Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Love Thursday to You!

My love!

New Shoes and some other stuff!

As I was walking by the thrift store next door to Bodacious on Tuesday, I spotted two pairs of brand-spanking new shoes in my size that I love, love, loved (original tags still on for those of you who are concerned about wearing 'used' shoes:)! The silver ones are Franco Sarto's and I've been eyeing them for some time in the full price stores so imagine my excited surprise at this discovery (thank you thank you shoe fairies)!

I spent yesterday doing "research" for the store and hanging out with my cuz in White Rock and Langley. It's so much fun driving 'big momma' around and getting all sorts of attention!
We've been referring people to "Forever Yours" lingerie in Langley for years but had never actually checked it out in person so off we went. It was fun and painful at the same time. I was measured and fit for a bra which I haven't done in a few years so there was a bit of nudging, prodding and convincing that I was indeed 'that' size. I did end up with a pretty new and somewhat uplifting number as well as a couple of matching top and panty sets. So I guess I spent my $100 on new shoes and lingerie.

We also checked out "Lucy Clothing and Accessories" in Langley which is a pretty little plus-sized clothing store which carries a couple of the same lines as Bodacious. They definitely had some pretty dresses and tops but nothing that I couldn't resist at the mo'. I can't seem to find a link to their website.

While in Langley, we asked around for a referral to a good restaurant and the verdict seemed to be Choo Choo's. I have to say we were a bit skeptical but the referrals were good - and the burgers were AWESOME! The train theme - well...judge for's an example of what's on the menu, "Ahh ... Choo-Choo's Burgers". Kinda cute / kinda gross???

We also stopped in at Jalisco Imports who were having an open house. This company is owned by one of the women that I went to Mexico with in March. It was really great to see her and see all of her beautiful products. I bought a 3 ft tall metal cactus for my mom for her birthday - shhh - don't tell!
We ended the day having dinner at Sideshows in White Rock - the only restaurant on the water side of the road - amazing views!
Shared appies and a coupla cold coronas in the hot sun - a perfect end to a day full of laughs, strange angry drivers, sunshine and lots of conversation!

(super star!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Climate Action Dividend

Did you get your $100 cheque in the mail yesterday? The climate action dividend $100. If so, what are you planning on spending it on? My first thought was that I was well overdue for a pedicure but then I read the intent of this initiative and felt a little bad. My toes do look pretty sad and it would be good - esthetically - for the environment if they were prettier...right??? I'll think on it a bit more - or at least until I hear back from my esthetician:) Happy Tuesday all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, Monday...

I went for my first swim of the year at Kits pool this morning - what a fabulous way to kick-start the week. It took me a good 10 minutes to convince myself to jump in and when I finally did, the water was perfect. Not cold at all as I was expecting. As I say every year, if you haven't been, you must go. It's so beautiful and really - the best Vancouver has to offer - with the ocean and mountain views... The only thing I'd ask is, "hello mr. handsome lifeguard - please don't be all friendly and chatty with me as I'm clumsily swimming past you and trying to clean off my foggy goggles!" I never said I was the most coordinated girl in the pool:)
We had a fantastic weekend on and around the boat. Saturday we just hung out there and fixed up a few things. It had been a few weeks since we'd been out and we wanted to get it into shipshape (I can use that expression for real now!) before my nephew and sister-in-law came on with us yesterday. They were our first official guests on the boat (meaning we actually left the dock) and it all went very well. My nephew Ryan is pretty fearless so the only challenge was to keep him out of the water. Everyone had a job to do (our boat is too small to just have people lounging around watching the scenery) which worked out great. We had to be very careful of the tides as we can't get back into our slip at a very low tide so all was timed out perfectly. We ended up being out on the water from 10am-1pm. Sue and Ryan left promptly after docking so George and I did our clean-up which takes about 45 minutes and then enjoyed the rest of the aft. just relaxing/snoozing/snacking/snooping at other boaters...

My captain!

