sphero-2-nubs-water

When we got the opportunity to try out Sphero 2.0, I was super excited! My kids both love their games and their apps and their iPads – but how about a robotic ball that can be controlled by an app on a phone or tablet? One that changes colours, does tricks, and can even be programmed by yourself? Sphero has become something that everyone in our family loves and can’t wait to get their hands on!

 What is Sphero 2.0?

It’s a sophisticated, programmable robot housed in a polycarbonate shell that is so durable you can stand on it! It’s waterproof, dirt proof, and slobber-proof (from dogs or drooling babies!). There are over 20 apps that are available for free download for IOS or Android that allow you to play with Sphero. Some games allow you to control Sphero, making it do tricks, driving it up ramps, or playing wicked zombie killing games. Other games have you hold Sphero in your hand and use it as a joystick, or play fun colour matching games.  View Post

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holland-in-his-sling

Just eight days shy of his second birthday, Holland took a spill off of the couch and broke a bone.

We had spent one night in our new home, I was upstairs in the kitchen putting the kids dinner together, and I heard a thump and some crying. I had left both children on the couch, watching a television show, innocent enough. But toddlers are not predictable. In fact, they are quite the opposite.

Toddlers are little, chaotic, emotional beings. At times over-energetic, at other times quick to get tired – it’s a whirlwind of activities, and clumsy moments, and boo-boos.

Holland decided to mount the top edge of the sofa as if it were a horsey.

He then fell sideways off the back of the sofa, landing on his shoulder first, then hitting his head, on the hard concrete floors.

The shoulder took the brunt of the landing, although he had quite a goose egg on his head.

I knew something was wrong when the crying quickly turned into a scream. I left the chicken fingers on the counter island and ran down the stairs, cradling my baby boy and asking my daughter what had happened. I took him outside to get some fresh air and to help him relax. The crying continued.

Then he suddenly started clawing at his shoulder and screaming in pain.

I thought he had broken his shoulder.

I threw both kids in the Jeep, raced down the highway faster than I should have, and sat in the emergency room with a sobbing child. He hadn’t stopped crying since the fall. View Post

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baked-pulled-pork-spring-rolls

When we first moved into the new house, I’ll admit we ate more fast food and take-out pizzas than we should have. It was bad for our bodies and our bank account! I’ve started planning out our meals again, which helps me purchase the right things at the grocery store, and gives me time to experiment with new foods that are just as easy to make.

Spring Rolls are always one of our favourite items to eat at restaurants, so I decided to make a baked version instead of deep frying. The trickiest part of this recipe is handling the spring roll wrappers, but after making a couple of rolls you’ll get the hang of it!  View Post

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foggy-outside

There hasn’t been a real British Columbia rain day in the 23 days since we’ve moved in, that is, until today. Today is one of those perfect rain days – you wake up to rain, you hang out with the rain, you eat with the rain, you go to sleep with the rain… You can adventure in the wild on this rain day, or you can cuddle up with a cuppa on the sofa and watch cartoon after cartoon with the kidlets, who are still in their pajamas…

We’ve been settling in at our place, even if there are many, many, many things that are still on our list of things to do. It’s comfortable enough to live in, and things are definitely coming together, no matter how slowly they take! I took a few pictures of our upstairs yesterday that I thought I’d share with you.

These pictures aren’t ‘styled’, and are not in any form a perfect state of interior design at all – but it’s how we’re living right now, and you can easily see the checklist of things-to-do!

our-kitchenOur kitchen, my beloved kitchen! It’s almost perfect in how I envisioned it, but there are still a few things to get done: third cabinet needs to be installed, the white box under the end of the island will be wrapped in stainless steel, extra chairs are needed, some task lighting needs to be added…  View Post

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wedding-vows

Unconventional.

If there exists one word to describe our relationship, that would be it.

From the moment I spotted him across the dance floor of a suburban nightclub, I knew he was The One. One month later we were officially in a relationship, seven months later we were living together, and almost eleven years later we’re still in love with each other.

fixing-dress

We got married on a Wednesday three years ago.

We went about our wedding a bit different than most, planning it backwards from the honeymoon. First we purchased tickets to a dance event in Amsterdam, then we booked the plane tickets, and only then did we pick our wedding day.

The planning period consisted of about five months of changing our minds. Our goal was to have a wedding with a $5,000 budget. It went from a destination wedding to a mountain wedding, and ended up being a chic party in the city.

elevator-wedding

I found the dress at the Betsey Johnson store in Portland, my fiance by my side helping me decide. The shoes were my favourite Dior heels, and the birdcage veil was a purchase on etsy. I spent two hours in the salon getting my hair done, only to get back to the hotel room and re-do the do into something that was more me!

