February 28, 2013

delicious night out #got spanx?

A night at Tavola with the ladies. The food was amazing and our server brought the funny.
I always know when it's a night out with this crew that it's going to be full of delicious food, big laughs and great conversation. In all of these years, these meals together are always standouts.
xo signing off - two pounds heavier.

February 27, 2013

within ten minutes of this photo being taken, he is snoring......

We had about 4 1/2 hours sleep last night.
It's not as incredibly sexy as it sounds.
Little one's ear infection made for a rough sleep (perhaps the word sleep is too generous because it implies some kind of restful stretch of time). But we were parents with a capital P last night, giving every last ounce of our cohesive energy to our little girl. I am so grateful to have this lovely man by my side in this adventure. Stella hit the jackpot with her dad.

Today I was kept upright by the fine makers of coffee.
Thanks coffee, you're terrific!
goodnight sweet friends (fingers crossed!)

February 26, 2013

February 25, 2013

when our children get sick...

In all of my 1.2 years as a parent, I've realized that there is nothing harder (thus far) than when your little love is sick and you don't know what to do to help them. She was feverish on Friday, very lethargic and missing her spark (although she still had her appetite, that's my gal, a natural born foodie!) But by Saturday afternoon, it seemed like she had turned a corner and was perking up. My parents even offered to watch her so we could have a real bonafide night out. Then yesterday, she was really fussy and didn't want to be picked up, and when she attempted to walk, she was falling over like Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars.  Of course, lacking in resilience, I completely fell to pieces at the sight of my little one's disoriented behaviour. We whisked her off to the doctor and they said the wait time would take 20-25 minutes. So 45 minutes later, we asked if we were next and they said, due to other emergencies, we'd have to wait another 1.5-2 hours. There's no way she could last that long, so, completely discouraged, we brought her back home to sleep, with me cursing our medical system the whole way home. I was writing letters!  (I shouted to the universe). I know, in the scheme of the world, Canada's medical care is pretty amazing, but at the time, I was not (insert expletive) impressed. She didn't settle until after midnight and was up at 4 screaming and crying. I recall rocking her, trying to calm her down, and I'm pretty sure Craig was rocking me simultaneously,  trying to calm me down. As soon as the medical clinic opened this morning, I took her in and was relieved to find out that the rash on her body was just from her fever and that an ear infection was the reason as to why she was wobbling around like a drunken sailor. Craig gently broke the news to me that, alas, we will not have the world's first baby who avoids a lifetime of sickness, and that I'm going to have to endure this again. We always want to take away the pain for those we love, and sometimes we just can't. Curse you life lessons! I know I'll give a big sigh of relief when I hear her stomping around the house again soon. Goodnight loves. xo

February 24, 2013

February 22, 2013

catching some rays


*image from celebug.com

Do you ever get suckered drawn into a "reality" show? I don't mean the Discovery Channel, that is far too educational and far too real. I mean shows where Hummer-driving, designer wearing, champagne lunching, plastic surgeon frequenting women educate us on the harsh realities of being a housewife in North America. And don't forget the shows where men and women search high and low through a series of exotic dates to find real love, because they are far too hideous to have any luck dating in the real world. I mean, just look at them, poor little bachelors and bachelorettes. There is a sub-category of reality shows like Project Runway, the Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, but these are based on having actual talent, so I'm excluding them from this dialogue.
Earlier this week, my little girl went to bed at a decent time and the hubby had to work late, so I settled in with a cup of tea and turned on the TV. The Bachelor was on. I haven't watched it this season but had to laugh (and watch) at the drama unfolding before my eyes.
The Bachelor was doing his round of hometown visits (where he meets the family of the final four women he's narrowed his marriage search down to) and inevitably has a conversation with a parent that, just in case he chooses their daughter (who he's known for a solid month) for marriage, he has their blessing. "Well, Bachelor, Sean is it? Do you love my daughter?" "Well Sir/M'am, I can't say at this point because there are other women involved, but if I choose your daughter, can I count on your blessing?" I know, eerie because it's so realistic, right?
What made this particular episode so funny was that one of the bachelor's final four women (Des) had an outspoken brother who called the bachelor out for being a playboy and told Des that this isn't the way to find real love, that she will only get hurt. She cried and looked at him like he was the biggest asshole to walk the earth. (Doesn't he know that three couples of the 24 shows have had success?) He was portrayed as downright being crazy and a loose cannon.
The bachelor was incensed that his character was attacked. A playboy?!? How dare he!
Cut to next seen of bachelor clinking champagne glasses with final three women (Des wasn't picked and was left heartbroken). "You three women are the ones for me!" Sean was right, no playboy would ever utter such a phrase.
There's a few trends I've noticed on these reality shows:

