Craft cocktail lovers, I’m back today with fall’s first libation in celebration of Autumn Equinox! If you frequent my FOOD or COCKTAIL sections, you’ll know that my most inspired creations are born out of making use of what we have on hand to yield unexpected combinations — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together. Late August is when our annual case of Okanagan peaches arrives and every year I end up going into peach recipe overdrive, while simultaneously eating my body weight in peaches. I’ve explored peaches in smoothies, sangrias and crumbles (that recipe will have to wait until next summer), but this year I had an itch to experiment with my favourite summer stone fruit in a proper cocktail. We’d been grilling up a storm for dinner one Friday evening and Adam had some delicious Smoked Maple Bourbon kicking around — and voila, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash came to life right there on our patio!
This summer-meets-autumn sip juxtaposes the essence of juicy late summer fruit with a smoky grilled edge, infused with spicy autumnal warmth to create the ultimate transitional cocktail that’s equal parts sweet ‘n spicy. If you still haven’t had your fill of late summer peaches, get your grill on and imbibe this simple but sassy cocktail sure to impress both bourbon lovers and bourbon skeptics (believe it or not, I was the latter prior to this cocktail!). As always, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and brimming with better-for-you ingredients, because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Grilled Okanagan peaches, Smoked Maple Bourbon, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh thyme, spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, a splash of soda water and a dash of bitters are shaken to perfection and served over ice in this quintessentially September libation!
It’s Leo season and the canola is in full bloom here on the Alberta prairies as I celebrate Another Trip Around The Sun. I’ve always associated these free-spirited country flowers with my birthday — so when we stumbled on this gorgeous crop outside Okotoks after wrapping up shoots for my upcoming Late Summer 2019 Lookbook, we pulled over to capture these images as the sun set. It had been a long, hot day and I was a bit sweaty and disheveled, but we had about 15 minutes to make it happen and decided to go for it! To maximize the beautiful golden light, we ended up shooting into the sun (rather than the pretty backlit effect I typically prefer) and I was stunned at how beautifully these images came out — in fact, I think they’re my favourite of all the canola photos we’ve taken over the years. So, I thought it was fitting to share them with you to celebrate my birthday!
I actually wasn’t planning to write a post for my birthday this year — this post, like these photos, were completely spontaneous. This summer I’ve been trying to live in the moment, make the most of my opportunities and take life as it comes — and I feel that this set of images represent me and the direction I’m heading with JustineCelina perfectly right now! I’m happy, healthy and excited about what’s on the horizon — I feel very much in alignment with who I am and ready to for wherever my next trip around the sun takes me. If you’re in the mood for a reflective and uplifting read I’d love for you to pour yourself a glass of wine and spend part of your evening with me! Continue Reading
Well hello, friends! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted — I took some time during the first half of this dry January (it’s actually been great!) to reflect on the past year, get re-inspired and really put some thought into what I’d like to achieve in 2019. It’s been a very valuable exercise, so thank you for your patience! Today I’m dishing on everything I’ve discovered in this real, raw, lengthy (we’re talking the longest post I’ve ever written!) read recapping 2018 and sharing my intentions, aspirations and goals for the new year — plus exactly how I plan to achieve them!
When I look back on my goals post from last year, I feel grateful to be in a much better head space and place in my life — although it was a long road to get here. Longtime readers will know I’m always very transparent about the staggering amount of work that goes into blogging, content creation and creative entrepreneurship — and from the day I stared this blog in March of 2015 through to the end of 2017, I hustled hard. As a result, I entered 2018 feeling completely burnout, uninspired and unsure of how to proceed. I knew a change was necessary for me to move forward and progress in a way that would allow for more balance and well being in my life (and therefore more inspired work), but I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there. I felt like I needed to slow down and take life as it came, rather than creating an exhaustive list of all the things I felt I needed to accomplish — and I spent 2018 doing just that. I changed course and made chasing my passions for HOME and FASHION based content my first priority, which resulted in a pretty monumental year here at JustineCelina. That said, the largest shifts I made were off of these pages, in my mental and physical health, relationships and life in general. Fast forward to January of 2019 and I’m feeling energized, more inspired and productive than ever — and ready to make 2019 my best year yet! If you’re curious about what what’s to come, my favourite tools and resources to stay organized, inspired and fit, or in need of a healthy dose of motivation, cozy up with me and let’s chat about living and working with confidence and intention this year! Continue Reading
Happy Autumn Equinox, everyone! Today I’m saying farewell to summer and welcoming fall with the second installment in my PATTERN PLAY series, dedicated to one of my favourite prints — stripes! Remember when I mentioned that I took some time to get re-inspired style content wise this summer and was planning to bring you more comprehensive, multi outfit posts to JustineCelina? Well, this is the first of many! I’m kicking things off today by rounding up all the different ways I wore stripes this summer, highlighting key stripe trends and colours I’ll be wearing into autumn as well as sharing shoppable links for my transitional striped wardrobe (plus my AW18 wishlist!).
When I look back on all the content we captured this summer, one thing is very apparent — I wore a lot of stripes! These past few months I really took my commitment to getting back to a way of living and working in a way that nurtures my passions seriously — which included lots of time spent outdoors with friends and family. I also switched things up and shot more style content in the moment whenever possible! I wore stripes from the prairies, to farmers markets, to berry pick, to mountain lakes and just about everywhere in between. They’re such a versatile print that can be worn in both personal and professional settings, ranging from classic and understated to bright and bold — a true chameleon print! If you’re a stripe lover or are looking for some fresh styling ideas to incorporate stripes into your autumn wardrobe, join me today for a crash course in all things striped!
Like the final, fleeting month of summer, my August 2018 Soundtrack is short n’ sweet! August was full of a lot of BTS hustle (I have so many exciting projects, collaborations and fresh content to share with you this autumn!), but also a lot of time outdoors enjoying our beautiful weather, wildfire smoke and all! If you follow along with my RECIPES here at JustineCelina, you may remember that I mentioned we found a patch of saskatoon bushes growing wild next to a field of canola earlier this summer — well, this is the field of canola! While typically we shoot our annual canola photos in the field behind my childhood home in rural Alberta, this summer they planted a different crop, so we headed south in search of blooming yellow fields and hit the jackpot!
While the canola crops have since been harvested, they always bloom around my birthday in early August and it’s my favourite time of year! I thought this image was the perfect album cover for my August Soundtrack — inspired by carefree summer days, roadtrips, outdoor adventures and the mesmerizing beauty of our natural landscape. This eclectic, 2.5 hour playlist is a mashup of nearly every different genre and mood, but some highlights include Yoke Lore’s Good Pain, RAC’s Mission 3 (Hk), Wild Nothing’s Letting Go, ayokay and Nightly’s Sleepless Nights, Andrew Rothchild’s Routine, Death Cab for Cutie‘s entire new album Thank You For Today, Penguin Cafe’s Ricercar, G-Easy & Kehlani’s Good Life, Akasha System’s No Reality, Gus Glasser’s Heaven, Sweep’s don’t let it stress and Those Who Ride With Giant’s The Promise of the Setting Sun. If you’re in the mood to discover some fresh, feel good tunes, crank this playlist up and enjoy summer 2018’s last long weekend!
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!
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!