This December was a month of many things. It all started on December 1st. Hunting for the perfect Christmas tree…

We finally found it!

Then we finished off a solid week of work, trying to wrap up any projects with loose ends, and I’m not sure how, but managed to get them all done by the 10th. AND then, we were off on a jet plane. To the amazing island of Kauai for 9 days.

Watching the sun come up on our early morning flight.

We met up with my family and we were the last to arrive. It was so great. First thing we did was take an ice cold beer down to the beach and enjoy our first drink of vacation watching the ocean. It didn’t take long though, before the rain came in and we made a run for the hot tub. Eventually everyone piled in to the tub and this vacation had started off perfect! Over the following days, we soaked in as much of Hawaii as possible. I sat on the beach and would take turns reading my book, taking siestas, and trying my hand at surfing. And no, I am not one of those cool surfer chicks. I’m more like a big ol’ monk seal trying to flop onto shore. Not pretty.

The Nepali Coast

Enjoying the nightly sunset off the south coast of Kauai

Body surfing in some killer waves.

Ry's favorite past time on vacation. Snorkeling with the fishes.

I love how the black rock contrasts with the vegetation and the water. Beautiful. Oh, and there's my little bro!

Christina and Mikey on the beach...

One of our fave wines and definitely my fave chocolate treat.

Marko and his girlfriend Janelle

My amazing mom and dad!

We arrived back home on the 18th, with Christmas just around the corner! Ry and I both had a bit of work to do before Santa’s big day, so we quickly tried to get caught up! And then family began to arrive. Including us. We headed to our parents and spent our time with the ones we love the very most in this world. I was able to fit in some visits with some old friends and their new bambinos and I fit in as many snuggles as I could!

Lindsay's beautiful baby girl.

Last minute wrapping of the Christmas goodies! Who doesn't love Mr. Bean!

Stockings were hung (on the back of kitchen chairs...classy), and Boxing Day sushi was made!

And now, here we are, just one day away from New Years Eve, and I cannot believe… Cannot Believe, it is almost 2012.

I am so excited for this next year to come, and I wish you all the best of days celebrating this next year’s beginning.

christina + mike in hawaii

I remember the first time Christina brought Mike to celebrate Christmas with our family. Poor Mikey.

Christmas at our house is pretty special. And when I say special, I mean c-c-crazy. We play obscene amounts of card games that I’m pretty sure we invented ourselves. We eat like nobody’s business. We drink wine. Lots of wine. We laugh. We hot tub. We try to go for walks to work out the massive amounts of food and treats we eat. We take pictures. We play Wii. Joel tries to drive Christina crazy. It usually works. The list goes on and on.

And 5 years ago… cue ‘the new guy’. Here is Michael. C’s new leading man. Mike was definitely able to keep up with all the food intake, and he was a good encourager for the exercise. I think we scared him from ever enjoying another card game, but he was a good sport and tried his very best. His first Lazeski family celebration was, I’m sure, a little overwhelming, but after 5 years, Michael is definitely one of our crew.

We just came back from the most amazing family vacation. The whole Lazeski family headed to Kauai to enjoy some time together lazing on the beaches and playin’ in the surf. With 9 of us in total,  I am happy to say that we all made it out alive with some pretty sweet tans and memories that will never be forgotten.

Michael, I can see how much you love my sister, and I am so happy for you two. I see it in C’s eyes how happy you make her, and I cannot wait to officially call you my brother-in-law! xo

sneak peek of christina + mike engaged

We are home. Today is my first day back at my desk, and luckily, I am taken right back to the hawaiian paradise I left just a couple days ago. As I float through the images from Christina and Mike’s Hawaiian engagement session, I am brought right back to that warm sunshine and salty water.

As I work on C+M’s photos today, I wanted to share with you a little teaser of the ahhhmazing light that comes with Hawaii. We had such in incredible time all together in this paradise, and I am so thankful that Christina and Mikey decided to have their engagement session here. With me. But before I get too schmootsy, I’d better be off, but watch out tomorrow for their full post!

Self Portrait or Help Portrait?

Sometimes I forget to open my eyes. I go through my days, doing my work, doing my business, doing, doing, doing. It can be easy to get pulled into your routine and forget to look around you. But yesterday, I was reminded to see with my eyes wide open.

