August 30, 2013

Have a delicious weekend!!

Happy Friday friends!! How are you going to wrap up the Summer holidays? I know Summer isn't officially ending just yet, but it always feels like a shift, once school is back in. This time of year always makes me crave sweater shopping and loading up on school supplies, even though I am WELL past school age.
I was watching a show earlier this week (Masterchef) - and on it, the three celebrity chef judges were discussing their all time favourite dishes they have ever eaten. What would be your favourite dish you've ever tried? I can't help but include company, ambiance, service, setting, when I think of my all time favourite meals. I had the best seafood of my life (almond crusted halibut with a citrus drizzle) in an old refurbished train station on the coast of Oregon while travelling with my hubby. It was an amazing setting on the river and the place was packed to the rafters with people who loved just chatting from table to table. It had such a festive atmosphere that I think it helped elevate the food to really memorable heights.
Bar none my favourite spot in the city is still Vij's. Not only is the food outstanding, and the service is top notch, but the restaurant is something we save for a special treat, to be shared with good friends, which has really helped make each meal a standout.
I love Chris Rock's saying that "everything is about the company you're with. A gourmet meal with an asshole is a horrible meal. A hot dog with an interesting person is an incredible meal."
I fully agree.
Have a wonderful long weekend and indulge in some amazing food with people who elevate you!

August 29, 2013

adventures running errands....

I just thought I'd share a few tidbits from our morning, just to showcase how even the simplest of tasks can go sideways. If you are a parent of a toddler, you might nod in recognition as you read along, perhaps even enduring a few eye twitches as you re-live moments you had blocked out from your past. If you don't have children, you may take this moment to high five your partner on your chosen path of ease.
I am incredibly grateful to the grocery stores who have parental parking by the grocery store entrance.
I unloaded my  "precious cargo" from my car and transferred her into the seat of a grocery cart. So far, we've got this! I am pretty sure passerbys thought I was some sort of pro on the speed/ease of my transferral skills, they were just too shy to tell me.
As soon as we step foot into the store, she no longer wants to be in my sad excuse for wheels, for she has laid eyes upon the giant "is it a car or is it a grocery cart" heavy duty machinery parked by the front entrance. So, I transfer her in and leave my other cart in it's place, hoping someone else will return it for the shiny quarter - in those moments, I see it as my version of paying it forward.
I'm trying to maneuver this "so called cart" down the aisles, because lets face it, she is not really doing much in the way of helping with that sad excuse for a steering wheel. I think she is turning it with her pinky, mocking me with this decision. We were down the third aisle when she took it upon herself to slide off the seat and get wedged where her feet should rest. I have to add that the cart did not have a working seat belt. A feature, which I didn't think would be a problem, until this very moment, where it became a huge problem.
She was stuck.
Her body was partially wedged under the seat. I felt like I was trying to unwind a contortionist. Is that a foot? How did it get in that angle?
And, everytime I tried to gently pull her out, she'd lose her mind. I am proud to say that I kept calm in the midst of everything. Strangely calm. As if I was helping some poor mother out, who just wasn't here at the moment. I finally got her out, it was an achievement of great proportions, and I looked around down the aisle, half expecting some applause to break out.
My hand was sliced and bled spectacularly onto her hoodie (which, I had just laundered this very morning). I opened up a box of crackers in my cart to give her something to distract her. Is this shoplifting? I don't know. I'm paying for it, but it hasn't been paid for just yet. We got to the cashier and I asked for a kleenex to help with my (quite obviously) bleeding hand. I think his response was, "do you have one of our reward cards?"
I loaded the groceries into the car and decided to tire her out at the mall's indoor play area. So, back through the grocery store we go to get the to mall. She was even holding my hand and walking at a normal pace! This in itself was a huge victory. She usually runs, like really quickly, from any point A to point B. But before I could raise the roof, I looked down and noticed she only had on one shoe (one of the two shoes I had just gotten her yesterday). Back through the maze of aisles we go, until I spot it, sitting in the behemoth of a cart. A few customers said, "ah that's great love, you found her shoe!" I felt like hugging them for noticing that yes, I did, I found her shoe! I felt like holding the shoe high in the air and announcing over the store's PA System. "Attention shoppers, my daughter and I might be covered in blood, and she might only be wearing one shoe at the moment, but we survived another errand together!"

August 27, 2013

note to self....

I snapped this photo with my iphone, two seconds after I finished working out. I took this photo because I wanted to remind myself that I MUST find time each day to squeeze in a workout because it makes me feel this blissed out. I feel empowered, strong, rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I did this quick 30 minute workout while she napped. Make time for yourself.

August 26, 2013

for you romantics out there.......

Love is so profoundly moving. Here is a beautiful example of it.

