Sunday, December 30, 2007

Comic Relief

Here's a snippet of what we were listening to on our looong drive up the Coquihalla. Poor Chris had the onerous job of focusing on the road, while the rest of us cried and laughed so hard that our abs were sore!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not a creature was stirring...

This year we threw tradition out the window and disappeared into the Rocky Mountains and spent Christmas in Fairmont Hot Springs with our good friends, Karli and Chris.

What would normally be a ten-hour drive was a gruelling twelve hours with winter road conditions factored in. It snowed all the way from Vancouver to Fairmont - it was beauteous.

Surrounding us was the the most serene winter wonderland. When we weren't out for our daily strolls in the snow, we lazily lounged about the cabin warmed by a wood-burning fireplace and Polar Bears (Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Schnapps).

The lack of holiday shopping madness was not missed amongst the quiet bliss of nature. Even a short drive to Invermere on Christmas Eve was pleasant and unhurried.

Every year at this time, holiday craft markets and social obligations have our batteries near drained. Our week in the Rockies is just what we needed to relax and recharge.

Christmas day at the crack of dawn

Moi, finding my sea legs at Panorama

Karli and Chris

Tapas & Dim Sum in Fairmont Hot Springs

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vive le Métro

I was barely 16 when I first visited Paris in April 1981. As a Christmas gift from my parents, I was permitted to tag along with my then best friend on her school trip to France during Spring Break.

It was during one evening in the social room of the auberge de jeunesse that I first heard, "In the Air Tonight", which had not yet been released in the US. To this day, I still cannot listen to this song without automatically being transported back in when my love affair with France and all things French had begun.

Our friend Paul's blog featured this video clip of the a cappella music group, Naturally 7 sharing some Phil Collin's love on a Paris Metro. Not as titillating as Tom and Rebecca's love scene, but equally as captivating.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Be French for a Day

This Saturday, there will be two events celebrating the pleasures of French culture in Vancouver.

Once again we will be participating at the Marché de Noël 2007 . It's a charming little market that embraces and supports the francophone artist community. Market hours are 10h00 to 15h00.

Avez-vous faim? Drop by the adjoining Salade de Fruits for lunch or a light snack after you shop. We've dined at this cozy café bistro for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all in one day!) and have never been disappointed.

If all zis is not enough French culture for you, zen you should pop by Edie's Hats down at Granville Island for a taste of la vie parisienne.

Bonne journée!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Pledge

Thanks to all of you who pledged to buy handmade, officially or not.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Our day at the Dunbar Community Centre was ROCKIN' and it's all thanks to those of you who chose to stay home and buy locally handmade goods. We were concerned about Black Friday and the soaring Canadian dollar affecting our sales this weekend, but it soon became evident that many of you did not feel the need to turn your gift buying experience into a competitive sport!

Many hardcore customers braved the near-zero temperatures waiting for the doors to open, but I'm certain it was better than a three hour wait at the border!

On behalf of all independent artists, designers and crafters, thank you for your support!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bon Profit!

The fertile land and warm, sunny Mediterranean climate definitely makes everything in Spain taste better. Eating in Spain is a social experience that is the nucleus of Spanish culture. Coming back to Vancouver was a bit of a culinary let-down, as impromptu gatherings with family and friends are not so easy when you don't live in a small town like Sóller.

Here are blurbs of some very memorable foods we enjoyed and very much miss.

An unbelievably yummy cup of café con leche is available at every bar/cafe for only 1.25€. No need to queue or ramble some lengthy description to a perky barista only to receive a mediocre beverage. Just good, honest coffee.

Ensaimadas are a traditional Mallorcan pastry that is often imitated, but never duplicated. This delectable sweet is worth the price of the plane ticket to get there!

The endless assortment of olives and cured hams from the local market can make a grown man cry of happiness. Tease him with patatas bravas baked in duck fat and that will send him over the edge.

Cocas are a Mallorcan pizza that are often served as appetizers or snacks. It is similar to their French cousin, la pissaladière.

