Cotton Wedding Aniversary

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Tuesday was James and I’s second wedding anniversary. It’s quite the new thing for us to celebrate an event by going out places or buying gifts, we’re that weird couple who doesn’t ever celebrate Valentines day.

In the past seven and half years that we’ve been together, it was not till we got married that we decided we should do a little celebrating now and then, and plan to out have a nice time and try to do something sweet or thoughtful instead of just winging it. Don’t get me wrong winging it is great, but it became so nonchalant that holidays were the same as any other day and we could both tell that we both needed and wanted a little more from one another.

Last year we were gifted by our family a night out at the nicest restaurant town, which is also something we are not used to. So this year, after James received a gift certificate for a volunteer photography job he did, to the same lovely restaurant, we decided to make it a tradition and set up our reservations for our anniversary.

I must say that it is absolutely marvelous to treat yourself to such a night every now and then. It felt like an afternoon lounging by the pool or day at the spa, some serious enjoyment was happening.

We put on our fancy clothes, combed our hair (I even put on makeup, gasp!), bundled up in our winter coats, clasped on our helmets, and scooted (oh yeah! On a side note we are now the proud owners of an e-bike which is super fun and I’ll introduce her here in a future post!) the couple of kilometers over to the lovely River Mill restaurant in the old cotton mill.

With the new day light hour we were able to enjoy the river view over sunset and candle light. We even ordered a lovely bottle of wine and sat enjoying fruits and cheeses while our entres were being prepared by a chef. A chef!

Can you tell I don’t get out much?

For dinner I had a deliciously tender fillet of sustainable British Colombian Salmon over cheesy polenta with roasted butternut squash and kale, while James enjoyed a gorgeous chicken breast from a farm right here in Kingston. We finished everything off with a chocolate tort and a strawberry mouse and listening to soft jazz over coffee and tea.

Best of all was the time we had together. We couldn’t keep our mouths shut, except when there was delicious cheese on the table, then I am sure it was rather quiet in our little corner of the restaurant. But all the while we talked about our future projects, our goals for the month, and for the next four months. We brainstormed, critiqued, and laughed and giggled for two hours while dinning on some of the most amazing flavors and foods we’d had in a very long time. It was a fantastic time and we came home happy and full.

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I could not have asked for a better anniversary. I hope we can keep the tradition up next year! I think I am going to keep him around long enough to do this a few more times.

Spontaneous Winter Weekend

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This past weekend I took a spontaneous surprise (24 hour) drive to Ontario, Canada to surprise and visit my love. Since September I have been living a life between worlds, half way between Georgia and half way between Ontario. Because of this James and I have not seen as much of each other as we’d like. Travel is expensive, taking off time from work is difficult, and driving 1,500 miles is draining.

We’ve made long distance work for us over the last few months by defining our communication needs. We have a defined call time every night at 9:30, sometimes this is simply a check in, I love you, but most times there is something we need to discuss and make a decision about a household matter. In the 8 years we’ve been together we’ve always been team player decision makers. We also e-mail each other regularly, usually everyday or every other day. We also use Skype to get that much needed facetime. Sometimes we eat our dinner while skyping just to normalize things. And though all of these things are fun and exciting. they aren’t really enough when the one you love is in another country.

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James’ little sister texted me last Wednesday, telling me that she was planning a quick trip up to Ontario while she had some down time and I jumped at the opportunity to surprise James. He really had no idea that I was coming, a complete and total surprise and as a result we had a sweet, snowy, and snugly weekend together. Perfection.

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Sunday it snowed all morning. It was the perfect fluffy snow, you know, snow angle quality. Light and puffy, constant and magical. We did a little adventuring and went out for a walk through the park and down to the lake. Lake Ontario was completely frozen over and had a few inches of snow covering the top of the ice. It looked like an endless, snowy field. The horizon barely visible.

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It was a wonderful way to spend a weekend, perfect snow, perfect love.

Historic Savannah Halloween

I just got back from a little road trip to the historic Georgia town of Savannah. There really isn’t a more perfectly ghostly place to be on Halloween. Last night we got in around 7:30 and strolled down River Street for a little bit before riding off to spend the night on Tybee Island. We stayed at the humble Dune Inn and Suites and we loved it. This morning we woke up to a gorgeous sunrise and took a little walk on the beach collecting shells and small pieces of drift wood. Around nine we rode back to to Savannah to see the Colonial Park Cemetery before heading back up to little ol’ north Georgia. An absolute dream trip, Mom and I had a great time, laughing and grinning the whole way there and back.

It was so spooky and fantastic to spend some time at the Colonial Park Cemetery this morning. It has over 10, 000 graves in total, though only about 600 are marked with beautiful chiseled slate and marble headstones, some plots dating back to the 1700s. It’s a gorgeous cemetery boasting period-esque ironworks, brick mausoleums, and gorgeous spanish moss filled trees.

