Behind the 'Gram

I really do love Instagram, but sometimes it's styled ideal can be more than a little unrealistic. Thought I'd share some behind-the-scenes thoughts from a few photos I've posted in the last month :)

There are days the top of this desk can barely be seen, so it was in dire need of a clean-up. I'm happy to report it still resembles this photo, although there might be a few other beauty bottles added ;) 

This shot taken from the car a few weeks ago is still one of my faves, even the dirty windows. This is real life after all ;)

While my desk is often this messy, it's only ever this 'styled' when the camera comes out :) Other wise I'm sure I'd be bleeding everywhere from those gold tacks. And my pen holder is usually kept upright haha

I get a bit bored with the usual nail photos, so I tried to style these a bit. Needless to say, this was a great idea in theory, but oh man the outtakes are awkward haha

On the few 'milder' days we've had (read: barely above freezing), getting outside for a walk has been a nice break from my desk. I took this same shot back in the fall - what a difference 12 weeks can make! 

And finally, my challenge for 2015 is to learn calligraphy! I bought some ink & nibs online, took a course from Molly Jacques on Skillshare, and have been practicing every day since. The topmost sheet in this photo was full of capital B's, and the bottom sheet has a nice splat from when my nib & I didn't quite agree ;)

ps, if you sign up through this link, we both get a free month on Skillshare. They have tons of classes - I have my eye on several more!

Any stories to go along with some of your Instagrams?

xo

New Year, New Tools

You've probably all heard/seen the quote, "Insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results." or some version of it, and it is so applicable to our new year's goals. (I say 'our' because I am so guilty of this sometimes!)

But 2015? I've got some new tools & I'm changing up the usual to hopefully achieve some new goals :)

If you find yourself in the same boat as me - wanting to make goals & actually achieve them - but don't know where to start, I'm sharing all the tools I'm using this year to make things happen!


Powersheets 
Whether you use these, or follow Lara's goal setting series on her blog (2015 is underway, but 2014 & 2013 are still up!), her system & process of goal setting will help you find & finesse goals that MATTER. No frills or fussiness here, just real, deep introspection that helps you develop good, true, solid, goals (and a plan to make them happen ;)

Glow eBook
I have been following Rachel & her blog for years (I think I found her old blog, Little Bits of Lovely, just after I started my blog!) and seeing all her incredibly inspiring work has been so cool! When she launched her eBook GLOW, I knew I had to pick it up. She packs so much punch with tons of resources, information & worksheets beside so many good, kind, supportive thoughts - definitely a must read if you want to kick in the pants to get your goals done :)

Read
I don't care what it is, but find something that speaks to you & dive in! Whether it's Make it Happen, Ordering Your Private World, Love Does, or anything that can help you figure out what matters & how to make it happen, do it!

Journal
How else are you going to write out your dreams & goals and keep track of them? I started journalling last year, and I admit I'm not a natural at it, but I love the idea of having a written record to look back on. Especially with goal setting!!

Words
Surround yourself with words that change. Whether you write them out, buy a print (or two!), a daily daybrightener, download an app, tape them to your mirror or your desk, surround yourself with good things. Write out your goals and keep them visible! Nothing will ever happen if you forget about them. I'm planning on writing all of mine out & keeping them behind my desk - nothing like accountability to make things happen :)


You can do this!! Prepare yourself, dream big, & then work ever harder :)

Happy 2015!

xo

Loving

Just a few things that have captured my love & attention lately...


Psalm 23
I know it's an incredibly popular passage, but when you slow down & really dig into the words? It's so beautiful. Thankyou to Grace for opening my eyes to it's meaning again. 


Perfume & Pearls
Me & Balenciaga go way back - back to the days of living in downtown Toronto & falling in love with this chic scent. And double pearls? So fun!


Art
I mean, art always makes me happy :) But handprinted, imperfect, limited edition loveliness from Kelsey of Pinegate Road? Over the moon!


Gold
I promise I didn't plan to match my nails to my new Chapters mug on purpose, it was just a happy accident :) Both colours are from Julep's December box, and the gold monogram mugs are currently 50% off!

xo

Lately

A few happenings from the past week...


Everything's better in gold ;)


Winter sunlight peeking through the trees


The tree is up! And suddenly it feels a lot more like Christmas.


A little tradition of mine - Deborah Lippmann's 'Happy Birthday' for my birthday mani


Cozy sweater, plum lips, & a messy braid with way too much dry shampoo - 
what weekends were made for :)


And a few little birthday spoils - art makes the best present.

Follow along on Instagram for daily happenings :)

xo

Don't forget to enter the Tracey Cameron giveaway
TWO beautiful peacock prints could be yours :)

Snapshots & A Giveaway!

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Hope you're staying warm :)


Last week was pretty cold around these parts, & a big ol' mug of hot chocolate was the perfect way to end the week :)


I've been enjoying Sarah Richardson's new book, and Winnie decided it was the perfect place to nap ;)


Cold weather essentials! Warm sweaters & lots of moisture :)


Giveaway time! If you'd like to win one of my 'Love Deeply' prints, head on over to Instagram, make sure you're following me, and then post a new photo showing something that you love deeply (or regram my photo) & tag me AND the hashtag #lovedeeplygiveaway to enter! I'm giving away four sets of two (one for you to keep & one for you to giveaway) so there will be FOUR winners! You have until the end of the week :)

Just to recap: Follow me on Instagram, tag me & the hashtag in the photo, win TWO prints!

Can't wait to see your entries!

xo,
B

Golden Field











A few weekends ago I went on a hike with a friend. We didn't time it on purpose, but we ended up there right at that magical golden hour. That light can make anything beautiful! I had a hard time narrowing down photos for this post, but you can see the rest here.

