Snow Day

In honour of this “temporary” winter wonderland we have been blessed with, from one of my favourite Holiday movies:




It’s All About the Orange

Pumpkin Cake

Caramelized Butternut Squash

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Persimmon and Pomegranate Leaf Wreath from Better Homes and Gardens

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup


Earlier this week, I found a book near the check-out of the library. At first, I was like… “uh-oh, somebody forgot their book!” I was about to return it to the Librarian when I noticed a sticker on the front of the book. It read:

Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!
I’m a very special book. You see, I’m traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I’ve met another friend in you. Please go to and enter my BCID number (shown below). You’ll discover where I’ve been and who has read me, and can let them know I’m safe here in your hands. Then… READ and RELEASE me!

How neat is that?? So of course, I took the book home with me, to read, and afterwards, i will “release” it back into another public space!  (I’ve also registered the book online too, for others to track and see where it’s been and where it’s going).

I was very excited to find this book, because years ago (more than 10  years), I stumbled across another book that was part of the BookCrossing circulation.  I stumbled across Wayson Choy’s the Jade Peony.  Unfortunately, it was a book that I just couldn’t get into, so I passed it onto my sister, who then left it at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).  Where it went, I wasn’t certain, but somebody (I’m hoping) must have picked it up, and kept it going!

The book I found earlier this week, is The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz.  Life has been hectic for me this week, so I haven’t gotten past the first few pages of this book, but I WILL read this book, and I WILL re-circulate this book after I’ve finished.  I actually have no idea what this book is about, but I’m sure I will enjoy it.

In any case, to find out more about BookCrossing, check out their website.  I hope to find a few more of their books after I’ve finished with this one!

My Summer has Ended

For me, Summer has ended.  I just recently returned from a weekend trip to Whistler, and that marks the end of my “summer days.”  I always try to plan a vacation in the month of September, when the weather is still nice, but not too hot.

This year, though, the weather stayed blazing hot, making it feel as though it were still August.  I don’t like the blazing hot sun… especially when the hotel you are staying at has no air-conditioning.  No A/C?  What???  Yes, I knew there would be no A/C.  I read many hotel reviews online, before selecting this hotel.  There were few complaints about this hotel, other than the lack of air-conditioning.  So why did we choose this hotel?  It had almost everything that we wanted, and the price was satisfactory to the wallet.  Who knew that Whistler in September would be between 28 to 31 degrees Celsius, at it’s high??  My family and I figured A/C would not be needed in September weather.  We were wrong.  Thank goodness for swimming pools.

Yes, swimming pools.  I haven’t been in a pool or large body of water since my honeymoon, in 2007.  YES, that long!  But in any case, out of desperation to cool down, some of us headed to the pool.  What fun!  And how hungry-inducing it was, too!  Yes, we burned calories, merely by splashing in the water – muscle-meets-resistance means very hungry people, afterwards.  But I’d rather be cool and hungry, than hot and cranky – which is what we were before splashing into the pool.  In any case, while we enjoyed our time in the pool, and cooled ourselves off in the water, it did not make up for the lack of A/C in our rooms.  But it did provide some reprieve.

So having said that, I am now revising my list of wants and needs, when booking accommodations for vacations and other trips.  Swimming pools are now a “want” (or bonus), and air-conditioning almost at a need.  The majority of customer reviews must be all positive, and the price must offer good value for the type of accommodation.  There are a few other points to my list, but they are mostly “wants” and not “needs”, depending on the type of vacation and who my vacation companions are.

In any case, my weekend and my Summer “ended” as we drove from blazing hot Whistler, to cloudy and windy Squamish, to rainy and cloudy Vancouver coast.  I look forward to pulling out my sweaters, jeans, boots, and scarves.  I welcome Fall weather.  I’ve had my fun in the sun, and now I await the cooler weather, and for the holidays that come with it!

Summer Fresh Fruit

I love summertime for it’s abundance of fresh fruit.  Being on the West Coast in British Columbia, the weather is perfect for growing berries, fruit trees, and whatever else you can think of.  Fresh corn on the cob is also a favourite of mine.  The best way to eat summer fruit, is simply rinsed/washed, and then down into the tummy it goes!

A few places I’ve been to for picking fresh fruit, is Krause Berry Farms, and Dreidiger Farms,  There are also many other farms, of which I haven’t visited, some in Richmond, Delta, Surrey, and Maple Ridge.

Many years back, I’ve also frequented Meadows Maze, at least 3 or 4 times.   There are hay rides, a corn maze, petting zoo for small children, etc..  It’s a great place for adults who enjoy the challenge of getting lost in a maze, and a great place for families too.

