Happy Canada Day, friends! I spent the day foraging our beautiful Alberta land for ingredients and shooting July’s DIGITAL BLOOMS — and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the true north strong and free’s 153 Birthday! This month I wanted to commemorate the peaceful couple of weeks I’ve spent here at my childhood home in rural Alberta creating content by channeling inspiration from my surroundings into July 2020’s Digital Blooms, so you can enjoy a little bit of country tranquility, too! Despite all the flowers that are currently blooming here on our acreage, my favourite quintessential image of summertime in the country is a sea of tall, wild grasses dancing and swaying in the sunlight. It’s a comforting image that just feels like home — and it’s something I wanted to share with all of you!
This year our natural grasses seem more stunning that ever, spanning an array of golden, lavender, purple and green hues — and I harvested an assortment of Reed Canary Grass, Smooth Brome, Perennial Ryegrass, Crested Wheatgrass and Cheatgrass to create July 2020’s Digital Blooms! To switch things up and keep all materials for this free tech wallpaper authentic to the prairies, I also photographed the wild grasses on a piece of foraged barn board from an abandoned farmhouse just a few miles away (this is where all of the wooden backdrops you see here in the JustineCelina RECIPE section are from!). Click through to download a snapshot of summertime in the country straight to the background of your computer, tablet or phone — absolutely free!
The first month of summer is drawing to a close — and that means it’s time for my June 2020 Soundtrack! June was an intense month as we moved into Phase 2 of our economic reopening in Calgary and also collectively experienced the largest civil rights movement in history. Amidst it all, we also decided to form a cohort with my family in rural Alberta and have been spending as much time enjoying the tranquility of the prairies as possible! We finally planted that country garden I’ve been dreaming about for years (posts to follow!) and it’s been quite a reflective, but healing, month. Over the years, these rolling hills and sunlit fields have always been where I come to feel grounded, creative and free. I’m so grateful for this little magical, restorative place — now more than ever. Although COVID has brought with it many challenges, it’s also brought many gifts. In a time when the whole world feels like it’s on pause, I’m making the most of every last second by living and working intentionally, authentically and in alignment with my true self.
My June 2020 Soundtrack features just over 2 hours of ultra chill, easy-listening, instrumental tunes spanning genres — and also, a track from my nephew, DJBThomson, who’s foraying into the music world! A handful of my favourite tracks include Random Forests I Don’t Trust That Bird of Prey, Vladimir Martynov’s The Beautitudes, Headphone Activist’s Lazy, Shook & Ian Urbina’s Isolation, AK & Liam Thomas’s Peace of Mind, Late June’s Burning Slow, Dye O’s Uprising, iamlex’s Aurora, Tōth’s Copilot, Tom Kalani’s Target, Evin Iris’s Collapse Into The Light, Jose Mehlin’s Adjustments, Ghost of Summer’s Woodland Heart, UTAH’s Thirty Two, TOKiMONSTA’s Love That Never, Stan Forebee’s Skyshades, Wolf’s Play It Safe, Teen Daze’s Comfort and DJBThomson’s N!GHT SK¥ (Bass Version). Happy listening!
Hello, friends. How’s everyone doing? It’s certainly been a very transformative couple of weeks since my last post — and possibly, the most transformative of my lifetime. Given the state of the world, it simply didn’t feel right proceeding with regularly scheduled programming earlier this month. So last week, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement, I (like many other creators) muted my own content to create space to learn, unlearn, explore, amplify melanated voices and actively engage with anti-racism work. Rather than sharing my own content, I used this time to deep dive into some difficult topics, educate myself, reflect and process, have important conversations and create space for a very important discussion to take place. I amplified Black voices and the work of Black creators, artists and activists, as well as my learnings, on my Instagram Stories while pausing my social feed and blog posts. I can’t recall a period of time where I’ve ever learned or absorbed so much information — and I felt called to summarize it all for you here at JustineCelina in June 2020’s edition of DIGITAL BLOOMS.
June 2020’s Digital Blooms were created in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter civil rights uprising, using multi-coloured flowers foraged from blooming trees to form a raised fist signifying unity, diversity, support, strength and the power of change. Flowers have always brought me great joy, which was part of the reason I created my DIGITAL BLOOMS series nearly 5 years ago — a way to preserve nature’s seasonal beauty and offer each of you a piece of joy, too. My free floral tech wallpapers are often inspired by colour trends and current events — and it simply didn’t feel right to not translate the huge shift we’re collectively experiencing into this month’s edition. Although I’ll never be fully educated on the topic of anti-racism, I didn’t want that to stop me from using my platforms to take a stand against injustice and encourage you to do the same. Click through to download June 2020‘s tech wallpaper absolutely free — let it serve as a reminder of the unity our world is fighting for, as well as your and allyship and commitment to do the work necessary to end racism. JustineCelina stands for justice, freedom, oneness, love and equality. Silence is simply no longer an option — Black Lives Matter.
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Happy Friday eve, friends! My May 2020 Soundtrack is coming to you early this month — it’s been a bit of a grind over here as as deadlines for client work, content and taxes overlap. I’ve been working around the clock lately to get everything finished in time to head to the prairies this weekend to plant our country garden — and this playlist (plus lots of green tea!) have been pulling me through. In fact, it’s one of my favourite so far this year — featuring 46 inspiring, uplifting, motivating tracks spanning genres (I also had Spotify‘s Deep Focus playlist on heavy rotation!). I’ve been working away on tons of exciting new content BTS that I can’t wait to share next month and have really settled into a nice work-from-home workflow lately — things are definitely looking up!