The back wall of the cemetery is lined with broken gravestones that were recovered after Sherman’s army removed them during the civil war when they were camping out in the grave yard. It makes for a very eery scene and is definitely a site to see and take the time to meander through. It blows my mind and makes it even more creepy to think about 10,000 people being buried in such a small cemetery.

Savannah is such an easy drive from where my folks live. Only five hours and well worth it. It’s got so much history and charm. The city will whoo you in mere minutes. I get butterflies before we even get into town and I think I could probably live there for a while at some point in my life. My only regret on this trip is I didn’t get to enjoy any oysters or a nice cold beer! But I loved every moment we spent at the beach this morning which I’ll share more about tomorrow.

Here’s a little photo log of our time in Savannah on River Street and at Colonial Park.















Hurricane Sandy, Unknown Legend

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sandy, the hurricane. Frankly, hurricanes scare me to death and are right up there with my fear of tornadoes. I remember the tornado drills back in elementary school, huddling in the hall on our knees, our noses just about touching the floor, and our hands tucked over our heads. The teachers would pace back and forth hushing us into quiet, trembling, molehills against the cold concrete walls; while we waited for the storm to pass.

I hated being that close to the dirty hallway floor, but most of all I hated the not knowing. Being scared for my cat and my dog at home, for my parents, and for my Grandmas. I’d seen the Wizard of Oz; my Gran could very well be out there whirling up in the sky with the cows, the barn, and all the floats from the swimming pool. I might never see her again.

It wasn’t bad enough that we had to practice this once a month and being a child you never knew if it was the real thing or not. Not being allowed to ask questions without an authoritative shushing, we scuttled along, and flung ourselves into position, waiting for the sirens to stop wailing. You’d pray that you got in line beside one of your friends so you could at least quietly whisper if ever the opportunity arose and heaven forbid if it ever cut into recess time. Then the day was absolutely ruined.

All this is on my mind as I plan for a road trip up the east coast. The hurricane puts a heavy weight on my heart and I almost wonder if it’s appropriate to take the time to see the sights with such a catastrophe going on. What would it be like driving into the city after a storm of this caliber, camera in hand, with a tourist’s questioning eyes? Seems kind of insensitive to me. For now the future of this trip remains unknown. Much like my time spent waiting out tornado drills. I think once we get behind the wheel we’ll know what to do.

As for today, I am heading out on a mini journey down south to Savannah, Georgia. I love this coastal town. My mom happens to be going there for work and I am going to tag along to be her driving buddy. You may not know that I have been back down in Georgia for about two months. I have been staying with my folks near my old stomping grounds and I am coming to the end of my trip.

I am so ready to head back home. Hopefully, this trek to Savannah will give me an opportunity to clear my head, be thankful, and figure out my path from here. I’ve encountered a few bumps in the road these past months that have brought me to where I am now, but I’ve got big plans for school this spring. Truly, I can’t wait to be back up north with my beautiful J. Thoughts of him, and his love and support are what’s getting me through it all. Yeah, okay I got a little gushy, but hey, I miss the guy and he is beautiful.

I hope yall are safe out there; dry, warm, and surrounded by love.

“And somewhere on desert highway, she rides a Harley Davidson.
Her long blonde hair flying in the wind.
She’s been running half her life, the chrome and steel she rides.
Colliding with the very air she breathes.”
-Neil Young

p.s. There should be plenty of photos to come as well as a hodgepodge of photos from this whole Georgia trip. My camera has been pretty much glued to my face.

Southern Blogger Mixer in Chattanooga

This past Saturday I went to an awesome Southern Blogger Mixer hosted in Chattanooga by Beca of Tales of a Tumbleweed and Danielle of Dinosaur Toes, both amazing artisans and awesome bloggers. I was a little nervous at first, arriving right on time, I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in the with mix considering I only spend part of my time in Georgia and the rest of my time in Ontario, where I eventually plan on living full-time. I’m so glad I went! It was not only an adorable event, but gave me the opportunity to meet so many incredible ladies and discuss some really cool topics.

It was pretty much an all-star line up with Amy, Sally, Beth, Danielle, Beca, Sunshine, Mary, and Amanda. A great group and the perfect size for my first mixer. I walked away with not only an awesome bag of goodies, (which I’ll share some of the non-edible components later, cause yeah Eva, Jamie, and I demolished those) but also with so many little tips and inspiration. It’s pretty amazing just to meet so many inspiring women who blog about things they love and are passionate about. So so so cool.

The venue was really beautiful it was the Easy Bistro in Chattanooga. It has a gorgeous black and white motif and even more incredibly yummy foods.

Handmade apple sodas and a delicious spread of yumminess!