We didn't get home until after 6 - just in time for George to bbq up some delicious buffalo burgers! Yum.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Summer!

Well...I know you're all sitting by your computers, waiting to see what I decided to do yesterday so here you go:)
I went to see Sex and the City with George (who played the part of my gay boyfriend nicely - except for the gay part - haha). I loved the whole experience!!! It's been so long since I've been to a movie at the theatre, I just took it all in. Popcorn - check, monster-size pop - check, m&m's - check, centre seats, big screen, massive speaker system. The movie was nice - I loved the crazy and sometimes over-the-top fashion, friendship dialogue, gal travel to Mexico, and the sensitive and funny bits that made me laugh and cry. There were a couple of particulary funny scenes at the hotel in Mexico where I surprised myself by how loud I laughed but I won't give them away in case you haven't seen the movie yet. I'd definitely go again with some girlfriends just to be able to talk more about the fashion and enjoy the heavy focus on female friendships. And also to get another look at all of Carrie Bradshaw's shoes! I give it two well-manicured thumbs up.
After the movie - we decided to go and check out the new Burgoo restaurant on Main and it was really great. If you haven't already experienced Burgoo at one of the their other locations on West 10th or North Van, you'll need to check them out. It was only their second night open and they were very busy. We ended up sitting at the bar which I love (always a great opportunity to chat with the bartender!) Here's what we had...first, this delicious plate of Italian appies (tomatoes, bocconcini, artichokes, crustini) and then...

George had this loverly dish called Zarzuela - a spanish seafood, tomato and saffron dish topped with ground almonds. I couldn't resist comparing my recent tastes of Beouf Bourguignon (apparently I've been spelling it wrong all along) in Paris to what they were offering up. DEElicious! Served with mashed potatoes, lots of carrots (as you can see) and a nice red wine gravy mopped up by the fresh home-made bread. The Hester Creek Cab-Merlot was the perfect choice to accompany our mains!

I shouldn't even tell you that we also had dessert but how could we resist the banana chocolate cake topped with ice-cream???

'nuff said!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Love Thursday!

I just realized it's Love Thursday on the Shutter Sisters site and I've been submitting pics on there for a couple of weeks. Every Thursday they post "images of love" which are always incredibly beautiful and inspirational. Here's some hearts (one obvious, one not so) from last week in Paris. Check out their site for can see an altered view of this on my flickr site that makes it easier to spot

My day is an open book...

I got these beautiful peonies from my friend the other day (from her garden). Aren't they loverly?

The crows are going absolutely crazy outside this morning. In the past, it's meant there's a raccoon around but I haven't gone out to check what the kafuffle is about. I do try to love crows equally to all birds but sometimes they push my buttons:) They don't have the prettiest "caw" in the world and just seem to hang around and get mad at everyone. Last spring I had one make a b-line for my head when I was running. I know it was protecting its' nest but hey! After that incident, I always ran by that spot with my hands waving in the air trying to look much bigger and more dangerous than my wimpy self. I'm sure the families at the nearby park got some good giggles out of that!
Today is an open book. I'm not going in to the store and had made plans to get together with a friend but her kidlets are home with colds so...hmmm...should I go see Sex and the City??? What do you think? It would feel so naughty to go to a movie in the middle of the afternoon. Not sure why. It's not like I haven't done all sorts of other crazy things of an afternoon. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Spine-y Senses are Tingling!

When's the last time you laughed so hard you almost peed your pants? Well, for me, that was yesterday. Tears were streaming down my face and I could hardly breathe! It felt like I'd had a 20 minute workout. Here's why...I'd written a letter to someone that I hope to do some work with and because I felt such a connection to her request, I told her my "spine-y" senses were tingling. I thought that was the expression! I showed the letter to Barb (after I sent it) and she didn't really comment. It wasn't until a few hours after I'd sent the email that I realized it's "spide-y" senses! Ok, I'll admit I'm not a huge cartoon fan but once I realized it, it seemed pretty obvious. Why would I even use that expression? It's not like it's something I've ever said before in my LIFE! Thinking about that made me laugh even harder. When I asked Barb why she didn't say anything, she said she thought that it was a cute play on words. Again, I was almost driving off the road (oops, did I mention that I was driving when this laughing fit took over?) doubled over in laughter pain. I guess it's good that I can laugh at myself.
I highly recommend a laugh workout at least once a week. I was way overdue!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You're so nice to come home to...

