Farm Fresh: A Long Table Dinner with Vitala

October 2, 2013

You may remember me mentioning that I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a long table dinner a couple of weeks ago and I thought you might like to get a little peek at the experience. Hosted by Vitala at the picturesque Bakerview EcoDairy (where Rachel and I hosted our Fieldstone Vintage Markets), it was the perfect way to welcome Fall and to celebrate locally grown food and wine. We even got to tour the luxurious Vitala cow barn (yes, I used the words luxurious and cow barn in the same sentence!) where they have back scratchers (which the cows actually use!) and a super high-tech robotic milking machine…they seemed like very happy cows, indeed :) You can see more beautiful pictures by Tanya Goehring over on the new Vitala blog but here are some of my favourites…

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.All photos by Tanya Goehring, Post Photography.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

I brought Elisa from Spruce as my “date” and we had a great time getting to know other local bloggers while sharing heaping plates of the most delicious food I’ve tasted in a very long time! Chef Dino Renaerts and his wife Nessa van Bergen (Bon Vivant Group) pulled out all of the stops creating a 4-course dinner incorporating Vitala products with meat and local produce sourced from Nature?s Pickin?s. You can see many more pics of the food and evening over on my Instagram feed and we were all filled to the brim by the time dessert arrived! It was truly a farm to table experience, in every way. We sampled delicious wines from Haywire with each course and I’ll definitely be adding them to my next Okanagan wine tour itinerary!

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring. All photos by Tanya Goehring, Post Photography.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring. All photos by Tanya Goehring, Post Photography.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Birch + Bird: Vitala Long Table Dinner. Photo by Tanya Goehring. All photos by Tanya Goehring, Post Photography.

The entire evening was magical and the Vitala team made us all feel so special with each thoughtful detail and some seriously awesome goody bags to take home with us at the end! Thank you so much to Helinda & Bill for hosting such a beautiful evening and for everyone else who helped put it together…I felt truly honoured to be included :) If you have a chance to attend a similar farm to table experience in your own community, be sure to take it! It’s so interesting (and so very important) for us all to understand where our food, where real food, actually comes from. Cheers!


Hosts/Venue: Vitala Foods | Bakerview EcoDairy

Photography: Tanya Goehring | Post Photography

Décor/event styling: Partners and Hawes

Food: Dino Renaerts and Nessa van Bergen | The Bon Vivant Group

Wine: Haywire

Music: Scott Perrie

Event management: Ladawne Shelstad | Crush Brand Lab


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Green + Simple: The Nature of Things

September 30, 2013

Ok, I’m just going to throw it out there…is anyone else in favour of 3-day weekends? Like, every weekend? We could all work extra long and hard Tuesday through Friday and then catch up on everything else Saturday through Monday. I’m thinking it would be a win-win, just sayin’ :) I’ve been thinking a lot about how busy life has been (thanks to some excellent articles like this one) and am on a constant mission to streamline the work/home/family/chores/cooking/etc/etc juggle but a girl needs to sleep at some point!

We made good progress on Gabe’s room this weekend and moved the furniture all in. Next up, hanging art and some DIY shelves and I just have to find curtains and a duvet cover before I show you the official “after” photos. As we tackle our current renovations, I’m taking the opportunity to purge the clutter and simplify how we live within our home. Now if only I had that extra day each week to devote to the task! Another touch I’m eager to add to his North-facing basement room is a shade-loving plant or two. There’s nothing more calming than nature and I love the fresh sense of life that greenery brings to a space. Branches, flowers, twigs or plants, it doesn’t take much to bring a little bit of the outdoors in…

Birch + Bird: The Design FilesThe Design Files

Birch + Bird: Buk & NolaBuk & Nola

Birch + Bird: Emily Henderson's office via The Every GirlEmily Henderson’s office via The Every Girl

Birch + Bird: PoppytalkIDSWest “The Room of the Year” via Poppytalk

Birch + Bird: Country LivingCountry Living

Birch + Bird: Lovely LifeLovely Life

How was your weekend? Get you get all of your to-do tasks accomplished or did you get cozy by the fire with all of this torrential rain? I must admit that I did a bit of both. Like I said, a girl needs sleep sometimes…especially this one :)


