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  • Amsterdam, October 2012

    Looking back to my visit to Amsterdam in 2012, I remember it so fondly. It would be one of those cities that I could picture myself happily living in. The biking culture, the history, the water, the art, everything is just wonderful. 

    Our Airbnb host was wonderful and offered to pick us up at the airport. He then took us on a little tour of the neighbourhood our apartment was in, and even brought us to a local grocery store to pick up a few necessities. (The ginger cookies were so good!)

    Our first night in the city, it was pouring rain so we stopped a local spot for a dinner of some delicious comfort food, before heading to our apartment to open up a bottle of wine. We then took some time to explore the city, before stopping a cute bar for a drink. (And by cute, I mean that there was an adorable black cat in there!)

    It was extremely hard to have any self-control with delicious looks pastries like these at every turn!

    We accidentally locked ourselves out of the apartment on this day, so before we could start our day of sightseeing we had to wait for the (extremely patient) Airbnb owner to come back! We took the time spent waiting as an opportunity to grab a couple of shots of the area surrounding the building.

    See the spider? Sorry!

    The first thing we did was take a canal tour around the city. We were so lucky to have such perfect sun shining down on us!

    We opted not to rent bikes as it was a bit daunting in a city we had never been to before. Perhaps next time we will!

    I highly recommend getting pies from Pieminister, they were perfectly flaky and filled with a wide assortment of options, we were in pie heaven.

    We also went into a Hermitage Museum for a few hours where they had a temporary Van Gogh exhibit. At the time we visited Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum was undergoing some renovations so they had moved part of the collection over The Hermitage. It is always breathtaking seeing such great works of art in their original form. 

    Sadly we didn't get to take a Heineken tour (arrived too late!), but we did explore the gift shop.

    A dream world for cyclists!

    Such a magical city at night.

    By far, the absolute best split pea soup I have ever had. I have dreams about this soup!

    A traditional dutch pancake at The Pancake Bakery

    On our last morning in Amsterdam, we went to the Anne Frank House. It was something that I have wanted to see since I was a young child reading her diaries. Words cannot express how moving and devasting seeing it in person was. Sorry if this picture is tacky, but I wanted a memory that I got to be there and see such an huge memorial to an amazing young girl and her family. 

    We then hopped on the Thalys train to Paris, photos to come soon! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Ireland Part Two


    I should probably give fair warning that this is a very image heavy post, and that it's mainly of (beautiful) landscapes. Also that it might make you want to drop everything and go visit the Giant's Causeway, because boy, is it ever gorgeous.

    Brenda and I drove up with her cousin Declan and his wife Darina who were kind enough to take us on this lovely trip to Northern Ireland to see the Giant's Causeway. We stayed in a lovely little trailer in the town of Ballycastle (A town nearby to the Causeway). I wish I had more photos of the trailer because Brenda and I's bedroom was hilariously small, but it seems that most of what I have consists of this shot of my breakfast of peanut butter on toast and tea.



    That is some pretty realistic rowing of the boat, if I do say so myself :)


    If you haven't heard of the Giant's Causeway before, here is what their website says about its history:
    "60 million years ago the land here was different: the climate was warmer and vegetation thrived. Tectonic plates were moving - Europe and North America were moving apart. Magma from deep inside Earth spewed through cracks in the surface. Lava flowed. It cooled in contact with air and rock, hardening into basalt. For hundreds of thousands of years, all was relatively quiet. Then the earth cracked open again and more lava forced its way out. This time, the lava cooled slowly and evenly in a deep pool. Cracks travelled through the cooling rock, creating the columns we see stretching up..and making the honeycomb pattern we can see today. There are over 40,000 columns at the Giant's Causeway, most are six-sided, but there are others with fewer or more sides. Later eruptions left these columns hidden deep underground. It took millions of years of erosion for the columns to begin to be revealed. The sea level rose and fell and rose again. It wasn’t until after the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago, that the columns were revealed at the shore as they are today."

    The honeycomb shapes are absolutely amazing to see in person, they all fit together so perfectly! 

    After leaving the Causeway, we drove over to another fantastic spot: The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The bridge takes you over to the Carrick-a-Rede island where you can walk around and take in the amazing views. The bridge was traditionally erected by salmon fishermen. There is no longer any salmon fishing done here, as there aren't many salmon left to catch.