Garden City Park, Richmond

If you have a toddler who likes to play in the water, take them to Garden City Park in Richmond (and pack some boots and a change of clothes). Aside from manmade water features, it has a giant slide built into the hill, and many natural elements, like climbing structures made from trees and a gentle stream for kids to run in. It is not surprising that the playground was designed by children. I think that is what makes it so successful. It is built with an explorer's spirit in mind. 

starting over

I've always been a bit of a minimalist and today I took it to new heights. I decided to donate the majority of my clothing. I only kept five dresses, five sweaters, four skirts, six blouses, my workout gear and a few of my favourite pairs of jeans. It felt amazingly freeing to de-clutter. I definitely kept a few things for sentimental reasons like the slippers I wore when I gave birth to my little girl, or the sweater my hubby gave me on my birthday, but most things were really easy to give away. There's something about turning 40, that made me want to start fresh and rebuild - to take the time to find pieces that really represent me. Do you think it'd be easy for you to start over or do you have a lot of sentimental attachment to your clothes?

August 23, 2013

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday Friends!!! Quite a few people I've talked to this week found it to be one of the SLOWEST moving weeks in memory. Is that because we can feel the summer drawing to a close? - I am so glad Friday is finally upon us! What do you have on your line up?
I'm on holidays for the next week and can't wait to do some mini trips, have time to catch up with my gal and friends, and reintroduce my body to this thing called E-x-e-r-c-i-s-e.

Have you seen the amazing collection of actors gathered for these upcoming films?
The Counselor  &  American Hustle

one of my new favourite songs,  click here

or how about this super catchy song with a naughty video by Robin Thicke (His dad is Alan Thicke aka: Growing Pains!)

My biggest passion is dancing - here are a few favourites so far from season:  a beautiful dance, a fun hip hop routine, and some  brilliant animators

August 18, 2013

forbes' surprise 40th!

Have you been to a surprise birthday party before? I've been to quite a few of them and get so excited everytime. There's such a buzz in the air leading up to the party, as everyone tries to keep the big secret and puts forward their best acting chops the day of... She thought she was dropping off a toy for a friend's baby, and thought she was opening a door to a storage room, when, SURPRISE!! 
Some people cringe at the idea of being thrust into the limelight during a surprise party, but I was so proud of how my friend took it all in stride and had a blast. 
Has anyone thrown you a surprise party before?

August 13, 2013

Pender Island

Here are some images from our little getaway to Pender Island this past weekend. I took the little one over to meet up with friends who are staying there for the week. It warmed my heart to see her so excited to run around all day with her friends. And when I say it warmed my heart, I mean emotionally, watching her squeal with laughter, and I mean it warmed my heart physically, as I ran after aforementioned delighted child all weekend.
But there are these little moments - when the kids would excitedly peek in our room in the morning to see if Stella was awake (and politely not shriek in horror when they saw my morning face), when they'd ask me if they could take turns holding her hands, when they would try their hardest to teach her how to dance gangnam style, watching them paint together, skip rocks in the ocean, just all the great moments of being a kid. 
It was also a big confidence boost to travel solo with her, navigating all of the ferry schedules and "teachable moments" myself. It definitely made me live in awe of single moms. The simplest things, like going to the bathroom on the ship with her in tow, or trying to carry a tray of food in the cafeteria with one hand while holding her with the other - I really appreciated all that my hubby and do as a team that I take for granted. (Especially how he often lets me sleep in Saturday mornings - holy did I ever miss that!).
I hope you had an amazing weekend. Having a child really does help you look at the world with awe and excitement - and Pender Island is the perfect place to feed your sense of wonder. 

August 9, 2013

have a relaxing weekend!!

What are your plans for the weekend? We've got separate plans - the hubs has a boys weekend and I'm taking the little one on a road trip. I'm excited to see how our adventure unfolds. I just finished packing my singular travel bag to her three bags, stroller, portable crib, linen and food. Sweet Jesus these little ones are divas in the making. I'm pretty sure at some point she'll scold me for choosing the absolute worst selection of toys.

If I was staying in this weekend, I'd definitely check out this film that was just released on our pay per view: the place beyond the pines - because 1) ryan gosling and 2) bradley cooper. I'm sorry, what?
At 82% on rotten tomatoes, I'm sure it's good, and even if it isn't, see points 1 & 2.

Have you seen the trailer for this upcoming Robert Redford film ? It looks riveting.

Have you seen this series? I swear to god, I'd love to spend my days going for coffee with comedians.

We're hooked on this series on Netflix - I highly recommend it.

