Wednesday, December 27, 2006

holidayed out

We started doing our Christmas shows immediately after Hallowe'en, so by the time Christmas actually rolls around...we're already tired of it! There is such a thing as too much Christmas and now we're recovering from Christmasitis. Symptoms include sensitivities to the Chipmunk Song and liquored-up old geezers posing as the really jolly St. Nick.

Every weekend has been designated to either a show or a holiday party, which usually involves an overload of high-calorie goodies and not so Muzak to my ears. The doctor of the house recommends a natural home remedy - hit the trails and embrace the sun and fresh air. Check.

A couple of low-keyed and enjoyable things we did this season was go on a Christmas Light tour on our bikes and watch The Holiday. Personally, this sweet, romantic comedy is most memorable for the beautiful English scenery and I'm not referring to Jude Law, though he was most pathetically adorable. It's a typical chic flic - predictable and mindless entertainment, but amusing nonetheless.

What was more impressive is the Rio Theatre on Broadway. This cozy, single-screen theatre has a wonderful, warm and fuzzy feel to it, where there aren't any crowds of rambunctious adolescence to contend with, plenty of free street parking and comfortable seats for a mere $8.00. With the convenience of Skytrain and a number of restaurants and cafés just around the corner, I selfishly hope this little gem stays undiscovered a wee bit longer.

We recently picked up a copy of the much coveted, hard to find - had a glass: THE TOP 100 WINES FOR 2007 UNDER $20.00 by Kenji Hodgson and James Nevison from Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks down on West 2nd Avenue.

We were quite pleased to see mucho recommendations of Spanish wines including the Segura Viudas Brut "Reserva", a Mongeot family staple. With only 3 down and 97 bottles to go, we should be in fine shape as we ring in the New Year.

Speaking of fine shape...as the season comes to an end and life gets back into the groove, I am preparing myself for a tortuous month of Survivor Boot Camp, a Christmas pressie to myself. As I'm a bit of a fair-weather commuter, I haven't been on the bike as much as I would like, hence the affliction of junk in the trunk that needs tending to.

ANOTHER pressie to myself was a pair of women-specific Nike AIR MAX N-Dorfin 3 Rollerblades that promises to transform me into an "inline goddess". Hmm, complemented with a pair of our goddess earrings, nothing can stop me now...

"...I will survive."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Christmas Party

I have survived yet another year of organizing the office Christmas party. I dug out this very funny tragedy from my archives as a warning of where I may very well end up! It's a bit of read, but well worth it. Enjoy.


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resource Director
TO: All Employees

DATE: 4th November 2005
RE: Christmas Party


I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon the private function room at the Grill House. There will be cash bar and plenty of drinks!

We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... please feel free to sing along.
And don't be surprised if the E.D. shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1 pm. Gift exchanges among employees can be done at that time, however, no gift should be over $10 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees!
The E.D. will make a special announcement at the party.

Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Pauline


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resource Director
TO: All Employees

DATE: 5th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party". The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians. There will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,
Pauline


FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees

DATE: 6th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore!!! How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange allowed now since the Union Officials feel that $10 is too much money and Management believe $10 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED!

Pauline

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees

DATE: 7th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of the year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs, perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - or else package everything up for you to take in a little foil doggy bag. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the toilets, Gay are allowed to sit with each other, Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements for the gay men's table too. To the person asking permission to cross dress…no cross-dressing allowed.

We will have booster seat for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food, we suggest those people with high blood pressure taste the food first. There will be fresh fruits as desserts for Diabetics; the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?????

Pauline

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F******
Employees
DATE: 8th November 2005
RE: The F****** Holiday Party

Vegetarian pricks I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death", as you so quaintly put it, you'll have your f****** salad bar, including organic tomatoes, but you know tomatoes have feelings too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream, I'm hearing them scream right NOW!!!
I hope you all have a rotten holiday, drink, drive and die!!!

The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!!!

FROM: John Bishop - Acting Human Resource Director
TO: All
Employees
DATE: 9th November 2005
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy recovery, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, the Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and instead, give everyone the afternoon of December 23rd off with full pay.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Just In Thyme


Deserving Thyme Outlet Store is currently having their holiday gift sale...

Open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 5 pm
726 Powell Street (between Heatley & Hawks)
T: 604.683.7740 e: info@deservingthyme.com

Friday, December 01, 2006

About Town

Support World AIDS Day

After setting up our table in advance for the Marché de Noël, we decided to dine at the centre's in-house bistro, Salade de Fruit. We have heard much praise for this intimate and cozy hideaway, so when opportunity presented itself, we could not resist. Jesee and I both indulged in the generous portions of Moules et Frites et Canard Confit. The mussels were absolutely the freshest and most tender we've ever enjoyed and the succulent duck confit resting on a bed of sauce à cassis created an emotional excitement within us. All this superbness accompanied by a carafe of wine, crackling Piaf and an Eiffel Tower Christmas tree looking over us gets two thumbs up from Tapas and Dim Sum.

Two weeks ago on opening night, we watched and loved Casino Royale and we were curious to find out why people were fussing about Happy Feet. Heartwarming and adorable as it was, it didn't do a whole lot for me like Daniel Craig did. He's really all THAT and a bag of chips.

Truth be known, going to the cinema was more about me finding a place to rest my weary feet for a few hours before we headed to the Lotus Lounge for a night of dancing. Resident DJ Andrew Pacey was playing an early set which suited us old dudes just fine. As we zoned out and let loose to the progressive house beat, the age thing became less evident...that is until we ran out of juice.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Marché de Noël


Izzy & Buds will be exhibiting at Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver this Saturday for their annual Marché de Noël.

