Masthead header
  • Do you desire a life where you feel beautiful, you know your inner purpose, you travel to exotic places, explore and enjoy local sites and organic food, and your favourite part of the day is evenings spent sipping on your favourite drink while surrounded by inspiration, love, and you feel successful in your life and career?

    This is the story of dream lifestyle and business curator, Lesley Stefanski. Told from her perspective she'll share her insight and knowledge on how she designed her ideal lifestyle and business as well sharing the places she travels to, the images she captures, and the life she creates for herself!

    To stay up to date with everything she'll be sharing, sign up for the newsletter!

Spill my heart

This weekend was quite an exciting one, an emotional roller coaster to say the least! First on Friday afternoon I found out that I made the cut for a list for cream of the crop photographers, Boudoir photographers to be exact, and I almost died when I found out! I didn’t think I would make it, considering I’m such a small fry to everyone else in the world. But out of everyone and 220 people chosen, I was one of them! All I could think of was “WOW, this is simply awesome!”, while jumping up and down in my chair and clapping my hands! Let’s just say I went to bed that night, very happy!

Saturday morning my heart dropped a little bit when I found out that some of my images were stolen and posted on some other person’s user page. Sure, they kept my watermark on the photos as if thinking that would be okay, but it was just disappointing that they would just take them without letting me know. If they had asked, I would have probably said “Yea sure, here you go!”…but the fact that they just took them…just made me really sad. So, if you’re thinking of taking someone’s images for your own use, send them an email first.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I headed out to the airport pick Adam up from his week long business trip to China, and I couldn’t believe how excited I was to see him! Life is just way more enjoyable and fun with him around! Adam is the one who’s hand I hold when we drive down the highway
together, cuddle next to when I watch hockey, and the one who I talk
to when things are going on or I need to make a decision about life and/or business – and considering the previous two days, I couldn’t wait to sit down with
his hand-made cup of coffee and just spill my heart!

Thankfully Monday is here, and I’m so happy that I’ve held his hand, cuddled next to him, and sipped his hand-made coffee while I spilled my heart!

 

+ - 2 comments

May 18, 2010 - 6:13 PM

Magda Upton - Awww, so cute!

May 19, 2010 - 7:31 AM

Rebecca Sehn - Exciting week for you! Happy you have your man back. :)

The bus to Burrard and 5th

Today I met up with an amazing and inspiring woman, Morgaine Owens. I have been following her blog for awhile, but we recently connected on Twitter and we met up so that I could show her samples of Wall Blanksprints (if you’re looking for beautiful printing options, check these people out!!). What at first was a quick meet up turned into an amazing morning of exchanging thoughts on fine art, school, photography, business, dreams, and our childhood.

We talked about how when we were younger we would beg our parents to put us into dance or music classes. My parents always said it was too expensive so I never attended, but it’s something I always wished I had the chance to learn. Deep down inside I knew I would have excelled at it…more than anything else. I confessed to Morgaine something that I don’t know if I had told anyone else before.

When I was younger I so desperately wanted to know how to play the piano that whenever I had the chance to sit in front of one I would. I would sit on the bench, put my foot on top of the damper petal, and lay my fingers so softly on top of the keys and….wait! I would sit there waiting to know how to play. Eventually I would play a key and wait some more. So many times I remember sitting in front of all these pianos just praying that God would teach me how to play the piano, and that I would play the beautiful music that flowed through me.

It never happened, of course. But one day my parents blessed me with a little keyboard and for the next 3 months I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning teaching myself how to play and I was so happy. My soul filled with joy and I was excited anytime I could sit in front of a piano and play something. Eventually I taught myself how to play well enough that I was asked to play in my church worship band, and helped lead music for our youth, and sunday services. I don’t think you’ll understand how excited and blessed I felt to have the ability to do that.

I have never learned how to read music, but I can play by ear, and to this day sitting in front of the piano is what fills my heart with joy and I cannot wait for the day I can afford to have a baby grand piano of my own and fill my own house with beautiful music.

