October 30, 2013


What scares you? And I don't mean the taxman or the scale...I mean, what makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck? Do you like scary movies? 
When it comes to being terrified, for me it's all about what you can't see - what lurks in the shadows frightens the bejesus out of me, movies like: The Ring, Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project to name a few. For the latter, I remember losing my mind when my hubby informed me he had to go to the bathroom during the movie, leaving me in the theatre with no one to grip/claw onto. I'm pretty sure I shouted, "If you love me, you'll stay and cross your legs!"
Equally scary for me are the films that touch on the unstable like The Shining(I didn't want twins after seeing this film), Psycho (Shadowy figures rocking in windows?No thanks!), The Omen (a ball bouncing down the stairs on its own), Silence of The Lambs (I'm pretty sure I never looked at a bottle of Chianti the same way again.)
I can't stomach slasher films, the same way I can't watch the surgery channel, there are some things I just don't ever need to see.
Have you ever been truly afraid? And I don't mean peeing your pants on a scary ride (which I almost did last week, fyi). 

My scariest moments seemed to happen while I was babysitting. 
One time, my parents and aunt/uncle went for dinner downtown, leaving me in charge of my brother. 
It should be worth noting that their house was situated on the back of a forested acre. 
My brother and I were shooting pool in the basement and noticed police officers shining spotlights on the front yard. 
My brother, who though younger, seemed to possess more street savvy, leaned in and said, "You know what that means don't you? Someone's hiding in our yard."
I killed the lights, armed us both with pool cues and we peeked out the window. The policemen left and shortly after we heard a light knocking on our front door. 
"Who's there?" I said in my most authoritatively adult voice I could muster. 
Then another tap tap tap on the front door.
I think I leapt up the entire staircase in one, maybe two giant steps.
I called my grandparents to drive out, while my brother grabbed his bb gun and took open shots towards the front yard from his bedroom window. 

Another scary babysitting adventure happened in the light of day.
I was 12 and in charge of my brother and I from the time we finished school until my parents got home.
The phone rang and someone was playing a pre-recorded laugh repeatedly.
I hung up and they called back continuously.
(This was before the days of caller ID/Star 69).
I took the phone off the hook and left things for awhile.
As soon as I put the phone back on the hook, it rang and it was a man's voice saying, "I'm watching you."
Needless to say, my grandparents received another "save us right now" phone call from a very exasperated babysitter. I'm pretty sure I earned my minimum wage on both occasions.

Do you have any scary tales to share?

October 27, 2013

great expectations

This weekend I learned a lot about how we have to let go of our expectations and simply go with the flow. For example, while I was at work yesterday, I told my hubby that the cookie monster was going to be at our local mall in the morning, if he's looking for something to do with our daughter. Our little one LOVES the cookie monster, so it seemed like a natural fit. He said five minutes into it, she took one look at his low-budget costume with one particularly droopy eye and gave cookie a "#&*" this face and walked away. Instead she turned her attention to the indoor slide, which held her interest for 45 minutes as cookie monster droned on in the background. 

When I finished work, we walked around Steveston, which held a special afternoon for children, with each shop giving out candy to trick or treaters. We dressed her up for her first trick or treating experience (photos to come) because we thought it would be a sunny, non terrifying introduction to Halloween. She walked with purpose down the sidewalk, showing very little interest in the people trying to hand her candy (even though I was secretly hoping she'd load up her bag for our sakes). People were literally standing on the sidewalk, trying to throw chocolates in her bag, and she pretty much waved them off. (Cue my heartbreak).  Instead she wanted to go to the massive playground she saw lingering in the background. (But honey, your bag only has two pieces of chocolate in it. Aren't you going to give it the old college try for mommy's sake?) So once again I let go of my mental tally of how I thought it should go and let her play (in costume) to her heart's content on the playground. 

Today after work, I decided to load her up (and our hound) in the truck and take them to my favourite park. Sometimes it can be a lot to juggle them both on my own, but it was such a sunny and gorgeous afternoon, I was determined for us to run around. It went remarkably smoothly until it was time to go. Fast forward to me walking back to the parking lot, only to see what looks like a gang meeting taking place next to my truck. Okay, I'm not 100% sure they were a gang, but when you get a group of guido looking characters, all driving white tricked out Escalades, each accessorized with a pitbull, in a rural setting, it sure doesn't look like a a local birdwatching group. I gave them my cool, "What up" kind of nod, without making direct eye contact, so they wouldn't have to shoot me. As my dog tried to jump into the back of my truck, she miscalculated and fell down, spectacularly knocking my daughter to the ground, who proceeded to cry. (Okay honey, let's speed this up before the rival gang shows up for a sunny autumn takedown.) An older couple walking by asked me if they could help. (Who me? Aren't I the epitome of calm and collected?). "Yes please!" I over eagerly responded, followed quickly with a,  "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!" They held my dog's leash while I consoled my daughter and loaded her up. I loved them in that moment. I seriously considered inviting them to Christmas dinner.  I also noted that the gang didn't offer me any assistance during my moments of chaos. Gangs these days hey?

