Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Summer Hues, Winter Blues

I don't know if it's because the weather is grey and dreary or the Christmas lights are coming down but summery shades of coral, aqua, and pops of yellow have been inspiring me lately. I always enjoy collaging images that have caught my eye to see if there is a particular theme I'm drawn too. Based on these images/colour scheme I would conclude I'm craving warmer climates!

We had a wonderful Christmas. I didn't take many pictures because I was enjoying each moment as I was in it, rather than trying to capture it on film (What do we say now that we're digitized? Capture it on memory card?).  New Year's Eve is my birthday and Ben and I have a date planned. We actually don't know what we're doing yet but child-free time is always awesome!

Images Sources: Top from L to R -Flickr,  Olsen Twin (Not sure of source, tell me if you know); Fashiongonerogue ; Free PeopleShine Labs Solo Pendants; Free People; Giltfashiongonerogue

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This Christmas season is the first time I have felt the pressing need to cultivate our own family Christmas traditions. Levi is at the age where he understands that Christmas is a special time of the year, filled with worship and family celebrations, presents, goodies, and decorations. As we prepare for Christmas together, each activity takes on a special meaning that Levi will carry a memory of in the years to come. This year we created our own wreath out of old magazine pages. Levi helped me staple the pieces down and he thought it was "so cool." Wouldn't it be fun if every year we created a new wreath together?  The idea for this wreath is from here.

Another fun activity was baking Christmas goodies for our neighbors and delivering them by hand so we could wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We made melt-in-your mouth shortbread, orangettes and candy-cane bark

Our lovely friends have been dropping by with gifts and one friend brought Levi a bird feeder. Isn't that a wonderful present? We're watching daily for little birdies to make this new discovery. I would love to give sustainable gifts to family and friends every Christmas. 

What Christmas traditions do you have?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Healthy Pancakes

Here's the super duper healthy pancake recipe I said I would post last week and then didn't. The recipe is adapted from The Thrive Diet. I have to be honest, the original recipe tastes a little too healthy so I sweetened things up a little.

2 bananas
2 dates
2 Tbl Agave nectar
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened if you like)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sprouted or cooked quinoa
1/4 cup roasted carob powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp flour
Sea salt

Berry Syrup:
Blend up mixed berries in a blender and then heat up on stove top.

In a food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Oil a pan with a bit of coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in pancake batter to desired size and cook for five minutes or until bubbles appear. Sprinkle the top of the pancakes with confectioner's sugar and cover with berry syrup.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Recap: This is My Story, This is My Song

Last week my friend Nikki and her family invited us to go to the Vancouver Aquarium on Friday. I knew Levi would be stoked to go, however, this is an expensive time of year and even tickets to the aquarium were beyond our entertainment budget. I didn't immediately say no to Nikki because I was praying that the extra money would appear. Wednesday and Thursday passed and I planned to turn down the invitation. I was disappointed because, like every parent, I want my kids to be able to have fun and memorable experiences. Learning to say, "I can't afford it," is difficult because plastic could temporarily solve my "no money" problem. And by "no money" I should point out it's all relative. We have everything we need and more. Friday morning, I was in a sleep-induced coma when Ben came to wake me up. 

"Hey, Claire just came down and gave us tickets for the aquarium that they can't use."

Claire is our upstairs neighbor. Claire didn't know my mama heart was longing to take my kids on an exciting aquatic adventure.  Divine provision? I think so. I think God cares about the itty-bitty details of my life, beyond my needs, to meet some of my many wants. I can only hope that this Christmas season I will be as generous towards others as God has been to me. 

Jethro waking up at the aquarium. That's his "where the heck am I?!" look. Can you imagine waking up face-to-face with a giant sting-ray?

Levi and his best buddy taking in the anemones (I cannot say that word for the life of me, enemies, anememonies)

And the rest of our weekend...impromptu "dress-up like cowboys". Levi came up with this costume on his own.

Family birthday party where I got to give my mom and sister sparkly gifts because they are shining lights in my life and I love them. 

I'm talking to you!
The earrings and necklace are from one of my favorite artisans on Granville Island, Janis Dean Johnson Jewelry Design

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Come See My City: Culture in Vancouver Campaign

In December of last year I wrote a review of the Nuba Restaurant at The Waldorf Hotel for Vancouver Mom. It was one of those experiences where I asked myself, "Why am I so uncool and culturally irrelevant that I had never even heard of the Waldorf until this event?" The Waldorf felt like a genuine, Vancouver cultural experience. 

