happy monday!

I hope you had a great weekend and are restored and ready for another week! I'm still a bit sleepy, I decided on a late night snack of energy balls that kept me up late. I just had another, so hopefully it brings me around! Here are some pics of sea holly I bought at the Halifax farmer's market this weekend:

can you make this outfit into a garden?

So this is my kind of garden design! Studio G occasionally features a post entitled 'can you make this into a garden (CYMTIAG). She uses an outfit as inspiration and then creates a mood board for a garden. Surely a spin-off of Domino's (RIP) 'make this look a room'. I really miss Domino's column but  CYMTIAG is so much fun it almost makes up for it! Check out the Pish Posh and Christian Dior inspired garden.


messy books

These books are so haphazardly attractive. This never works for me!

diy headboard

My step-dad is building me a headboard for Christmas, I just have to find a design I really like. I looove this design from the Market Hotel in Barcelona. My step-dad doesn't know what he's got himself into... 

{via Lake Jane }


smoothie secret

 After coming out of an intensive architecture program, moving constantly and entering a high-stress work environment, I had recently hit an energy low. I started the Spent program, which is all about bring you back in balance with a natural rhythm through daily beats over 6 weeks, about a month ago and am really noticing a difference in my energy levels, mood and , believe it or not, my face. A few of the eliminations have been tough, but one thing I really enjoy are the morning smoothies. I think the key ingredient that gives these smoothies such a gorgeous texture is... avocado. 

I've played around a bit with the Spent recipes and my favorite adaptation is the:

StrawMan Vigor Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen mangoes
1/3 avocado
1/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1 scoop whey
2 tsp greens powder
1/2 tsp ground flax

Combine in a blender and blend 'til smooth. This is the perfect breakfast- quick, portable and packed with protein, good fats, fibre and phytonutrients. And delicious!

{photo via sunset }


belize it is!

I just have to share this coincidence! I mentioned last week that I was considering an enviro-education tour of Belize that would look at land planning, agriculture and ecology while touring the rain forests, temples and coastline. I can be really indecisive, and have been meaning to do a bit more research and review my budget before submitting my application. 

I just read my Astrotwins weekly horoscope and I quote "Add a spiritual-slash-educational component to any vacation you take. Study Mayan temples in Belize..." I believe in listening to signs so I think that just made my decision for me!

gray sweaters

Mrs. French over at Bliss recently added a post on gray sweaters. My winter wardrobe is also dominated by gray sweaters, yet I can't help but want more. This j.crew sweater is my favorite from Mrs. French's picks . I can't help but worry what my favorite color says about me?


happy monday

Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a great weekend. I spent most of mine catching up with friends over tea, playing house and having bike adventures (no that's not me). I'm actually quite pleased with myself for going out of my bike comfort zone. I am biking for the first time since I was a kid in the country, so I've been keeping to my usual safe, quiet routes. I was also in the most incredibly happy mood last night (almost scary happy), my heart rate rarely breaches 90, so perhaps from the exercise endorphins? 

I also noticed that I was frequently approached by guys when with my bike or even just carrying my helmet. Are guys really into chicks with bikes, does it make me more approachable or does it just give them a reason to strike up a conversation?

{photo via a cup of jo }


winter wanderlust

I am in the process of figuring out my winter holiday plans. Nova Scotia is really beautiful in the summer and I come down with a bad case of SAD most winters so I've saved my holiday time for then. I did a resort week in Mexico for the first time last winter and had a great time but I'm looking for something a little more cultural and educational, while still getting relaxing beach time.

I've heard about an ecological education tour in Belize that looks at land planning, agriculture and ecology while taking you on a tour of the country. I'm really interested, but would probably add a couple of beach days on the end. I'm also considering WWOOFing and longer term volunteer opportunities. I'm really excited but indecisive and need to make up my mind soon if I want to get my timing right. Have you had an experience with this type of travel you'd like to share?