I could not eat enough figs during our stay. Always keeping an eye out for a fig tree, my brother-in-law taught me that the best tasting figs are the ones that you steal. I got use to his little disappearances during our strolls :o)

It is without a doubt that the flan (also known as crème caramel) is the quintessential comfort food. You can keep your Ben & Jerry's cuz I've got flan - and none of that store-bought kind either.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tojo's Mojo

September 2002...we were in the midst of moving from a 2200 sq ft home to a 900 sq ft apartment. This was character building at it's best. Darkness had set upon us and the lighting hadn't been set up yet. We were fatigued and hungry, so we stopped momentarily to discuss dinner. We stared at the stacks of boxes around us and cooking was not an option.

After ten years of being a host family to a plethora of international students, we decided to call it quits and move on to a different lifestyle allowing us more freedom. At our last meal with the students, they presented us with a gift certificate for Tojo's (knowing that is was up there in our list of favourite sushi bars). *big appreciative smiles*

We have been fortunate enough to dine at Tojo's several times in the past, but never at the Omakase Bar. This was the only seating available on such short notice on a Saturday evening. Upon arrival our seats were not ready, so we indulged in drinks of umeshu on the rocks while we waited. The first time I tried this delicious plum liqueur was on our first date in nineteen eighty-seven. I fell in love...not just with the drink.

When it was time to plunk ourselves at the bar (literally, as we were sooo tired), we were putty in the hands of Tojo san. He asked us if we had any food allergies or preferences and we gave him the green light to knock our socks off.

It was an evening of multiple mouth orgasms. Under the spell of our ever so charming host, Tojo san ensured that we were satisfied with each and every morsel of tapas-sized dishes we consumed.

We raised the white flag before we crossed the line of gluttony and asked for the bill. Leaving with a MUCH lighter wallet and most definitely sated, the pleasure was all ours. Tojo's omakase bar is an experience not to be missed, especially one of his little parchment parcels...gochiso sama deshita!

Friday, November 02, 2007

¿Back Into the Groove?

We've been back for two and a half weeks from our Spanish holiday and are JUST getting back into the groove of things. Leaving behind the warm and sunny island after a FABulous time with family and friends was a difficult journey. I will elaborate on our trip in another post...promise.

Tomorrow we start our winter roadshow beginning with St. Thomas Aquinas High School in North Vancouver. With over seventy-five vendors participating in this 21st annual show, STA is always a crowd-pleaser. Come by and say hello, our booth is in the gymnasium in front of the bleachers.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Balaeric Break

Our timing couldn't be more perfect as we head off to sunny Mallorca, Spain, far away from this dreadfully cold and rainy BC weather - which is here to stay for the next six months! *sigh*

Without a doubt, the return of prodigal son will enlist compulsory celebrations with much food and drink including that from the bodega of José L. Ferrer where, "In vino veritas, the truth is found in wine."

We'll also be scouring the local markets in hopes of finding vintage crystals for our holiday collection. Our designs using these unique and precious beads have proven to be bestsellers year after year.

A trip to the Baleares would not be complete without a boat ride to the island of Ibiza, most famously known for it's non-stop parties. Even if the summer season is over, it will be quite the trip returning to the scene of the crime, where Jesee was one of the first DJ's spinning there some thirty years ago!

Much to see, much to do and there isn't enough time for it all, but I must make time to stalk run into hunky tennis pro Rafael Nadal. It's no secret that I have a HUGE crush on him and this would really complete my trip ;o)

I do not anticipate keeping up with the blog during our holiday, but one never knows, so hasta la vista...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pass the Dutchie

This entry is dedicated to our ardent readers in Holland...

As I remember, my first Dutch encounter was with an ultra handsome hottie from Amsterdam visiting for the summer. I was seventeen and very much impressionable. Edwin (named hottie) single-handedly influenced my appetite for Heinekins, Droste and Spetters.

My foolish infatuation even led to a short-lived Dutch language course at the local college. "Ik ben Moniko, hoe gaat het met u?". Sadly, it never got further than this :(

Riding a Dutch citybike through Amsterdam (the quintessential Dutch experience) has yet to become a dream come true, but with our love of cycling, it can't be far away. What an amazing trip it must be to be surrounded by fellow cyclists every which way you turn and to have special rights to boot!

