Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Decorate With Flowers

I can see the weekend from here! Hope you're all having a good week, so far.

I just received my copy of Decorate With Flowers by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring, published by Jacqui Small and Chronicle Books. It's so beautiful! I had the pleasure, and honour, of shooting a few homes with Leslie and Jessica Senti (assistant to Holly Becker), here in Vancouver. It was such a great experience, working with these talented ladies, and inspiring to see Leslie in action. Here's a peek at a couple of our sessions....

Jessica setting the table with a mixture of brightly coloured flowers in a variety of vessels. Loved the plant pots covered in Liberty fabrics. So pretty. 

A pretty table setting in pink, grey, and a little neon pink. 

Jessica and Leslie, weaving their magic at the home of Katharine Horsman

Leslie, busy at work, creating mini bouquets of all shades of plum and purple dahlias, orchids, and scabious. 

Loved the beautiful bowl with a single large dahlia. Shot at the home of designer, Nancy Riesco

There are over 140 pages of beautiful, creative and inspiring ways to use flowers, throughout your home, and some fun DIY projects, in this book. You can find Decorate With Flowers at bookstores everywhere as well as Amazon

Have a lovely day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Island Living

Hello everyone! I seemed to have lost March somewhere. If anyone finds it, could you let me know? Seriously, how are we already well into April? Anyone else lose March?

I shot this incredible home, on Pender Island, near Vancouver, with interior designers McCarthy Hinder. It's in the May issue of House and Home magazine. I had serious home envy with this one. The location is breathtaking. Here is just a little taste of it...

Carrie and Tanja setting up for the shoot. 

The living area completely opens up to the front of house and the back deck with a stunning view. 

Many of the rooms feel like you're in a treehouse. I would love to wake up surrounded by those trees. 

What do you think? Could you live here? Would love to know your thoughts. There's so much more in the May issue of House and Home. The kid's rooms are fantastic too. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Happy Tuesday! Hope your week is off to a good start. 

I made some straight-up crackers over the weekend, that were quick and easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Perfect for dipping, with cheese and chutney and, of course, soup. By the way, they cost about 50 cents to make as well. Gotta love that. 

Cheese Crackers - makes about 5 dozen

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon melted butter
6-7 tablespoons water
a little extra melted butter for tops of crackers
a little coarse salt for sprinkling on tops of crackers

Preheat oven to 400f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and parmesan cheese. Add the melted butter and combine. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix well until a smooth dough forms. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8" thick, and cut out shapes. I made a few batches, so I make 1.5" round crackers, and some tiny soup crackers. If cutting out square shape crackers, transfer rolled out dough to baking sheet and score with a pastry cutter. If using a round cutter, cut out shapes then transfer to baking sheet. Brush tops with a little melted butter and sprinkle coarse salt over top. You could also sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top - so good. 

Nothing like a quick recipe that's super simple to make. If you give these a whirl, let me know!

Have a great day. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Perfect Mix

Happy Wednesday! 

I wanted to share a few vignettes from a story I shot with Suzanne Dimma, editor-in-chief, for House and Home magazine - it's in the April issue, out now.  This is the home of actress Kristin Lehman, star of the series Motive on CTV, her husband, filmmaker,  Adam Reid and son Sammy. It's such a pretty blend of new, vintage, and personal treasures. Designer, Nancy Riesco, helped Kristin pull it all together to create a warm and inviting space, with lots of personal touches. I could live here.  

Kristin, Adam and Sammy were so lovely to work with.  

There's so much more to see so, to get the entire story, check out the digital or print April issue of House and Home magazine. 

Have a great day! 

Friday, February 28, 2014


Hello weekend! Hope you all had a great week. If you're in Vancouver, did you enjoy the little bit of snow we had? It was so pretty! Really wish we'd see more of that lovely white stuff. 

I haven't made bread in awhile, so I made a basic white bread, and added some spicy chilli chocolate to the centre. So good and pretty easy to make too. 

Mini Bread Loaves with Spicy Chocolate - makes 4 loaves

1 eight gram packet of active dry yeast
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sugar (1 tsp for yeast mixture, 3 tblsp for dough)
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 85g spicy dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces

To glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 320f/160c. Grease and line with parchment paper, 4 one cup baking tins and set aside. 
In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, one teaspoon of sugar, and milk. Set aside in a warm spot until bubbles form on the surface, about 5 minutes (see pic below).

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, oil, 3 tablespoons sugar and yeast mixture and stir until a smooth dough forms (I use my hands for this). Knead the dough, on a lightly floured surface, for a about 5 minutes, until it's elastic and smooth.

Divide the dough into 4 even pieces. Flatten out each piece and place chocolate in centre. Fold around chocolate and pinch together to close. Smooth into a ball and place, pinched side down, into prepared baking tin. Cover with a towel and allow dough to rise, in a warm spot, until about doubled in size. This should take 45-60 minutes. 
Brush the tops with the egg mixture and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. 
Allow to cool a little, in tins, before removing.

Have you made bread before? It's a pretty fun thing to do, and I find it so relaxing to knead dough by hand. Kids love it too! Maybe something to try out over the weekend? 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Sunshiny Kitchen for Friday

Hello weekend! It's been a very golden day for Canada at the Olympics, and our hockey team is heading to the gold medal game on Sunday. Can't wait. Will you be watching?

To end off the week, I thought I'd share a few pics of Lisa Moody's, of Grapevine Designs, kitchen. I shot it for House and Home magazine, and it's on the stands now.

What do you think of Lisa's kitchen? I loved her counter top with a built-in cutting board at one end of it. The table, with a window bench seating, was pretty great too.  I also can't believe how incredibly organized this busy mom of 3 is. Wow. 

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Hello all! Hope your week is off to a good start.

I've been baking a little more these days, and trying to make things a little on the healthier side while I'm at it. I went off the healthy rails with this one, but every now and then isn't going to hurt. Right? I played around with a basic coffee cake, that I've made forever, by adding orange, almonds and cardamom. It's pretty delicious. Love the light cardamom flavour. 

Orange & Almond Coffee Cake w/ Cardamom - 

To make the streusel topping/filling:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons chilled butter, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds

Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Blend the chilled butter in with your fingers until small pebble size clumps form. Add the almonds and stir to combine. Cover and set aside in refrigerator. 

To make the cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1-2 teaspoons orange rind
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups low fat* sour cream 
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
* this is my attempt at taking a little of the fat out of it ;) 

Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Grease two 6"x6"x2" pans or one 13"x9"x2" pan and line with parchment paper for easy removal. 
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add orange rind, ground cardamom, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, a little at a time, alternately with the sour cream.  Add the orange juice stir to combine. If using two small pans (like I did), spread about a quarter of the batter in each pan. Sprinkle about a quarter of the streusel over top each. Drop another half of the remaining batter on top of each cake and sprinkle with remaining streusel. 

Bake for about 25 minutes, then check to make sure topping isn't getting too browned. If you think it is, place aluminum foil, loosely, on top of each pan. Bake for about another 20-25 minutes (total of about 45-50 minutes) until a skewer, inserted in centre of cakes, comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pans, on wire rack, for at least 15 minutes before removing. Enjoy! 

If you try making this cake, let me know what you think. You may find it hard to leave alone! 
Have a great day.