Wednesday, December 24, 2008

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

after the first big snowfall

For the first time since 1971, all of Canada will be having a white Christmas.

We have had three big dumps of snow so far this year. The first was last Wednesday, then a really big one this past Sunday and now today.

We managed to get out between snow falls and get all our groceries and last minute shopping done so we can sit back, relax and enjoy the next few days without having to worry about going anywhere.

We have been invited to our friends (and close neighbours) for Christmas dinner, so all we have to do is pop on our boots and coats and walk three doors down our driveway to their place. All our family who were travelling have made it safely to their destinations. I have a girlfriend who is supposed to fly to the interior of BC this afternoon, so I hope she makes it to the airport and her flight doesn't get cancelled (fingers crossed).

Here are some pictures of our area over the past week.

Happy holidays to all!

view from our front window this morning

our friend luna enjoying the snow

a spotted towhee grabbing a snack and a rest

Monday, December 01, 2008

lisa vollrath's - original printables holiday countdown

Lisa has another one of her fab countdowns for Christmas. Check it out here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a contest... being held over at my fabulous friend, Shari Beaubien's blog. Pop on over and take a peek.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

mama needs a new pair of shoes...

...and Lady Luck just happened to agree!

Let me explain.

When I started my new job in May, I knew I needed to upgrade my wardrobe and that included new shoes. I took the plunge and forked out some serious cash for a pair of Finn Comfort - Standford slip-on shoes (in black of course), as I knew I would be on my feet a lot and wanted proper support. Ka-ching $$$ the most expensive shoes I have ever purchased by a long shot, at close to $300. One of the smartest moves I ever made though. They have been wonderful...oh so comfy. Some may call them "sensible shoes", but I don't do heels and I think they are pretty cute.

About a month ago, I went back to Foot Solutions to take another look at shoes (something to go with browns this time) and the lovely folks who run the shop in Port Coquitlam told me that the same shoes were coming in, in bronze! Super...they would go with browns, but look cooler than standard brown shoes (they also have them in red, which was tempting, but I rarely wear red). I said please put me down for a pair. I got to pick them up this morning. Again, it was hard to shell out that kind of dough, but the support they provide is soooo worth it.

On the way home, the three of us decided to pop into the casino for a bit. We toodled up to the empty craps table and with my $40 limit, I said, "Mama needs to pay for a new pair of shoes," and I started to roll.

Long story short, I did well. As my chips increased, Wes would slip a few chips into his pocket. Shortly after I started he said, "You can play with everything," meaning he had my starting $$ in his pocket and I was now playing with the house's money. I continued to play, continued to win, and Wes continued to put chips in his pocket. I really didn't know how I was doing, except to say that I always had enough in front of me to place all the bets I wanted.

After about an hour, we decided to call it quits. I tipped the table and we walked away. That's when the fun really began. Wes started to empty his pockets into my hands and when all was said and done, I had won EXACTLY the cost of my shoes (after taking out my initial outlay of $40, plus the tip)! Woo hoo!!

Coincidence, or Lady Luck? Doesn't much matter, cuz Mama's got her new pair of shoes!!

artfest 2009

It's time to get excited again! After missing out last year, I am thrilled to say that I am planning on attending Artfest again this year! All the gals of 6W, from my first year at Artfest (2007) are reuniting next April!

As we Canadians get to send in our registrations a week prior to our US neighbours, Nadine has gratitiously agreed to gather all of our registrations (sans San Diego Deb) to mail in on the first allowable day!

Here's keeping my fingers crossed that I get at least a couple of my first choices (Laurie Mika, Pam Sussman and Ty and Marcia Schultz).

In the meantime, I guess I can start thinking about trades. I love the logo for this year and hope I can come up with some fun ideas around sea creatures. Speaking of which, our Deb recently posted a link to the cutest YouTube video "oktapodi". You can find it here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

26 years ago today...

...I married my best friend.
Stephen, I love you with all my heart.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

the dark knight

After many months of anticipation, we finally got our chance to see the follow up to one of my favorite movies, 'Batman Begins'. It did not disappoint. Christian Bale is the consumate Batman. Heath Ledger was AMAZING as the joker! His mannerisms, his voice, everything was perfectly disturbing. We'll see what happens come oscar time...I definitely think his performance is worthy of a supporting actor nomination.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

great big sea - secret concert

Stephen recently used up most of the JACK points we had both accumulated to get over 300 entries for a contest to win a pair of tickets to the secret Great Big Sea concert held in Vancouver on July 27th!

It paid off! And thanks to our friend Robin, who heard Stephen's name on the radio, we found out we had won! [There was also a message on our answering machine when we got home.]

The concert was held at Doolin's Irish Pub.

There were just over 200 people invited to attend. We got in line early enough so that when we got in, we could get a good spot close to the stage. They had taken all the tables out of the way so there was room for us to crowd around the tiny stage which was in one corner of the pub. We ended up practically at the front and the band had to walk through us all to get on stage. It was a very intimate setting.

