As of Late: December Edition

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Now that December has hit, the commercial world is in full-on holiday mode. We are a bit behind on that front, as we moved to Calgary on November 22 and have been busy getting settled in our new home (and playing really important shows). But we have Christmas lights on the outside of the house (thanks to my dad) and the inside is feeling more and more like home every day, even without a tree or decorations. Asides from all the moving and such, here’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

Reading…

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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I’m only a few pages in to this book, so I haven’t fully immersed myself, but I’m anticipating a really deep and reflective read. Here’s a beautiful quote from page 10:

“Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

Listening to…

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Ixora, by Copeland. One of my favourite bands fronted by Aaron Marsh (who produced Over Land and Sea) released their first album after six years of silence. And it is a beautiful thing. One of my favourites so far is Disjointed, but all the tracks are so beautiful. You can check it out for yourself HERE.

Making…

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Christmas presents! I can’t tell you what it is in the odd chance that the recipient might read this. I haven’t been making much for my Cabin Knits Shop, but it is equally as fulfilling to make things to give to friends and family. I just hope I get it all done before Christmas!

Exploring…

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We haven’t gone on any epic adventures lately, but we’ve been adventuring in our new home! It’s so much fun getting settled and decorating, and trying to fit all our musical gear into all the nooks and crannies. I can’t wait to get to a point where we can have people over and share our space, especially since so many wonderful folk have shared their homes with us over the years. Time to start giving back!

Watching…

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A few weeks ago we were on tour out to Manitoba and on our way back we stopped in Saskatoon and got to hang out with some friends for a few days. On a rare night off we watched Les Miserables, and as absurd as it sounds, it was my first time seeing it! What a beautiful movie. There were times when I wished there was a bit more dialogue, but I loved the poignancy and how the lack of dialogue conveyed a different set of emotions and connection with each of the characters.

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to sharing more about our new home adventures in the next few months as we take a bit of time off of the road to work on music and get ready to record a new album!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Cabin Knits Hits the Road!

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It’s that time again, when we head out on tour playing music for people in far away places, and I’ll be bringing my suitcase of knitted creations with me! Since we don’t have any more huge projects to type up for the Peak Performance Project, I plan to spend a great deal of driving time knitting bowties and cowls and other cozy accessories. Right now I’ve got lots of headbands, lots of bowties, a few cowls, and more.

Hopefully I’ll be adding a bunch of these projects to my Etsy shop, but in the meantime, come out to a show for some tunes, and maybe pick something up for the approaching winter, or get a head start on Christmas presents! I also love doing custom orders, so if there’s anything you fancy for yourself or someone you love, let me know and I’d love to try and make it for you!

November 4th – Caronport, SK @ Briercrest
November 5th – Regina, SK @ The Artful Dodger
November 6th – Brandon, MB @ Lady of the Lake
November 7th – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
November 9th – Gimli, MB @ Ship & Plough
November 11th – Winkler, MB @ House Show
November 12th – Sprauge, MB @ Sprauge River Inn
November 13th – Otterburne, MB @ Providence
November 16th – Saskatoon, SK @ Rock Bottom
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ovember 27th – Calgary, AB @ Republik

Stay warm and well, and hope to see you sometime soon!

-Lauren.

As of Late: November Edition

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Hello lovelies!

Today I’m starting a monthly blog feature called “As of Late” to share the various things I’ve been up to lately. Partly as an attempt to blog more regularly, partly to document the little moments that I don’t want to forget, and partly to make sure I don’t neglect certain activities that keep my mind and body active. So without further adieu, here’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

Reading…

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The Gift of Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok, an amazing book about a Hasidic Jew whose career as a professional artist has created divisions between him and his family.

Listening to…

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Leelanau by Dana Falconberry, a beautiful album that is the soundtrack to my quiet moments and rainy days.

Knitting…

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Lots of bowties and random accessories to re-stock the suitcase for our upcoming tour. I also made my first mitten, and although it turned out a lot smaller than I expected, it’s super cute, and I can’t wait to make a pair that fit me!

Exploring…

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We got to spend a day off just outside of Dawson Creek, BC a few weeks ago, and our friend Randy took us quadding through his 300 acres of land. The weather was great and we had so much fun traversing through rivers, forests and up and down muddy hills.

Watching…

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Nashville, Season One, which Zoltan definitely makes fun of me for. In my defense, it’s an entertaining (although extremely dramatic) show to knit to.

I’d love to hear what’s keeping you lovely readers busy this fall. Any fun projects or hobbies on the go?

-Lauren.

Rest For the Weary

If you’ve been following our band life journey, you probably heard that we’ve had a lot of changes happening in recent weeks. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion, but there’s good in all of it, and I’m really excited for what’s next for Zoltan and I and the band. I’ll be writing more about the specifics later, but last week we got to spend some time in Calgary with my parents and they took us out to the mountains for a day of exploring and enjoying. It was so refreshing to relish the last few days of summer, get some fresh air, and be in the company of some of the wisest people in my life. The highlight of the day was going canoeing down the Bow River thanks the Banff Canoe Club. If you’re ever out that way, I highly recommend taking one of their boats out on the water. It’s refreshing in every way!