  • At one point, in any given season, someone will utter the phrase: "She isn't on the show for the right reasons!" (You're absolutely right. How dare she use TV as a vessel to try and launch her acting career.)
  • "Coming Up, an episode EVERYONE will be talking about!" (I know most of our meetings at work start with reality show updates before we get down to business.)
  • There is always someone who is batshit crazy, who miraculously keeps evading being voted off until the final few episodes of a series.  They are always portrayed as being different off camera. (I'm sure the producers would never want to purposefully have drama on the show). 
  • People who despise one another are always kept in close quarters with plenty of free alcohol flowing. (I don't know about you, but I love hanging out with my mortal enemies.)
  • There will always be a "real housewife" who has a music career to launch. She will discover her lifelong dream to pursue singing when she is in her forties.
  • Tossed off bachelors/bachelorettes who openly weep in the long limo ride home, and say things with snot dripping down their faces like: "They'll regret that decision!" will most likely regret that footage when they see it.
  • If you find yourself on a televised Group Date with one man and nine other women, you should probably do some soul searching or become a mormon.
Happy Friday friends! 

February 21, 2013

scenes from the day...

Baby girl (looking pretty busted) tests gravity with contents of a box of cheerios. Winner: Our dog

Zucchini and Carrot baby friendly muffins for Stella's friends.

Adorable Emlyn
Sweet little Nyah
Eagerly waiting for me to bite into a slice of lemon......(I was teaching her about the fruit featured in her puzzle with real life examples)
Laughing her butt off after seeing my face

Our friends just left, the baby is asleep, the kettle is on, and I'm peacing out.  
Have a great night lovelies! 

February 20, 2013

a river runs through it

Hello friends! I am definitely going to try and write more tomorrow. I've missed writing more in depth lately. I hope your week is going well. I feel like I've been running on empty lately. Little miss hasn't been sleeping well and after three back-to-back challenging sleeps and five work shifts, I'm sufficiently depleted. I think I'm also PMSing - which, I believe, makes today the perfect storm. I even had a knee jerk reaction to someone's rudeness this afternoon, which just ended up embarrassing me. I don't get mad often so when I do, it feels so foreign that I actually tremble. Don't you hate it when you feel like you didn't sit and take a breath before you reacted? Anyways, it's no wonder my photo today is one of serenity. Obviously, I need it. Sweet dreams (fingers crossed!) xo

February 19, 2013

February 18, 2013

beyond a traffic jam - it was traffic marmalade

Dark and rainy day, hectic shift at work, traffic jammed up the wazoo, nothing prepped for dinner - you know what I'm talkin about. Monday. And then I pull up to my moms and my little girl waves and claps when she sees me and every last ounce of stress from my day just evaporated.
I can see why rock stars hang onto their careers for so long - it's pretty awesome to be met with applause when you walk into a room.
Here's to Tuesday!

February 17, 2013

our beautiful niece....

Kelsey on her 20th birthday. When Craig and I first started dating, she was just a baby. I get so sentimental about her- she has grown up to be such a cool and bright young woman.

February 16, 2013

ah, romance

We're out of the house for dinner and have actual beers in front of us - so it's a date, right? I mean, just look at it. I actually put on my skinny jeans and make up for this.

February 15, 2013

Happy Friday!

I love that this is my morning view - neighbourhood wildlife, my fearless protector and my love. I hope you had a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful sun. xo