Unfortunately, we will not have the chance to visit any farms or corn-mazes this year.  So the next best method of getting fresh farm fruit, is via Farmer’s Markets.  I enjoy walking amongst the stalls of Farmer’s Markets, seeing the fresh fruit and vegetables, eyeing the jars of delicious honey, smelling the fresh baked bread…  I should say, though, that not all Farmers Markets are equal.  Some are larger than others, some have more variety, and others have more of a “community” feel to them, with local performers attending the event, and with kids’ tents to entertain and attract children.

If you are in an area where Farmers Markets are few and far-between, or simply non-existent, I encourage you to purchase locally-produced fruit.  Look for the “Made in BC” sticker (or “Made in wherever you happen to live” sticker).  Local fruit and vegetables are more fresh, and your “local” purchase helps the domestic economy.

In any case, I believe I will be visiting Farmers Markets more frequently, as I am now beginning to prepare my own baby foods – fresh, local, and organic (whenever possible) are what I’ll be looking for, for my baby’s produce!



Something to look forward to – Austenland

When it comes to Victorian literature, and Victorian authors, I become a little giddy – but that’s because I’m an English Lit Major.  And that is why Austenland has me grinning from ear to ear.  I’ve been informed that in fact, Austenland is a novel, turned into a movie.  I now have to find that novel.  And I look forward to watching this silly movie.

Want a sneak peak?  Here is the trailer for the goofy movie.

Release Date: September 27, 2013.

I think I will be making a movie date with my girly friends, and leaving behind the babies and husband.  🙂  Girl’s night, Yay!

Daily Make-Up Regimen

What is your daily make-up regimen?

There are days when I go out without make-up, and those days are usually fun “I don’t care” days with the family – those are most days.

Then there are days when I feel like being extra pretty, or work days, or date nights with friends and family.  That’s when I put on a little bit of make-up.

My current basics are:

  • Foundation – Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (Nude, Light – 4)
  • Blush – Paul and Joe Face Colour – 07
  • Lip Gloss – Bloom in Pink
  • Brown eyeliner
  • (if needed) Concealer – Maybelline New York, in Sand (20).

I’m a drug-store make-up shopper.  Price is an important factor in what I buy, mostly because I don’t use make-up too often.  However, if I were to use it on a daily basis, I think I may choose to go more with brand, than price.  Otherwise, I have no problems with purchasing Maybelline, Cover Girl, etc..  Those are still perfectly good brands, just not as “glitzy” or glamorous as Shiseido or other similar brands.

I do wonder though, about what more I could do with my eyes.  I have sensitive eyes, so do not like putting too much product around them.  Some eye powders end up making my eye lids puffy, due to irritation, which is why I generally stick to using only an eyeliner, and on occasion mascara.  If anyone has other ideas on a daily eye-make-up routine, post in the comments, and let me know!  I’m always up for improving my make-up routine!

Share bear follow-up

So I took the kiddos to the mall and saw poor Share Bear all cooped up in his cell. His digs weren’t so bad, actually. He had a lovely ottoman to sit on, and he had many visitors dropping by to chat and take pictures. Share Bear certainly has many friends – friends who couldn’t bare to see him go hungry, or be locked up in his cell. I certainly hope that Share Society meets its goal.

Below is a pic of Share Bear and some hand-painting, done by a lovely volunteer.

2013-06-20 16.16.52 2013-06-20 16.23.29

Caffeine Fix

This morning I fixed myself a large mug of coffee.  I normally don’t drink coffee unless I really need it, unless my energy is extremely low.  Well, this morning I really needed it.  Two days ago, I needed it too, except I was on the road.  I indulged myself with a Starbucks, a Skinny Vanilla Latte.  Slurp!  Other days, I just fix myself a cup of tea at home, and I’m fine for the rest of the day.

I follow several rules when I decide on tea, coffee, home-made, or purchased.

  1. If it’s free, or inexpensive, go for it.
  2. If tired, go for it.
  3. If in the morning, go for it.
  4. If really craving a gourmet cup of coffee, and all of the above rules apply, go for it.

Free and inexpensive are key words for me.  At my previous workplace, tea and coffee were provided in the lunchroom.  I drank a tea or coffee almost daily, there.

Two workplaces ago, tea and coffee were not provided.  Therefore, I would either drink a mug of tea at home (or take it on-the-go), or purchase a tea/coffee at the nearby Tim Hortons.

Currently, I am a stay-at-home mom, so retail tea and coffee is a luxury for me.  Homemade brews are what I do now.

Purchasing a daily cup of brew at retail prices really takes a bite into your wallet over time, especially depending on where you purchase, and what you purchase.  It’s surprising how much people are willing to spend to get their daily caffeine fix.  When I was young and single, I would spend upwards of $20+ on a caffeinated beverage per week.  As a stay-at-home mom of two children, with a mortgage, I barely spend that much on myself on a weekly basis.

I’ve become frugal in my “older” years, more responsible with how I spend.  But I guess that’s what happens as you gain more responsibility.  You learn to respect your hard-earned money, and you begin to worry about future savings…  And thus you get more frugal (or cheap).  Gasp!