Fog & Cedar

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm taking a break from the Amsterdam pictures to announce a little project I've been working on with Nicola - Fog & Cedar. We decided to launch a small summer collection of limited edition goods, all inspired by the True North. It happened quite organically, when we realized that we were making more things than we could ever keep on our weekly craft dates and that our Canadian/Scandinavian aesthetic was becoming more and more similar. We're really pleased with how it all turned out, and I hope you guys like it too! Sorry for all the social media bombing about it, and thank you for the sweet comments we've gotten so far. In other exciting news, I just passed my final Danish exam and I am full of celebratory pizza and wine but mostly just feel relieved and kind of exhausted. Learning languages is hard, y'all. But this means that I'm one step closer to getting into school here. And now I have summer vacation! Just four more sleeps till I'm back in the homeland, and I cannot wait. 

Amsterdam, Part II

Friday, June 22, 2012

On our second day in Amsterdam we tried to get out of the apartment relatively early to bike to the Noordermarkt Farmer's Market. It's one of our favourite things to do while travelling - head to a food market to try local specialities and bring home a bag of goodies to make dinner with. This one was pretty impressive with Dutch tulips, cheese and pancakes as well as vintage porcelain and accordion players performing the Amélie score, just for good measure. We also stopped for a break to try what is known as Amsterdam's best apple pie at Winkel 43, which did not at all disappoint. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the The Nine Streets area before getting on our bikes again and heading over to the Eastern Docklands to see all the amazing architecture there. There is actually a biking tour in the Lonely Planet guide which we roughly followed to avoid getting completely lost and which I would definitely recommend doing if you are in Amsterdam. It was really nice to see the newer side of Amsterdam and to spend some time outside of the charming yet slightly touristy downtown core. 

Amsterdam, Part I

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remember how we went to Amsterdam back in April? It feels like forever ago already. I figured I better post some photos before I am off to Canada. Forgive the random mix of photos, we had had only a few hours of sleep to catch our red eye flight that morning and Mark had just arrived from Toronto the night before. Which explains the frizzy, tried looking photo of us. But it's the only one we took, and considering it was our nine year anniversary that day, I figured I would include it. We stayed in this great place we rented through Airbnb, which I couldn't recommend highly enough. It's so nice to stay in an apartment when you travel, especially when it's one as nice as this and filled with good magazines, coffee and records. Plus, people are always so sweet and helpful and tell you all sorts of local tips. After we dropped off our bags and took a nap, we rented bikes and went off to explore the city. I'd also definitely recommend renting bikes in Amsterdam. It's a great way to see the city, even if it's a bit terrifying at times (the Dutch are very aggressive bikers - I was even spit at once!).  It raining on and off all day, so we stopped and had some fresh mint tea with honey, which I was very happy to find on the menu of almost every cafe. Amsterdam was as dreamy as I always thought it would be, with all the old buildings and little canals. It was a lot smaller than I thought, I felt like we saw most of downtown in just one afternoon of wandering around. For dinner we biked over to De Kas, an amazing restaurant in a greenhouse that also grows most of its own food. It was one of the best dinners we've had, and the service was incredible - the head chef came out to give us a tour of the greenhouse just because we asked if we might be able to take a look. I was too shy to pull out my camera and take photos, so I just have this one of the 'aperitif' but I had to pinch a photo of the building to show because it's just too gorgeous. There are some more photos on Joanna's blog, we even had the same waiter! Not a bad way to celebrate nine pretty wonderful years together, even if I drove Mark crazy all day by asking what we would do next year for the big ten year. 

Herriott Grace

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I don't normally share things that aren't my own here on this blog, but I wanted to show a few stills from the Herriott Grace documentary. You might have already seen it around on the blogs, or at least seen their beautiful products (I am saving up for one of these breakfast boards). I watched this film over the weekend and found it really touching. Not just because of the nature of Vancouver Island which will always be close to my heart, but how it showed some the things I love about craftsmanship and handmade. Those tangible, tactile things. Things I think a lot about but haven't quite worked out the right words to say yet (despite writing a thesis about it), and instead just feel. At the risk of sounding a bit way out, I think that objects that are handmade with love take on a certain soul. An energy, or a magic, that can be felt. That is what art is to me, and I think this film expressed it beautifully. With all the handmade hype these days, and over-propped lifestyle blogs, it was nice to see a film that felt authentic and personal. It's also lovely to see a father/daughter collaboration, and so it seemed fitting to post this on Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there, especially my own. 

Summer Eats

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mexican corn soup 

Tabbouleh, spring pea dip, hummus and a watermelon cucumber cooler

Rhubarb coffee cake

Danish layer cake  

Portobello mushroom burger with asparagus

Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies 

Bean and goat cheese sopes with peach salsa

Mark and I are each finished one out of our two exams and the sun is out once in a while in between grey, rainy days. So things are half good! I'm trying to just make it through these next couple of weeks, and then I'll be getting ready to fly back home to Canada. I cannot wait. But in between the studying, I've been trying to enjoy the little spots of summer. Sunset walks around our neighbourhood and lots of cooking to keep us all well nourished and whatnot. We've been getting so much lovely produce from our food co-op, and it's been so nice to take a break from the root veggies we get for most of the year so we can try some Asian, Mexican and Middle Eastern inspired dishes. Here are some of the things I've been piling in my mouth, either that I've made, helped to make, or just ate, in case you are looking for some new recipes. I did go for a run today (!), so it's cool. All photos taken through Instagram, of course. 

Some other favourite summer recipes that I've been making but have been too lazy to take pictures of:

At Home: Juliet and Ryan

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Juliet making ginger elderflower tea in the apartment she and her boyfriend Ryan just moved into after her 6 month trip to India and Nepal, where she grew up. Juliet moved to Denmark with her mom and sister as an older child but regularly visits her dad who is based in both Chicago and Nepal. She finished her degree in Psychology and Work Life Studies last year and is continuing on with her masters starting with an exchange to Boston this fall. 

Juliet's collection of vintage clothes hangs in the corner of the bedroom.

A few of Juliet's favourite shoes are tucked underneath the bed.

Some of Juliet's jewellery and perfume on her bureau, including many treasures from Nepal and India. Her father is a jewellery designer so some of her collection includes his work. Her mother is a Tibetologist.

Ryan is a professional skateboarder and skatepark designer from Portland, Oregon.

A vintage style street poster for a Copenhagen skateboarding competition they both attended.

A vintage Scandinavian Modern copper lamp was one of the first things hung up in the apartment.

Some of their favourite things - skating and wine.

Ryan's bike waiting to be repaired in the living room.

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