I'm not sure if they will be serving les cuisses de grenouilles, but there are certain to be other culinary specialties to sample.

Come down and explore the Christmas Market and be French for a day!

Current Read: Merde Actually (The sequel to A Year in the Merde) by Stephen Clarke

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Unscripted

Last night, we attended a lovely, intimate potluck dinner for sixteen, to wish our friend a bon voyage on her sojourn to Dublin.

The charming Point Grey residence is home to a collection of original artworks including those of local artist, Thomas Anfield. Straight away, I was drawn to the deep and dark energy in this painting titled Ming Men. I soon understood that the midnight blue mood encompassing the nude figure reflects the colour of the Kidney chakras (according to Taoist spiritual teachings) and believed to be the storage centre of sexual and energetic essences. Magnificent.

It was an evening of flowing conversations with a group of very intriguing people. Meeting new friends that you have passions in common with is always exciting. Watching Jesee and his new mate, Russell squeal like choirboys while drooling over bike speak, Miles Davis and concert adventures around the world was most entertaining.

The science behind successful dinner parties can be rather complicated at best. Organizing the guest list, the menu and decor etc. can turn any hostess with the mostest into a flailing spaz. In this case, the simplicity and lack of forethought made for a perfectly fine soirée. Chapeaux Basia and congratulations on your two-year anniversary with SHED!

Current Music: Original soundtrack from Diva composed and conducted by Vladmir Cosma

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tell me why I don't like Mondays...


It is an absolutely horrible day outside. A definite, "I wish I could stay home, as it's raining cats and dogs out" kind of day. After our busy weekend at the St. Thomas Aquinas craft show, we could use the extra rest. Ugh, no such luck.

A friend passed along this bit of nostalgia - a Loverboy video clip of This Could Be the Night featuring herself and a few other ex-Elite models that I once worked with here in Vancouver. I don't miss having big hair.

The colourless images of the Ovaltine Cafe on Skid Row mirror the melancholy mood this weather imposes upon us.

*sigh*

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Boop-Oop-A-Doop

Betty, the nickname for Elizabeth meaning "Consecrated to God". I wonder...does anyone call Her Majesty "Betty" behind closed doors at the palace?

Betty in the snowboarding world refers to a girl who can't ride (a poser who is a girl). Characteristics include: a Roxy snowboard, sideslipping through the park, flirting, being loud and obnoxious, matching jacket, pants, hat, etc.

Ugly Betty an ABC dramedy produced by Latin beauty, Salma Hayek. It's worth a giggle or two, but lacking Stanley Tucci's "Nigel", as seen in The Devil Wears Prada.

Brown Betty, a red clay teapot lovingly hand-made in Staffordshire England.

Apple Brown Betty, an infamous dessert at Toby's Good Eats, a chain of restaurants I frequented during my stint in T.O. back in the 80's. Thanks to a near bushel of apples a dear friend gave me - we've been eating Apple Brown Betties for the last three days!

Betty Beauty a line of hair dyes for "The Hair Down There". Is she REALLY a blond? Now the proof is in the pudding.

There's nothing sacred about pubic hair and it's far too Martha to have the carpet match the curtains, when you can have hardwood. I could be preaching to the converted, but why not partake in the full Telly Savalas? "It's a good thing."

Current Read: A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

Current Music: Wax Tailor - Tales of the Forgotten Melodies

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Saturday Salon

Click on image to enlarge.

This Saturday Izzy and Buds has been asked to participate in an exclusive ladies only event - The Saturday Salon. Bring your BFF, girlfriends, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother...anyone who wants to spend a self-indulgent afternoon being treated like the goddess she deserves to be.

Other participants include SHED Home Furnishings, Rejuvenating Spa, Purple Orange Arts and Sandy's Cards. A coffee bar and wine lounge will also be at your service.

Forgo the daily humdrum for a social and networking opportunity while supporting local artisans and the Harvest Project through a raffle of fabulously handcrafted donated items.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cheesy Tourist Snap

On the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

Jesee and I have just arrived home after a two-week grind in Hong Kong and China. We were always on the go and computer access was extremely limited. We would have liked to share our adventures with you on a daily basis, but time now only permits me to share the highlights.

Our mission was to source out new suppliers and to connect with existing ones, but we did find time to visit with family and have some fun. The collection of Swarovski crystals and silver findings that we have acquired will make for an even finer line of jewelry. More shapes, sizes and colours to choose from allowing Jesee to create without boundaries...the dream of an artist.

With the influx of people from other provinces now working in HK and Guangzhou, Mandarin appears to be the predominant language; nevertheless my basic knowledge of Cantonese still served us well. Negotiating is an international body language that is easily communicated with the shake or nod of a head and if you walk away, you can be sure that they'll call you back.

*Should you ever find yourself bargaining in China, note that you should start your offer at 20% of the asking price and expect to pay about 25-30%.

Most all of our days and evenings were filled with activities and we averaged four to five hours of sleep each night. Our families ensured that we ate like royalty every meal and it is customary to go out for a midnight snack. The thirty degree temperatures (85% humidity) begged us to quench our thirsts with super-sized bottles of Heineken and Tsingtao beer. Try doing this everyday for two weeks and you'll be sure to gain more than a few kilos!

We spent our first day in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province. The experience was surreal...traffic, pollution and noise. This city never sleeps and one rarely sees the sun through the blanket of smog. Everywhere you turn there is construction of new highways and sky-high buildings covered up with bamboo scaffolding, known to be incredibly strong, lightweight and flexible enough to survive a monsoon! Bamboo is considered so versatile, you can even own a bamboo bike. How clever.

