Thursday, December 25, 2008

May your days be merry...

...and all your Christmases be white.

During our holidays in Fairmont last year, without a care in the world, the snow was expected AND welcomed.

I believe we've had four snowstorms in the past two weeks and city commuting in the white stuff is another story; it's ugly and my enthusiasm for the snow has waned. If only I could be as happy about it as Bailey, who brings such a smile to my face and maybe to our friends, the Baileys who are celebrating Christmas in India sans neige.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

¡Ole!

The sold-out Feast for Foodies event at Tuscany's was a big hit! Fifty Spanish aficionados were treated to an evening of hardcore paella y flamenco. The menu consisted of four tapas dishes, Jesee's infamous paella and to fittingly end a royal evening...the Queen's cake.


Menu

Calamares a la Plancha
Croquetas de Bacalao
Chorizos a las Llamas
Patatas Bravas
Paella Mallorquina
Pastele de la Reina






The paella measured 81cm (32") in diameter and required two REAL men to carry it to the table!

Then it was time to comer y callar.
Salud, dinero y amor
!

Monday, December 08, 2008

iBike, therefore I'm not

While reflecting on why I was feeling melancholy the other day, I came to the realization it was because I miss riding.

My earliest bike riding memories are that of my shiny red Raleigh with white wall tires and matching basket. Once I entered high school, I traded my bike in for platform heels and public transit. I was far too cool to ride a bike.

It wasn't until sometime in 1989 that I rode again, when Jesee went out and bought us (*ugh*) matching bikes. It was my maiden voyage out on the bike when we took it out for a spin on the running track at the local park. I was bored after a few rounds, so decided that I would ride off in search of something more interesting. As I sped down a grassy hill, Jesee's screams for me to slow down were barely audible. What happened next turned me off cycling for many years to come. I sped down the hill at full speed and could not stop in time to avoid the three-foot ditch that awaited me at the bottom. Plaff! Over the bars I went and knocked the wind out of myself.

About ten years later, Jeeee surprised me with a new bike. It was a lovely forest green Peugeot hybrid. I was still traumatized by the ditch incident, so this bike sat in the garage for months before I would even look at it, much less ride it. With about as much patience as a man could have teaching his wife to drive a manual transmission up a hill on a snowy afternoon, he rode alongside me in the back alley coaching me on how to change gears. I couldn't wrap my head around the mechanics of shifting and actually suggested that I write it all down on a Post-it note and attach it to the stem - not so cool.

So I learned to ride a bike again (do we ever forget?) and although it was a little more complicated than my one-speed Raleigh, I was up for the challenge. Since I wasn't fond of playing in traffic, Jesee introduced me to trail riding, which led me to taking a Women's Only Mountain Bike course. This changed everything for me. I gained so much confidence and acquired so many new skills that I took to it like a house on fire. The thrill-seeker within me was unleashed.

Learning to mountain bike was the best thing that happened for us. It was our "couples" thing to do, we lived to ride and rode to live every chance we had. Sharing the passion and exhilaration kept us bonded. Since the accident this has all changed, for any "riding to live" is kept to a minimum because Jesee hasn't completely recovered from the injuries he sustained from an involuntary game of Hit and Run.

I miss riding.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Craft Market @ VGH

Objets d'art, wearable art, illustrated art, functional art, living art - you'll find it all at the VGH Holiday Craft Market from December 4th to 6th.

Vancouver General Hospital
JPP 1st Flr Corridor
899 W. 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cashless Schools? Cool.

The days of the school bully stealing your lunch money are OVER!

One school in Burnaby has just introduced the Cashless School system, where parents can load up (online of course) a payment card for their children to pay for snacks, lunches and school fees.

Parents no longer have to dig for pocket change or write another cheque as they're running out the door (and late for school). All purchases can be reviewed and monitored online. So kids... sneaking fries with gravy and bags of Skittles into your daily diet are no more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Old Farts


Last night we celebrated Rob Bailey's 50th birthday at a private and intimate gathering of twenty-something at Tuscany's on Bowen Island. You can view all the gory details on Rob's blog, where he documents his family's seven month journey from Canada to India in search of real Indian food.

