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Showing posts from 2016

Christmas Right Up to 2017, or Another Trip to the Market

I am so excited that this year, the Vancouer Christmas Market is open on New Year's Eve, and they are also hosting a family-friendly event to ring it in!

On Dec. 31, from 11:00am - 9:00pm, they're continuing to run the regular market (hello roasted pork hocks and chimney cakes!), plus they're adding extra goodies for the littles, like free kids' caricatures, balloon animals/twists, and glitter tattoos from 11:00am to 5:00pm. The admission is $8/adult but kiddos under 6 are free, and I think my season pass is still good for this event (which is perfect since we still have carousel tokens to use up)!

Link to the entertainment schedule for the 31st:

Best part? It is a dry event, so they won't be serving up any pints, and that means that your kiddos won't have to navigate through crowds of inebriated grown-ups holding (and spilling) steins and spaetzel and pretzels on their little heads 😂
Unless the weather decides to t…


Up until now, Little L has not really known snow. Our travels into AB during winter happened when she was too young to remember, and it hasn't snowed significantly in the GVA in about 1000 days.

Until now.
Oh, yes, it's snowing like Edmonton in November. And my now-cognizant 4.5 year old is eating it up. In some cases, literally. 

We have had snowball fights, built quasi-snow penguins, and made snow angels. We have tasted and touched and even made ourselves some snow ice cream. It's like Christmas came early for my kiddo, and she is loving every cold white minute of it. 

One thing that this sudden blast of Arctic air has taught me is how woefully underprepared we were for the cold. Not for ourselves, of course; we still have all our warm gear from our AB days. For Little L, however, we literally didn't have anything that would permit her to play in the snow. Her three pairs of boots that I bought for the season were not warm enough or grippy enough or too hard to put o…

Countdown Advent(ures) 2016

>We legitimately try not to spoil Little L too much, although the temptation is definitely there since she's our one and only. For her part, Little L doesn't ask for too much either; she still has zero exposure to commercials so she has no idea what popular toys she's "missing out" on. She doesn't have any interest in going to ToysRUs or the local toy store situated a mere four blocks away, and she prefers books and stickers to just about anything else in the world.
What then is one to do about her Christmas gifts? I have family members and friends who want to bless her with presents but haven't a clue where to begin with my curious little lady. 
As her mama, I am at a loss too. I am still mid-purge with her old toys, so I'm not keen to lose the space I'm only now reclaiming. I also strive to find a balance between being extravagant and practical, intentional and fun. It is no easy task.
This year, because of our travel plans over the holidays…

A Night in Two Parts at the Vancouver Christmas Market

I've been doing the Advent countdown with Little L, and I've been mixing gifts of varying sizes (from a box of Christmas bandaids to a gorgeous reading tent from Domestic Objects) with experiences for her to enjoy over the course of 25 days.

We have already opened four gifts and gone on the Polar Express in Squamish, and tonight we enjoyed the Vancouver Christmas Market, courtesy of Murray Paterson Marketing. Because we brought an impatient preschooler along, we were only able to enjoy a few of the awesome features offered at this year's bigger and better market, which is being held at the Jack Poole Plaza for the first time. As such, we will be back for an adults-only encore for date night tomorrow, which means this post will be broken down into two parts: avec Little L and sans the munchkin.
****Avec La Petite L****
Of course our kid's favourite feature, and the one we beelined to upon entry, was the carousel. Rides are $3/ride or $10/five rides, but most ticket package…

The Hidden Costs of Having a Direct-Sales Home-Based Business

So you want to start your own home business? The opportunities are everywhere, ranging from toys and books to make-up and clothing to pots and pans and sugar and spice. The offers sounds lucrative, too, especially at a bottom-barrel starting price of just $20 or $200 or some number in-between; for that amazing value, you also get a bunch of business materials to help you get your business off the ground. Too good to be true?

If it is a true MLM, then yes. You're better served running in the opposite direction, before you take your friends to the cleaners and destroy all of your social relationships.

But I'm not talking about MLM's here; I'm talking about legit businesses with products (or services) that are high-quality and well-established. These are household brands that have been around anywhere from five years to five decades. Many have great reputations and are internationally-renown; some are even publicly-traded! The products and services are usually so awesome…

An Eyeliner Switcheroo

For the past several years, I've been a very loyal Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner fan. I mean, I use the stuff every single day, and I like to do dramatic wings on my eyes, so I need a quality eyeliner that is high pigment, won't smear, and has an amazing fine-tipped brush that will let me draw my eyeliner wings to a very long, dramatic tip. My standards are exacting when it comes to liquid liner. 

