Friday, August 30, 2013

Keeping It Simple

          I'm going to start off with a confession of sorts- in high school I was the year book editor- two years running- I loved it- feel free to mock me if you wish- as I know my sister surly will- but straight up I loved everything about that job. It was in the course of those two years that I learned one of life's greatest lessons- K.I.S.S.- or Keep It Simple Stupid- I have carried this little acronym through to my adult life and I find it can be applied to almost any situation. Buying a stereo- keep it simple. What to wear on my wedding day- keep it simple. Organizing my family- keep it simple.

       We are now on the brink of September- things are about to get super busy around here- and by super busy I mean for us- other families will look at our schedule and laugh at it's pettiness! Starting next week we have two kids in two different schools in two different ends of the city- it is going to take some serious time management on my behalf so no one gets left behind! We have intentionally left September free of all extra curricular activities like soccer and ballet- there will be plenty of time for that later- we need to get used to this new way of life first.

      So I bought an agenda- like an old school- write it out style family ledger- to keep track by the hour of everything we will need to do- I'm keeping it simple- I need things visually laid out for me and if I don't write it down I will most likely forget! I am excited and nervous going into next week- my little guy is going off to Kindergarten and we will most likely be that family who shows up late like four days out of five- I hear that is frowned upon.

     Friends it is Friday- of the long weekend- Monday is Labour Day- it is so difficult to believe the Summer has flown by to quickly! Oh and what a Summer it was! In spite of the rain we will be spending as much time outside as possible this weekend- my wish for you dear Friends is that your weekend is filled with the quite peacefulness that comes from a Summer well spent- fullness of the heart and of the mind- much love Friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thrifted Thursday

     I have not done a Thrifted Thursday post in a super long time- like since last fall- so I thought it was high time that I start posting about some of my super fun thrifted items! My latest favourite item comes from Erin Templeton's collection. I have long been an admirer of her bags and decided to stop into her Gastown studio last week- which is where I stumbled upon this vintage gem!

    A simple kimono cut dressing gown in plum- covered in a yellow and white stylized floral- I think this is a great colour combo for fall- on trend with the plum shade but with bright pops of colour. I have no idea when this piece hails from- I am guessing maybe the seventies- the great thing about vintage dressing is that it really doesn't matter- if you like it wear it!

     Not to turn this into a "what she wore" post but if anyone is interested my sandals are Eileen Fisher, jeans are Citizens of Humanity, basic grey t-shirt is Club Monaco and the vintage bag hails from Community Thrift and Vintage- I blogged about it last fall here! I love how with such a simple item of clothing my entire outfit was transformed from basic and prosaic to interesting- thats the beauty of vintage!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beaty Biodiversity Museum

         This past weekend- this the out of town cousins in tow- we decided to check out the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University Of British Columbia. A few months ago the Mr. and I caught a documentary on the old television about a blue whale skeleton found in P.E.I- called Raising Big Blue- we were surprised to discover that the final destination for Big Blue was our very own city.  Saturday was the perfect day to engage in some tourism and education at the same time!

       The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is a gem- when we walked into the main hall we were immediately impressed with the blue whale skeleton spanning the length of the entire museum- this was what we had come for and it did not disappoint! Heading down the ramp to the lower level- under the giant maw of Big Blue - we were not sure what to expect- turning the corner we discovered a most amazing biological collection.

       It is difficult to capture in words the extensiveness of the collection found at the Beaty- cases and cases of taxidermy specimens to be observed at the viewers leisure. Everything from the tiniest of hummingbird eggs to the largest of Ostrich eggs are displayed- along with specimens from our own natural back yards. Many of our questions regarding tidal pool finds from over the summer were answered! 

        The Beaty engages both adults curiosity as well as the young- with interactive displays- drawers to open and discover at all levels of sight. A kid's area with crafts put on by volunteers is located at the back of the museum- as well as a discovery area, movie theater playing Raising Big Blue and regular tours offer something for everyone.

