Welcome back for another seasonally inspired RECIPE, beautiful people! I’m currently typing to you from my impromptu outdoor office at my childhood home in rural Alberta on this gorgeous August afternoon. The bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering and the sweet scents of summer crops are lingering on the country air — it’s the ideal setting to publish my Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette, don’t you think? If you’ve been reading JustineCelina since last summer you may remember the delicious, clean Wild Saskatoon Berry Crumble I came up with after a friend let us forage their farm to take advantage of the plentiful crop. It was saskatoon overload (in the best way possible!) so I took the opportunity to work on a few more saskatoon themed recipes — but because of my intensive testing process I wasn’t able to publish them before the season ended. Excited to bring those recipes to the blog this summer, we headed south in search of fleeting saskatoons and canola — and we ended up finding a beautiful field of canola (annual photos coming soon!) with wild saskatoon bushes growing alongside it. Honestly, what are the chances?!
My Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette is inspired by the abundant seasonal produce and herbs available at our local markets (and in the wild!) at the height of summer! This colourful, local, ultra fresh salad can be on your table in 15 minutes and is brimming with incredible, heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich superfoods and nutrients. Straight from our Alberta farms to your table, a vitamin-infused bed of baby spinach and arugula showcases a striking mosaic of freshly picked saskatoon berries, garden peas, shredded golden beets, crisp radishes, fresh mint, sunflower seeds and scallions — dressed with a punchy Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette celebrating Alberta’s favorite berry. Enjoy this feel good salad as a light, plant based entrée whenever you’re in the mood for something quick and nutritious, or as a beautiful accompaniment to grilled fish (it’s great with with trout or salmon), meat or tofu!
Friends, I’m so excited to share August’s Free Tech Wallpapers with you today! Since the inception of DIGITAL BLOOMS nearly 2 and a half years ago, we’ve always incorporated your feedback into our design process — whether it be highly requested flowers, coloured backgrounds or more minimalistic designs, you asked and we delivered! One request that we’ve consistently received this year is to create more masculine or gender neutral designs — and because of the nature of flowers being inherently feminine, it we knew this one would be challenging. So, we have a bit of a curveball for you today! August’s free tech wallpapers feature a gorgeous neutral palette along with and a handful of edible produce and herbs — a first here in the JustineCelina DIGITAL BLOOMS library!
Inspired by the bounty of summer gardens, Rebecca Dawn Design and I teamed up to curate a lovely selection of Quicksand Roses, Purple Artichokes, Safari Sunset, Mini Green Artichokes, Rosemary, Hypericum and Feijoa in an fresh, earthy palette of new green, aubergine, blush and sage. Add a culinary flair to your tech this summer by clicking through to choose from 3, free desktop wallpapers — we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed drawing inspiration for new sources to create them for you!
Another summer month has flown by, which means it’s time for a fresh Monthly Soundtrack! July was packed full of events, weekend trips to the prairies, mountains and farmer’s markets and lots of time spent enjoying this gorgeous weather with family and friends. And my July 2018 Soundtrack has been the background music to all of our summer adventures! This laid-back, feel good, easy going playlist features 3 hours of chill, electronic, ambient, instrumental, alternative, folk and bluegrass — a versatile collection of my favourite summer jams that you can throw on whether your road-tripping, enjoying the great outdoors or simply enjoying a quiet night in with a delicious glass of wine!
Welcome back for a fresh installment in my WHAT TO WEAR TO series — where I select a seasonal occasion you may not be sure what to wear to and bring you my take on it! Believe it or not, this summer we don’t actually have any weddings (and after attending 7 last year, I’m okay with that!), but we do have quite a few garden parties and outdoor daytime events in the calendar. Although the term ‘Garden Party‘ is more widely used in the UK then it is here in Canada, we’re actually attended our fair share of garden parties (defined simply as an afternoon event held outdoors on a lawn or in a garden) over the past few years — and no one ever seems to know what the dress code is! Naturally, I thought the topic would make a great blog post — and I had just the perfect dress and location in mind to bring it to life!
I hope you’re not getting sick of seeing me in breezy floral dresses this summer, because 3rd Floor Studio‘s stunning Ingrid dress is the star of the show today! In fact, chances are if we’ve hung out IRL lately I’ve probably been wearing this dress — and this bag! While the idea of wearing florals to a garden party isn’t exactly groundbreaking, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to take your favourite LFD’s (little floral dresses!) out for a spin and have some fun styling them up with more casual, daytime accessories. Today I’m demystifying Garden Party attire and sharing versatile styling options to suit every body type, occasion and venue! As always, I’ve included tons of shoppable links at every price point, with a few killer mid-summer sale items throw into the mix — plus a 20% discount code on 3rd Floors Studio’s entire SS18 Collection (I own 3 dresses from the line!) if you’d like to treat yourself to a beautiful, Canadian designed and made frock to carry you through summer in style!
