fall adventure


the fall was pretty crazy for us (i can refer to fall in past tense now because winter has most definitely arrived in alberta). in between getting ready for upcoming trips, catching up from previous ones, finishing projects, starting new ones, i decided that troy and i should take a weekend day trip to hike grassi lakes to get a little break. in a recent brainstorm about a collaboration with tradlands, i knew this would be the perfect setting to showoff one of their awesome pieces.

if you haven’t heard of tradlands yet, you are seriously missing out! ever since i can remember i have been a bit of a tomboy at heart, and i have always had a little bit of envy towards the guys section when i shop. menswear designs are so awesome sometimes, leaving me wishing they were made to fit women. that’s where tradlands comes in – perfectly filling that void. they make menswear inspired clothing that is tailored to fit women. best. idea. ever.

i absolutely love their story (which you can read all about here) and i knew this was a company i can definitely get behind – especially after trying out their products. given the nature of their pieces, i knew my new shirt would be right at home in the midst of the mountain tops, surrounded by nature and discovery.


a few years back, troy and i had seen a bunch of pictures my friend had posted on her facebook of this amazing, amazing hike she went on and i had to know where it was. she told me about grassi lakes which is in canmore, just over an hour drive for us to the bottom of the trail.

ever since then, for years we’ve talked about driving up there and hiking the trail to the 2 small extremely, turquoise lakes. we’ve heard countless times it’s best to go in the fall when all the trees are turning. so this october, i decided this year was the year – we were doing that hike. i always find so much clarity and inspiration in the mountains and we definitely were in need of a little escape – even if just for a day. troy and i are very outdoorsy people. we would rather spend a day outside than cooped up in the house with nothing to do (although who doesn’t love a good lazy day every now and then). in the years we’ve been together we have learned to make the most out of the small trips we get to take. learning to soak in the fresh air, the views, the moments, and most of all the memories.


the entire hike is about 2 hours when you account for all the picture taking (which i did not take lightly). from the bottom of the trail, there are 2 paths you can take. one is more difficult and one is easier. i was so grateful that troy had done his research before we left and read that the more difficult trail has waterfalls along the way, and the easy one is basically just a uphill gravel path. so you can guess which one we took!


sometimes in the chaos and wild productivity, we forget all that surrounds us – the fresh air, the calmness, the inspiration. from the moment we first hit the trail, all i could focus on was the beauty around me and how dang lucky we are to be an hour away from all of this. being a brand new spot for us, i was anxious to discover what lay ahead on the rugged, rocky terrain.

the sound of waterfalls has got to be one of my favourite sounds ever. as soon as i could hear them getting closer, i knew we were in for a treat. the monumental beauty that nature can create never ceases to amaze me. it’s absolutely breathtaking.


i knew this setting would be the perfect place to sport my new (and very much loved) tradlands shirt. the weather was pretty much perfect for a day hike. not too hot and not too cold, just that right breezy coolness that makes working your way up a mountain not so overwhelming. i love the plaid pattern of the brunswick shirt and it definitely did it’s job keeping me warm when the wind decided to pick up a bit. seriously you guys, this shirt is the perfect mix of comfort and style. it fit in every way and was so comfortable. it felt like one of those shirts you’ve worked for years to break in and get to fit just right, but it was brand new! it has definitely become a staple piece for me and something i feel like i can actually live in. plus it’s a neutral piece so it goes with pretty much everything!


hitting the top of the trail was a major pay off. the more difficult trail was definitely as described. we worked our way up to the top, thinking we should really do hikes like this more often, and soaking in the views. the lakes at the top are indescribable. i’ve seen some pretty turquoise lakes, but these take the cake. the colours are so vibrant, they absolutely command your attention. we were both blown away. photos barely do it justice.


at the end of the second lake there’s a huge rock face with hieroglyphs that attracts a lot of climbers. there was also a few really cool caves you could reach with little effort. i climbed up to one, but didn’t spend long in it – it was kinda creepy in there! i lasted just long enough to snap a photo and then i was out!


after we walked around each lake, we headed back down to the car, this time taking the other trail to see just how much easier it really was. it may have been significantly less trying, but it was still packed full of great mountain views. i am so thrilled that we got to sneak a day out there before the snow hit, and it was definitely an experience i will not forget any time soon!



this post was brought to you by tradlands. shop the collections here.
in celebration of adventures and just in time for holiday shopping – tradlands is offering $15 off each item purchased! (one item = $15 off, purchase two and get $30 off, etc). this discount is available internationally!
use the code grassilakes15 to redeem your discount!