Until such opportunity arises...I will remain the crazy Mevr. who adores tulips and has a penchant for Dutch ovens (Le Creuset, not the obnoxious game played under the covers).

Thursday, September 13, 2007


We have finally set up shop at Etsy, an online store to buy and sell all things handmade. Of course we cannot possibly will not list everything in our collection on here...let's be realistic (if you've been to one of our markets, you'd fully understand why)!

Instead, we've chosen to list the latest and greatest from la maison atelier. If you're looking for something in particular or would like to commission Jesee for a custom piece, please contact us for more information. We can ship worldwide and accept payment via PayPal.

So go on and share the love - tell all your friends that Izzy and Buds are NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do your ears hang low?

I was hugely intrigued by this beauty tip featured in the Fall 2007 In Style Makeover magazine.

Countless numbers of customers have commented that they love our beautiful earrings, but do not want to bring attention to their ear lobes which have stretched out from the big heavy earrings of the 80's. Remember when?

Shame NO MORE! Now everyone can wear our fabulous chandeliers thanks to the Ear Lift. If anyone has tried this dandy invention, I'd love to hear your review of this product.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The naked truth and nothing butt...

Here is a somewhat happy ending to the "stink bomb" Lush dropped whey they illegally used the tag line "Get Naked" for their most recent advert promoting package-free goods.

As it happens, "Naked" and "Get Naked" are registered trademarks belonging to Naked Soapworks of Bowen Island.

Written by owner, Laurel Bailey, the text has been edited for length and clarity.

Hello Everyone,

Things have changed a little. I went to the Lush website and found that even though their letter to me refused to concede that they trampled my trademark rights, they removed most of the offending material from their website! The Lush Canada "Get Naked" campaign is now "Lush in the Buff" and they are "baring it all" instead of "getting naked", their naked products are now "unwrapped" and the only reference to naked is now "The Naked Truth", which I can live with.

I wanted to let you guys know that it worked! No apology (which I would really like) and no admission of guilt but IT IS possible to affect change, even in a multinational! Thank you so much for your continued support. Naked people rock!

Laurel Bailey

Sunday, September 09, 2007


The weather in Harrison Hot Springs this past weekend was almost too good to be true. After a pitiful summer of rain and as fall approaches us, the weather gods were truly feeling generous.

It was our first weekend off now that the Bowen Market is finished for the season. Lazy and relaxing...aahhh.

Practically a permanent summer fixture on Bowen Island, we may participate in the Harrison Festival next summer, just to mix things up a bit. There was no denying the crowds of tourists roaming through the town, especially with the sand sculpture competition in full swing.

Of course the hunky matador caught my eye...a little taste of our upcoming trip to Spain at the end of the month. *grinning*

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stink Bomb

I came across this article in the Metro News on my Monday commute which I had kept to show my friend Laurel of Naked Soapworks , but it looks like she's already on the ball.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The weekend weather forecast is looking somewhat iffy (duh, it is opening day at the PNE), but that isn't going to stop the Bailey's annual pig roast from happening.

Succulent roast suckling pig fresh off the spit is one of life's little pleasures that I'd gladly partake in anytime, but not this time...

While Jesee goes solo at the Saturday market and swine fest, I'll be celebrating at the much anticipated wedding of Vincent and Monica. You can always count on a wedding to provide some drama - the dynamics between two different cultures (Filipino and Russian Jewish) should prove to be très amusant. Bartender, another vodka please!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

He wo hitte, shiri tsubome

Literally: Breaking wind, closing buttocks
Interpretation: There's no point in squeezing your buttocks after you have farted. Ahso!

This tasty and refreshing Japanese inspired cucumber salad with a rice vinegar dressing was awaiting me upon my arrival home. We also ate chirashizushi made with maguro and brown rice (chowed down before I could get the camera out). *licking lips*

All that was missing was an ice cold Sapporo...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Please don't squeeze the Charmin!

