Life

2015: Out with the old and in with the new!

2015 – Intentions

Happy New Year! January is the perfect month to look back at the previous year with a little perspective and reflect on personal growth. It’s also the beginning of endless possibilities for the year ahead. The first few weeks of a new year always prove to be a delightful combination of reflections and intentions, and I wanted to share a few of mine!

Sketch More

I want to enjoy the tactile process of pencil in hand, moving across paper more often because I miss it badly! I’ve been stockpiling quotes that I want to try my hand at lettering, so this is a personal project for the year. I’m really excited!

Eat Well

Nathan and I have figured out our clean eating routine, but this year I want to cook more. Nathan does all of the cooking because he enjoys it and he is wonderful at it, but the man deserves a break now and then, and there’s no other way I’m going to learn! I’m not particularly fond of cooking but I’d love to find some recipes that I feel comfortable making, that also taste delicious and are nutritious. If you have a recipe or two to share with me that are gluten-free, please do.

Travel Often

This is a big one. After a few of our trips in 2014, I’ve got wanderlust in a bad way, and there’s so many places to see, and so many incredible experiences to enjoy. Nathan and I have worked on a plan that will allow us to hopefully travel a bit more this year, and I’m so excited. All we have to figure out is where to go first!

2014 – Reflections

2014 was an interesting year. For some reason, the itch to write and share just wasn’t there last year, and I spent more time being in the moment and enjoying experiences for what they were, rather than composing the perfect photo “for the blog”. I had plenty of wonderful experiences, but chose to share them in other forms, such as on Instagram.

Inner Balance

Pilates_21daychallenge_DutchieLove

In January, I wrote about my first yoga class. I fell in love with the practice, but lacked the self-discipline to do so on a regular basis. I also did a 21 day Pilates challenge. I relish in the mind-body-spirit connection in both yoga and Pilates, and I cherish the inner stillness, however brief. Whenever I’m feeling overloaded, I practice at home. This year I also tried meditation, which I’m curious about and would like to experience further.

Home

DutchieLove_home

In March, Nathan and I moved into our new home! We still love it and we are captivated by the neighbourhood and its charm. Our neighbours are friendly, the seasons are stunning, we threw “A Very Sophisticated, Adult-Like” housewarming party to celebrate with our closest friends, and Halloween was a fun and huge holiday with 300 kids trick-or-treating at our door!

I’ve been taking my time with decorating the house, slowly moving from room to room and creating spaces that reflect both of our personalities. It’s been a fun, slow-paced, simmering project and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll be posting more on the blog soon!

Travel

DutchieLove_IberostarParaisoLindo

In April we attended the Calgary Expo and we met Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad. He is absolutely delightful in person and not anything like the exceptional villain he portrays on TV. In general, Expo weekend is usually a highlight of the year for me. I love the atmosphere, the fanboys and fangirls, the cosplay, the panels, the artists, and everything else that comes along with it!

In November, we went on our very first all-inclusive vacation for 8 days to Mexico, at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo in the Mayan Riviera (review with photography by Nathan to come!). As a see-and-do vacationer rather than a sit-and-relax vacationer, I wasn’t sure what my verdict would be. WELL. I read 3 books, I ziplined, snorkeled in an underwater cave, explored the ruins of Tulum, drank mojitos to my heart’s content, basked in the sunshine, and I let go, relaxed, unplugged, observed, napped, and smiled with content. It was bliss. Did I mention that I am in serious wanderlust mode for 2015?

Drunk and in Love

DutchieLove_WeddingGuests

In total, Nathan and I attended 5 weddings this year! It was incredible to experience so many love-filled days. I enjoy weddings whole-heartedly, I never get sick of hearing Corinthians 13, and I cry every dang time I see the groom’s face as he watches his bride walk down the aisle. I’m a sucker for romance, and I also love a good after party! The slightly tipsy heart-to-hearts with friends, dancing until my feet ache, and feeling the love – all completely worth it. The next day hangover after one too many glasses of wine – also completely worth it 😉

Career and Education

DutchieLove_LetterpressWorkshop

2014 was an incredible year for my professional development. I worked on some incredible projects with the team at Pure Vision (including the complete branding package for Edmonton’s hottest new restaurant Ampersand 27) and attended a number of inspiring design conferences and workshops, gleaning nuggets of knowledge from professionals that I’ve admired for years.

I went to the PICA Conference and learned from the likes of Alejandro Paul, Ellen Lupton, Armin Vit and Alex Center. I attended CAMP Festival in Calgary and my mind was blown by Stefan Sagmeister, James White, Anton & Irene, and CJ Gammon. I attended a local letterpress workshop with Uppercase Press and made a new friend, sweet Lu! I attended a workshop / panel with the exceptionally talented Dana Tanamachi and discovered how down-to-earth she is. I felt the growth this year! I was challenged and put out of my comfort zone, and as a result I excelled in ways that I didn’t know I could. I’m learning more and more about designing for web, and I love how creative it allows me to be!

Favourites

DutchieLove_Netflix_HouseofCards

Below is a list of some of my favourite things from 2014. I read less books and watched more movies and TV shows, which was surprising considering we gave up cable. I became a serious tv series binge-watcher on Netflix (it’s too easy!). This list really sums up the rest of the randomness of my 2014!

Books:

  • The Queen of the Tearling
  • Yes Please
  • Divergent
  • Wildwood Imperium
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Movies:

  • Her
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Chef
  • The LEGO Movie

Binge-worthy Netflix Shows:

  • Friday Night Lights
  • Parenthood
  • Nashville
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Orange is the New Black
  • House of Cards
  • Sherlock

Music:

  • Sylvan Esso
  • Phantogram
  • Charlie XCX
  • Banks

Edmonton Shows & Exhibitions:

Whyte Avenue Stores:

Edmonton Restaurants:

Thrifted / Vintage Finds:

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  • winski2012

    Totally understand the wanderlust bug! Wonderful reflections on 2014 and moving forward into 2015, Nicole. Congratulation on your achievements, your growth and your continued commitment to setting and pursuing goals that nourish your body and spirit. Love, L

    • Thank you Linda, that means a lot! <3