Saturday, 24 October 2015

The true meaning of Halloween.

It's that time again. The leaves have changed colour and are falling off the trees, the wind is getting cold, you can buy boxes of mini chocolate bars everywhere, and you are not sure if you should wear your winter coat or a heavy sweater. Something wicked this way comes...

Don't forget my favourite part of the end of fall, making my children dress-up (they love it) and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures! I usually take some costume pictures a week before Halloween so that we can focus on trick or treating and the true meaning of Halloween, which is candy.

Let us take a walk down memory lane...

2010. Baby K was so very squish-able as a puppy!

2011. Yoda. First year trick or treating for Mama.

2012. Ninja. Mr. K ran into so many people's houses this year! Ha ha!

2013. The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, and Thing 2. I still think it is strange that we went from 1 to 3 children. I feel like we skipped a step... or a pregnancy... 

2014. Captain Kirk, Spock, and Evil Spock. Hysterical.

2015. This is the first year that the boys picked their own costumes. 

I decided to join in the fun! Superman and Wonder Woman (our true identities).

Sad Batman and happy Batman. I am still searching for the proper plural form of Batman. Can anyone help me? Or can there be only one...

And we are done pictures and ready to focus on the true meaning of Halloween. 

Have a safe and happy Halloween! 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Artist Feature: Tristan Laroque-Walker

by, Tristan Laroque-Walker

There is an amazing thing that happens when you grow up. New, lovely people join your family. My first brother, Tristan, is a welcome edition! 

Tristan is an artist and a kindred spirit, and just the sort of person I would like to feature. I have been thinking about creating an Artist Feature as a regular spotlight on my blog. I feel that so often the world is competitive and unkind. I would like to build up my fellow creatives and foster a community of support. Being an artist can be lonely at times, so facilitating discussion, sharing ideas and inspiration, is important to me. If you would like to be featured, or nominate a friend, please send me an email!

Tristan is a 28 year old photographer based out of Edmonton, Alberta. He specializes in capturing the beauty of the natural world. Tristan began taking photos when he was in elementary school on a Vivitar Point and Shoot. When Tristan was in high school he graduated to his first SLR.  He was often inspired by his Grandfather, Jack Laroque, who was a professional photographer. A beautiful short film created by Aaron Jack Laroque can be viewed here. Tristan's parents are both avid photographers as well, so it seemed natural that Tristan would continue the tradition. 

Influences for Tristan include, Ansel Adams, an American photographer and environmentalist, as well as French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Both these photographers bring a realness to their work. Adams is known for his clarity in large scale black and white landscape photos. Cartier-Bresson was a master of candid photography. Tristan's work is highly natural, not overly edited, with beautiful composition and a refreshing approach to cropping. 

Tristan Laroque-Walker

Tristan is an unassuming man, with considerable personal style and confidence. He is easy to talk to, soft spoken, and has a great depth of character. It is obvious that his interest in the philosophical and visual aspects of the world that surrounds us, has benefited him greatly in his creative pursuits as well as the way that he relates to others. 

In Tristan's own words, "I have a firm belief that moments are meant to be captured and recorded. It requires us to sometimes step out of the moment so that we may share it with the world around us. I believe that through photography we may all tell our version of the tales we experience, and I believe you will know exactly how to share that tale with the ones around you."

Follow Tristan on Instagram, where he uses a Samsung Galaxy X5 and edits with Snapseed.
Check out more of Tristan's work at Tristan Pierce Photography. He uses a Nikon D3100 and edits with Adobe Lightroom.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

We need a little Thanksgiving. Right this very minute.

Thanksgiving is here again (in Canada), and I am so grateful. I needed a gratitude reminder. My stress levels have been at an all time high this fall, and I think it is time for me to take a deep breath, and relax with my beautiful family and friends this weekend. Focus on food, fun, and gratitude.

Today I went to Costco with my twin sons. Mr. G and Mr. L are 2 and a half, and among the most delightful people I have ever met. I had anticipated a busy store, as we are approaching Thanksgiving weekend, but my estimation as to how busy was WAY off. There were traffic jams with carts all over the place. One particular jam was bad enough that a man stuck in the middle started yelling, "grid lock! Grid lock!" He seemed to have reached a point of pure desperation. I also saw two women fighting, people exchanging cross looks and a lot of head shaking. Basically, we got our turkey and got OUT OF THERE. On the way out, the boys were getting grouchy (it is catching), and there was no line up at the concession before the exit (a miracle). I decided to "splurge" and buy them a 90 cent drink, since they had been complaining about being thirsty. My smallest funniest boy is obsessed with pop, thanks to his Daddy. He rarely gets to drink it but he loooooooooooves it. I filled the cups half way with root beer and handed them to the boys. Mr. G was so overcome with emotion, "Tank you Mama, Tank you Mama! MMMmmmm dink (we are working on the R's). Nummy!" He was so grateful! For that little cup of pop. So sweet.

It is easy to forget to be grateful. Good things happen everyday, most of the time they might even go unnoticed. It is often easier to see the negative as it can feel like it demands our attention. Most events in a person's life are small, but that does not mean that they are not significant. Taking time to notice all that there is to be grateful for is the greatest gift that a person can give themselves. When we are grateful we are feeling peace. It is impossible for fear and gratitude to exist at the same time. Creating a habit of gratitude can also help when dealing with anxiety or depression.

If you are having trouble feeling thankful, write a list. A list is my answer to everything...

What I am grateful for today,

1. My husband/best friend/favourite person. He is always top of my list.

2. My children. They have changed my life completely, how I view the world, what matters to me.

3. This salad that I picked up at Wendy's and finally sat down to eat at 2:30 pm. Apple Pecan Chicken with blue cheese. SO delicious. Notice I have not cleaned up the table from the kid lunch. Still grateful!

4. A long weekend.

5. That as soon as my son gets home from kindergarten, I can change into this.

6. My baby sister is visiting with her adorable fiance for Thanksgiving! I cannot wait!

7. The beauty of this season. Driving and walking around Ottawa this week has been taking my breath away!

8. Friends. I have some amazing friends in my life, people that I can be myself with and who are there for me.

9. Chocolate. Always.

Still not convinced? Gratitude can improve physical and psychological health, enhance empathy and reduce aggression, improve self esteem, improve mental strength, and even help you get a good night's sleep. Write a gratitude list and see what happens!

Happy Thanksgiving!