Spruce Vintage Rentals: Our Winter Look-Book

September 27, 2013

Earlier this month, the Spruce girls and I spent a day in Vancouver shooting our latest look-book for Spruce Vintage Rentals (formerly Trove). We styled three Winter settings at The Urban Winery in Gastown (which is amazing!, featuring a Fireside Table, Gentlemen?s Whiskey Bar (my favourite…weird, right? ;) and Hot Cocoa Lounge. I’m pretty obsessed with the results and wish I had a good excuse to throw a giant holiday party! Photographed beautifully by Mikaela Ruth Photography, we also called on Celsia Florist and Anna Elizabeth Cakes to help with the finer details and they pulled out all the stops. The florals were stunning (wild arrangements of roses, succulents & berries, oh my!) as was Anna?s simply elegant 3-tiered confection?yum! You can flip through the entire look-book here and I’ve included some of our favourite shots below. Enjoy!

All photos by Mikaela Ruth Photography.

Gorgeous cake by Anna Elizabeth Cakes.

Stunning florals by Celsia Florist.

All photos by Mikaela Ruth Photography.

All photos by Mikaela Ruth Photography.

You can see the entire Winter look-book by Spruce Vintage Rentals here:

Gilded Warmth: Spruce Vintage Rentals, Winter 2013

Gorgeous, right? And those bouquets smelled absolutely divine, as I’m sure you can imagine. If you’re in the Gastown neighbourhood (actually, it’s more on the outskirts but well worth a trip down somewhat sketchy side streets!), I highly recommend a visit to The Urban Winery and be sure to check out The Railtown Cafe while you’re at it…our lunch there was beyond delicious! I absolutely love putting together styled shoots like this and feel pretty dang lucky to call it my job. Doesn’t hurt that I do it alongside such a creative bunch of gals too :) Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Eclectic Wall Art: Keeping it Personal

September 25, 2013

Hey guys! Sorry I disappeared on Monday. I spent the weekend painting away at Gabe’s room in the basement and something’s just gotta give sometimes :) His room is now the perfect black and white blank slate and all that’s left is to move his gear in and add some personality plus. I don’t think there’s anything more personal in home decor than art, wouldn’t you agree? It’s hard to know what draws us to a certain piece…sometimes it evokes a nostalgic memory or inspires us to do great things or simply makes us smile. Whatever the reason, I love a good wall gallery and these days I’m of the mindset that the quirkier, the better!

Covet Garden via SF Girl by Bay. Photo by Donna Griffith.

A Beautiful Mess. Photo by M.K. Sadler.

The Design Falls

Smitten Studio via Eva Black Design

Country Living

Desert Domicile

Katie’s Pencil Box

Wall galleries are great but sometimes all it takes is one awesome painting, like this handsome fellow. Who was he? Who painted him? I love the mystery behind vintage portraits and am dying to do a massive gallery wall of them at the shop. We’ll be moving Gabe’s furniture in later this week and hopefully finishing up by the weekend…I cannot wait to show you what we’ve got up our sleeves. Hope you’re having a great week so far!


Week + End: A Roundup of my Faves

September 20, 2013

How was your week? Mine was a bit of a blur with plenty of prep for The Urban Market but I was lucky enough to attend my first long table dinner on Wednesday night and it was amazing! Hosted by Vitala Foods at the Bakerview EcoDairy, I haven’t tasted such delicious, locally grown food since…well, ever! I’ll be sure to share more pics last week but you can peek through my Instagram feed in the meantime, including a pretty funny “gift” from my trainer at the gym the next morning (click here)…so true, Jody, so true :) Here are some more favourites from the week:

1. My place setting at the Vitala long table dinner…simply divine!

My Instagram feed

2. My toes have been sadly neglected I could definitely handle some R&R this weekend. Pretty sure a pedicure’s not in the cards but I’d be sure to make one happen more often if there was a nail salon as pretty as this one in my neighbourhood:

Olive & June via Oh, Joy!

3. Far down on our to-do list are reclaimed barn wood shelves for our living room (Brad built some gorgeous ones for us at Spruce Collective) and I really love how this vintage collection is styled. The rest of the house is pretty spectacular too:

Eye Swoon

4. Mm, cocktails. Because it is Friday, after all!

Greyhound Cocktail via Ruffled

5. Agreed. Through the hills + valleys and everything in between, yep, life is pretty cool:

Scout Mob

We don’t have any big plans this weekend but I’m going to get started on painting Gabe’s room and will see how far I get. Home renos are somewhat like a game of Dominos, aren’t they? One move depends on the next as we shuffle bedrooms around and get everyone settled in. Fingers crossed we make some headway! Happy weekend :)