After witnessing the hundreds of thousands of cyclists commuting in what I call a respiratory nightmare, I swear to never complain about my commutes to work. Cyclists, motor-cyclists, taxis, putt-putts and inefficient gas burning vehicles all manage to co-exist on the crowded streets with a laissez-faire attitude. No one flips the bird or gets hot under the collar. Road rage isn't programmed into their brains, so very little fazes them. I on the other hand nearly required a change of Fruit of the Loom more than once. We thought that we both were fairly aggressive drivers, but pale in comparison to the drivers of this virtually ruleless city.

Hong Kong and China is a shopper's paradise. There isn't anything you cannot find here, except maybe clothes to fit the average gweilo, a Cantonese term for male westerners which literally translates as "ghost man" a.k.a. "white boy". You can buy fake anything here, so buyers beware, as it's very easy to be fooled when you are overwhelmed by the selection and prices and especially the pushy sales staff.

After we endured a day of shopping and sightseeing, we were treated to an hour-long foot massage for about CAD$5.00. The masseuses are trained in reflexology and knew exactly how to fix what ailed us. We were served complimentary snacks and drinks, while we laid back on the chairs in absolute bliss. Most memorable was the young girl who worked on Jesee and when she addressed him as Si Fu which means Master...THIS he could get use to.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

F4 Wedding?

Construction on the rooftop of a downtown parkade has peaked the curiosity of surrounding office workers for the past couple of weeks. What I thought at first was going to be a green space, turned out to be a set for part two of the adventure film, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Judging by the gazebo, foliage and white chairs lined up neatly in rows...I'm going to assume that Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman will celebrate a marriage.

I wasn't really into this Marvel comic series growing up, but was easily convinced to watch the flick when I learned that über sexy Aussie, Julian McMahon from Nip/Tuck was starring as Dr. Victor Von Doom. Sadly, his character was killed off in the last film, but one never knows? *wink, wink*

I can already imagine the stomach-turning smell of cheap microwave popcorn permeating offices, as onlookers hang about to catch a glimpse of the stars in our exclusive viewing of Hollywood North's latest work.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Spa-di-da


How luxe...the makers of the absolutely fabulous AND my most favourite aromatherapy pick-me-up, Deserving Thyme's Brown Sugar Body Scrub has just opened up a spa in downtown Vancouver!

Indulge and spoil yourself...book your appointment today.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be Yourself

I admit that for the past month, I've been hooked on Rock Star: Supernova and tonight they crowned yet another Candadian boy for their frontman. Lukas Rossi's performance of Be Yourself showed just how tight they were...like a glove.

"Rock on, eh?"

Monday, September 04, 2006

Holding Back the Tears


As the ferry turned towards the terminal in Snug Cove, reality sunk in...this was the last weekend of the summer market. We took a deep breath, started our engines and filed out one by one. While we were setting up our tables, there appeared to be a quiet solemness amongst the crafters, but before long the hustle and bustle kicked in and all was good.

Next year the Bowen Summer Market promises to be bigger and better with produce from local farms and organic orchards, fresh homemade pies and baked goodies, face painting for the kids and live music. We can hardly wait another year!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tidbits

Nature's Prozak

Today's dose of vitamin v made me giggle :o)


Coexistence

During my commute home today, I was thinking about how much cyclists put themselves at risk while sharing the roadways with motor vehicles. Everyday is a bit of a crapshoot and I consider myself lucky when I arrive home unscathed.

There's always the lunatic driver who honks his horn - just because and to that, I shake my head. Today I got a little toot from a driver, but it was followed with a shaka/Rock On/ILY hand sign commonly used by mountain bikers, so I smiled and signed back.

Once again I live to ride another day.


Wok in a Box

I recently checked out the website for a new restaurant in Kitsilano called The Noodle Box. A funky Far Eastern food concept whose menu has me hankering for some Spicy Peanut Noodles served in Chinese take-out boxes with the wire handles. You know what I mean, the kind of boxes that you always see people eating out of on the telly?

Soon I will check out more than just their site...stay tuned for a foodies critique.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Last Days of Summer

August 26th Bowfest celebrations attracted many locals and visitors.

It is almost unofficially over. This will be the last weekend of the Bowen Summer Market. The last days of our little artisan family hanging out under the tents sharing our friendships and our lives. As it does every year at this time - a little twinge of sorrow strikes us all.

How we'll miss it so.

We will move onward with our lives - back to school, back to work, back to humdrum, until the Christmas show in December, where we hug, laugh and catch up on news over a glass of mulled apple cider or hot cocoa.

Until then...

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Last Straw

In my typical Monday morning comatose haste, I spilled coffee all over myself and my stupid bag containing my iPod, shoes and lunch. *scream* This was the straw that broke the camel's back and prompted me to finally go and purchase a new travel mug. Not just any old ugly mug, but a highly recommended, virtually leakproof Starbucks Memory Tumbler.

I didn't particularly fancy any of the designs offered by Starbucks and decided to Google for a template enabling the use of my own photos/graphics and found one here. Such a silly little thing has brought me much rejoice for those morning commutes, whether it's on the train or on the back of my bike in my trusty pannier. Tomorrow I will put it to the test as I jump the speed bumps and attempt to turn my Iced Latte into a Frappuccino® .

Current Tunes: Breakfast in America - Supertramp

Current Read: Heat - An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Naf Naf

Last night after a beautiful day at the Saturday market, we presented ourselves at Rob and Laurel's for their annual pig roast. Their newly renovated homestead overlooking the ocean and the mainland beyond was the perfect setting for this gathering of victuals and spirits.