We talked about everything from the basis and inspiration behind our blogs to our personal perspective on the ominous outfit posts. Which frankly scare the bajeezus out of me for the most part as I kind of turn into a bit of a perfectionist or just being honest maybe I’m just really picky about photos of me, but I’m working on it!

For the last bit of the mixer Beca and Danielle had set up a little terrarium DIY for all of us to partake in as a sort of ice breaker and party favor. The table was equipped with glass bulbs for each of us and a terrarium bar of sorts filled with succulents, different mosses, and a little soil. Such a sweet little project. I remember making terrariums back in my 4-H camp days and it kind of re-birthed the need to go on trail walks just to find that perfect moss and tiny plants to use.

It was such a great turn out, the space was incredible, the food and drinks were amazing, and we all had a fantastic time chatting about blogging, running our side businesses, or following our passions. Truthfully, I loved every minute of it. Such amazing ladies all with so much talent. It really couldn’t have been a nicer bunch, so relaxed, and everyone brought something different to the table which I really loved.  I can’t wait to go to more meet ups in the future. This one has got me thinking about Kingston and how I really need to get things going with my crafters meet ups and about how I need to add blogging to the mix. Blogging is a lot of fun, but sometimes I get embarrassed on the internet. This weekend reaffirmed for me how a blog is a great space to just be yourself, share the things you love, and space to grow in your passions.

Preparing for a Green Juice Feast

So I am doing it. I have been gearing my body towards a juice feast for the last three weeks. I started by eating a nice big raw breakfast for two weeks and then into a week of fresh citrus, fruit and green smoothies. Yesterday I started the “feast” by replacing breakfast and lunch with fresh squeezed green juice.

Raw foodists often use the term feasting over fasting, because you truly are feasting! It’s all about abundance and eating as much pure, beautiful goodness you can! It’s enlightening really to think about it that way and to really appreciate all the beautiful, fresh, organic, local treats you are eating all in one go. It’s like living like a god! Surrounded by beautiful ripe fruit and veggies!

Why did I choose green? To be honest, I’d be lyin’ if I said I didn’t want to loose a few pounds, but also I want improve my overall health and I think a low glycemic clean system of eating will help me get there!

To prepare for this feast I went to our local market on Saturday. I had a budget of $20 to spend and that was it. I wanted to see if it was really doable on a small budget, because just the thought of organic produce prices can scare the pants off some people. To add to this James and I do have some fresh veggies from our CSA Share (community supported agriculture) so in total that makes my weekly budget about $40. I don’t know if this is doable yet, but I am sure going to find out.

Here’s what I scored at the market (I am just going to apologize in advance for these terrible quality photos it was later in the day and I refuse to use flash photography.)

A giant head of kale with roots still intact $5
Three light green sweet peppers
One green pepper
an entire basil plant $3 (I have other plans for this other than juicing: Pesto!)
six small peaches
a good sized head of romane
six 1″ ft cucumbers
five green apples

Amazing! All are low pesticide to no pesticide and some certified organic in there too. Now how long is this going to last me? Probably 3 to 4 days as I am replacing two meals with all of these goodies, though the CSA share should help prolong things and hopefully I’ll make it to Friday for our next share.


I couldn’t wait to start on Sunday so I made a small batch for dinner Saturday night. So fresh!


Not so green because of the addition of three small purple carrots.


Even Nori approves! She actually loves greens and we often share with her fresh lettuce and spinach cause she devours it!

It’s definitely an acquired thing juicing green veggies. I had some experience with it back at Omega when a fellow staffer leant the use of her juicer to staff (Lindsay that was a godsend!) but I didn’t juice it up full time. My short term raw food goal is to be raw by the end of September and see how it affects things, from there I’ll think about my long term plan and how I can use this method to improve my life over all. This is just a little experiment, I am in no way an expert, but over the course of this month I hope to learn as much as I can about my body and the affects of a pure clean diet (by diet I mean the aspect of my lifestyle having to do with food, not a “diet.”)

Wish me luck and please if you have anything to share with me do it! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Strawberry Jam – A Poem by Hillery Sawyer

I have been rolling around the idea of sharing my poetry here for a long time and in doing so I have been trying to decide if that’s a side of me I want to share in this space as I have shared it in others. The answer became quite clear over time and I have decided that yes, this is a kind, and caring group of people and this is a space that I care about and feel comfortable enough in to share some of my poetry.

At times in my life I have called myself a poet and I have identified entirely with this word. At other times in my life I have shunned the word, and laughed when hearing it in association with my name. We all go through phases of being comfortable with ourselves. On a weekly basis my comforts revolve, that’s just humanity. So in exploring my further humanity, I have decided to share some of my well worn poetry here and maybe it will become a regular monthly feature, maybe as I get used to associating myself with my poetry again.

