Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer time is for s'mores

This entire week, from early Monday morning up until now, has been a whirlwind of events. My mornings were spent at my church's VBS, with gleeful children bursting with excitement running through the hallways and rooms of every part of the church. I was a co-leader of a team with everything from a small four year old to an eight year old. It was exhausting, inspiring, and incredibly enjoyable all at the same time. The more I was around the kids, the more I felt like a kid again. I couldn't help but run around the halls with them, and piggy-backs were a daily part of my group. :)  It was so relaxing to come home last night and rest with a crackling campfire. We made s'mores and had a time to talk as a family and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Oh Summer, I'll say it again.  
I love you.

Much love, Vivi

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Lately I've been enjoying the simpler moments in life. Walks with my family on a local trail, raspberries from our backyard being made into small tarts, and conversations over frappes topped with whipped-cream. Simplicity is something that I love about Summer. Complications seem to die down for a while, and Summer simplicity takes over. For a while now I've wanted my blog to have a simpler design with less clutter, and I've made a few steps towards my goal! There's going to be a few more changes around here soon, I hope you will love the new look. :) What do you think so far? Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Much love, Vivi

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Five things to love

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, so I thought doing a summer themed one would be fun! Here is a little piece of what I've been loving this summer so far....
{ chocolate fondues on picnic blankets outside }

{ peach and pink nails with a touch of sparkle }
{ my favourite shorts and sandals for touring this lovely place }
{ purple pants! I have so much love for anything purple }
{ wild flowers that add a beautiful touch to any space, in this case, my room :) }

Monday, 16 July 2012

Raspberry parfaits

These raspberry parfaits were an instant hit with my family! I had made this cinnamon granola earlier in the day and our kitchen smelt like a winter wonderland for hours. Which is especially welcome in July. ;) Backyard raspberries layered with homemade granola and cherry yogurt made for a sweet and simple dessert.
freshly picked raspberries from my instagram: @vivibeard
Today I've read in the sunshine with a glass of iced green tea, made stationary, and tonight I'm going to a pool party with my youth group. Summer, you are so great. And I love you.

How did you spend your day today? :)

Much love, Vivi

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A happy place

For as long as I can remember, I've loved taking a drive to the little historic village only a few minutes from our home. Each street is lined with character filled houses on cool shady streets, which is a welcome break from the sweltering sun! I love how the blooming gardens flanking each home fully portray the colours of summer. Fresh, bright, and sweetly scented.

Much love, Vivi

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Walnut coffee cake

Walnuts and coffee is a combination made in heaven. The nutty taste of walnuts perfectly compliments the rich flavour of coffee, and assures you that your cake won't last past the end of the evening... :) Friends, I've officially found my go-to cake! Hallelujah.


for the cake:

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 1/2 tsp. instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water

for the frosting:

2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. instant coffee
3/4 stick butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
walnut halves, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with waxed paper. (I used parchment paper) Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour over the butter mixture and stir in. Fold in the walnuts and coffee. Divide the mixture between the cake pans and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed gently. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, warm the milk and coffee in a pan, stirring until the coffee has dissolved. Pour into a bowl, leaving to cool until just warm. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy, and then add the sugar. Once combined, add the milk and coffee mixture and beat together until smooth and creamy. Spread slightly less than half of the frosting over one of the cooled cakes, then place the second cake on top. Spread the remaining frosting on top and decorate with walnut halves!

And at last, eat up! Enjoy! Make yourself a cup of tea while you're at it! :)

Much love, Vivi

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Hello friends! I know I haven't been blogging regularly lately, but with all of this glorious weather we've been having, I find myself trying to squeeze every minute of it with hikes, runs, and tanning on the back deck! :) Also, yesterday was my birthday and I turned seventeen! I had such an amazing day spent with my family. We went to our favourite lake for a BBQ, and the day was so relaxing. Hopefully you can see how beautiful it was from the pictures below! Nature was at its best, and we were surrounded by towering evergreens and  beautiful streams. In the evening I went to my youth's summer party. Chad Veech, a speaker from down South, spoke on faith and it was so amazing! I definitely left feeling encouraged and challenged to have more faith in God's plan for my life. Then chaos was let loose in a massive water fight outside. I was thoroughly soaked. And thoroughly soaked many unassuming victims. ;) Here's a little piece of my day.....
{ Birthday outfit! Although I changed later into lake appropriate clothes... :) Top and pants from Bluenotes, sandals from Payless Shoe Source } 

{ fresh raspberries from our garden }
{ my mom and brother! my dad was getting the BBQ started for some grilling }
{ we were so blessed with amazing sunshine! }
{ down by the lake }
{ wild berry galette about to be baked! SO delicious! }
{ trails speckled with light }
{ first thing in the morning, opening presents! These little guys go in the Smash book I got }

{ more beautiful scenes }
This past year of my life has been life changing. God has shown me so much about who He is and what He has for my life. At the end of Grade eleven, I read through all of my journals and was amazed at how much I've grown. Little things that used to bother me don't anymore. Mean comments from people that used to hurt me, don't affect me anymore. And I can give only one reason: Faith. If it wasn't for faith, I would be a worrying mess. Faith is the reason I don't let mean comments affect me anymore, because I know at the very base of my soul that there is a God who loves me and accepts me exactly the way I am, every flaw and imperfection included. There is a God who knows the plan He has perfected for my life, and the divine purpose that He has blessed me with. I feel so encouraged to look back at everything that God has done, because it makes me even more excited to experience what is to come! On my own, I could never have done a musical and fit in time for youth group. On my own, I could never have written a blog and still keep my grades up. God's strength has carried me through this past year, and I am so looking forward to this next one! :)

Much love, Vivi

Friday, 6 July 2012

Summer days

{ iced coffee outside in the sunshine }
{ fresh strawberries from our backyard plants }

{ 60 second chocolate cake that will have you wanting another... and another }

{ the first of many summer DIY's: Pastel African animals on handmade cards }

{ next DIY: chevron necklace! }

{ and my favourite DIY so far, delicate gold rings }

{ iced caramel macchiatos with this lady }
{ breezy summer outfit: H&M dress, handmade necklace, and payless leather sandals }
How have your summer days been so far? :)

Much love, Vivi

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cuban bread & a Tea party

I love bread. Bread makes me happy. When faced with a decision of bread or chocolate, I might even take the bread. And that's saying something. Let's just hope that sad day never arrives. Out of all the breads avaliable, I've always had a weakness for homemade bread. Nothing beats the welcoming smell that fills the house as it bakes, or the crisp outer shell that surrounds soft, airy bread. But really, if it has carbs I'll probably love it. This recipe made two loaves of Cuban bread that would satisfy the pickiest of bread-lovers. Bake, eat, and why not have a picnic too? :) These tea cups were found at a local thrift store for five dollars! Bargain hunter's dream.

Much love, Vivi