It was not long before we were engaged in conversation with fellow foodies Julie and Christophe Langlois from Tuscany's and Park Heffelfinger of Memphis Blues BBQ House fame. Watching grown men salivate and get excited about cooking is sooo sexy!

The aroma of garden fresh rosemary and garlic emitting from this succulent other white meat was begging to be carved.

Served up with honest Southern fixins' of baked beans, potato salad, corn bread and slaw, there was barely room for one of Laurel's famous desserts. Because it just wouldn't be darn polite to say no, like gracious guests, we obliged.

Unlike Sweet Potato Queens, we rolled out like pumpkins in the wee hours of darkness hurtin' for some antacids and beauty sleep.

The soothing sounds of a man-made fountain outside our bedroom lulled us right to sleep. Only hours later, the vibrant sunlight peaked through the windows inviting us to wake up and take in the magnificent vista from the deck.

Since today was a planned and much needed vacation day away from the market, an alfresco brunch at Tuscany's was in order. Neither Jesee nor I are fans of pancakes, but we had to sample the very much talked about, Mother Theresa's Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes. As promised...they were simply divine. Italian folksongs sweetly playing in the background and Peach Bellinis gratis from co-owner and maitre d' extraordinaire, Julie was the icing on the slice of paradise we hope to one day call home.


Friday, August 18, 2006

iPod, therefore iBike

Not so typical summer weather and a bout of strep throat has kept me fairly low-keyed and off the saddle. Near full recovery, I needed some motivation and have finally clued in to what billions around the world already know.

Recently, Jesee upgraded his Nano to a 4 GB, so naturally I inherited my very own almost, just about, practically brand new 2-gigger. I never quite grasped this pop culture phenomenon...until NOW. Yes, you too can feel like an Übermodel, as the sidewalk becomes your catwalk. Work it baby, you own it.

What is more thrilling is riding with my iPod and how my commute has taken on a whole new mind trip. I never realized just how quickly the time passes, while climbing hills and cruising through the urban jungle. Somehow it lessens the need for road rage with careless drivers on their CrackBerries, when you're pedalling to some Balearic Beat or local DJ Andrew Pacey.

Who needs doping when you've got the power of music?


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Not So Charming

We were less than charmed when we discovered that one of our silver charm bracelets mysteriously disappeared from our table.

In an open message to the bangle bandit, we say, "You are responsible for your actions, beware of the Law of Karma".


Friday, August 11, 2006

Breakfast at Tuscany

For those of you who still haven't made it to the market at Bowen Island this summer, there are four more weekends left to check it out.

vitamin v, one of my favourite online dailies, pretty much sums up "things to do on Bowen", including a charming dining experience at Tuscany. I haven't tried Mother Theresa's Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes yet, but may I recommend the Eggs Benedict with Proscuitto?


A perfect escape for all ages, so what are you waiting for? Jump aboard the Queen of Capilano for a 20 minute voyage to the Gulf Islands own diamond in the rough!


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Beautiful Food, Beautiful Boys

Presentation is half the battle - aromatic sweet basil leaves, succulent tomatoes and fresh buffalo bocconcini, finished with vibrant edible violets. This is one of many tasty eats served at Holly's birthday party last weekend.

All that was missing were the beautiful Abercrombie & Fitch boys, who happened to be shooting for the new catalogue with American photographer Bruce Webber over yonder at the Alder Cove Estate.

Like a pack of cougars sniffing about for prey, we prowled around their trailers only to discover they had gone out on le bateau. C'est dommage.

Why do I have the sudden urge to tear up my shirt and don some legwarmers?


I'm going on a manhunt - I'm out for a kill...


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blustery Day

As tornado-like winds ripped through the market and Snug Cove Saturday morning, vendors were hanging on to their tents and wares for dear life. It was strong enough to take down this tree along the main road, which would then create a bit of a havoc as it hit the powerlines and left most of Bowen without electricity.

It was most fortunate that there was a detour available through Cates Hill Road to get to the other side of the island, otherwise the backlog of ferry traffic could have been darn ugly.

Desperately in need of warmth and fuel, we packed up early and headed up to Artisan Square to grab a late lunch at The Galley Bistro with our friends Holly and David.

Other than the quick hellos in the ferry queue, we haven't had much time to catch up. They haven't participated in the market this year due to their ever growing business and since they also had no power at their gallery, we called this impromptu rendezvous a divine intervention. This was also an opportunity for David to give us a personal invite to celebrate Holly's birthday next weekend. *wink*


The absence of light on this cloudy day made for a somewhat romantic ambiance. Only cold plates were being offered...so wine and a Lazy Fisherman sandwich next to the fireplace it was.

Comfy, cozy and yummy...aah.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Guten Appetit!

Tonight we celebrated the birthdays of brothers Walt and Collin and our dear friend, Paul's 50th with one of Jesee's killer paellas.

Loaded with plenty of goodness from the sea, both surf and turf lovers alike consumed this masterpiece with contented happiness.


While we ate the birthday Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte that was lovingly prepared by Elfriede, we sat back and enjoyed the view of the endless* cruise ships sailing by at sunset.

Niklaus led the group in German folk songs, as we all held hands and pretended to sing along before laughing at our silly selves. Prost and more champagne please!



Danke Walt and Laura for sharing your hearts and your home and graciously hosting another hübsch event.

