Well hello, friends! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted — I took some time during the first half of this dry January (it’s actually been great!) to reflect on the past year, get re-inspired and really put some thought into what I’d like to achieve in 2019. It’s been a very valuable exercise, so thank you for your patience! Today I’m dishing on everything I’ve discovered in this real, raw, lengthy (we’re talking the longest post I’ve ever written!) read recapping 2018 and sharing my intentions, aspirations and goals for the new year — plus exactly how I plan to achieve them!
When I look back on my goals post from last year, I feel grateful to be in a much better head space and place in my life — although it was a long road to get here. Longtime readers will know I’m always very transparent about the staggering amount of work that goes into blogging, content creation and creative entrepreneurship — and from the day I stared this blog in March of 2015 through to the end of 2017, I hustled hard. As a result, I entered 2018 feeling completely burnout, uninspired and unsure of how to proceed. I knew a change was necessary for me to move forward and progress in a way that would allow for more balance and well being in my life (and therefore more inspired work), but I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there. I felt like I needed to slow down and take life as it came, rather than creating an exhaustive list of all the things I felt I needed to accomplish — and I spent 2018 doing just that. I changed course and made chasing my passions for HOME and FASHION based content my first priority, which resulted in a pretty monumental year here at JustineCelina. That said, the largest shifts I made were off of these pages, in my mental and physical health, relationships and life in general. Fast forward to January of 2019 and I’m feeling energized, more inspired and productive than ever — and ready to make 2019 my best year yet! If you’re curious about what what’s to come, my favourite tools and resources to stay organized, inspired and fit, or in need of a healthy dose of motivation, cozy up with me and let’s chat about living and working with confidence and intention this year!
I’m not really sure what’s happened — but this year, my love of cocktails is outshining my love of sangria (hey… no hard feelings sangria — we had a really good run!). I’ve also been dreaming of publishing a lavender lemonade for years — but funny enough, it’s never made it’s way onto these pages. I had the most delicious lavender lemonade the summer before I started blogging at some small town in interior British Columbia on our way back from a music festival — and I’ve been determined to create an equally delicious lavender lemonade ever since! That said, I know there are tons of lavender lemonade recipes out there, but now that I have a few solid years of COCKTAIL development under my belt and some incredible, unique, delicious ingredients in my bar, I thought I’d give it a go this summer!
So, while I fully intended this recipe to be a vodka-based lavender lemonade, as I moved though a rather intense testing process (remember when I mentioned I was cocktail testing over the long weekend?), I ended up swapping lavender for lilacs and vodka for gin — and I’m so glad I did! My Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade tastes like summertime in the country and is very near to my heart — incorporating Japanese Lilac blossoms from the tree at my childhood home in rural Alberta, honey from the hives just across the stream and Eau Claire Distillery‘s award winning Parlour Gin distilled from the flourishing barley crops and unique botanicals of Alberta’s prairies. This floral-kissed, lightly effervescent lemonade was created with a thoughtful, hand crafted, farm-to-glass approach and made for lazy summer days on the patio, easy entertaining and watching the sunset behind glowing fields of canola! Join myself and my Connecting Over Cocktails crew to indulge in a summer inspired cocktail menu (check out their creations at the end of this post!) and enter to win bottle of the best gin I’ve ever tasted, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery! Cheers to hot summer nights, refreshing gourmet cocktails and the celebrating the bountiful offerings of this beautiful land!
Wow, has it ever been a minute since I published a non-cocktail recipe — let alone a salad or bowl! Remember that post I published back in January about sharing things as I feel inspired to, rather than sticking to my very rigid, previously very balanced, editorial calendar? Scaling back on extremely time consuming content in order to get our SPACE REFRESH series off the ground (did you know I test my recipes 3 – 7 times on average and that can translate to over 30 hours of work?)? These changes resulted in a steady stream of cocktail recipes during the first half of 2018 (they’re a blast to create also relatively simple to test!) — one of which landed me my first Style Me Pretty Living feature, so I guess it all worked out! And while my adventures deep into cocktailing this year have been a lot of fun, sometimes you just need to dry out a bit and eat a kale salad — you feel me?!
If you follow along with my Insta Stories, you’ll know I’ve been eating this Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Gluten Free Croutons almost weekly since I first whipped it up back in April. In the process, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tested this recipe and it’s since become one of our favourite salads! The best part? There’s no marinating or planning ahead (I’ve really been focusing on keeping it simple lately!) and it can be on your table in 15 minutes. It’s a nutritious, protein packed, plant based spin on a classic that eats like a meal — and I promise no one will know it’s vegan (in a blind taste test, it was praised by meat eaters!). I’m also sharing my secret for flavourful, tender, raw kale! If you’re looking for quick, healthy meal options to add to your summer rotation (or #MeatlessMonday!), I cannot recommend this contemporary spin on traditional caesar salad enough!
Happy Canada Day long weekend, friends! What’s everyone up to? We’re enjoying some time with my family in the country — enjoy the tranquility of the prairies and doing some cocktail testing (get ready for a refreshing summer recipe coming your way later this month!). Whatever your Canada Long Weekend holds, I have the ultimate soundtrack for you! My June 2018 Soundtrack includes over 3 hours of easy listening grooves spanning genres — with a healthy dose of folky, bluegrass inspired vibes thrown in for good measure. I recently discovered Spotify’s Stay Wild playlist and it decorated the majority of this past week while I worked away on the second installment of my What to Wear to | The Calgary Stampede post — hence the uptick of tasteful twang at the tail end of this playlist!