           We all loved our visit to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum- it was fun watching the Littles discover things they had never seen before. Personally I can hardly wait to get back there with a sketch book in hand on my own- do a bit of life drawing and engage my inner naturalist!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Earnest Ice Cream is Earnestly Good!

       We discovered Earnest Ice Cream about a year ago at the Winter farmer's market out at Nat Bailey Stadium and we were instantly hooked! Originally it was just the Salted Caramel then we sampled our all time fave Blasted Chocolate- yup chocolate ice cream infused with Blasted Church Merlot- our kid's called it "Mummies Wine Ice Cream" and they would not be too far off the mark! This past week marked the opening of Earnest Ice Creams bricks and mortar scoop shop at 3992 Fraser Street in Vancouver.- you know because we needed yet one more reason to love this area of town!

          Part of what I love- beside the amazing flavour combos- is the fact the every thing about Earnest Ice Cream is so honest! A quick glance at the ingredients list will read like a grocery shopping list- eggs, cream, milk, lemons, blue berries- just whole food- much of it local. Plus this delicious treat comes in a re-usable glass jar- take your clean lids and jars back for a dollar off your next pint- how good- or Earnest if you will- is that!

         A few things to consider before you go- take cash- or a credit card as they don't take debit yet- all prices include tax- a pint with four spoons is $11- worth every penny! It is busy- the line up was out the door- which is fantastic for their first week in business- the folks at the scoop shop handle it like pros though and the line up moves quickly- do not let the line up get between you and your ice cream! And finally- it is tough to pick just one flavour- we went for Milk Chocolate- divine, Vegan Lemon- delish and Blueberry- heavenly!

p.s. can I just say the design nerd in me loves the look of the store! That penny tile back splash? Get out of town!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beach Days

           This past weekend was filled with fun cousin time- my sister and her family made their annual trip to Ikea- which happens to be fairly close to where we live. Obviously they could not travel all the way to the land of Swedish meatballs with out stopping to visit us. We had hoped for sunnier weather but on the coast we take what we can get and in spite of the ominous skies we headed out to the beach.

        As is often the case Spanish Banks was much sunnier and warmer than in the city- so no rain and loads of beach time! The cousins live on a lake and so collecting shells is super novel to them- buckets of shells were collected and discussed- beach glass was discovered and lots of holes were dug- good times for all!

          We have not been to Spanish Banks all summer- too busy exploring new beaches and swimming in lakes- so it was with much excitement that we headed back there- it is our favourite beach in all of Vancouver after all! The little kids played and the big kids (us) visited- caught up like only families can- had a few libations and of course sandwiches- everything always tastes better outside!

          We love when our family comes to visit us- it's true we have chosen to live away from them- but we still miss them- it is so special when either the Mr.'s sister or my sister comes to visit. We love to play tour guide and show off our favourite spots in our fair city! Regardless of how far apart our children live I think my Littles have a pretty special relationship with their cousins.

           It was fantastic to be able to spend the day with a few of our favourite people in one of our favourite spots- great to get back out to Spanish Banks before the end of the summer. It feels like Saturday was one of those days that memories are made of- hopefully each Little will tuck something away from our time spent on the beach in Vancouver and carry it with them always.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Bucket List

      To say we have had a busy summer would be an understatement- this has been one epic summer in terms of adventuring and trying new things. Back in May we sat together as a family and mapped out how we wanted to see our summer panning out- we made our summer bucket list for 2013 and got on board with the Happy Family Movement. Making a bucket list was fantastic- it gave direction to our summer- we were forced to commit to plans like booking camp grounds months in advance- for a family full of Aquarians (slightly flaky) this worked really well.

     Since our summer is winding down I thought I would take a look at what we have done and what we have left to cross off our bucket list- regardless of adventures completed or not- we really did have the best summer ever!