Current Music: Moby 18





*It was explained to me that ships try to travel during the time of slack water, hence why they all appeared to be sailing at the same time.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Quotes of the Day

Here are a few quotes that might help you better understand what it's like to live with an artist...

To be a gourmet you must start early, as you must begin riding early to be a good horseman. You must live in France, your father must have been a gourmet. Nothing in life must interest you but your stomach.

-Ludwig Bemelmans

**********************************************************

The true gourmet, like the true artist, is one of the unhappiest creatures existent. His trouble comes from so seldom finding what he constantly seeks: perfection.

-Ludwig Bemelmans


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meet Ralph, the sock monkey...


and his new owner, Matthew who tried to convince us that Ralph is for his niece, but we know better.

*wink-wink, nod-nod*

Ralph is the fruit of it's clever creator, Kirsten Degner. His friends at the Funny Farm will miss him dearly, but they needn't worry about him, as monkey business is Matthew Freed's middle name. This talent behind artspot has a mischievous sense of humour that will do well for his new found friend.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

for august babies

vintage swarovski peridot and sterling silver necklace
seventy-five dollars


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Nearly killed and not so thrilled!

As a token of his appreciation for the work we did on Danika's fundraiser, Papa Dan Schroeter kindly gifted us the use of his Whistler condo for a week.

We had an über fun time riding both XC trails and the Bike Park. The weather was sunny, HOT and clammy. Add a pack filled with tools, energy bars/drinks/gels, along with two-litres of water on our backs, throw in some mosquitoes for good measure and Bob's your uncle.

Unfortunately, during our ride on Thrill Me, Kill Me, Jesee flung himself down a small cliff before finding safety with the helping limb of a Charlie Brown tree. Like a trooper, he finished the two-hour ride, but soon admitted that he needed medical attention.

While Jesee nursed his knee, the rest of us ripped the trails of Crank It Up, Angry Pirate and Devil's Club. Some of it was more than I bargained for and definitely a test of my nerves, since I'm afraid of heights. Even though the Angry Pirate got the best of me, I escaped unscathed.

As a reprieve for my aching body, we went to see The Devil Wears Prada. Stanley Tucci was bitchy, witty and hilarious and Meryl Streep makes my boss look like a pussy cat. Eric Lurio from the Greenwich Village Gazette describes it best - "Dilbert Meets Sex and the City". A chick flick worthy enough to add to my limited DVD collection.

We also watched some FIFA World Cup (Portugal and their demise with the French), while knocking back some Lifty Lagers and Hot Wings at the Whistler BrewHouse. This combined with Tylenol 3 made for a very loopy Jesee, as he felt NO PAIN.

We only dined out a few times, as Jesee ensured that we ate like kings 3x/day. The only restaurant deserving of mention is Crêpe Montagne. We found the organized dance performed by the kitchen staff in barely 25 square feet of work space quite impressive, as was the service. Unlike our friends who indulged in Nutella crêpes first thing in the morning, we nourished ourselves with a breakfast crêpe of eggs, back bacon and Gruyère. DÉLICIEUX!

Jesee celebrating his 47th birthday at the top.


We ended the week with a visit to the Farmer's Market that I've heard so much about. It was somewhat disappointing considering the hype around this market. There were several jewelry stalls, but nothing which compared to Izzy & Buds, which leads me to believe that Whistler might be in need of some fabulous, goddess jewelry.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day at Bowen Market

The Bowen Market is officially in full swing. Once again the hubbub of vendors came out of hibernation and worked like crazy to set up their tables before the crowds arrived. It always takes a bit longer to set up the first display of the season at Bowen. Unlike an indoor display, one must carefully prepare for the potential damage of the winds that can strike at any given moment.

Rumour was told that a group of cruise ship travelers would be flown in by seaplane to Bowen Island for an excursion of hiking, biking or kayaking. The pressure was on to get as much product out on the table, as market coordinator, Basia Lieske screamed out at us. Imagine Ty Pennington from Extreme Home Makeover...only she didn't need a bull-horn!

Beautiful, exotic, ebony-skinned women from Jamaica and the Virgin Islands came in droves, swarmed our table and practically threw their money at us! Somewhere on the open waters of the Pacific are a group of Caribbean Queens looking mighty fine, sparkling in Izzy & Buds adornments.

Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We're expecting you.
Love, life's sweetest reward.
Let it flow, it floats back to you.

Love Boat soon will be making another run
The Love Boat promises something for everyone
Set a course for adventure,
Your mind on a new romance...


Friday, June 23, 2006

Memoirs of a China Girl


Perfect days are few and far between, but biking at Galbraith was just so. The plethora of trails combining wicked technical singletrack that twist and wind in and out of the trees to open fields of wild flowers were beautiful and breathtaking.


Although the climb to the top was demanding, we still burned our way back up a second time, as the downhill was too sweet not to. We grinned from ear to ear all day long...actually we're still grinning!

Current Music: I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick


Saturday, June 10, 2006

dot dot dot

*
*
*
Sparkling Swarovski,

glitter and shout, "Ooh la la!"
by Izzy and Buds
*
*
*

Friday, June 09, 2006

Oil and water do not mix!


I was such a pathetic sight. I had just received a long overdue manicure and pedicure and was feeling very relaxed and pretty. The fine day had turned into an ugly evening and outside it was a torrential downpour.

As I hit the streets in my gold-beaded flip-flops (carefully planned so that I wouldn't muck up the fresh polish), I soon found out that it was going to be a looong journey home. My feet were covered in rich massage cream and that combined with the rain made for a slippery trek that pretty much left me walking like an injured duckie - a far cry from my usual confident clip.