(this is last June but looks the same now)
I really like it here! Even though we don't own our home, it's a good place to be right now. Coming home from a trip is always exciting, especially in the spring when all of the rhodos are in bloom, the peonies are wide awake and the roses are just starting to burst. We have an amazing honeysuckle vine that's just starting to open up and smells oh-so-lovely. I think my sweet peas grew at least 2 inches while we were away as did the tomato plants. It's all a bit slower than last year but it's still lush and growing. I also love being in a neighbourhood. I know all of our neighbours and everyone is friendly and social. It's not unusual to have impromptu gatherings on the front lawn - and my friend across the street waters my plants while we're out of town. When the neighbours bake cookies, they usually drop off a sample. On Sunday night, our Phillipino neighbours had a roasted pig delivered. About 10 minutes later there was a knock on our door and a plate full of yummy pork product was being delivered! (sorry to any vegetarians out there but I guess it's no secret that we eat meat:) All of the kids say hello when they walk past the house. And if we want to get away from all the street chaos, we retreat onto our back deck. Perfection really!

It's a weird thing to not know what the future holds. We only have this house for a total of 4 years (possibly 4 1/2) and we're almost through our 3rd year. I wonder where we'll end up? The universe has always looked after me in a big way so I'll trust that there's something great out there. Fun to think of the possibilities.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday, Monday...

I would like to beg you, as well as I can, to have patience, with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

I saw this on someone else's blog this morning and it moved me so much that I had to re-share it here. I know I'll be reading this many more times for inspiration and wisdom...

Happy Beautiful, Magical, Sunshine-filled Monday to you!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thoughts on Paris...

1. Wear sensible (yet pretty) shoes. Even if you don't plan on visiting 10 museums in 5 days, you'll be walking. Paris is the perfect city to view on foot. There's something new, exciting and full of life around every corner.

2. Take some kind of city tour early on in your stay. This will give you a better sense of all the different areas and let you know where you want to spend more of your time. We arranged for a private tour in a vintage Citroën car. It was awesome having the roof "rolled" down and looking out at all the amazing architecture. (our tour guide)
3. Prepare for stairs! 99% of the time, the toilette is not on the same floor as you are and more often than not, it's 2 stories down in the basement. There are also many opportunities to climb up to the top of these historic buildings and the views are certainly worth it. This is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe...(I just kept chanting "buns of steel, buns of steel" as I counted the 284 steps up to the top!)

4. Spend time by the river. The Seine is so vibrant and full of life. There are many beautiful bridges you can cross over and watch the canal and tour boats fighting the current, or pack a picnic and join the locals at the Ile de la Cité (home of the Notre Dame Cathedral), right in the centre of the action.

5. Have a crepe from a street vendor. This is one of the more affordable luxuries of Paris and oh so delicious. When George and I were there 14 years ago, this was our backpacking staple. They were just as delicious this time around - a savoury ham and cheese followed by a sweet nutella and banana to share.

6. Take the Metro! The system has 199 km (124 miles) of track and 15 lines. There are 368 stations (not including RER stations), 87 of these being interchanges between lines. Every building is within 500 metres of a métro station. There are 3500 cars which transport roughly 6 million people per day. There are 15000 employees of the métro. Yep, it's crazy and confusing but it's where you see the best of life happening - underground!

7. If you're a meat eater, always find out what part of the animal your dish is from. Just because it says lamb, that doesn't mean it's a chop!!! (don't ask:) pic here!

