Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday List - Places I Gotta Eat

This post actually started out just as a list I was making for myself.

When we had cable, the Food Network was one of my go to channels and I developed an affinity for those programs that showcase local eateries (even if they do seem to employ the most obnoxious hosts).  It goes along with my obsession with reading menus, and my general passion for food I guess. I just love the stuff.

Vancouver is well known for having some fantastic restaurants and I can attest to that. I have eaten some fantastic meals here. Having so many amazing places in town though can sometimes feel like more than a curse than a blessing - especially when my budget unfortunately doesn't cover eating out every night of the week.

I should do a little write up of some of my favourite places in town, but for now I present:

The Next Ten Restaurants in which I plan to Eat
(catchy, no?)

1.  Go Fish! - A fish and chip stand located on the seawall just west of Granville Island. I have recommended dozens of tourists eat here, though I have yet to.

2.  Argo Cafe -   A place I learned about from TV, which was surprising since it's fairly close to my neighbourhood and seems to have quite the following. They post their specials daily on their website which I think is just awesome.

3.  Peaceful Restaurant  - I've been wanting to go here for ages,  and am kicking myself that I didn't get there before it was featured on TV because I bet the wait will be a lot worse.  I hear the Peaceful beef roll is amazing, and I've been wanting to find a place with Mu Shu pork for ages (Miss you Hunan House!)

4.  Red Wagon - My friend went there and had pulled pork stuffed pancakes with Jack Daniels maple syrup. Enough said.

5.  The Acorn - This place just opened last month nearby, and it looks beautiful. They also have a lavender and honey creme brulee on their menu that I need to eat.

6.  Che Baba Cantina - I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't been here yet as it is literally just down the street. It's the same owners of Les Faux Bourgeois, which is an amazing French bistro that I ate at for my last birthday.

7.  Grub - I haven't heard anything about this place at all. It looks cute and the name makes me laugh, so that's good enough for me I guess.

8. Hawker's Delight - A bit of a Vancouver institution and again, I'm a little embarrassed I haven't tried it yet.

9. Salt Tasting Room - Build your own cheese and charcuterie plates and flights of wine? Yes please!

10. Toshi Sushi - Regularly listed in top 5 lists for Vancouver sushi and there is always, always a big line outside.

So there ya go. If there are any fellow Vancouver eaters reading and you want to tell me your fave places to eat then please do!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yes, please

One thing about my new found frugality (or, at least, efforts to be frugal) is that it's a lot easier than I thought it would be. Especially when it came to shopping.

I have been making a conscious effort to only buy things that I absolutely adore and am 100% positive I will wear regularly. I've also started taking a lot more time to make the decision to buy something - I used to be a ridiculous impulse buyer! (And really, it still gets the best of me sometimes.)

However, I've started noticing recently that I now have to actually talk myself into buying things. On a recent shopping trip south of the border I only bought two things! Shoes that I really did need and a skirt that I absolutely adore. Well, and I split on a bag of chocolate covered potato chips, but I mean...come on. Of course I did. And then an item will come along that I don't need to think about for even a second to know that it is something that is meant for me to buy. Like, for instance, this stunning silk scarf from Fieldguided.



There is a summer sale happening in their shop right now - all Light as a feather scarves are 25% off! Go buy one for yourself, and then maybe that meteorite one for me as a thank you for turning you on to the sale ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Film Friday - Camp Life

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A delayed post this week, as on Friday I was blissfully disconnected and camping with a fantastic group of people.

A shot from my first time at the best camping spot I've ever been to - morning coffee made on the fire. Does it get any better?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day

Old Faithful Shop posted these photos today in honour of Canada Day and I thought that they were just lovely.
A Canada Day parade going down Cordova in 1925.

A float from the parade, also (obviously) from 1925.

My plans for this Canada include making meatballs, tidying up and then heading over to Caitlin and Tony's to watch fireworks on their rooftop patio. Not too shabby!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Film Friday - Festival!

For as long as I can remember, the Canada Day long weekend meant one thing in Hamilton - It's Your Festival!

Gage Park, a mere 10 minute walk from my house, hosts the anywhere-from-3-to-5-day festival that showcases the best in (through the years): tasty foods, rides, skeeball, jewelery with yin yangs, concert photos and bible quizes.

In other words, perfection.

It's Your Festival (along with Festival of Friends in August) were hands down the absolutely highlight of the summer for adolescent me.


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This is actually a few years past adolescence - the summer I was 22 and just days before I chopped those dreadlocks off.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Glowing Product Review

I love summer! Since I'm a bit of an obnoxious optimist, really, I love all seasons.
But, summer! Am I right?

Since I mainly wear skirts and dresses, one of my favourite things about summer is the feeling of those first few instances of going bare legged and feeling so freeeeeee.

