This is a pretty nerdy confession… but it’s really fun for me to try to recreate restaurant dishes I love at home! I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what ingredients were used and attempting to make restaurant-inspired cuisine — it pushes me out of my comfort zone and I end up combining ingredients I wouldn’t usually pair together (like the Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing in this recipe). My Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls are inspired by the Viva Bowl at NYC’s Local Thyme (where I ate lunch almost every day during my time in Manhattan!) — but with my own spin, and tons of extra veggies! Did you know that today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day?
I kept flip flopping back and forth about this post — and that’s part of the reason it’s getting to you on February 1st, rather than January 1st. Should I just publish the TREND GUIDE I had originally planned for these photos? Should I save these thoughts for a traditional New Year, New Goals style post, or my 3rd Blogiversary? Should I open up about all these things? Or should I just proceed with regularly scheduled programming? Do people like more personal posts? Is it okay to publish 2 posts in one day? Will anyone even notice or care?
These are exactly the kind of over analytical, consuming thoughts that I can pretty much guarantee all creatives, bloggers and content creators have faced at one point or another while they’re in the process of creating whatever it is they create. But today, instead of the FASHION content I had originally written to accompany these images, I’m going to share something that’s been on my heart and my mind for the entire month of January. This year, there will be no New Year, New Goals post, like I’ve published every January since starting JustineCelina almost 3 years ago. There aren’t any styled flatlays with planners, coffee and flowers today — because here’s the truth. If you want to make real changes in your life, all the planners, scheduling tools and cute stationary in the world won’t do it for you. Only you can do that for yourself. So today, it’s just me.
Today’s post has literally been 1 year in the making! March 2, 2017 marked my 2nd Blogiversary. Can you believe it? So here we are — just over 2 years, 218 blog posts, 400 000 views, 100 000 images and 2 000 comments later, I’m sharing my My 2nd Blogiversary + 10 Things I Learned in my Second Year of Blogging!
Part of the reason I love blogging is that I have bookmarks into specific time periods of my life (albeit, a small portion of it). It’s so interesting to look back and reflect on where I was 1 year ago versus where I am now. Today’s post is different than last years Blogiversary celebration — because I’m different. This is a quite an introspective, raw post set to the theme of growth and change, which is also my overarching theme for March to welcome spring. This year, I wanted my Blogiversary to feel exactly how it would if we just hanging out as friends, sharing a glass of wine and having a conversation about the last year of this crazy journey of mine. It’s not the shiny production that last year’s post was — and it feels just right. Relaxed, casual, and simply more me at this specific moment (just as last year’s post felt like me at that specific moment). I hope you enjoy my Pantone Greenery inspired 2nd Blogiversary + 10 Things I Learned in my Second Year of Blogging post, in collaboration with my friend Rebecca Dawn Design!
If you’ve been following along on social media, you may have read or heard a few times how exhausted I was feeling at the end of last week. There are some incredibly exciting things happening behind the scenes right now that can’t wait to share with you soon — but it’s been a ton of work getting them off the ground! I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a major workaholic (I absolutely love what I do!) and sometimes it can get the better of me. I’m definitely more mindful of it these days since balance is something I seem to be constantly pursuing. It can be really difficult for me to step away from my work — especially since I find myself really getting in a groove creatively and wanting to keep up the momentum. But, as I’ve also mentioned previously, I need to remember that while consistency is important in producing great creative work, so is taking care of myself so I can stay inspired and not completely burn out (which I was on the verge of last week). I’m sure many of you fellow creatives can relate!
So, I took this weekend to rejuvenate and rescheduled every commitment I had. Friday evening we grabbed sushi and wine at our favourite place (Kabuku downtown if any of you Calgarians are wondering), gave each other massages set to spa music and went to bed before midnight (yes I know, we’re old). Saturday I chatted with my oldest friend on the phone for 2 hours, caught up on some housework, blog work and basic R&R. I’m talking skipping my daily HIIT workout and doing research for upcoming projects and content from bed with a big cup of freshly ground, french pressed coffee and a big messy bun — and not getting out of my pyjamas until I took an amazing, 45 minute shower (I actually had time to wash my hair!). I even did a face mask, which I used to do every Sunday evening, but sadly haven’t had the energy for lately. On Sunday, we decided to make the most of this beautiful, early autumn weather and head west towards the Rocky Mountains for a wine picnic. I hope you enjoy coming along with us in this photo diary of our Mini Mountain Getaway!
Fall fashion lovers, I’m thrilled to welcome you back for another seasonally inspired LOOKBOOK! Since publishing my Early Autumn 2020 Lookbook, there have been a few notable developments here in Calgary in regards to new public health measures to combat the second wave of COVID-19 we’re currently experiencing. I’ve been fairly quiet here at JustineCelina as we navigated what Alberta’s new restrictions look like for us and our businesses ahead of the holiday season. In light of these recent announcements, we decided against shooting the final three winter looks I had planned for this LOOKBOOK outdoors. As social gatherings of any kind are prohibited both in our homes as well as outdoors, it simply doesn’t feel like the right time to do so. As I’ve mentioned previously, these restrictions are something I take very seriously. These LOOKBOOKS showcase what I’m authentically wearing each season — and getting dressed up with quite literally no where to go simply didn’t resonate with me. Since we’re all staying in these days, I knew it wouldn’t resonate with you either!