While we envy their impending gastronomic adventure, we're going to dearly miss sharing our joint passions for food and drink where often the mere mention of swine can bring on a mouth orgasm, much like the crown roast of pork prepared by Christophe and Rob did last night. *succulent slurps*

Preparation of the paella was a good dry run for Jesee's upcoming appearance at Tuscany's Feasts for Foodies (una Noche en España) on December 10th . As the guest chef, he will prepare an authentic menu of delectable tapas and paella. Entertainment will be provided by Juan de Marias and Mimbre Flamenco. For reservations to this festive evening, call 604.947.0550.

Should you wish to leave the car at home, try taking the Bowen Island Express, a convenient water taxi service that runs hourly from Granville Island to Bowen Island in 20 minutes.

I'd like to share again, a quote that holds true in our home...

“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

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creative Finds


Be there or be square...this Saturday at the Creative Finds Marketplace located at Sullivan Hall in Surrey.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

PG-31

In just a few days, we'll be flying up to Northern BC for the 32nd annual Studio Fair 2008, presented by the Prince George Community Arts Council. It kicks-off on October 31st where we will spend three whole days living and breathing this marketplace with over 75 artisans from across Canada.

The weather promises to be COLD with light snow, so I've dug out my vintage fur coat to help keep my chattering teeth down to a minimum. Despite facing the sub-zero temperatures (hel-looo winter itch), we're excited to show off our fabulous jewelry to a brand new audience!

If any of you Prince Georgians are reading this, come down and visit us at booth #57 #17 - we'd love to meet you.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Next Door Style


Next Door Style is a new online shop that promotes Vancouver talent exclusively. Izzy and Buds is proud to be one of the participating designers in what promises to be an exciting marketing venture.

As the value of our Canadian dollar declines, supporting your local designers makes so much more cents.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sweet and Sticky

I'm a sucker for sap. A rainy Saturday afternoon in bed watching back to back chick flicks on the W Network is my guilty pleasure. I never tire of Pretty Woman, Breakfast at Tiffany's or Hugh Grant, but my all time favourite would be Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth...oh lord!

It's rather ballsy of us to admit, given that a large number of our clients are brides, BUT we're really not into big real-life weddings (we're not wedding haters either). The crazy OTT drama makes for good comedy in the movies, but do you really need to spend your life savings stuffing the mouths of two hundred plus of your closest friends and family? Not so much. We believe in love, romance and the sanctity of marriage, just not financially exhausting one's resources for the big day. It's about celebrating your love and commitment, not about keeping up appearances.

We've been lucky enough not to have any Bridezillas for clients. Most brides who come to see us are more or less near the end of their wedding task list, have allowed themselves sufficient time and have a good idea of what they would like.

Then there are those who haven't a clue or are so stressed out with having to make yet another decision that it makes for a challenging consultation. Who wouldn't be overwhelmed after having to select their gown, bridesmaids dresses, ceremony and reception sites, (priest, minister or JP?), music, guest list, invitations, caterer, menu, flowers, cake, photographer, gifts for the maid of honour and bridal party? *silent sympathy scream*

During the consultation, it is my goal to make the entire experience as painless as possible. Photos of the dresses and girls are always helpful, but here are a few questions that brides should be prepared to answer.

What colour is the wedding gown?
What type of neckline does it have?
Is there any beading on it?
How will you wear your hair?
What length of earrings are you most comfortable wearing?

For the bridal party...

What colour are the dresses for the maid of honour, bridesmaids, flower girl?
Do you want crystal colours that match the dress or something more neutral and versatile?
Do the girls have pierced ears?
What is their skin tone, hair colour?
What size frame are they?

And lastly...what's your budget? Creating the perfect adornments while working within your budget will be the icing on your cake!

Contact Izzy and Buds for a consultation by appointment only.

Monday, September 22, 2008

just edgy


Some random thoughts from my commute in this morning...

crisp, windy ride on the first day of Fall
ears saved by an Annie Lennox remix
inspiration strikes; time for suits and androgyny
alternative look does not equal alternative lifestyle
I'm not a lipstick...just edgy
summer is over, resistance is futile


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Just butter us up...

It was an impulsive moment, a random act of kindness - it felt good then, but it feels even better now...