I seized every opportunity to wipe the oil slick off the bottom of my feet onto my now drenched capris. It was useless. I was so tempted to remove my sandals and walk home in my bare feet, but I had just spent a small fortune getting my tender tootsies pumiced, scrubbed, massaged and wrapped in paraffin wax. Call me stubborn, but there was no way in the nine hells that I was going to let this pedicure go to waste!

As I tackled a slight incline en route, I began sliding backwards right out of my flip-flops. I started "side-stepping", a skill learned from my days of skiing, but even that failed to get me up the hill. Perhaps if I had some frickin' poles? I had no alternative, but to do an about-face and walk backwards up the hill...it was REALLY sad.

Current song in my head: I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner?

It was hardly considered appropriate dinner conversation, but I was fully prepared to educate MJ and his lady friend on the benefits of a hardwood over carpet...

Remembering the first time Jesee and I rode with MJ as our JH Pedals & Pints ride leader, we joked about his then preconception of me - a couple of stitches, a broken finger and a concussion later, he didn't think this fashionista would have it in her to tough it out.

Ahem, please do not call me princess or pay close attention to my wounded legs during riding season, thank you.

Long life for the crazy people...

With slick salesman style, MJ cashed in on a year old dinner invite, but we were very glad to see him nevertheless. Seemingly, he has recovered from a laceration to his liver after an endo on Upper Oil Can AND has found his mojo again. So much, that he's looking to buy a duckadee Ducati.

Our tummies were already full with an appy of phyllo pastries stuffed with an ice shrimp, grilled jalapeño, carmelized onion and asiago concoction before taking on a hearty paella and finishing with a strawberry mousse. Attention people: ALL DIETS ARE OFF.

There was the inevitable biking babble - i.e. the über fun ride last week at Galbraith Mountain with Chris and Karli, the need for speed or the itch to up our forks and shocks because everyone wants six inches in the rear, right?

The icing on the cake this night was MJ's friend wanting to shop. She couldn't help but pick out a few crackerjack pieces for herself when she laid eyes on our Swarovski treasures. MJ, we like those kinds of friends - you can invite yourself to dinner anytime!

Friday, May 26, 2006

ĭ-shoes

The world is our catwalk - stand up straight, shoulders back and strut with attitude.

Got new shoes?

Well, bring on the plaster love, 'cause I feel a mother of a blister coming on.

The world is our catwalk - now grit your teeth, smile and sashay.

*******************************************************************

On the subject of issues with footwear...

While at the office one day, Lady X noticed that her stay-ups were not cooperating, so she bought a new pair of stockings at the drugstore.

Desperate to keep them up without looking conspicuous, she carefully shuffled her way to the ladies room.

Evidently, it was too late. The look on the face of a passerby staring down at her ankles gave it away.

Unlike her stay-ups, this anecdote will stick with me forever. How terribly embarrassing!

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the mortified.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Traditions

Last week, after a visit with Nick, we enjoyed a most flavourful and inexpensive roast lamb dinner at Minerva's at 3207 West Broadway. The unusually warm evening warranted dinner on the patio, where we sat next to the owner, Mike Georgiopoulos and his buddy Nick. It wasn't long before Jesee and the guys were exchanging dirty sheep jokes over a cup of Greek coffee (the kind that put hairs on your chest) and baklava. I guess some Mediterranean traditions never die?

Be sure to stop by their booth during
Greek Day on June 25th and sample the traditions for yourself!

Pancho and Sal joined us for a quick bite before we ventured next door together to the Chai Gallery for an evening of flamenco. They introduced us to their friends
Juan de Marias and Luis Gutierrez, the guitarists/vocals. It was impressive watching them jam together as we sat back and allowed our souls to feel the sol emitting from their inspiring sounds.

One would never have known that bailadora
Edie Orenstein is not a native of Spain, as she has captured the essence of flamenco and expressed it with such heartfelt passion that it left us in complete awe. We could feel Edie's every emotion as her feet stomped along with the rhythmic beats of the cajón, the palmas and guitars. Olé!

Karen Pitkethly is the face plastered around town on the
España Living billboards. While watching Karen perform her art, do not let her lily-white ballerina body fool you. This talented and professionally trained bailadora can seduce and hypnotize you with the castañetas all in one go!

Get your dose of flamenco at the
Chai Gallery or the Kino Cafe located at 3456 Cambie Street. For more information about flamenco in Vancouver, visit Centro Flamenco for details.

Current Music: Mimbre - Juan de Marias


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Precious Metals Soar to Record Peak

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Heavy speculative buying fuelled by inflation fears and geopolitical tensions propelled gold to its highest for 26 years and silver to a level not seen in 25 years, while platinum soared to a record peak.

We shake our heads in disbelief, as the price of silver reaches nearly CAD$16.00 per ounce. What are we going to do? As the creators behind Izzy and Buds, we pride ourselves in being able to offer exceptionally elegant jewelry at irresistibly affordable prices. Being a precious metal, silver prices are notoriously volatile and have been fluctuating much like gold has. Unless we experience another Silver Thursday, it appears it has now hit a point of no return.

Yesterday, we had a blooming day at the VGH Spring Craft Show but in secret, we felt turmoil regarding our future as artists and entrepreneurs. So as we sip our cups of java and ponder life, we ask ourselves, "Can we afford to continue?", we agree that we can't afford NOT to. Along with cooking and music, designing jewelry is a creative outlet that provides inner balance to Jesee and tames the beast within him. The self-satisfaction he feels each time he sees a woman wearing one of his original pieces is worth its weight in gold silver.