Jesee's set up of crystal beads and findings are always an impressive attraction. Undoubtedly, it fascinates curious onlookers to watch him work and many like to come and touch his fussy display. I suppose the vast array of colours and bling begs inquisitive hands to fondle the goods, but REALLY it's not a good thing.

Being set up on an uneven surface for outdoor markets always leaves the table resting precariously to begin with, so when people come by and touch - it makes for a very nervous Jesee. Past experience evinces that signage is generally ignored...its human nature.

A few summers ago, his worse nightmare came true. A windy day along with a jerk and a jolt led to the unfortunate catastrophe of tens of thousands of crystals tipping all over the grass. It made a grown man cry.

As other vendors and customers stooped low to the ground to aid us is picking up his precious gems, I came up with the clever idea to contact a friend on the island whom I hoped had a Shop-Vac. Marcus came to our rescue and brought down the crystal picker-upper from his studio. We plugged it in to an exterior outlet at the marina and started vacuuming the grass! What a sight and what a job it was to sort out all the dirt and grass from the crystals and arrange them all back into the proper containers by colour, size and shape.

So if you come to our table and find Jesee somewhat excitable (unlike a puppy dog) if you get too close to his crystals, you'll understand why.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I could not resist photographing this cutie pie as she shared a little love with Nellie at Dog Days yesterday.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Tomorrow is Bowen Island's 15th annual "Dog Days of Summer" event, hosted by the Union Steamship Marina.

Lots of categories for "man's best friend" to compete in with proceeds going to the BC Guide Dog Services.

So grab Fido and hop on the ferry to show off your best Stupid Pet Tricks.

Phin & Onslo

This beautiful Newfoundland won for "Most Obedient" and "Best Trick" in 2003 by rescuing a "drowning" victim under the direction of his owner, Holly Graff. Onslo swam out into the ocean with a towrope and pulled the distressed damsel safely back to shore. My hero.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Spice of Life

I present to you "the addict", also known as my new best friend. Last evening, the girls and I were celebrating her new appointment over cocktails and oysters down at Monk's patio in False Creek.

*Note the incredible Vancouver skyline in the reflection of the glass.

Just look at her infectious smile as she opens her gift of specially designed, spicy Indian Red chandeliers fit for a Masala Princess.


Look at me, these are sooo beautiful!

I AM the Masala Princess and we are BFF.

Friday, July 20, 2007


The weekend forecast for Bowen Island looks less than we won't be at the market on Saturday and most likely Sunday as well.

Time to catch up on my reading!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Too Much Muscle, Not Enough Brains!

Just a few days earlier, we were patriotically waving our flag for Canada Day and last night we proudly waved the Spanish flag at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. As Spain triumphed at their 2-1 victory over Zambia, we partook in the cultural experience of drinking beer from plastic cups, boisterous chanting and friendly insults..."Too much muscle, not enough brains!"

Luckily, our complimentary seats were located in the covered grandstand on the west side of the field, protecting our eyes from the brilliant sol of this week's magnificent hot spell. It made for an awesome time, even with the endless queues for the porta-potty (it only takes one beer) and Tom Thumb mini-donuts.

The FIFA souvenir tents were mobbed with fans despite the over-inflated prices of official gear. I don't know how times I overheard parent's telling their children that they were not going to spend ten bucks on a dinky little soccer ball key ring!

Having said that, we still spent sixty beans on a slinky red jersey that sported a saffron graphic of a charging bull! *grinning*

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bowen Summer Market

Come out and see us at the Bowen Summer Market every weekend starting June 30th to September 2nd. Look for us under the tents beside the Union Steamship Marina located in Snug Cove.

Only an 18 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Cypress Mountains and Howe Sound while you explore the market of unique arts and crafts made by local artisans.

For more information on Bowen Island, visit The Bowen Island Chamber of Commerce.

*Dates subject to change, please email for confirmation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bits & Bikes

We are three-quarters of the way through "Bike Month" and it has been absolutely fantastic riding in a peloton through the streets of Vancouver. It isn't quite critical mass, but the feeling of sharing the roadways with my pedal-power compadres is glorious! I often feel much like Dennis Christopher in Breaking Away, when I pedal my heart out on my mountain bike in order to keep up with the roadies.