Best part of it was that cameras and other recording equipment were welcome! Most excellent! We took a bunch of pictures and videos using our Nikon Cool Pix and Flip video camera.

The boys played for around 90 minutes. Along with several songs from their latest album, 'Fortune's Favour', they played some of their big hits and a few covers, including Led Zepplin's 'Gallows Pole' and The Police's 'So Lonely'. Wicked!

I was hoping to post some of the videos on YouTube, but they are bigger than it allows, so I am trying to figure out a way to compress them.

Here are a few pics from the show.

We did find a couple videos that others posted. You can find one of them here.

What a fun way to start off a four day weekend!

Thanks again, JACKFM!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

father's day goodies

I'm calling it goodies, as countdown seems a bit strange considering Father's Day was yesterday. Lisa has another collection of freebies...they are available here. Get them before they are gone!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

a fabulous weekend

This weekend the three of us spent a wonderful weekend in the capital city of this amazing province of ours...Victoria. We had the pleasure of being hosted by our lovely friends, Mary and Don.

We shared great conversation, lots of m-m-m nummy food, a little geocaching (their first time) and to top it off, a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Saltimanco.

I find myself captivated by each Cirque experience and this one did not disappoint. The athleticism, the artistry and the humour all woven together by a signature cirque soundtrack. In this performance, the live band was situated at the back of the stage on risers and played a prominent part in the entire show.

There was a particularly amusing clown that made the show. He vocalized all these terrific sound effects during several acts. The best one was when he pulled a fellow from the audience who really got into his role. He was such a good sport; going along with everything that was asked of him...I should say mime'ed of him. Just hillarious. The two of them had the audience in stitches. I couldn't stop laughing.

A very relaxing and throughly enjoyable way to spend the weekend.

Thank you, Mary and Don for everything!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

horrible news...

...I learned that one of our promising young Vancouver Canucks defencemen, Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident in New Brunswick today. I was shocked to hear the news and my heart goes out to his family. I can only imagine what could have been.

Luc won a gold medal in 2006 with the Canadian Junior team and played 27 games in the NHL with the Canucks this past season...I hope he got to realize a few of his dreams in his short 21 years.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

superstar hair challenge - episode 4...and no more

Sigh...I must report that Bryan was eliminated from the competition tonight. I don't think he deserved to go, but it appears the judges have their favorites...and I guess our small city boy just wasn't one of them.

Bryan, I think you represented very well! Kudos to you, my friend! You will always be my Superstar!

Monday, May 26, 2008

superstar hair challenge - episode 3

From bottom three last week, to top three this week! Bryan did a great job on his bride and is safe for another week.

We were just over on the island for hair cuts this past weekend and I was saying to Bryan that I thought he seemed to be more relaxed at this stage of the competition. He said it was actually exhaustion, as they didn't get much sleep during the process. are AWESOME and we love ya!

Episode 4 tomorrow...Avante garde...should be good.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

superstar hair challenge - episode 2

This week was the man make overs. After a brief consultation with each stylist, the men got to choose their stylist and Bryan was picked first. That doesn't surprise us as he is a guy's guy.

He rocked the cut, but somehow (don't know what the judges were thinking) ended up in the bottom three.

In the redemption challenge, they had to transform these little kids into their idols, in 30 mins, and Bryan picked the little boy who wanted to look like Zac Efron.

Again he was fabulous and safe from ellimination. Next week brides! Go Bryan.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

superstar hair challenge - episode 1

Phew...Bryan made it through the first show. My heart ached for him when he broke down in front of the judges when they asked him why he was there and he said, "My girls." He trys to be so tough, but I know deep down he is just a big ol' marshmallow!

I thought his first cut was really good and stood up to the rest of the competition. We got really nervous for him when the second competition was hair extensions and he said he had no experience with them. We never lost faith as we know how talented he is and he squeaked through to next week...but not before "throwing his model under the bus" (his words) by revealing her age on television. Oops...but hey, it's Bryan and I wasn't that surprised.

Can't wait to see what he does in the next episode!

Go Bryan Go!!

If you don't get the show in your area, you can click here to access the contestant blogs and clips from previous episodes.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

lisa vollrath - mother's day countdown

Click here for some lovely freebies from Lisa.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

superstar hair challenge

I am SOOO excited!! Our good friend and hair stylist, Bryan is a contestant on Season 2 of Superstar Hair Challenge. He is the handsome one in the black tee on the far right. For a close up look, check out this post from '06.

The first show is May 6th on Slice (in Canada...don't know if this channel is available in the States). At the moment, they only have the synopsis on their website, but as the date gets closer, they will be putting up bios. After each episode airs, the contestants will post to their blogs! This is going to be AWESOME! I can't wait! Good luck, Bryan!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

puerto vallarta...part iv - sea safari...paradise and perspective

Here is the last post relating to our trip to PV. This was one of the highlights for sure!