I had a woman come to me and allow me to photograph her portrait. She was beautiful. She came into the studio, stood in front of my camera, and allowed me to look into her eyes. And in that moment, we connected. That connection, however brief, allowed her to share something with me that I will never forget. She reminded me that no matter what walk of life we’re at, no matter what job we have or how we live, we are all human. We are all deserving of love and of support. And most importantly, it is imperative that we step outside our box once in a while to see if there’s someone who needs a hand.

Help Portrait is a movement, founded by photographer Jeremy Cowart, and I feel lucky that I was able to be a small part of this.

Yes, it is only a picture. But this picture is supposed to act as a reminder of how beautiful each and every one of us are. Some people don’t have a camera. Some people don’t have family to take goofy photos with. Some people are afraid to look at themselves in a mirror. And Help Portrait is about that. Giving everyone the opportunity to be seen.

I met some really incredible people and got to hear some amazing stories. Some with laughter and some with tears. If it was only for those moments to lend an ear, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you to the people who came and let us photograph you. You’ve inspired me to try and always keep my eyes wide open.

Thank you to The Metro for hosting us, and to the super tasty caramel popcorn! Mmmm. I hate to admit this, but I ate the whole can on the drive back home!! Sooo good.

Thank you to Nico Boesten for organizing the Kelowna version of Help Portrait as well as filling the air with amazing music throughout the day.

And thank you to Jessica Balfour for being the main photographer behind this event. You rock like nobody’s business!


Love it.

Apples (or more specifically, apple goodies)

I remember one time where I tasted the bite of a fresh apple, and thought I had bitten into heaven. My dad had taken me on the longest hike ever, and both of us forgot to bring any water. By the time we were walking past the neighbourhood apple orchard (like a million hours into our hike), those apples looked like water-y, life-giving deliciousness, and I just had to have a bite. So we did. And like I said, I thought I had died and gone to heaven it was so good.
But generally speaking I don’t really like apples. I mean, I like them, but noooot really. I’ll almost always pick a banana or a bunch of grapes.
I say that, and yet when it comes to apple ‘goodies’, I love them! I LOVE apple pie (who doesn’t) and I love homemade apple sauce, especially with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Or apple crisp? All time fave. I love apple cider. I love apple juice! But an apple? No thanks. Weird, right?

Felt pillows.
I bought a felt pillow a couple months ago, and I love love love it. It is so…pretty. It’s got these beautiful petals all over it, and it gives the feel of a lovely blue flower.
I hate to admit this, but it’s a bit silly, because it isn’t very functional. Any time we go to lay on the couch and snuggle in, we end up moving the pillow to the other side of the couch, so we don’t ‘wreck’ it. Ryan will probably laugh when he reads this, because he called it right from the start. He doesn’t really believe in things (especially pillows) that aren’t functional. I think it’s pretty. I win.

And here I am realizing I’ve got something nasty on the bottom of my fab boot during our business photo shoot (with the pillow, of course!)

and lastly…

Game Changers
This week, I bought a book that truly inspired me. I read it in two sittings, and I can’t wait to go through it again, but this time with a notebook. I think it is so important to make sure you invest in things that inspire. Whatever it is, just buy the book, or watch the video-clip. I think by investing the time into reading this book, it will be a game-changer in the way I approach this next year in my business. You heard it. Game. Changer. Love it.

december 1

The first day of the last month of 2011.
This year is almost complete. I cannot believe that 2011 is almost over. I am desperately feeling the need to go over these past 11 months, look forward to where my goals will take me in 2012, and really take some time to reflect on everything!
I learnt an important lesson many moons ago when I was lucky enough to work for Lululemon (hence my obsession with groove pants).
Chip Wilson is the creator of Lululemon, and not only did he brand yoga pants, but he also branded what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
And me, I took to that like a bee to honey!
It was ‘required’ that all us Lulu-er’s participated in goal-setting sessions. We wrote out our goals, talked about our goals, and worked towards them together. Whether they had to do with Lulu or not, we were encouraged to follow our dreams.
This is a big part why I love to shop at Lulu. Not only am I getting a sweet product that I love to wear almost every day ( I hate to admit that… but it’s true), but I’m also supporting a company who is encouraging their employees to live a positive lifestyle and chase their dreams. That is worth every penny to me.
After my 10 months at Lulu, my journey to becoming a wedding photographer began. All I can say, is stay tuned over the next month for a few posts from the best of the best of 2011, as well as some insights into where Paperclip is heading over this next year.  So excited! xo