To answer my own question, It's not always easy to find the pulse of city life when you run with the 2-year-old crowd as opposed to Hipsters R' Us. When I was contacted by the Vancouver-based digital agency smashLab to promote the Culture in Vancouver campaign, I was happy to oblige. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage urbanites and out-of-towners to take advantage of the local art and culture the city has to offer. Vancouver ranks as one of the best places to live in the world, not just because the outdoors are our playground, but because it is a thriving cultural centre. The campaign is accompanied by a mircosite, which offers a comprehensive events calendar of daily happenings in the city. For a busy mom like myself, the site is a quick and easy way to be in the know. 

A significant component of the Culture in Vancouver campaign is the sweepstakes. That's right peeps, free stuff. Five incredible prizes are being offered where each "experience" has been tailored with themes ranging from theatrical to culinary. The grand prize will offer a three day weekend of behind-the-scenes peeks into some of Vancouver's most notable cultural venues, including passes to coveted local events. For each prize the winner and a friend will receive two to three nights stay in Vancouver and dine at some of Vancouver's best restaurants

(After Trio A. performing during the 2011 PuSh Festival; Photo Credit: Anna Van Kooij)

Entering the sweepstakes is easy: Go here, and enter your name and e-mail address. FYI the grand prize includes passes to a Canuck's game (Holla!). 

The sweepstakes will end with the drawing of the final winner on January 6th, 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Every Blessing

Remember when I mentioned my Greek neighbors? I said that I was certain Levi's first word was going to be "Opa!" because their voices resonated through our house from early in the morning until late at night. We moved into our current home in the hopes of getting away from the noise pollution of the loud college students living above us. I was very disgruntled to discover that noise pollution is inevitable when living in close proximity in the city. And then in the way that we are usually humbled, I soon discovered that the elderly Greek couple, J and E, with the parade of family and friends coming in and out of their home, were the loveliest of people. It became a regular routine to stand on our front stoop, talking back and forth while Levi and their grandson sort of interacted in that parallel play, "Why don't you look at each other?" way. 

Our neighbors would grow all their produce during the summer months and come by with fresh spices and delectable figs from their fig tree for us to devour. When I started our first vegetable garden last summer J became my textbook for how to grow a fruitful garden. He was very patient with me and didn't even use the word "jungle" to describe our garden. J told me broccoli wouldn't grow and when I saw a little bit of a flower I was sure he was wrong. The little flower never materialized into anything edible. When Levi and I would go on our neighborhood strolls I would stop to check out J's produce and he would crush different types of Oregano leaves in his hands so I could smell and appreciate the difference. Soon the sound of the loud conversations between J and E became a part of what made our house a home. 

And then one day a few weeks ago I noticed silence. Were they out of town? Ben ran into our neighbors downstairs who informed him J was in the hospital with terminal cancer. It was discovered very late, recovery was unlikely. Today Ben is attending his funeral.  Events like these are a somber reminder of the shortness of life. By God's grace I discovered early on that our neighbors were tremendously kind, generous, lovely (and loud : ) people. It is an important lesson for me to learn that if I can look past my own character flaws (Low tolerance for noise, happy or otherwise), I will discover blessings all around me. 

Next summer when I'm growing my garden, I'll think of J and the lessons he taught me, about vegetables and life. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I love my friends for so many reasons, one of which is the great source of inspiration they are to me. It may be an encouraging word, a spontaneous visit in an hour of need, or as simple as posting a lovely song on their blog, that lifts my spirit. Thank-you Sarah Miller. I'm going to re-post this music video for your enjoyment and you should also check out why Ms. Sarah likes it too! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Recap: Bright Nights

A Vancouver Christmas wouldn't be complete without attending Bright Nights in Stanley Park. To the eyes of an adult the display might seem gaudy but to a two and a half year old it is a wonderland to behold. 

My boys are starting to hang out together. Jethro thinks Levi is hilarious. Levi thinks Jethro is either one of four things: cute, hungry, sad or happy (or pooing. Five things actually). I think they're going to be great buds. 

I'm continuing to experiment with gall bladder friendly recipes. I made these pancakes and I'll post the recipe this week. They are vegan and gluten free!

