POST WINTER HIBERNATION ft. Jeska Grue

Hello! It's been a while.

I've been rethinking Doe, A Deer and I have some new ideas that are going to be implemented soon, taking things into a slightly new direction. I spent the last two months trying to think of what to blog about but I was feeling very uninspired in the world of fashion and style. Maybe it's because I stopped working my job in fashion back in December, maybe it's because all I want to wear is wool turtlenecks and cashmere sweaters and long johns, maybe a combination of the two.

The only new thing that seemed to inspire me this winter in the local fashion scene was Jeska Grue. Her clothes are impeccably made by hand, one by one, with ethically sourced fabrics and natural dyes. Jeska's collection counteracts the cyclical fast fashion industry by making timeless and effortless pieces, pieces that you will hold onto and wear for years. 

I dreamed of this wrap top for so long, it's such a versatile piece that can be worn over a long sleeve/turtleneck in the winter and on its own in the summer. I really just need one of everything in her collection! 

We tried to go out outside to shoot the second look but guys, it's still very much winter here and I froze my butt off. You get the idea though.

You can find Jeska's collection at Lost & Found or on her website
The ever talented Monika Gajewski captured these photos and this top perfectly.

 

SHAKSHUKA

If your looking for something to make off the cuff and you don't have any groceries but you have loaf of bread, some tomatoes, eggs and spices, shakshuka is your best friend. It can be enjoyed as a savoury breakfast or for dinner with a glass of wine and salad. 

I always make this dish when I think I don't have any food in the house. It's one of those things you can make with very little, but you can also add whatever you want to it. Olives and feta compliment the flavours perfectly.

Shakshuka is a middle eastern dish typically bright red in colour, but I blended some kale into the tomatoes to get some greens in my dinner. Served best with pita, but a nice wholesome loaf of bread also rules. We served it with an arugula salad topped with pancetta, olives and feta.

Shakshuka
Serves 2 very hungry persons or 4 normal servings

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
½ chili, or more to taste
2 cups kale (about 2 large leaves without stems) or spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 large handful fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
2 x 400 g (14 oz) cans whole plum tomatoes
4-6 free-range eggs, depending on how many that can fit in your skillet

Finely chop garlic, onion and red pepper. Heat oil on skillet over medium heat and add onion and garlic until softened, around 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cumin and paprika and cook for another few minutes. If you want the kale, place it with tomatoes in food processor and blend until you reach a consistency of finely chopped tomato sauce. Pour tomato sauce onto skillet and let cook for 15 minutes, covered, on simmer. Add eggs by creating small divots in the sauce and carefully cracking your eggs into them. Cover your skillet with a lid and let simmer for about 5 more minutes, until the eggs are cooked through. Serve with some freshly chopped basil on top and pita or bread of choice. Dip, scoop and dive in.

A BELATED SO LONG SUMMER

Sometimes you just have to disappear for a while. I've been consumed with work, moving and settling in our new home, weddings, life, more work, but haven't forgotten about Doe, A Deer. I constantly think about it, long for the spare time to work on it and get inspired by it. Any spare time I've had over the last few months I've used to indulge in family and friends and good weather. But I'm back and ready to take it on again. Fall is always the time to press the reset button for me, and make more time to do the things I love most. 

Hopefully I didn't lose too many of you.

More to come!

Wearing:
Vintage Levis, MJM Rainbow Tank, Zara mules , vintage bag, Army Navy Surplus army coat, Sarah Sears bangles, Sunbuddies Sunglasses from RCHMND

MEET THE MAKER: BARRE SKIN CARE & FRAGRANCE

When you walk into Bree Hyland's house in the North End of Halifax you are immediately put at ease. A calming aroma takes over your senses as you walk down the hallway lined with old wood floorboards to her soothing treatment room. Customized facials are Bree's specialty, using all natural, in season and local ingredients like honey, Foxhill yogurt and algae as well as Province Apothecary products. Bree also offers skin consultations, waxing and brow/lash tinting as well as customized and signature natural perfumes (that are completely addicting). She has recently started concocting her own tea blends and brews, selling them at BARRE and the Periwinkle Cafe in Cape Breton. On top of all of this she is a painter at heart, making time for her art when she's not doing BARRE. 

