad!!) studying Fashion Illustration there. I’d like to think this special place instilled my love for travel + culture.

Because I would be in Europe for the Berlin marathon it only made sense to end the trip somewhere warm that could offer a relaxed, easy environment to unwind a bit. Alice + Luca, my dear friends in Sardinia, invited us to spend a few days exploring the island. We were greeted with the most incredible meal. Complete with vino, espresso and limoncello. It normally doesn’t rain in Sardinia, but alas, there was a Mediterranean cyclone warning the 3 days we were there. ha! But we made the best of it. We spent a good chunk of time around the dinner table eating, drinking, and discussing design; climate change; personal passion projects; our time in Vancouver together; and how different politics are in Italy compared to the US.

The days spent with Alice + Luca were short, but so full of the kind of inspiration + love that leaves your heart feeling so warm. Lucky for me, I believe my working days with Alice are just beginning;)




After Sardinia, We headed to Florence to meet with friends from Germany + Austria. 4 ladies. A whole lot of wine. No agenda. You better believe we had a good laugh. We may have sang “Last Christmas” in an Italian karaoke bar at the beginning of October. And made best friends with the cheese guy at the deli down the street from our Airbnb.

We spent our afternoons gallivanting around. Often stopping for wine, olives and pastries. When in Italy, one must eat! Heaps.




What’s your favourite city in Italy? I still haven’t been to Venice; Saving that for my sweets;)





On the way to pick up groceries last night I rang my mom knowing I’d catch her + the family in the midst of preparing for Thanksgiving. I secretly longed to hear the kiddies giggling at my dad’s silly jokes. And my sister inevitably interrupting mom + I to fill me in with some ridiculous story. (She’s kind of the best storyteller; everything seems a lot more comical from her perspective). I explained to mom that this year was different than the rest. I was missing everyone + home at a whole new level. She reassured me that I said the same thing last year. So internet friends, I declare no matter what, I will be at home next Thanksgiving. You hear that, Dad!? Make extra pie. Please. And stuffing. Mmm..

After the grocery store, James + I spent the evening preparing pies. And by preparing I really mean I was making one, big crumbly mess. Because I hate to admit defeat it took waking up this morning to a pathetic crust to start all over again. I granted myself a few minutes of complaining before reminding myself how lucky I was to be prepping a dinner for my dear ones here in Vancouver.

With Thanksgiving a favourite holiday of mine, I thought I’d prepare a small list of things I’m especially thankful for…

James – This guy; he’s something else.. The most patient, kind, and loving human I know. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to have him by my side. His smile is pretty wonderful, too;)

Family – They’re loud. Unique. Crazy. Opinionated. And full of so much love. I’m so, so thankful to be a part of your crazy gang, guys.

My dear friends, near and far – I wholeheartedly believe I was blessed with the best group of friends one could ever wish for. Though I may only see some of them once a year, they still hold a special place in my heart. And as they grow into adults + start families of their own I can’t help but love them even more…

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have the most wonderful day with your loved ones.



image via andrewthomaslee

hi ladies + gents! It’s been a while;) As a treat, I’ve got a tasty (+ super easy) recipe to share with you. James’ grandma came to Vancouver over the summer + brought me the loveliest British cookbook. I was eager to get back in the kitchen after skimming through the book. Kendra’s always keen on helping so we spent a Saturday afternoon baking, styling and eating these delectable treats.

I love entertaining guests, but sometimes it’s just too much work to put together an entire meal after a long week. Brunch cups are the perfect solution. They feel special and look like a lot of work, but are incredibly easy + will leave guests delightfully pleased without all the fuss.

The recipe called for rhubarb, but we opted for nectarines + peaches as they were in season.


Sweet Brunch Cups

You’ll need:

3 ripe pears, nectarines + peaches – peeled, cored and thickly sliced
50 g caster sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of honey
2.5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
225 g chilled puff pastry
a little beaten egg
demerara sugar, for sprinkling
greek yogurt, to serve


In a small saucepan, mix together the fruit, sugar, lemon juice, honey and ginger. Cook over a gentle heat until the fruit begins to soften.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut out six rounds using the cup saucers as a template.

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Spoon the cool mixtures into the cups.

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Brush the top edge of the cups with beaten eggs and top with pastry rounds, then sprinkle with sugar. Make two holes on the top of each lid to allow steam to escape.

Place the cups in a large roasting tin and fill with enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the cups. Bake for 20–25 mins or until puffed + golden brown.

Serve with a bowl of greek yogurt. We enjoyed ours with tea. Yum!