Family is where the heart is

It seems we completely skipped over spring and went straight to summer here in Calgary. Normally in June, the weather is still rainy and overcast, but we’ve been experiencing a heat wave lately, and I’m certainly not complaining. Winters are so long that you have to embrace the hot weather despite being unable to sleep at night.

My sister and her husband are here visiting, and I’ve been spending as much time as possible snuggling and sniff kissing my precious baby nephew. You guys, he is the most adorable thing in the world. He’s super easy and just loves being around people. I can’t get enough of his cuteness, and I wish I could spend every day with him. They’re here for the month, so between juggling work, school, and other commitments, any free time I have, I’m at my parents’ house smothering Baby Luca with love.

It’s also great seeing my sister again who I haven’t seen in almost two years. Last summer, neither of us were able to visit because she was pregnant and I was busy with school and traveling, and we didn’t get to see each other at Christmas due to outrageous flight costs and Luca just being born. It’s hard living so far apart, especially now that I have a nephew, but when we do get to see each other, I really cherish the time we have.

My summer semester starts today, so I’m going to be MIA for the next little while. I’ll leave you with some of my favourite pictures of Luca and Sophie.

C.

And the weather so breezy

- Kanye West, Flashing Lights


TNA t-shirt; One Teaspoon shorts; Ray-Ban sunglasses; Elie Saab clutch; Birkenstock sandals

Happy first of July, everyone! I have some good news and some very sad news to share with you today.

First, the good news: we bought our litto studio apartment. Back in January, our landlord made us a private offer we couldn’t refuse. Unknown to him, Jon and I have often talked about how amazing it would be to own a unit in our building because of its prime location and heritage status. It’s over 100 years old and on the outside, it looks a little undone, but that’s what makes it so incredibly charming with warmth and character.

The studio itself is the heart and soul. The 12-foot ceiling and giant windows is a primary feature, and on a beautiful sunny day, the space absolutely shines. It also doesn’t hurt that we can see the Bow River when we look out the window. Over the past two years, it’s really become our home, a lived-in space that has enriched our lives more than we ever imagined.

It has welcomed us home after many long days at work with a calmness and serenity that you can only feel when you first step in the door. The island, which was such a splurge when we first bought it, has served as a beautiful cooking and working space, and it has entertained friends over many glasses of wine. The TV area is where we spend many late nights and strangely also, where we have some of our deepest conversations about life and love. Our work station is probably where we spend the most time since Jon works from home and I’m always doing school work. I’ve never felt more at home than I do here.

Anyways, the mortgage approval was a long, drawn out process, and due to conflicting travel schedules between us, the seller, and the lawyer, it took several months to close the deal. Our possession date was yesterday, and today, we’re celebrating by staying at home.

Now for the sad news: I’m changing my blog setting to private. While I prefer that anyone can read my blog anonymously, this is something I need to do for personal and professional reasons. Alternatively, I thought about closing this blog down altogether, but the part of me that always wants to write won’t let me. So it will remain, and readers who want access are welcome to send me a message for the password. I will keep the blog open until the end of the month.

It’s hard to believe that exactly six years ago today, I started this blog with the simple intention of sharing my life with family and friends. Over the years, I’ve seen enormous blog growth from seemingly ordinary people who have somehow developed a brand for themselves, and I’ve always marveled at how they did it. From collaborations to book deals to their own clothing lines, these bloggers have turned their blogs into full fledged businesses whereas my blog remains rather unnoticed except to the few that read it consistently. But I kind of like it that way. This blog was never meant to be anything more than an online space to chronicle life as it unfolds.

I will keep writing about life and I hope that you will continue to read. Please don’t be shy about contacting me. Readership is great, but the one person who reads this blog that matters most to me is my sister. Thank you for always being my number one fan.

C.

Life couldn’t get much sweeter

- Marina & the Diamonds, Froot


Free People blouse; Levi’s denim jacket; One Teaspoon shorts; Gucci bag; Converse shoes

Weather in Calgary can be quite unpredictable (despite what the weather app says), so you really have to take advantage of every beautiful day. Two weekends ago, the weather was prime to do something I’ve always wanted to do with friends but had no clue how to plan. Lucky for us, Jackson knows all the right people, and without much fuss, a group of us got together at Bowness Park, pumped up some rafts, and floated down the Bow River for four blissful hours (the definition of #SundayFunday).

There is seriously so much to do around Calgary during the summer time that there’s really no need to travel far. This past Tuesday, we went to the National Music Centre for the first time for an Afro-Cuban jazz presentation and performance by Ignacio Berroa as part of JazzYYC Summer Festival. Later today, we’re going to YYC Lobsterfest at The Market on Macleod. Nothing like fresh lobster from The Maritimes.