     

    After seeing how shaky and high up this bridge was, I almost opted to wait on the safe side, but after some convincing we all made it across. And since you can't tell from the photos, I should tell you how it very rainy and windy it was that day (Didn't help with my fear of heights while crossing!)


    Taken just before the bridge actually started, otherwise how could I have looked this calm and collected?

    I will be forever dreaming about these breathtaking views.

    Probably the bravest photo I've taken so far! 

    Later on, we had a much deserved dinner at Central Wine Bar in downtown Ballycastle.

    After dinner we checked out a few of the other pubs in Ballycastle and then finished the night with some fresh chips from a local chip shop, mmm! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Ireland Part One

    It's hard to believe I went to Europe for the first time almost a year and a half ago, in October of 2012. I flew into Dublin to meet up with my Cousin Brenda, and begin our two week adventure! Since Brenda has family in Ireland, we spent the first few days in a Naas, a town outside of Dublin, and then went into Dublin for explore for the day. 

    The morning I arrived into Dublin, Brenda's uncle Jimmy picked me up bright and early from the airport, such a kind gesture was a lovely way to begin my trip.

    Deciding to travel in the fall was a perfect idea, the cities were quieter, and the leaves were such brilliant colours.

    We stayed with another aunt and uncle of Brenda while in Dublin and they had this adorable dog!
     

    My first night there (after a long afternoon nap) we went for a quick drink at the Killashee House Hotel nearby, and met up with some of Brenda's other family members. My aunt Mary and Uncle John, who live over here, were also in Ireland at the same time as me for a wedding!

    Try not to notice the jetleg bags under my eyes :)

    Brenda's aunt Fionnuala made this amazing dessert snack, I can't remember what it's called but I do rememember it included Mars Bars and Cadbury milk chocolate melted on top, yum!

    At the train station in Naas, heading to Dublin! Typical cloudy day in Ireland, which then turned into a downpour when we arrived in Dublin.



    Some nourishment before the day of exploring Dublin began.



    The Book of Kells was fascinating, and the Library was absolutely gorgeous, sadly I followed their no photo rules and all I have now is this photo of a sign! 

    We took solace from the rain inside an adorable tart shop where we split this delicious apple crisp.



    We took a tour at the Jameson Distillery, which is now actually just a museum and the main factory is located in Cork... But we did get to do an official tasting to compare different types of whiskey, and at the end of the day, Jameson definitely tasted the best. (If you like straight whiskey, which I quite honestly don't!) But the cocktail offered at the end of the tour was pretty delicious.



    A perfect sunset while on the train heading out of the city.


    Stay tuned friends, I'm going to aim to post once a week so that you can relive this trip with me, I have Northern Ireland, Amsterdam, Paris and London to get through yet! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Montreal in September



    Back in September Chad and I went for a short weekend away to Montreal and it was absolutely wonderful. We had been the previous year for Osheaga but regretted not getting to spend more time there outside of the music fest. We basically spent the weekend doing what we love to do: wandering, eating and seeing a few of the typical tourist sites. Take a few moments and enjoy Montreal with us...

    Our perfectly situated Airbnb apartment. I would kill for this much natural light in my current apartment. And what's funny is that most of the reviews of the place complained that it was too bright! 






    On our walk through Mont Royal, we stumbled upon (more like delicious baked goods scents wafted our way) Boulangerie Kouign-Amann and we had the best treats we could ever imagine. Probably one of our favourites places in Montreal now, we visited this about 3-4 times that weekend alone.... yum! 







    Poutine at La Banquise. They even had an amazing goat cheese poutine (Pictured) for those of us who can't eat any cows milk dairy! (That would be me in this scenario) 

    A simple but tasty brunch at a very welcoming place nearby to the apartment. The bagel was delicious, as one would expect in Montreal. 

    This stand has caught my eye a few times when passing through Old Montreal, it's just so quaint, and it makes me crave a freshly made smoothie. 

    We spent the afternoon at the Biodome, and it was as fun as I remember it being. Nothing like seeing monkeys, penguins and sloths all in one place! 

    Another perfect breakfast, this time at Engaufrez Vous. The most delightful waffle-sandwiches for brunch. With a side of dried fruit and homemade jam. 