Where do I even begin with my favourite tracks this month? I could actually list every single one — but if I had to choose, Geographer’s Slave To The Rhythm Work Drug’s Down the Shore, Weathertunes Wait For Me, Dead Horse Beats Never Too Late, Grønhaack’s Her Sleepiness, Gryffin x Noah Kahan’s Heavenly Father, Handbook’s South, Axel Mansoor’s The Other Side, Kayoh’s Northwind, Alex Baker’s Bloom, JR JR’s Cops, Presto! and SPEECHLESS’s Paradise, Glass Animal’s Dreamland, Avery Young’s Shifts of Light, Jordan Critz’s Eternity, Tom Misch & Tobie Tripp’s Day 5: For Carol, Medasin’s Slinky Man, Vacation Club’s Fire Goes Out, chitchat’s San Fransisco, Kid Froopy’s Easy Love, Purity Ring’s peacefall and Peal’s Essential Attitudes sounded especially good to my ears. I hope you enjoy May 2020’s musical stylings — and if you’re interested in a bit of a life update (plus a link for this dreamy dress!), you’ll find them near the end of this post. Have a lovely weekend, beautiful people!
April is on her way out — and to say I’m relieved would be an incredible understatement! April was a challenging month as we collectively spent the majority of our time in our homes, adopted new traditions, dodged curveballs (of which there were many!) and attempted to adjust to our new normal. I’ve definitely experienced extreme waves of motivation (and emotion!) during this pandemic — as someone who’s very Type A and a major planner, this has certainly been a lesson in learning not to place worth in productivity, allowing myself to slow down, giving myself some grace and just taking things as they come. Unsurprisingly, I turned to life’s simple pleasures to help me pull through — like cheerful blooms, great coffee and uplifting music! My April 2020 Soundtrack features just over 3 hours of everything I’ve had on heavy rotation lately to help me feel grounded, focused, calm and inspired.
Freedom Fly’s Tell Me It’ll Be Alright, Luna Shadow’s Palm Springs, Oliver Tank’s Dreams of Fish and Waterfalls, GHSTWRLD and Metaxas’s Everything, Day Waves Potions, Cards & Sitas All Over Me, Jack Larsen’s Vanity, Hello Meteor’s Kuroshio, NEIL FRANCES Tell Me, Brett’s Prom, Bad Snacks Elsewhere, Alle’s Islands and Blood Cultures x DJ ST THOMAS’s Best For You delighted my ears this month. If you’re in need of some fresh quarantunes (ha!), give the latest instalment of my Monthly Soundtracks a listen! Here’s to a brighter month ahead, friends.
Remember when I mentioned over the holidays that I wanted to bring more ENTERTAIN content to JustineCelina this year? Although these weren’t quite the circumstances I envisioned (now that’s an understatement!), I’m thrilled to share A Simple Easter Dinner For Two with you today! While Easter certainly looked a lot different for everyone this year given the current global situation in regards to COVID-19, we decided to make the most of it and celebrate here in our home in Calgary — just the two of us. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d spend an Easter without the large family gatherings in the country we’ve become accustomed to over the years — but rather than mourning the loss of our cherished traditions, we resolved to stay home and create a few of our own!
In over a decade together, this was the first Easter dinner we’ve celebrated in our home — and I wanted to mark the occasion by capturing these memories to look back on. I put on a dress, ordered flowers, made some nostalgic family recipes along with my first ever carrot cake — then we popped some Prosecco and enjoyed A Simple Easter Dinner For Two (Adam was actually peeling potatoes in the kitchen to my left as I snapped these photos from my tripod!). I was reminded of my ability to find beauty in uncertainty and create amongst chaos — these are things I find very cathartic and truly bring me joy. While it wasn’t a traditional Easter, it was still a lovely weekend — gifting us with lessons in resiliency, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and doing the best you can with what you have, where you are! Whether you’ve stopped by today for details on our Easter in quarantine, or are visiting years in the future once this is all behind us in search of some easy Easter entertaining ideas, I’ve got you covered!
Music has always been a huge part of my life, no matter what season I find myself in. I relish in discovering new artists, genres and melodies that help me feel inspired, grounded, focused and calm — and I’ve relied on music to do that more than even over the past month! My March 2020 Soundtrack is my longest of the year, featuring nearly 3 hours of uplifting, mellow, motivational tracks spanning nearly every genre. If you’re looking for a musical reprieve amidst the chaos of the world, this soundtrack is available for you anytime, anywhere, day or night! As always, I’ve embedded a Spotify player in this post — but if you like, you can also come join me over there. I’m constantly listening to new music and contributing to each Monthly Soundtrack as the days go by!
March was the most inspiring month, musically, of 2020 — and it’s no surprise, because I had these tunes streaming through my speakers all month long! Specifically, I had Gryffin’s Intro, Vandelux’s Don’t Let Go, pretty much everything from Babygirl’s Lovers Fevers EP, Ellie Goulding and Juice WRLD’s Hate Me, Lana Del Ray’s ultra dreamy, stripped down rendition of Sublime’s Doin’ Time, Sol Rising’s Goodnight, Yumi Zouma’s Lonely After, Attom’s Shibui, Jai Wolf’s Lose My Mind (feat. Mr. Gabriel), Aforest’s Higher Ground, PINES’s 1990, Smeyul’s Hang On, DAO’s The View, Frye’s Reasons, GARZA’s Where The Moon Hides, and Janelle Kroll’s STAY on repeat. If you’re looking for an inspiring playlist to help guide you through these strange times, I hope my March 2020 Soundtrack provides some comfort and escape for you. We’re all in this together, just a little f u r t h e r a p a r t !