May 31, 2012

the easiest audience ever

Nothing like a five month old to make you feel like some kind of comic genius. 
*You need an adobe flash player to see the video.

bits and bites

Oh hi friends!
I thought I'd share a few things from around the web...
Have you seen these hilarious trailers for Anchorman 2 or the new Seth Macfarlane film Ted? What about this clever video of Uncle Drew playing basketball?
Feeling potlucky? Tis the season. So far we've been to three potlucks this week. I personally love them: Potlucks take the pressure off the host, are affordable for everyone and people usually bring one of their best go-to dishes. Here are a few things I tried this week which I highly recommend:
delicious guacamole, easy scones (I did the orange-cranberry version in the recipe's footnote) or this perfect summer salad.
Yesterday I booked a little getaway on Expedia and used their Unpublished Rates to find a hotel (Search for a hotel as you normally would and then in your search results, you'll see a photo of a question mark in your listings). You get to choose a price/star rating and they tell you the hotel name after you book. I know this is how Priceline operates, but I've never used this service through Expedia before. It ended up being an amazing deal. We scored a 4.5 star hotel for $139 a night.  I was actually applauding when I saw the hotel's name pop up because I know it's a beaut that usually goes for a lot more. Yahtzee!
Yes, that's right, I am super cool.
Have a great day lovelies.

May 27, 2012

day by day

On May 18th, we lost our dear friend Zad. Whenever things are quiet, my thoughts always turn to him. When I'm driving, when I'm running, when I'm singing Stella to sleep, I think of our friend. I've never known such a polarity of emotions as I have been experiencing during this last week. On one hand, I've got this sweet daughter who stares up at me and makes my heart soar with elation like never before, but then I have these moments of deep despair over the shocking, senseless death of a genuine sweetheart. It's the finality of it all that scares the absolute shit out of me. He was 7 feet from making it to shore. Two more swimming strokes. He was laughing as he swam and then just suddenly slipped away. He deserved to make it. He was one of the good ones who really loved his life. Seven more feet wasn't too much to ask for. I am trying to learn everything I can from this. Savour your time. Be present. Spend your precious moments doing what you love with those you love. Don't complain. Don't judge. Don't stress out. Don't put your expectations on others. Don't put off your dreams for some random time down the road. We owe it to Zad to live big. We are still here. 

May 23, 2012

time marches on

Five months. Five months of kisses and hugs, I love you's and lullabies. I know she won't remember any of it, but I just hope she knows how much she is loved. 

May 21, 2012

gone too soon

Dear friends,
I am so sad to report that we lost one of the good ones this weekend. One of our beloved friends Glen Zadworny "Zad" drowned Friday night when a boat he was sharing with two of his friends overturned.  He was only 43. If you had the privilege of knowing him, then you understand the state of shock and grief we are in.  If you never had the opportunity to meet him, then I am sorry because you would have absolutely loved him. He had the sweetest, easygoing nature and was, without a doubt, the most positive man I knew. Zad and Zen were synonymous. He loved his wife, daughter, fishing, playing hockey and mountain biking with friends. He kept life simple, didn't have a bad word to say about anyone, didn't expect anything from anyone and was the happiest guy because of it. I had the honour of photographing his wedding only a short year and a half ago. His wife Kathy and daughter Jasmine meant the world to him. Our friends loved him whole heartedly. He had a smile and giant hug for everyone. Ironically, a large gathering of his friends were together at a barbecue on Saturday night when we got the terrible news. We grieved with one another and swapped funny Zad stories, laughing through our tears at some of his past antics. This is the second friend from our circle to die in less than five years from an accidental death. There is no warning, no preparation. It truly scares me to my core. It makes you realize how extremely fragile life is. It hangs by a thread. I had drinks with him two weeks ago, gave him a hug and got his usual "bye sweetie" back. And you take for granted that you will see him at the next get together. I take for granted every time I say goodbye to a friend that I will see them again. Hug your loved ones close today. Try as hard as you can to shake off all the little petty things that can blur your view of what is really important in life: family, friends and the love you share with them. Zad will forever live in our hearts but I sure will miss seeing him. xoxo

May 19, 2012

decked out for summer

Happy Weekend! In Canada we're celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend. Whoot whoot!
Have you got any fun plans lined up? We've got back-to-back barbecues with friends (tis the season!).
This afternoon I have a hair appointment. The word appointment is an understatement. I am pretty sure by the state of my overgrown hair it'll be more like a woman arming herself with a machete and hacking her way through it. I just hope she can rescue the precious exotic birds that have taken to nesting in my hair. Do you ever get that hopeful feeling the morning of a haircut? I always look at the stylist with a naive anticipation that they'll find just the right angle of cut and just the right mix of colour that somehow I will walk out looking like Natalie Portman. But alas, I have to remind myself that she is a stylist, not an illusionist. If you have longer hair, here are some great hair tutorials to try out. What trends are you digging this summer? What about adding some zip with this colour for your nails? Or splashing this colour on your lips? And I'm not sure if I've been influenced from my baby girl's variety of onesies lately, but I am on the hunt for a jumpsuit and a romper this summer. A lot of people don't like the all-in-one outfits. Bathroom visit challenging? Perhaps. Would you wear one? I would love to find something like this entire look. Do you enjoy the experience of shopping? I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan. I think it's being born into the indecisive sign of Libra: I find the big stores overwhelming for decision making and in boutique sized stores I feel a bit stalked by the salesclerks. They lurk outside the changeroom, "How's it going in there?" "Fine." I lie. Then, like one minute later, they are back, "Still going well?" Do they think we are superheros? I mean seriously, how fast do they think we are at changing outfits? Also, this post baby body is continuously morphing so shopping is on a hiatus for awhile. My goal is to rock something like this for a friend's wedding this summer. That being said, I'm off for a much needed run. Have a great weekend friends! xo

May 16, 2012

summer lovin

Hi lovely friends! We've been enjoying a beautiful sunny stretch of weather which has me excited about Summer. Here are the top ten things I am looking forward to the most - in random order:

1) Camping!