If you would have told me 3 years ago that I’d be writing an article about How to Select and Care For Houseplants, I would have never believed you! While my green thumb is fairly new, to say I’ve learned a lot since I began selecting and caring for our houseplants since November would be a major understatement. And while I don’t yet consider myself an expert, I have managed to keep our 15 houseplants alive for 9 months and counting now — so I must be doing something right! Our plants are growing like crazy this summer and while I’ve wanted to publish this post for awhile now, seeing them thrive prompted me to push this highly requested post to the top of my list!
If you’re considering plant parenthood, it’s important to remember that plants are living things and they deserve their best chance to thrive. They become your responsibility as soon you bring them home and you should commit to caring for them just as you would a pet. Plants need a great home, water (and sometimes food!), sunshine and most importantly, consistent care and love! Today I’m kicking off a brand new PLANT section here at JustineCelina with a crash course in plant selection and care — including how to select the right plants for your space, cost, the best plant shops in Calgary, planter selection and potting tips, and watering guidelines and schedules! If you’ve always been curious about the details of our urban jungle and how I keep our houseplants healthy, happy and thriving, pour yourself a delicious glass of wine, kick back, relax and settle in for a in-depth mid-week read!
I’m not really sure what’s happened — but this year, my love of cocktails is outshining my love of sangria (hey… no hard feelings sangria — we had a really good run!). I’ve also been dreaming of publishing a lavender lemonade for years — but funny enough, it’s never made it’s way onto these pages. I had the most delicious lavender lemonade the summer before I started blogging at some small town in interior British Columbia on our way back from a music festival — and I’ve been determined to create an equally delicious lavender lemonade ever since! That said, I know there are tons of lavender lemonade recipes out there, but now that I have a few solid years of COCKTAIL development under my belt and some incredible, unique, delicious ingredients in my bar, I thought I’d give it a go this summer!
So, while I fully intended this recipe to be a vodka-based lavender lemonade, as I moved though a rather intense testing process (remember when I mentioned I was cocktail testing over the long weekend?), I ended up swapping lavender for lilacs and vodka for gin — and I’m so glad I did! My Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade tastes like summertime in the country and is very near to my heart — incorporating Japanese Lilac blossoms from the tree at my childhood home in rural Alberta, honey from the hives just across the stream and Eau Claire Distillery‘s award winning Parlour Gin distilled from the flourishing barley crops and unique botanicals of Alberta’s prairies. This floral-kissed, lightly effervescent lemonade was created with a thoughtful, hand crafted, farm-to-glass approach and made for lazy summer days on the patio, easy entertaining and watching the sunset behind glowing fields of canola! Join myself and my Connecting Over Cocktails crew to indulge in a summer inspired cocktail menu (check out their creations at the end of this post!) and enter to win bottle of the best gin I’ve ever tasted, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery! Cheers to hot summer nights, refreshing gourmet cocktails and the celebrating the bountiful offerings of this beautiful land!
Friends and fashionistas, welcome back for my first TREND GUIDE of Summer 2018! This season, I’ve resolved to have as much fun as possible (with FASHION and otherwise!) and that mindset is definitely reflected in this look. I actually picked up most of this outfit during a last minute shopping spree in preparation for my Exploring Calgary’s Colourful East Village Junction article with Tourism Calgary! I had spotted this dress in the window at H&M a couple of weeks prior and couldn’t get it out of my head, plus I knew it would be perfect for the setting! These fun (and super comfortable!) Topshop espadrilles also caught my eye that day, as did this jubilant circular bag from Zara. As someone who’s typically a very calculated, mostly online shopper, it was a refreshing change of pace to let my impulses take over! This colourful, fun, free spirited outfit is the result — and one I’ve worn several times this season. Every time I do, I receive tons of compliments and questions — so naturally I thought it would be the perfect look to kick off my Summer 2018 TREND GUIDES!
Today we’re chatting about a handful of this summer’s hottest trends — including bold florals, rainbow brights, espadrilles, red, woven circular bags, shell details, tassels, pompoms, statement earrings and stained lips (because sometimes, more is more!). While I wouldn’t typically wear these statement items together, this summer, I’m all about switching things up and getting out of my comfort zone. But some things never change! I’ll always be a fan of breezy, statement summer dresses that almost style themselves — you know, the ones that you can just throw on and look fabulous, no matter the occasion? Today I’m sharing a selection of my favourite, flowy floral dresses with you, along with versatile styling tips to ensure maximum wear — whether you pick up something new or are looking for fresh ideas to rework your existing summer wardrobe!