KINFOLK GATHERINGS: A THANK YOU

Kinfolk Dinner - Vancouver 2014

IT’S HARD TO believe but as quickly as it came – it went. Okay maybe not as quickly as it came… there were a lot of “holy eff” moments that preceded “okay I’ve got this” moments before the Vancouver edition of Kinfolk Gatherings actually happened. But, nonetheless it’s hard to believe that 2 months of planning equated to a few (albeit amazing) hours on the eve of October 11.

While I’m eager to share a bit more of the planning/designing/creating/executing process with you (in particular the photos!!!) I don’t have all of them yet so instead I wanted to put down on paper the web a digitized version of the thank you speech I shared with our dinner guests that acknowledged all the amazing local talent that went into making this dinner possible. My apologies if I sound like a broken record but you guys, these businesses are the coolest and even if they weren’t involved in this dinner I’d be shouting their praises from the rooftops anyway.

About 30 minutes leading up to guests arriving I looked around at the room taking in what we’d created. I realized that – safe from the table cloths and the lighting – pretty much everything else was carefully curated and contributed by local artisans and/or businesses.

This was particularly special for me because I love Vancouver and the talent that lies within it. My preference is always to shop local choosing a small coffee roasters over Starbucks any day.

So, in no particular order here’s my Oscar-esque thank you to all our amazing partners…

Union Wood Co for kinfolk

To Union Wood Co. for their generosity and hospitality! We are happy to say we were the first to use their new woodshop/venue Bon Accord. Also – for the amazing serving boards each guest dined off of (and got to take home with them). Huge shout out to Craig for letting me ask “one more question” about 100 times. Check out Union Wood Co. for beautifully designed and constructed reclaimed wood furniture and goods.

Juno Kim for Kinfolk

To Juno Kim (and his team) for crafting the most delicious, inspired and progressive 5-course dinner. His attention to detail and dedication to the theme (Wabi-Sabi) did not go unnoticed. Juno hosts pop-up dinners around Vancouver  – follow him on instagram @Jun0K (thats a zero not an ‘o’) for more information!

Postmark For Kinfolk

To Postmark Brewing for sharing their beer with us. This is an awesome new brewery located in historic Railtown and certainly worth checking out.

Written Word Calligraphy for Kinfolk

To Karla of Written Word Calligraphy for providing this gorgeous print that each guest got to take home with them. It reads “limit everything to the essential but do not remove the poetry”. This quote served us as our guiding principle during the creation of the dinner.

The Pie Shoppe for KinfolkTo the lovely ladies of The Pie Shoppe for the amazing pumpkin tart that we served for dessert.Earnest Icecream for Kinfolk

And to my personal favourite ice cream makers in Vancouver – Earnest Ice Cream for developing a custom flavour – White Miso (!!!) – for our dinner. Meeting Erica (co-owner) was a little bit like meeting a celebrity for me. I LOVE me some ice cream.

Pallet Coffee Roasters for Kinfolk

To Pallet Coffee Roasters for orchestrating an amazing coffee service to accompany dessert. AND for giving each dinner guest a bag of coffee to bring home. They’ve got a new adorable little shop in East Van – I highly suggest you add them to your coffee rotation.

Greenstems for Kinfolk

To Heather and Sven from Greenstems for taking an impossible venue and challenging theme and absolutely killing it with the florals. Their installation along the 60 ft table went seamlessly from Decay to Growth inspired by Wabi-Sabi. It was actually mind-blowingly beautiful.

Woodlot Candles for Kinfolk

To Woodlot for lighting up our table with their incredible coconut wax candles. And for not thinking I was crazy when I asked them to fill “imperfect” and/or broken ceramics from the lovely Heather of Dahlhaus.

Niche Wine CoTo Niche Wine Co. (a dear friend of mine) and Tantalus for providing us with some amazing Okanagan Vino. Spruce Vintage Rentals for KinfolkTo Breanne and Elisa from Spruce Vintage Rentals – arguably my favourite mother/daughter duo – for the amazing enamel jugs, washtub and reclaimed wood benches… but mostly for not hesitating for even a second to return to Abbotsford to pick up more seating when we realized we did the math very wrong (hey I went to art school). You guys saved the day – I (and 25 guests who would have been sitting on the floor) are so grateful!

Janaki Larsen for KinfolkTo Janaki Larsen for her beautiful Wabi Sabi ceramic plates that we served our first course on. What an amazing way to start our dinner. And in case you didn’t know – she’s the same lovely lady behind Le Marche St. George one of Vancouver’s best cafes (in my humble opinion, or course).

Lock and Mortice for KinfolkAnd last but certainly not least – Lock and Mortice who – in the eleventh hour pumped out a ridiculous amount of wood serving boards at the request of Juno our chef. They were stunning.

And of course, a shout out to our volunteers – all of whom I am lucky to call my friends. To Victory Gardens for giving me the opportunity to work on this dream project with them, to Jourdan Tymkow who’s photos I’ll be sharing soon, and to Tiff – my bestie who was my partner in crime. This event would not have happened without her love, support, logistics brain and hard work.