Have an amazing weekend! Chat soon. xo

August 8, 2013

Finding balance

Okay, so the title of this post is misleading. I don't have the answers to finding balance.
Thank you for those of you who continued to read on after those opening remarks.
I have come to the conclusion that it simply can't all be done.
After many months of struggling to find that perfect balance, I have realized that it's okay that I have some back fat and that my lawn is more of an expansive weed than actual grass.
Exhale a big freaking sigh of relief ladies. You're off the hook. You can't do EVERYTHING - and while you are mulling over that statement, you can also ditch the guilt of it all.
I was in a good groove with my little girl when I was on my maternity leave. We had our routine down.
And yes, while many days blurred together with the sleeplessness and the "learning phases/teachable moments", I was confident in my role as mom. Everything else was secondary. All I was really expected to do was to get her needs met through the day - meals/diapers/naps/fresh air/play time/peeling my tired body off the floor.
It wasn't until I returned to work, that I really began to struggle with the balance of it all. I was very fortunate in that my work accommodated my request to return three days a week. (I hadn't found childcare that gave me peace of mind - and our moms offered to help us out with childcare if I worked part time). But being part time, I felt like I couldn't contribute as much as I would like to - I couldn't take on the duties with higher responsibility because they needed daily dedication that my new schedule didn't allow. It really got me down - I felt unnecessary to my team. I didn't want to quit (and can't afford to) but I wasn't ready to be away from her full time -so the dance continues.
During a typical day, I'm up at 5:30 and after work, with dinner(and I use the term dinner really loosely), playing, bathing her, reading books, and miracle of all miracles successfully getting her to sleep, it's 8:30 before I have time to tidy up, and often 9:30 before I'm sitting down for a tea or exercising. And I don't at all want this to sound whiny, (I know, too late!) - because I know people are rolling their eyes, probably a few times, and thinking, "so what you're describing is this thing called parenting".  Being a mom is the greatest gift of my life - it's time management that I'm struggling with. Every night I glance out with guilt at my desert/wasteland that used to be a flourishing garden, because it serves to remind me (and my neighbours) - that I can't juggle it all. But watering plants at night is really freaking low on my priority list right now.
I can't juggle it all, but I sure can jiggle it all! I keep trying to do this 30 day shred with Jillian Michaels - a great half hour workout that you're supposed to do for 30 days straight to see results. Well, I'll do it two days straight, then visit friends, then try it again - let's just say after so many false starts - it's turning into my year of shredding instead of the original 30 day timeframe. But I know I have to make exercise one of my top priorities because exercising keeps me mentally strong and gives me that boost of energy I need to keep up with her.
I keep trying to solve this time issue - I think, well, if we lived closer to work, we'd save ourselves a good 1.5 hours a day wasted commuting - but then we'd lose out on free daycare, with the most quality care providers I know, which means I'd have to go back to work full time and be away from her more. I know when she's a little older, this decision will get easier, but right now, while she's so little, I want to be as much a part of her days as I can.
I have been fortunate enough to squeeze in visits once or twice a week with friends because my circle of friends mean the world to me - but I even feel a tug of war in that regard - the gaps are a lot longer between visits, and I miss the little day to day funny details of their lives. Phone calls are replaced with text messages due to time constraints, and I try to pack more quality into our visits - like fun getaways, events, photo worthy bonding moments to make up for lost time.
Speaking of photo worthy moments, I definitely have longer gaps between updates on this blog - it isn't because I don't love snapping photos and sharing, it's because I'm trying to pack a little bit of me time in the last hour of my day.
People often ask me if I want to have a second child. And while I always pictured myself having two children - right now I don't know where I'd find the time - that's my honest response. That statement really scares me because I wanted to have another - but I feel so wiped at the end of my day that I can't imagine having what it takes to successfully care for a second child right now. I am constantly asking people I know with two children how they do it, and their typical response is, "you just do". They are my heros because I don't know how they "just do". Seriously, amazing.
So if you see me and notice I'm wearing something I wore two days ago, that my hair is completely askew and that it took me five days to return your call - please have patience and know that I'm busy trying to be an awesome mom who is a bit lost in the balance of it all.

August 3, 2013

have a delicious weekend!

Hello friends! What are you up to for your weekend? We took little miss out for a family dinner date (hint, there may have been a pirate pack adrift on our table). We're also planning to catch our town's sea festival and hook up with friends for a big group outing at the Nat.

We caught this wonderfully creative and quirky film tonight on Netflix: Ruby Sparks.
I get so inspired when I see a film that is full of such originality.
It's the story of a once successful writer (Calvin) who is struggling to find his voice again. When he starts penning his next project, he comes to the startling realization that the character he is creating (Ruby Sparks) has transformed into a real person living in his home. Fun fact: the film was written by Zoe Kazan (who stars as Ruby) opposite her real life boyfriend Paul Dano.

After seeing this film I realize that my ultimate dream job would be to write a wonderfully creative screenplay such as this.
What would your dream job be?

Here's a sneak preview: