The Orchid Show: Chandeliers at the New York Botanical Gardens

Orchids have always been my favourite flower for as long as I can remember, so when I heard that the New York Botanical Garden was having an Orchid exhibition I jumped at the opportunity. This weekend I finally made my way to The Orchid Show: Chandeliers, which was such a great way to escape the cold and dreary weather we’ve been having. As soon as I walked into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, I was hit with warm tropical air and an intoxicating fragrance. I immediately noticed the huge orchid arrangements floating in the pond and thought that, that was going to be the best part of the exhibition, but once I walked through the doors of the main show I realized that was only the beginning and was nothing compared to what came next. The goal of this show is to mimic the way orchids grow in the rainforest by attracting the eye upward with an impressive presentation that highlights the aerial beauty of this iconic flower. Everywhere you look you are flooded with colorful, unique orchids in all shapes and sizes hanging in planters and growing off trees as they would in their natural habitat. The most impressive part, is in the middle of the conservatory where hanging from the ceiling is a huge star shaped, 3 tier orchid chandelier, overflowing with hundreds of plants. I would strongly recommend that if you are in the NYC area between now and April 19th you go and see this beautiful exhibition. It really is a truly breathtaking experience.

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Snapshots of Life Lately and to New Adventures

I don’t really talk much about my personal life on this blog, I’ve used it more as a way to express myself creatively, but I realized that my favourite blogs are the one’s that delve a little deeper. So my goal for this year is to open up just a little more on here. As you may already know, or have figured out from my photos here and on Instagram, I have been temporarily living in NYC the past couple of months with Zack. I knew that after 6 months, if I could’t find a way to extend my visa I would have to leave, and unfortunately my time here is coming to an end. Fortunately, an opportunity came up for me right at the perfect time to go somewhere new, which makes the whole thought of leaving a lot more palatable! For my next adventure, I will be moving to Vancouver! Having lived in Quebec my whole life, minus the few years I lived in Florida before I was 5,  going somewhere new seems like the right thing to do. I always love a new adventure and luckily I have family and a few friends there. I have actually never been to the west coast of Canada, so this will be my first time visiting Vancouver, let alone living there but I have heard only amazing things about the city so I am really eager to explore and find out what it’s all about for myself.  While I am still living in NYC for a couple of weeks, I am going to try and soak it up as much as possible. Here are some snapshots of life lately.

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I am used to a good snowstorm, being from Montreal. Our winters are always long, cold and very snowy but I wasn’t expecting that to be the case in NYC. Unfortunately it has been just as bad here and despite how much I hate winter, I love how beautiful it looks especially in this city. I always feel like I’m walking through a movie set here, the history is so fascinating that I can’t go anywhere without imagining what it must have looked like in the 1800’s and I often stare in awe at the buildings wondering how they were built with such limited resources and how long they have lasted to tell the tale! So inspiring.

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When the snow falls and blankets the streets, trees and buildings, it quiets the bustling city sounds. It was really only then that I realized how many ambient sounds I was hearing on a daily basis in this city. Back at the end of January when we were experiencing what was supposed to be one of the worst snowstorms of the century, “Snowmageddon” (which you know, ended up being a total dud of a storm) the city shut everything down as a precaution at 11pm. I laughed because these storms are a typical winter occurrence in Montreal but it was actually a really amazing experience. We went out to walk Winslow and realized that the city that never sleeps was asleep. It was so surreal and the snow made everything all the more quiet. I snapped a shot of the empty street which you can check out here.
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Everywhere you turn there’s something to feast your eyes on from the architecture to the stonework, to the rod iron fences and the views, to the fact that you can stand in the middle of the street and have an unobscured view to other side of the city (it’s unique grid layout is fascinating). There is just so much to see in one place that it’s almost overwhelming at times.

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There’s always something worth capturing here, and like I mentioned in my last Snapshots of Life Lately post, I don’t carry my DSLR camera around with me very often because it’s bulky, but I do snap pictures with my iPhone constantly. I will miss that in a big way.