I hope you had a great weekend without any expectations!! xo

October 23, 2013


Whenever I hear the word Success, I know my definition is quite different from the mainstream usage. For myself, when I think of the term success, it's this: If you are married, are you and your partner happy? If you're a parent, are you giving your children the time and attention they deserve? If you're working, are you engaged in what you're doing?

The older I get, the more successful I am becoming, because I am listening to my heart and honing in on what is the most important. When you look back on your life, what do you want people to say about you? For myself, I knew that more then anything, I would regret if I wasn't a parent in my lifetime - so  when I was experiencing years of conception problems, I was prepared to fly across the world to adopt a baby to make sure that my life's biggest goal didn't go unanswered. And now that our daughter is here, I'm rich inside - everything else is gravy. The time I get to spend with her and my hubby is my life's greatest gift. Make sure you keep your heart's biggest goals at the forefront and don't get caught up chasing someone else's definition of success.

When I think of my friends, I think of their personalities, their uniqueness, their talents and the gifts they bring to my life. I don't think, oh this one is only a carpenter, but this one is a VP! There's nothing that I hate more than people who define the success of others through some kind of materialistic checklist. My friends are from all walks of life and I prefer it that way. I know a factory worker who gets love notes from his wife every week and their home is warm and welcoming. I also know of a talented artist at the top of his game, who never really has to worry about losing his job because he is so well known in his industry and would be picked up anywhere. Both are successful in my eyes.

When I look back on my life, I think I'll be successful if my husband considers me to be his best friend, if my daughter says I was a great mom to her, if my parents think of me as a thoughtful/helpful daughter, if my friends enjoyed having me at their side, if people described me as kind hearted & funny, if someone connected with something I wrote or a photo I took.
Re-examine your own definition of success and see if your life is on the right track, and keep course correcting until it is.

October 22, 2013

Going back to cali........

Once a year, the girls and I try to have a getaway for a long weekend - where we can have quality time together and share in new adventures. This year's trip was to L.A. We stayed in Santa Monica where there is plenty of great restaurants and shops to choose from.
If you're planning a trip to Santa Monica, I'd definitely recommend staying at the Huntley Hotel, having an Aperol Smash cocktail at the rooftop Penthouse resaurant, dining at Tar and Roses or venturing to Gjelina in Abbot Kinney. We definitely savoured a lot of amazing cuisine, sampled several cheese platters, and walked every square inch of the area. 
We're all so uniquely different but I am so appreciative of the time we were able to share together.

Fun fact: celebs spotted: Cathy saw Mike Tyson at the airport, we spotted Laura Innes from ER shopping in Brentwood  and Empire of the Sun were on my flight from LA to Vancouver.

October 15, 2013

41 things for 41

Tomorrow I turn 41, so I wanted to make a little wish list of 41 things I want to accomplish this year - some big, some tiny, but all of importance to me.

Before I begin this little list - I want to give thanks to all of the people who have made my 41 years on this lovely planet of ours so wonderful - I was actually going to list everyone by name, but then I had this terrible fear that there'd be one important person who I accidentally left off the list because I am that absent minded. Over the years we are shaped by the amazing people we meet and I honestly believe that some people, for some unexplainable reason,  you never really click with no matter how many times you interact, then others can come into your life, and as soon as you start talking, you feel like you've known them forever - they make you feel like you're home.
So to all my forever friends, I love you for who you are, and all that you bring to my life. And to Craig & Stella, as long as I'm with you, I feel happiness and peace within my soul.

41 things for 41: (the order is as random as my thoughts)

  1. travel to a place I've never been to before in BC
  2. do a family photo shoot with a pro
  3. treat myself to a new camera lens
  4. lose 15 pounds
  5. read 12 books
  6. do (at least) 12 random acts of kindness
  7. volunteer with the SPCA
  8. bathroom reno (see results here )
  9. make funny christmas cards
  10. stanley park christmas train  (see photos here)
  11. van dusen gardens christmas lights
  12. get a mammogram
  13. paint a picture for our kitchen
  14. have dinner parties mixing and matching different friends
  15. take another photography class
  16. write a funny screenplay with smiley
  17. enter a team race with friends
  18. find an amazing pair of jeans
  19. make Stella a birthday cake from scratch
  20. take our parents somewhere overnight
  21. have something published in a newspaper or in the Huffington Post
  22. donate to the food bank
  23. do a 365 photo project for 2014
  24. enter a writing contest
  25. enter a photo contest
  26. run half marathon distance again
  27. take stella tobogganing
  28. wine tasting trip with friends
  29. get a tattoo
  30. spend the night at a hotel in the city and have a big drunken night out with friends
  31. take a big trip
  32. go to an outdoor concert
  33. throw my parent's an awesome 50th anniversary bash
  34. take another class with stella
  35. pack lunches to work for a month
  36. go on a cruise
  37. plant bulbs for a pretty spring garden
  38. throw a themed dinner party (French, Indian, Italian, etc)
  39. sell something I create 
  40. go camping with friends
  41. go on a spending diet for a month

