Tracey Ayton: Lilac Junkie

Remember that game "Never have I ever..."

I never would have ever imagined I'd be hanging out with this funny bird, at least based on the clean styled vignettes that make up her Instagram feed.  But she messaged me one day after following me for a few weeks, months after I had started creeping on her, wondering where in Tsawwassen she was living.  I came over and we sat in her backyard chatting for 3 hours before I needed to return to normal life.

And it's been happily ever after, ever since.

After another long painful Winter, life did return to the West Coast and with it, an abundance of lilacs spring up all over the neighbourhoods.  Tracey called me up for a photoshoot to celebrate the life of a grand violet tree that had been growing down in Boundary Bay, soon to be ripped out of the property that was to be renovated. 

It was well celebrated.


Always on the gram. Ha!

Halfmoon Bay

It was Sarah's Birthday 2 weeks ago and 15 of us joined her for a weekend Birthday Bash and Sisterhood Retreat on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.  In addition to her Doula work (Any Day Now Birth Services), Sarah also holds retreats through Sacred Living Canada.  This weekend was a great opportunity to experience first hand the services she offers those wanting to dig a little deeper, surrender to finding their truth, and to connect with others on a similar path.  Her good friend, also Sara, drove in from Portand with her 6 month son, Indigo, to help in hosting the weekend retreat.  The majority of the crowd were friends and locals from Tsawwassen with a few more ladies from the Lower Mainland, so for the most part I felt very comfortable.  

It has been a year since Sarah decided to expand beyond her retreats and offer a safe space to her friends and locals in the form of the Full Moon Circle in the comfort of her home.  We have been meeting every few months to connect with the friends/women in our community, set intentions, eat snacks, drink wine and pull some cards for guidance.  I can not thank her enough for opening her home, love and services to us as we have all reaped the benefits in immeasurable ways.  Creating a safe space to be vulnerable, to share our struggles, to speak our truths and take on the challenge of personal growth is greatly lacking in our society and communities.  This circle has done wonders for myself and the women I have met over the past year.  It was a no brainer for many of us when she announced she would be hosting this weekend birthday/retreat/getaway months in advance, we all wanted in. 

The property is incredible.  An expansive 3 storey home stands on the top of the bluff with stairs leading down to a cozy waterfront cabin.  The peace and quiet was a perfect antidote to the constant noise of 3 children in 1500 square feet.  The ocean and the surrounding nature was the perfect environment for reflection and resetting.  Despite the cold weather we have been enduring this winter, the weekend was surprisingly mild; even the ocean itself wasn't as icy as I expected when I joined Fannie + Molly in an early morning skinny dip in celebration of Fannie's 40th. 

With the majority of the group being mothers, the meals were impeccably pre-planned and outrageously deliciously healthy (and largely vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free).  For 4 days, children's complaints were replaced with brimming adult gratitude and relief to sit down uninterrupted with hot food.  Everyone happily contributed which made everything so quick and easy, from all the tidying and dishes to taking shifts playing with Indigo so Sara could get a few breaks.  We were seriuosly nourished body, mind, heart and soul!

Each day began with a breakfast spread by Khara including (literally homemade everything) oatmeal, granola, almond or cashew milk, boiled eggs, and choice of fresh smoothie, switchel and cofee/tea.  We would meet in the yurt for our first circle which was followed by a creative activity hosted by one of the attendees.  Lunch would commence with some free time to walk/run the beach, hit the hot tub/sauna, do some journaling, or have a heart to heart in a beautiful corner of the property.  Sometimes a second circle would be planned, but since this was also a time for many of us to decompress the schedule was flexible.  Another delicious meal was communally prepared accompanied with many bottles of wine, including a wine tasting Saturday night hosted by Sarah's sister, Emily.

It was an unforgettable weekend and I think my favourite part was meeting new faces and connecting with others that have only been acquaintances up until this point.  That and gorging myself on all the food and snacks...

There are so many more photos, I tried my best to keep it down... Enjoy!


Thank you Sarah + Sara for hosting this wonderful weekend retreat.  You are making a huge difference with your work, inspiring openness and courage in all of us to strive to be our highest selves and to find meaningful connections with those around us.

Mix it Up

Taking a moment to mix things up here with an illustration I'm really excited about!  I have been strangely inspired by cement mixers, one local company in particular who has chosen the clean colours of white with teal.  I used a slight different shade of blue-green and added my own fun details to personalize the mixer for the birthday boy, Ziggy.  Trucks.  They are certainly not something I would normally pay attention to, or so I would assume, but having two boys in the house that both rage about trucks, cars, trains, and transportation vehicles in general, I have been yelled out thousands of times whenever one is in sight. Trucks have become a part of my daily life and vocabulary.

I had the idea last year of creating a technically drawn illustration for a friend's son who is also big into trucks.  I didn't have the opportunity to dive into this project last summer but somehow this year I managed to do it.  I'm still actually in disbelief that I managed to knock it out this year with such a full plate.  It was worth it and I'm considering to possibly do more of these, but we'll see :)  Too many ideas and not enough time...  For now, gotta get this baby printed and framed for the birthday boy!

Sunflower Madness

DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!  I'm so excited to announce my girl Emily is officially selling her homegrown veggies and florals, all which have been an intensive labour of love!  After recently setting up at a few of the local markets, she pitched her stand up at home to take part in Experience Delta's Culinary Farm Tour.  She collaborated with One20 Public House for a true Farm to Table experience for all those coming through.  Chef Michael Ferreira created a vegan taco, exclusively using the vegetables grown from the farm which included standouts of a guacamole alternative using minted mashed peas and deliciously crispy garlic chips.  In addition to her produce and floral stand and the delicious tacos, her two giant rows of sunflowers were open to the public for picking! 

Come out this weekend for a break from the city, pick up some fresh produce, grab a bouquet of fragrant sweet peas and bring home as many giant sunflowers as you can carry!  Feel free to bring a blanket and some snacks for a cozy picnic, there will be a lemonade stand set-up to wet your whistle!

6395 60th Avenue, Ladner BC
Located just outside the tunnel between the 2 giant willow trees!

Hope to see you this weekend!