music mondays: 01


happy monday! as i mentioned the redesign of this space was also going to come with a few new columns. so today i want to introduce a new series called music mondays! music is a huge part of my design process and it’s also a constant source of inspiration for me. sometimes the best ideas come from meaningful lyrics that i’ve heard 100 times, but in the new light of a current project, they spark a wave of inspiration and fresh ideas.

this series is an attempt to start the week with a bit of inspiration – combining a short playlist of music that is currently influencing me in combination with a pin or image that has inspired the start of my week. my plan is to start off every second monday and see how it goes! i’d love to hear your guyses feedback on the new series concept and i also want to hear what’s inspiring you this week?

charlie darwin | THE LOW ANTHEM
02+  10am gare du nord | KEATON HENSON
03+  take the night off | LAURA MARLING
04+  milk teeth | KEATON HENSON
05+  curs in the weeds | HORSE FEATHERS
06+  finch on saturday HORSE FEATHERS
07+  minchicant BON IVER
08+  we don’t eat | JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW
09+  timshel | MUMFORD & SONS
10+  faux | NOVO AMOR & ED TULLETT

listen on rdio or 8tracks.



linked: 23


haaa friday, it’s good to see you again. it’s been a while since i put together one of these link posts, and lately there has been a lot of good happening that should be shared. so here is some inspiration and good reads for your weekend. i do hope it leaves you feeling refreshed and renewed. what are your plans for the weekend?


1+  a round up of some of the tiniest and most tasteful tattoos. i adore the mini moon ones!

2+  so much raw honesty poured into this post by the fresh exchange about their home buying process. also, while you’re there check out their brand new design, it’s really great!

3+  parc boutique’s new lookbook is positively flawless.

4+  IKEA’s new ÅRGÅNG collection has got me dreaming up some new home decor ideas. seriously.

5+  two of my favourite designers in one interview? catch breanna rose and jen serafini dishing their freelance advice in this interview by june letters.

6+  julia kostreva has recently come out with her shop collaborations. really loving everything in it, she’s paired up with some amazing talents!

7+  my good friend diana willard, who is an amazing painter has recently developed the postcard project, a collection of twelve mini paintings based on memories and places that are important to her. i absolutely love the idea and the paintings are seriously beautiful!

8+  i’m obsessed with the design by La Mamzelle & Co. atelier for this montreal based textile shop and everything in it.

9+  darling magazine’s recent post on bravery is a great read, it really resonated with me.

bonus read++  check out 5 questions for 100 designers, a series of tiny interviews with designers by yevgeny yermakov.

bonus watch++  melody hansen and her sister gabriela are featured in a great video by the creator class.

clear the way turns 4 & a giveaway!


i’m super excited about this celebration that i’ve been able to participate in for my good friend kate of clear the way’s 4 year blogging celebration! not only is that a huge landmark, but kate has put together the most awesomest blogging package to giveaway!

in the time that i’ve known kate, she has been truly an amazing and inspirational friend and fellow blogger. i find her constantly challenging herself in new and different ways in order to grow and define her space. it’s been a really beautiful process to see unfold and i cannot wait to see where the years take her next!

so today i’ve teamed up with 16 bloggers to giveaway a one year subscription to the adobe photography plan (which inclues photoshop and lightroom) AND coschedule editorial calendar. when it comes to blogging, i cannot tell you how important photoshop and lightroom have been to me. i’m very excited to be part of passing these amazing tools onto one lucky winner! check out the bloggers that have made this possible, and give some special blogiversary love to my friend kate!



A Lively Blend | Clear the Way | Ex Vitae | Holly Marie Designs
Honestly, B. | Kyla is Inspired | The Lolly Project | MontgomeryFest
My Life as a Teacup | Of Trees and Hues | Rio the Dreamcatcher
Safaris and Sunsets | Sincerely, Sara | Studio 404
Tara Victoria | Thou Swell | writes like a girl


get the deets:
+ giveaway runs from 11|19|2014 until 12|03|2014
+ open to readers worldwide!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

moodboard: high-end cotton candy


do you guys remember this moodboard from a while ago? well, this project got put on hold for a bit due to timing, and when we came back to it, my client and i reviewed the strategy and ideal target audience and realized it needed to take a slightly different direction than the previous one. from when we hit the pause button to when we re-visited, my client’s typical customer altered significantly and her brand strategy needed a re-vamp. we took it from scratch, ironing out the details and digging deeper. instances like this prove timing is everything, because you end up making changes at the right time for the brand. this has definitely been a bit of a longer process, but i was so willing to keep at it and i am so glad that we were able to dig into her brand and land where we did.

