If you’ve been following along with myFASHION section (or Instagram feed) this summer, you may have seen this post coming! Over the past few years, I’ve accumulated quite the collection of natural material bags — we’re talking everything from raffia, to wood, to jute, to straw. In fact, I’ve fallen so in love with them that I was inspired to start a brand new series here at JustineCelina called THE ACCESSORY EDIT, where I dedicate an entire post to a standout accessory (or possibly accessories!) of the moment and how to style them, along with my best shopping tips, killer sale alerts and tons of shoppable links at every price point. The first post in this series is an ode to my love of natural material bags of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages!
Natural material bags are something I’ve worn since long before they were particularly on trend — in fact, I’ve owned some of my vintage straw bags for nearly a decade! I love organic looking, natural details and textures both in my wardrobe and in my home. Last summer, I decided to finally pull the trigger on the iconic Cult Gaia Large Ark Bamboo Handbag (a birthday splurge!) and it reignited my love for natural materials bags! Over the past year, natural material bags have been spotted everywhere — on the arms of your favourite bloggers, celebrities and fashionistas alike. Today I’m sharing my entire collection of natural material bags (that’s 19!) with you, along with all the different ways I’ve worn them, plus how I plan to style them up into AW18. If you, too, are a lover of natural materials, hang out with me while I spill the details on everything you wanted to know about the bags of the moment!
Welcome back, friends and fashionistas! Today I’ve teamed up with Saks OFF 5TH to bring you a fresh post in my WHAT TO WEAR TO series dedicated to Horse Races — and to announce the Grand Opening of their second location at CF Market Mall! Saks OFF 5TH‘s newest Calgary location is open to the public on August 30th (that’s tomorrow!) and home to 800 designer brands for women, men and children. I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with them once again to create some new style content featuring my latest OFF 5TH finds!
Earlier this summer we had the pleasure of attending Packwood Grand and to be honest, the sartorial aspect of the race excited me much more than the main event! Longtime readers will know I love any excuse to dress up and dress well (which is part of the reason I created my WHAT TO WEAR TO series in the first place!), so I took this unique event as an opportunity to deep dive into horse race appropriate attire and put my own unique spin on the dress code! After hunting for the perfect gingham dress for what seemed like an eternity, low and behold, I found it on Saks OFF 5TH‘s Calvin Klein rack — at just over 50% off, ringing in at $74.99! I’ve always been a fan of gingham and although it’s very on trend at the moment, it’s also a timeless print that lends itself to more traditional occasions and settings. So, I styled my darling Calvin Klein Gingham Wrap Dress up for the races — and today, you’re coming along! If you’ve always wondered What to Wear to | A Horse Race, or are looking for a crash course on transitional prints and trends (at an incredible value!), Calgary’s newest Saks OFF 5TH location and I have you covered!
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!
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!
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!
Happy Friday, friends! Things were a bit quiet here at JustineCelina during early June — and whenever that happens, I promise it’s for good reason! As I mentioned, I was working on a couple of exciting projects BTS — and this was one of them. We spent a beautiful Sunday earlier this month Exploring East Village Junction with Tourism Calgary — and you can read all about it in my second article for VisitCalgary.com!
If you’re craving an inner city adventure this weekend, I highly recommend spending a few hours exploring Calgary’s colourful East Village Junction! Tucked away behind the iconic King Edward Hotel on the corner of 4th Street and 8th Ave SE, EV’s liveliest lot showcases the vibrancy and charisma of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood in an innovative, market-like community space where 15 local businesses and artisans have utilized shipping containers to create an entirely unique retail experience in Calgary’s core. Discover all #evJuction has to offer now through September 3rd — complete with unique wares for fashion, art, vintage and home decor enthusiasts, food trucks, delicious vegan eats, bicycle rentals, live performances and yes… even fitness classes! There’s something for everyone at Calgary’s East Village Junction Pop-up Retail Park — and today I’m sharing a handful of my favourite things to see, do, shop and eat!