    The Jean-Talon market is most definitely one of my top three favourite things in Montreal. I was completely in heaven as we wandered rows upon rows of fresh vegetables, fruits and homemade delights of every sort. I wish I lived closer and could do all of my shopping here, I have never seen so much of a selection in my life!

    And yes, because I am crazy person and so very addicted to kale, I purchased this tauntingly delicious looking head of kale and carried it back on the train with us. Let me tell you - it was worth it! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Little Nicky's and Summer Walks

    To me, the idea of a perfect day off is one where I get to spend it with people I care about, exploring new places and preferably eating delicious treats. This particular day was no different. I finally had a chance to go to Little Nicky's, and I'm wishing I hadn't waited so long to make the effort! Chad, Katie and I met one Friday afternoon for a little conversation and coffee before Katie headed back to work. They are known for their fresh made-to-order mini doughnuts, and I didn't hesitate to get 1/2 dozen to go when we left. I have a soft spot for fresh doughtnuts and Little Nicky's did not let me down. 









    Chad and I then ventured into the beaches for an afternoon of exploring in the summer sun. 



    We stopped for some quick sustinance in the form of delicious sandwiches from Juice & Java Cafe and Catering. I could really go for one of those right about now! 










     

    Our day of food did not end there - we then went to my house and bbq'd some amazing burgers with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes on the side. Another perfect summer day.

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Shaun and Elese



    Back in July, I had the pleasure of attending Shaun and Elese's wedding in Ottawa with my Family. Shaun's parents are old friends of my parents, and Shaun with his sisters and Diana and I spent many fun days together as kids. Ontario Place (RIP) will forever be tied with memories of them! I'm happy we've all kept in touch over the years, they're all wonderful, loving people and I was so happy I could make it to Ottawa to see Shaun and his love, Elese tie the knot. 







    Diana and I took photos  at the hotel before the reception. 



    We ended up getting stuck in traffic for about an hour on the way to the reception, due to the highway being closed (and a horrible lack of signage!), but it's okay - we made it in time for the food!





     And of course, being who we are - we made very good use of the photo booth!

    My adorable parents.




    I was so happy to find this wonderful dress at Fitzroy Boutique one short week away from the wedding. They have amazing, unique items in store (and online!)





    It was a wonderful weekend with my family, and to top it off we had a delicious brunch at Corner Bar and Grill and then amazing doughnuts at SuzyQ Doughnuts. If you're ever in Ottawa, I highly recommend it!

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Magic Oven & Friends



    Every so often a few photography friends and I get together for hangs and food (of course), Sara lovingly refers to us as the "The Little Toronto Photo club." Sara, Krysta and I met at Magic Oven for a tasty lunch and some much needed catch up time. 

    I had the best pizza. Their gluten free crust is really good, I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for some new options.











    Sara, don't hate me for posting this, I know you have deep didn't-buy-the-hat regrets, but you looked adorable so I just had to put it up here! 


    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Cuba in film

    Remember back in August when I went to Cuba? Well, I just got back a roll I took with my Diana F+ while I was there! I had a couple of other rolls previously processed so I'm going to throw them all into one huge photo post.

    It's always fun to look back on a vacation months (and months) later and really feel like you're there again. Sitting here I can almost smell the ocean, and feel the soft breeze blowing through my hair. But don't worry, I won't forget that I'm still in Toronto and it's practically fall outside (What happened to the summer like weather from last week? What a tease.)

    Okay! Get ready for 30+ photos of beautiful Cuba...







    Taken on our taxi ride to Havana, we stopped at a little pina colada/snack bar for a rest. It looked out onto this gorgeous view.








    I loaned Diana my Fisheye 2 camera for the week so she had a ball taking snaps with that. I forgot how fun that little camera is! 
     



    There's me - only carrying about 3 cameras at this particular time! 



     

    After all of our tourist activities it was back to the pool! 
     





    We even watched someone get married on the beach!

    All images taken with my Diana F+ and one of these types of film: Ektachrome E200 (Cross processed), Illford Delta 400, or Kodak Portra 400VC.

