Friday, April 30, 2010

pour le weekend









{photo}

It will be a bittersweet goodbye when I part from home (wilton, california). But on the other end of my travels are several others that I love. We are a different kind of family, but family nonetheless. In the past year, these few have taught me that family is more than being part of a gene pool or even sharing values. It's about sharing experiences. We help each other get through it all - usually with a smile and a cocktail. To me, the concept of family has evolved to mean so much more, and those who I call family share a home in my heart. Members are added with caution because they always leave a lasting mark.


Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anais Nin


Here's to wishing you all the best for your weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

home grown treasures

Eggs
Mum's chickens lay coloured eggs. It's like Easter everyday!

Cabbage
Dad's amazing vegetable garden is sprouting. He's even created mini green houses.

Dad's greenhouse


Iris after the rain
And of course, flowers galore!

sights and sounds of home

It is a sanctuary in the middle of a little country town. Protected by white fences, there are miles of rolling grassy fields on the outside. It is a place that embraces summer all year long. A hammock between two oaks. Flowers that bloom with the coming season. Meals enjoyed outdoors whenever the sun is out.

Backyard Paradise

This time of the year the grass is especially lush. I run my toes through it as I meander about taking photos. There is an arch smothered in beautiful, magenta English roses. Beyond it is a cutting garden overrun with Shasta daisies. Of all this sights to marvel at, this is my favorite.

Cutting Garden

I get on my old bike and ride further out of town with my brother. The silence surrounds us and we agree that this is where people should live. It is vast, open and free. Everything a life should be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

snapshots of Carmel

some favorite images and memories from a little trip down the California coast.


Between buildings



Vintage car


From the plaza in Carmel


Lovers' Point

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Summer Reads

The great Celsus Library in Alexandria.

- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (working on this one now)
- Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
- All Over Creation by Ruth Orezki
- Them by Joyce Carol Oates
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Anna Karernina by Leo Tolstoy
- Light in August by William Faulkner
- The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

fabulous finds

one thing i love about being home - Target. it mystifies me as to why there is not one in Canada. these are a few of the things that i have picked up on this trip.




except mine is white with blue flowers

these sandals are so cute and i was so bummed they didn't have them in my size.


i am especially excited about this one! it is super flowy, light fabric with the most delicate neckline. i love it and cannot wait to wear it!


Liberty of London is doing an amazing line of clothing, intimates home decor and everything in between for Target. this is one of my favorite pillows.

so excited for anthropologie later this week!

A list of little adventures for the summer

Visit the Portobello West Market
Play a round at the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt
Beach days
Grouse Grind
Patio Dinner Parties
Attend Fuse at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Tofino Food and Wine Festival
Wine Tasting
Sea Kayaking in English Bay
Queen Elizabeth Botanical Garden
Main Street Shopping - From 2nd to 30th
The Caribbean restaurant on 25th and Main
Make a cheese souffle
Celebrate Canada Day
Browse used book stores
Read at least 10 books this summer
Finish my quilt
Take lots of photographs
Walk the sea wall with my love
Have a girly sleepover with my besties
Organize and "Sex and the City" movie party
Grow my hair out
Make lots of pottery - especially bowls and appetizer trays
Vintage shopping
Have Sunday breakfast at Sophie's
Plan a wine tasting trip to the Okanagan Valley in July
Run in the summer rain
Have a picnic at a new favorite spot
Celebrate my graduation with all my friends and family
Explore Strathcona
Find a new restaurant to adore
Live in sandals and dresses

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

flight notes

Just as quickly as the wheels left the ground, the scenery of the city disappeared and I was among the clouds.

Descending into Seattle, small glimpses of life were visible. But the most spectacular sight was the mountain range puncturing the clouds. As if in an effort to grasp any bit of sunlight. Suddenly green trees covered the ground in every direction and in a rich gradient of colours. A temporary place to rest my feet.

The journey continued. My flight to Sacramento was peaceful. The light sounds of death cab for cutie came through my head phones as I drifted in and out of sleep. One hour and thirty eight minutes later I arrived forty five minutes closer to home, though only five minutes from reunited with the people who make that home.

I waited in the sunshine on the curb. It was colder than I had expected it to be - slightly windy. I fished my sunglasses out of my handbag and leaned against my luggage while waiting to sight a familiar car with a familiar face contained within it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What to do when your trip is canceled.

