whale watching at dana point

March 9, 2016  |  Travel  |  2 Comments

One of the nicest things about coastal living is all the marine life you get to see. Last weekend, Adam and I drove down to Dana Point to check out the Festival of Whales, a quaint town fair that coincides with the grey whale migration. I broke out some of my favourite nautical stripes for the occasion…and then threw on my super warm shearling hoodie, because of sudden gale-force winds!

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Though one of the festival’s bigger draws is surely the discounted whale-watching safari cruises, Adam gets so terribly seasick that we opted to try and spot whales from land instead. After a satisfyingly greasy fry-up at The Brig for brunch (their corned beef hash is addictive!) we headed to the beach behind the Ocean Institute to try our luck there. But after over an hour of unsuccessfully willing the whales to materialize, we decided to hike the Dana Point Headlands Trail instead and see if we’d have better luck spotting them from the top of the cliffs.

Sure enough, just as the sun was setting, a pod of whales showed up just off the coast. None of them did anything more exciting than puff water out of their blowholes, but it was still a pretty cool sight. We joined several other groups in pointing and calling out the puffs as they came – I’d estimate about 4-6 different whales were clearing their blowholes, but who knows how many more were just swimming quietly by. Can you spot the spout in the photo above?

Though I suspect Adam was expecting something more theatrical, it was a pretty great way to spend a Sunday. And since whale spotting season goes through March, I’d definitely consider driving back to see if we can capture a bit more action than just the odd spout of water. This time, I’m bringing binoculars!

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christmas 2015

December 27, 2015  |  Home Decor, Lifestyle  |  4 Comments

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had as lovely of a Christmas as I did.

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This year we had a full house for our Christmas Eve dinner, so there was a fair bit of chaos in the weeks leading up to the big event. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, re-arranging the furniture…even our tree wasn’t spared! It ended up on the opposite side of the room this year to make room for more couch seating.

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Speaking of trees, ours had such a short trunk that there wasn’t any room underneath the lower branches for presents. We made a gift table instead, and my mother decorated it with a spray of festive red orchids. How Singaporean!

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For atmosphere, I updated our cloche display with strands of copper fairy lights and lots of pillar candles.

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But the most exciting addition to our seasonal decor this year was our new Christmas stockings. Thanks to my mother’s wizardry with a sewing machine, we finally got some beautiful silver ones that go with our holiday colours. Aren’t they amazing?

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Christmas Eve itself wound up being even more of a fiasco than we’d bargained for, thanks to Adam getting food poisoning and landing himself in the hospital at 4am that morning. The poor guy was pretty woozy for the rest of the day, so although he did rally and sit with us for most of the night, there wasn’t a lot of photo taking. There was however good food and great company, plus lots of champagne and laughter and presents, so I like to think it was the kind of evening that we’ll all remember anyway.

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Christmas itself was a lot more relaxed. We were so full from the night before that we skipped brunch altogether and got right down to presents. The little ones went first (of course) and then the rest of us played our traditional gift-guessing game. I won this year!

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We spent the rest of the day lounging around, grazing on Christmas treats, watching movies, and leisurely cooking a casual Christmas dinner just for ourselves. It was quiet, but perfect.

However your spent your holidays this year, I hope it was wonderful…or at least restful…or at least that you didn’t spent part of it in the hospital. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas (hey, there’s still 9 days of it left!) and a very Happy Near Year. 

 

 

a happily haunted halloween

November 2, 2015  |  Home Decor, Lifestyle  |  2 Comments

I love Christmas and all, but as far as holidays go, Halloween is kind of my jam. And Adam…well, let’s just say he’s the Gomez to my Morticia. So even though we don’t get tons of trick-or-treaters, decorating our porch has kind of become our new favourite fall tradition.

After last year’s cutesy hand-made decorations, I promised Adam we’d go a little more sinister this time. He was still pulling pretty hard for animatronic zombies, but none of the ones we saw were really right for the space so we compromised on a Haunted Manor-esqe aesthetic. We added raven finials to our gate, the requisite spiderwebs…

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…and big bows I made from tattered black burlap.

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On the conveniently-dead tree next to our door, Adam strung up some bats and a couple of fiery cauldrons that cast the creepiest flickering glow over our whole porch.

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We even found space in our flowerbed for a tombstone! That little guy pops up and shrieks whenever the sensor in front of it trips. Yeah, I’m pretty sure our neighbours hate us.

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All in all, it was a fitting haunt for this ghoul next door:

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Happy Halloween! Till next year, my pretties…

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