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I hope that whatever season of life you find yourself in, you can take joy in your surroundings and have hope for what’s ahead. Happy weekend!

Cheers,
Lauren.

These Are the Days

When wildflowers line the ditches along the highway,

When time allows for an afternoon swim under a waterfall,

When we sing songs in the garden as the sun goes down,

When we eat wildflower honeycomb for lunch,

When the days are long and the nights are deep,

These are the days.

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A Morning Escape

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I started walking down the Ridge Run Trail and the forest began to surround me, filling all my senses. I could feel the uneven forest floor under my feet and the grasses brushing their dew on my legs. I could smell the pine, and oh! the smell! So fresh and pure, untainted by urban expansion. I could see the trees, the rocks, and the lake in the distance. The solitary loon, the bugs humming in little clouds, the pockets of tiny flowers and all the intricacies of the woods that reluctantly make themselves known. And of course, the sound of the wind in the trees, the loon making his occasional melodic call, and an unknown bird off in the distance singing the most beautiful song.

I made my way along the railroad tracks, then up the stone covered path and met Jordy and his loyal pup Jenkins who directed me to patches of wild blueberries. As I continued along the path I started to see them: tiny bushes nestled among the low-lying brush of the Canadian Shield and laden with sweet berries.

Continuing on the path above the lake, I came to a spot where the trees opened up and offered an expansive view of the lake and the yurts where we spent the night. I sat down and listened, watched, and felt. It was easy to be still here. The solitude was invigorating and inspiring. I could spend the entire day sitting in this one spot, just learning the ebbs and flows of the forest.

I want to remember all of this. The lily pads in a cluster at the edge of the lake. The small pine tree in front of me with all its pine cones bunched together at the top of it. The edge of the lake with its marshy grasses and spindly trees sticking out awkwardly and then gradually blending into the forest behind it. The smooth rock that I’m sitting on, gently protruding from the earth with its patches of lichen that get slippery when rained on. The fragile young plants in front of me, rising up from thin soil with tiny pink flowers that stand out against the greens and browns of the mossy ground cover. And of course the lake, glistening in the sun that rises overhead and giving a face to the wind with ripples that move over its surface.

Time as we know it has no place here. Here, time is the movement of the sun, and how it spreads its warmth over the rocky earth.

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Until next time,
Lauren.

Summer at the Cabin

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We just finished two weeks of time off, and now that I think about it, it really only felt like a few days. Zoltan and I got right down to business on some home projects that we’ve been wanting to do for a while to help make the cabin a lot more organized. It’s been a year since we moved into the cabin, and between moving last year, travelling lots, and having mice problems in the winter, it’s been in a constant state of flux and we haven’t been able to make use of the space the way we wanted to.

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First on the list was to build a bed; an idea that was inspired by our friends Kraig and Lauren in Seattle. We lifted the bed about four feet to give us some additional storage space and built a tall headboard that acts as a shelf, and a footboard that we put our TV, speakers and record player on. About halfway through the project we were really concerned that it was going to make the room feel tiny, but it did the opposite. It filled the space perfectly and makes the room feel so complete!

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We had also planned on organizing the shed at some point, but after building a bed I definitely didn’t anticipate making that happen on this short period of time off. But when my mother-in-law needed access to her camping gear which was at the back of our shed, everything came out, and the organizing began! I was able to empty about five rubber maids and four boxes of stuff and reorganize and declutter while Zoltan built three sets of shelves. The end result is a shed with more room, and easy access to everything.

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With both of these huge projects finished, and after a much deserved dinner out, we were able to enjoy our redesigned space for a little while before leaving again. And I must say, for the first time since we moved to Brooks I can sit in our home without a long list of projects running through my head. Not that I didn’t enjoy the space before, but it always felt a little bit makeshift and temporary.

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Since moving into a tiny space, I’ve been very inspired by how others use and live in tiny spaces. It’s amazing how much you can do with very little (a philosophy that can be applied to many areas of life). And since finishing these projects, I’m even more amazed at how a room can change with a few adaptations. If you’re discontented with the space you live in or work in, maybe there are some simple things you can do to make the space work for you.

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I hope this inspires you to work with what you have, and develop your space to suit your needs and reflect you and your lifestyle. And if anyone would like to see some more detailed photos of the process of building the bed, I can post them at a later date.

Cheers,

Lauren.

Beautiful Places: Rolla, BC

Sometimes I come across a beautiful place and I am instantly enraptured by it. A place like Pender Island, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, is so obviously beautiful. The mountainous island is covered in a blanket of foliage, and where the land meets the sea is full of hidden treasures, and then there is the sea itself, full of power and mystery. It’s all right in front of you, wherever you look.

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But sometimes a beautiful place might be somewhere you least expect it. Maybe it’s a little more subdued, and maybe even hidden behind closed doors. Such is the case with the Rolla Pub in Rolla, BC. Rolla is about 30 min north of Dawson Creek, BC, in the heart of northern British Columbia. We’ve driven through Dawson many a time while travelling between Prince George and Peace River, but we had never stopped in the area. When Patti, the owner of the Rolla Pub, invited us to play we thought it would be a great opportunity to stop in a new town and break up the long drive from Prince George to Edmonton.

