11.22.2014

WEEKEND WARRIORS: Winter Picnic

The other evening I was lamenting that my favorite activity of the warmer weather, picnicking, was to be had no more until next year. It became a Saturday ritual to visit the farmer's markets in the area, pick out the most appetizing local fodder, and enjoy it on a blanket with friends and family in a scenic locale. Though it's true the warm weather has flown the Canadian coop, I realized that we don't have to stop this great weekend tradition of gathering outdoors with family and enjoying home-grown flavors: you might even find the Winter version more charming! 
My family tried one a few weekends ago, and while it was cold and we forgot a few things (who brings wine and no corkscrew?!), we had a fantastic time and that's what matters. Here are a few things to prep, a few things to eat, and a few things to bring on your own Winter picnic:

 PREP: We selected our location first so that we knew how far we needed to walk, and that we were permitted to make a fire. We decided to hike in to one of our favorite Provincial Parks that is closed for the season as it has easy trails, large wood planked picnic tables, and great views.


EAT: What is available locally is obviously seasonally determined in Canada due to temperature changes, but that doesn't mean we should cease trying to shop in our neighborhoods during the Winter months. It's important to support farmers and artisans in our community year round! A day or two before, my Mom and I gathered (proudly) all Okanagan products for our feast. *blue cheese from Upper Bench Winery & Creamery in Naramata, B.C.*


EAT: Some delicious items to bring during this season would be rustic loaves and crackers, assorted nuts (I gathered some walnuts courtesy of the tree in my courtyard), cheeses, preserves, late harvest fruit, pickled selections, game meats and sausages, kettle corn, red wine or craft beer from your area, and a fun sweet treat like different flavored artisan marshmallows. *Wine from Upper Bench Winery in Naramata and Mission Hill Winery in West Kelowna*


BRING:  Make a list of what utensils, tools, and dishes you want to bring, then check it off as you pack up. If you look closely at this photo, proof exists that if one tool is forgotten (a corkscrew), then another may take it take it's place in times of great need (the blunt end of a screwdriver). Necessity is the mother of invention, and great aunt twice removed to wine drinkers. I think.*reserve pinot noir from Mission Hill Estate Winery*


BRING: We chose to bring heavy ceramic dishes, mugs, and boards to put food on and drink in. The weight of them ensured nothing toppled over if a breeze came up,  and they kept other objects like the blankets and tables clothes in place. We also made like it was our dining room and brought cloth napkins, and a giant table runner. Because, plaid. 


PREP: While the food was gathered and packed before hand, we decided that we would cut anything we needed at the actual site, and that the fire was going to do any and all of the cooking. This could be changed by prepping hot items at home like soup or chilli, but it was actually great to roast up whatever we wanted in little bits with sticks over the fire. Sort of like an outdoor fondue! The fire always works for heating up water for coffee and tea, mulling wine in a pot, and the classic marshmallow roasting (see below; maple syrup on er'thing).



BRING:  Men. The male portion of my family hauled the firewood down in a wheelbarrow, chopped wood, and made a mean fire for us all whilst wearing plaid, beards, and Canadian tuxes. Jokes aside, the wheelbarrow was really helpful not only to bring supplies down for the fire, but then to carry any waste or recycling back up to the truck. Remember if you have a fire, to plan a way to put it out when you leave, and bring garbage/composting bags to ensure you leave the spot you used looking pristine!


BRING: Ways to keep warm. Dress in layers, have waterproof footwear, and have fingerless gloves with the flap over top to more easily grab or use tools without taking them off completely. I brought a light bench from my deck and covered it with sheepskins and blankets. Later, we moved the bench closer to roast food and would drape the warm blankets around us if we needed to move away from the fire for a bit. I also brought a crate and several baskets as they contain everything for carrying to and from the site, but also served as rests for plates, cups, and our trusty lantern. 