That said, I didn’t want that to stop me from from serving up one final dose of late fall fashion here at JustineCelina this season while we’re all cozied up at home! Alas, the fall looks we captured earlier this autumn were collecting dust on my hard drive and I wanted to bring them to life, even if this LOOKBOOK doesn’t follow my typical 6 outfit format. But hey — 2020 is anything but typical, right?! My Fall 2020 Lookbook features 3 creative, free spirited, trend focused fall 2020 outfits built on foundational, quality wardrobe staples. As always, you can expect a melange of high, low, old, new and vintage — as well as shoppable links at every price point. If you’re looking for a sartorial escape during lockdown, join me this evening for inventive layering tips to get the most of your wardrobe as we transition into winter, my process for pulling together elegant cool weather looks and a chat about how my personal style (and shopping habits) have changed as a result of the pandemic. Pour yourself a juicy glass of pinot noir and settle in for a fleeting dose of late autumn fashion on the Alberta prairies — complete with both rural and urban style inspiration and additional face mask recommendations!
Fall is my favourite time of year for many reasons — but something I look forward to each year is pulling out all my favourite warm, cozy lip colours (and trying a few new ones!) to mark the change in seasons. Last autumn as I was organizing my vanity for the season, I noticed a major theme — all of my most-worn autumn lip colours had a very similar, pumpkin spice inspired colour story (yes, I actually began working on My Top 5 Pumpkin Spice Lipsticks post last fall!). Although I may be the only woman on the planet who isn’t into Pumpkin Spice Lattes (shocking, I know!), I can definitely appreciate the inspiration behind this quintessentially autumnal beverage. So naturally, I thought this concept would make a fantastic addition to my seasonal BEAUTY content here at JustineCelina! I absolutely love to embrace each season as fully as possible — whether it be in my personal style, beauty routine, home or what I choose to nourish my body with. While a lot has changed in 2020, my love of fall beauty remains — and although I’m not wearing as much makeup as I did pre-pandemic (or getting glammed up nearly as often), I still love to treat myself to a beautiful, seasonal makeup application for an instant confidence boost. I hope I can inspire you to do the same, as my makeup routine has remained one of my most cherished forms of self care over the years!
Today I’m thrilled to share My Top 5 Pumpkin Spice Lipsticks featuring my top shelf autumn lip products ranging in formula across price points — from long wearing (and mask-friendly) liquid lipsticks to nourishing natural products, to elegant hybrid formulas! If you’ve been browsing my recent STYLE content and wanting to learn more about what’s on my lips (I’ve been dropping major hints this post was coming!), you’ll find all the information you’re looking for in today’s post. As always, this dedicated review post in my recently introduced MY TOP 5 series is brimming with try-on photos, swatches and application tips — plus my top lip liner recommendations to pair with each shade to create a full, defined pout! If you’re ready to spice up your lipstick wardrobe for cooler months ahead, you’ve come to the right place — throw on your coziest sweater and curl up in your favourite reading nook with a seasonal beverage for a serious dose of inclusive, autumnal beauty inspiration. I also share my complete camera-ready fall beauty routine (sprinkled with tons of shoppable links) when I’m craving a dose of glamour!
Interior design lovers, I’m thrilled to welcome you back into our sun drenched Living Room for my first dedicated DWELL post of 2020 — in fact, it’s been almost a year since my last! So what exactly have I been up to around here? Well, to be completely transparent, all the brand partnerships I had lined up for our SPACE REFRESH series this year were postponed (some indefinitely) due to COVID. I had so many plans for our remaining rooms, along with updates to spaces you’ve already seen, but due to the current situation, they simply haven’t been possible. Instead, I’ve been focusing on making small tweaks and seasonal updates to already finished spaces so that we can fully enjoy them with all the extra time we’ve spent at home! I’m allowing things to come together naturally, ideas to ebb and flow organically and working away on our home when I feel inspired to do so — because if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Lately I’ve been cozying things up for autumn, picking up a few new key pieces and restyling items we already own in new ways, so I thought it was about time I share our Transitional Summer Meets Autumn Decor with you here at JustineCelina, if you’re doing the same and looking for inspiration!
This year we’ve opted to keep things lighter and brighter as we transition into a new season — and it feels like a perfect blend of summer and fall. It’s the magical time of year where we can enjoy the best of both summer and autumn out in nature, in our homes, on our plates and in our wardrobes — and I’m fully embracing it! Despite 2020’s challenges, we’ve experienced the warmest autumn I can remember — and I’ve definitely channeled that inspiration into our home this season. I love to experiment with juxtaposition in my personal style and in my home — I’m all about mixing high with low, old with new and modern with traditional. Each year, my inspiration hits an all time high as summer blends into autumn and I explore new ways to translate this seasonal shift into our inner city Calgary apartment! Fall decor doesn’t have to be expensive, overwhelming or impractical — and today I’ve rounded up all my best transitional decorating tips and favourite sources for affordable, quality pieces to refresh your space. If you’re a fellow apartment dweller, working with a small space (or a modest budget!), you’ve come to the right place — pour yourself a glass of crisp rosé and curl up on the sofa as I share our Transitional Summer Meets Autumn Decor!