That said, my wallet hates me for it. Those amazing liners cost $30 a pop, and they only last a couple of months at the rate that I use them. 
So, as any responsible adult tries to do, I've attempted to save money and find a cheaper alternative. I've used all sorts of liners sent by IPSY, or bought at my local drugstore. Unfortunately, every attempt I've made has resulted in great regret. The brush applicator was too wide or too short. The eyeliner smudged too easily. The pigment wasn't dark enough. You get the idea.
However, I think I've finally found m…

Bethesda Skincare - a Totally Biased Review

Sometimes I am as subtle as a jackhammer. Today might be one of those times. It's because I am so excited about the soap from Bethesda Skincare! If I don't tell you about it, it will be on my conscience forever.

Okay, so in full disclosure, I did happen to get a few bars gratis, because my friend happens to be in charge of their marketing and product design. That said, I did offer to pay for the soap, because I had every intention of supporting them with my money.
So, what makes Bethesda's bar soaps so amazing that I'm shilling for them? I don't usually write reviews for products unless they are personally awesome sauce in my books, and I only ever write reviews as PSA's to warn you, or to bless you. In this case, I'm doing you a favour by sharing the love. ;)
1) This soap is good for you.  Have you ever considered that your skin is a living organ? I had not. But when you think about it, soap is meant to be a surfactant of sorts. It takes bad stuff off the …

My WOE, or It Is Getting Personal

Since puberty, I've been plagued with all sorts of awful symptoms. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say that these symptoms have at times been embarrassing, often inconvenient, and at one point utterly devastating. I attribute our very difficult journey to fertility on some of these symptoms, and after recently consulting with an internal medicine specialist, I was finally referred to an endocrinologist.

Per the specialist, someone, somewhere along the way of my nearly three decades of seeing doctors should have picked up on the obvious: I very likely have a metabolic disorder called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). My symptoms are all suggestive of PCOS, which is basically an issue with hormones in the body being out of balance, and producing more (or less) than required; a symptom of this imbalance is in fact the formation of cysts on ovaries, although they can sometimes be very very small and are almost always benign. There is no treatment for this condition, onl…

Friday's Face

As you may know, the Trader Joe facial antioxidant products that I had raved about in an earlier post ended up burning my face due to my sensitivity to Vitamin C acid. Since I had already had a prior reaction when using another direct sale product, my skin decided to punish me for putting it through hell a second time. This go round, the warm, inflamed scaly patches refused to be quelled with the LaNeige Water Night Mask.

What's a girl with sandpaper skin to do?

Enter Saadia Argan Oil. Made by Moroccan relatives of this local company, this pure and natural oil literally saved my skin. It was in full burning/dry/rough mode as of Wednesday night, so I dug up my bottle and applied a good dose yesterday morning, and by this morning, my skin was feeling 90% better. For good measure, I applied a second dose 😊 The redness is gone, the skin temperatures have returned to cool, the swelling is no more, and most of that awful bumpy texture has been replaced by smooth, moisturized skin. I fi…

Tuesday Tip

I'm not a big fan of synthetic things but I am a huge fan of efficiency, or maybe I'm just lazy. Whichever. Regardless, here's a life hack for ya! Disclaimer: it does involve chemical-laden materials so if you're all-natural, toxin-free, ethically-raised and locally-sourced exclusive, this isn't for your crunchy granola heart.

Today, yours truly burnt cream cheese onto her stainless steel pot today. Yes, I stepped away for all of a minute and it burned. Iron Chef I am not. 
So yeah, I remembered reading something about using a Bounce dryer sheet to help eliminate scrubbing and make cleaning the pot a lot less painful. Less scrubbing? Sold. 
I tossed a fresh dryer sheet into the pot with an inch of warm water and let it soak all day. The white sheet did a great job of covering up the nasty brown burns so I didn't mind leaving it on my stovetop, like some science experiment in the works.

Then, when I prepped dinner, I remembered to clean the pot. I mean, it was rig…

Three Monday Must-Buys

Here's a quick recap of a few things I've recently discovered and highly recommend to you. Let me know if you're already a fan - these aren't necessarily new products, just new to me!

Trader Joe's Face Products  EDIT: Nevermind, back to the drawing board 
Remember how I was really loving Laneige, until I wasn't anymore? My nose was starting to be riddled with tiny pimples, the result of what I suspect was a too-rich formulation of their skin care system for my t-zone. I am still digging their Water Night Mask, but I'm out of their toner (which I also loved), and the other steps have long since been abandoned from my routine for making my nose break out. 
I had briefly moved on to the La Roche-Posay Hydrophase system, the result of a hasty and desperate drug store search for some product to replace my Laneige. Sure, I could have done some proper research and gone higher end, but I was working with a month-end beauty budget and a distinct lack of time, so I settl…