We recently received an email from our friend Danika Schroeter, whom we helped organize a fundraiser for last April. Danika is a downhill racer and when we first met, she mentioned that she was going to race in the UCI World Cup in Vigo, Spain. We didn't know her from Adam, but we really dug her vibe and volunteered to help her raise funds for her trip by organizing a Spanish fiesta.

Danika is currently promoting a Women's MTB Getaway Camp situated in the beautiful and historic mountain town of New Denver, BC. Sponsored by Endless Biking, it takes place over the BC Day long weekend and includes professional instruction, trail rides, photo/video analysis, bike maintenance workshops, all meals and an on call massage therapist! After a long day of fun and sun, one can cool off with a swim in the pristine Slocan Lake.

Last bike bit to note is a Cycling Sample Sale that takes place in East Van tomorrow. I haven't a clue what to expect, but any opportunity for a sweet deal on gear is worth checking out!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Addict

Just two weeks ago, a bike was stolen from this area, so I was hesitant to lock it up. The building was secured, so I patiently waited for someone to exit, as I imitated a bike courier with a special delivery.

I walked through a maze of corridors before I met up with the Masala Princess* and we ducked into the women's washroom, where I then pulled out the goods for viewing.

As I laid out the selection of merchandise, her eyes widened while smacking her lips and her body temperature rose in excitement. During the course of our transaction, several women were taken aback as they walked in on us. They were curious, but tried not to make eye contact as we went about our business.

Dizzy with emotion and with unsteady hands, MP explored each piece with little constraint. What was promised to be a quick and dirty job soon became an event, as MP was a self-confessed addict. Only an addict would call me their new best friend after one introduction. Another woman happened upon us and wanted in on the action. Who was I to say no? Business is business.

One hour later, MP had nailed down her choices and was intoxicated with her purchase of a black diamond and jet necklace, two fabulous pairs of crystal AB chandeliers and dazzling cocktail ring. Impulsively, Jane Doe also picked up a pair of vintage drop crystal earrings - she knows a good deal when she sees one.

Word-of-mouth advertisement, no table fees, no long and tedious set-up and no need for someone to watch my booth while I run to the loo!

This was entrepreneurship at it's finest. Look for Izzy and Buds at a potty near you.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stealing Beauty

It was all very spontaneous...
I merely suggested to the bridegroom less than two weeks before his wedding, that if his fiancée had not yet picked out her jewelry - I could help with that.
Intrigued by my proposal, a rendezvous was arranged. Two dumplings and a spring roll voilà, beautiful Nadine looking very reflective as she dons her crystal necklace, moments before her march down the aisle.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chapeau Monsieur

Pissaladière et Bière

It all started when our friend Anne-Marie prepared this delicious Provençal pizza for us last weekend...

Today I arrived at home to the most pleasant aroma of pissaladière crisping in the oven. The combination of caramelized onions, anchovies, olives and fresh thyme were married with a little twist from Jesee ... artichokes and capers. Jesee's interpretation of this classic from Nice, resulted in an unbelievable mouth orgasm.

As we relished this taste of home, memories of lavender fields and pétanque came rushing through - perhaps it's time to dig out the copy of A Year in Provence for another read?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dancing in the Rain II

After standing in the rain for almost an hour waiting to get into the festival grounds, we were forced to comply with the "No Umbrellas" rule and toss them over the fence into the brollie graveyard.

We headed straight for the Bacardi B-Live tent where things kicked off with Andrew Pacey, Chloe, Luke Fair and Bacardi Mojitos, lots and lots of yummy mojitos!

It wasn't the most organized event and the weather certainly could have been better, but it still ROCKED!

Hostess With the Mostess

Hosting a jewelry home party is simple...just pick a date and invite all your friends who love fabulous, eye-catching jewelry that glitter and shout, "Ooh la la!"

