June 30, 2011

Crescent Beach

We saw these awesome guys driving down the beach, completely dedicated to emulating the blues brothers. I found their site online, for their upcoming gigs, click here




yesterday's 365 photo

Don't you just love breakfast food for dinner once in awhile? Last night I had the overwhelming craving for French toast and fruit salad. De-lish. I didn't have a chance to post the photo last night because I saw this hilarious, and I mean HILARIOUS flick: 


June 28, 2011

June 27, 2011

a little pregnancy aha moment

At 16 weeks pregnant, the baby is pear sized, just like momma's shape! While at prenatal yoga on Sunday, I had one of those little aha moments. It's funny how during pregnancy, I've been staying away from alcohol and coffee, I've been getting a lot of rest, and have been doing a lot of walking and yoga. I've been actively choosing not to let things stress me out. Why is it that when there's a baby inside, I take better care of myself? Why don't we treat our bodies this well all of the time? I just have to remember that after this child is born, I should give my body and myself this same form of love. Everyday I seem to learn something new from this baby. 

catching up on my 365


June 26, 2011

Hawaii - exploring the Big Island


Aloha friends! I hope you've had an amazing week! We've just returned from a wonderful getaway to the Big Island. At 4028 square miles, it is the largest of all of the Hawaiin islands combined. To give you scope, Maui, the second largest Hawaiin island, is 727 square miles. Oahu, the most populated Hawaiin island is 596 square miles. So you get the idea, it is definitely the Big Island. We absolutely loved it. It is so laid back and isn't full of tourists. The beaches were virtually empty compared to other tropical destinations. It is so unique and diverse in its landscape. We drove one afternoon for three hours and travelled through lava fields, desert and lush rainforest. There's just so much to see and explore. We rented a cottage on the back of a family's beautiful property (2nd photo above). (I highly recommend using the VRBO website to look for vacation rentals). It was a gorgeous studio-style home set up with a kitchen and bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers and wonderful screened sliding door walls that fully opened up the cottage. There was no TV and at night, we'd open the doors so the walls were just screened and listen to the birds as we fell asleep with the nice tropic breeze drifting in. I don't think I've ever slept so well. I couldn't recommend this way of travel enough. We had a pool to ourselves! It felt like upscale camping, just listening to nature and unplugging from tv, cell phones, etc. The family gave us some great tips of places to check out. We'd pack up the jeep each morning with our cooler full of sandwiches, drinks and fresh fruit, grab the snorkel gear and beach towels that the family provided for us, and pick a new route to explore. We'd leave the house around 9 a.m and wouldn't get back until 6 or 7 at night, then change and hit the town for dinner. I say "hit the town" but being pregnant, it was more like, "hit the rounds of ice tea." The town of Kona has a great promenade full of a variety of restaurants and shops. 
The snorkelling on the island is outstanding and each day we saw a huge variety of vibrantly coloured fish and had the pure joy of swimming with sea turtles on a daily basis. The coral reefs are spectacular  - I was just in as much awe of their beauty as I was of the fish that lived among them. When we first arrived on the island, I literally had to run off the plane to the nearest washroom and vomit with nausea. Aloha! I was nervous that I was travelling too soon into my pregnancy and was going to be stuck vacationing near an assortment of Hawaiin toilet bowls. But, after that first travel day, I didn't feel nauseous again. I honestly think the mix of sun and hours of swimming each day were the perfect cure. Of course now that I'm home, I've been sick each morning. I'm hoping I can find a doctor willing to write me a prescription: Must return to Hawaii - STAT! 

Here are a few more photos from our trip. This is probably the least amount of photos I've ever taken on a trip, but we spent most of our days swimming and I didn't want to leave my camera (ie - only thing I own worth any $$) - on a beach or in a parking lot. 

If you find yourself going to the Big Island anytime soon, here are a few of our favourite finds:

Best Beach: Mauna Kea - amazing snorkelling, white soft sand, turquoise water, banyan trees to provide shade - the only hitch - you have to get there early(before 9:30am), they only give out 40 parking passes to the public. We felt like we won the beach lottery each time we were handed the coveted pass.

