My last piece of her pie after I wrote Monday's post, I texted Kyla for word help.  I told her about my loss of the word that I wanted and her suggestions were nostalgic or déjà-vu...I gave her the fill in the blank: at Christmas, the smell of traditional foods is ______ '.  She then gave me "yummy".   She was immediately fired.
Dan's first response for suggestion was déjà-vu as well and then he went all google-happy and started using sciencey words.  Which wasn't what I was looking for.  I then called Mom who went all thesaurus on me and then started googling articles and reading.  She couldn't come up with my missing word. And then she called me back with more suggestions, telling told me stories about the smell of Dove soap would remind her of her Grandmother's bathroom.
So many good things come from blogging, I tell ya.
Anyway, her words were reminiscent and redolent.
Dan's sister, Monique, texted me yesterday with some science words, but also gave me wistful, which I liked.

At any rate, I wanted that word for today's post because it's a special post: Foods that remind me of fall.  Well, the first thing that came to mind was pie: pumpkin, apple, you name it and man, oh man, do I have one special pie sitting in my fridge.

You see, when my Grams passed away in December, she left a house that she was still living in, packed with treasures and memories of her.  It took 4 months of sorting, organizing, trashing and donating by my Aunt, Uncle, Mom and Dad until finally, it sold and just like that, the house that Grandpa build 60 years ago, was no longer in our family.

In the freezer were some of her pies and this past weekend, my mom brought me my last piece of Grandma's apple pie.  There's nothing that tastes like fall more than her pie.

What fall looks like for me.

Fall is a magical time, isn't it?
It is really hard to be in a bad mood when most days it feels like I'm driving around in a painting: bright blue skies, trees in multicolours, geese flying in their formation overhead.  I love the crispness in the air, the changing of wardrobes and the promise of cozy times by the fire to come.
I hope you like fall too because I'm fall-theming all my posts this week.  There's food, fashion and decor to talk about this week.
But let's start with the most important: time spent with family.

We had a supreme fall weekend spent with Kyla, her kidlets and my parents.  Well, really, it was just Saturday but it started the weekend off on the right foot.  My parents celebrated 40 blissful years of marriage yesterday, so of course we wanted to celebrate with them (which was my excuse for cake). Kyla (and her hubby) make the best cakes.  Look at that masterpiece!  It was even in the shades of their wedding colours.

A hair challenge

I spend 20some minutes on my makeup every morning and only 3 minutes on my hair.  Okay, maybe it's more like 1.

I have never had patience to do my hair, I am naturally (and proudly) a pony tail girl, tomboy at heart. Having very thick and very straight hair makes for a frustrating process that I tend to avoid, which means I have the process down to an art.  I wash my hair twice a week (usually Sundays and Wednesdays) and the days in between I use dry shampoo.  On most days, I can wake up and go, without paying much attention to my coif.

Thankfully my friends, Sarah and Vanessa came up with a hair challenge, encouraging me to try new things.  Which I kinda did.
For one week, I purposely did my hair differently each day in hopes of adding a little variety to my life, although, I have to admit, my efforts stuck true to my "get it done as quickly as possible" mantra.
All these hair styles took 5 minutes.
The straightened/bangs forward look.  Usually Day one of fresh shampoo

The bangs braided back look because they are starting to annoy me

The half up, top knot look which falls on the last day I go without a wash.

The braided back in a knot, which is my current fave.  It is a close relative to the my go-to summer hair style that I even made a video of.  
The one look I would do, if I were to put 30 minutes into my hair is curly.  I love my curling iron and it's the only one that can get me curls that last a day or sometimes more.  For this look I curled my hair the night before :

and then usually when I wake up I have a beachy wave...'twas not the case this time, so I did it with a few curls hanging down and up in the back:

And hair you have it!

Also- I'm posting on The Blended Blog today, go see what I am yacking about for yourself!

About the style challenges.

When I signed up for the  Get Your Pretty On Style Spring Challenge last year,  I had no idea what to expect.  At that point in my life, I was fashionably-content, happily blogging in my own little world but unbeknownst to me,  a whole world of blog opportunities and friendships would be around the corner.  
Right off the bat, a member of the Spring 2014 Facebook group, Shaunacey, who is also Canadian and a blogger (I liked her from the get-go) suggested we do blog link ups to showcase our looks during the challenge.  So we seeked other bloggers and bam, blogging as I knew it was changed forever.

Because at that moment, in walked a community of women who are now some of the most special people in my world.  I treasure my late night (and usually all day) text sessions with Shaunacey as we discuss the Blue Jays, our kids and our mutual adoration for wine.  I feel like I have a special bond with Lana and Carrie, having met up with Lana twice, once being on a trip to meet Carrie way down in Texas with our husbands in tow.
There is a group of us (15!) that have been together since the beginning of these challenges and have even "met" over Google hangouts, blogged together under the name of the Style Me Bloggers and now have created a collaborative blog together, The Blended Blog. 
I would be thrilled to organize something in the great Canadian Rockies so we could have a chance to all meet.  (Mostly because the majority of the group hasn't been to Canada and hasn't ever had ketchup chips).  Each and every one of these ladies bring something so unique and fantastic to our group, that it's easy to see how we have grown together.

And this all came to be because a lovely Texan dreamed up a challenge that would create a community for women to share.  So thank you, Alison.  You have changed and enriched so many lives.

Today I have the opportunity to share with you a little interview that was conducted over email between Alison and I.  I asked the Style Challenge guru and she answered, how fun is that?

1- If you could only shop in one store, which one would you choose?

Only ONE?  Oh boy.  I really love Target and Nordstrom.  Honestly it's a tie.  OK, I'll pick Target.  I go there more often and it's a great place to pick up trendy items without breaking the bank.  Plus it's right down the street so if I got desperate enough that I had to walk there, I could.  

