We’re back from Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and tonight I’m recapping our experience! What is Christmas in November, you ask? Basically, it’s a giant meeting of people who love all the same things I love — great food, wine, entertainment and seasonal inspiration. This past weekend we cooked with celebrity chefs, learned about holiday decor from industry experts, came away with tons of culinary inspiration and tasted wine from all over the world. Sounds like a good time, right? Now, imagine that experience set in a charming, rustic lodge, overlooking a serene mountain lake in a picturesque National Park. That, my friends, is what Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is all about! I’m sharing every detail of our trip — including the accommodations, the food, and drink, the lodge, the spa, the setting, the sessions, the after parties, who we met and what I wore! Come along with us to Jasper, Alberta on this festive retreat nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and let’s kick off the holiday season in style!
If you’ve been following along on social media, you may have read or heard a few times how exhausted I was feeling at the end of last week. There are some incredibly exciting things happening behind the scenes right now that can’t wait to share with you soon — but it’s been a ton of work getting them off the ground! I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a major workaholic (I absolutely love what I do!) and sometimes it can get the better of me. I’m definitely more mindful of it these days since balance is something I seem to be constantly pursuing. It can be really difficult for me to step away from my work — especially since I find myself really getting in a groove creatively and wanting to keep up the momentum. But, as I’ve also mentioned previously, I need to remember that while consistency is important in producing great creative work, so is taking care of myself so I can stay inspired and not completely burn out (which I was on the verge of last week). I’m sure many of you fellow creatives can relate!
So, I took this weekend to rejuvenate and rescheduled every commitment I had. Friday evening we grabbed sushi and wine at our favourite place (Kabuku downtown if any of you Calgarians are wondering), gave each other massages set to spa music and went to bed before midnight (yes I know, we’re old). Saturday I chatted with my oldest friend on the phone for 2 hours, caught up on some housework, blog work and basic R&R. I’m talking skipping my daily HIIT workout and doing research for upcoming projects and content from bed with a big cup of freshly ground, french pressed coffee and a big messy bun — and not getting out of my pyjamas until I took an amazing, 45 minute shower (I actually had time to wash my hair!). I even did a face mask, which I used to do every Sunday evening, but sadly haven’t had the energy for lately. On Sunday, we decided to make the most of this beautiful, early autumn weather and head west towards the Rocky Mountains for a wine picnic. I hope you enjoy coming along with us in this photo diary of our Mini Mountain Getaway!
I’ve been dreaming this post up since I first started blogging here at JustineCelina — and I’m elated to finally be able to share it with you today! Typically, people associate the mountains with wildflowers, but our Canadian prairies are brimming with wildflowers and gorgeous natural foliage, too. Rebecca loves to create foraged arrangements and bouquets whenever she travels, so I was excited to explore the prairies with her in search of some inspiring ingredients for our Foraged Prairie Wildflower Bouquet! Come along with us today as we forage the lush prairies near my childhood home in rural Alberta and Rebecca creates this absolutely stunning, no cost bouquet. She’s also sharing her expert prairie foraging tips and guidelines to inspire your next weekend adventure!
I took this weekend off from blogging. That almost never happens. If you read My 1st Blogiversary + 10 Things I Learned in my First Year of Blogging post, you’ll know that I’m pretty diligent about my twice weekly blogging schedule, which usually includes a post mid-week and one on the weekend. Well this weekend, despite my best efforts, I simply couldn’t get a post up before we left on Friday for a wedding in Saskatoon. As I ploughed through a very busy week and the weekend drew closer, I decided that what I really needed — more than rushing to get prewritten content ready to publish for a weekend that I was going to be out of town, was to completely unplug.
Getting out of the city on the weekend, even just for the day, always refreshes and re-energizes me! This summer I’m learning that I don’t have to travel far to satisfy my wanderlust, and that there are so many amazing things to see and do right in my own province. On August long weekend we headed to Lake Louise for the day and hiked to the Lake Agnes Tea House — it’s a moderate hike with beautiful views that takes about 3 hours round-trip. At the top of the trail there’s a lovely tea house perched on Lake Agnes (and very friendly chipmunks!). Here’s a collection of my favourite images.
Today I’m sharing a little bit of the countryside where I grew up with you! Last weekend we took a girl’s trip my family’s acreage in rural Alberta, east of Strathmore, and spent some time exploring (my girlfriends had never been to the prairies!). The country is such a calm, serene place — it’s become almost therapeutic for me, and I like to visit when I need a break the hustle of the city. Here’s a collection of images I’ve captured this summer — a snapshot of the beautiful Alberta prairies in fifteen photos.