The Symmetric. Read the Blog.  Visit the Shop.  We are two city girls leading country lives: inspired by the natural world, offbeat beauty, nostalgic objects and colourful language.


[ header image ]
2013/09/23 / Shanan


Bye bye summer, it was fun while it lasted.  Five days ago Theo was running naked through the sprinkler, and then this past weekend autumn showed up, rained like a b*tch for awhile, and then forced the scarves and hats out of retirement (ps, nonchalant woolen beanie FAIL, above).  We hosted an apple-picking open house because I ask you – what else are you going to do when you have a small orchard in your backyard?  Live the dream, share the wealth.

autumn apple picking party

Last year there was some unusual weather that ruined the entire apple season up here.  I can’t even remember eating one decent one.  This year?  We must have thousands.  Talk about a comeback <insert “how do you like THEM apples?” joke here>.

autumn apple picking party baby

Good apple.


Bad apple.

autumn apple picking party snacks treats

I did a little baking the day before so we had an indoor spread of apple cinnamon cake, brown butter + sea salt chocolate chip cookies, truffled popcorn, mini chocolate-apple cakes, and sparkling apple cider.  In other words, just a typical Sunday afternoon where I break out the table runner and fancy beverage dispensers.

birch straws apple picking party

Oh, the plight of the printed paper straw.  You’re a big fat Pinterest cliché but I love ya.

apple hauling



This is how feral animals children eat apples.

iceland sweater napkins

handsome dad apple picking

Almost forgot to tell you, then Jon Hamm stopped by with his kids.  Sweet.

homemade sparkling apple cider party

bucket of organic apples



The award for Best Fall Hair goes out to Gillian.


brown butter sea salt chocolate chip cookies


My nephew Nathan, who generally doesn’t give me the time of day (and why should he, he’s five), managed to drink his weight in apple cider and told me I should be a chef.  Thanks, kid.  Except how can I trust you with that crazy eyebrow??

apple picking party tree

Thanks so much to all our friends and family who came out, and to those of you whom I didn’t get pictures of! And thanks for looking through my many, many photos.  This will be an annual event for sure.  xx Shanan

ps. I’ll post some of the treats recipes soon.

  • Gillian:

    Oh, to have cool friends with orchards as backyards, who make delicious treats, and take photos that make your hair look about a million times better than it does in real life. What a lovely way to spend a September afternoon! For those who says bucolic is boring – I say: Let them eat (apple) cake!

  • allison b-t:

    so jealous, i would love to have my own orchard and host apple pickin’ parties.
    everything looks delicious and i love the birch bark straws, i haven’t seen that print before. it’s so much more sophisticated that stripes and polka dots.
    and you know, you could always start your own organic hard cider company. haha, that’s the portlander in me talking! ;)

  • The Symmetric:

    We’re working on the hard cider thing — my husband has become mildly obsessed with the idea, actually. He just has to grow a big bushy beard and then we’ll have veered straight into Portlandia territory.

  • Jessica:

    Beautiful pictures! Really enjoyed a taste of Canadian fall.

  • allison b-t:

    well as someone who drinks cider over beer any day and has considered spending oodles of cash to import my fave brand from scotland, i vow to be a loyal customer!
    as for the beard, i am a bad portlander in that respect. i make my husband maintain a clean shaven face from may (my birthday) to october (his birthday). if i had my way, no beard ever!

  • Trilby:

    HOW GUTTED AM I THAT WE MISSED THIS??! Seriously, looks like a fabulous time. And what a spread! You put this family’s humble (one-tree) apple cider to shame with that snazzy punch dispenser, too…

  • Jim Roberts:

    No one could have a better daughter in law!!What a family and a great day for us all!! Truly blessed!

  • Melinda's Musings:

    That’s quite the Sunday spread indeed! Looks delicious!


Please feel free to leave a comment

The Symmetric.

sign up and we'll keep you in the loop about our latest adventures, new products, + upcoming events