26 January 2015

Wedding \\ The Weekend

I've been meaning to blog a little bit more about our Wedding, but have been going back & forth about how I want to discuss it. At first, I thought it would make sense to try & give some tips based on what we learned. As I've distanced myself from the day, however, I've realized that that's never been the intention of my blog. I'm not an expert on wedding planning by any stretch, just a girl with a lot of opinions. & this blog has never been of the advice-giving kind. I'm more about sharing stories. So let's get back to that.

Many of our wedding guests had to travel to our wedding. In fact, the majority of our guests had long drives or flights to join us. While it wasn't what you'd typically picture when you hear "destination wedding", it really was one. & it's for that very reason that we had things planned for the whole weekend. Our Sunday wedding worked out perfectly for organizing a true summer weekend in Kelowna.

N & I set out for the interior the Wednesday before. We would leave on our honeymoon immediately following the wedding, so we were pretty eager to say goodbye to work for a few weeks & start our vacation. We couldn't think of a better way to kick things off than by joining our friends for a quick visit in the Shuswap. We spent Thursday boating & hiking & learning new skills behind their beautiful boat. Our lovely hosts provided the perfect start to our weekend with good food, amazing company, & our favourite lake activities. We were so grateful for their invitation, & so glad we decided to take the extra vacation day.

A day on the Shuswap with some great people - photo from H

Wakeboarding & Wakesurfing
H showing off her skills while I'm just happy to be up!
The boys had a golf game scheduled early Friday morning in Kelowna, so they packed up the car & set out pretty early. We couldn't check in until the afternoon, so we took our time packing the cars & making the drive. Friday was pretty low key. We had lunch & drinks on a patio, settled into our accommodations, met extended family, & enjoyed the perfect Okanagan weather.

Saturday was a bit busier for the wedding party. We started the day at our venue, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, for our rehearsal. My parents, our commissioner, our party joined us to rehearse the ceremony for the first time. I blubbered through our I do's in typical Alanna fashion. It was ridiculous, but no one there was overly surprised. We left with explicit instructions to drink a lot of water & the knowledge that we were definitely going to forget parts of what we'd just practiced.

We had most of the rest of the day free to enjoy the weather (or finish up some last-minute crafts, as I think my mom did...) so N & hit the pool at his parents for a couple hours before convincing my dad to take us out on the boat. We both wanted to have one last wakeboard before the wedding, so a bunch of us loaded into the boat & went for the tamest wakeboard ride of my life. I don't think there could have been a more perfect way to spend my last day as an Adair.

Just hanging out inside the wake
Our rehearsal dinner that evening was on Earl's patio downtown. N's brother had worked at that location so he was able to get us good spot for dinner. N's mom even got to come by early & add some decorations. It was a great choice, as the patio overlooks the marina downtown. It's got one of the best views in Kelowna!

We shared a bunch of appetizers, & had some great summer drinks & a lovely meal. There were even a couple little speeches. I was so impressed with N's. He has a way with words that surprised most of the Wedding Party, since that's not a side he often let's anyone see. I even managed to get through the majority of mine without many tears. The entire Wedding Party still had money on me crying through the ceremony. I can't really blame them.

After dinner, N's mom had planned a party for everyone at the house they rented. She wanted to give everyone a chance to meet each other & mingle before the Wedding. We arrived to find the backyard set up with lights, coolers full of drinks, & even the cutest s'more roasting station. It was a really relaxed evening with everyone before the big day & gave us a chance to welcome our guests to Kelowna.

Adorable Smores by N's mom

At the end of the night, I said goodnight to N & caught a ride back to my parents place. We'd decided to spend our last night apart.

(Some of these photos are mine &some of them are from Instagram or Facebook albums. All of them are marvelous!)