Hi Jesee & Koko,

I was on Bowen Island last Sunday at the fair near the docks. Jesee saw my earrings (the spiralling wire ones) and saw that something was missing. I was very touched by the friendliness of both of you, that you would would add the black beads free of charge.

I gratefully accept your gift to me, and will look for ways to pay this kind of generosity "forward".

All the best to you both,

Bev

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lost in Translation

Last night we were dining with a group of our friends at one of our favourite restaurants, the Salade de Fruits Cafe Bistro, when we came across an item on the menu that needed clarification - Noix de St. Jacques.

Literally translated, it means St. Jack's Nuts...which begs the question, "How large is the serving?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Peking Muck


There were some very mixed reactions around our dinner table tonight when we discussed today's hot topic - a photo of Spain's Olympic basketball team posing with "slanted-eyes" for an advert that was run in Marca, a Spanish daily sports newspaper.

It appears that the media has done their best to get tongues wagging and turn what was meant to be an endearing gesture into a controversial issue...racism. I can only speak from my personal experiences, that while living in Spain, not once was I ever made to feel inferior or unwelcomed. In fact I was greeted with open arms and embraced with warm Spanish hospitality.

During our recent trip back to Mallorca, Jesee's cousin confessed that when he first met me at age ten, he was mesmerized by my "slanted-eyes" and physically gestures this to me when pulling back the skin on the side of his eyes. I did not find this offensive - it was lovable.

I do understand how this image can be misconstrued and it's really all about perspective. Being a first generation Canadian of Chinese parents and married to a Spaniard, we've experienced many cultural misinterpretations. Although it may appear to be in poor taste to some, I do not believe that it was intended to insult the host country. I cannot ignore my heritage; my first reactions of the photo before I even saw it were of disappointment, denial and defensiveness, but I got over that quickly.

I do believe the real crime here is, "Why would anyone think this was a good advertising campaign in the first place?"

Opinions are like colons; everyone has one and they're all full of shit.

Friday, August 08, 2008

You feel lucky?

Confucius says, "Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night."

So the question is - if one gets married on this auspicious day, 08/08/08...will it always be a bed of roses?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Whew!

Why are long weekends never long enough? With hardly a moment to breathe, we travelled from the Bowen Market to the Pride Festival and right up to Harrison Hot Springs for some much needed reprieve - found at the bottom of an ice cold Heineken.

It was BUSY everywhere we went - ferries, roads and highways clogged with people who just wanted to get the hell out of dodge. We couldn't drive fast enough to avoid the traffic of tourists in our own backyard.

Then there were the 500,00 plus people lining the streets to watch the Pride Parade as participants shook and shimmied their way through the West End. Happy times.

It was a stellar weekend and the weather was perfect. The finale was one of Jesee's renowned paella and sangria meals followed by a short siesta on the deck.

Does it get any better? No señor.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

With Pride

Come out and join us at Vancouver's 30th annual Pride Day Festival on Sunday, August 3rd down at Sunset Beach between 12 pm and 6 pm.

In addition to our usual glittery treasures, we'll have an assortment of RAINBOW jewelry for you to adorn and show your support for the GLBT community.

Personally, I cannot wait to hear Simone Denny perform on the Vancity Mainstage - you may recognize her vocal from the theme song of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Bring your dancing shoes and show YOUR true colours!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Houston, we have a problem...

We will be in the midst of changing web hosts in the days to come. As a result our site and emails may be down for up to thirty-six hours, so please be patient and check back with us soon.

In the meantime we celebrate Jesee's birthday which also happens to be el encierro at the festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Not to gloat, but...

Spain is HOTTER than ever!

Once again, we were occupied with the Bowen Summer Market and didn't have a chance to watch the match live, but caught a glimpse of what we missed. T'estim Rafa! Larga vida al rey!

What's next? Le Tour?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

¡Viva Canada!

Spain's Euro 2008 victory on Sunday was somewhat anti-climactic for us - being that it was the official start of the Bowen Summer Market we were unable to watch the game in its entirety on The Drive (the ONLY place to watch a football match involving a Mediterranean team).

Nonetheless, we are elated and accept all the congratulatory messages we have been receiving. We're sure that our friends and family back in Mallorca have celebrated enough our our behalf and then some. Olé!

