Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween 2014

This time of year remains one of my favourites, it is one celebration after another between Halloween and Sydney's birthday. 

Today was such a fun day for Syd.  Her class had a Halloween party at school so she went to school dressed in costume.  She has been asking me for months if she could be Elsa, the princess from the Frozen movie, for Halloween.  Seems she wasn't the only one with this idea as there were six girls in her class today dressed up as Elsa.  So after some thought Sydney decided that she would come dressed as a garden fairy instead.

The girls bobbed for apples, carved pumpkins, made potions and had treats and snacks.  It was a day to remember!

We headed straight from school to our friend Lori and Marcus' house for our annual Dunbar families Halloween party. 

Sydney and Kaitlyn were twin Elsa's, I loved watching them play with their costumes together.

After dinner and a play time together we all headed out to do some trick or treating in the neighborhood.  It was such fun!

Syd took great pleasure in sorting out all of her candy when she got home.

We left the party with a loot bag filled with fun Halloween things, Sydney loved it!

Late tonight the Candy Fairy paid a little visit to our home and magically took Sydney's Halloween candy in exchange for a brand new Elsa doll to accompany the Anna doll that Zach and Danielle brought her tonight as an early birthday gift.

Yesterday Syd was off of school as her teachers were conducting parent teacher interviews.  Paul and I so enjoyed having the chance to meet with the teachers and hear about how well Sydney has adjusted to life in Kindergarten.

Syd and I spent an amazing day together:

Baked her birthday cake

Iced the sugar cookies for her Frozen themed birthday party.

Watched the new episode of her favourite '19 Kids and Counting' over breakfast

 Tried on some Halloween costumes

Got our candy bowl ready for the big day

 Had side by side pedicures mid-morning

Followed by lunch at the Thai House

And a beautiful dinner preparation by Sydney. She told me she wanted it to look "just like Master Chef."  Mission accomplished!

It's been a fun couple of days.  So looking forward to Syd's birthday on Sunday and enjoying her party together with friends and family!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Working Girl

These past few weeks and months have brought about an entirely new experience for me, that of being a full time working Mom.  When Sydney was born, I was blessed to be able to give my job up and stay home with her full time, I never did take that time for granted although I have to admit that I didn't always love being at home all the time.  I missed working, having colleagues, going to business meetings, wearing a suit and carrying a proper handbag.  Many, many times I wished I could have both.  As the old saying goes, careful what you wish for....

I have been working full days at Paul's office since the beginning of September when his receptionist went back to school.  It has been hard, a juggle between trying to be a good Mom to Sydney and keep up with all the responsibilities at home and that I've taken on with her school and trying to be there for Paul at at time when he desperately needs my help.  I am burning the candle at both ends and in awe of Moms who do this every day of their lives.

To add to the fun we are in full on Halloween and birthday party planning mode with both Sydney's birthday and Halloween falling within two days of each other.  Never a dull moment around here these days!

Sydney has settled so beautifully into school.  It has quickly become like home to her and I am amazed at how quickly she is absorbing new things.  Almost every day she comes home singing a new song in French, amazing seeing just seven short weeks ago she didn't speak a word of the language!

Syd had a Pro-D day this past Friday so I took advantage of the fact that we had a full day to spend together and we headed to the states to shop for the day.

Oh the comfort of strolling through the aisles of Target and Trader Joe's with your best girl when you feel like your world is spinning out of control!

We had lunch at Red Robin, at Sydney's request, and then found a park to play at for a while in the afternoon.  It was a beautiful spot, Elizabeth Park, complete with a playground, beautiful trees and a gazebo.

I treasure these days with Syd so much now that they are few and far between!

This past Saturday we headed up to Dunbar to join in the trick or treating in the village.  Sydney was thrilled to try out her Elsa costume for the first time and happily gathered candy at each business despite the torrential downpour.

She came home like a drown rat and sorted out all of her candy by type, it was pretty funny!

We are so looking forward to Halloween day, Sydney has a party in class followed by a party at Lori and Marcus' house and trick or treating with our Dunbar friends.  Such fun!

This past weekend Syd also had the pleasure of joining the girls in her class for a birthday party for Leah, one of her classmates, at 4 Cats on Main Street.

The girls had such fun making a Sculpey princess and then sharing treats and cake together.  The first of many celebrations this year I'm sure!

Speaking of birthdays, last Wednesday was a special day for me as it would have been my Grandma's 102nd birthday.  Each year I try and do something meaningful to mark my Grandma's birthday and this year I found something while shopping that reminded me of her and how she took the ordinary and made it extraordinary.

This is a bottle of Welch's white grape juice.  It cost about three dollars to buy.  My Grandma loved this juice but would only treat herself to it about once or twice a year and even then drink only an ounce at a time, savouring every sip as though she was drinking nectar from heaven above.

I remember being a child and sharing a wee glass of this precious juice with my Grandma and feeling so priviledged to be given some.  It still makes me smile to think of how she took something so ordinary and made it so special.