Strawberry Jam

Surrounded, by shiny meaningless ceramics
that decorate the shelves like caskets in a catacomb
-dusty, but in-cognizable,
organized and diligently placed only to be forgotten, stored
for the convenience of death.

Dusty pewter and the familiar smell of nutmeg,
a blemish on an amber sunset.

Plaster, like strawberry jam
-lusty, but insatiable,
splattered and spread adding no sustenance
only a coax to get you to eat your whole grain toast.

When I open my eyes all I see is darkness,
a bruise on a sweet caress.

Written by Hillery Sawyer © 2009

The image, a recent favorite found through pinterest and traced as far as Here.

Why I loved this weekend

Whoopse! Accidentally posted that in the middle of editing it and didn’t even know! Well here’s the real deal now. Hizzah!

▲ Late night movie watching
▲ New to us super free retro couch cuddling
▲ Photo shoots with the hubs
▲ Mess making crafty time
▲ Insomniac-ic uke rock out sessions
▲ Birthday parties
▲ Family time and Bar-b-qs in the park
▲ Splash pads
▲ Adult conversations
▲ Lazy free time
▲ Late night shop packaging extravaganza
▲ Hugs from adorable nieces and nephews

My week without the internet

It’s strange to think about today’s society and how we’ve built our lives around the internet. Computers, cell phones, and data devices all have become our preferred means of “staying connected”.

It amazes me more and more every time I am out walking around downtown that almost everyone I encounter has a cell phone, or blue tooth headset on their ear, or are texting. I’ve seen people texting on bicycles and while crossing the street. Not even looking where they are going. It’s so bad that if we get lost and need directions, we are less inclined to ask our neighbor and instead look for the nearest internet cafe or pull out our handheld.

This bleeds over into blogging as well. I have met some amazing ladies through my blog, and some that I e-mail and stay in touch with on a regular basis, but for the most part I just sit in front on my computer, alone, in my jammies, or more truthfully, as naked as I can be cause it’s hotter than hell in my apartment, just typing away. For no one in particular, just you know typing into space.

When my parents and niece came up to Ontario for a visit last week with so much to do/see I didn’t even think twice about what I was going to write about on my blog that week. I had already decided what to write…

Nothing.

I was going to give my family my full undivided attention. I simply wanted to soak them all in. There were going to be real people in my house that I could talk to! Real physical bodies close enough for me to hug and smother in kisses! Little pudgy baby hands and feet to squeeze and tickle and I wasn’t going to spare even a minute to check my facebook or twitter.

Yes, my readership would suffer. Yes, some people might have thought I fell of the face of the planet. But I had decided these things didn’t matter as much to me as spending every waking minute I had with my mom, my dad, my niece, and my husband.

And truth be told. It just didn’t even occure to me to even bother pulling out the laptop as my house (tiny apartment) was full with five people and a cat. All eating, laughing, hugging, catching up over a brew, teaching, taking our first steps, making corny jokes, taking long naps, playing music, reciting poetry, and growing together.

This reminded me once again how little I need or want technology when surrounded by love, family, and nature and how much I use it as a crutch being in a new town. It’s been a blessing not to worry about my shop, or the blog, twitter, facebook, ect. I have been letting it bleed into my life now that I am back to “work” and I am actually starting to enjoy myself having let the burden of guilt of not posting go.

I want to make sure I enjoy every bit of this summer and sunshine before it fades back into a long winter. I want to make sure I take the time to appreciate myself and my husband, our youth, our life together.
And I promise I am going to continue to only post meaningful, honest, and inspiring posts. This blog is not dead. It was birthed from honesty and creativity and there she shall live forever.

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Canada Day, 4th of July, and Familytime

Sorry for the disappearing act! My parents and my beautiful, gorgeous, enchanting, mesmerizing sweet niece came up from Georgia to stay with us and I took last week off to really enjoy the time we had to spend together.

It was amazing, hot, cramped, fun, exhausting, filled with love, and I would not trade a minute of it for anything else in the world! I loved having them in my little apartment and in my town. Getting to squeeze them, smile at them, and hear their laughs in my home. Now my home has memories of them in it and it makes it that much sweeter to fall asleep in my bed at night way up here in Canada and so far away from home. They brought home with them.

We had an amazing week together and a wonderful Canada day with an art festival the park, walks down by the water, a delicious salmon steak dinner at home, (My dad makes the best salmon!) and fireworks over lake Ontario, which my sweet little niece just slept right through!

Here are some absolutely adorable photos of her down by the water on our Canada day walk.

Isn’t she the most gorgeous little thing you ever did see? I will be back this week with more photos of my parents stay, lovely scenery, and my beautiful niece! Still weeding through the 1000s of them!

For now I will bid you ado and hope you have a lovely day!

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