I've suffered from problematic skin since day one, and have tried everything in the book. As of late I gave up on trying, as I sometimes do, growing tired of spending money on products and services that never seem to work, but I finally decided to try something new again. I had been wanting to try one of Bree's facials and skin consultations since I met her, so I made an appointment. From my dermatologist's to naturopath's and all kinds of different doctors, I've never felt anyone really put as much thought and care into understanding and explaining my skin as much as Bree did. I can't recommend her enough. Even if you don't have problematic skin the experience of her facials is heavenly and so therapeutic. 

There was a benevolent and genuine manner to Bree that captivated me from the first moment I met her. I had been dying to sit down and pick her brain about where she came from and how she got started so I paid her a visit, post facial, and we chatted over her homemade hibiscus tea.

Where did you grow up? How has this shaped the person that you are today?

My family moved to Nova Scotia when I was 9. We lived in a few different homes in Dartmouth while I was going through junior high and high school. Most of my young life I have lived in suburban landscapes but knew it wasn't for me. In a way, learning about the things that didn't resonate provoked me to search for the things that did. I really value the ways I have chosen to spend my time and I think a lot about what I consume. I had to work really hard to understand what felt right for me versus the way I was introduced to the world.

BARRE Fragrance and Skincare offers a few different services. Did you start with one project and then lead on to others or did you offer everything from the beginning?

BARRE has in one way or another existed as long as I have had my hand in aesthetics. I have always performed services outside of my regular hours when I was working for other business. When I decided to create what I was doing as an official business, I had already been working towards holistic treatments and natural perfumes. I had spent years working on the different aspects of my vision not intending to create a small business. Eventually, I figured there was probably other people like me who would be interested in alternative approaches to self care.

A lot of love goes into your business. What is it about your process that makes your product so special? 

I try to consider the body as a whole. When I focus on the skin, I try to bring in the other aspects of a person's wellbeing that contribute to their health and in turn the condition of their skin. Our skin is not isolated, it is effected by our mental, physical, and emotional state which is always changing. Using ingredients that the body recognizes has a harmonious effect on us. Once you smell real lavender, you never forget it. This is because our body can process it, it is a part of the natural world and so are we. I think this relationship is important. My approach to wellbeing is nourishing, learning how to listen to the body's signals of discomfort to generate ease.

 You started out as an aesthetician working on the opposite end of the spectrum in plastic surgery, how was that shaped your business and outlook on beauty?

I think to truly be critical of something you must spend time to understand it. I formed my opinions which have shaped what I'm doing currently because I had those experiences within the medical/clinical approach to skin care and beauty. Although I learned a lot about the skin and ingredients from my clinical training, I realized by working in those environments that I didn't like the way beauty was discussed. It was usually about an ideal and the remedy was typically to change what is natural or to use something aggressive, overriding the body’s inherent function. This is the way a lot of conditions of the skin such as acne have been dealt with. Strip the skin of its natural oils and try to regulate its oil production. This almost never works. It usually causes the skin to become inflamed or dehydrated which can cause more break out. There are also so many internal reasons the skin might be breaking out. Clinical advice usually only deals with the typical problem through a standardized solution. In my experience, I found that beauty or health is all the components of the body and how they feel, versus how it all looks.

What does an average day in the life of Bree look like?

I spend my time multi-tasking. Some days I focus more on developing new scent combinations for future additions to my line of natural perfumes, or researching different preparations of herbal infusions on the skin. Other days I'll be busy in the treatment room with appointments. I'm also a visual artist so when I'm not focused on BARRE I'm working in my studio. Everyday, no matter what I'm working on I drink steeped herbs!

Greatest challenges with BARRE?

I'm a private, appointment based small business. One of the biggest challenges has been visibility within the public arena. A few supportive businesses in Halifax carry my perfumes but I'm constantly looking for ways to enable people to interact with my business.