We both discussed that you need find something that fills your soul with happiness! Whether it is art, painting, playing music, playing a sport, doing yoga, hiking, or making coffee…do it! It doesn’t have to become your profession (I know I will never be a concert pianist) but I know that my heart yearns to play the piano almost everyday, and when I visit my family who live on the North Shore, you will most likely find me sitting in front of their piano playing something that makes my heart sing!

+ - 1 comment

May 17, 2013 - 8:22 AM

lily - Lesley, you are AMAZINGLY talented!!
I can only read music and until today have failedto learn to play by ear! :(

Days like this…

Earlier this week I received a text from one of my best friends that stopped me in my tracks “My g-ma just passed away! I’m so sad!” I had no idea how to respond or how to deal with the situation, but I couldn’t even image how she was feeling about it! I immediately called her, and just listened. It was all I could do. 

I have been trying to spend any free moment I have to hang out with her to just listen, to do nothing, or be silly to take her mind off of it. We’ve spent the day shopping and reminiscing about the ‘good ole days’ and just sitting and being silent with one another.
As the week has gone by I’ve been reading with a smile on my face as people remember her G-ma on her facebook page. And it gets me thinking that every single moment is special, no matter if your bathing your children, watching the playoffs or your best friend get married, or the simple pleasures like seeing the buds on the trees coming out for spring.
I encourage you to stop and think about those that are around you, spend some time alone and with those that are dear to your heart, let them know how much they mean to you and how much you love them cause that is the most important thing they need to hear from you!
Please send your thoughts and love to my friend and her family, I love them dearly!

+ - 2 comments

April 19, 2010 - 3:02 PM

Michelle Dixon - you are so right!!! sometimes i need this friendly reminder, thank you for that. im so sorry for your friends loss.

April 19, 2010 - 3:56 PM

Tracie - *sniffle* That’s so sad to hear about your friend, but she’s lucky to have you. Loved the video.

The Journey: Head First

I like honesty, truthfulness, and logic; it’s one of my favorite combination of emotions! So I’m going to be honest with you…I jumped head first into this, with maybe a pair of baby wings attached to me hoping to goodness they’d help me fly!

Between 2006 and 2007 I had a few friends at the time who were professional photographers and I
would recommend blogs or locations that I saw during my outings. I
faithfully followed photographers like Jasmine Star as
well as my friends because I was inspired by every single photograph
they took. The emotions they were able to capture and stir inside of me
made me eat up every single blog post they wrote.

The summer of 2008 I purchased a used Canon 30D camera for Mister for his birthday and I was so excited to give it to him! I threw a joint family birthday party and we sang him Happy Birthday while I brought out the ice cream cake and a big box wrapped and decorated. He ripped the wrapping off and was so surprised that I had purchased something that was way out of our gift budget – but I knew he would love it and I was so excited to watch him learn how to use it!

I never dreamed I would pick up his camera, the thing was huge and black; it was very intimidating, but eventually I wanted to learn all the different settings. So we would sit at home and walk around downtown and go over the different settings of the camera, what aperture was, how to expose correctly, how to decide which ISO setting to use, and the difference between RAW and JPEG. I have a note book full of notes that I took trying to soak it all it.

Again I jumped in head first, I didn’t want to learn what the Program setting on the camera did, nope, I wanted to learn how to use Manual first. Try and wrap your head around that one when you’re just learning about ISO. Let me tell you, the first rounds of photographs…SUCKED! But I was determined!

Later that summer Mister and I took a trip down the Oregon Coast before he switched jobs as our final vacation that year, and this is when I could feel my feet reaching the edge of the ledge. We passed by all these beautiful locations that I wanted to photograph. But I didn’t want to photograph landscapes, I wanted someone IN it to photograph. I wanted to capture the same kind of emotions that I had been inspired by the photographs of my friends. I had had enough of passing by these beautiful locations when I told Mister to turn the car around and head towards a red barn that I had seen. I wanted to capture it, and he was going to be my model.

