dsw comes to calgary

Last Wednesday I attended the grand opening of DSW at its first Calgary location. There were snacks to fill the belly, shoes to fill the feet, and red & white balloons alongside similar hues of wine. I brought my mum as guest and giggle queen, we smiled together as we tried on boots and summer shoes, we wandered by heel and shoelace until we came upon a pair of brown Frye boots.

 I've never owned a pair of Frye's. I've only admired them the way children do when looking into shop windows. They've always seemed so perfectly shaped while keeping a rugged aesthetic which suits me whether I'm in the city or countryside. They've also been terribly close to the same price as my first banjo, so I never dreamed I would wear them anywhere but the store in which they sit. 

When Wednesday night came along, I felt as if I were dreaming. I was with my favorite person in the world, trying on Frye boots that were actually within my budget, and smiling with wine stained lips. I happily returned home with the brown pair I'm wearing in these photographs and my mum found her own shoes for the summertime. I'll always keep DSW in mind for when I want a pair of fancy boots with a much more affordable price tag. Happy to welcome you to Canada, DSW.

 The giveaway to win $100 to spend at DSW is still up and running,
visit my blog post to enter if you're from Calgary or surrounding area.
Winner will be contacted via email this week. Good luck~

The Outfit
Boots DSW Canada
Sweater Value Village

*This post was made in collaboration with DSW Canada
All opinions expressed here are my own.

a year ago today

A year ago today I was planning a camping trip by the sea for my summer. I had not yet learned how to press flowers, my age was twenty one, and I believed a visit to the sea was necessary like air or pollen where the honey bee travels. I saved every dollar, I read field guides, I dreamed of moss and the smell of dinner roasting on a campfire. I never once thought of fear or how I would keep milk for morning oatmeal cold. I only thought of happiness, seawater, sleeping in the arms of my loved one, and a list of necessities such as a working flash light, warm clothes, and canned food for coating our bellies.

 When June came, we left the city for seawater and traded the prairie for an old growth forest. We slept in our van every night and awoke to the sight of cedars and red firs breathing in the same air. We brewed cowboy coffee in a blue canister and drank it while the sun poured marigolds onto our foreheads. If there ever was an hour I loved most while camping, it was the first breath of morning, those early hours brought birds into daylight and made us feel alive.

A year ago today I was building a garden in my head. Now, I wonder where the time has gone. It's already March of a new year, a week away from April and soon the blossoms will be here to trick our eyesight into believing winter never was. I may not have seawater or a trail that leads to a dish of blackberries ripened by the sun. I may not have cotton blankets scented by nature's potpourri or mornings brewed with cowboy coffee. What I do have now is prairies on my feet and mountains in the skyline. I have frost warnings and flowers that grow mad in the wind. I have my grandfather's dusty binoculars and a green hat that makes the ravens in the ravine cackle.

On blue Sundays, I will long for the sea and dream of my hair being curled by the salt, but every other day I will remember those who have never been ocean bound. I have been to the seawater. I have swam. I have cut my foot on the ocean's teeth. I have heard the rocks and seashells sound like an orchestra. I have fallen asleep in the sand and woken up sunburned. I have been ocean bound and I will be again. For today, the memories of a summertime camping trip will keep the sea within me.

Where were you a year ago today?

The Outfit
Dress Chicwish
Boots Value Village

DSW Canada $100 giveaway

Hello readers from Calgary and surrounding area, I have a giveaway for you! Designer Shoe Warehouse, also known as shoe heaven, is coming to Cross Iron Mills on March 26th. If you like pretty shoes while shopping on a budget, this is a place for you.

The grand opening will begin with the first blush of sun at 8 am sharp. If you're an early riser or if you just can't stop dreaming of a new pair of shoes, the first 200 people in line will receive a $25 gift card! I've also partnered with DSW to bring you a chance of winning your own $100 to spend at the store.

All you have to do is cross your fingers and follow the Rafflecopter app. Winner will be announced next week. ~ Good luck!


banjos and bird nests

It is Sunday morning and the beginning of spring has turned the ends of bare branches into baby sized buds. I feel most alive when the white snow sails away with the wind, revealing the hidden earth where flowers and grasses are meant to grow. It is my time for planning the garden which will be bountiful and present during summer, the other season that makes the world feel bright and far from grim.

I have been hammering fingers and palms against my banjo while seated on couches, bar seats and carpeted flooring. I miss the feeling of a banjo skin warmed by the sun. I long to hear banjo strings echo beside tall trees and the squirrels dropping pine cones. I dream of the grass springing towards my feet as I carry my banjo to play in the garden. I can see it now, the silver stringed lifeboats making songs while I brush them, a soft breeze pulling at my hair, the crow in the distance and my dogs lying flat in the shade.

When I look to my shadow in the sunshine as I play, it looks as if my belly is stuck out and round. I imagine there is a baby growing but then I chuckle to myself – knowing I am young and for now I am here to give birth only to these songs on my banjo. I know one day, if life allows it, there will be little babes around for me to share these strings with. Until then, until tiny hands reaching out for me, until a need for tissues and messes that are not my own, I will play my banjo and I will count the reasons why this moon-shaped instrument made every season of my life feel mighty, like a daisy rising from the warm earth.

Banjos like bird nests belong in the sun and I will sing with the chickadees whenever spring comes.

The Outfit
Hat & Blouse & Skirt Value Village
Lace up Heels Blowfish Shoes
Boots DNA footwear

the heart of a home

I wish I could show you the daylight that drifts through my kitchen window at six in the evening. It is close to twilight and yet sunbeams are still finding their way into the silvery sink and onto the table where apples sit, patiently waiting to be baked or chewed. I am here, in my kitchen, and I am made to be pleasant by every cup of flour, kiss of cream, and loaf of bread that makes its way passed my teeth and into my belly.

The kitchen is the heartbeat and the lungs of the home. It is here where the smoke from morning coffee makes sense of the morning light. We meet here, not always at the same time, but we come to this room in our houses for the same reason: for nourishment and for life. I recognize my childhood whenever I see my mother's hands shaping dough and building cookies. I remember ham sandwiches at midnight and the sound of popcorn crackling while a movie sat on pause. It is the kitchen where candles are set ablaze on top of birthday cakes. It is the kitchen where tea is steeped for when our throats are sore. The kitchen, whether it's yours or mine, is a home for shared food and conversation, a place where you'll find your daily medicine, the kind that keeps your heart pumping and spirit stirring. A place good for the wellness of those who occupy it.

 There are no photographs from our kitchen. It's a very ordinary one. Tiled flooring instead of wood. Light colored cabinetry instead of dark. It has counters and cupboards and a place for us to meet and sit and eat. This kitchen is not my dream kitchen. It is not my mother's dream kitchen, but it is home, for us, for now and the daylight at dusk through the kitchen window is beautiful to me.

Here is an outfit I wore on a day after a sleepless night. If you look closely, you'll see darkened circles around my eyes. In a way, I'm glad I never learned how to Photoshop these blemishes and human marks on my skin. Let it be known that everybody gets dark moons beneath their eyes and bruises shaped like peaches on their elbows and knees. Each of us has been a witness to the unflattering shades of our skin after sleepless nights or sickness. Let us try to remember the grass is no greener, the meals in a dream kitchen no better, and the skin of another no prettier than our own.

The Outfit
Blouse Oasap
  Hat Topshop
Knee high socks Free People
Boots Thrifted from Value Village