22 January 2015


"The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family — that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life." Hygge's high season is winter, and Christmas lights, candles galore, and other manifestations of warmth and light, including warm alcoholic beverages, are key to the concept. (Source)

This beautiful Danish concept has been on my mind lately, & although it hasn't been particularly cold, I think it deserves a place in my life. Here's to making a more conscious effort to embrace this cozy concept.

Here's to slowing down, connecting with friends, & carving out some time for the simpler things. Here's to adding a little hygge. 

12 January 2015

Bullet Journaling

I've always tried to make a point of journaling. I think it was even one of my new years resolutions last year - to physically write more. There's something so great about having my memories logged all in one place. Moleskine journals are my absolute favourite; I think they're the perfect journal to tuck into your purse & especially great for travelling. I have a whole collection to look back on from each of my trips & have often given them as gifts. They've even got the perfect little pocket at the back for storing things you collect along the way.

That's all well & good for while I'm away, but what about when I'm back at home? I find don't always take the time to sit down & write outside of travelling. As much as I enjoy it, I find myself prioritizing other hobbies. I've also found that although I love technology, I don't love digital solutions for day planners & calendars. There's something so much more satisfying about analog options. I'm a sucker for writing things down, feeling the connection of pen to paper. (Is that a thing?)

Last week, I read about Bullet Journals & it just seemed like such a perfect solution for me. I love lists. I love moleskin journals, & I love journalling & analog planners. It pretty much combines all of these things in a really simple format.

I picked up a graph paper moleskin from Indigo on my way home from work & have been using it ever since. (Any excuse for a new moleskine journal, right?)The idea is really simple & so far I love it. We'll see how it goes as the month progresses & whether I still find it useful by the end of the month.

If you're looking for a simple way to journal or keep track of to dos, check out the bullet journal. Do you have a favourite way to keep track of life's details?

7 January 2015

December In Instagram

Twenty Fifteen. We're here. December is officially last year. It always sounds a bit odd to refer to something that happened so recently as last year. This year has some big shoes to feel. I mean, last year we got married & went on our first trip together to another continent. It was a big one. Nonetheless, I'm excited for what 2015 has in store for us. I wish I could say we had another big trip planned, but we're keeping closer to home this year. We're looking for a house, putting down roots, trying that on for size. We'll see how it goes. (Don't worry, I've already got 5 more trips planned for the years after this one...) This year will be my fourth back in Calgary. In some ways it feels like a long time to be in one place. But I digress, this isn't a 2014 recap. Let's get on with it! Here's what we got up to in December according to my favourite social media app:  
1. I can't believe it took us this long, but we finally went to the new Anju. We shared all of our favourites (they added pork belly to the crispy tofu. It's perfect!) & I'm already itching to go back. We rounded out the evening at ATP's performance of Charlotte's Web. It was a wonderful date night.
2. My work Christmas party lived up to its reputation & we had a great time with my wonderful coworkers. There were many drinks & lots of hilarious dance moves.
3. Our good friends returned from South America just in time for Market Collective & an outdoor winter pop up at Container Bar. H & I snuggled under blankets, enjoyed mulled wine & shared crispy crepes, while chatting with her bar manager. Such a cool group of guys running the show over there!
4. Dad & I enjoying my parents annual Christmas Cocktail Party. Good food, festive drinks, my favourite people.
5. We enjoyed our first day on the slopes at Lake Louise for our friends' annual Ski Trip. It's shaping up to be a pretty good year if this snow continues!
6. I started this Christmas Day 5 km Tradition a few years ago. The three of us are still the only participants to date.
7. We spent the holidays at my parents' place in BC. Thanks for finding the weirdest Christmas crackers, mom. This picture is so greasy.
8. Boxing Day Skiing trumps shopping in our books. We spent the day at Panorama with my family. We're the three best friends that anybody could ever have and we'll never ever ever ever leave each other. Right guys?
9. & the final day of the year. We started our evening with a steak dinner & ended it at a house party with some of our closest friends.

Happy New Year everyone!

31 December 2014

Happy New Year

It's going to be pretty tough to top 2014. You've got some big shoes to fill, 2015. 

Happy New Year, friends! Mes meilleurs vœux pour la nouvelle an! 


30 December 2014

Honeymoon 008 \\ Genoa

When I first started planning our honeymoon, I figured we'd fly from Lyon to Genoa for the start of our cruise. As I did more research, however, I was pleased to discover that the train would actually be quicker. I am a big proponent of train travel. I originally assumed we could hop on a flight to Genoa pretty easily, but all routes required a stopover in Zurich or Frankfurt, forcing a major detour. So instead we opted to spend the day on the train. Not only would it be cheaper, we'd arrive earlier & the train station would be a few metro stops away from our airbnb rental in the historic district. Our train would leave Lyon a little bit earlier, but since we wouldn't have to travel out to the airport, we'd actually leave our rental later. Perfect!

View from the train

Our train made a couple of stops along the way, first in Chambéry & then in Turin. We had a couple hours in Turin & when we arrived at Turin Porta Susa, I thought we were in for a pretty boring stopover. There weren't a whole lot of amenities going on. I pulled out our tickets to double check the time we were leaving at & quickly realized we were supposed to leave from Turin Porta Nuova. They'd sold us tickets that had a different departure station than the one we'd arrived in. I swear Italian train travel is always an adventure! We quickly purchased tickets from a surly ticket agent & ran to catch our new train, only to get kicked off due to technically difficulties. A friendly university student pointed us towards the metro - it turns out we could have done this all along. Thanks, Mr Ticket Agent.

Our host in Genoa had given us very simple instructions to his apartment in the centre. We had arranged to meet him when he got off work, but arrived a bit early so we grabbed a drink in the shadow of the cathedral around the corner from his place.

Drinks in the square by the Cathedrale
Maurizio welcomed us into his beautiful attic apartment & gave us suggestions for how to spend our evening. He pointed out the important sights, his favourite restaurants, & the best gelato on a map. We didn't have long so he made sure to give us a manageable list, which we definitely appreciated. This kind of hospitality is what truly makes airbnb my new favourite service.

We set out for the old quarter, map in hand. Luckily, this historic area is quite compact & it only took us about 10 minutes to get there. The buildings here are so different from those in France. With mostly flat facades, they've painted columns & art to mimic different types of architecture. We both found it quite beautiful. Maurizio had suggested a gelato shop up the hill. He told us it was his favourite place to get get granita. We opted for gelato & happened to accidentally time it perfectly for the sunset. The little shop is located on the spianata Castelletto, overlooking the port city. You can take the funicular up from the old district or find your way up the maze of stairs, like we did.

We decided to have dinner in another spot recommended by our host. Conveniently located around the corner from our apartment, Cantine Squarafico is a romantic little spot with a great menu, helpful & friendly staff, & a wonderful atmosphere in an underground setting. Our server spoke perfect english & recommended a beautiful local wine. It was exactly what we were looking for & started things off on the right foot. It doubles as a wine store, so if you're not looking for dinner, I'd recommend stopping in to take a look at their wine selection. If you do decide to eat here, go for the lobster taglioni. It was by far our favourite part of the meal - we'd decided to share our appetizers & found ourselves fighting for more lobster. We could have ordered one each.

We capped off the evening with a wander through the summer market in the Porto Antico and a beer on our spectacular rooftop terrace. They had built a little terrace right into the tile rooftop. Our host brought us some lanterns & we sat at the little table, enjoying our beer & the impressive view. Most of the buildings are quite short so we had an unobstructed view of our surroundings, including the nearby port & Cathedral next door. It was gorgeous.

Evening Light
Interesting restaurant in the Old Port
Our terrace in daylight
& the view at night
I didn't have any expectations for Genoa so it was a pleasant surprise to find we enjoyed our short time there so much. The friendly people, beautiful sights, & incredible food make it a very worthwhile destination. I wouldn't hesitate to book another few days to explore a little further.