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KINFOLK GATHERINGS: A MESSY MEAL

Kinfolk Dinner 2014

I AM SO thrilled and honoured and excited to announce (if you hadn’t already heard) that I’ll be co-hosting the upcoming Kinfolk Dinner here in Vancouver. I am even more over the moon about the fact that the event sold out before I had a chance to share the news with ya’ll. (For some reason I feel like I can get away with typing ya’ll just not saying it).

In January, when I was re-writing my goals I put Kinfolk Magazine into them. First as a 3 year goal… than a 5… then I just took it off completely because I was like “that’s never gonna happen”. Sometimes I have the worst attitude. WARNING: do not set goals how I mentioned above. It’s the very wrong way to go about it.

Anyway, here I am, gearing up to co-host this October 11th event with the lovely ladies of Victory Gardens and I’m kind of like, pinch me.

I love the theme for this series – Wabi Sabi – an old Japanese concept that celebrates beauty in imperfection. Actually, Wabi-Sabi was one of the first theories I learned in Art School and when I heard the theme I was sort of like “fudge… I wish I had paid more attention to that”. It’s actually a really cool idea but my 18-year old self just couldn’t appreciate it at the time. I think in the age of instagram, pinterest and perfectly styled everything, this is a very welcomed and refreshing theme. We’ve had a lot of fun putting our wabi-sabi hats on working on bringing it to life in all the details.

So far though, the best part of planning this dinner, other than the fact that it’s freaking KINFOLK! Is that it’s allowed me to connect with so many amazing local businesses and collaborate in ways I never imagined possible. I just love small local businesses. People who – against all odds – followed there hearts and just did it. I find them so inspiring. I’m the person who will walk into a shop, chat with the shop owner, get their life story and then buy something I don’t even need just because I want them to make money. It’s my very expensive version of a high-five.

Check out the list of our awesome partners here and if you snagged a ticket, start getting excited about how rad this is going to be. I don’t want to give away how everyone is contributing yet but believe me it’s going to be sweet.

I also need to make a very public shout-out to the lady who’s keeping me sane right now, none other than my bestie, Tiff. As soon as I got the call I enrolled her because I knew she’d just help me take the whole thing to the next level.

Wish me luck folks! The countdown is on. And of course I’ll be recapping it all on here… at some point… when I have time. Le sigh.

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HOLA SAYULITA!

Sayulita Mexico

REMEMBER LAST YEAR when I won this? Well it’s finally time to cash in my prize. After a lot of research and debate, humming and ha-ing, and weighing pros and cons – we went from Costa Rica to St. Lucia to Tobago and then finally settled on a small little surf town in Mexico, Sayulita.

I hate to sound like a brat but winning free flights to ANYWHERE in North America (+ Caribbean) made it really hard to choose a destination. I know, I know, cry me a river. There was immense amount of pressure to “take advantage” and go somewhere really far that would otherwise not be an option for us ($$$$). The US seemed too boring even though there are a ton of American cities I’m dying to check out. The Caribbean was extremely tempting, especially since it’s so far from Vancouver. Growing up in Toronto, exotic places like Barbados and Jamaica were always just a hop and a skip away, but now it feels like an epic trek to get there (possibly the only downside – apart from being far from family – about living on the west coast). Also – let’s not forget about the swimming pigs that I vowed to see at some point in my lifetime. I mean, the pigs swim! No – I still haven’t accepted this reality. Those pigs made the Bahamas a top contender for sure.

We had almost completely decided on Costa Rica until we sort of realized that we’d burn 2 of our 7 precious vacation days on travel (and I mean completely burn – like a 12 hour travel day). It also was in the midst of the rainy season and hey, if we wanted rain we’d just stay in Vancouver, right?

After all the dreaming and planning and feeling like we were spinning our wheels and never going to be able to commit to anything we made a list of what we both wanted to get out of the trip.

1. Hot and sunny
2. Cheap once we got there (hey, funds are low)
3. Spanish speaking (Dan’s request)
4. Not an all-inclusive
5. A place where we can have adventures and be active but also relax on a beach
6. A cultural experience (not a tourist trap).
7. Not too far so we don’t spend half of our vacation travelling

Sayulita Hotel

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When we broke down what was important to us, Sayulita seemed like the clear choice. I have a lot of friends who have visited this tiny little surf-town just north of Puerto Vallarta and they all rave about it. I’ve always wanted to visit and though the flights aren’t that expensive or far from Vancouver “taking advantage” of free flights stopped being our priority.

Casa-colorida-de-Sayulita

[source]

I just love how vibrant and colourful everything is! Ironic, I know, since I live in a world of black and white. And TACOS! I want all of the tacos. And Margs. And Coronas. EEEEEE!

We leave mid-October just after a lot of the projects that I’ve been killing myself over will wrap up and right before I start working full-time with PlaidFox. It’s the perfect time for a getaway for Daniel and I and now that we’ve booked it, it can’t come fast enough!

Have you ever been to Sayulita? We’re now accepting all recommendations!

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