February 14, 2013

Little Valentines

thoughts on love

Happy Valentine's Day! For those of you who think this is a cheesy Hallmark driven, flower price spiked, restaurants over-booked kind of holiday, I tend to agree.
But, no matter what you think about this day, it still has the power to make even the biggest cynic say, "Look, I'm not saying this to you because it's Valentine's Day, I'm just letting you know I love you."
It makes us, even if fleetingly, think about love.
I've been lucky enough to find love a few times in my life and from what I've gathered, it always starts out as a passionate, all consuming, "I'm going to drive this car as fast as it will allow me just to get to you" kind of way. There's an urgency and tangible chemistry to the beginning of all great love stories. It's what love songs, movies and romantic epic stories are based on. And some people need love to always feel that way - so they hop from relationship to relationship every year or two. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it - because we all know how amazing the beginning of any relationship can make us feel - I'd even paraphrase that song, "I'm walking on sunshine" if I didn't loathe it so much. And I'm here to report, those same people are also exhausted. If all we have is the initial stages, we'd seriously never get anything done. We'd be doing it all. the. freaking. time.
To find love that stretches beyond the initial stages, you have to have a solid foundation of compatibility - I know the word compatible isn't sexy at all -in fact it conjures up images of people walking in matching track suits. At the end of the day, if you want to go the distance, you have to ask yourself - is this the person who wants the same things from this adventure? Is this the person I have the most fun with? Is this the person who doesn't mind sharing hundreds upon hundreds of very ordinary days together and still wake up excited to see me? Is this the person who will be phenomenal to raise a family with? Is this the person who will help me up when I fall down? Is this the first person I want to call when something big or small happens? Is this the person I can get old with? Is this the person who won't run away the very first time we have a real problem? Is this the person I'd like to see the world with? Okay, I think you've probably passed out from exhaustion with all of these questions. There are a few things I know for sure about love: the loss of it can leave real scars on our hearts, even temporarily breaking them, the mutual admission of love is one of life's greatest moments, and when you really love someone, you always want what is best for them, even if what's best for them isn't you. We learn the most about ourselves through love. When we think of love, we think of our romantic pasts. But love is also those we choose to give our time to. Love is showing up. Love is knowing that I will do whatever it takes, even if I'm exhausted, to make sure my daughter is happy. Love is hanging in there for a friend, even when they lose their way because you know there is a lot more to them than their current condition and the investment is worth it. Love is what you feel for a parent when their superhero costume is no longer visible, because you also know that being a grown up isn't all that it's cracked up to be sometimes. Love is looking out for yourself, even if the road you choose isn't a popular one, but it's the right one for you. I will leave you with this little clip, which I believe is the truest depiction of love in film. xoxo sweet valentines. I hope you shared your time with someone special to you.

February 13, 2013

winding down

Tonight it was just her and I. We danced, we dined, we played, bathed and read. We watched a little sesame street and I teared up a bit when big bird was rejected from other birds because he wasn't like them. Then he sang a song about loving who he was. It was just what I needed tonight and a little embarrassing that I had to be reminded of that from a giant yellow bird.
I know what you're thinking - damn those plaid pj pants are sexy.
goodnight friends xo

February 12, 2013

night night, sleep tight

lamp by ikea. gooden night.

February 11, 2013

happy family day!

From ours, to yours, I hope you had a lovely day with your family - whatever the definition of that word means to you. xo

February 10, 2013

random images from the weekend...

Hi friends, I hope you had an amazing weekend! It felt like just the right balance of time with friends and time with family. Tomorrow in BC is the first Family Day stat holiday. If you're lucky enough to have it off, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the bonus day with your loved ones!

walking along the Nic

Nicomekl river in South Surrey

February 9, 2013

the birthday girl

One of my favourite people in life. Tonight we celebrated Janet's birthday and had so many slap-your-knees-before-you-realize-your-doing-it kind of laughs. Awesome. xo

February 8, 2013

have a relaxing weekend!

Happy Friday friends! I hope you have an amazing weekend lined up for yourselves. We've got a lot of facetime planned with friends, which I am pumped about.

The hubs and I just watched the documentary The Imposter, have you seen it? I can't get it out of my mind. It's about a Texan boy (Nicholas Barclay) who goes missing at 13 years old and at 16 1/2 a young man is found in Spain, claiming to be Nicholas. He moves in with the family and as an investigation unfolds, more questions arise about who this man is. It's one of those films where you can't look away, the subject matter is so mind boggling - you can't believe it's a true story.

Sleep tight and I'll touch base soon. xo

February 7, 2013


A great day from start to finish. My little sweetheart slept in until 7, which hasn't happened in a loooonnnng time and I started the day feeling what I've heard is called "rested."

The sun finally came out, after three months of dark, rainy weather, putting a huge spring in my step (well, as much spring as I can muster with a 20+ pound child strapped in my backpack).  I have concluded that it's time to invest in a light therapy lamp to help through the winter dreariness - you'll easily recognize me walking around town - I'll be the girl with the lamp permanently hanging around my neck, pointed up at my face.