ENJOY: Whether you go Winter picnic glamping, or you whittle down a stick from the ground to roast your smokies, this is an amazingly fun tradition to start with your near n' dears for the holiday season as it celebrates the precious gift of time spent with each other (thanks to my amazing family for helping me with this idea!). Enjoy! *local products from Pioneer Coffee, Knight's Chocolate, Queen Bee Popcorn, Helmut's Sausage Kitchen, Ogopogo Meats, Bliss Bakery, Mission Hill Winery, Upper Bench Creamery & Winery, Summerland Sweets*

11.19.2014

Stripes & Plaid (but also leopard)

Just a little print mixing post for a midweek pick-us-up. I am all about staples in my wardrobe; classic pieces and prints that will never go out of style, but then you can combine these items sometimes and feel a little wild! These three prints are all great stand alone pieces, but since they have black running through them they can be mixed up without blinding people...hopefully.

| hat - Urban Outfitters | scarf - Joe Fresh | jacket - Winners | blouse - Talula by Aritzia | jeans - Anine Bing via Eluxe | boots - Sam Edelman |







11.13.2014

WEEKEND WEAR: Puffer Coat & Camo

My parents have been touting the merits of puffers coats and vests since their university days. They would walk everywhere in the damp Vancouver weather and either wear their hand knit Cowichan sweaters (local garb, look it up!) or water proof down-filled articles. As a person that is ALWAYS cold, anything warm is welcome in my life. I got this down puffer layer half price on a flash sale a few weeks ago and it's been in heavy rotation. Warm, warm, warm, and not so voluminous that it drowns you. Since it is decently sleek, I am not limited to just wearing it with athletic gear; it's going well with denim, and leather leggings too. Get yo'self one. Warm and practical can never be wrong!

| puffer coat - La Notte by Aritzia | scarf - Wilfred by Aritzia | beanie - TNA by Aritzia | denim shirt - Joe Fresh | pants - Target | boots - Sam Edelman | sunglasses - Ray Ban | bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs | watch - Coach |






11.07.2014

My Grey Cup

There are many things I have had the privilege to be involved in, and awesome people to work with on my little blogging journey, so when Eluxe contacted me about making a shirt for the CFL (Canadian Football League) I couldn't quite believe it. As a gal who has always been involved with athletics in some way (playing, coaching, and working), I am beyond thrilled to make a connection with a major sporting organization. The MY GREY CUP collection of apparel celebrates the 102nd Grey Cup being playing in Vancouver on November 30th. Myself, and four other Canadian beauties created some easy pieces that will keep you comfortable, keep you warm, and keep you cheering!

Football is a really social thing in my household: my mom makes food, certain members yell obscenities, and my two year old son runs around yelling "hut, hut, hut". I wanted to have a shirt that was right at home on the couch with sweats and a snack, or a little dressed up to go out and watch a game. Hopefully when the 30th rolls around, I will be cheering on the Lions and making questionable food choices! Thank you for everyone's support; without it I wouldn't be afforded opportunities to grow and create!

xo Steffi

| tshirt - CFL x Eluxe | plaid shirt - Wilfred FREE by Aritzia | jacket - Joe Fresh | bag - Rebecca Minkoff | heels - Aldo | baseball hat - Blush Shop | watch - Coach |







11.04.2014

Caramel & Plaid

 I decided to keep things classic and clean today, but part of me really wanted to just post pictures of these unreal trees and the outfit post be damned. Easily a favorite part about blogging for me is finding the right spot to shoot in and exploring for locations. The wind would blow and the leaves would swirl up; all I could think of was The Shire and I heard Frodo yell "Get off the road!"...nerd reference.
Lord of The Rings quotes aside, ya'll know me, I'm still the same old G, and by G we  mean not really that trendy. However, for every season I think there are key pieces and it just so happens that the blanket scarf is having a moment. What's great is that you could go buy 10 of them now and next year when you bust them back out, no one will chide you for being off point; they are classics. Phew. Brands like Burberry and Pendelton make some of the great originals, but there have been amazingly affordable and beautiful options this Fall like mine here (crazy price; thank you Target). I love how it reflects the rich caramel in my coat and boots. You stay classy Canadian laydays!

PS. Speaking of Canadian ladies, a few of us had the privilege (and fun) to design a collection of apparel for the Canadian Football League with Eluxe, and the pre-order starts TODAY with 15% off, with full release to come on Friday. Excited for this project to finally, ahem...touchdown. #terriblepuns Stay tuned!

| scarf - Target | coat - H&M | hat - Urban Outfitters | shirt - Talula by Aritzia | pants - Wilfred FREE by Aritzia | boots - Sam Edelman | tote - Marc by Marc Jacobs |