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!
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.
All ad revenue generated from this post will be donated to Black Lives Matter
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!
Happy 2020, beautiful people! I’m sitting here on this snowy Tuesday morning in my fuzzy slippers and housecoat with a big mug off coffee typing my first actual blog post of the new year (as January’s Digital Blooms were prescheduled so we could enjoy a restful couple of days in the mountains ushering in a new decade, where I captured these photos!). I mentioned in my December Soundtrack that we had surprise New Year’s Eve plans and I had absolutely no idea what was in store — that is until about 5pm that day! We spent the final moments of 2019 checking in to our favourite Canmore resort, sharing a bottle of wine and getting ready for an NYE-themed dinner at our favourite restaurant before dashing back to our room to ring in the new decade infront of a roaring fire with bubbly. It was absolutely lovely, relaxed and magical — just what we needed to wind down after a very full year and busy (but very merry!) holiday season!
From Christmas until January 3rd I prescheduled all of my content — and although it made for some very late nights and early mornings prior to my break, it’s the first time since starting JustineCelina that I wasn’t working at all over the holidays. Isn’t that wild? While I’m fully aware that this the the norm for most, for me, for as long as I can remember, it’s been anything but. I didn’t log into social media, write or capture any content, check the blog or go online at all, really (okay — maybe to peruse some Boxing Day sales with my niece!) — and it was blissful. My first work day of 2020 commenced last Friday after some serious R&R in the mountains feeling recharged, refreshed and reinspired. What a concept, right? Just before the holiday season, I stumbled on a tweet that really resonated with me (wow, how millennial of me!) — “Please take your rest as seriously as your hustle.”. For the first time in nearly 5 years since starting JustineCelina, I’m carrying that energy into 2020! So, unlike years past, this is not a 2019 Review + 2020 Goals post — but rather, a raw and transparent read about what’s on my heart as we ease into a new decade.
With the holidays just around the corner and the height of entertaining season upon us, I’m elated to share my go-to Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas in my first dedicated ENTERTAIN post in… gulp… 3 years! The absence of entertaining content here at JustineCelina in recent years has happened authentically, as we’ve scaled back on entertaining in general — simply because life is busy (I’m sure you can relate, especially at this time of year!). Although we love to have an apartment full of company eating, drinking and be merry during the holidays, I’m all about making this festive time of year as fun, stress free and healthy as possible — and that’s what this post is all about! Whether you’ve been with me for years or are new to my cozy little corner of the internet (welcome!), you’ll know I also love to incorporate better-for-you food and drink whenever we’re hosting or attending a party — because I believe in balance and mindful choices in every season of life.
Earlier this month as I pulled out our festive decor and entertaining essentials I discovered Kombrewcha — a delicious, 4.4% ABV hard kombucha made from organic ingredients. As a plant based eater with a sensitive stomach thanks to numerous food intolerances, I’ve long enjoyed kombucha as a way to help keep my digestion on track — especially during the holidays! I also love to mix this effervescent, probiotic-rich, fermented tea into my COCKTAILS (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you’ll know I’ve been developing kombucha cocktails since last summer!). This holiday season, I was absolutely delighted to find a better-for-you beverage that incorporates all of my libation must-haves (made from incredible ingredients and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar!) in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format. Tonight I’ve partnered with this new to Alberta brand to host a casual holiday dinner party and share my tried and true Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas — complete with my best decor, styling, hosting, food and drink, fashion and beauty tips to create a festive and memorable evening. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!
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!
Happy love day, friends! This year, I’m putting a PANTONE 2019 Colour of the Year spin on Valentine’s celebrations with a warm, pink-hued introduction to all things Living Coral! By now, you’ve likely heard about 2019’s hottest hue — either here at JustineCelina, or elsewhere online. As a creative professional, I’ve followed PANTONE (the global colour authority for creative industries) for inspiration my entire career. In fact, I even have a section dedicated to them here on the blog to categorize all my PANTONE inspired work throughout the years! As someone who’s very inspired by colour, I love to stay informed about the latest colour trends and allow them to inspire, challenge and push my creative work.
As you can probably imagine, I’m particularly passionate about PANTONE’s selection for 2019! If you’re craving a serious dose of colour to help see you through these final wintery months as we (slowly but surely!) transition into spring, today’s post is an ode to Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year. Get ready for a mega dose of Living Coral inspiration — including my favourite ideas to inspire you to incorporate this beautifully vibrant and energetic hue into your personal style, home decor, plants, flowers, beauty routine and even your food and drink this year!