I took a quick trip to the thrift store and came away with this lovely, hand painted desert stacker. The trays are made of pine. I can't wait to fill them with Christmas goodies!

My sissy sent me a picture of the vintage dress I hemmed for her last week.  She's styled up and ready to go to a Christmas party.  It's amazing what a little alteration can do to make a dress fabulous. What a hot mama!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What a Wedding!

Like many people out there I am a huge fan of Bleubird Vintage. Bleubird is a beautiful lifestyle blog, curated by the lovely Ms. James. James recently got married and posted a sneak-peek video of her wedding day. I couldn't resist sharing it on Elasticpantcity because I was in awe of the attention to detail in their decor, and how even from this brief clip their personal style is so apparent. Hope you enjoy and if you're planning your big day, feel inspired!

James and Aubrey Sneep Peep from Geoff Boothby / Landshark on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


When my sister came to me with this vintage dress I complimented her on finding a print that is so on trend. Chevron is every where! I'm particularly loving it in home decor but why not wear it too! The dress was a bit long so I hemmed it above the knees for her. She's going to style it up with a belt and heels and I know it will look amazing. 

What a great find!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting Through It

The boys and I were at my in-laws for the night to give Ben some extra rest and it sounds like he slept great. I on the other hand, have been awake since 3 AM. As my mother-in-law said, "you just have to get through it." The great proverbial "it" being having young kids who are up at all hours and as a result living life through a blurry haze of sleep deprivation.

But you know what? I'm still having fun. Rather than curling up in the fetal position and crying I'm trying to enjoy life. Just don't expect me to be coherent. I get dressed just for the sake of taking pictures in front of pretty lights for this blog. I hope if you're a new mom it will make you smile to know that you're not alone in your exhaustion. And that it feels really good to be goofy and laugh and for the love of all that's decent, it feels amazing to wear clothes other than pajamas. Even for a few minutes : )

It's a bird, It's a plane...It's my mommy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making It Work

Our kitchen has been like a science lab with all my foodie experimenting in the last few days. It's been trial and error to determine what makes a healthy meal that wont attack my gall bladder. I found this humus recipe here, and it is the best one I've whipped up to date. I managed to get a nice, smooth consistency and the addition of an orange (the recipe calls for orange juice, I just threw in an entire orange) gives it a tangy taste. We toasted up some tortilla shells, tossed cucumbers with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and voila! A yummy, balanced meal. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Recap

We've been staying very entertained in our household. Whether it's the crazy antics of our toddler, the cuteness of our baby, or new discoveries I'm making, life is interesting. Here are five of our happenings:

1. The other night I heard Levi out in the living room at 3:15 AM. I sent Ben to check out the scene and at first he couldn't find Levi. Ben finally found him under the computer desk with an unlit candle and a wine glass filled with ginger ale. Yes, he poured his own glass. Yes, we negligently left an empty wine glass on the floor and an open can on the counter. I am continuously baffled by this 2 1/2 year old. What was he thinking?

2. I went for my first post baby run on Saturday. I felt like a champion and was certain I was skinnier after my athletic endeavors. I popped my wedding ring back on my finger after not being able to wear it for months. I was super excited to be symbolically married again until my finger puffed up like a balloon. Scene from a horror movie, Ben wielding a mini-grinder with a cutting blade holding my hand flat on the table, cutting the ring off my finger (true story). I'm lucky to have a tool savvy husband...

3. I've been experimenting with many raw food recipes. Most notable are the healthy pancakes I made for Levi and I. They were interesting... I am the mom in this video.

4. To get a better idea of how Levi feels about the healthy menu we've been eating lately I made him a super nutritious smoothie and he told me, "I'm pretending I'm eating my poopies."

5. I've never gone across the border just to go shopping but Gwen Stefani has designed a Harajuku Mini line for Target and I'm a little bit in love.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Great Betrayal

After days of intermittent pain and runs to the doctor's office the final diagnosis of my condition is biliary sludge. Doesn't that sound lovely? I was hoping for medication that would cure my pain but it turns out dietary changes are what's needed. I wont bore you with the details of exactly what biliary sludge is but if you're dying to know, check it out here. Most likely I developed sludge due to my pregnancy. I basically have to cut out my favorite foods for an indefinite period of time. No cheese or other creamy, dairy foods. I have to avoid high fat, processed foods and stick to a high fiber, veggie and fruit filled diet. 