Best Park: Volcano National Park -  spectacular hiking, lava tube caves, natural steam vents, smoking volcano - we spent 6 hours there but could have easily spent more. A lot of people spread this out over a few days and book a night at a hotel or b&b in the volcano village. It takes approx 2 1/2 hours to drive to the park from Kona.

Best Mexican food: Big Island Brewhaus - Waimea. 

Best lunch spot: The Coffee Shack  - 15 minutes south of Kona - outstanding food and views. 

Best snorkelling spot: Pu'uhonua O Honaunau: There's a little access road just before the entrance to the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau park (you don't have to enter the park). We've heard the best snorkelling on the island is at Kealakekua Bay, but this is only accessible by a chartered boat. And knowing my propensity to nausea, I didn't want to book a boat ride. Pu'uhonua is supposed to be the next best thing. We were blown away by the beauty of this reef.

June 14, 2011

The Graduate

I am definitely a proud aunt. My beautiful niece Kelsey graduated tonight. It amazes me to think that my hubby's younger sister (photographed above) has a child graduating and we are just starting our family. I've had the privilege of knowing Kelsey since she was a baby. It's amazing for me to think she was once this little girl playing in the leaves of our back yard and now she's holding her diploma ready to conquer the world. I definitely had some tears watching her walk down the aisle. She's an incredible girl with such a down to earth, positive attitude - I know she can do whatever she puts her mind to. We bought her a suitcase for graduation - hoping she carries it with her through many adventures ahead as she takes this giant step out into the world.



June 13, 2011

cooper


Tonight was a depressing game. The Canucks lost 5-2 and are forced into game 7 of the playoffs, thankfully on home ice. I am pretty sure the baby heard some wild swear words tonight. So, kicking playoff emotions to the curb, I thought I'd take a photo of something that always makes me smile - my cat. She has been my furry little sidekick for 13 years and I love every fibre of her being.

June 12, 2011

yard work

There is extreme satisfaction sitting in the back yard after you've worked hard tidying it up. 

Ari & Jen

I had the privilege of going to Jen & Ari Pardalis' wedding this weekend at Swan-e-set country club. I didn't know either of them, my husband had worked with Jen years ago, but as soon as I met them, I adored them. They are such warm and endearing people.  It was the first Greek wedding I have ever attended. I absolutely loved it. The sense of family and tradition were so apparent throughout. The Greek music and dancing was spectacular. There were even some dance-offs between young and old. I loved watching the dance they do around shot glasses (pictured above) - it is incredible to see. They dance until they are able to crouch down and pick up the shot glasses with their mouths- men and women, young and old participated.  I was also so impressed by all of their incredibly well-thought out details at the wedding. There was a candy station with goody bags that you could fill up to take with you. There were flip-flops for the women to dance in when their feet got too tired from their heels.  There was a photo station for guests to take group photos, complete with props if they so choose. The women's washroom had every emergency supply you could think of, including gum, tide pens, hairspray and deodorant. The buffet had dishes for lovers of chicken, fish, beef or vegetarians. The open bar made any drink you wanted - even my standing order for Shirley Temples. It was just an incredibly well thought out wedding. At night, after dessert was done, they even cooked french fries for late night snackers. 
My favourite part was Ari's speech. It moved me to tears. It was a love letter to his family and Jen. As the youngest of his large family, Ari spoke about how his sister took him everywhere when he was growing up. She looked out for him and mothered him as if he were her child. He told her children that they are so lucky to have her because she truly shines as a mother. I loved how Ari spoke about meeting Jen and how he couldn't wait for his family to meet her because he knew how incredibly special she was. They even played the video of when he proposed. It was a wonderful event that I was so thrilled to be a part of. 

June 11, 2011

Game Day!! Getting ready for Game 5 - Vancouver erupts

I got home late last night, so this photo is for yesterday's 365. The city was electric. I think that Vancouver had more hype behind it last night than I ever saw during the Olympics. This is definitely a hockey town. I'm so happy the Canucks were able to put away Game 5 with an intense 1-0 victory. Now the question is, can we defeat the Bruins on their ice? Stay tuned on Monday!
We are off to a Greek Wedding, so today's 365 photo will be published with Sunday's photo tomorrow.
Enjoy your weekend!!

June 9, 2011

fragments of light

I had a nauseous night in, snacking on a lot of ice cubes. There's something in the way the surface of the ice and our glass table reflects light that I just love. I hope you had a wonderful day. For my fellow Vancouverites, here's hoping the Canucks can put on a great game tomorrow night for the home crowd.

June 8, 2011

attack crows!


These are by no means technically great photos, but it is representative of the crazy evening we had. There was an injured crow in the back yard, and my hubby didn't want our dog or cat to get at it so he moved it to safety. But while rescuing the crow, he was repeatedly dive bombed by the crow's very protective posse of crows, I think the technical term is a "murder of crows", but this was definitely a bad ass posse. In the top photo you can see a crow swooping in from the right. Our dog thought it was all so exciting and was running around the yard afterwards trying to get them to dive bomb her. I think my hubby was hoping I'd play a more active role than sideline photographer. I have to say, it was impressive how the crows would assist in the feeding of their injured mate and were extremely protective. As soon as the crows saw that their mate was moved to safety, they gave my hubs some street cred and backed off. It was definitely more entertaining than tonight's Canucks game.

June 7, 2011

lemon sized baby

This week the baby is the size of a lemon (however, judging by this photo, my baby bump appears to be growing in my booty! The belly might contain a lemon sized baby, but that booty looks like a cantaloupe!  ) I find it so interesting to discover that this week the baby can squint, frown, suck their thumb and pee! The baby's kidneys are working and the liver is starting to make bile. We had an ultrasound today and got to see the arms and legs move around and even saw the baby move it's hands up to his/her face. It was so exciting. The photo that the doctor gave us is so detailed, it's really remarkable. You can even see the baby's brain and all of their vertebrae. The doctor took his time with us, explaining every detail during the ultrasound while we looked on the giant wall mounted flat screen tv. He even let us listen to the baby's heart. We were so overjoyed walking out of there - it makes us feel so bonded watching this little being develop. This whole experience really makes me marvel at the human body. Goodnight sweet friends! 


June 6, 2011

an evening stroll

The last photo reminds me of that song, "I always fear that, somebody's watching me." :)


June 5, 2011

digging in the dirt

Hi friends, I actually had a lot of photos today from around the garden, but alas the upload for blogger is taking about 20 minutes for each photo, and I'm too wiped out to wait. Today was all about connecting to the earth.  I had my first prenatal yoga class in the morning on an organic farm - it was amazing. It was great being in a room full of other women in various stages of pregnancy, sharing our experiences so far. We learned some wonderful poses that not only help during pregnancy, but they are also great go-to poses during childbirth.  
I love how the moves incorporated our babies, a lot of the moves involved holding our hands to our bellies while we held various poses - I really felt like I was bonding with my baby. The rest of the day I worked in the garden - planting new perennials and pulling out weeds. It's pretty funny, I thought I had all of these pretty little flowers growing in my garden, until my friends told me they were actually weeds taking over. 
I love the two toned leaves of the Hosta in the photo above. I could have titled this Hosta la vista baby, but let's face it, that would be cheesy and I am not an Arnold fan by any stretch. 
I hope you had a wonderful time outdoors in the sun! Goodnight sweet friends. 


June 4, 2011

sunshine and friends

Today was one of those amazing days. We finally got to feel the delicious warmth of the sun. Our friends brought their new little son Jacques over for a visit. He seems like an old soul. We instantly fell in love. We went out for brunch followed by a beautiful walk through Campbell Valley Park. The day was perfectly capped by dinner with friends and a 3-2 Canucks victory over the Boston Bruins. Two down, two to go!