You provide the nibbles and drinks and we'll provide the invitations to send to your friends. What a great way to earn free jewelry and have a relaxing and fun girls' night out!

Hostess benefits include:

  • Special "Thank You" gift for hosting the party.
  • With $300+ in sales, earn 20% of total guests sales in merchandise credit.
  • Show sales under $300 earn 15% of total guests sales in merchandise credit.
  • Show sales under $100 receive the special "Thank You" gift.

Invite your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers over for a wonderfully special and personal shopping adventure.

To book a date or for further information, contact Izzy and Buds.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dancing in the Rain

The big musical event happening in Vancouver this weekend is the Virgin Festival held at the Thunderbird Stadium on the grounds of UBC today and tomorrow ONLY. Rain or shine, we're looking forward to catching one of our favourite DJ's, Andrew Pacey, as well as Billy Talent, My Chemical Romance, The Killers and much, much more!

If you happen to be craving a falafel while you're out and about on the West Side, stop by Shawarma Plus at 3134 West Broadway. It's a little hole in the wall, but owner Simon Karsyente does not disappoint with his meticulously prepared pita filled with crispy falafel balls, hummus, pickles, fresh lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a perfectly seasoned secret sauce.

Speaking of holes in the wall, if you're looking for a no frills Brazilian, for a mere twenty-five dollars, I highly recommend Pari, who is located just a few blocks further down at 3427 West Broadway (conveniently next door to another favourite discovery). Pari offers no nonsense, experienced aesthetic services at the back of Majidian's barber shop. For appointments or information call (604) 222-2281.

As predicted, the rain hasn't let in honour of typical Spring weather in Vancouver, I think we'll leave the sunscreen and bug spray at home and pack a few extra layers of rain gear instead. Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

VGH Spring Craft Market

Come out and support the Spring Craft Market featuring BC artisans and craftspeople. You'll be sure to find something special for Mother's Day gift giving and perhaps an objet d'art for yourself?

Partial proceeds benefit the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to help fund the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, pioneering research and highly specialized care for patients.

With every purchase over $25.00, enter to win a draw for fabulous spa gifts from the Absolute Spa Group and Deserving Thyme because who doesn't deserve a little pampering?

Friday, May 11, 2007
7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Vancouver General Hospital
899 West 12th Avenue
Jim Pattison Pavilion South - 1st Floor Hallway
(outside the Gift Shop)

Participating vendors include:

Antipasto from Chefmade Products
Ingrid Eglsaer Leather Goods
Enchanted Designs - Scarves & Handbags
Izzy and Buds Jewelry Designs
Handpainted Ceramics from Jose Ventura Designs
Justice by Design - unique greeting cards
Rustic Clay Art by Lynsey Paterson
Whimsical handpainted art from Marla Morris
Beautiful, handcrafted soaps from Cosmopolita Naturals
Pottery from ArtSpot
Hats and accessories from Morehats
Night lights by Nikilites
Wet Coast Glassics

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Plunge

At the eleventh hour, we finally decided to take the plunge into the world of advertisement and placed a teeny weeny ad in 24 Hours special feature, All Things Bridal Wedding Guide.

100,000 copies of this sixteen page insert will be distributed over the next couple of days and a PDF version of this is available for download from their website.

Brides-to-be and bridal parties have been adorned with Izzy and Buds' glamorous, ultra-feminine jewelry for years. We would be thrilled to work with you in designing the perfect jewelry for your very special day.

Contact us for more information.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Say Goodnight Gracie

August 11, 1996 - March 13, 2007

Gracie Lieske, the beloved chocolate Labrador of Paul, Basia and Katie passed away suddenly last Tuesday of undetermined complications.

One of our favourite Gracie memories is the night she hid under our bed in the Lieske guest room during a wicked Bowen thunderstorm. NOBODY got any sleep that night with all that whimpering!

Where there was food...there was Gracie and it was always a good chuckle watching others chow down on their smokies at the Paradise Grill while Gracie patiently waited for a dribble of fried onion to fall to the ground. If you were an unsuspecting two-year old, even funnier!

