I had the pleasure of meeting a dear friend for dinner at Lafayette in NYC last month. I knew the food + ambiance would be right up my alley as Faris never disappoints. But YUM! Both the decor + food. We ooh’d + ahh’d over Eric Junker’s illustrations throughout the restaurant. And their branding – spot on. That french blue is definitely finding it’s way into my work as of lately;) Have you been? What sort of places do you tend to find inspiration in? Great work, Oat!
It’s taken me one year + a week to post this. I began writing this post a few days after leaving London. But couldn’t really think of the words to describe my experience. I wanted to share this life-changing time with all of you, but I first had to understand what all of it meant. Exactly one year and ten days ago, I crossed the London Marathon finish line. After two full days of absolutely no food or sleep, it seemed like a miracle to me.
The days leading up to my flight to London friends + family began to reach out with so much love + support. Their excitement for the race made me that much more anxious to get there. I felt as if I really was making them proud! I arrived in London with the worst case of butterflies. I was completely overwhelmed with the city, the busyness, the course set up at Buckingham Palace – My heart was racing faster than ever before. I was ecstatic. After months of hard training, cold winter runs, very early mornings, and years of hoping to be chosen for the London Marathon, there I stood. Ready to make my dream come true.
And then Bam. A big pile of crappy news stood right in front of me. The kind of news that makes you wish you could crawl into a cave forever. My heart ached. I was thousands of miles away from home and all I wanted was a hug. What was suppose to be the most exciting trip of my life then became the hardest. There I was in a completely new + exciting city numb without the slightest clue of how to continue on. I was terrified.
I remember taking the train to the starting line. My eyes were full of tears and I was convinced there was no way I’d ever to be able to finish the marathon under that condition. I contemplated turning back and hiding in my hotel room, but I knew I’d never forgive myself if I did such a thing. I didn’t want to let everyone down cheering me on over the last year. So I continued to the starting line with an empty stomach and heart hoping for the slightest bit of luck. Maybe someone would push me to the finish? Instead I ran into a group of people who kindly exchanged motivating words with me. I then looked at my phone and browsed through all of the messages my dear friends + family sent. I knew while they were thousands of miles away, they were still there rooting me on wanting only the best. As the race began, I decided to let go of that awful feeling of defeat and breathe in the love + inspiration filling the air that beautiful Sunday morning.
A few miles in my stomach roared as it only consumed a measly 400-600 calories (in beer form) in 48 hrs and well, that’s definitely not an ideal scenario. I ignored the roars and looked to the sweet, little British children cheering and handing out jelly babies. Their kind, little faces warmed my heart a bit.
I was absolutely starving at mile 10. Where were the bananas along the course – I finally had an appetite!! At mile 15 I began to think about “hitting the wall” at mile 19. My mind was reminding me to take it easy while my legs insisted I push harder – I decided to listen to my legs. As soon as I hit mile 20, that was it. The last 6.2 miles were rough, but that’s where I picked up my speed. I realized that my body was on my side + finishing hard was how it was going to be. It helped that before the race, I planned on thinking of a certain person each mile of the last 6. That really helped. With all the doubt before the race, I knew thinking of the people that have rooted me on throughout the training would help push me to finish. I was completing this race not for just myself but also for an organization that dedicates their life to ensuring our beautiful earth + animals are protected for generations to come. That alone gave me the extra boost. How lucky I was to be a part of such a wonderful group.
I can’t even begin to articulate how emotional of a run this was. I experienced everything from joy to complete heartbreak to pain so sharp I felt like quitting.
It was one of the hardest moments and yet most rewarding time of my life. If there are three things I learnt from this, they are:
+ Never underestimate the love your family, friends, and dear ones have for you. I truly believe that love for one another is what pushes us to achieve the impossible
+ Nothing can prepare you for the unexpected hard times. No matter how awful you feel, find comfort in knowing that feeling will eventually go away – the trick is to acknowledge it and not let it define who you are + just keep going.
+ Be good to yourself. There will always be people lining up to tell you that you’re not good enough, not strong enough, crazy for flying across the ocean to run a marathon. But all of that doesn’t matter. What matters is you show up, follow your heart, and always be kind to yourself.
After one year and one week, it feels good to push publish.
ps: Good luck to all running in London this Sunday!!!