Plan an alternatively great holiday, like a visit home. Let it be filled with winery visits, horseback riding and time with your loved ones. Quiet time for reflection and reading and writing. Meandering the streets of San Francisco in search of the perfect vintage wear and summer sandals. Enjoying the smells of the sea, fresh fish dishes and the cries of seagulls. Hiking within the coastal mountains and going for long bike rides with my brother. Tasting the freshest of produce only available in California - avocados, kiwis and yellow corn. Taking in the vivid colours of spring that are not yet in bloom in British Columbia. Irises, roses by the bunch and fields full of green grass. Going on long runs and lingering over long lunches. Charity dinners and family gatherings.

This is home.


{photo by v.}

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Volcano squashes my travel plans


I am so anxious. My fabulous Europe trip is just 2 days away and it might be canceled! How does this happen? Last week was a week filled with goodness that is suddenly trumped by a volcanic eruption. Am I the only one who finds this completely absurd? I'll be laughing about this is a week. Anyways tomorrow is D-Day, I will know whether or not I'm traveling. Fingers crossed and happy thoughts.

Tomorrow will start a week of more good things, regardless of where I land on Tuesday. Sweet dreams for your Sunday!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dreams



There are many moments in life when we reach truly exciting crossroads. The waves carry us to a new starting point and we are privy to dream like never before. The possibilities are endless and it can be overwhelming to know what to pursue first. Sometimes our plans can guide us to know what is right. Other times, we must simply go forth and employ the trial and error technique. At the moment, I think I am employing the trial and error technique. I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I believe I will get more out of the process. But before I set myself in motion come May, I thought, what are my dreams? Little, big, personal, or community based? Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Above all, they are what makes each day something to remember. Here are a few of mine.

- Dedicate hours to community service with the Salvation Army's human trafficking refugee house.
- For the summer, have at least two articles published.
- Take a course on writing. Figure out whether I want to write fiction or fact.
- Continue creating things. Pottery, art, handbags, quilts, sweet confections.
- Put a dent in my reading list.
- Hosting dinner parties on my patio.
- Making the perfect cheese souffle.
- Being a roaring success at my new job.
- Watching a new relationship blossom into something wonderful.
- Exploring new facets of my city.


Friday, April 16, 2010

What a perfect day (Thursday) looks like

Getting energized early in the morning and quieting my mind at the gym. Coming home to shower and then cuddle with the boy. Throwing on a summer inspired outfit. A crisp short sleeve blouse with capris. Tan loafers topped off with a cream coloured wrap. Strolling around town wearing large sunglasses and soaking up the sun. After completing my errands, enjoying a granola bar in the local rose garden. Spending a few moments thinking about the exciting milestones of the day. Accepting a job offer. Completing my university courses. Saying a few goodbyes and thank yous at my current job. Picking up a bottle of my favorite zin - 7 deadly zins. Collecting members of my Canadian family to rejoice in another year coming to a close. 4 years together. So much has happened and there is so much to look forward to.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ways to celebrate

I can think of many fun, traditional ways to celebrate. Champagne. Cake. Gathering friends and family. Here are my favorites.

{photo}

A picnic. The weather is warming, so gather your favorite finger foods and beverage and head outdoors.

Share your accomplishments with others. Thank those who helped you and give them a slice of your excitement.

Make something to commemorate the occasion. It could be cake, but why not art? Or a time capsule?

On the day your accomplishment takes form, you will be filled to the brim with happiness. Maybe that is enough.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Midweek

Write a handwritten note

{photo}

Spend time with close friends and loved ones
This is one of my loved ones :)

{photo by v.}

Meander through the aisles of your local market

{photo}

Be thankful for what you have.

Dream, but not in frivolous materiality.

Surrounded by a chorus of flowers.

{photo by v.}

Spend your moments enthralled. Be passionate. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.

Be excited for what awaits you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A few to dos on this Tuesday

Swipe on some purple eyeshadow.



Step out onto the streets.

{photo}

Begin a 'to pack' list for Europe.

{photo}

Enjoy the serene moments in my day.

Work late into the night, tying up the last remnants of my degree.

{photo}

Picking up a few more French words.

Marvel at what I've created. Art. A quilt. A paper. A beautiful life.




What are you doing today?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome to a fabulous week!

Rules for the week.