2- What are your top 5 timeless pieces that are needed for any wardrobe?

I dress casually almost all of the time so my list would include a great pair of riding boots, a trench coat, dark wash jeans, a well made leather purse and lightweight cashmere cardigans.  

3- What’s one trend you wish you hadn’t tried/totally regret/have burned all proof? 

Ha!  I had a pair of jeans in high school that had a yoke at the top and pleats.  Oh so figure flattering!  They were acid washed too.  I may have also worn a pair of bib overalls when pregnant with my oldest daughter.  Thank goodness there is no photo proof of either of those!

4- What do you have the most of in your closet?

Cardigans.  I'm kind of obsessed with them and wear them year-round.  There's one of every color and style imaginable in my closet.

5- Best piece of advice you have received about defining your style.

Toss out the old style rules.  If something fits well and makes you feel fabulous then WEAR IT!

I feel like I could have asked her a million more questions, but settle down, that's all you're getting. The Fall Challenge Early Bird Registration is currently open, so why don't you sign up and join some pretty awesome people who dress nice?  It's fun!

What I Wore to Work

Before I show you what I wore this week...I have a couple things to share with you.
1- Head on over to our new collab, The Blended Blog.  We'll be featuring the contributors every Friday and I'm up today!

2- I'd like you to consider Alison's Fall Challenge.  Sign up (here) opens today and who doesn't love fall fashion?  Layers, sweaters, leggings and boots......  You can check what it entails here, but even better, why not come back on Monday when Alison will be guest posting right here!

Now, on to what I wore. 3 of the outfits were part of Alison's workwear challenge...can you guess which ones?

When I look back at these outfits from the past 2 weeks of work, it feels like I've been at it for 2 months already.  I'm exhausted, am feeling overwhelmed and would like to just sit still and be.
That is likely not going to happen, so I'll just learn to deal.

So instead of me being super wordy and full of spirit, let's just take a look at what I've worn as a back in the classroom again teacher and then let's vote on our fave. Because we can.

And your favourite outfit is.... free polls
I'm linking up today with Andrea, Narci and Erica for Friday Favourites, as well as Whitney, Carrie and Casey for A Lovely Little a la Mode

A 10th Girls' Getaway

Before I start talking about one group of friends, I'd like to invite you to check out a special blog formed by another group of blog friends, The Blended Blog.  Today marks our inaugural post and the beginning of a novel journey for a group of ladies who have never met.  This blog is a communal place to find blogs, share blogs and get to know other bloggers.  Our hope is to unite the blogworld, one post at a time.

Beginning in 2006, what I kinda remember to be as March, our group of girlfriends decided we should go and do something.   At that point in time, no one had kids and it was just a really good excuse to get together with Christy and Gina who live in Calgary while we all live in YXE.    I honestly don't even remember where we shopped or what we did with our time.  Well actually, I do remember crazy nights with some girls (not me, obvs) not even coming home from partying.
Ah to be footloose and fancy-free.

The annual girl trip, which has taken place in either Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, has been a blessing in our lives.  This year we tacked on an extra day and hit the streets of Banff.

We left Thursday at noon and drove straight to the Chinook mall to hit up Nordstrom and such.  It was kinda rushed so another trip back was required.  One must not rush shopping #truth.
Friday was spent at Chinook in the morning and then to Crossiron Mills for the afternoon.  We probably put on a good 10 hours in both malls.  That's hardcore shopping.
It was the year of twinning...with Sarah and Alynne purchasing a lot of similar pieces and Carmen and I doing the same.  It was also good we brought my truck because we filled the entire box with our bags.   There was some great shopping happening.

 After we had meticulously covered Cross Iron mills, we headed out to Banff for some somewhat fresh mountain air.  Lots of smoke from the Washington fires.  Actually, Banff wasn't as bad as Calgary was.  Anyway, when we got into to Banff, we immediately found our hotel and saw a deer or elk roaming the street, checking out some real estate.  Assuredly, it was our resident elk expert, Alynne (who grew up on an elk farm) who informed us that it was really a deer.

morning cuddles

morning coffee

morning getting ready
 Christy booked us in at a cute Inn that had a suite, so we had 3 double beds and could all stay in the same room.  Talk about major sleepover!

Saturday was spent roaming the streets and shops of Banff.

 Carmen was extremely attracted to bears and had to take a selfie or talk to each one she passed.  Really though, her sons are very bearobsessed so we learned a lot, which I have already forgot about bears.  It was the year of the bear.  Luckily, we didn't see any real predators.

After we had thoroughly covered all the shops and ate some Beaver Tails, we headed up to the Fairmont Banff Springs to check out the grounds (find cool selfie spots) and hit up the spa.

 The other exciting thing we did was try to recreate this picture we had done 15 ish years ago at Sears.  Seriously, who goes to a portrait studio with their friends, all wearing turtlenecks???!!!!

This last one was going to be awesome, and I was just taking shots to get the lighting, problem is, my camera hates me and is on it's deathbed, so I got a couple shots and then it died.  Sad face.  I'm officially over being a photog.  We had even bought (much to my chagrin) Banff t-shirts that we were going to wear for the picture, which never happened.  So we goofed off in the hotel with them on instead.

Looking back on that weekend, I think my favourite part was just chilling with my friends.  We weren't rushed by kids and really didn't have anywhere pressing to go.  It was soo nice to just be able to stroll the streets, or the mall, or relax in the room and chat and remember and laugh so hard that someone has to pee.

I'm already looking forward to 2016's adventure when we head back to Edmonton in June.  I will be prepared to do the annual photo then instead.

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