Goodnight Gracie, you'll be sadly missed, as the market won't be quite the same without you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Our friend Laurel Bailey from Naked Soapworks has taken the big leap to do a new solo show titled, "Self-Storage".

It is being produced in conjunction with Babel Rap, a one-act play performed by two of Bowen Island's funniest Englishmen. Both of the shows are written by Vancouver playwrights and both of the directors are Bowen theatre folk. The shows are this weekend only, and ONLY on Bowen.

Click here for BC Ferry schedules from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove.

Please Let Me Explain

It has been almost two months since our last entry and so much has happened, yet not a peep. I know that many of you have faithfully checked in regularly for an update, only to be disappointed by old news. Our most humble apologies, but...

Shortly after the New Year, we found out that we had to move from our home (landlord having financial issues), which of course if right up there with death and divorce as far as emotions go. We were in shock, numb and in denial, all while searching for the perfect flat. The chaos of boxes everywhere and disorganization touched on depression and despair and we basically shut out the outside world. Two months later and barely into our new abode, we are now reorganizing our lives.

In between all of this, Jesee was a victim of a hit and run accident while riding his bike. Witnesses reported that it was a semi-truck that hit him from behind and flipped him into the air before he landed hard on the concrete and opened his eyes to see their faces staring down at him. With more lives than an alley cat, Jesee walked away from this without any broken bones. The ambulance could not take his bike with them to the hospital, so he declined their recommendation. However, the RCMP did give him a lift home, so that he could put his bike away before seeking medical attention. Jesee can truly say without exaggeration, "I feel like I've been hit by a truck!".

Recovery with the help of painkillers, massage and physio has been slow, but steady progress. It's a miracle that he was not more seriously injured and what probably saved him was his Xen
helmet and being hit from behind. Not knowing what was about to happen, gave him no time to tense his body in preparation for impact and fly as free as a rag doll.

Valentine's and Chinese New Year celebrations took a back seat to sorting, packing and schlepping boxes. Even dinners at home have been mediocre...bleh.

What kept me going were my Survivor Bootcamp classes. Three times a week at 6 a.m., I'd work my arse out for an hour and rid myself of any stress before going to work. It kept me sane and nice, and I highly recommend this to anyone who loves pushing his or her limits to the max. "Sir, yes sir!"

Soon enough, I will start commuting and try not to think the worse of drivers on my daily rides. Just what kind of person would leave someone injured lying on the road anyway?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

About Town - Lombardo's

We were long overdue for another viewing of Casino Royale. The first time around was from the second row on opening night and I barely made it out of the theatre with my head spinning from trying to focus on the screen. Since that night, I'd been yearning to return for an encore performance from the latest Bond, Daniel Craig. *shameless drooling*

For our pre-theatre dinner, we dropped into to the newly opened Lombardo's Pizzeria around the corner from the Paramount Theatre. Once a regular at their Commercial Drive location (but, not since the mid 90's), we had great expectations.

The four of us shared a large Classico Calzone (tomatoes, two kinds of cheese, salami and ham) and a couple of salads. Service was very pleasant and the food was good, but not exceptional. The lack of artwork and decor on the walls (although soon to arrive) not only felt cold and uninviting, but made for very poor acoustics, especially at our table tucked away in the corner under the balcony. It was near impossible to converse with our friends without shouting across the table and our hideaway seemed to suck up all the surrounding babble like a vacuum.

Given that Lombardo's is conveniently located next to the Paramount, a prix fixe menu would be a nice option for theatre-goers who need to dine and dash (because sitting in the front row is no way to watch a film). I have faith that once they iron out the kinks and find their groove, it could be a very haute spot indeed.

Lombardo's Pizzeria & Ristorante
970 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Meal to Remember

We recently received an email from our dear friend, Mat in Switzerland, who reminisced about his sojourn in Vancouver. During Mat's stay with us we had some great times, but one of the most memorable would be of a time where eight of us broke bread together over a fourteen course Mediterranean potluck dinner that began at seven in the evening with the last morsel consumed sometime after two o'clock in the morning!