1. Work hard and make it count.


2. Look fabulous everyday of the week, even if there is no occasion. Wait, your life is the occasion!

{photo}

3. If at anytime things are not going as well as they should be, just smile and remember that everything works itself out
{photo}

4. Document your adventures.
{photo}


5.
Take pride in all that you do. You'll never have another week quite like this one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday night of my last week of university


Tonight is the last Sunday night that I will be thinking about the upcoming school week. Although I knew my undergrad degree was going to end eventually - and I certainly haven't been in denial about it - it is very strange that it is here. Now. I love school so much and am sad the pause button on our relationship is being hit come Thursday. I'm just trying to remind myself that this is an exciting time where I will have the freedom to get to know myself without school. Perhaps it is a truer version of myself. Who knows. It's strange that the effect of it all ending is playing out in different emotions than I had imagined.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My Fabulous Paris Outfit - and post 300

I am so excited. My Europe trip is 11 short days away and I have found what I like to call my Paris dress. If you find yourself strolling around Paris at the end of April, this is how you can spot me.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

When did women get committed to wanting commitment?

My experiences – and K’s – over the past few weeks have truly challenged the steadfast cultural stereotype: all women want long-term commitment NOW. But perhaps our situations are unique.

Let’s see. K and Paris Boy have been dating (officially) for a little over a month and there is already wedding talk. We had a hushed conversation on my bed last night as she anxiously told me that he’d (generously) wait until she’s 26. 26! My goodness. I realize that a century ago being married at our age was normal, but so much has changed. Women vote. They go to university. They have businesses. They are successful outside the domestic sphere. It seems like a shame for all that to come to a halt. Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage is wonderful, but why is it that women hit the pause button on their lives when they wed? Why do we not think of men’s lives like this?

I’d like to believe that I am not idly waiting around to be married. I have plenty of goals that I pursue, and would continue to pursue, if there was someone else. I believe that in any relationship, you must try to strike a balance of nurturing that relationship with another person as well as maintaining the one you have with yourself. It’s challenging. It’s very easy – even when dating – to let things fall by the wayside. This time around I’m considering a revision of past woes. But I’m getting off point.

What perplexes me to some extent is that odd stereotype that women want, need, commitment. In thinking about this, I realize that there are two things that drive a person to commitment. First, that you are afraid of being alone. Second, you have worked things out with yourself and are ready to incorporate another individual. Naturally, the later is the ideal situation. Within it is the implication that you have given yourself direction. I think that is the most important thing of all. So why is it easily sacrificed in the name of love?

Truth be told, I have no answers (as usual). I often sacrifice bits of my life in the name a relationship. Maybe it’s the natural inclination of all humans, not just women. We want to belong. Perhaps this is the true cost of fulfilling a basic desire of human nature. If that’s the case, the problem may be culture’s framing of gender relations, which prevents us from simply accepting a truth. Lately, I’ve found that culture is cause of most prevalent problems. It is what conjures up these ideas. Then again, where would we be without its structure?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Leftover Thoughts from the Weekend

As her eyes fluttered open, she realized that she had not brushed her teeth the night before. She promptly got out of bed to perform her nightly ritual and then climbed back into bed. It was 9:40 am. She was on the wrong side of her bed, but that was okay. Suddenly he embraced her and she stopped thinking.

She couldn't explain it. This man has captured her in a very different way. It was exciting. She had never thought this would be possible. Turning towards him, she lay on her stomach trying to capture this impossibility in her mind. And then he sang to her. All she could do is smile.

He is nothing like who she'd imagined. Then, just like the night before, he picked her up and carried her away.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday Night Dinner Party



A menu

- Argentinean red wines and homemade papaya beer

- Pork tenderloin marinated in brown sugar, honey, coke and rum
- A fresh salad
- Potatoes in conversation with chives, garlic and butter


A scene
Soft little lights, lovely cream coloured dishes, and fun conversations. Several rounds of board games. New friendships and blossoming romances.
Laughing over past mishaps and non-existent plans. All the while, hoping.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The words to what I see

I know of great love from what I see. And it is so recognizable. Comfort. Ease. Beauty. Friendship. But what is the difference between great love and friendship? They are deeply intertwined just like the individuals. Each is a part of the other's definition. Although the individual still lives, their life is enriched by the addition of another. Once the synthesis has taken place, it can never be undone.
What I see is this change.

It is simple. It is elegant. It is love.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April showers

{photo by V.}

As my undergrad degree comes to a close, I hope that these next few weeks do not pass too quickly. I want to remember every bit of everyday. I will never have another experience quite like this one. Maybe some better. Perhaps some worse. But I do know that I want to embrace my life, at this moment.

A new adventure is about to begin.