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There are so many things I will miss about New York. From it’s energy to it’s beauty, to the fact that you can get anything you want delivered to your door and I mean anything… starbucks coffee, fro-yo, a chocolate chip cookie, your groceries, your laundry, alcohol… you name it. That you can drop your laundry off and it will be washed and folded for you for pretty much the same price as you would pay doing it yourself at a laundry mat. That you can get a Mani-Pedi for 20$. That there is always an exhibit, book signing, concert or event to attend and that you can walk the streets for hours and never get bored of the views. There are so many other things, but I’ll stick to those for now.
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I am always excited to try new things, so I am eager to start the next chapter of my life in Vancouver, but I am leaving behind a lot of greatness, especially Zack and Winslow and while I don’t know what life will throw my way next (no one ever does), I just keep reminding myself that what is meant to be will be. All we can do is keep pushing forward and I have so many great memories to carry with me that I’ll never forget. I am really grateful for the 6 months I got to spend in one of the greatest cities in the world, and look forward to discovering a whole new one. So here’s to new adventures!

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Raspberry Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I think this will have to be my last pancake post for a while, I may be overdoing it with pancakes on this little blog, but I needed to post this one. I’ll be really honest with you all…I have not been good to my body lately. My sugar consumption is through the roof, I can’t even start to explain how much I have been craving it lately. I haven’t done yoga in a couple of weeks, and I have been eating carbs by the truck load and let me tell you, I am feeling it. You know when you feel sluggish and drained? I have made a promise to myself to get back on track asap. Meaning warm lemon water in the morning, healthy breakfasts and balanced meals with lots of whole foods and less carbs. I also need to start doing yoga again at least 3 times a week. Maybe writing this on the blog will help me keep my promise… maybe? I just find winter makes me want to eat all sorts of comfort foods that aren’t necessarily good for me, and sit around in my comfy clothes reading and watching tv. I am seriously dying for spring, it’s always these last 2 months of winter that really get to me.

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Pancakes are not typically a healthy breakfast, but as much as I believe in treating my body right, I also believe balance is the key to everything and I don’t think missing out on foods that make you happy is the way to go. All in moderation, and if you are consuming more of the good stuff then the not so good stuff, you’re on the right track.
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These pancakes are a good start in the right direction since they are made with whole wheat flour, rolled oats, natural sugar, rice milk and fresh fruits. Served with a healthy smoothie on the side, and you have a healthy weekend breakfast that doesn’t really feel that healthy!
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What I love about pancakes is you can really play around with them, you can substitute the flours and sugars and you could make them with any fruit really. I chose raspberries because they have a great balance of sweet and tart which I love. Served with pure maple syrup, which I often use to sweeten most of my baked goods, adds the right amount of sweetness to complete this breakfast. Try these out next weekend for a great, healthier alternative to your favourite pancake recipe.
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Raspberry Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe

What you will need: 

Raspberry Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

1 cup rice milk (or any kind of milk you like)

2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup oats blended in a food processor

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

1 tsp coconut oil

pinch of salt

1 tblsp maple syrup + more for serving

Fresh or frozen raspberries

Strawberry Banana Smoothie 

(Serves 2)

2 cups frozen strawberries

1 whole banana (frozen is preferable)

2.5 – 3 cups of rice milk (or any milk of your choice)

1 tbsp or more to taste pure maple syrup

1/4 cup rolled oats *optional*

What you need to do: 

Raspberry Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

1. In a food processor blend the rolled oats until they resemble a flour like consistency. Sift together the flour, blended oats, baking powder.

2. To the dry ingredients add the egg, coconut oil, salt, maple syrup and the rice milk. Blend with a whisk until smooth.

3. On Medium low heat, add a little coconut oil. Ladle in the batter to the size you want and add a few raspberries to each pancake (I like to cover the raspberries with a little extra batter so they don’t burn on the pan when flipped). Let the pancakes cook until you see bubbles forming in the middle and the sides look dry. Flip and let cook a couple more minutes.