  • Cuba - Part One


    Just as the mornings are growing chilly and frosty, I decided it was a perfect time to look through and post some memories from my Cuba trip.
    This part one post will be mainly photos around the resort we stayed at in Varadero (apologies for all the nature and still life captures!). After a couple of days we ventured out of the resort and I will feature those shots in future posts! Please do come back and look:)





    Our first few days in Varadero were during the tail end of hurricane Issac. Thankfully, we only had to endure a few rainshowers and some cloudy skies. It was still extremely hot, the drinks were flowing and the water was warm so we were still able to have a great time before the sun joined us.




    My adorable Mom and Sister!





    The man who taught me so much of what I know.








    Our first (much needed) drink after our 6am flight.



    Honestly? I wasn't a fan, but it was neat to try a piña colada while in Cuba.









    It was a pretty cloudy day at the beach when we arrived. But it's okay, we were in a warm, gorgeous place.





    The sun peeked out a little!





    We saw a million cute kitties (and puppies). Don't worry, in the upcoming post there are even more to be seen.






    Thanks for looking! Stay tuned for many more Cuba photos and stories to come.


    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Aberfoyle Antique Market



    Back in June, a few of us ladies took off for the day to Aberfoyle to go to their amazing antique market. It was unlike anything I'd seen before - it was huge, hundreds of different vendors and tables. If I had a truck with me (or a thicker wallet) I could've easily bought hundreds of things. We had the best day hunting around and looking at all the cute and quirky stuff for sale. We stopped for a quick lunch inside their adorable, rustic cafe to refuel and then continued on. It was pouring off and on all day and of course, the moment we got back on the highway it was a downpour - lucky us! I can't wait until next summer when we can go back.






    It's such a cute place!





    You'll all be happy to know that I did NOT add another camera to my collection that day - I need to start using what I have before I buy more.. or so I've been told. (It's an addiction)

    I look like a giant!




    There was some pretty classy stuff there! Brynn had to know what they felt like, of course.




    We met some very cute puppies.





    I'm really regretting not buying that bunny!


    A car-seat!

    This is something I SERIOUSLY regret not buying. How amazing would this look in my kitchen?!

















    And then it poured on the way home...

    All Images shot with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my 85mm 1.8 and  50mm 1.8 lenses.
     

  • A Day in the Park

    I'm a bit ashamed to even post this after letting over 3 months go by, but it's my blog and if I want to do something, there's no one here's to stop me! Back at the end of May I met up with two wonderful ladies (and photographers), Sara and Krysta that I met from Flickr. I will forever be indebted to that website for meeting and being inspired by many amazing and talented people. It helped me to grow my skills and talents and has given me courage to try new things in my art.

    Sara, Krysta and I spent the day (a sun blazing, butterflies flying, beautiful day) wandering around High Park. We walked along the paths chatting and getting to know one another. It was nice to be around new people who appreciate photography as much as I do. Not to mention that Sara seems to love tea as much as I do! (She even brought us each a sweet little jar of tea!)

    Enjoy the photos, friends... I am going to work hard to get some more Spring and Summer photo posts in before I take off on my two week Europe adventure. (When I'm sure I'll come back and have so many photos that I won't even know what to do with myself.)

    We met a lot of very nice (and cute) puppies!













    (This and the photo following are from a bokeh panorama that I wasn't super pleased with.. so I decided to post a couple of snippits from it instead!)





















    And here's an extra cute shot from my Canon AE-1 (with Kodak Portra 400):




    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 85mm 1.8 and 24-70 2.8 lenses.
     

  • July is over?!

    I can't believe how fast time is flying. I still have a million things to accomplish this summer. Many of which include more days spent lying in the park. But let's be honest, I've had an amazing summer so far and I've taken more photos than I could ever count.

    I'll be doing some more catch up blog posts in the next couple days, but here's a few teasers from July...



    I shot an event on Toronto Island and got this shot of my two beautiful friends, Katie and Brynn.

    Bokeh Panorama, 16 Photo Stitch





    A day spent at Ward's Island.
     





    Canada Day sparklers in the park!




    Shot some good concerts, like this one, with James Vincent McMorrow.



     Then Tracey and I spent our Birthday with the people (and food and drinks) we love on Toronto Island! (3rd year in a row!)
     


    More bike porn!

     


    Got to hang out with this cutie, Sawyer, all day too!
     



