Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We Can Fly

 This Halloween involved a mix of costume, rain gear and pyjamas. Our family consisted of Peter Pan, Hook (Some how I didn't get a picture of Ben in his costume) Wendy (me, although to our neighbours I just looked inappropriately dressed), a little Tinker Bell and one lost boy. 

Cousins are the cutest.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mommy Musings | Pumped Up

My trip down to Seattle with a group of girlfriends was an amazing time. We shopped, we shopped, we ate, we even did some learning at a conference for women on Biblical counselling (If that sounds weird, ask me and I can explain it more). I had to pump every few hours. At one point during the conference I went into the nursing mom's room and there were at least 10 other women hooked up to pumps. The one baby in the room started crying and we all cheered as our milk flowed (I know you're totally weirded out if you don't have kids, but this is a glimpse into the secret world of moms. And trust me there are many secrets). 

Ben was at home with the boys and it turns out they don't need me 24 hours a day, every day, for all eternity. Jethro slept well (what!?), they played and ate at McDonald's. I had pumped for two weeks leading up to my trip so that Jethro could still have breast milk, but he refused to take it while I was gone. I was seriously debating weaning him cold turkey. My girlfriends encouraged me to make the break and Ben was behind the idea.

By the time we were driving home, I was an over full balloon, ready to burst. I had milk backed up to my ears and I was uncomfortable to the point of nausea. When I walked in the door to my home at 10:30 PM I had made up my mind not to nurse Jet any more. I would just pump to be more comfortable. 

I thought I'd better go into Jethro's room and check on him. I stood by his crib looking at his sweet, sleeping body. And then his lips began to make the sucking motion for nursing. I wasn't going to nurse. Instead I just lightly stroked his forehead....Oh, no! He woke up! What a surprise. As if by some gravitational force Jethro ended up on my breast. 

I like to be needed. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grow Op

It's always been my dream to have a vegetable garden year round. I read about winter hardy vegetables but I wasn't sure how any plants could endure the rainy, cold Vancouver winters. My summer garden was pitiful. My greens and beans did well but every thing else came up as spindly little plants with little  produce. I couldn't even grow zucchinis! I also became lazy with the watering... but I'm sure it was a bad season in general ; ) 

When I get an idea in mind I usually go full force or drop it quickly. After some more reading I decided that a winter garden would be worth a try. I took the boys to the local nursery in a stroller, prodded Levi out of his seat so I could wheel home a huge bag of fertilizer and picked up a variety of vegetables (spinach, radishes, mixed greens, chard and kale). The boys went to visit their grandparents because I had been feeling overwhelmed (which never happens) and I took advantage of the time to weed and seed. I wanted to protect my vegetables from the cold so my handy husband built me two cloche covers with piping and plastic drop sheets. He found every thing at Home Depot for a fraction of the price that a cloche kit costs. 

Despite my neighbour's dog digging a hole in one of the beds, seedlings began to pop up after a few days. 

We had to get our cloche up quickly because the first frost was approaching. It isn't pretty but it serve's it's purpose.
Do you plant winter vegetables? Tell me what grows well!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mommy Musings | Expression

This photo of Levi was taken on Granville Island by his third cousin, Emerald. It captures his personality so well: imaginative, silly, full of wonder at the world around him. My grandpa was a photographer (no relation to Emerald) and all his photos were taken on black and white film. This photo reminds me of his work because he loved to capture the emotion and expression of his subjects. 

This coming week is going to be a busy work week. I have a lot of catching up to do, great events to write about and I'd love to tell you how my first night away from Jethro went! I slept like the dead (this is a good thing). Everyone survived. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

City Circus | Seek Justice

I did not imagine when I started blogging at Elasticpantcity 2 1/2 years ago that my little piece of the WWW would land me at a round table discussion with the Premier of British Columbia. A couple weeks ago I received an invitation from Pamela Martin, former CTV news anchor and current director of outreach to Christy Clark to attend a round table discussion with The Premier about issues that concern mom's in our province. I was humbled to be invited and nervous that I wouldn't have anything to contribute to the dialogue. For one thing, I primarily write about the everyday activities of our family and politics doesn't really come up in the nitty gritty details of our life. I also write about fashion, not exactly a meaty dialogue topic related to issues concerning British Columbians. 

I spent a few nights researching government issues and kept coming back to an organization I have recently become involved with. Educating Voices is an advocacy group for formerly prostituted women or women who are in the process of exiting prostitution. Educating Voices petitions the government to adopt the Nordic Model of Law regarding prostitution rather than legalizing or decriminalizing it. This model of law is based on the recognition that prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation and violence. It penalizes the buyers of sex (johns, pimps), while decriminalizing those who are being sold. 

If this topic interests you and you want to be a voice of advocacy for exploited women I recommend you check out the Educating Voices site for more information. When it came to my turn to speak at the round table with The Premier, I brought up the provincial tax cuts to the exiting programs that provide a safe transition out of prostitution. Since so many of these prostituted women are moms trying to support their families and Christy Clark is promoting the slogan, Christy Clark For Families, I thought it was an appropriate topic to bring up. After all if the government is going to be for families, it should be for all families. 

This was my most recent foray into politics. The last time I was politically active was in university when I participated in peace marches and cried over the bombing of Iraq. I do not align myself with one party in particular at the moment but hope that when it comes to the next election, I will be able to make an educated decision on who to vote for without compromising my conscience. 

"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause."
-Isaiah 1:17

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mommy Musings | Lesson Learned

Last night I watched a 12 minute YouTube video on a DIY boy's haircut. Using my expert knowledge I preceded to put Levi in a high chair, a towel around his neck, and with a blunt pair of scissors I began to cut his hair. About a 1/4 of the way through I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I then called for the buzzer and slowly started clipping away the job I had started. What was a bad hair cut turned into an under cut and the end result is hipster meets horrible hair dresser. But he's three, so he doesn't care, right? Also He's a handsome little guy and some how pulls it off. Naturally I decided to cut his hair right before his first set of passport photos.

The bangs aren't as crooked as they look. I swear.

Today we made up for yesterday's not-so-fun activity with a trip to Southlands Heritage Farm where one of our friend's works. She gave us a guided tour of the lands and I was reminded again that if I didn't live in the city, I'd be happy to live on a farm. Southlands Farm is within Vancouver city limits so it is possible to have the best of both worlds.  

Levi was very uncertain about feeding the horses. 

Jethro was curious about the animals until a horse bent down it's head to sniff him, knocking him off his feet. Oops. 

Levi was much happier feeding the goats. I'm guessing it had something to do with a height advantage.

If this face doesn't make you laugh....

I think Jet might have been trying to escape the whole time. What is this place?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working Girl

 I'm now an official contributor to Vancouver Mom! I've been writing pieces for them on and off for a couple years and I'm finally in a place where I have the time and energy (granted caffeine consumption has increased exponentially) to be part of the work force. Most importantly I'm doing what I love at a very small scale, that still allows me to be a present and engaged wife and mother. I'll be posting links to my writing for Vancouver Mom on Elasticpantcity if you want to check me out there as well!

I recently wrote an article for Vancouver Mom about Rogue Dance Studio where Levi takes a Creative Dance Class. The studio is passionate about helping kids embrace the arts and get moving! Find the article here.
Photo Source : Vancouver Mom ; Child: Mine

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day At a Time

jethro is walking. / side table is our latest street find. / pumpkin cheesecake from our neighbour. / leaves on the inside, leaves on the outside. / playing with mama's bracelet. / working on a picture wall. / cutie. / building blocks. / peaceful place. / going for a walk. / beautiful fall day. / checking out a new spot to review for vancouver mom.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mommy Musings | Cracked Up

Millions of women have done it before me: raised children, taken care of their husbands, worked the field, and kept a tidy home. The other day I was in the drug store with Jethro and Levi looking for lipstick. For some reason they don't find this activity fun? The boys were fussing and crying and in the midst of the noise I finally said, "Okay everyone, just calm down." I managed to keep a level tone of voice but I was busted. When I went to pay for the lipstick the lady at the cashier said to me, "Don't worry you'll survive. Millions of women have done it before." She then dug through her samples and handed me a face mask with these parting words, "I hope you get fifteen minutes today to lock yourself in the bathroom and try on this mask. It will relax you."

 Sometimes it helps me to know that I'm not alone in the momentous task of raising children. Other times I want to scream, "I know other women have survived, but friggin' fell how!" I feel on the verge of insanity more often then I want to admit. Ben came home yesterday and I disappeared into our room in a flood of tears, because the whole day the kids had been crying, and not it was MY turn. Today Ben gathered them up and brought them to their grandparents to give me a break. I planted our winter garden and turned up the dirt like I was searching for sanity under the surface. I think I found some.

Tomorrow's another day. I'm thankful for my husband who rescued me, my kids who love me and have no idea I'm crazy, and a God who is patient with me as I stumble along in my role as a mother. It's hard to admit that I'm cracked up inside. The other day I told Ben I wanted to pack a suitcase and run away to the end of the block. I remember doing this when I was little and it was the release I needed for the frustration I felt towards life. Since I'm a grown up (or so they tell me), I'm going to pack my metaphorical suitcase of anxieties, fears and failures and leave them at the feet of Jesus.

"Come to me, all of you (that's me) who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." 
-Matt 11:28

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Schooled in Art

In the fog on Grouse Mountain (looking a little creepy). 
Showing my support for wild life.
Have you ever seen a photo and then stepped up close and realized it's the work of a master painter?  The attention to the colour, detail, and lighting of the subject play a trick on the mind. Ben and I attended the wine and cheese night at The Artist for Conservation Festival on Grouse Mountain where we were fortunate to mingle with some of the artists, several of which were very young, and some who had only been painting for a few years (wild talent). One of the artists, Robin Murray, started painting when he was Levi's age. Born in 1986, Robin comes from a family of nine children and was homeschooled by his mother. He said that between the end of the school day and dinner, in order that the kids didn't run wild, his parents made them choose a hobby for entertainment. Robin chose painting and although he never attended art school, his years of practice paid off (Homeschooling, one point)!

The Artist for Conservation Foundation is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the "celebration and preservation of the natural world." The paintings on exhibit at the festival focus on nature and wildlife. All the paintings are for sale with a certain percentage of the proceeds going to the artists' conservation organization of choice. The Festival runs from October 13-21 and includes youth and adult workshops.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Space Plus Giveaway

I've always dreamed of having my own work space and now that I'm taking on paid free lance work it's  important to have a quiet corner of the house to concentrate. We found the one remaining crevice of our house to place a little fold-out desk and chair. I decorated my special space with some plant life and crystal containers filled with jewelry. 

I'm so thankful to have six square feet to call my own. I have many projects I'm looking forward to, one of which is a round table discussion I'll be participating in with The Premier and several other Vancouver moms. I'm honoured to be included in this conversation and can't wait to write about my experience on Elasticpantcity.

Another upcoming event I'll be covering is The Artists for Conservation Festival on Grouse Mountain. This event features a conservation-themed exhibit of original nature and wildlife art, art workshops for adults and youth, live music and cultural performances. The event runs from October 13th-21st and I'm giving away one pair of adult passes to any workshop you wish to attend. Check out the list of workshops here and enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below telling me which workshop you're interested in. The pass includes the gondola ride up the mountain (Date night, anyone?). I'll be announcing the winner by 5 PM on Friday so now is the time to enter!
sic, cultural performances & special oing weekend events

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving! Are you stuffed with turkey and pumpkin pie yet? I don't eat turkey but I wore a roomy dress to my parent's for Thanksgiving dinner because of my weakness for savoury salads, yams and pumpkin pie. I love that we have a long weekend to express how thankful we are to God for family, friends and life in general. I believe even when we're facing hardships, it's a time to be thankful because it strengthens are character and compels us to talk to God about what's going on. 

A pleated dress is the best way to hide a fully tummy. Vintage Tahari jean jacket,  dress and Alberto Fermani sandals ('cause it's been warm in the PNW!)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting to Know You!

I was recently nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Marie Janelle. These girls started their blog this year and it is a style and DIY treasure. As part of the award, I'm supposed to tell you 11 things about myself, answer 11 questions from Marie-Janelle, and then nominate 11 other blogs for the award. As you'll see from the video, I've taken my own spin on the Liebster so that I can get to know my lovely readers better. I have not included 11 things about myself because I can't think of any thing interesting other than maybe it's weird that I always wear socks to bed, even in summer. Always.

Here are the questions for you! If you want to answer them, make sure to post a link to your blog in the comments section!

Why did you start your blog?
If you could have one person leave a comment on your blog who would it be?
What's the first object that comes to your mind when you hear the word "trend?"
If you could get published in one magazine which would it be?
If you were to have a second blog what would it be about?
What's the newest piece in your wardrobe?
What's your favourite texture?
City or suburb?
Are you still in contact with your childhood best friend?
What are you reading?
What was your last Halloween costume?

Have fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vegan Ventures | Fabulous Falafels

 Writing about Vancouver lifestyle allows me wonderful opportunities to attend cultural events but my favourite place to be is at home, eating a meal with my family. If recently you've attended any events with me you may have noticed my venture into veganism is not going so well. My gall bladder has been less sensitive lately and so I started adding dairy back into my diet. I suspect it might be a huge mistake. At home I'm trying to get back into a healthier groove by making as many vegan meals as possible. I continue to swear by the book, Eat Raw, Eat Well, by Douglas McNish. The other night we had his vegan falafel's, wrapped in lettuce with avocado and lemon dressing. The recipe was a hit with all three of my boys.

I recently received a swag bag from Ikea with these delightful textile inspired candle holders. The holders fit a tea light on one side and a votive on the other. 
Hey, over here! Stop taking pictures, I'm done eating.

I forgot to announce the winner of the Green Your Routine Starter Kit Giveaway! Flower Child, you are the winner. Please email your contact info (including address) to 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Faux Fashion | EyeLook4 Rethink Campaign

 I am so happy to be partnering with Clearly Contacts on their EyeLook4 campaign. The campaign encourages young women to look for the early signs of Breast Cancer. The five year survival rate if diagnosed in an early-localized stage, is 98 per cent. Clearly Contacts has co-created a selection of pink frames to use as a catalyst to share the importance of looking for the early signs of Breast Cancer. For each pair of pink frames purchased through the month of October, $25 will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer. Rethink Breast Cancer is the first Canadian cancer society to bring bold, relevant awareness about the disease to the under 40 crowd.

I'm wearing the LoveL746 Black Pink Frames