Happy Canada Day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Izzy and Buds at Greek Day 2008

This year we've been invited to participate in an interactive arts exhibit at the annual Greek Day event on West Broadway. Our table will be located in the Artisan Display Booth on the south side of Broadway at Balaclava Street.

click image to enlarge

Jesee will be demonstrating the basic techniques of wire wrapping and giving customers an opportunity to sit down and help design their own earrings.

If belly dancing is your thing...we have the perfect adornments for your ankles. Let the inner Shakira in you shimmy away!

*These are also available from Etsy.

There is much to see and do and everyone of all ages are encouraged to come out and celebrate the rich culture of Greece.

Dance and eat your way around five city blocks of food and entertainment and perhaps you may even find a
Greek God or two!

Greek Day on Broadway
Sunday, June 22, 2008
12:00 pm to 9:30 pm (demonstrations until 4:00 pm only)
West Broadway between MacDonald & Blenheim Streets

*To all our fellow cyclists - for your convenience BEST is offering complimentary bicycle lock up.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bowen Market 2008 - Call for Artists

An outdoor summer market featuring arts, crafts, jewelry, woodwork, gourmet food items and unique gifts. Located beside the Bowen Island boardwalk, overlooking the Cypress Mountains and Howe Sound.

The Bowen Summer Market has maintained a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that is attended by both locals and tourists. It's a place to gather, renew friendships and find unique treasures to take home.

This market is specifically designed for handmade and home grown products. It is an affordable way for you to reach your customers face-to-face, to introduce new products, offer demonstrations, provide information and have fun!

The market is open every Saturday and Sunday (10:00 am to 4:00 pm) from June 28th to August 31st. Applications are open to local artists and craft vendors with handcrafted products.

Categories include, but are not limited to ceramics, glass, metal, wood, fibre, jewelry, candles/soaps, home decor, paper products, food and garden products.

For more information, send an email to Bowen Market and be sure to enclose your contact details, product description and photos and/or link to your website.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hats Off!

This morning I was flipping through drooling over a Mallorcan cookbook that we had brought back from Spain when I came across the recipe for sardines frites.

Luckily, today was the annual Hats Off Day celebration in Burnaby Heights and once again, the Fortuna Bakery was cooking up grilled sardines - a Portuguese specialty.


Everywhere you turned, there was food and music for everyone. This charming eighty-six years young man entertained us on the accordion with his golden fingers all afternoon.

We didn't actually get to polka, but could not help but chime in when he played "Qué Será, Será".





Let us not forget that today was the kick-off of Euro 2008 and Portugal beat Turkey 2 to 1!

*A big screen TV at the back of the bakery kept us all informed!






Like the troopers that we are, Karli and I happily supported the team spirit with makeshift sangrias made with Sumol :)

Coincidentally, June is Portuguese Heritage Month.

A lot of food, a lot of drink and a lot of laughs...happy belly, happy day!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

You look so pretty!

One of my colleagues overheard my frustration while trying to make an appointment for a pedicure and thought I might appreciate this...



"I tell no lie", this pretty much sums up the experience of a no frills nail salon. Worth the effort if your patience can tolerate it and you take it with a grain of salt :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Joy Luck Club

Yesterday, we did a home party for a customer that we met at the VGH Craft Market last month. Magnanimous Maggie invited her fellow Singaporean friends, family and neighbours to her spacious home on the hill for an afternoon of tea and shopping...lots of shopping.

Both her very lovely mother and mother-in-law were busy making fresh, tasty sweets in the kitchen all afternoon, while the laughter amongst her mah jong mates echoed throughout her home. As they all helped one another pick out jewelry, I stood back and watched the dynamics of their very own Joy Luck Club. I am both envious and sad that this is lacking in my life.

It's not so much about friends (we are blessed with great ones), as it is about the coming together of generations and missing my grandparents. It was always about food and breaking bread together. Memories of my grandmothers making parcels of sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves are etched upon me. I ache for the pungent smells of Chinese mushrooms and dried shrimp, pan-fried turnip cakes and most of all - salted fish.

Growing up in a predominantly lo fan neighbourhood, it was embarrassing inviting friends over to my house and having layers of newspaper spread across the balcony with dead fish drying in the sun that stunk like nobody's business! Jesee is the most adventurous gourmand I know, but "stinky" fish is not on his top-ten list. I'm not sure what his problem is, since he grew up with bacalao?

I close my eyes and can vividly remember the clatter of mah jong tiles lulling me to sleep right after a late night snack of congee and Chinese donuts...

Living in an inter-racial marriage allows us (and our children) to have the best of both worlds, but sometimes due to our cultural differences, we are missing that unspoken understanding.

I am certain that I was French in another lifetime. Je parle français comme une vache espagnole, but somehow I am fluent in my dreams!

When I first met Jesee, I had just returned from a stint in France and interestingly enough, he was practicing the I Ching - although we may not fill those cultural voids for one another completely, we are each others Yin and Yang.

Photo: The abandoned and dilapidated home of my paternal grandparents in Guangdong, China.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spa of the Moment

Izzy and Buds will soon be available at the Urban Phoenix Wellness Spa located in the historic Galbraith House in New Westminster, BC.

This intimate and ethereal spa setting is the perfect compliment to showcase our goddess jewelry for women with discriminating appetites.

Hey guys, in case you had any doubt, the spa isn't just for the ladies. Manscaping services are also available at the Urban Phoenix.

Summer is the time to attack those tumbleweeds head-on. Furry toes and ears are SO not attractive; go ahead and pamper yourself - go get defuzzed.

Those closest to me know about my eyebrow obsession and how I like them well-manicured. Jesee and I actually have personal grooming days together, which include trips to the barber and getting our eyebrows threaded.

Feeling brave? Why stop there? Michael Ford's article in Friday's news brought a giggle to my morning commute.

"The consensus is clear when it comes to the boxer-short region; it definitely needs to be kept under control. There is nothing attractive about a wilderness down there".

Those who dare may order a back, crack and sac service, but be warned that this is not for the faint of heart.

Urban Phoenix Wellness Spa
131 8th Street
New Westminster, BC
604-523-0016
info@urbanphoenixspa.com

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pure

les fleurs du coeur…sont simplement le meilleur

Monday, May 12, 2008

What turns my crank...

I LOVE shoes, but can only appreciate Manolos from a distance.

Fine food and wine can put me in a state of bliss, but I can only afford so many calories a day.

The freedom of riding (especially on the trails) can make me giddy with pleasure - it's euphoric, cost effective AND burns calories!

If I can't get on my bike, there is always a good
film to fuel the passion...



Watch this film in it's entirety tomorrow night at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver.

Monday, May 05, 2008

VGH Spring 2008 Craft Market

Come out and support the 12th annual VGH Spring Craft Market featuring fifteen BC artisans and craftspeople. Shoppers will find everything from pottery, jewelry, unique fashion accessories, greeting cards, home décor, handmade natural bath products, delicious jams & preserves and so much more!

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.

Here is a taste of the talented artists you will find there...

• Anne's Preserves – yummy jams & jellies
• Baroness Ashley Hats – fashionable headgear
• Lampwork Art from Minori Takagi
Izzy & Buds Jewelry Designs – bijoux en Swarovski
• Marla Morris - whimsical art products
Matthew Freed Pottery – functional pottery
Nikilites – decorative night lights and baby bling
• Lynsey Paterson’s Rustic Clay Art – whimsical and humorous home décor
Kermodi Living Art – modern plant décor
Annie Mac Design – handcrafted greeting cards
• Wet Coast Glassics – fused glass art & jewelry
Art at Snow – visual art by Michelle K.S. Fung
• Swirly Spoons – artfully decorated serving utensils
Naked Soapworks – natural bath and beauty products
• Enchanted Designs – luscious scarves & handbags

Thursday, May 8th from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Vancouver General Hospital
Jim Pattison Pavilion, 1st Floor Corridor (outside the Gift Shop)
899 W. 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Inarticulate Spaniard



My Champagne Birthday

Not only will I be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my 33rd (a fantastic vintage it was) birthday, but WE will also be toasting our 20th wedding anniversary this year. Mucha cava por favor!

I recently shared the story of how Jesee and I met with a friend over greasy, well-done veal cutlets and less than lively ravioli at Nick's Spaghetti House on the north end of The Drive. Each time this story is told, it still remains to be one of the best boy meets girl stories ever! I know it's a bit long, so I'll try my best to keep it short.