i call this one high-end cotton candy, combining her luxurious, modern target audience with her fun, artistic side. a youthful attraction combined with timeless clean lines. since starting this process, i have become really great friends with this lovely lady, and i cannot tell you how excited i am with where we’ve landed on the final branding. ahh i really can’t wait to share with you guys!! 


between lenses: urban


first of all i just want to say a big thank you to all of you for making my blog re-design launch so wonderful with all of your warm and encouraging feedback. i was truly blown away! it really made it that much more special to me, and for that i can’t thank y’all enough!!

can you guys believe it’s almost been a full year of between lenses photo challenges?! this is the 11th challenge we’ve done, and each time it still feels so dang exciting to be challenged creatively and to see all that you guys are challenging yourselves with. last month there were 22 of you who joined our bloghop, which was oh-so amazing and we can’t thank you enough! this month’s theme is urban and we can’t wait to see what your wonderful minds come up with!


when we first decided on the theme urban, i knew exactly what my photo had to be about: urban exploration. ever since high school, abandoned buildings have been not only a huge inspiration to me, but a source of beauty and discovery. i may sound totally out to lunch, but i’ve always found beauty in the way that nature takes over these places and disrupts the untouched in a way that no human hand could ever forge. exploring these places is pure adrenaline and raw beauty. as nature strips away the common definition of what is seen as beautiful and creates a world that it solely occupies, you are a trespasser to it’s evolving work of art.

of course it’s sad when a building is no longer functional, but what comes after is such a beautiful memory. the availability of these kind of places to see in calgary is limited, but on a cold day february day, a few years ago, i was lucky enough to venture off on my first urban exploration adventure. capturing this place with photographs did it no justice. it was the most eerily beautiful thing i have ever seen. see these remnants outside the front of the building, pieces of what once was, made for a fascinating photograph. when i knew the theme for this month, i knew i had to go back through those photographs, revisit them, retouch and share one of my favourites for this month’s challenge. for myself, i couldn’t think of anything more perfect that represented urban to me, than sharing my first experience in this delicately decaying space.

to describe my obsession, i feel that it wouldn’t be the same without sharing this quote i stumbled on a few years ago, by a urban explorer that has a talent for capturing these places that is beyond words. this explanation is permanently ingrained in my head every time i think about these spaces and explains the beauty we see perfectly:

once a building no longer serves its purpose, and all of its previous functionality ceases to exist, it becomes truly fascinating. each room is transforming into something new at its own rate, yielding to water, ice, wind and gravity as they reclaim this man-made space. the corrosion and decay paint vibrant colors across otherwise dull surfaces, lit only by natural sunlight spilling into rooms at unaccustomed angles. each object left behind becomes more significant than it has ever been, hinting at the life prior to its disuse. moldy folders full of psychiatric evaluations hold clinical analyses regarding a patient’s drawings in a dripping wet basement with no light. an opaque pair of square-rimmed glasses sit upon a dark grid at the power station control room. a dusty pile of papers hastily stapled together documents a tuberculosis patients life at the hospital, from admission, to death, to autopsy, to burial. floors collapse and walls cave in without care; if you get hurt, no one is here to help you. this is a lonesome alien world whose dark corners and peeling walls have gotten a hold of me and many others; this affinity for derelict structures and often dangerous excitement is the core essence of exploring that drives me to photograph these spaces. [ tom kirsch ]


trina’s photo is a perfectly timed capture that embodies her vision of urban so perfectly. i absolutely love how she caught this photo at just the right moment when these birds were leaving the roof of this building. it’s such a gorgeous photograph! head on over to of trees and hues to find out how this urban landscape inspires her!!


 this is a bloghop!

trina and i would love to see you join in and share how you capture your mornings! you can easily link up with us via the following steps:

1+  create your blog post and feel free to use the header image in which you can download here.
[please only use images for between lenses posts and be sure to attribute to trina or myself]
2+ copy your blog post’s url.
3+ notice where it says click here to enter – click that and follow the easy instructions. be sure to only link up with one of our blogs, not     both. no worries – since mine and trina’s blogs are interlinked, your blog post will show up on both!
4 + and for fun, you can share your photo on instagram using the #betweenlenses hastag.

our goal for this collaboration is to capture & reflect upon life, to cultivate inspiration among one another and to connect with other bloggers. and we hope that you’re one of them!

upcoming between lenses theme:

wednesday, december 10th // reflection


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