I had a great dinner out with one of my friends tonight, which made me realize how important it is to schedule more dates with my friends - I automatically feel caught up and connected, way more than any calls or texts can accomplish. We had a good laugh because the waitress told us that some 'older' gents at the bar paid for our drinks. My friend asked if we should go over and thank them. I said, "They aren't at their table right now, but I think they are coming back because their glasses are still on the table." And she said, "their drinking glasses?" And I said, "no, their reading glasses." We couldn't stop laughing because it was true! Then she said, "are their canes leaning on the table too?"

I was home in time to have a cup of tea and a daily recap with my love (who is currently sawing logs at my side).
Goodnight friends xo

What's your song?

Last night on Modern family, the men are reduced to tears listening to the song cats in the cradle. It's one of those songs that seems to tug at every man's heartstrings, making them reminisce about their relationship with their father or son.

My friend sent me the ad in the clip above from the Superbowl the other day, and it didn't take long before I was in tears. It's the one song that always guts me, partnered up beautifully with gorgeous footage of the relationship between humans and animals, I really didn't stand a chance. (It's the lyrics "children get older, I'm getting older too..." - that tug at my overly sentimental heartstrings).
I know some of my male friends will tear up because the man in the commercial is drinking Bud.

Is there a song that turns you to mush?

February 6, 2013

When you realize it's 10 pm and you haven't taken your photo...

.......you get a basic shot like this. Goodnight friends. xo

February 5, 2013

after the rain

White Rock Pier

February 4, 2013

calling it a day

Nighty night friends. xo

February 3, 2013

red velvet cupcake

Sometimes I make or buy food just because I think it will be pretty to photograph.
Sometimes I just eat it.

February 2, 2013

my loves

On the pier at Steveston.

my photo

I took this photo when I wrote this entry back in July/2011. Last night I noticed that my image has been used on dozens of online career sites and various networking websites. It was even on one of Maria Shriver's tweets. While I'm flattered there is interest in the image, it feels a little invasive to see it in so many places without permission or credit for the image. If any of you photographers reading this have also experienced this, please let me know your thoughts on it all. I know in this day and age, once you post photos on a personal blog or website, it's easy for people to copy the image, but I wasn't aware how widespread it could get without being credited.

Searching For Sugar Man

I love documentaries, do you? There's something utterly fascinating about well told real life stories - I'll take them any day over fiction. I'm always interested in seeing what makes people tick. 
Last night we saw an amazing documentary called Searching for Sugar Man. It's the story of a brilliant songwriter (Sixto Rodriguez), along the lines of Bob Dylan, who was relatively unknown in his home country, the United States. What he didn't know, was that in South Africa, everyone owned his records. He was a pivotal part of their music collection. In South Africa, Rodriguez was bigger than the Rolling Stones. He was bigger than Elvis. If you owned any albums it was the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Rodriguez. Sadly, Rodriguez was never made aware of any of this. He worked in the United States as a roofer, doing odd jobs in the construction business. His record company label kept his royalties and never let on that he was selling hundreds of thousands of albums overseas while he toiled away at a very modest life in America. 
Meanwhile, in South Africa, rumours abounded that Rodriguez had commit suicide while on stage in America.
Once South African journalists/music execs started tracing his story, they uncovered an amazing trail leading to a modern day prophet. I highly recommend this documentary to music fans and was thrilled to find out that it has been nominated for an Academy Award. 

February 1, 2013

Semiahmoo Bay

Taken on our night stroll down towards White Rock beach, looking out over Semiahmoo Bay.

what I know for sure (so far)

I have hit 40. That's right, I hit it. You don't smoothly slide into 40. You kick the door in and say, "I'm here Mother#*($(s!"
I was thinking about how Oprah used to always ask her guests, "what do you know for sure?" so I thought I would pass on a few things I've learned thus far in life:

When you know better, you do better.
 One of my first jobs in the workforce was a receptionist. When it was slow, I would sit at my desk and read magazines. "Sorry, I'll be right with you, I'm just finishing this in depth article on why Brad Pitt is this year's Sexiest Man Alive." Older, (wiser?) me cringes at this unprofessional behaviour. Now if work is ever slow, I research information about my industry. No facebook. No people.com.
The same can be said about relationships. When you determine what works for your life and what doesn't, you adjust accordingly.

