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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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.

Stop Waiting for…

It’s Wednesday, and I’m sure a lot of you are counting down the days until Friday right? I know the weekend is a great time to unwind and enjoy yourself more, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t look forward to Wednesday too. I have been trying to change my perspective a lot lately because I am the type of person who likes to believe the “I will be happy when…” story, and I am starting to realize its just total BS. Actually I have known that for a while, but it takes time to change old habits. I have so many reasons to be happy in this moment, and so do you. So instead of waiting for the next thing that you think will make you happy, find reasons to be happy right now. You with me?

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Happy Wednesday!

The Bright Side of Winter

Winter can be so long! So, in order to get through it every year I try to remind myself what I love about it. It really is a beautiful time of year and I love how everyone wants to be cozy and warm, making everything feel more intimate. I also like being able to layer and wear all my scarves. But in all honesty, I’m really bad with the cold weather and always have been, despite being a Canadian girl. When the snow covers the ground and the air is so cold it hurts, I tend to hibernate. There is something satisfying about that, since it is a time for renewal and an opportunity to slow down and take good care of ourselves, but after a while, I start to long for the freedom that summer offers, the brightness and the warmth. I know it’s only February and we have a little ways to go, but walking through the market yesterday I saw tulips and potted plants everywhere and for a second I remembered what it felt like to be surrounded by colour and life! It inspired me to want to brighten up the world around me while I patiently wait for sun to come out and melt the snow!

What are some of the things you love about winter and some ways you get through the long cold months?

Snapshots of Life Lately

I take a lot of photos to say the least. I am a very visual person and while I love looking back at photos throughout my life, I really do it because I love the art of photography itself. I am self taught and learning more and more each and every day. I will be honest though, on a day to day basis I shoot with my iPhone and then post to Instagram. I do this because it’s so simple and instantly rewarding. The iphone takes beautiful photos, it fits in your pocket, you can edit them right there on the spot and then upload them without having to do much more… pretty easy! That being said I also really appreciate photography that takes a little more time, with a little more thought behind it. I have a DSLR camera that I love very much, and while I mostly use it to take photos of food for the blog (you can check them out here), I try and take it out with me every so often so that I can mix it up a bit and get creative. I always learn something new when I do that! It’s a little more work than using my good old iPhone, but it’s much more rewarding. I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of them on the blog! Here are a few shots I snapped recently!

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This is my baby Winslow – If you follow me on Instagram, you know he’s one of my best posers!

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This is my cousin Shira at NYFW. Portrait Photography practice

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I love the way the water acts as a mirror after a storm.

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Shadow Play

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Survival of the fittest

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Another one of my cousin Shira. Portrait photography practice, but without reflectors or lights it’s hard to not have harsh shadows.

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What do you love photographing most?

Some Goals for the New Year

Happy 2014! I don’t know about you, but I always take this time of year as an opportunity to openly think about what I want to work on.  This year, two of my New Years resolutions are to finish more projects that I start and to create more, starting with this blog. It has been over a year since I began Luxe and Honey, and I am not posting nearly as frequently as I want to. I have so many excuses from: “I work during the day, so it’s hard to shoot in optimal lighting (I prefer daylight, doesn’t everyone?), to “I work full time so when can I sit down in peace and quiet and actually come up with content?” I also do a lot of starting posts and then not going through with them because I don’t think they are worth posting… Anyways the list goes on, but I think that’s enough for the purpose of this post.The point is, we all have excuses for everything. It’s easy to come up with reasons why we can’t do things, but there is always a way to make it happen, so I really want to try and post more in 2014 and I hope you will enjoy what I put forth! I recently got a new 50mm camera lens for my Canon Rebel and it has made a world of difference. Here are some shots I snapped with it, Enjoy!

the photo on the left is of my living room in the best natural light (remember, I only like to shoot in this light). At around noon everyday my whole apartment seems to get the most beautiful light. I always wanted a space that had a ton of natural light, and this place really takes the cake. We have a skylight in the entrance, big windows in every room, and nothing obstructing the sun from entering in. Isn’t it lovely? The photo on the right is of my baby Winslow, he’s just turned 6 months at the end of January, and while he’s the cutest handful you’ll ever meet, he is one of my favorite things to snap photo’s of. The trick is in the treats, hold one in front of him, and he will pose like a professional model!

O.k  so I LOVE fresh flowers and  even that is a bit of an understatement. I try to have them in my home at all times, they just make me feel so happy when I come home. Especially this time of year, when it reaches -38 C outside and I come in and the first thing I see are these bright, beautiful flowers in my entrance and living room.The flowers on the left are called Alstroemeria’s and they are my favourite choice since they are very affordable ($10.00 for a huge bunch at Costco) and because they literally last 2 weeks! I Love them.

I am really looking forward to accomplishing my goals for 2014, snapping more photos with my new lens this year, and can’t wait to keep improving my photography skills!

What kind of resolutions have you come up with for 2014?