After much anticipation, the Simmons Building in East Village is finally opening today. Formerly a factory warehouse, Charbar, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery has partnered together to revitalize the space. The East Village development has been rather slow but promising. In case you don’t know, East Village is our closest neighbour since we live on the west edge of Inglewood. Since moving (more) into the community two years ago, Jon and I have spent a lot of time walking and biking along the RiverWalk, which means we’ve passed by the Simmons Building hundreds of times. But for a long time, it wasn’t being used for anything, so we couldn’t be more excited about the opening and being able to grab our favourite coffee now just a hop and skip away.

We love living in Inglewood. For one, work is only a 10 minute bike ride or 20 minute walk for both us but in either direction. For anyone who knows what it’s like to drive more than a half hour to work, our setup is pretty sweet. Second, we love the local businesses in our community like Silk Road and Knifewear, and we especially love all the amazing eats like Spolumbo’s, Inglewood Pizza, Salt and Pepper, Pho Minh Chau, The Hose and Hound, Delightful Cafe, Without Papers, and most recently, The Nash. The best part is not just the community but getting to live right beside both rivers, the Elbow and the Bow. Home is where the heart is, and our heart is here in Inglewood.

But we also have a growing love for East Village. For decades, the City has attempted to breathe life back into the community, but only in the past five years have we actually seen progress. Condo development has exploded recently, and residents are expected to move in this summer. Other projects such as the new National Music Centre and Public Central Library are well underway, and I look forward to their opening in the near future. I also can’t wait for the completion of St. Patrick’s Island and Urban Squares. Even though we’re not exactly EV residents, we like to take advantage of everything happening in the area, like Crossfit and yoga on the EVEC deck and food truck events and other festivities. This is all very exciting for us because for the last two years, it felt like we were the only ones using the RiverWalk, but soon, it will be more populated and lively.

We feel so fortunate to be living where we do. Whenever people visit, we love taking them on a walking tour and talking about the awesomeness that is Inglewood and East Village. Now that summer is in full swing, I hope to share more about our adventures in the city.

C.

It’s okay to change your friends

It’s recently occurred to me that I’m turning 27 this year, and yet I’m still holding on to friendships with people I’ve known since I was 10. Frankly, these friendships exist out of the sentiment that “we’ve been friends for so long.” Naturally, friendships end for all kinds of reasons, but if I could help it, I try and keep up with as many friends as possible. This has resulted in friendships with people whom I no longer feel a connection with but I haven’t gained the courage to let go of yet.

Trust me, I know better, and as much as I want to just ignore their dinner invitations to catch up, my soft heart always accepts; I typically leave feeling “man, what was the point of that?” It sounds harsh, but it’s true. I mean, I’m not the same person I was when I was 10, 18, or even 22 (reference here), and neither are my friends. It’s okay that we’ve changed since we met, so it’s okay to change your friends.

For someone who often feels guilty for being a bad friend, I find it difficult to bluntly end a friendship, so I just passively hope that we lose touch. But that doesn’t always work because even years later, I still find myself picking up where I left off with someone who I thought was a part of my past. As a result, I have all these old friendships I can’t seem to get rid of out of guilt and passiveness.

While being passive is not exactly my style, navigating friendships has always been a challenge for me. Throughout my school years and even in adulthood, saying no to friends has never been my strong point. As a big believer in choosing your own happiness, I know hanging on to dead weight is no way to live, and while it’s taken me a long time to get to this point, I realize it’s never too late to release yourself from the burdens that weigh your heart down.

Friendships don’t need to end on a bitter, you-did-something-wrong note and endings don’t need to be definite, but when it doesn’t feel right anymore, it’s okay to say so and simply move on.

C.

Your love is bright as ever

This past weekend, we headed up to Edmonton for #thewongmerger2015. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and filled with so much love, but what really touched our hearts was their ‘thank you’ speech. Charles and Kerry are a big deal in their community of family and friends, and they are two of the most impressive people we know. They gave a special shoutout to us and to hear them say our relationship has inspired them was truly humbling. We’re so happy we could be there to celebrate this long-awaited moment in their lives.

While Jon was at the rehearsal on Thursday evening, I had dinner with Matt and Cindy. Later, we picked up Buu and went out for bubbletea where we played a few games of Jenga. So much family fun. The next day, we hung out some more with Cindy, and the three of us literally spent the whole day talking. We ended Friday night at Boston Pizza along with Matt, Buu, and Josh. Saturday was the wedding, and Sunday, we went to church, followed by a family lunch at Jumbo to celebrate Jon’s parents’ birthday and Josh’s graduation. It can get a little crazy when all of us kids are together, but I guess that’s what makes us family.

We couldn’t have planned a better weekend if we tried. Sometimes you just need to ditch the textbooks, open up your schedule, and let the moment fill your time.

C.