4. Serve with extra raspberries and pure maple syrup!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1. In a blender add in the rice milk first then the fruits and maple syrup and blend until smooth.

2. Seve and enjoy!

Inspiration: Little Geo Prints

I am really loving these tiny goe prints and with spring right around the corner I like to find ways to make some subtle, affordable changes to my space and not only do these tiny geos pack a big punch but they are growing to be a key print and pattern trend for 2015. I’m seeing them everywhere and really want to see them in my home…

Inspiration-small-geo-prints{Left Row – Top to Bottom} BeddingWallpaperAccessories, Throw {Right Row – Top to Bottom} Bowls, Tiles, Matches, Art

They have a delicate and pretty yet sophisticated look in washed corals and calming greys, often paired with blush pinks, nudes, teal and yellow accents. I really love them, don’t you?

Mickey Smith: Darkside of the Lens

Sometimes you come across something that speaks to you, that moves you in one way or another. Something that sends chills down your spine, and you feel some sort of connection to it. I remember watching this short film for the first time over 4 years ago, and feeling just that. I was in the final year of my undergrad degree and I was at a point where my career was all I was thinking about. Fast forward 4 years and nothing has really changed, I still think about my career all the time and this film still brings chills down my spine. Figuring out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life is a big deal, and while money is an important factor, it has never been my driving force. I believe that if you love doing something, the money will come through the passion, drive and focus you have for what you are doing. If you care about something enough you can move mountains and you won’t mind the hardships that may come, because you know in the end they will all be worth it. This is what came across to me in Darkside of the Lens and why it spoke to me so much.

“If I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping. If there is no future in it, at least it’s a present worth remembering. The fires of happiness, the waves of gratitude. For everything that brought us to that point on earth at that moment in time, to do something worth remembering with a photograph, or a scar. I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart say I love doing what I do. And though I may never be a rich man, if I live long enough, i’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews. I dig the thought of that.”

-Mickey Smith

Mickey Smith, a surf photographer released this short film, quietly on the internet in 2010. What was created for his nephews in memory of his sister, who was his biggest fan, ended up winning multiple awards and drawing heavy attention to his work from all corners of the globe.

Every aspect of this film is beautiful. The narration alone is powerful, but combined with the mind blowing imagery of a cold, wet paradise it delivers a strong message of passion, gratitude, determination and the desire to do something that is worth living for.

If there is anything that keeps me motivated to continue searching for that passion, to continue practicing gratitude, and to take full advantage of the cards i’m dealt every step of the way, it’s this film.

Enjoy,

Darkside Of The Lens from mickey smith on Vimeo.

Friday Finds

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1. Photo printing using the sun // A Beautiful Mess 

2. These amazing toasted marshmallow peanut butter bars // Sunday Public

3. These delicious fruit infused water flavours // The Beauty Department

4. This super soft Lou & Grey popover top i’m dying to buy // Loft

5. This amazingly easy Ikea Hack DIY // The Vault Files

6. How to create a capsule wardrobe // Unfancy

Happy Friday! Have a relaxing, enjoyable weekend!

Inspiration: Floral Arrangements

Nothing makes me smile more than a vase filled with fresh flowers. It’s one of those things that I try and make room for in my budget because it really brightens my day. That and a nice smelling candle, can almost always improve my mood. I’ve never been one for traditional bouquets of 12 perfectly cut roses. I’ve always liked something a little unique, a little more rustic and wild. Different flowers, mixed with things like fruit, or greenery that jets out. The imperfect look of it all makes it perfect to me. I have been drooling over Saipua’s Instagram account that fills my feed with images of their amazingly creative bouquets and makes me wish I was a florist! Here are some of my favourite floral arrangements at the moment.

inspiration-floral-arrangements{Left Row – Top to Bottom} Image 1 // Image 2 // Image 3 {Right Row – Top to Bottom} Image 4 // Image 5 // Image 6

Happy Tuesday!