The killer thing is that I've always tried to eat healthy and avoid certain foods, even limiting the amount of dairy I have, and now I have to completely eliminate the occasional treats I indulged in. I love cheese. If I lived in a world made out of cheese I would be a very fat, happy person. Except it turns out that world would be the death of me and I'd land myself on a surgeons table getting my gall bladder removed.

 It's fascinating to me how our bodies betray us. They're the home our soul lives in and it's a fragile existence. It's always when my body gives out on me that I remember how finite I am. I know that sounds depressing but really it makes me glad to remember that while my outward body is wasting away, it's my choice to allow my inside (as in my soul and spirit) to be renewed every day. 

Another great realization is that biliary sludge is like a mandatory diet plan. I'm being forced to eat even more healthy. No more of my mother-in-law's famous mud pie (that's what I'm grieving the most). But really, I'm excited for the challenge of finding alternative meal plans and seeing whether I can keep this beast under control. 

 Enough talk about my physical woes. It's time for some pretty bohemia up in here.

lots more bohemian tents at bohemian twilight

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift of Distraction

Where to begin... this week has been eventful. I have been in and out of the doctor's office and hospital trying to figure out why I'm suffering from excruciating stomach pains. All the tests have shown up clear and still I get painful episodes that are comparable to the contractions I experienced during labour (Probably worse). I have some other theories of what's causing this agony and hopefully my next round of appointments tomorrow will bring something to light. 

The hardest thing about being sick is not being able to give my family 100% of my energy. Anyways, once the kids are in bed I go on Pinterest to distract myself from the pain (Woe is me, seriously). I've come across some great gift ideas that I thought I would share. My favorite is the Lawn Jenga. You just have to be quick on your feet when it topples. 

To find the sources of these gift ideas visit my Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Six Weeks-Sucking it Up and In

I hit the magic six week mark and I'm building up my fitness routine very slowly. Apparently my mother left the hospital in her pre-pregnancy jeans after giving birth. I'm still sporting maternity pants. I have the option of skinny jeans that give me a mega-muffin top or fit more like leg warmers and my maternity pants that give me a saggy butt but cover all the necessary parts. Buying in between pants feels like a waste of money and so option number two is a healthy fitness routine that will hopefully lead me back to a version of my old size (Nothing's ever quite the same). So here's my plan:

Three times a week I will alternate between pilates, yoga and the gym. On in between days I'll go for walks (maybe). The whole point of such a simple routine is that I wont beat myself up if I miss a day. If I start too hard core I'd probably injure myself or fail to meet my expectations. I follow this book for pilates, this IPhone app for yoga and hit up Steve Nash Fitness World. Eventually I'll get back into running but the weather puts a damper on that prospect. I'm a bit of a lost puppy at the gym, never sure what equipment to use, so I usually stick to the elliptical. I have to be careful with weights because my abdominal muscles split like the Red Sea during pregnancy and I'm using pilates and yoga to suck things back together. Any suggestions ye gym goers? 

Now that I've put this out to the WWW I'm committed!

P.S. last time I talked about fitness and the "last ten pounds" I found out  I was pregnant a week later. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Festive Collective

I've been waiting for an opportunity to blog about The Festive Collective event I attended last Friday Night. Why don't mothers grow a third arm during pregnancy? While the scale of this pop-up shop is small the local vendors featured are mighty in their creativity and  affordability. It was hard not to walk away with a stash of new accessories. The Festive Collective runs from Nov 2-27th at The Rize in Vancouver.

Here are a few of my favorite, drool worthy pieces. 

To check out a list of vendors and all other info visit The Festive Collective Facebook page.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend Recap: What Dwells Within

The big event for our family this weekend was a walk in the forest. Levi's story books are full of animals that dwell in the forest and it suddenly occurred to us that Levi had never been in the woods.  We spend most of our time pounding the pavement of our city.  As much as we love urban living, the forest is a magical place for a two year old to visit. Fortunately for us Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a short drive away and the perfect place for an adventure.
 Sheer glee at discovering mud. For real, I've never seen this kid happier.
 Jethro slept through our adventure. Snug as a bug.
 Levi did not want to leave the forest. Or the mud.