Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spring Flowers

I absolutely adore spring in Vancouver.  It is such a pretty place to live when the sun is shining, the flowers are all out in bloom and every other street is lined with trees laden with cherry blossoms.

Our garden is looking great, things are starting to bloom and grow.  Sydney, Paul and I are taking such pleasure in watching everything come back again this season.

I always mark the start of spring with when my lilac bush starts to bloom.

It has some buds but no flowers yet, we are a couple of weeks out.  It should bloom right on time around Mother's Day, just as planned.

My neighbor's bush on the other hand has a significant head start on mine.

I am already dreaming about planting our annuals in a couple week's time, a sure sign that summer is well on it's way!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Social Weekend

I love being social.  For those of you who know me well, this comes as no surprise.  I love connecting with people and am not one to miss a party.  Sometimes this makes for a tight social calender and this weekend was one of those times, it felt like we went from one event to the next but it was well worth it! 

On Saturday afternoon I met up with my friends Georgina and Krista for a lovely lunch together at Senova Restaurant.  Senova is such a quaint, lovely neighborhood place with amazing food and we so enjoyed having a special lunch together.  We hadn't seen each other since last summer when we co-hosted a 'Meet the Baby' party for our friends Janice and Brent and their new baby Josie. It was so fun to catch up and such a nice way to spend an afternoon!

Later during the day on Saturday we headed to my friend Louise's house for her Second Half of Life celebration.  Almost a year ago, Louise was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  She has had an incredibly difficult year filled with chemotherapy, radical surgery and radiation therapy and is finally through the thick of her treatment and ready to celebrate the next forty healthy years of her life!

The party was so fun, Louise had buckets of fun hats, glasses, scarves and wigs for everyone to wear just for fun because, in her own words, "Life is too short to take it so seriously, let's have a little fun!" 

The kids had a great time playing in the yard and breaking open a handmade pinata that someone made for the occasion! 

I love Louise so much.  Her joy and strength of character have always been an inspiration to me and no more so than in the past year watching her face the brutality of cancer with such grace and dignity and always a smile on her face and a song in her heart!

This afternoon we were invited to our friend Mike and Sarah's house for Sunday brunch.  I offered to bring dessert so I woke up early this morning and made a homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  It was a new recipe and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but it was delicious in the end.  Got a 'thumbs-up' from kids and adults alike!

I love how comfortable Sydney is at Emma's house, at one point during lunch we turned around to find Syd sitting in a chair in the living room eating ice cream directly out of the container...she and Emma had gotten into the freezer and helped themselves, it was too funny!

Sarah made a delicious lunch for us and we had a great visit together.  It was a great way to top off our weekend!

Hope you had the best weekend too!

Friday, 26 April 2013

A Little Matisse

I just returned from an evening spent getting in touch with my inner artist at the 4 Cats in Kerrisdale.  I signed up to take an adult painting course tonight with a few other ladies and created a canvas inspired by Henri Matisse.

The two hours we had for class just zipped by!  I got a good start on my canvas and am looking forward to finishing it off early next week while Syd's at school.

It feels so great to be getting out and doing a few things for myself this week!  Sydney is so excited for me to bring my canvas home so that we can find somewhere to hang it, maybe next to hers!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring Has Sprung

We have had the most spectacular few days here in Vancouver, it has literally felt like summer with a stretch of beautiful, warm, sunny days.  The past couple of days have sped by as we've tried to fill every moment we can with being outdoors and enjoying the sun!

I finally got around to blowing up Sydney's bouncy castle for the first time this week.  Man, did she love it!

She filled the inside with the bag of 100 balls that I got to go along with it and had such fun tossing them through the hoop on the inside and then sliding down the slide to get out.

Then she decided that it would be a good idea to fill her little swimming pool with the balls and go for a little dip with them.

I seriously can't wait for summer!  What a fun afternoon in the backyard that was!

Sydney and I took some time to compile a photo album to send off to my Dad for his birthday which is coming up next week.  I so rarely get pictures printed these days, with digital photography and all.  It was so nice to actually have printed pictures and get them together in an album.

Yesterday morning while Sydney was at school I was rushing about frantically trying to squeeze in some exercise, do a Costco run, and get a few errands done.  I managed to stop for a quick, yet very serene, bite at the Butter bakery for lunch on my way back to school to get Syd.

I just love the bright and airy space here and the food and treats are so delicious!

While I was in the neighborhood I quickly stopped my Macgillycuddy's to check out what they had and got a couple of cute things for Sydney:

She just loves this high chair for her babies, it is so cute seeing her put the babes in and pretend to feed them!

Just had to have this ladybug dress, it's a tad big at the moment but she was still so excited to have it!

This afternoon we met up with our friends Sarah and Emma and Eva and Collette in Steveston Village to play and enjoy the sun.

The girls had a great time playing at the playground at the Steveston Community Centre and then we walked to the pier and had ice cream and watched the boats.  What a perfect spring day!

I met up with my friend Mel this morning for tea and she gave me a bag of her very famous granola.  She makes this granola from scratch and has just launched a business selling it.  It is delicious! 

We have so enjoyed a wonderful spring week in Vancouver! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Old Dog, New Tricks

Back in January Sydney started taking piano lessons from a very sweet lady who teaches piano and lives up the street from us.  She is doing really well with it, seems to have taken to it very naturally and is learning slowly and surely what she is meant to do.

I have always wanted to learn to play the piano, but figured I was likely too old to even bother to learn, until one day I got to chatting with Maureen, Syd's piano teacher, who told me that she has students of all ages, the oldest one being 70 years old!  She said if I was keen, she'd be happy to take me on as a student.

So this morning I had my first official piano lesson.

It was great.  I actually really loved it.  I learned so much in the hour that I spent with Maureen and was playing three simple songs by the end of my time there.  It was very cool!

I love stretching my brain and learning something new and am excited to continue going to lessons and learning alongside Sydney!

Seems you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Settling Back In

The past few days have been all about settling back into life as we know it after returning home from our wonderful Hawaiian vacation.

Everyone keeps telling me that I look so relaxed and tanned, it's nice.  I'm still feeling a lot of that holiday feeling, glad it's lingering!

Here's what the past few days have looked like around here:


While we were away the seeds that we planted, as if by magic, decided to sprout.  Sydney was so thrilled to find that they had grown.  I can't wait to plant them outdoors next month so that Syd can have her own little garden to tend to!


Sydney's buddy Leo brought her home a very special little gift from Las Vegas where he and his family were recently vacationing.  Sydney now has her very own personalized licence plate for her bike!

Last night I discovered a little package for Sydney on our front porch, a gift bag from William and Kaitlyn's Gruffalo party that we missed while we were away.

Inside were the most amazing treats which all carried the theme so well!

We especially loved the hand made flashcard matching game and this beautifully painted personalized canvas for Syd!


Sydney brought home two lovely plates from school the other day that she made.  I love looking at them alongside the one she made last year and seeing how much her art has grown!


This past weekend brought two very special birthday celebrations.  Sydney's friend Leo from preschool has the sweetest little sister, Tessa, who just turned two.  We were invited to join in the celebration of her party, it was a blast!

Sydney's friend Ollie also had his 3rd birthday this weekend so Sydney, Daddy and I enjoyed a visit with our neighborhood friends while the kids had a ball bouncing in Ollie's new bouncy castle and decorating cookies.

Ollie's cake was the most awesome looking Thomas the Tank Engine!

I love the #3 cookies that he had too!

Sydney came home with a loot bag filled with fun things too, she was very pleased!


Saturday evening I hosted a long awaited dinner party for our friends Ryan and Christina and Lori and Marcus and their families.   I made both traditional and vegetarian lasagne and we had a lovely meal and visit together.

Marcus brought us a special magnum of Italian wine from his cellar for the occasion!

And Christina brought the yummiest dessert, a praline cake for the adults and rainbow cupcakes for the kids, so fun!

We had the best visit together and the kids so enjoyed playing together too!


I hit up The Gap the other day while Syd was at preschool and got a bunch of fun summer things for Sydney.  I am so in the mood to buy summer clothes after spending a week in the sun!

Today I headed to the brand new Marshalls on Marine Drive to check it out.  It was fun wandering around checking out all of the fun discount things that they have!

I love how their changing rooms have hooks that say "Definitely" and "Possibly".  I always have two piles when I'm trying things on and this made it easier to sort everything out!

I left with a couple of things for myself and the cutest tiny dancer costume for Syd.

She loved it so much, she actually squealed when she saw it!


Syd's art file was bulging at school, check out some of her latest creations!

It is good to be back at home and into the swing of normal life again.  It sure feels like spring here, check out our street lined with the most amazing pink cherry blossoms, love it!

Happy Monday!