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When we got to the Rolla Pub on Rolla Road, we were a little surprised by the dilapidated building, but as soon as we came inside, we were greeted by an amazing collections of photos, artifacts, toys (including almost every Ninja Turtles toy ever created), and more that exuded so much character! When we met Patti, I realized that she loves connecting with people and hearing their stories, and that having people feel welcome in her establishment is the most important thing. She values community and supporting the arts, and all of these qualities are so evident from the moment you walk in the door. It was really neat to walk through the tiny bar looking at all the photos and knick knacks and wondering about their stories and the people behind those stories.

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The Rolla Pub has been a watering hole for the local folk and for tired travellers for many years, and it’s amazing to see what kind of history has accumulated in such a tiny place, and at the bottom of it all, to see how we’re all connected.

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It was a good reminder that beautiful places are not always so obvious. Sometimes you have to drive to isolated towns on dirt roads to find a place with great heart.

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Thanks for having us, Patti, and I hope we can come back again soon!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Beautiful Places: Pender Island

We had the opportunity to spend the past few days on Pender Island, a beautiful secluded spot in the heart of the Gulf Islands. It actually ended up being three busy days as we packed the daylight hours full of island activities. We stayed at Hope Bay Bible Camp with a wonderful group of people who we met on our venture out here last November, and it was great to get to know everyone a little better. It was a much needed time of rest, reflection, adventure, and building community, and although it was difficult to leave, I left with a full heart.

We arrived on Saturday night and Zoltan and I spent the evening hanging out with Dustin and Christy, the directors of the camp. They are an inspirational couple, and I think I can say, kindred spirits.

Sunday morning started early with church in the dining hall, and then our very generous friends Bob and Sue took us for lunch at the Port Browning Marina Cafe. We spent the afternoon exploring their timber frame house and amazing property.

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When we got back to the camp, Darian, one of the staff, took us around the disc golf course. I think it was our collective first time playing disc golf and we had a blast!

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That evening, I took myself on a walk and came across Welcome Bay. I walked along the beach (which had some great pieces of driftwood, shells, and beach glass) and just sat by the sea and took in all the details around me. The sun was going down, and the pastel sky cast a lovely glow over the whole beach.

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Monday we headed out bright and early again, but this time, Dustin and Christy (and their adorable son Jude) took us out on their boat! We boated across to Salt Spring Island and hit up Salt Spring Coffee and a few really cool shops, and then hung out in the park for a little while. On our way back, we found a tiny island that someone told us was called Chocolate Island, with a beautiful beach and forest. We boated to shore, had a picnic, and did a spontaneous video of The West Coast that will be up in the next few weeks. It was a wonderful afternoon outing, and I got my first sunburn of the season! We headed back as the sun was starting to get low, and the water was as smooth as glass. It was perfect.

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The next day we woke up at 5am to do an early morning photo shoot with Dustin and we used Kyle and Katie (who live at the camp)’s shiny red chevy from the 50s. The morning light was completely surreal, and from the camera previews I saw of the photos, they’re going to turn out great!

That evening, our final night on the island, we had a show at the camp. We played on the porch of the chapel building, and people came and brought blankets and picnics, and we had games for the kids and had a wonderful time. It felt like a summer festival, and being able to stare out at the trees and sky while we were playing was pretty magical.

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And now we’re back to regular life on the mainland; well, as regular as life on tour can be! Check out our Facebook page for all our upcoming shows.

Until next time,
Lauren.

Homemade Granola

Comfort food is an important thing, and when you’re travelling from town to town, having something that makes you feel a little bit more at home is really nice. Homemade granola is definitely my comfort food. When I’m home, my morning ritual is to have a bowl of plain yogurt with honey and raw oats or granola, and maybe a little something special on top like dates, shredded coconut, or fresh fruit.

Since we’re on the road for an entire month, I decided to make a huge batch of granola for breakfasts and midday snacks. I used my mom’s recipe as a base, and combined it with my friend Gina from Hello There Home‘s recipe, and I came out with what I think will be my go-to breakfast for years to come.

Granola is one of those foods that is easily adaptable to whatever you have in your pantry. Don’t feel limited by the specific ingredients; it’s a good place to start, but there many ways to customize!

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Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 c.shredded coconut
1/2 c.chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. coconut oil

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How it’s done:

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a saucepan on low heat, melt honey and oil together.
3. Mix all dry ingredients together. Pour in the honey and oil mixture and stir until it’s well coated.
4. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 min. Take it out, stir, and repeat every 5 min or so for 30 min or until the granola is golden brown.
5. Let it cool and add dried fruit (dates, apricots, etc).

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I hope you have some fun with this recipe! I might just eat some right now for a little mid-drive snack!

Cheers,
Lauren.

P.S. The batch in the photos is a double batch. This recipe will make one cookie tray’s worth of granola. 🙂