October 13, 2013

pumpkin patching!!

I hope you're having an amazing Thanksgiving weekend so far!! 

October 12, 2013

Happy Friday!

Hello friends! What do you have on your weekend line up? In Canada, we're celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, and you know what that means, time to break out the stretchy pants! I probably should just buy some duct tape and stick the yams right on my thighs now, because we all know that's where they're headed. My friend said her family sits around before dinner and has to each say something they are thankful for. What are you thankful for?
I was going to be all serious and list off things like health, my family and friends (but those are ALWAYS on top of my list) so I thought it'd be more interesting to list off things you might not know I'm thankful for:

  • q-tips (my name is kelly and I am an addict), chocolate chips (I always intend to bake with them, but they never seem to make it...), funny people (I collect them as friends), hairdressers (those miracle workers who always give me the false hope that I'll be able to re-create what they've done), the interior of my car (because it allows me to sing like it's the concert of my life when I'm commuting), people who make Naan - (I will never make it from scratch, but am always more than happy to eat it), whoever made wearing buns popular right now (my low maintenance morning routine thanks you), animals (in all their fuzzy adorableness), the creaters of: iphone cameras, netflix, tim horton's coffee (you know who you are), free food samples (I will always line up - what is this you say, bread?), pedicurists ( or those artists who can turn my gnarled feet into something that won't scare the general public, some still look away), my passions (music, photography, dancing), artists ( for staying true to themselves in a world that challenges them to), gay people (for the same reason as artists), hot yoga (the only place I work out in micro shorts and a tank because it's either that or die of heat exhaustion), greek yogurt (it's not dessert, it has yogurt in the title!), showers with great water pressure (one of life's biggest treats), google (for inevitably answering every "riddle me this" question.....), school supplies, Makers Mark, a freshly made bed, Javier Bardem's parents (for their beautiful genetics), people.com (very important news site), hot springs, toques, a perfectly hot cup of tea, perfectly hot sex. 

October 10, 2013

gratitude day#21

Today is the final day of the gratitude challenge. I hope that you attempted it and found it helpful. I honestly am going to keep it up on paper, because I've noticed how great I feel at the end of each day recapping the best moments- it really helps you reframe how you think of things. It honestly makes me feel really lucky for all the quality people I am continuously surrounded by.

Here's today's top three standout moments for me:

  • Seeing this little face wave at me when I pull into the driveway and throw herself into my arms. Best greeter ever.
  • breaking bad - we've almost caught up - only two episodes left- I think I've been dragging it out because I don't want it to end.  The episode we saw tonight, was some of the most brilliantly acted television I've ever seen. Bryan Cranston is a genius in tighty whities.
  • time to exercise - the endorphin rush at the end is worth every drop of sweat.

October 9, 2013

gratitude day#20

Hello friends! I hope you had a great day! One more day to go, and then this will stop being the gratitude blog it has become lately. Here are three things I'm grateful for today:

  • A friend finally receiving the great news we've all been hoping for. I'm so excited for the next chapter in her life.
  • My hubby walking through the door with a beautiful bouquet of flowers just when I needed them.
  • making my daughter laugh

October 8, 2013

gratitude day#19

Today I got some sad news - my parent's dog passed away. His original owners didn't give him any attention, and he definitely got adopted by two people who truly showed him a great life. I know my dog will be blue next time she is over at their place and discovers that her beloved buddy is gone. He was a giant sweetheart who will be missed.