    Then I spent my birthday at home with my beautiful family.



    I'm a lucky girl and had these wonderful cupcakes and a cake made for me by my wonderful sister! 

     
    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and either my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens or my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. 

  • Mother's Day 2012

    I went home to Brampton for Mother's Day back in May to see my beautiful Mom. It was a wonderful day spent with lots of food, peaceful nature, and lovely company.

    Bokeh panorama, 9 photo stitch.



    We started the day off with some baked cinnamon french toast that I made from this recipe. So tasty, but a little to much sugar so I'd probably only make it for special occasions.


    These two ducks have taken to swimming in the standing water on the top of our pool cover, they seemed joyously happy there!



    We then took a long walk through a conservation area in Brampton that was surprisingly beautiful. The weather was perfect.









    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.

  • Another Day

    Bokeh Panorama, 13 photo stitch.


    Reliving Spring memories today with a few shots of a walk we took on a beautiful May afternoon. 


    Laundromat, furrowed brow self-portrait.


    Full of Beans Cafe on Dundas St W.

    Stealing the neighbours' lilacs!




    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.

  • A Black and White Spring

     




    I made this doormat for Katie's birthday, thanks to a wonderful tutorial by Sincerely Kinsey.


    Fancy mussels dinner with Katie.

    Of out focus birthday cake for Chad! Espresso flavoured, yum.



    Weekend antique shopping.



    Cupcakes for Brynn's birthday!



    fun. at Kool Haus.




    The first signs of Spring.


    All photos taken between March and April 2012 with my Canon AE-1 50mm 1.8 and Ilford HP5 PLUS 400.

  • Playing Catch Up



    I'm way behind in posting these, but I wanted to let them see the light of day before another year had flown by. I had a great Winter this year. Was probably a little lazier than I would have liked, but I had a lot of fun! (We won't talk about the hours I spent playing Resident Evil on Chad's Wii)


    Christmas at my parent's house.

    Diana on Christmas morning, waiting to open gifts. (I'll admit that I have the same sweater... and I love it).



    On Boxing Day this year I flew out East to Newfoundland. The Porter lounge on the Island Airport is amazing! Free cookies and tea, what else could one want?




    Chad's parent's house.



    The bacon even tasted better there!



    Homemade raisin bread.



    Breakfast is by far my favourite meal.




    In case you forgot what Winter looked like - here it is, probably one of the only snowstorms we had all year.


    What's better than breakfast? Breakfast in bed.


    Taken by Chad, excuse my dopey look.. not sure what was happening.


    Family day in Kleinburg, how cute are those little chairs?





    All photos taken between December 2011 and February 2012 with my Canon AE-1 50mm 1.8 and Kodak Portra 160VC.

  • Easter (A little overdue)

     


    Now, I do realize that Easter was over a month ago, but I really wanted to share a few snaps from the day I spent with my family at home! Chad and I made some tasty treats to bring along. These delicious Mini Eggs & Nutella macaroons above were from this recipe. A lot more dairy than my poor stomach can handle but I only nibbled on a couple!



    My Sister, Diana, spent hours making a fantastic rainbow cake! Such an adorable dessert.

     



    Rainbow cake.




    Oh, there's me in the kitchen!




    As another ridiculously gluttonous indulgence, Chad and I made this amazing Cookie Dough Dip. But we substituted the cream cheese with Tofutti vegan cream cheese, and honestly, no one was the wiser! One point for vegan desserts.




    As we do most years, Diana, my cousin Brenda and I, all painted some easter eggs. On Diana's cute idea, we painted some Disney characters on our eggs. Mine is the Snow White one!


    Yum!

  • I'll walk in the golden light.

     

     Spent a wonderful Saturday this past weekend in High Park with Chad. The beautiful sun felt so warm and soft on our faces, that all I can do now is think about all of the summer fun to come. Nothing as satisfying as riding my bike along the waterfront, with the sun on my face.




    Chad found imported Vanilla and Cherry coke at this small convenience store near Roncesvalles, and could not have been more excited! Yum.


    Took a few moments to work on my best tourist impression to get some photos of the almost ready, cherry blossoms. So beautiful!




     

    Spent a few good minutes drooling jealously at everyone having ice cream. Gotta go find myself
    some more coconut ice cream.

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