The Sea Safari was a day travelling around magnificant Banderas Bay (triva fact - third largest bay in the world).

After a short bus ride to the marina, we boarded a 30-person zodiac and headed down to PV, where we picked up our guide and some additional passengers.

There was only about 20 of us in total, so we had lots of room on the boat. Once we were out in the bay, our fabulous guide Carlos says, "Welcome to my office!" I think we were all thinking the same thing..."I wish I had his job."

(One of the things we noticed during our stay, is how passionate the various guides were about their country.)

The water was calm, the sun was shining and the vistas were fantástico!

We travelled along the waterfront of PV and then headed out for some whale watching. It didn't take long before we were watching in awe as a momma humpback whale floated along and her new calf frolicked all around her. Amazing!

Next, we travelled south and came back towards the coast and passed several boats loaded with scuba divers, snorklers and partiers.

We passed large rock islands that were home to hundreds of pelicans, friggits and blue-footed boobies.

We were taken to a private beach at the south end of the bay. This area is only accessable be sea, and the locals have to bring in all of their supplies by boat.

Some of the gang went snorkeling while the rest of us lounged on the beautiful white sand.

We were treated to a delicious lunch and beverages from the open bar. Coco-locos were served fresh. Stephen was brave and decided to try one. Stephen liked it but I had one sip and thought, "Uck...cough syrup." Take a coconut, hack off the top, add grenadine, rum and water to the coconut milk and viola (I still say 'uck').

After lunch we played volleyball. There were four gals from Red Deer, Alberta who obviously had played before (in college as a matter of fact). It was so much fun!

Before heading back, Carlos took us into one of the local homes where we were shown how tortillas are made, from grinding the corn on a stone that had been passed down through four generations, to cooking them on the limestone/mud stove.

The people in this area don't have much, but in other ways they have everything. This is where the perspective comes in. Carlos told us the last person they buried from this little village was 102 years old and when he died, he still had all his own teeth and walked without a cane. I guess living with less also means living with a lot less stress. And living in this tropical paradise can't hurt either.

We zipped across the bay on the return trip. At one point, we had a pod of dolphins swimming along beside us. What a sight to behold!

Other than a sunburnt ear, lip and legs (even with our hats and sunscreen) fue un día IMPRESIONANTE!

Monday, April 14, 2008

happy birthday!

19 years ago today, our precious son was born.

Happy birthday, Wesley!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

puerto vallarta...part iii - juan helluva night

After having learned my lesson from Sunday night, I was better prepared to handle the "juan helluva night pub crawl" on Tuesday night. Along with fellow JACK members, Robin & Darren, Tammy & Sean, Sharon & Chris; as well as, Megan & Nathan and about ten others, we had a tequila toast with our Signature rep, Pete before heading into PV for our outing. We stopped at two resorts along the way to gather a few others, including Winnipeg-Chris (more about him in a bit).

We had been warned about the 'tequila-girls' (TG) in the bars before we left our resort and also advised that they were not included with our all-drinks wrist bands. We learned why rather quickly at our first stop, Carlos O'Brien's. There, a clown made us all balloon hats. Flowers for the girls and well, check out the pic for yourself to see what the boys got.

On one of our stops, we picked up a couple from Iowa. They, obviously, had not been warned, so when the TG came by blowing her whistle, they decided to go for it. Three quick shots of tequila later, his head was being rubbed in TG's boobs. Next up was the Mrs. She also received the head-in-boobs treatment, but she got something extra. TG then took her hands and gave Mrs. a good ol' boob rub...first outside her top and then underneath! OMG! It was funny, yet disturbing at the same time.

Next stop, Senor Frogs...that is where Winnipeg-Chris thought it would be fun to get a henna tatoo. The one on this back looked pretty basic...then, with the help of his buddy, he ended up getting another on his stomach. As I saw his buddy draw the outline for the henna guy, I thought to myself, "No...he isn't really going to do that. OMG, yes he is!" Hey, to each his own. Made me laugh out loud, and I can honestly say, I wasn't the only one. In order not to offend anyone, I have censored the pic. If you can't figure out what the tat was, let's just say, his new nickname was 'dick-boy'.

Now, as you can imagine, this tatoo garnered its fair share of attention. Next thing you know, Chris is up on stage with two other contestants for a banan-eating contest. The rub was, after they blindfolded all the contestants, they took the blindfolds off the other two leaving Chris sitting in the middle of the stage with a banana in hand. He's thinking he's in a competition and pounds back the banana. The MC announces there is a tie between Canada (Chris) and the US fellow. So they hand him another banana. At this point, I start recording this little event, which I shared with Chris at the conclusion of the contest! Thanks for the great laughs, Chris!

If you are interested, you can find it here.

Our final stop was Mandala, a new disco that had opened about a month earlier. There we danced, sang and partied until it was time to hop back on the bus.

It really was Juan Helluva Night!!

Next up...our Sea Safari.