While I love every track in include in these Monthly Soundtracks, this month, SACRE’s Lemonade, Polo & Pan’s Arc-en-ciel, Mura Kami’s Your Voice, AQUA STONE THRONE’S 3 Ways, Tadashi’s When You’re Ready, L’indécis’s God Behind The Pines, Bath’s Extra Solar, Alina Baraz’s I Don’t Even Know Why Though, The American Dollar’s Carousel (a new-to-me band with an Explosion’s In The Sky vibe!), Coubo’s Good Morning, The East Pointer’s Two Weeks, Sony Alven’s remix of Boardwalk, Yoke Lore’s Beige and PYNKIE’s Dew. Wishing you all a fun (and safe!) Canada Day long weekend!
Happy Friday, friends! Things were a bit quiet here at JustineCelina during early June — and whenever that happens, I promise it’s for good reason! As I mentioned, I was working on a couple of exciting projects BTS — and this was one of them. We spent a beautiful Sunday earlier this month Exploring East Village Junction — and you can read all about it in my second article for in partnership with with Tourism Calgary!
What are you up to this weekend? If you’re craving an inner city adventure this weekend, I highly recommend spending a few hours exploring Calgary’s colourful East Village Junction! Tucked away behind the iconic King Edward Hotel on the corner of 4th Street and 8th Ave SE, EV’s liveliest lot showcases the vibrancy and charisma of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood in an innovative, market-like community space where 15 local businesses and artisans have utilized shipping containers to create an entirely unique retail experience in Calgary’s core. Discover all #evJuction has to offer now through September 3rd — complete with unique wares for fashion, art, vintage and home decor enthusiasts, food trucks, delicious vegan eats, bicycle rentals, live performances and yes… even fitness classes! There’s something for everyone at Calgary’s East Village Junction Pop-up Retail Park — and today I’m sharing a handful of my favourite things to see, do, shop and eat!
Happy Monday everyone — and welcome back for the next, highly anticipated reveal in our SPACE REFRESH series! Today, in partnership with HomeSense Canada, I’m elated to unveil the other half of our refreshed main living area — the Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen. While we’ve been refreshing our space since last summer (when we embarked on our huge Paint Transformation!), most of our time was spent gathering inspiration for the Living Room, as we almost completely started from scratch furniture and decor wise over there. Our Living Room took the better part of 6 months to pull together — and during my many HomeSense runs as it came to life (a lot of you came along via Insta Stories!), I also had a vision for the adjacent Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen in mind, picking up items for this space as I curated details for our Living Room. So, relatively speaking, this area came together quite quickly in comparison!
Our Living Room, Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen are all located in the same space — a large, long and somewhat narrow room. So, we kept the overall look and feel as cohesive as possible to unify the separate areas of the room with an overarching design sensibility. We took design cues for our SPACE REFRESH from our developer who was inspired by earth’s natural elements — our space features natural materials and textures with a warm, mid century modern vibe, a touch of boho and an abundance of greenery! Not only are we thrilled with the aesthetic appeal of our refreshed Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen, this space is also very functional for the way we live in it, which I consider the true mark of great design. Today I’m sharing all my tips, tricks and inspiration for designating different areas within one large room, creating and maximizing apartment storage, as well cost effective ways to refresh your space while repurposing your existing furniture (our only new piece in this space is our sideboard — the rest has been with us for years!). Pull up a seat at our table and settle in for your evening read, friends — can I fix you a cocktail?
Friends, welcome back for my annual (and very belated!) Blogiversary celebration! My 3rd Blogiversary went roaring by on March 2nd — but to be honest, I was completely engrossed in our Living Room Reveal and some other fun, last minute projects at the time. Earlier this year I chatted about changing things up around here and creating space to let life happen — and that’s exactly what I’ve done! There’s been a lot happening here at JustineCelina lately as we get ready to reveal the next rooms in our SPACE REFRESH series (coming your way later this month!) and I simply had to prioritize my time differently to make this all possible. March was one of my most creatively fulfilling months of my life — it left me completely exhausted but also incredibly inspired! In the two months since My 3rd Blogiversary I’ve reached some milestones I’ve dreamed of achieving since launching JustineCelina and they’ve reminded me exactly why I started this whole thing in the first place. So, although it’s a bit late and I’ve been chipping away at this post when I can, I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this Pantone Spring 2018 inspired 3rd Blogiversary soirée with you!
In the midst of it all, I came up with the concept for this celebratory post pretty last minute — about 10 days before the shoot (which, admittedly, was about 2 months ago!). It was so spontaneous, but serendipitous and things just fell into place (I shot it myself one sunny Friday afternoon with my tripod and self timer). This year, we’re going all out — because after 323 blog posts, almost a million views (OMG!), 180 000 images, 2 900 comments and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears (quite literally), I truly never thought I’d get here! My third year was one of intense growth, both on these pages and off of them — I hope you enjoy reading about 10 Things I Learned in my Third Year of Blogging in this raw, honest, unabashed post (you may need a sparkling glass of rosé to get though it!). Whether you’re new to JustineCelina (and there are a lot of you beautiful people — welcome!) or have been with me since the very beginning, I’m so grateful to have you here celebrating with me today!