I love the photos of the little friend we met on the way :) I know a really short depth of field isn't for everyone, but I love it! It's fun to just take photos & practice & experiment with editing. I don't have a super fancy camera or lens, but you have to start with what you've got right? ;)

xo,
B

ps, I've been posting a lot more on Instagram lately! I decided at BlogPodium to make more of an effort with my feed and I'm having a lot of fun with it :) There's a little slideshow in the sidebar, or you can follow me here

Currently


I am feeling really thankful lately. Thankful for an amazing community of bloggers & designers who make things like BlogPodium possible. Thankful for the opportunities I've had to not only speak on things that matter to me, but to work alongside crazy talented people who make things happen. Thankful for the work I do & the people it brings my way - have some really awesome people filling my inbox these days :) Thankful for this little blog space, because without it? I honestly have no clue where I'd be right now. And I know that probably sounds strange, but so much has happened because of this tiny blog. People & work & opportunities that I couldn't have thought up even 5 years ago. My blog will never change the whole world, but it has changed my world, and for that, I am incredibly thankful. xo, B



BlogPodium recap coming soon! Trying to condense it into one post takes some mulling over. 

Some weekend reading to keep you busy :)

If you're feeling crafty this weekend, these tray DIY's from Tiffany Pratt are so fun! Loving the gold stripes - need to actually make this one!

Brittany's recap from BlogPodium is really good. Love her 4 big lessons!

Jen's recap post was great too - there's always a few overarching themes that you just can't plan :)

This post from Rachel on getting what you really want is inspiring - no time like today!

The Lively Show podcast this week with Kate Arends of Wit & Delight was excellent!! Lots of good advice & info packed in :)

And in case you need to slow down a little, this post from Kate's blog is just for you :)

For more discussion on perfectionism, this post on Forbes is excellent.


Sophie's Bridals


When your best friend is getting married, and you're a beauty junkie, the only natural solution is to do your best friend's makeup, right? Haha I don't know if that happens every time, but I loved helping Sophie get ready for her big day :)

I will admit I was fairly nervous to do someone's makeup for their wedding day, but I think doing a trial beforehand (where we took these photos!) was a big help. We had talked about what she wanted to do with her hair & makeup, and we actually nailed it the first time round!


We did gold-y champagne eyelid, with a smokey brown liner and red lips (!!) to complement the soft, vintage-y waves in her red hair (and her gorgeous blue eyes).





Those buttons!! As maid of honour, I was given the duty of button-er haha We had a few laughs over those buttons :)




The official wedding photos haven't come out yet, but I will definitely have to share a few of those when they do!

Sophie, you made the most beautiful bride, both inside & out :) Love you lots!

xo,
B

Goal Setting



At the end of July, I shared my new intentions & tools for goal setting and getting things done. Just over a month later, and I'm still using & loving everything. I will admit that I've missed a few days of journalling, but I make sure I don't let missing a day or two become a habit. (progress not perfection, right?) My new agendaPowersheets are great tools to organize my usually messy thoughts haha And getting all my ideas & goals down into one place is so helpful. (The 2014 Powersheets are sold out, but the 2015 version is coming soon!)

I'd love to hear what you use & love for organizing, setting goals, and getting things done!

xo,
B

Raindrops



I love rainy days. I love the sound, I love the smell, I love the freshness. It just seems to make everything better in a way that even the sun can't do.
   The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.   James 5:17-18 (MSG)
xo,
B

ps, don't forget to enter this week's artist giveaway!! You get to pick one of Chelcey's prints from her shop, What the Print!

New Month, New Plan






I haven't been super happy with my organizational skills as of late. I have a planner and I do write down the things I need to do, but I usually feel like I'm just always playing catchup and can never get ahead.

Have you heard of Nancy Ray? Her work is gorgeous, but it's her attitude towards her life & business that I find inspires me the most. She did a whole series on how she organizes all the different areas of her life, and one thing that really jumped out at me was a book she mentioned, Ordering Your Private World. It was the sort of thing I noted, planned to look up on online & maybe order.

I'll admit, I kind of forgot about the book. But one day as I was perusing the family bookshelf, I found a copy. I can't tell you how many times I have looked over those bookshelves, but I never once noticed this book before. I absolutely 100% believe that timing was divinely inspired, so I knew I needed to read that book.

Um, it was so what I needed! A good old fashioned kick in the pants to get me started on a new journey towards being organized in every area - my work, my time, my space, and my spiritual life.

I don't have everything quite figured out yet, but I love the feeling I have of just knowing I'm headed in the right direction now. I've got a new planner (couldn't resist!), some new goal setting Power Sheets (so pumped!) and a whole new outlook on things thanks to Gordon Macdonald (& Nancy Ray!)

What keeps you organized? Any good books or tips I should know about?

xo,
B

ps, Chapters shipping is usually super speedy, so if you order today you might get your new planner in time for August! And don't forget to enter to win a print from Live Love Studio!! The perfect motivation to hang above your desk :)

Visiting: Paris


One of the things I love about living where I do is how close we are to lots of lovely little spots - Paris, Ontario being one of them. It's got the cutest little downtown street with lovely shops and one of my favourite spots for tea (The Brown Dog). And if you love quality linens and have never been to John Hall's, you are missing out!

After a nice catch up with a friend last Friday evening, we went for a little walk (to burn off our dessert of course haha) and wound up beside the river. I was glad I brought my camera along (I often just leave it at home) and I managed to get a few neat shots.
All photos have been edited with the Filtergrade Photoshop Actions.






What are your favourite little spots to visit? I've got a few more day trips planned this summer so hopefully we can explore Ontario together :)

xo,
B