On June 3, 1987, my sister and I were returning home from a week-long shopping expedition in Los Angeles, which of course included a jaunt down Rodeo Drive (btw, LOVED Pretty Woman) and Melrose Avenue :)

While driving northbound on Cambie Street from the airport, I noticed a motorcycle defiantly weaving in and out of traffic. *sigh* Watching this long-haired rebel reminded me of how much I was missing the Parisian "air"...so I followed him.

As we approached the intersection at 27th Avenue, an older model, gold-coloured station wagon recklessly crossed Cambie Street - where I witnessed the motorcycle crash into the front end of the car and the rider fly off the bike and roll over the hood down onto the street.

I slammed on the brakes and jumped out of my car to help my Jimmy Dean. Together we removed his helmet and this is where he saw his "angel" come to his rescue. I'm sure the fact that I was wearing an itty bitty mini skirt with my fabulous new white damask western boots (trimmed with embossed silver lamé, don't you know it!) had NOTHING to do with the "view" of said angel from his recumbent position on the ground.

One month later, after numerous phone messages from my new suitor (he had my calling card), we had our first date on Canada Day. After our sushi dinner somewhere on trendy Robson Street, we headed back to his West End bachelor suite where I met his five undiscriminating, Malibu-blonde roommates, who were getting ready to paint the town red.

I noticed that there was only ONE bed in the middle of the room and could only react with a polite smile, as I quietly questioned the sleeping arrangements under my breath. Trying not to appear unsettled, I surrendered to a cocktail and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - drowning out the sounds of fireworks exploding in English Bay. Soon after the girls finished teasing and lacquering their mile-high locks (it was the 80's), we all left for the club.

Our evening ended relatively early (I had to work the next day) with a goodnight kiss when he walked me to my car after a night of dancing. BLECH! I could not wait to race home and disinfect my mouth knowing that I was also kissing Barbie #1, 2 and 3!

A few days later, a most persistent Jesee called me for a second date. I really wasn't interested in becoming a new member of his harem and agreed to meet him, so that I could tell him so. Unable to resist his charm, I still hadn't confessed my reason for meeting him. As we walked out of the restaurant, I tried to tell him, but instead he asked me (in a thick Frenish accent) to marry him by saying, "If I were to... *awkward silence* ...would you?" and THAT is how I became Jesee's girl.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cherry Kisses

This Saturday we're going to wake up and smell the blossoms at the 1st Annual Bike the Blossoms event.

Lallygagging together with a group of friends and visitors, we'll be doing two of our most favourite things...cycling and eating! Encouraged to both cycle and eat slooowly as part of the Slow Food Movement, we'll be exploring and refuelling throughout various Vancouver neighbourhoods. There will be no energy bars or power gels on the menu, just pure yummy goodness.

In the true spirit of celebrating cherry blossoms, I'd love to stop off at the 900 West Lounge to indulge in a Chocolate Martini kissed with a splash of Cherry Brandy, but I don't believe our bike gear is considered "smart casual" attire. *grin*

*Note: Since my first chocolate martini and the many others since...Karli and I have touted this as one of the best we've ever had the pleasure of sipping!

Chocolate Martini

2 shots Vodka
1 shot Creme de Cacao (clear, not dark)
splash of Cherry Brandy

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Get Naked at EPIC

This weekend at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre is EPIC - The Sustainable Living Expo.

I'll be down there on Friday night getting Naked with my friend Laurel at her booth (#616) in the Health & Beauty section. Come down and visit us for scrumptious 100% natural bath and beauty products handcrafted on Bowen Island, BC.

You may recall a post that I wrote last summer about how a stink bomb was dropped on Naked by the big Lush corporation, who used the word "naked" in their tag-line for their Canadian ad campaign.

Unfortunately, Lush showed little concern that "naked" is a registered TM belonging to Naked Soapworks, so the legal battles began. Read all the gory details at The Naked Truth.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tip #53

As shown in the Châtelaine 80th Anniversary Collector's Edition (May 2008) under Style Tips.