The Spanish in Jesee must have escaped him because he clearly didn't serve us tapas, which was what everyone expected (according to the menu). The seven dishes that he had prepared (some up to a week in advance) were of epic portions and by the end of the evening we felt much like French geese days before the big slaughter.

Although there was also much wine consumed, it was impossible to feel more than a light buzz with our tummies bursting at the seams. If memory serves me right, we went into hibernation later that morning.

Tapas and Wine Tasting
Chez Mongeot

On Saturday, the twelfth of January Two thousand and two

moroccan olives, extra virgin olive oil crostini
Vino de Jerez, Spain

Ensalada Morisca à la Jesee
finely diced tomatoes, sweet onions, radishes, carrots, cucumbers,
italian parsley, mint, lemon & olive oil dressing

Chorizo con Preves Torrads
chorizo sausage, grilled red peppers, roasted potatoes, saffron aoli

Gambas al Ajillo
sautéed jumbo shrimp, garlic and more garlic
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, Portugal

scallops, prawns, squid, catch of the day,
jalapeño peppers, sweet onions, citrus marinade
Freixenet Cava, Spain

Tripa de Res
spicy stew of beef tripe, fresh bacon, bay leaves, saffron sofraguit
Mongeot Rioja 2000

Lombo Assado
roasted pork loin, pimento sauce
Cabernet Franc 1999, Calona Artist Series, BC

Lengua de Cerdo con al Caparras
slow-cooked pork tongue, caper sauce
Undurraga Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Chile

Eggplant Parmigiana
classic Italian served with herbed polenta
Ecco Domani 1999 Merlot, Italy

Polvo à Terceirence
tender octopus, tomato and beer reduction
Peju Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Moelas Refogadas
braised chicken gizzards Portuguese style
Quinta du Cachão 1999, Portugal

Baked Stuffed Apples
Taylor’s Fladgate Reserve Port, Portugal

French Brie with Fresh Fruit
served with vanilla yogurt sauce
Madeira, Portugal

Sorbetto del Limone
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain

Sunday, January 07, 2007

War Paint

I remember when M·A·C Cosmetics first made its 1985 début in Toronto. I had just moved from Vancouver the year before, shortly after I graduated from the now defunct Yvon Bourgeois School of Makeup Artistry. Back in the 80's there wasn't much freelance work available on the Westcoast. Since T.O. was so avant-garde, many of us Vancouverites eventually found our way there in search of a job in the industry where we lived and breathed fashion.

M·A·C was all the rage amongst make-up artists and my über big, hammered silver finish tackle box was filled with every colour one could think of! Is it not every girl's dream to have her very own portable "makeover in a box"? A very convenient accessory for those unexpected sleepovers! *wink*

Twenty-two years later, I am still using M·A·C and although the product quality is lesser, since Estée Lauder purchased the company in 1997, I do admire their flair for keeping it fresh and keeping us hooked.

I was truly magnetized by this photo and applaud the diversity of models they use to represent their philosophy, "All ages, all races, all sexes."

Because I have been out of the industry for nearly two decades, I was unaware of the worldwide boycott by professional make-up artists against the M·A·C and Estée Lauder companies for their unscrupulous business practices with regards to contract undercutting. Has M·A·C become a corporation who is solely concerned with attaining maximum profits while rendering those artists who have made them the icon they are today, faceless?

With all the money they have donated to ACT through the sales of their Viva Glam lipsticks and sponsorship of the annual Fashion Cares fundraising gala, it leaves one in a moral dilemma.

Monday, January 01, 2007


*Note: This version of "My Funny Valentine" is wicked.

Fresh off the boat from a pre-New Year's celebration on Bowen, I started preparing our home for the year end festivities, when I came across this CD hidden amongst our monster collection...Big Muff: Music from the Aural Exciter. We had forgotten all about this yard sale find and at first glance, it appeared to be some sort of porn for the ears.

We were not disappointed, as it turned out to be some very cool and funky electronic jazz that was perfectly suited for the celebration along with cava and
Gambas al Ajillo at midnight.

Happy 2007 to all!