    2) Farmer's Markets

    3) Weekend getaways. Exploring new places.

    4) Beach time!

     5) Picnics with my loves.

     6) Delicious summer cocktails with friends. Patio season!

    7) Getting out on the water: Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddle Boarding....just getting out there 

    8) Sunsets

     9) Hiking

    10) Whistler in the Summer. My favourite! 

Bring it!

May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

For every night you haven't slept. Every meal you've made. Every load of laundry you've done. Every diaper changed. Every bandaid applied. Every hug. Every kiss. Every time you've carried them around no matter how tired you were. Every story you've read. Every lullaby you've sung. Every cheer. Every tear. Every time you've put yourself last. It isn't easy being a mom. But, when you look into their eyes, see their smile, feel their hand in yours, feel the depth of their hugs, it makes your heart soar like never before. You would do anything for them. And you do, day in, day out. I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your little ones. xoxo

May 9, 2012

Pender Island Boondoggle

It was my first time away from my baby girl. I wasn't sure how I'd do. She's been in my arms continuously for the last 4 1/2 months. There was one moment on the ferry when the Cat Power version of Sea of Love came on my Ipod and I had to quickly turn it off because I could feel myself welling up (that's the version of the song I sing to Stella nightly before bed). But other than that, I did really well. It's easy to kick back and have fun when you are in a gorgeous spot with group of fun loving women. And, after all, it was only one night away. If it had been two nights, I may not have been such a pillar of strength :) The girls had all arrived Friday night, so when I showed up Saturday morning, they had a delicious brunch waiting for me, including homemade waffles. (I love how these women roll!)
We hit the farmer's market, walked on the beach, had coffees on a sunny deck, had wine and appies on my friend's waterfront patio, made a delicious salmon barbecued dinner, played games, did (what at the wine induced time, felt like an award winning combo of) dancing and yoga moves. I am sure we pretty much did the same itinerary as any group of guys on a getaway ;). Sunday morning we were woken up by a pod of orcas swimming by the house, we had a buck visit us in the yard, hiked up Mt. Norman and capped off our weekend away with a tasty dinner at the newly reopened Hope Bay Cafe. 
One year ago I was at Pender Island with this same group of women where I told them I was newly pregnant (just six weeks along). I remember hiking Mt. Norman back then, standing alone in the woods and feeling so comforted that I wasn't truly alone at that moment,  that I had a little baby growing inside of me. I remember looking up at the trees, wishing with all my might that everything would go smoothly with the pregnancy. It felt pretty amazing to return to Pender one year later with the same group of women and do the same hike, but now knowing who it was I had growing within me at that time. I was so excited to see my little girl's smiling face Monday morning. I think it does mothers (and fathers) a world of good to have a time of renewal for themselves. I hope you had a great weekend!

May 4, 2012

catching up

Oh hi! It's been awhile since I have put pen to paper, or I guess, finger to keyboard. In April I took some time off from writing and participated in Fat Mum Slim's april photo a day challenge. She posts a photo challenge to her website every month. I highly recommend trying it. It's a great creative way to trigger your shutter finger. I was going to say it's a great way to get your creative juices flowing, but the phrase "juices flowing" sounds kind of gross, as if creativity is somehow running down your leg.
But I digress. 
How have you been?
Baby girl has just passed the four month mark and I have to say, I have finally found the formula that works for us. Aside from drinking copious amounts of coffee, I make sure each day has some sort of social activity(sanity!), fitness activity(highly necessary since I have misplaced my waistline somewhere, please let me know if you find it) and an outing. As much as I love my sweet little house, if I stare at it day in day out, all I do is notice everything wrong with aforementioned sweet little house, so getting out each day is essential. And after too much time at home, I start to chat a little too much to the baby, cat and dog and pause as if for a response (scary!). One of the best things we did is join a local group of new moms. We meet once a week for a planned outing. It's such a great way to bounce questions off one another, lean on each other for support and to get the kids (and moms) socializing. We also keep a facebook group page to toss questions to one another before our next meet up. Support is key for any new parent. Everyone has their own arsenal of adjustments to make. Some new parents suffer from sleep deprivation, breastfeeding issues, loneliness, relationship adjustments or just major lifestyle upheavals. The more you can lean on people and tap into your shared rewards and grievances, the easier it all becomes. 
That all being said, I'm getting out of town. I have been invited away this weekend with a group of friends. It feels entirely too soon to be apart from my little girl, but I know she's in good hands with her dad. I am only going for one night even though everyone else is going for two (baby steps!) and have already packed my photo album (to undoubtedly cry over at night). But I know some time quality time with friends will do me a world of good and I will come back refreshed (hungover?). I hope you have a great weekend!