8. Have a coffee. At any time of the day and into the night, you'll find Parisians sipping a coffee at one of the many brasseries on pretty much every corner. Café (kuh-fay) is plain coffee with nothing added, but is strong as it is brewed like espresso. The cups are small and usually come with 2 cubes of sugar. A breakfast of "pain au chocolat" (chocolate filled croissant) and a cup of café is a perfect start to a day in Paris!

9. Baguettes, Baguettes, Baguettes. Get one while they're still warm and bite off a chunk as you're leaving the store - just like a local. The baguette is a descendant of the bread developed in Vienna in the mid-19th century when steam ovens were first brought into use, helping to make possible the crisp crust and the white crumb pitted with holes that still distinguish the modern baguette. Long loaves had been made for some time but in October 1920 a law prevented bakers from working before 4am, making it impossible to make the traditional, often round loaf in time for customers' breakfasts. The slender baguette solved the problem because it could be prepared and baked much more rapidly.

10. La Tour Eiffel. Go to the top if you can - the line up is well worth the wait. From any angle though, this is the ultimate symbol of Paris so soak it in and enjoy the VIEW!!! As you can see, we sure did!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm Baaaack! Je t'aime Paris!!!

Ok...not a lot of energy to write today but I have uploaded a whack of pix so here's the link. I know there's a LOT of pictures of the Eiffel Tower but it really is beautiful and seen from soooo many places in this beautiful city! Please let me know what you think and what your faves are.
I'm off to meet up with some friends at the Reef on Main. They're in the process of closing their store across from us which makes me sad. I am happy for them to be moving on tho' - life always has lots of good things in store for us all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2 more sleeps!!!

The countdown is now on. I'm not wearing my best underwear or socks - all is being saved to pack:) I'm very glad that G's parents are going to come and housesit while we're away so we don't have to worry so much about the security of our home. G booked us on a tour on Saturday (the day after we arrive in Paris) which will have us picked up by a Citroen car at our hotel and drive us around the city for about 1 1/2 hours and then take us to a wine tasting! That sounds pretty cool. I'm almost packed - Barb is coming tomorrow morning to help me do a final needs assessment and culling:) I'm going to try to keep it down to 3 or less pairs of shoes - wish me luck! (I have to leave room for any new shoe purchases)
If I don't get a chance to blog before I go, I will still check back for any comments so...hint, hint.
à bientôt

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday, Monday...

Well...another successful sailing adventure under our belts! Saturday was such a beautiful day and we were out on the water for about 3 1/2 hours-feeling a little more comfortable with the tacking and jibing. No ferry incidents, a good amount of wind but not too scary and some cold pacifico (check out this pacifico ad campaign - so cool!) at the end of the day while cleaning off the boat. Had to rush home to attend our neighbours dinner party. The drive back home seems to be hit and miss traffic wise. Our neighbours - two doors down - invited us and a few other neighbours for an Armenian feast! Shish kakobs, tabouleh, rice pilaf with mushrooms, peas and chicken, salads and a semolina pudding dessert! Way too much food but oh so delicious. The homemade merlot was also outstanding. The only problem was that we were sitting outside and I was fr*@kin freezing!!! Had a nice warm bath before bed and all was well:) Yesterday was a mellow day. We have a new staff starting at the store so I went in for a few hours and then did very little else:) Clean sheets tho' which is always a perfect Sunday bonus.
The countdown is now on for Paris so I'm packing and re-packing. The challenge? Look pretty and stylish while trying to be practical at the same time. (we will be doing a LOT of walking!)
I bought a great pair of Skechers which are a bit prettier than running shoes and are oh-so-comfy (and are my favourite colour to boot)!
Watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night. I forgot what a cute movie that is. Made me laugh , made me cry.
Happy beginning of the week to you...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My spring garden!

Last weekend we spent a lot of time in our garden, picking up new plants from the market and weeding, mowing, etc. Well, it's your lucky day:) The battery charger has been found and I have some loverly pix to show you. Funny how much my plants have grown in just one week. Maybe I'll post update pix later...
Our back deck -

And George at the end of a long day of gardening!

The evening sky through our front window...