"You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: "Did he have passion?".
- from the movie Serendipity


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Forty-Onederful

Happy Feet @ Paul Lake in Kamloops, BC


As I bask in the beautiful westcoast sunshine...I reflect and smile at life's little things that we often take for granted.

Shame on us for never being satisfied, whining like children and always hungry for more.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to wake up and smell the coffee because at the end of the day - it's all good.



Friday, April 14, 2006

¡Vamos a Vigo!

Danika Schroeter, currently Canada’s top female downhill mountain bike racer is heading to Vigo, Spain to compete in the World Cup competition at the end of this month.

It was only a short time ago that we met Danika and heard about her upcoming trip to Vigo, the largest European fishing port located in the northwest of Spain. We were so inspired by her desire to break into the international circuit, that we proposed our culinary services for her benefit to help fund her travelling expenses.

Of course we are presenting a Spanish menu which will include the most authentically spiced chorizos we've found outside of España (thanks to a sweet deal from Schneider Foods),
gambas al ajillo and an array of delectable tapas complimented with Jesee's famous sangría.

Come join us for an evening of comida de Dioses, flamenco, door prizes and a silent auction, which of course includes goddess jewelry from Izzy and Buds. Meet fellow riders, other foodies and a community of supporters to benefit Danika Schroeter's journey to international acclaim.


Danika Schroeter's Fundraising Fiesta

friday, april 28th @ seven o'clock

Jaycee House
1251 Lillooet Road, North Vancouver, BC

Tickets are $25.00 and available from Izzy & Buds or Danika Schroeter. Limited tickets available at the door.

For those who are unable to attend (you don't know what you're missing), donations via PayPal are graciously accepted. Please email Danika for details.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Butt Talks

As I rode into work this morning, I pulled up behind another cyclist at the traffic lights and recognized the bike and panniers (which were causing her grief the day before) and yelled out, "I thought I recognized those saddle bags!" It wasn't until after I passed her that I started chuckling to myself realizing that there was a double entendre there...oops.

*******************************************************************************

Jesee met a fellow cyclist at the top of a long climb, who later introduced himself as Joey Bellano, which he pronounced as bay-ano. As a Latin word buff, Jesee called him on it and said, "It should actually be pronounced bell-ano, which means beautiful arsehole in Italian".

"Si, si, butt my friends always make fun of me, so I changed the way I say it".

Current Music: Queen - Bicycle Race




Sunday, April 09, 2006

It's better to be scared to death than bored to death...

I honestly cannot say that life is ever boring or uneventful. I love the challenges that leave you emotionally charged, forcing you to endure mental and physical fatigue, restless nights and grueling days. It's the adrenalin rush and the satisfaction you feel when it's all good and done. Push your limits to the max and amaze yourself with your incredible strength and wit. Just do it!

After a three week hiatus of maxing myself out, I hang up my superhero cape (for the moment) and return to wear one of my many other hats...that of the muse. This often requires creativity to inspire the artist to create, but sometimes it only needs something as simple as amour. When the heart is full, the juices start flowing and the imagination is endless.

As my quasi-metrosexual reminds me that I am his goddess and he is my proverbial rock, I acknowledge that he is also my muse before I fly off to battle yet another day.

Current Music: La Vie en Rose - Grace Jones

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Happy Day

The weather today was flawless for a demo ride on a TCR Composite road bike compliments of BSP and Giant Bicycles. If you have the need for speed, this baby will not disappoint. I was grinning from ear to ear as I flew down Mt. Seymour Road while catching mosquitoes in my teeth!

A tube is not a tube...when it's a box of coffee.



Saturday, March 18, 2006

Adeus Sra. Maria

Today we bid a sad farewell to Sra. Maria who passed away suddenly earlier this week. As we grieved amongst a church full of mourners and the chanteuse sweetly sang Ave Maria, I was vividly replaying the last time we spoke. Her infectious smile is forever ingrained within me and I sob no more.

After the service we headed for Stella's on the Drive (previously known as Santos Tapas - another much mourned Portuguese icon) with some friends, where we enjoyed a very tasty chorizo dog served with caramelized onions, lightly drizzled with mustard and mayo along with a side of frites and citrus aioli.

So here's the thing...one would never find a chorizo in Spain served with mustard and mayo or call a citrus infused mayonnaise an aioli if it didn't have garlic as a main ingredient. Having said this, the eats were dee-lish and the service primo, so Stell-aaahhh, you're forgiven for your clever twists on Spanish classics.

Always impressive is the 10-Step Belgian beer serving ritual of Stella Artois, the restaurant's namesake. A seat at the bar is highly recommended if you haven't had the honour of this lip-smacking beer served "just so" - in a Stella Artois Chalice Glass with a three centimeter head and at three degrees Celsius. Even in the dead of winter, this Belgian star warms the heart.

Speaking of Belgians...I must relay one of Jesee's childhood stories about a Belgian family who vacationed regularly in Mallorca. His father, Francisco was famous throughout the town of Soller for his caracoles, and invited his newfound friends home for a tasty delicacy of snails. Madame was so zealous for this dish that she insisted on the recipe, which the late Francisco happily obliged.

Upon seeing them again a short time later, Francisco inquired of the success of her caracoles. Madame replied, "I followed your recipe as you instructed, but it did not taste the same, as the snails that I used did not have houses."

Can we say eewww?!!

Monday, March 06, 2006

"Ricky, I think I ate too much!"


Gambas al Ajillo served with fresh Portuguese buns to sop up every last drop...


accompanied by bottles of vino, good friends, la música and lots of laughter!