I've been trying to tell some of you gals this for years - that you needn't a fancy dress or someplace special to wear a gorgeous pair of Swarovski chandeliers. It's all about how it makes YOU feel, so celebrate the goddess within!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wedding Bazaar

If you are a bride-to-be and looking for some wonderful deals on wedding dresses, accessories, products and services - make sure to visit the Wedding Bazaar this weekend.

Place your bridal party jewelry order at the show and receive a free gift ($35.00 value).



Sunday, April 13, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Scandinavian Centre
6540 Thomas Street
Burnaby, BC V5B 4P9

***

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Under the Sea

After much awaited anticipation, we recently acquired our Octopus Pot that we commissioned from Bowen artist, Jeanette Wrenshall.

Jeanette is incredibly talented and does beautiful work, but this has exceeded our expectation in spades! The rich combination of terra cotta and sangria red topped with an animated espresso octopus are absolutely gorgeous and captures the Spanish mood perfectly. This is sure to be one of our most treasured pieces of functional art.

We are looking so forward to christening this pot with Jesee’s Pulpo Cocido (Octopus Stew) along with some crusty bread and a bottle of Vinho Verde.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sign of the Times

A recent telephone conversation with my mother went something like this:

Moi: Amy and I are taking the kids to the Vancouver Art Gallery for Super Sunday, what are you doing tomorrow?

Mom: Your dad and I are going to the Future Shop to buy a Wii.

Moi: What for?

Mom: For your dad and I to get some exercise. Did you know that medical researchers have shown that the Wii is an excellent tool for increasing activity levels? Some are even using it for rehabilitation therapy!

Moi: OMG mom, are you serious? "They" (the so called medical experts) are referring to near comatose couch potatoes. Last time I checked, you and dad each have two working legs and have been going to the gym regularly! I hope you don't expect to replace your cardio with this silly idea! *shaking my head*

Mom: Oh no, I'm going to do both. I'll still do one hour of cardio in the gym and then come upstairs to play with my Wii.

Moi: *sigh* Whatever...I can't believe you're doing this. We'll do girls day out without you then.

In a separate phone conversation with my sister:

Moi: You're not going to believe what mom and dad are going to buy tomorrow! They're going out to buy their very own Wii. According to some study, many medical centers...blah, blah, blah.

Sis: Well, I guess we can buy her games for her birthday then! LOL

So today we went to EB Games to get some expert advice and purchase some games.

Moi: I'd like to purchase some games for the Wii, but need some recommendations.

EB Staff: Okay, what age group (pointing down at my six-year-old niece) are you buying for?

Moi: SIXTY-FIVE

EB Staff: Oh #$*@! I don't know what to recommend! Whatever I suggest she's going to hate it. You should probably get her a gift card and let her choose her own. Lots of old ladies like Big Brain Academy or maybe Mario Party 8. I really don't know, I don't think I was ever a sixty-five-year-old granny in a past life.

Moi: Yeah, my twenty-year-old son and I were checking the online reviews. All the reviews are done by gamers, so it wasn't much help.

EB Staff: YOU have a TWENTY-year-old kid? Wow, I can't believe this, you look like you're twenty yourself!

Okay very cute sales boy (in a geeky kind of way), you get BIG points for that - especially since I will soon be celebrating the ten year anniversary of my 33rd birthday.

My sister and I settled on getting mom Dancing with the Stars while I "floated" out of the store.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hush Little Baby

This morning I slept in (very unusual), as I was deeply consumed by a bizarre and preposterous dream.

Not up for a repeat performance, una taza de manzanilla should lull me right into some sweet Spanish (i.e. Rafael Nadal) dreams. *yawn*

Buenas noches.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Circa 1972 - I was barely a metre tall when I learned the MacLean Method of Handwriting at Seaforth Elementary School. I was extremely conscientious about staying within the ruled lines of my exercise book and would not accept anything short of perfection.

I remember having a few pen-pals around the globe and writing weekly letters in hopes of keeping the chain going. I faithfully wrote in my Chinese silk-covered journal EVERY night and as a grew older, I sent love letters to Paris written with my special calligraphy pen on scented (Coco Chanel) note paper and sealed it with a Revlon "Love That Red" kiss. Not so much Jane Austen material as it was Bridget Jones.

Soon handwritten letters were replaced with IBM Selectric "novels" thanks to Mrs. Powell, my eighth grade typing teacher who helped me accomplish my 90 wpm typing speed. Once computers came around, there was no turning back...even Christmas cards were eventually replaced with electronic greetings!