Our favourite hotel in Vancouver became our venue – we turned the lounge of the Opus Hotel into our ceremony room, and the restaurant, which at the time was 100 Nights, into our reception. Our menu was chosen completely by us – we thought to ourselves: what would the best meal ever be?

wedding-thoughts

The wedding menu provided a three-course meal chosen by the guest. The appetizer choices were Prosciutto Bruschetta, Italian Onion Soup, or Raw Beef Carpaccio, while the main course was a choice of: Bacon Grilled Cheese, Margarita Pizza, a 7 oz. Tenderloin Filet, or a Kick Ass Burger. Along with a dessert table, guests were provided an additional choice of a Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie or Malted Milk Chocolate Kulfi. Best meal ever: accomplished.

bride-maid-of-honor

Family flew in from across the country to be with us, to share in our ceremony, to drink champagne with us, to feast and be merry. We wanted everyone to simply enjoy themselves – there were no overly posed photos, there was no photographer! The snapshots of the night taken by my father, my sister, and my friends hold so many memories – there’s perfection found in the imperfection.

May 18th marked three years since our unconventional wedding, which fit perfectly within our unconventional lives. Here’s to many more decades of having fun, being in love and finding simply happiness with each other! xo

wedding-couple

 

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yellow-pages-app

Living in a small town in the mountains on the West Coast has its’ plus sides – but I’m still a city girl at heart and that means many trips into Vancouver, whether to go shopping, check out a new restaurant, or visit our family!

Yellow Pages has recently launched the new version of their free YP.ca app for both iTunes & Google Play, intended to make your shopping experience better and provide over 20 million business listings at your finger tips. The app is the perfect tool for impromptu trips into the city – it lets you discover a neighbourhood, informs you on any events happening in the area, gives you shopping deals, and even finds you the cheapest local gas prices!

I love that the app saves you time when checking out a new area or that it can help you discover new things in an old locale! The app quickly shows you great shopping deals, awesome events going on, and restaurants to eat at!

yp-cheap-gas-prices

I was hanging out in New Westminster recently visiting my mother-in-law and decided to do some exploring in her neighbourhood – using the YP app I quickly discovered where the closest Starbucks was located. After a lovely little coffee date we headed over to a new Yoga & Pilates studio and took a class, it was fun discovering places to go in a new neighbourhood!

Before heading home I needed to fill up on gas and the YP app shows a map of all the local gas stations and their current pricing – amazing! It gave me directions straight to the gas station and helped me save money at the pump. And it’s so super easy to use, which is a major bonus when using a new app.

Another great feature is that you can save your favourite finds into “My Book” – a new boutique you discovered with the YP app can easily be saved in its’ own category and easily found again! I love that this app is catered to your needs and offers you deals and things to do that you’ll actually be interested in.

The YP.ca app is available for download at iTunes and for Android.

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moving-minimalism

I never hate minimalism more than when I’m moving.

When face to face with all the stuff you’ve procured over the years – your stuff! – it’s unnerving to think that this ALL belongs to you and you have to find a space for ALL of it.

When moving into a new place and having very little furniture to begin with, the idea of now purchasing shelving and desks and dressers to store all your stuff becomes a priority. I start spending hours and hours on various websites, on pinterest, even craigslist or ebay trying to find just the right items. And then the price tag blows me away and I’m still stuck with boxes of stuff until I can afford to buy things to store all my stuff in.

This is when the idea of just throwing it all away kicks in. Minimalism at its’ finest.

Just throw everything away – donate it, put it to good use, let someone else recycle it for you – but wait, you can’t do that because you will most likely need it in the future.

Going through the boxes of stuff, I’ve discovered enough gift wrap, bows, bags, greeting cards and note cards to fill two large Rubbermaid containers. I have no where to put these treasures of mine right now, so in their respective boxes they will stay. Is it wasteful to keep these items stored away until I need them? No, of course not.

But perhaps my cookbook collection could be thinned out a bit. And the boxes full of baking items and cake decorating tools which I rarely use… I’ve also discovered quite a collection of Christmas lights, still in their packaging, waiting to be used at our new home – 14 boxes of them. Being the savvy shopper that I am, I began purchasing them on clearance sales after the holidays.

Minimalism only works for me when there’s a spot for everything, and everything is in its’ place. It works when you have just enough of everything, and not too much. The excess, the fat, must be trimmed so you’re left with everything you need and nothing more.

(Of course, I don’t apply this methodology to my shoes, because that would be blasphemous.)

Only then is the perfect balance achieved – a clean, minimal look which appeals to me, and useful items that are easily found when needed.

But for now I’m buried beneath boxes upon boxes of stuff. Books, toys, clothes, holiday decorations, linens, kitchen stuff, stationary, magazines, more coffee mugs than I can count, and my iphone, lost somewhere in these treasures.

Wish me luck.

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