Surround yourself with funny people.
I'm really lucky to have an amazing crew of funny people as friends. We were travelling as a group once and someone said, "I've never heard a group laugh so much, are you guys drunk?" It was 10 am. Just to clarify, we weren't (yet).  But I took that as a huge compliment. Life can be tough, you need a sense of humour for resilience. If you can make me laugh, I will undoubtedly have a crush on you and value your company. But not everyone's humour is the same. If you find shows like Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Modern Family, Extras, Parks and Recreation funny, chances are we'll get along. If you think shows like Home Improvement or Two and a Half Men are hilarious, then we might not see eye to eye. And that's ok.

Everyone needs a purpose
Find a job you love. Volunteer. Raise a family. Write a book. Compete in Triathalons. Whatever it is that makes you tick, dive in and embrace it whole heartedly. Don't compromise on your passion and don't apologize for it. I thoroughly enjoy writing and snapping photos, which has led to this little site. Each day over 100 people check it out. To some of you that seem like a small grouping, and to others it might sound shockingly large given my content, but I find it so touching that people take a moment out of their busy lives to peek into this hobby of mine. Do what you love. You're only here once (supposedly) - so make the most of your time. The best advice I ever got was to think if you only had a year left to live, what would you most regret if you didn't do.....and follow that. For me the answer was always, I'd regret if I didn't have children, whether they were my own or adopted, because I deeply believed that I was meant to care for kids. Don't compromise on your dream.

You are what you eat/how much you move
There are no clever diets/cleanses/magic pills. Just eat healthy, balanced meals and move your body.
It's not rocket science and yet people make a fortune promising the world to those looking for a quick and easy fix.
Eat foods in season as much as possible. Avoid processed foods. Vary your workouts. Drink lots of water. Repeat.
By no means do I say this because I am in peak physical condition. I just say this because I know the answer is simply discipline. Don't waste your money on diets or fad books. If there was a magic solution, don't you think Oprah would have bought it by now? (No offence Oprah).

Don't worry about something until you really have to
How many times have you wasted energy worrying about how something was going to go, and it never transpired?
I remember when the doctors told me my baby's head was measuring small during ultrasounds and that they were going to monitor it, I put myself in a tizzy with worry based on all of the awful advice readily available on the internet.
I'll bet 99% of worrying is wasted energy.

Actions speak louder than words
People show you the most about their character through their actions. People can say the most amazing things, but if there are no efforts, words become hollow. What's the last nice gesture you did for someone? When my hubby and I were first dating, my dad had to go into the hospital for heart surgery. Craig visited him on his own, even though he didn't know him very well.
That is character.
Oprah used to always say that people show you who they are. I really know this to be true.
Be wary of selfish people, they will drain you.

Don't underestimate the value of facetime with friends and family
In a society that is supposed to make the world smaller with instant messaging, texting, facebook, email, we're losing touch. A quick coffee catch up, a shared meal, a hike, a fun night out, go a lot further to speed up connectedness. Why do you think so many customers want to visit clients when they come to town? There's value in putting a face to the name and creating a relationship that simply isn't as strong if left to emails.
Relationships really are like plants. We have to feed them and nourish them or they will wilt and wither.
People who say relationships don't take any work, probably have a partner doing all the work/compromising.

No one really cares that much, so don't sweat it
The funny thing is, we're all very interested in our own lives, and sometimes we think others must be too. But honestly, people are so busy being interested in their own lives, that they really aren't focussed on you. "How am I going to show my face at work now that I'm divorced?" "People are going to think I'm fat, so I better not go to that party." "You know what I mean, those self defeating thoughts that you project onto the masses. But guess what, no one is noticing. And if there is buzz about some gossip, it lasts all of five minutes then people move onto the next thing. So just live your life. Kill the inner critic.
I say this like I'm super cool and all evolved. I know this one isn't easy sometimes, but it's worth reminding ourselves.

Make sure your home is your sanctuary
I love coming home from work, seeing my little love and big lug.
I feel 100% myself and feel very peaceful and happy in this space
If you are avoiding going home, walking on eggshells or living in a battleground, ask yourself why and fix it

Take pleasure in the simple things
A glass of wine with friends, a delicious latte and a new magazine, a sunset walk on the beach, a  dinner around a giant dining table with family or friends, playing with my little girl, an amazing movie/book/album, a hike through a gorgeous park - I adore all of these simple things. If you keep it simple, then it won't matter if you are rich or poor.