My once fine penmanship had become barely legible chicken scratch, hence my decision to try and resurrect this lost art. I started by purchasing a note card from The Beautiful Project on Etsy. Carefully thought out words were written to a dear friend who recently moved away to Macao. There was no room for error, no backspacing, no do-overs. I was so proud of this little achievement and couldn't wait to post this in the mail. *self-pat on the back*

About a week later, I found the note card in MY mailbox with a "postage due" sticker on it! It had been so long since I actually mailed anything, that I underestimated the postage costs! *bubble bursting*

This little chagrin will not stop me from future social correspondence, as I have yet to find the perfect occasion for this note card.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Best Place on Earth

How lucky are we? We live in "the best place on earth"! We have travelled and lived in many places around the world and conclude that beautiful British Columbia will always be home.

*Although we love to travel and experience new territories, BC remains our home-base.

Yes, it rains more often than not, but it gives us so much lucsious green space and the smell of the forests right after a rainfall is intoxicating.

We have amazing mountains to climb and ride during all FOUR seasons and an ocean that provides us with some of the world's best sashimi. *smack*

So for all you virtual visitors, join us in celebrating BC's 150th anniversary.

video

Blessed we are having all this natural beauty around us to keep things in perspective when life isn't going quite the way we planned.

Song in My Head: Walls Come Tumbling Down - The Style Council

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

Poor winter road conditions were behind the long and nasty commute today.

It was like a day at the gym right after the new year filled with do-gooders fulfilling their resolutions. Regular attendance not required, just when it suits them.

Maxed out treadmills, maxed out trains.

I cannot wait for Spring, so that I can bring my bike and body out of hibernation.

If the groundhog sees its shadow, I'll need a bike trip in Peru to tide me over another six weeks of winter!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

...all dressed in white

Call it bridal overdose, but this weekend was spent watching wedding movies (27 Dresses and The Wedding Date) and finishing off custom wedding jewelry orders.

I've also posted (long overdue) new items on Etsy featuring very suitable bridal jewelry made with the vintage crystals that we purchased in London last October. Our vintage line is extremely popular and from an artist's view - these crystals are an inspiration in itself!

We haven't actually sold anything on Etsy, but are pleased to have an outlet to showcase our goods online. In fact most of our Etsy inventory was sold at our market shows and some as a result of an Etsy "preview".

Once again we placed an advert in the 24 Hours Fall Wedding Guide, which was published while we were away in Spain...hence my neglect in blogging about this then. Should you be interested in a hard copy of this issue, please email me your mailing address and I'd be more than happy to send one out PDQ.

For the Bridezilla in all of us...chill and enjoy your special day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

London Calling

Our holiday in Spain last October was by way of London; although we had great reservations of how much we would enjoy our stay there given how expensive the city is - we had a marvelous time getting reacquainted with our friends Kay and Nigel along with their three darling boys.

LOST: blue tights and red cape

After a day of walking the Portobello Market and squeezing in as many touristy visits, Big Ben reminded us that we should be making our way to find solace for our weary bodies.

Before heading to Gatwick for our flight home, we stopped by a few antique shops along Northcote Road in Battersea for our never-ending search of crystals. This old chap had jolly good luck!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Orange Ya Glad?

seedless and fragrant
oh my darling clementine
sweet and succulent


Current Music: Nirvana Lounge by Claude Challe

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Great White North

If you read our previous post, you know that this is not meant to offend anyone. Now for a little poke at the rest of the world :o)

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Now that Vancouver has won the chance to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, these are some questions people the world over are asking!

Believe it or not these questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website, obviously the answers are a joke, but these questions were really asked!

Q: I have never seen it to be warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? (from England )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (from USA )
A: Depends on how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the Railroad tracks? (Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only 4000 miles. Take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden )
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed Beaver. (Italy )
A: Let's not touch this one.

Q: Are there any ATM's (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax ? (England )
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
Ca-na-da is that big country to your North...oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in Canada ? (USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (England )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany )
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you sell it in Canada ? (USA )
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA )
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of Vegan hunter/gathers. Milk is illegal.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name. It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA )
A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA )
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.