Greatest reward?

The relationships I form with my clients and their feedback is very rewarding. One of the best comments I heard was about the perfume Dark/Purple. This scent has a cult following because it is very unusual. Someone who was wearing it was told they smelled like a witch! I thought that was a great response.

Three things you can't live without?

I find these kinds of questions so difficult to answer so instead I'm going list my current favourite herbs : passion flower, lemon balm and hibiscus.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

This one came recently, "you've got to be in the problem to solve it."

                                                      Favourite thing about living in Halifax?

How close the city is to the ocean and how hard people work to stay in such a beautiful place.

What's next?

I'm learning how to read tarot cards. Again, something I have been dabbling in for a long time. I'd love to see tarot readings offered on the BARRE service menu one day!

Do you have any advice for artists/entrepreneurs starting a business themselves? 

Find a way to do what interests you most and make that your life's work. This way, how you make a living never feels isolated from the other aspects of your life. If you are feeling involved on a deeper level with how you spend your time the business aspect comes second to your passion. Creating and working for yourself is a total commitment, a risk and hard work. I think to do it well it has to come from a place that isn't about money alone. 

Thank you Bree!

Check out BARRE's website here 

Find Bree's fragrances at Lost & Found, Big Pony and Elsie's here in Halifax!

MAGGIE

Maggie is one of many people who when I run into on the street, I'm always excited to check out what they're wearing. I ran into her and couldn't help but take some photos. 
Maggie is freshly back from India where she was developing her fall line, I'm sure you are all as excited as me to see what she has created!

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & ZA'ATAR SALAD

If I'm going away somewhere where I know the food will be undeniably resistible, I let all my rules and guards down and really dive in. In Canada, and North America really, we create a lot of restrictions for ourselves, especially when it comes to food. We have so much available to us, at our fingertips. So much selection, so much curating. I'm always reminded of this when I travel.

It's by no means a bad thing, don't get me wrong. It feels sooo good to put "clean" and healthy food into your body. It feels good to drink smoothies, eat giant salads and whole grain or gluten free baked goods and breads. It's all part of a routine. Truly, we're spoiled when it comes to our diets. We can eat any kind and any culture of food we want whenever we want. However, that's not the case for so many countries and areas of the world. They eat what's available to them, seasonally. They import very little and live off of what they have always lived off of.

In Italy, we literally ate gelato, croissant and pasta everyday for two weeks. When we weren't drinking wine we were shooting back espresso or cooling down with a spritz. It was heavenly. But when I got home I won't lie, I was dying for a smoothie and a wholesome salad.

When I return home, I'm reminded of these rules and quickly resort back to them. But I always carry a new flavour, a new ingredient or a new perspective with me that changes the way I look at and consume food, and for that I am grateful. 

So here's a super jammed salad, that I ate for days and relished in post Italy. If you can't find za'atar head to Mid East on Agricola, they have tons of selection including one they make in house!

Roasted Cauliflower with Za’atar & Yogurt Chickpeas
Serves 2 very hungry/4 average hungry

1 head of cauliflower
1 good drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 large cucumber, seeded
1 avocado
1 x 400 g /14 oz tin chickpeas (or 200 g cooked)
50 ml / ¼ cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp tahini
1-2 tbsp za’atar spice blend
1 handful parsley
1 handful spinach
seeds from ½ pomegranate or golden raisins
1/2 cup quinoa

Put your quinoa on. I like to add salt and za'atar to the water before boiling , about 1 tbsp, and set aside once cooked. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 450°F. Divide the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and toss until all is combined. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and golden and with slightly crispy edges. I sprinkle with some za'atar after about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables. Cut up cucumber and avocado as desired. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly. Pour them into a bowl and mix with yogurt and tahini until all is mixed.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with za’atar.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss carefully to combine. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Make space in the side and add the yogurt chickpeas. Top with pomegranate seeds or raisins and a big sprinkle of za’atar. Enjoy!