A few saturdays ago a few girlfriends + I met up for brunch at Homer St. Cafe + Bar. I found this gem last summer commuting back + forth to work by bike (on the corner of Homer + Smithe). I don’t know why it took me this long to actually try it out, but the interior alone left me planning my next visit! Craig Stanghetta perfectly designed the space to look as if you’re dining in the heart of France. The use of mosaic tiles, reclaimed wood, and unique fixtures truly make this spot charming + one of a kind in Vancouver. Add in the delicious food + wonderful service, and you have yourself a new favourite.
I ordered the roast of the day, pork belly + sausage served with 2 eggs, potatoes and rye bread. So good.
I’ll be back to check out the dinner + bar scene. I’m told it’s one not to be missed. Have you been!? What’s your favourite spot in Vancouver, let us know by using the hashtag #eatsipshop
Homer St. Cafe + Bar
898 Homer Street
604 428 4299
I think it’s fair to assume in my other life I was Scandinavian. Baking, design, lifestyle – I’m a fan of it all. (And that beautiful indigo colour just may be my favourite.) I received the Scandilicious Baking book for my birthday and have been wanting to give a recipe a go for a while now. The Upside-down Blueberry + Elderflower Cake seemed like the perfect recipe to begin with. And just in time to make an appearance at Easter dinner/brunch!
Kendra + I spent Saturday morning in the kitchen baking this seriously delicious cake. It’s fool-proof and not overly sweet. I really enjoyed the subtle elderflower flavour + how light and spongy it came out! Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Yum!
Upside-down Blueberry + Elderflower Cake (serves 8–10)
(recipe extracted from scandilicious baking by Signe Johansen)
400g fresh or frozen blueberries
50ml elderflower cordial
4 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
125g butter, melted
125g greek yoghurt
Preheat oven to 170c and lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin.
Spread the blueberries evenly over the base of the cake tin, drizzle with elderflower cordial and set aside to macerate.
Whisk the eggs, sugar + vanilla in a medium bowl for 5-8 mins until pale and fluffy.
Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and sea salt in a small bowl.
Gradually mix the melted butter, yoghurt, and dry ingredients in to the beaten egg mixture. You’ll have a smooth, thick cake batter.
Pour the batter over the blueberries and bake on the middle rack for 30-35 mins or until the top looks golden and feels springy and firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before carefully flipping the cake upside down on a plate so that the blueberries are facing upwards and removing the tin.
tip ** This cake doesn’t keep well as the blueberries lose their fresh intensity relatively quickly after cooking, so be sure to get your friends around to enjoy it on the day of baking.
Photos + Styling by Angela + Kendra Sally
Happy Friday everyone!!! I wanted to share a very happy moment with all of you:) You may remember me briefly talking about National Geographic asking to publish a photo of mine in their “Abroad at Home” book – Well, it’s now available at your local bookstore!!
Growing up I remember my Nana + Bompa bringing piles of old National Geographic magazines to the house. I’d spend hours reading + completely in awe of the gorgeous photographs. If only I could traverse the Sahara Desert and indulge in the most satisfying croissants overlooking the Eiffel Tower. I’d then chop the magazine up and create what would be my dream life. So you can imagine how eager + excited I was to say yes when this publication reached out to me;)
This has definitely inspired me to share more around here – I absolutely love finding, creating, and sharing the beauty I find in the everyday, so expect to see more from this gal in the upcoming months.
Ps: find the time to do what you love. I know it’s such an annoying cliché to constantly hear, but if you truly love doing something, do it! It’s so underrated. Find your passion, success will follow. Truly believe it.
With that, I’m out for the weekend! Only some spring cleaning + a photoshoot before I’m off to the East Coast next week!! Have the most wonderful weekend!!
happy friday, everyone! i’m pushing myself out of a major funk this week and I figured sorting through + sharing a few of my favourite snippets over the last month would bring some positivity around:)
+ working with and overseeing a great group of designers – i feel incredibly lucky to work with people who push me to be my best self
+ reading (and completely agreeing) that as designers we’re responsible for the impact our work has on society
+ morning runs becoming routine again
+ eats with some of the best people. including a truly special guy;)
*not pictured: my sister purchasing her ticket to come visit !!! major plus!!
have a lovely weekend!
This may be the first year, in my entire life, that I don’t get to experience snow! Cue weeping. While the Midwest was hit with a blizzard, I was over here dreaming of what I’d be doing if we were hit with a storm of our own… my day would look a little something like this: