Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sister Time, Two Birthdays, A Pedicure and A Christmas Party

So the title of today's post pretty much sums up this weekend, it was a busy one!  We are a couple of days away from leaving for our annual vacation to Hawaii and I am madly rushing about getting everything organized amidst some lovely celebrations and a little pampering time.

Friday afternoon Sydney and I headed out to my sister's house for a long overdue visit and to have a little Christmas gift exchange.  Liane made a beautiful lunch of quiche and salad and we sipped tea and chatted while snuggled by the fire and catching up.

It was great to be able to have the chance to pop our presents for her and her family under their Christmas tree and receive some beautiful things for ourselves in return.

Liane got me a gorgeous Hunter Green tote that I had been eyeing forever at Chapters along with a gorgeous orange knit scarf.

Sydney was spoiled as well with a very cool Hello Kitty microphone and an Aquadoodle mat.

Paul got a few things for himself as well, some coffee, honey and dress socks all of which will be put to good use!

We so enjoyed having some great Auntie time and even had the chance to see my nephew Kenan briefly after school and wish him a Happy Birthday, he's 14 years old this year, so hard to believe!

Saturday was a fun filled day as we had two birthday parties to attend.  The first was a joint party for Julia and Levi, two of Sydney's preschool classmates.  The entire preschool class was there and the kids had so much fun playing in the gym and enjoying the beautiful and yummy Thomas the Tank Engine cake!

We left that party and headed out to West Vancouver to Aaro's 4th, a fabulous pirate themed party.  Aaro's Mom Andrea always does such a great job planning her parties, right down to the last detail!  She hired an actor, The Purple Pirate, to come and do a show for the kids, very entertaining!

She even had a Mr. Tube Steak cart outside waiting to make hot dogs and smokies for all the kids.

We really enjoyed reconnecting with friends there that we hadn't seen in a really long time!

This morning Daddy and I dropped Sydney and I off at Pure Nail Bar in Kerrisdale and we snuggled up side by side on the couch to have pedicures done together before we leave for Hawaii on Tuesday.  It was so sweet to watch Syd sitting quietly watching the lady work on her toes!

We spent a couple of hours this afternoon at our friend Erin and Bea's house for their annual Christmas open house.  We were delighted to hear a group of carolers who came to the door to perform for us!  Sydney was pretty thrilled that Santa was there, half way through the caroling she whispered in my ear, "Santa sure looks different with glasses on!"

It was a fitting end to a weekend filled with great festivites and fun memories. 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Enjoying December

The past few days have been filled with all the things we love about December, fun and festive times with friends, gift exchanges, a skiff of snow and some new memories along the way.

We have just snapped out of a "cold" snap here in Vancouver where the temperatures dared to dip below zero.  (I apologize to my friends reading in the north, I know that -3 degrees is almost laughable but in Vancouver it makes headlines!)  We got snow a few days in a row, enough to blanket the backyard and for Sydney to enjoy making some footprints and digging in it at school with her friends.

Syd had her last swimming lesson of the season this week and as it turned out she was the only one in class so she enjoyed a private lesson with her new favourite instructor, Nick.  She loved that they had the multicoloured tower out for the last day and dived off of it with wild abandon several times!  She was thrilled to get a report card and ribbon as she's graduated from Starfish and will be in the Turtle level starting in the new year!

We met up with our friends Saskia and Myrtle and Tracy and Alexis at the Secret Garden Tea Company for lunch this week as well.  It was such a special time taking our girls out together.  We ordered them the Children's High Tea and they so enjoyed having their own little tier of treats to enjoy.

I love how beautiful their lunches are and that all of their salads have edible flowers in them!  Sydney wanted to take mine home!

Sydney and I spent a special evening at 4 Cats art studio this week making a winter family portrait.  The kids got to make each of their family members out of polymer clay and then paint a backdrop canvas to stick the clay figures onto.

The background was meant to be a snowy scene as evidenced by this example.

My little artiste thought otherwise and made a rainbow background to stick herself, me and Daddy onto.  I love the finished product!

This afternoon we had yet another magical playdate with Liz, Kaitlyn and baby Luke.  I brought the girls gingerbread houses to decorate and they had such fun using the icing as glue and covering their houses with candy....well with the candy that didn't manage to find it's way into their mouths!  I love how Sydney, by sheer instinct, used all the little candies to make strings of lights on the roof of her house!

Lori and I spent yet another sleepless night baking Christmas treats to share with our friends and assembled and delivered the tins this morning.  I was so touched at how much everyone loved the treats!

We have gotten some beautiful, thoughtful gifts from friends over the past few days.

Saskia and Myrtle gave us a lovely tin of tea and a gorgeous leather bound notebook along with some Hatley socks for Sydney.

Tracy and Alexis got us a beautiful tube of french macaroons from Thierry, they are divine!

Paul came home from the office with a beautiful gift basket as well filled with treats, it's so pretty I almost don't want to open it!

And then just tonight my friend Michelle left a little parcel on our front porch with something for Syd and a little something for me, a beautiful kitchen tea towel and some wine jelly.

I simply love giving and getting little thoughtful gifts from our friends and family this time of year.  It's a little extra joy to an already wonderful season!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Mom's Weekend Away

I have just returned home from three days away spent in Suncadia at my friend Christina's lovely vacation home with my dear Mom friends.  This trip was significant in so many ways, it was my first time ever away from Sydney overnight, my first trip away with my beloved group of Moms and a much needed chance to relax and recharge my battery!

We left early Friday morning after dropping Sydney at school for the day and drove straight to the Seattle Premium Outlets for a little shopping to start the day off.  I have had a lot of pent up shopping energy for the outlets in the past few years so I hit them hard coming away with a bag stuffed with goodies from Coach, a Kate Spade handbag, Le Crueset dutch oven, Michael Kors clothes and various other goodies.  I literally could hardly carry all of my bags back to the car!

From there we headed to Bellevue Square for a quick peek then on to Issaquah to Trader Joe's and Target.

Our car was packed to the gills with our purchases, it was awesome!

We arrived at Suncadia around dinner time and settled in while Christina made us a gorgeous dinner of risotto and salad which we enjoyed with a few bottles of wine.

We sat up late that night chatting and setting up a beautiful fifteen foot Christmas tree in Christina's front living room.

It was so strange waking up the next morning to a perfectly quiet house.  We lounged around in our pajamas until well after noon after enjoying the most delicious homemade pizza that Sally made.  We then headed to the Glade Springs Spa for a delightful afternoon of massages, salt water soaks and relaxing in their sanctuary.  It was pure bliss!

We literally floated out of the spa to arrive back home to meet our friend Erin who was only able to join us for one night away.

We munched on appies and drank some wine and enjoyed a visit before heading to the Stillwater Creek Winery for an amazing dinner together.

Sunday brought us an early morning soak in the hot tub before we packed our bags up and drove back to the city.  I felt like a new woman!  What a difference a short break can make!

It was such a joy to return home to Paul and Syd.  They did very well on their own, Sydney was a very good girl for Daddy and he managed to keep her busy enough to keep her mind off the fact that Mommy wasn't around.

I brought Sydney a very special present from the Disney outlet store, a 'Brave' doll and nightie.  She was over the moon!

Today we enjoyed a very special Christmas luncheon hosted by Sarah and Emma along with our friends Mel and Logan and Louise and Sophie.

Sarah had her house decorated so beautifully and even had Christmas crackers out for each of us.  It was so lovely!

We enjoyed a fantastic visit together and the kids did a little gift exchange.  Syd got a pair of sparkly slippers from Emma and a beautiful beaded bracelet from Sophie.

It has been a lovely few days of connecting with my friends in a warm and festive way.