Over that week I learned how to shoot my model back lit and fell in love with the sun. I shot in the wide open sun, at night, at dawn and dusk, in a moving car, out on the water – everywhere. And Mister was my model. At one point I could feel his enthusiasm for being my model dwindling so I told him I was going to ask my windsurfing instructor to be my model. As cute as she was, he didn’t want her to suffer in front of my camera so he sucked it up some more while I played with my settings and asked him “Just 2 more?!”.

When we got home from our vacation, I was hooked and knew exactly what I wanted to do. A few weeks later I headed to the Small Business centre and applied for a business name and did all the paper work so that I had everything in order. A few weeks after that I set up my blogsite specializing in Children and Adley Studio was born. I jumped head first into this, with maybe a pair of baby wings attached to me hoping to goodness they’d
help me fly! Thank goodness those baby wings sure flutter fast!

+ - 3 comments

April 14, 2010 - 3:29 PM

Anny Chih - Beautiful new business cards & website! :)

April 20, 2010 - 8:06 PM

shannon sewell - these are beautiful! congrats!!! :)

May 17, 2013 - 8:18 AM

lily - Goodness, reading this was SO inspiring. It’s exactly what i’ve been feeling lately, to want to capture images like you and our amazing wedding photographer just so to REMEMBER it, them, then. Thank you for this old post!

Inspire to be!

It’s been on my mind for a long time, constantly there…lingering,
knocking, persisting, never letting up. I would try and push it aside
telling myself that I couldn’t do it, that I’m not
smart/knowledgeable/cool/old enough, that I wasn’t the right person. But
it was persistent pushing even harder against my heart telling me I should,
that I must! Eventually I knew I would have to give in. One night I
wept. Wept my tears of fear and soaked Mister’s shoulder, he had no idea
what was going on. I was sobbing so hard I could hardly formulate a
sentence beyond “I just..” sob “I don’t know if….” sob “I want to
but…” sob. He eventually pulled me back and said “I believe in you,
that you can succeed in anything you put your mind to, but you just
have to do it”. Even after crying about it I still didn’t even know if I had the
courage to really pursue it.

This past weekend while lying in the
snow and staring at the winter wonderland that God created, I knew, I
could and I would! Without sobbing this time, I told Adam and formulated
an actual sentence, actually, more like a monologue, and told him my
dreams and what I wanted to do! And once again he smiled and said “I
believe you can do it, you have it in you and I think it’s a great idea,
you just have to do it”!

So hear I am, putting it out there and putting all my fears aside
and going for it!

I’d like to meet up with 4-5 women
(any age) who have
been possibly thinking of starting something new (whether its a
business, a hobby, a lifestyle change…anything!) and would like to
meet up once every two weeks to talk, encourage each other, and inspire to be. Be greater, to be who we were created to be, to
be the best version of ourselves!

I’m scared that this is going to fall flat on it’s face, but I’d rather
say I tried then just hide it inside and not do anything at all. So, if
you’re interested, send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking
of doing and which days/evenings you’re free and I’ll set something up
for us all to meet within the next two weeks!

These are the last few pictures of my recent from Alanna + Stephanie from the country shoot.
These two, even if they didn’t know it, encouraged me to put myself out
there and ask if you’d like to meet up.:)

+ - 4 comments

April 9, 2010 - 11:02 AM

Marta - Great idea Lesley! Someone recently told me that there is scientific evidence that women get the same positive chemical reaction going on in their bodies from talking to other women as they do from eating chocolate. Who knew!

April 12, 2010 - 10:03 AM

Melissa Montgomery - Great idea!! Best of luck in this new adventure, you can do it! Great shots too!! :)

April 13, 2010 - 1:06 PM

Tracie - Lesley, I am so into your idea, there is nothing better than peer mentoring and encouragement. Also knocking ideas around with different people can really help solidify a tiny thought into a great idea. You can count me in if you are still looking for someone. :D

April 14, 2010 - 8:24 AM

Tracie - Looking forward to it!