I PROMISE YOU this is the last time I’ll speak Kinfolk until at least the next one (if I have the pleasure of hosting again, that is). But please do head on over to piccolo design co. to check out some of the awesome photos taken that night. I am so proud of how the whole thing turned out (not something I say often of my work) so I can’t help but want to shout it from the rooftops.

How cool is this photo series that Jourdan Tymkow captured? I took the liberty of turning it into a GIF. I just thought it perfectly summed up what Kinfolk Gatherings are all about. Strangers gathering along a long table for an evening of good food and better company. Most of the diners I talked to told me they were delighted by the people they were seated next to and the new friendships they formed.

The theme for the dinner was Wabi-Sabi which is an ancient Japanese concept and aesthetic that celebrates beauty in the imperfection and the natural cycle of growth and decay. I shouldn’t be too hard to spot how this theme came to life in the tablescaping and decor. Most notable (though it was hard to get the full effect in photos) was how the florals went from dying and decay on one end of the table and transitioned into growth and greenery on the other. It was simply beautiful.

On a separate note – I have decided to go freelance full-time and really give piccolo the attention it deserves. Today I officially registered it as a business and everything! So if you need design or event work – please do hit me up! Girls gotta make a living.



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.



airports - airplanes - delays

AT APPROXIMATELY THREE PM today while I was checking in my bag, I got the news. My flight had been delayed for not one, not two but for 6 hours.

Now, how the airline (cough WestJet cough) didn’t know before we were even supposed to start arriving at the airport (2 hours prior) that the plane had not yet left Toronto (which is a 5 hour flight) and therefore could not – unless by some sort of miracle – possibly be here for an on-time take off…is completely beyond me. Not to mention I distinctly remember clicking a little box last night while I was checking in to: “notify me of any delays or cancellations for this flight” so I guess it’s safe to say that feature’s broken. Sweet.

Anyhoo –  I quickly realized I had to make a choice – a choice that I believe is the kind of thing that differentiates the completely intolerable human beings in the world with the nice ones. SHIT HAPPENS. And no matter how much yelling and groaning and grief you give the agents – they can’t make the plane get here faster (but they can slip you ‘airport money’ – more on that later). So. I decided to make it the best 6 hours of my life (total exaggeration for emphasis).

How to make 6 hours stranded at the airport fun:

1. You turn to your tweeps for ideas and entertainment
My friend @RunSoulCycle suggested I play a real life version of “Guess Who” (so brilliant) but because I’m flying solo (making this game kind of difficult) her and @thatgirlsix co-created a scavenger hunt for me instead – which I nailed, by the way.

2. you talk to the airline agent and score free “airport money”
I’m serious. It’s like monopoly money but with real value (apparently this delay was worth $16.50). I bought myself dinner and a drink (drinking would be number 1.5 on this list btw – you must treat yourself to a drink).

3. You take care of the things you’ve been meaning to do forever with institutions that are only open during business hours (aka the hours that all the people who can actually take advantage of said institutions are working… I digress). 
So I called the Vancouver Italian Consulate to look into how I can obtain my Italian Passport… though I didn’t get anywhere since they must have left early… ARG.

4. You do work. 
I know, booooo-ring. But it had to get done at some point and it might as well be while you’re stranded…

5. You get a pedicure.
Seriously. It’ll cost you a pretty penny but they throw in a pair of (totally uncool and too big) flip-flops so you don’t ruin the polish when you’re running to the gate in your boots. Note: these flip flops were also featured in scavenger hunt #4 socks and sandals.

6. You buy a book.
Because you’re going to be here awhile and there are 100000000 other people also trying to use the free WIFI which makes it incredibly slow. No internet connection pretty much renders all your devices useless. So you read – and you read a cheesy Nicolas Sparks book because you can. There I said it.

7. You finally invest in an inflatable neck pillow
And add it to your travel arsenal. Let’s be serious you’re gonna run out of things to do on the flight now that you’ve had to entertain yourself for 6 extra hours on the ground. And you won’t be arriving til 5:30AM so you’re probably going to be tired…

8. You bat your eyes at the agent and earn more “airport money”
Cha-ching. I’m ready for round two! This one clocked in at $10.00.

9. You exhaust all social networks, text everyone you know and then charge your devices.
Cause by now they are definitely dead.

10. You blog.
Cause you’re slowly going crazy and suddenly this seems like a good topic to cover.

Until today, I never fully appreciated all the amenities that airports offer. YVR for that matter, is a pretty wickedly awesome airport and certainly one of the best ones to get “stranded” in – in my opinion. So all in all, I think I made the best of the last 6 hours – only thing I could have used was a totally blissed out yoga class!

ps. you can follow a more ‘in the moment’ look at my #airportdelaysurvival on twitter and instagram!