 1. Go camping- two camping trips down one left to go!

2. Eat S'mores- obviously we have eaten our fair share of S'mores over the last few months!

3. go strawberry and blueberry picking- make jam- we picked strawberries- I will be making jam this fall one rainy day!

4. Go to Atlantis Water slides in Vernon- we haven't done this yet- summer isn't over yet!

5. Go to the Twilight Drive- In theater in Aldergrove- yes! Check me out with my massive soda!

6. Picnic with Dee- yes and often! We had lots of fun with our little friend and her family this summer!

7. Water fight with friends

8. bike ride to Second Beach pool- well we rode our bike to Lumberman's arch instead

9. Bike ride to Ganges on Saltspring Island- this never happened- sadly the Mr.'s bike was stolen the week before we were set to go- maybe next summer!

10. make Popsicles

11. Bon fire at Poppa's house- due to a fire ban this item will have to wait until Thanksgiving weekend

12. go on a Momma date to the beach with wine- well there was no wine but plenty of whisky and gin! I was fortunate enough to go to a few movies in Stanley Park with some momma friends- I'm looking forward to planning one more night out before it gets too dark too early!

13. explore Fort Langley- we decided to save this for a rainy fall day

14. try a new beach- we sampled from so many new beaches in and around the Lower Mainland- we are so blessed to live in such an amazing place!

15. go hiking in Pacific Spirit Park

16. Go to Whistler- we are heading up on the long weekend

17. check out the Sole Food Farm- we have hit their farm stand many times at the market!

18. more crafting- obviously!

19. learn to make Kombucha- this is still on the agenda for fall!

20. learn to make ice cream- I can't believe we haven't made ice cream yet! This is a must do for the last few weeks of summer!

        I totally loved this Summer bucket list and I think we will make one for the fall- there are so many amazing things to do on the Coast that we have yet to do. We had such fun crossing things off our list and documenting it along the way! While lists aren't for everyone I found that since we kept it simple it really helped us to focus and actually get out and do things- since lots of stuff was pre booked we just had to show up- which was awesome! There is still another month or so to go- here's to hoping we can cross off a few more things!

        Friends it is Friday again- this has been quite a long week for me- super busy- my sister and her sweet family are coming to visit today- I am looking forward to just kicking back with a glass or three of fine boxed wine to enjoy my family. My wish for you this weekend is that regardless of rain or sun that you get outside and enjoy these last long days of summer! Much love and peace Friends!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Late August

         I can feel the summer slipping away- it is already somehow late August- I am trying my best not to look ahead to the cooler days that I should be preparing for- they are surely right around the corner. I am trying to stay present- enjoy our last few days of freedom before school starts and my boy goes off to Kindergarten. With that in mind we have been treating every day like a holiday and living as much of our life outdoors as possible.

      Yesterday we headed over to Robson Park- one of our favourite city parks year round- especially good in the summer! In many of the local parks all summer we discovered so much goodness- crafts, snacks, spray parks, wading pools and free bikes and toys- all put on by the city of Vancouver. We have thoroughly been enjoying these free programs- the wading pools have been voted as most favourite by The Littles!

        Sadly all this goodness comes to an end tomorrow- Friday August 23- so get out there and enjoy the last two days of crafts in the park! Today is also hot dog Thursday at Robson Park- every Thursday the staff BBQ hot dogs and sell them for like a dollar- how much more summery can you get?!

       As I mentioned we love Robson Park year round- located at Kingsway and 13th - huge chestnut trees dominate the landscape- providing lots of excitement in the fall when the prickly bundles start to drop. Really great play equipment for Littles of all ages- swings, soccer field and community gardens- this park is great for a romp year round!

       I'm not going to lie- my boy is heading off to school full time in a couple of weeks- I am a hot mess even thinking about it- I will be an even hotter mess the day it actually happens!  We still have a week and a half with my sweet first born at home and we are going to make the most of it! I think today we will hit another spray park- or maybe get ice cream- regardless of adventure we will be soaking it all in- enjoying the last few days of August!