I always love Angela's art picks over at Antler Magazine's blog . I recently checked out her blog . An excerpt from her lovely stream-of-consciousness writing:

NOV 6, 2009

under and over...

stitch, stitch, stitch, and twist. grey day. drizzle, drizzle. gold gouache and red glitter. a cranky rottweiler. rekindling. re-thinking. learn, push, pray. slowly, slowly now. easy, easy. gold and red and grey. twist. twist. rottweiler yawn. a trigger in black, breathing slow, easy now, curled up around my toes. the warmth continues to roll. the gold. the bows. the bows are tied. ribbons 'round my wrists and eyes. grey day. safe and low.

city blocks

For all of you urban design geeks out there. A cool, little diagram comparing city block sizes. 


new york, new york

As if the High Line doesn't have me hankering for a trip to New York. These dreamy photos by Marc Yankus sure do. {via what possessed me }

puppy lust

I have to admit that I look at puppies the way most women my age look at babies. My puppy lust has been dormant recently, but this pic brings it all rushing back. Look at these adorable golden retriever puppies!. (photo via a cup of jo )


black boots

I'm in the market for a new pair of boots and I've got to say I am smitten with Geox's Cruz wp . I've been known to destroy quality boots in little time as I stomp to work through slushy Halifax streets. These boots are fully waterproof without treating, really comfy and with a great pair of jeans, super hot. (The photo doesn't do them justice).


cold frame balcony gardening

I'm about to undertake a little experiment that has the potential to provide me with fresh herbs and greens throughout the winter. A cold frame is like a mini-greenhouse. It's a bottomless box with a hinged glass top. Usually this would sit over in-ground plants. I'm reluctant to leave this at my community garden, so I'm giving it a go on my 4th floor balcony. It won't be as well insulated, but as I've said this is an experiment and I've lined the bottom with newspapers, which will hopefully provide insulation while still allowing drainage.

All of the plants below I've either moved from my balcony or re-potted from the garden. From top left corner, clockwise: chives, cilantro, flat and curly-leaf parsley, bok-choy, swiss chard, parsley, arugula, mustard greens, spinach, kale and red-leaf lettuce. Wish me luck and I'd love tips if you've got 'em.

happy monday

I hope you had a great weekend. Yesterday was a drizzly, foggy, rainy day here in Halifax. The perfect day to sip tea and catch up on reading, cleaning and cooking. It still amazes me how people keep big houses in order when I find it such a struggle to keep up my 1 bedroom apartment. But it sure feels good starting the week stocked and organized.

I'll be back a bit later with a peek at my little balcony cold frame garden which will hopefully keep me stocked with fresh greens and herbs throughout the winter.


homemade paneer

My favorite Indian dish is saag paneer, but I had never attempted it at home. I kept meaning to buy the cheese when I found out it was available at a local Indian grocery, then I came across this recipe for homemade paneer on Apartment Therapy. It's simple, using only milk and lemon juice, easy and quick. And amazing! That block of cheese lasted less than a day and was glorious in the curry and on its own.


home at last

I am in a snuggly, sappy, love-in kind of mood (ok so when am I not?) and I came across my absolute favorite magazine cover. I just had to share the love. 


i want. i want. i want.

Moving right along from sustainability to materialism. I want this lovely dove-grey scarf...

These great red tights...

And for my hair to grow a bit longer so I can wear it like this... 


go big ...

Wow! This big, bold painting creates quite the impact in this 
(bed?)room. {via Desire to Inspire }

sustainable sites

The Sustainable Sites Initiative has finally released its Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks for suitable land selection, design, construction and operations, the first rating system for sustainable landscapes in North America. It is similar to the LEED rating system with a series of prerequisites and credits for points. Unlike LEED, it is site-focused and applicable to sites both with or without buildings. Under this system a farm or park could be rated and certified on its sustainability as a LEED certified building would. The USGBC , which regulates LEED, is a stakeholder in this project and anticipates incorporating the Sustainable Site's rating system into future LEED points.The Points Categories include:
  1. Site Selection
  2. Pre-Design Assessment and Planning
  3. Site Design- Water
  4. Site Design- Soil and Vegetation
  5. Site Design- Materials Selection
  6. Site Design- Human Health and Well-Being
  7. Construction
  8. Operations and Maintenance
  9. Monitoring and Innovation
I'm really excited about this system- the Guiding Principles are really inspiring, and include:
  • Do no harm
  • Design with nature and culture 
  • Use a systems thinking approach
These guidelines stress ecosystem services such as:
  • Local and global climate regulation
  • Habitat function and pollination
  • Food and renewable food products
They also have a practical application with specific recommendations for implementation in the Potential technologies and strategies heading for each point. 

At this time, the Pilot Project Phase , the SSI is encouraging voluntary implementation of these guidelines by planners, landscape architects, engineers, developers and government agencies. You can submit projects for Pilot Project Certification, which will eventually move into full certification. 

As land planning and design professionals we need to take the first step. Download the SSI Guiding Principles and Performance Benchmarks here . Distribute it to your coworkers and encourage your company to design under these guidelines. We have the potential to create healthy, productive, sustainable landscapes and this initiative is a major step in the process.

desk dreamin'

I'd love to be here right now...

But right now it feels more like this...

Ok, it's not that bad. I'm not in a cubicle, I have a window and a giant plant, but being stuck inside on a gorgeously warm November day feels like cubicle hell.
{photo via Bliss}



Today just happens to be Monday and one of those days where I am so achy and crampy, that it surpasses nausea to almost delirium. I'd love to spend the day in bed... 

I came across this photo on what possessed me just as the principal of an architecture firm I'm working with came up behind me. I blushed, and tried to casually move on to our project, but he laughed and assured me that he too looks at things he shouldn't. I still giggle whenever I see it.

girl crush- autumn colors

Since today seems to be all about confessions... If I saw this girl on the street, I'd be very tempted to follow her home. {photo via a cup of joe }


farm dreamin'

Jason King over at Landscape+Urbanism has put together a great intro to urban agriculture that has me daydreaming about food production. He talks about such things as seed bombs, front yard veggie gardens and land sharing as well as some higher tech options such as roof and vertical gardening. It's full of fun ideas and lists some really great resources. After reading his post I've been thinking about new signs for my community garden's herb garden, backyard chickens and pygmy goats! Okay so I need a backyard first... Read the full post here.

jennifer martin

Antler magazine's blog always has great artist picks. I love the delicate dreaminess of Jessica Martin's mixed media work. Check out her gallery here .



Too sweet! I'm actually a little teary... This new blog is a collaboration between a photographer and a writer. One posts photos and the other fills in the text- 'candy for your soul'. {via Bliss }


I just stumbled upon Karmameju's lounge-wear collection and am somewhat awestruck. Imagine lounging about in this drapey pajama pantsuit! And I'd definitely be tempted to wear these gorgeous nightgowns in public!


crack garden

The Crack Garden  in San Francisco recently won an Honour Award from the ASLA. This gritty residential garden at a low-rise apartment building represents the spirit of nature breaking free from the concrete and asphalt that cover most of the urban ground plane. The residents of this building created the garden themselves, using jack hammers to remove 'cracks', which were then planted.

I have to wonder if the crack garden was an influence on The High Line , the new elevated park in Manhattan. Its striated concrete planks are a more streamlined version of this idea. I have to gush, I am completely in love with the High Line, can't wait to visit, and will likely be featuring this in an upcoming post.


week 2 down! finally!

So I started the Apartment Therapy home cure for the 3rd time, weeks ago. I kept getting caught up on week 2, within which one of the tasks is to remove everything from your kitchen, get rid of what you don't really love or need, clean everything and put it back in an organized manner. Although I have a small kitchen, this was a major task for me. Let's hope I can hold it up as I move into week 3 and the next room- the entry way.