 For about 5 minutes. And then the dreaded leg-rubbing begins. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. It is such a bummer - an otherwise glorious day getting more and more uncomfortable because of your stupid, sweaty thighs. I've tried powder (nope), wearing shorts (they can ride up, plus are just too hot). But no more!

If you suffer from this as well, get thee to a sporting goods store and buy this:


BODY GLIDE!

Seriously. SERIOUSLY.
This is a life saver, a god send, a some-other-hyperbole. It's small enough to keep discreetly in your purse if you need to reapply, but usually just once is good. And it'll only run you about $7!

And really, can you put a price on a summer full of flowy skirts and no chaffing? I don't think so!

Film Friday

Yes, please.


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 Photo by Monica, from ages ago on a Toronto shopping trip

Monday, June 18, 2012

10 things, 10 hundred dollars

Yesterday, while taking in the sights of this year's Car Free Day on Main St I ran into my pal Lisa who also happens to write The Sprog a mum-topic-centric blog about living in East Van and raising her lovely son. She mentioned the fact that I hadn't been blogging much (or, at all) and suggested I check out the "Monday Listicles" over at The Good Life blog.

For me, my inspiration comes in such ridiculous fits and starts - for a bit I'll have loads of ideas and then nothing. I like the idea of being given topics to write about, so I thought I would give it a try. The fact that the topic this week is imaginary shopping certainly helps.

 Lately I've had money on the brain like CRAZY. I finally decided I needed to actually start acting a little bit like a grown up and figure some shit out. So I ponied up the $25 to get my credit report (which wasn't as bad as I was expecting!), started reading a money blog regularly (The Billfold, friend to the fabulous Hairpin) and signed up at Mint.com to start tracking just where all my money ends up anyways. It's been good! And depressing, but good!

Even more recently money has been a touchier (ie stressier) subject, since the summer is looming which means no work. I'm hoping I'll be able to get EI, but I'm also very wary of it (it's never worked out before), and so for now and the foreseeable future I am in mega-budget mode. Which means no fun shopping. And so, imaginary shopping ho!

 The topic this week is what 10 things I would buy with $1000 dollars.

1. I'm totally stealing Lisa's idea here; a pound of delicious French Blend tea from Granville Island Tea Company - $30

2. Two beautiful, dry aged rib eye steaks from Windsor Packing Co. on Main St - $25

3. A Buddy Belt harness in natural for Minnie Pearl - $80


4. A bunch of tasty cheese from Les Amis du Fromage - $25

5. Frye Veronica Slouch boots in bronze (swoooooon) - $370

6. Wood veneer Lolita sunglasses from Tumbleweeds Oddities on etsy - $75


7. Miniature Aga for my future dollhouse - $35



8. THIS GODDAMN DRESS from Modcloth - $290

9. A hair cut from somewhere nice in Vancouver (my old hair stylist moved away so I don't really have anywhere specific to go right now) - $65

10. A French 75 cocktail from The Cascade Room on Main St - $10


Monday, June 11, 2012

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

My most recent obsession (aside from The Hunger Games and dollhouses**) - shotgun houses.
True Kentucky Shotgun House Power Pole and Shotgun Houses

From Wikipedia:
The shotgun house is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than 12 feet (3.5 m) wide, with doors at each end. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–65), through to the 1920s.

I listened to a super informative and entertaining (as always) Stuff You Should Know podcast all about shotgun houses. I had heard the term before, and have seen some (during my New Orleans trip) but didn't know exactly what they were. And I certainly didn't know any of their history.

The older I get the more modest my dreams become of the kind of house I would like to eventually own. Something like this would be just perfect.

**Expect to see some (hopefully) pretty amazing posts related to this topic soon!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Film Friday - Victoria Day


Photo from about 8 years back, driving the 15 up my camp. The May 24th long weekend was always the first time of the year we would head up, definitely going to be a little camp-sick this weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

BC Teachers

This morning I got up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 to stand in the cold rain for three hours. I did this as part of the current job action and BC teachers' withdrawal of services. For the next three days teachers all over BC are demonstrating (not picketing! we're not allowed to picket) in protest of illegal contract stripping and the punitive and damaging education legislation that the government is trying to pass.

Being relatively new to BC I was pretty clueless about the history between the union and the government out here. That's not so anymore!

I grew up in a fiercely pro-union family. My (very, very left) grandparents on my mum's side worked to set up unions at Westinghouse in Hamilton, among other places. During Mike Harris' time as premiere in Ontario my dad was on strike for 5 weeks. In grade 10 when my teachers were on strike my mum got us up early to go down with coffee and timbits to support them.

While the job action is frustrating (last week before my two week spring break - I was definitely hoping for a lot of work since I'll be without for a while) it's necessary.

And in an odd way, I am enjoying it. It's exciting! I'm out demonstrating and arguing for something I believe in deeply - something I've decided to dedicate my life's work to.
It also makes me feel closer to all my family members who share these beliefs (most of which aren't around anymore).

Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the adorable student who came out to support us this morning with a "We <3 our Teachers" sign, but I did come across these wonderful Life photos from Francis Miller.

Lake Central Stewardess Strike, 1958.

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Dancing Teacher's Strike, 1949

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(Maybe I should try introducing a conga line to the demonstration tomorrow?)

**ETA - On Wednesday March 7th and 2pm there will be a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery in support of teachers. If you're free and want to support us, come on down!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

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Professional Figure skater Carol Lynne w. 3/4 lb. flashlights embedded in the boots of her skates to chart the designs of her skating movements in New York Ice Show "Off to Ice."

Photos by Gjon Mili, 1945

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

恭禧發財 - Gong Hey Fat Choy !

Yes, I'm a week late.

Today was the Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver though, and of course, again, I forgot to go.
Possibly for the best, it was a lousy rainy day. But, still. Yargh.

But annoyance aside, here's to a happy and prosperous Year of the Dragon.
Last week I got to read a few books to students about the new year traditions and even got a couple red envelopes (no money though, just candy - fine by me).

Found these photos in the life archive from 1954. Photographer:Joseph Scherschel

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Men building up a fire in front of an altar durng the Chinese New Year celebrations.

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Men gambling at a game of Mah-Jong durng the Chinese New Year celebrations.

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Children fold origami money during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

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The Chen family children receiving lucky money after dinner, during Chinese New Year.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Film Friday - Squamish



Trees, a lake, sun and my fantastic friend Steph.

Camping in the summer in Squamish.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If I were rich...

I would buy these for my dad:



And these for my sister Calypso:



And these for myself!



Sigh.....

Gorgeous books sets (just in time for Valentine's!) from Juniper Books

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whoa

Totally blown away by these cross-stitched ads by Inge Jacobsen.



Talk about inspiring - time to pull out my embroidery thread.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Film Friday - Double exposure



When I got my Canon A-1, one feature I was especially excited about was its ability to do double exposures. Ever since I learned about how to do them (around 12? 13?) I've loved them. Gimmicky? Maybe, but I do love a good gimmick.

I really didn't expect this one to turn out - but oh how it did! Campfire and beautiful full moon from our Squamish camping weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vancouvaversary

January 10th is an important date for me, for two reasons now.

First, it's the date I took a pretty big step and moved from Hamilton to Vancouver some 4 years ago.
The past 4 years have seen a LOT happen - good and bad. It took me a good while to get settled out here and find my footing. I am happy to say that at this point in my Vancouver life I'm pretty dang pleased. I still miss Hamilton like crazy, and all my family and friends. But I have settled in a neighbourhood that I love and within a group of friends whom I adore.

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Back in 2008, Wreck Beach in November (much less nakedness)

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Statues and blossoms at English Bay, visiting with Calypso in 2010

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Houses in Mount Pleasant, taken summer 2011

The newest significance to January 10th is that it's the date, one year ago today, that this little bundle of joy entered out lives.

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Miss Minnie Pearl has grown from a wrinkly ball of crazy into a very sturdy, still wrinkly, lovely little dog. This is a photo from an amazing camping trip in the summer, which I'm pretty positive she absolutely adored. Afterward Adam and I both noticed a definite change in her, in that she was much more receptive to what we said. I think she was pretty grateful for the mini vacation.

And I can speak for both Adam and myself, that we are both extremely grateful for all of the hilarity, cuddles and snorts (sooooo many snorts) that Minnie has added to our lives.

Plum tuckered

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Minnie stealing focus from the always-lovely Caitlin and Tony.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, new goals..


Photo by Caitlin, at her lovely place

I spent my New Years Eve with a lovely group of people in a lovely place.
I made the banner above, after being inspired by this post.

The new year has never been a huge deal for me, I've always been more influenced by the school year and looked at September as more of the 'fresh start' time of the year. That being said, I do usually make a few resolutions, usually of the "just be more healthy" variety. This year, though, I did come up with a couple rather specific things, and I have a feeling the specificity will make them easier to stick to.

Again along the healthy line, I've resolved to cook fish at least once a week and to do a veggie dinner once a week as well (as a lover of alliteration I was thinking of a "Meatless Monday" theme). Tonight I did pan fried tilapia and yesterday it was roasted veggie sandwiches with sunchoke purree (on homemade bread no less!) so I'm off to a good start already.

Though I adore a good restaurant meal, I do cook a lot at home and those meals are generally pretty healthful. They may contain some indulgences like duck fat and such, but hey...that's still better than all that processed crap, right? ;) A more general resolution, which I guess is ongoing, is just to keep up with the home cooking with whole foods.

I also want to get on my "swimming regularly" goal from my 29 Before 30, and tomorrow my plan is to march on over to the pool and sign up.

I hope everyone out there has had a good start to 2012, and if you've made any resolutions - all the best with them!
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