Monday, April 30, 2012

I Remember

I remember when I used to wake up in the morning with a a thrill of excitement that the day was going to be full of new adventures. As a little girl I was usually excited about a new book (The Baby Sitter's Club), or tree to hide out in. Somewhere along the journey of "growing up" excitement about life became replaced with days riddled with anxiety, stress and disappointment. When I look at my boys I see that zest for life which I once possessed. And I long for it. Every day they are discovering new things in this gigantic world around them. When we visited the Ocean Cement Factory on Granville Island, Levi and Jethro were in awe of the life-sized versions of their favorite toys. And then yesterday we walked down to the beach and sat in the sand and I told Levi, "This is Jethro's first time ever touching sand. Isn't that amazing!" I relished that moment of discovery, imagining, what it must have felt like for Jethro to experience the texture (and taste) of sand.

I had a crummy afternoon a while back. I went outside to practice taking pictures and I looked grumpy in all of them. I was burdened with life. And then I remembered my boys' bright eyes as they took in the world. God created us be in perpetual awe of the earth he created because it gives us a glimpse into His majesty. That will never grow old or fade. It's thoughts like these that make my worries insignificant in the grand scheme of things. 

The burden is lifting...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Event: Spring Got Craft?

Spring Got Craft? Vancouver is happening on Sunday, May 6th and if you're living in the Vancouver area you do not want to miss this shopping event! Got Craft? is Vancouver's largest indie craft fair and the vendors this year have me swooning over their goods. Here are a few of my favourites, whose wares have emptied out my mental piggy bank! 

The Rice Babies creates gorgeous handmade dolls, felt crowns and wooden hand painted dolls. Little bow-tie boy warms my heart with his resemblance to Levi. 

If you follow me on Pinterest you know I have a board titled Geo Jewelry because I love earthy accessories. Camp and Quarry creates stunning natural raw gemstone necklaces. 

What is it? Abeego Designs creates natural, reusable food storage with hemp/cotton fabric infused with a blend of beeswax and honey. The coating is fluid-resistant, keeping food fresh and making it easy to clean. Say good-bye to plastic, and wrap your sandwich in material that is not only eco-friendly, but super cute!

 We have a wonderful private yard surrounded by tall bushes, making it an oasis in the midst of city-living. Growing our own produce has me envisioning warm, summer nights, shooting the breeze with friends, glass of wine in hand and food from the garden on our plates. This dreamy light strand of thread balls by My Little Lights is the perfect ornament for an outdoor meal. 

Spring Got Craft? runs from 10 AM to 5 PM. Admission is $3.00 (kids under 10 are free). The location is The Royal Canadian Legion at 2205 Commercial Drive, Vancouver. For more information and a complete list of vendors visit the Got Craft? Vancouver site

Thursday, April 26, 2012

For Your Grand Kids

My shelves are stocked with natural shampoos, deodorant, face wash, cleaning products, organic this and organic that. Now that my family uses mostly natural products when I'm around big brand cleaners or highly perfumed items I sneeze and wheeze and suffer from nausea.
 It was almost a matter of preaching to the choir when I was invited to attend Shop and Learn with Gill Deacon, author of the national bestseller, There's Lead In Your Lipstick. Although I'm already on the same bandwagon as Gill, there's always more to learn about healthy living! The event was hosted at Whole Foods by Seventh Generation and not only did I come away with a great swag bag of Seventh Generation products, but also some interesting tidbits of information from Gill.

For example, how did all these nasty chemicals get into our every day products in the first place? Apparently after the second world war as a result of government subsidies for the petroleum and chemical industries, petrochemicals began making their way into our cleaning and household products. Now that's freaky deaky stuff.

A while back my family and I switched to a natural, non-scented laundry detergent. It seemed like a good idea but Gill reinforced this belief when she told the audience that most liquid laundry detergents contain an additive called optical brighteners. The brighteners give our clothing an 'artificial' glow that has nothing to do with our clothing being clean and the chemical can actually rub off on our skin creating a reaction to sunlight that looks like sunburn. Um, no thanks.

Finally, when it  comes to our babies, God's given them plenty of built in natural oils so their skin needs a lot less moisturizing, baby powder, and scrubbing then we might realize. It's a good idea to avoid chlorine, fragrance and other unnecessary ingredients in baby products.
 Gill's book is now on the top of my reading list. What mother doesn't want the knowledge to help their family live the healthiest lifestyle possible!? Thank-you Seventh Generation for hosting this event, Gill for your knowledge, and Cambie Whole Foods for providing child care!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It Was Nifty

 I stopped in at the Nifty for Fifty annual event on Sunday and browsed through the discounted eye candy of local Vancouver designers. 

I came away with these lovely ladies on my arm. 
Bracelet by Irit Sorokin

This broach from Buenostyle would jazz up a simple blazer.

It's not a Vancouver fashion event without cute hipsters in attendance. 

I have such a thing for neon right now. It's meant to be worn with a tan. Sunshine, I welcome you with open arms!
Earrings by Bianca Barr Designs

I didn't bring a lot of cash to the event (on purpose), otherwise I would have walked away with this dress by Adhesif Clothing

I'd get my ears re-pierced for these darlings.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

No More Kissing Frogs

What a wedding! My dear friend and faithful blog commenter Ariana is now married to Jared! The venue was the Fraser River Lodge, the perfect setting for love, love, love! Sarah and I were very excited for the newly weds. 
Very excited.

This is what I wore. 

But who cares what I'm wearing when nature is clothed in so much beauty?!

We were child-free for the day! Weddings are one of my favourite dates: beautiful setting, happy people, great food and romance in the air. 

Ariana, Cheers....

Saturday, April 21, 2012


1. Beyond excited about Ariana's wedding today! There will be beautiful people, gorgeous decor (Tami's been at work), and at the end of the day, a wonderful newly married couple. 

2. I still haven't posted the dress I was planning to wear to the wedding because while being dry-cleaned, the buttons on the dress disintegrated. All of them. Isn't that the weirdest thing? They're putting on new buttons for me but in the mean time I found an alternative dress which I'm equally excited to post after the wedding.

3. The greens in my garden are already coming up! I'm so glad that I'm taking the time to plant seeds as per instruction on the packages, in the Complete Idiot's Guide to Small-Space Gardening and through the very useful West Coast Seed's website (They have directions on when and how to plant every West Coast-friendly seed imaginable!)

4. Did I mention Jethro's sleeping through the night? Ironically when there are cat fights at night they sound a lot like Jethro's cries. Last night I hopped out of bed twice thinking I had heard him only to realize it was the feral beasts that prowl our neighbourhood (I'm not exactly a cat person, sorry).

5. Levi is tremendously skilled at art (in moi opinion!) He has excellent fine motor skills and his favourite artistic endeavour right now is painting rainbows. He'll do line after line of these pain-staking strokes. He's not even three (Mom's are allowed to brag)!

Have a great weekend and come back to see a wedding outfit post this week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On The Cusp!

This week has been off-kilter. It started with us buying a mini-van. I knew my day was coming but I'm not sure I was totally prepared for what it would feel like to get behind the wheel of the Mommy Mobile  or if you prefer Swagger Wagon. All of a sudden 29 felt precariously close to 30 (dun dun dun!). Thankfully, I learned how to drive on a mini-van so Vancouver will be safe, however, I might be giving my neighbours cars a friendly tap now and then (I mean there's a bumper for a reason, right?). 

Another adjustment for me is getting used to Jethro sleeping through the night. Holla! I'm back in the land of the living. Suddenly, the world is a little brighter and less blurry. Ben and I actually engage in pillow talk instead of collapsing into a comatose sleep. 

Through all the changes in life one of many things that brings me pleasure is a package at the door. Especially when it's wearable. Fresh Produce Clothes let me choose an item from their online store to review and this Art School Tunic is the perfect all year round addition to my wardrobe. I love the loose fit, pockets and fringe. The material is cozy, the ideal weight for throwing over a tank on a summer evening (I'm thinking Celebration of Light, Vancouverites). In the winter, the looseness will allow for multiple layers underneath. Best of all, the Art School Tunic functions as a wearable nursing cover! 

It isn't really shorts weather in Vancouver, but I think we're on the cusp! See the flowers in bloom and my prepared vegetable beds?!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Event: Nifty for Fifty

The fifth Annual Nifty for Fifty shopping sale is happening April 22, 2012 from 11 AM - 8PM at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street) in Vancouver. Over 25 local designers and artists will be featuring their work for a steal of a deal. Vendors include Adhesif Clothing, Allison Wonderland, Erin Templeton, Daub and Design and many more. 

Stina Gan Necklaces. I'd be the coolest mom around with a dino necklace. 

Adhesif Clothing is selling these reworked vintage vests for $25.00! Gah!

 Admission is $1 at the door. Make sure to bring paper money because many vendors will be accepting cash only.

For more info check out the Nifty for Fifty Facebook Page

I'll see you there!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Spring Wedding

A Spring Wedding

A Spring wedding in Vancouver is a tricky occasion to dress for. In one day the weather can exhibit multiple personalities; a sunny morning may turn into a rainy afternoon, followed by more sun, then rain, then hail and a touch of snow. The temperatures can range from tank top to put-on-that-parka extremes. As I was thinking about what to wear to Ariana's wedding, and how not to spend a gazillion dollars, I settled my heart on finding a vintage piece that might need a little bit of a nip and tuck. 

In the first shop I visited, be still my beating heart, I found a unique piece I couldn't pass up. The dress is a black ankle length number, long sleeves, sweet heart neckline, funky embroidered gold crosses and neon pink stripes across the skirt. It fit like a glove, and most importantly, there's buttons on the top for easy breast-feeding access. The dress is straight from the 70s, but don't the proverbial they say, "what's old is new." All the dresses above are from recent fashion seasons and pay homage to the 70s. The accessories are inspiration for how to make the dress more current (although seriously, they could be from the disco decade too.) 

I can't wait to post pictures of the dress next week. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get Your Garden On

I often complain about the oddities of our 100 + years rental home in the city, when really I should count myself fortunate that we have a wonderful yard, treehouse included, for our kids to play in. Part of our rental agreement is that we help maintain the grounds and we are discovering that outdoor work is a joy (to some people, I know many who loathe gardening).  Last year I concentrated on creating raised vegetable beds to grow our very own "farm" to table produce. 

Some results from last year's garden.

To help me out on my foray into the land of vegetables was my dear neighbour J, who as I mentioned earlier this year passed away from a quick spreading cancer. J was very kind at pointing out my mistakes, my number one error; planting too earlier. My number two error; planting too much. This year I plan to take the lessons I learned from J and grow the best urban garden. Ever.  But let's be honest, I'm still a novice and without J watching over my shoulder, my cucumbers may grow into pumpkins again. 

Thankfully I was sent a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Small-Space Gardening by Master Gardener (yes, that is an actual title), Chris McLaughlin, and after reviewing the book, I'm full of renewed hope that my garden might produce an abundant harvest. Here are a few of the tips I found most helpful:

Succession Planting - McLaughlin suggests planting the first row of seeds and then simply plant the second row a couple weeks later for a continuous harvest. Duh. It seems obvious but we didn't do this last summer and all our greens matured at once. The flowers were pretty but our plates were empty by August.

Cool-Season vs. Warm-Season Vegetables - Get this, some vegetables grow better in the spring and fall, some grow better when temperatures are consistently warm. Note to self: Don't plant tomatoes in April. The key is to also know what zone you live in, for identifying the cool and warm season. Living in Vancouver I'm a Zone 7-8er. 

Use Your Space -  There are so many flowers, vegetables and herbs that can thrive in small spaces. I've been mapping out every nook and cranny of our yard this year so that we have plenty of plant variety without the overcrowding. 

These tips are a tiny portion of the wealth of information The Complete Idiot's Guide To Small-Space Gardening contains. McLaughlin uses her expert knowledge to create fun projects for even the most inexperienced gardener. 

Let the adventure begin!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gift Guide: The Tech Savy Mom

The Tech Savy Mom

1. Invisible USB sticks. Gorgeous, sleek, functional. 
2. Refusing to eat your mom's flax seed smoothies? Gift her this stick blender for the perfect, individual smoothie. 
3. Who cares if mom actually need glasses!? These frames are chic! 
4. Every mom should have sparkly nails while she plugs away on her laptop.
5. Some vibrant arm candy will keep your mom awake during boring business meetings.
6. I think mommy would enjoy a Macro Lens Phone Band for taking pictures of the kiddies.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Every week my family hosts a group of guys and gals from our church for a time of discussing the Sunday message and giving us an opportunity to take care of one another in a small group setting. It's pretty important to meet like this when you have a church of close to 1000 people. How else would you get to know anyone!? I love this group. They are family. Each one has an amazing story, awes me with their generosity and has made me laugh until my tummy hurts. 

We're not hosting an Easter dinner this year but I thought it would be fun to get crafty and decorate our kitchen with Easter themed loving for our group. I got my hands very sticky making this threaded mobile of egg shaped orbs. Go here for a how to. They suggested making the orbs egg sized but I took that to mean ostrich sized eggs!

I also whipped up some fun coconut nest cupcakes which prompted my hubby to say, "Oh right, 'cause bunnies don't lay eggs." Yes, that is true. The idea is from here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and as I said last year, "May you mourn on Good Friday, reflect on Silent Saturday and celebrate on Resurrection Sunday!"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mad Hatter Tea Party

This weekend we celebrated my friend Nicole's 40th birthday with a Mad Hatter Tea Party. Ever since the Royal Wedding I've been wanting to sport a funky head piece and this was a great excuse to try one on for size. I loved my over the top bow although I only found it the morning of the party when I raided my neighbour's tickle trunk. This year I turn 30 and although theme parties are a hoot, I'm leaning more towards an intimate party at a favourite restaurant. But that's not until December...