Today I am grateful for:

  • knowing Mowgli for over 13 years and seeing how remarkably gentle he was - especially with children
  • having a beautiful walk in the sun with my friend and our old dogs
  • having the day off: private time to grieve and to spend the afternoon with my family was just what was needed today

October 7, 2013

gratitude day#18 - It's working

Hi friends! I don't know if you've been keeping up with a daily gratitude list of your own, but I'm here to tell you, it works. I have never been so consistently happy/content than I have for the past few weeks. I had one blah-ish day, but it was just pms hormones (my wonderful period tracker app confirmed). (Sorry, is that too much sharing?) I just want you to know, that by looking for the standout moments from your day, you gain such perspective. The little things that used to bug you go unnoticed, and the small, amazing moments, that may have gone overlooked in your hurried, busy life, now get accounted for.
Here are three things I'm grateful for today:

  • Having a delicious dinner and amazing conversation with two dear friends
  • An impromptu play date with one of my favourite mommas
  • the gift of time - working part time has a financial cost obviously, but I never, ever, regret my decision - my days feel so full and fun just watching my daughter explore her world. 

October 6, 2013

gratitude day#17

It's late, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet - but I hope you found some great moments interspersed throughout your day! Here's my top 3 of the day:

  • Spending the morning in the autumn sun running through a park with my loves. (These crisp, sunny days mixed with trees ablaze in colour are my absolute favourites.)
  • Coming home from grocery shopping to find that my hubby had cleaned up the house, including washing the floors. Seriously amazeballs.
  • Dinner with my in-laws. I am particularly grateful that I love the company of my in-laws because I know, from chatting with friends, that this can be a rare thing.

October 5, 2013

rad gratitude day#16

Well today was definitely the most fun I've ever had running. It was a 5km run, put on by Color Me Rad  and I can't wait to do it again next year. As you're running you get cheered along, blasted with colour, motivated by high fives and when you cross the finish line the field turns into a giant dance party where colour rains upon you. It was a giant love fest and so much fun that it felt like the easiest 5 km I've ever run. I'm still wearing my rad tattoo because that's just how I roll.
Three things I'm grateful for today would be:
  • Having such a fun time running with my amazing friend Tricia - who I was so proud of for clocking in 5 km in 31 minutes when she hardly ever runs! How rad is that?
  • wonderful messages of friendship from my little work family
  • my daughter having her most consistently happy day from start to finish that we've ever witnessed

October 4, 2013

Happy Friday! Gratitude day #15

Hello friends! What are you up to for your weekend?
I'm psyched about doing this fun event tomorrow with an awesome gal.
Have you been keeping up with this gratitude challenge? To be honest, I have been noticing that my days seem brighter since doing it. I feel like I take stock of my day's standout moments, both big and small, which helps boost my outlook.
Here's three things I'm grateful for today:

  • Whenever I get the text I look forward to everyday from my hubby, those magical three words: "On my way." And to see him walk through the door, early from work, carrying take-out, was just the icing on the cake.
  • walking into my daughter's room after her nap, she smiles, waves and says "Hi Momma!" It really makes me swoon.
  • the happiness that lives between these walls. 

October 3, 2013

gratitude day#14

Hello friends! Did you get out to enjoy the sun? It was one of those gorgeous autumn days: sunny, crisp and the crunch of leaves underfoot.
Here are three things I found myself grateful for today:

  • The sun. After a drizzly dark week, the sun's triumphant return felt, well, triumphant
  • The crew I work with - I would not hesitate one second to say I work in the best department in our company: a bright, funny, cohesive team who get the job done and make it enjoyable
  • the fact that my little one walked up to me, plugging her nose, waving her hand furiously back and forth, telling me something stinks....when in actuality it was her (diaper)

October 2, 2013

gratitude day#13

It's not surprising that this is day 13, it felt like a #13 kind of day - rainy...nearly two hours stuck in traffic because some buddy, whilst rubbernecking at a film crew shooting a movie roadside, (who would have ever thought that would be distracting along a highway?) steered his car in the direction of his eyeballs, right into a ditch. But I digress - these posts are supposed to be about silver linings:

  • having an amazing conversation with someone full of those "AHA!" moments
  • buying a coffee and a trashy magazine - because sometimes you just need a good dose of crappola - my personal favourite is the magazine's candid photos of stars behaving "just like us" - Look! Katie Holmes is carrying her own groceries! And can it be? Gwyneth Paltrow pumps her own gas? Well would you look at that, they really are just. like. us.  Do you ever notice that you never see a photo of their bank statement in the "just like us" section?
  • Of course my favourite moment of the day is walking through the door (not superman style, actually opening the door first) - and hearing little legs sprinting towards me and tiny(yet powerful) arms thrown at full speed around my neck....the best.  

October 1, 2013

gratitude day#12

Hello friends! Have you kept up with your own gratitude challenge? We're more than halfway through it, so you can add that to your list! Here's three things I'm grateful for today:

  • hearing my daughter say three new words today: Bear, car and outside. (Just to let you know,  I did triple check outside and there was no bear in my car. )
  • having an afternoon visit with dear friends
  • my hubby doing the nighttime routine with our gal so that I can go on a wonderful walk in the rain