I bet you thought I’d abandoned sangria for COCKTAILS, didn’t you? Although sangria was definitely my first love, as I’ve dived deeper into recipe development and mixology here at JustineCelina, my foray into cocktailing over the past 3.5 years was something I never would have predicted (I’m a huge wino and I thought I’d always prefer wine based libations to cocktails!). I’ve published just about every type of sangria recipe you can think of on these pages, incorporating red wine, white wine, rosé and prosecco — you’d think I’d have my bases covered by now, right? Nope. I’ve always wanted to create an autumnal sangria incorporating October’s beautiful BC apples and late harvest wine, but could never find the right spirit to bring it to life — that is, until now! Enter Eau Claire Distillery‘s newest limited edition offering, Apple Brandy. This seasonally inspired spirit is infused with orchard fresh Okanagan apples and the essence of warm French oak — and I knew it would be the perfect ingredient to elevate my Late Harvest Spiced Apple Sangria with handcrafted flair and character!
Just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving, I’m thrilled to bring you a fresh sangria recipe inspired by changing leaves, cozy knits, brisk autumn evenings and celebrating this beautiful life with family and friends! My Late Harvest Spiced Apple Sangria combines late harvest riesling with Eau Claire’s Apple Brandy, freshly pressed apple cider and ginger beer with a sweet and spicy trio of Okanagan apples, fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks to infuse this comforting, apple-centric sangria with autumnal warmth. In the spirit of the season to thank you for all your support this year, I’ve teamed up with Eau Claire Distillery, Calgary Farmer’s Market and Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival to create the Ultimate Local Foodie Giveaway — including a bottle of limited edition Apple Brandy, 50 Farmers Market Bucks so you can shop for everything you need to recreate this sangria at home while supporting our local farmers and attend Calgary’s premiere food and wine festival, on me (check out the bottom of this post for entry deets!). Wishing all of my Canadian friends the happiest of Thanksgivings — I’m so grateful for each and every one of you!
Autumn definitely is upon us here in Calgary. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping and I find myself craving all things cozy. Cashmere clad, I’ve been pouring over my recipe archives and adding all of our favourite fall recipes to the menu! If you follow along with my socials, you’ve likely seen them trickle into my feeds, but today I wanted to try something different and round up my 20+ Favourite Plant Based Fall Recipes for you here at JustineCelina for easy reference! It’s been so much fun taking a walk down memory lane and digging up my old recipes (and old, pre-professional photos — don’t judge me!) to appreciate just how far I’ve come on my blogging and recipe development journey over the past 3 and a half years!
While I’m always working on something new (currently I have 8 autumn recipes in testing!), I’ve also published so many incredible recipes over the years here JustineCelina — and I’ve scoured my virtual recipe box to share the very best of the season with you! I’ve rounded up my all-time-favourite fall recipes across culinary categories, from breakfast through happy hour. My recipes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and simple, seasonal and packed full of awesome, fresh ingredients — perfect to make after a weekend grocery run or trip to the farmer’s market! If you’re looking for some fresh, plant based culinary inspiration this fall, you’ve come to the right place. From my kitchen (and they kitchens of 10 of my Canadian food blogger buds!) to yours, I hope this roundup inspires you enjoy autumn in all its abundance.
Interior design lovers, I’m back today with a highly requested post in our SPACE REFRESH series detailing exactly how I created our built-in-looking Dining Room Bar for less than $900, all in! In the initial reveal of our Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen, I touched on our design choices and the process of how the room came together, but today I’m sharing everything that went into bringing our home bar from concept to completion — including inspiration, planning, sketches and mock ups, alternate shelving options, sources (plus how I hunted down the best deals!) and of course, the finished space. If you’re planning to create a beautiful home bar yourself and are up for a healthy dose of DIY, or you simply want a closer look at where all the COCKTAIL magic happens behind the scenes here at JustineCelina, you’ve come to the right place!
Although this project didn’t turn out as I had originally envisioned it due to timeline and budget constraints, we truly couldn’t be happier with it! Throughout this process, I’ve learned that great interior design does absolutely not have to be extravagant to be functional and beautiful. Our goal with this space was to utilize its recessed features to create extra storage for our libations and glassware without losing any square footage in our main living area. We wanted to create an inspiring area to whip up cocktails, serve wine and allow guests to pour themselves a drink without having to come to the kitchen, which can become full easily. Since we love to entertain, creating a relaxed, informal bar area adjacent to the dining room table allows for much better flow in the room — and it also keeps the liquor flowing! Fix yourself a cocktail or pour up a delicious glass of wine and take a seat at our bar to see how this space came together!
IKEA LACK Wall Shelf in White (x3) | Lemington Wine Rack Sideboard Buffet Table in White Gloss and Maple Cream | Mid Century Turned Wood Leg Planter
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!
Happy Monday everyone — and welcome back for the next, highly anticipated reveal in our SPACE REFRESH series! Today, in partnership with HomeSense Canada, I’m elated to unveil the other half of our refreshed main living area — the Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen. While we’ve been refreshing our space since last summer (when we embarked on our huge Paint Transformation!), most of our time was spent gathering inspiration for the Living Room, as we almost completely started from scratch furniture and decor wise over there. Our Living Room took the better part of 6 months to pull together — and during my many HomeSense runs as it came to life (a lot of you came along via Insta Stories!), I also had a vision for the adjacent Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen in mind, picking up items for this space as I curated details for our Living Room. So, relatively speaking, this area came together quite quickly in comparison!
Our Living Room, Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen are all located in the same space — a large, long and somewhat narrow room. So, we kept the overall look and feel as cohesive as possible to unify the separate areas of the room with an overarching design sensibility. We took design cues for our SPACE REFRESH from our developer who was inspired by earth’s natural elements — our space features natural materials and textures with a warm, mid century modern vibe, a touch of boho and an abundance of greenery! Not only are we thrilled with the aesthetic appeal of our refreshed Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen, this space is also very functional for the way we live in it, which I consider the true mark of great design. Today I’m sharing all my tips, tricks and inspiration for designating different areas within one large room, creating and maximizing apartment storage, as well cost effective ways to refresh your space while repurposing your existing furniture (our only new piece in this space is our sideboard — the rest has been with us for years!). Pull up a seat at our table and settle in for your evening read, friends — can I fix you a cocktail?
Friends, welcome back for my annual (and very belated!) Blogiversary celebration! My 3rd Blogiversary went roaring by on March 2nd — but to be honest, I was completely engrossed in our Living Room Reveal and some other fun, last minute projects at the time. Earlier this year I chatted about changing things up around here and creating space to let life happen — and that’s exactly what I’ve done! There’s been a lot happening here at JustineCelina lately as we get ready to reveal the next rooms in our SPACE REFRESH series (coming your way later this month!) and I simply had to prioritize my time differently to make this all possible. March was one of my most creatively fulfilling months of my life — it left me completely exhausted but also incredibly inspired! In the two months since My 3rd Blogiversary I’ve reached some milestones I’ve dreamed of achieving since launching JustineCelina and they’ve reminded me exactly why I started this whole thing in the first place. So, although it’s a bit late and I’ve been chipping away at this post when I can, I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this Pantone Spring 2018 inspired 3rd Blogiversary soirée with you!
In the midst of it all, I came up with the concept for this celebratory post pretty last minute — about 10 days before the shoot (which, admittedly, was about 2 months ago!). It was so spontaneous, but serendipitous and things just fell into place (I shot it myself one sunny Friday afternoon with my tripod and self timer). This year, we’re going all out — because after 323 blog posts, almost a million views (OMG!), 180 000 images, 2 900 comments and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears (quite literally), I truly never thought I’d get here! My third year was one of intense growth, both on these pages and off of them — I hope you enjoy reading about 10 Things I Learned in my Third Year of Blogging in this raw, honest, unabashed post (you may need a sparkling glass of rosé to get though it!). Whether you’re new to JustineCelina (and there are a lot of you beautiful people — welcome!) or have been with me since the very beginning, I’m so grateful to have you here celebrating with me today!
And just like that it’s the end of April, which means it’s time for another Monthly Soundtrack! April was such a whirlwind month — from our first Apartment Therapy feature to working with Tourism Calgary and SAKS to lots happening BTS for our upcoming Kitchen / Dining Reveal (there’s still a lot of work to do but it’s coming together!), this chill, eclectic, easy going playlist was on repeat the entire time! My April 2018 Soundtrack features 3 hours of instrumental and electronic (I love to listen to music without lyrics while I’m reading, writing and working), tropical house, alternative and indie with a dash of hip hop thrown in for good measure. If you’re looking for some inspiring tunes to help motivate you this spring, I have just the playlist!
A few of my favourite tracks this month include LAYNE’s The Fog, Blockhead’s Insomniac Olympics, Kodomo’s Concept 16, TM Juke’s Marbles & Drains, Mishegas Episodes, Soccer Mommy’s Your Dog, The Voidz Leave It In My Dreams (major The Strokes vibes!), Sir Sly’s &Run, J-Walk’s Soul Vibration, Moby’s Mothers of the Night, Hovvdy’s Pretend, Bite’s Plastic Picnic and Phelian’s Grimoire. If you take a listen, be sure to let me know what some of your favourites were!