Current Dinner Music: Fiona Apple

Current Thought: Lucy's missing Fred and Ethel

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ladies Who Lunch

Lunches with the ladies are always eventful and today was no exception. Holly and I hadn't seen each other since we were on Bowen for the Christmas show last December, but it felt as if it was only yesterday.

She announced that the GILT Studio Gallery would be moving to a larger, more suitable space with a view of the cove in Artisan Square sometime this summer. With the media attention that David Graff is drawing, they'll need the additional elbow room to house their dazzling work. Check out the blurb featuring David Graff in the current issue of Georgia Straight Living.

As we chatted about family, friends and noteworthy doings, the conversation became more salacious. I'm sure neighbouring diners weren't expecting their Japanese fare with spice. Good golly, Miss Holly...I never would have guessed. Check please!

Current Book: Don't Try This At Home - Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs edited by Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Crystals for Charity

Ooooh... the silent auction was a success with close to $5000.00 raised! Kudos to all the volunteers for their sweat and sleepless nights. Our jewelry donation sold for $90.00 to a lucky lady named Jacqueline, who was thrilled when her husband bought it for her.

I myself bid on a tattoo session at Electra Lady Lux, but unfortunately was outbid in no time. I guess it's back to Rob Hope at the Dutchman, the talented artist who has tattooed us many times before.

OUR tattoo philosophy...keep it personal, we're not walking billboards - no matter how much it pays.

Current Music in My Head: Start Me Up - Rolling Stones

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Big bikes, sushi and beer

It has been a very busy week of production, social engagements and networking. Valentine's arrived with a special gift from mi amor. I gushed in delight when presented with these beautiful earrings of vintage crystal, Hyacinth Swarovski and silver filigree.


I appreciatively wore these sweet beauties out to the Velodrome and to the
Outdoor Adventure Show. They certainly did not go unnoticed, as promising clients admired them. Our friend, Karli says that orange brings good karma and as it happens, it's one of our favourite colours - so BRING IT ON.

While at the Bike Expo, I could not help but try out this good karma bike by HUKK. Although it complimented my ensemble beautifully, I found it to be a pretty big bike for a little rider comme moi. Maneuvering it through the crowds in my heels was child's play, but bombing this big baby down the mountains might be another story. HUKK is working on a women specific bike, so until then I'll stick with my beloved Trance.

It seemed there were fewer exhibitors this year and that was a bit disappointing, however it was a wonderful evening catching up with friends and meeting new ones, like the very energetic Kelli Sherbinin of
Endless Biking. I often find myself converging with other dynamic personalities for the need to feed off their juice...it keeps the world going round.

We later dropped by Sushiyama's on East Broadway and treated our taste buds to their sensational chopped scallop roll and melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, chased down by a nice cold bottle of Sapporo. My wasabe-cleared sinuses particularly fancied and devoured both the bonito and salmon sashimi. This little gem of a restaurant is a keeper.

La vita è bella...


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Read My Lips

There's something very empowering about red lips and yet it symbolizes femininity at the same time. Beware of the feline who prowls with alluring coolness...she is still a predator at heart.

In the 80's, I was introduced to Revlon's Outrageous Lipcolor 59 Love That Red by Mademoiselle Babette. I was told that it was Paloma Picasso's favourite before she created her own rouge à lèvres, Mon Rouge. Since both are no longer available, I now meticulously paint on M.A.C.'s Ruby Woo.

I love that red so much, I even wear it when I'm two-wheelin' about town. It magically gives me the energy to ride with domineering velocity. Under the experienced recommendation of the guys at the LBS (local bike shop), I stay away from gloss, as all that nature has to spit back at you will inevitably end up on your lips. No worries, why else would they have invented those little mirrors that clip on to your helmet if not for lipstick touch-ups?

Like a bull charging at the muleta, I'm seeing red. Olé!

Current Music: Whatever Lola Wants - Verve Remixed 2

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's Love Got To Do With It?

It's less than a month away before the most romantic day of the year honouring love and lovers is celebrated. Looking for something sinful other than chocolate? Here are a few delicious and calorie-free options for Saint Valentine's Day. Which goddess are you? (click on image to enlarge)

Pick #1

For the frivolous gal who doesn't take herself too seriously...

Stupid Cupid - Lt. Siam & Rose, 108mm

$40.00





Pick #2

For the girl next door who's sweet on love, but not so innocent...

Kinky n'Pink - Lt. Rose/Crystal, 108mm

$30.00





Pick #3

For la femme exotique who exudes mystery and intrigue à la Suzy Wong...

Hypnotik - Siam/Lt. Siam & Silver Filigree, 127mm

$60.00




Pick #4

For the no nonsense gal who believes in sensible shoes...

Wild About Bob - Lt. Rose AB, 51mm

$20.00





Pick #5

For the hopeless romantic waiting for her knight in shining armour...

Katie - Crystal & Silver Filigree, 102mm

$40.00





Pick #6

For the woman who loves to pump up the volume...

Rockin' Ruby - Siam & Crystal, 110mm

$60.00




Quantities are limited and subject to availability. All prices listed are in Canadian dollars and do not include shipping and handling fees. We accept cheques (CAD only), money orders and PayPal Email Payments. Orders will be shipped within 24 hours of receipt of payment. Email Izzy and Buds for complete details and place your order today.

RETURN POLICY: If you are not completely happy with your purchase, we will gladly exchange the item within 14 days of the shipping date in unworn and perfect condition. Merchandise must be returned using an insured shipping method; these charges are non-refundable. Please contact Izzy and Buds for Return Authorization prior to returning your product in its original packaging.