So on her birthday I poured myself an ounce in a pretty cup and toasted my Grandma, who she was, how much she impacted me and how grateful I am for her influence in my life.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Weekend Shuffle

Sydney and I barely let our feet touch the ground yesterday with a Saturday filled with fun!  We left the house early this morning to hit up a swap meet at one of my favourite locations, West Point Grey Community Centre.

We do, of course, never leave empty handed and today was no exception.  Sydney's favourite find of the day was this V-Tech globe that tells you all sorts of interesting trivia about the world, she hasn't stopped playing with it since we got it!

We got some other great things too, magnetics blocks, Strawberry Shortcake game, Playmobil boat and some books.  Not a bad haul!

We left the swap meet and headed to Granville Island to the Kids Market Adventure Zone to celebrate Sydney's friend Myrtle's 5th birthday party.

Myrtle was dressed like her favourite princess, Elsa and was beyond thrilled when the real live princess arrived at her party.

Sydney was super thrilled to get her picture with her too.

The kids had a great time visiting and playing and enjoying Elsa and some great treats and lunch.

We left Granville Island and went to Southlands Farm where we met up with Sydney's cousin Tybie, her husband Luca and their baby Avior for a little pumpkin patch time.

It was so cute to see the kids together in the pumpkin patch!

Tybie and her family gave me the most beautiful rose gold necklace as a belated birthday gift.  I absolutely love it!

We took a bunch of photos of them before Syd had her riding lesson on an old favourite, Magic. 

After riding we headed to Sydney's school friend Izzie's house for a playdate, our first playdate of the school year with a new friend!

The girls played so nicely together and Izzie's Mom Seema and I had such a lovely visit and tea together.  It was the perfect end to a busy day, a very relaxed and fun time together with our girls.

What a full and fun day we had!  I love a day spent together with my girl making fun memories and connecting with friends.

Monday, 13 October 2014


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie

We just returned home from a lovely Thanksgiving weekend away at Whistler together.  We almost pulled the plug on our time away, the forecast was looking pitiful and Paul and Sydney were both sniffling away with colds, but I so desperately needed a change of scenery and a few days R&R that we jumped in the car and headed up for what ended up being a fantastic weekend away.

I was dying for a turkey dinner, a real turkey dinner complete with all the fixings, so we headed to the Wildflower restaurant at the Fairmont Chateau for the most delicious Thanksgiving meal, made all the better by the fact that I didn't have to cook a thing!  It was the highlight of our weekend!

We went for walks, did a little shopping, ate some good meals, watched hockey, played games and relaxed in front of the fire before snuggling up to bed early enough to get what felt like a sleep in.  Loveliness.

The village was so beautiful with leaves changing colour all around.

Sydney collected a leaf bouquet for our hotel.

We loved all of the great fall fare for sale at the Whistler Farmer's Market too.

Sydney went swimming about a dozen times over three days, she simply could not get enough of the pool and hot tub!

Sydney told me this afternoon that she wanted to make a list of things that she was grateful for.  Here's her list, made all by herself without any prompting from me:

1.  Family
2.  Friends
3.  Birthdays
4.  Baking
5.  Grocery Shopping
6.  Flowers
7.  Painting
8.  Exercises
9.  Cleaning
10. School
11. Making Dinner

She asked me to title it her "Thanksgiving Day Thankful List".  I'm thinking a new, wonderful Thanksgiving tradition has been born.

I too have many things to be thankful for today, here's a few from this past week:

Thanksgiving Card

Sydney came home from school this week with the most adorable Thanksgiving card for Paul and I.  She had made a turkey with her handprint and inside was the sweetest poem.  Loved it!

Dinner with Sarah

Sarah and I again celebrated our birthdays together this year and went for the most amazing dinner at Oakwood restaurant last week.

Sarah gave me the most beautiful silver earrings from Folli Follie, I absolutely love them!

So grateful for our friendship and celebrating together every year!


Sydney's passion for painting at home has taken a resurgence again after the back to school lull.  She made three beautiful canvases the other day and continues to come home with some gorgeous paintings too.

Parcel from Brandie

I got a very special parcel in the mail this week from Brandie for my birthday, a gorgeous scarf and a list diary with the most beautiful letter tucked inside.  Brandie is my most long standing and dearest friend, she is so thoughtful in every way. 

New Parents Dinner

Last week Sydney's school put on a beautiful dinner to welcome new parents to the school.  My fellow Mom and new friend Kim and I went together while our husband's put the kids to bed and had a lovely time of visiting with other parents and hearing from many important people at the school.

I had the good fortune of sitting next to one of Sydney's teachers and chatted with her for most of the night.  I left feeling like I had made a new friend. 

We all came home with a DVD of a home movie that they had filmed of all of the new students during the first couple of weeks of school.  Just loved the shot of Syd and her teacher snuggled up together working on something smiling and happy.  Such a relief to my heart to know that she is happy in her environment.

My Girl

Just love this shot of Sydney snuggled up doing a sketch on her favourite chaise lounge couch in the hotel this weekend overlooking the fire station.  Dreamy! 

Happy Thanksgiving!