Friday, December 31, 2010

A perfect end to 2010

December 30th, the girls and I headed up our local mountain for an afternoon of snowshoeing adventures.  The drive up was spectacular, the day was absolutely gorgeous and the temperature was perfect.  In the words of my friend, “A day spent with the girls is a day well spent!”.   Judge for yourself Smile















The view was worth the hike, wouldn’t you say?



Please be safe tonight and I’ll see you all in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let the fun begin

Hey guys,

Last night we took the kids to my hockey league’s Family Christmas Skate.  We had a blast.  The kids are getting better at skating every time we go.  It was a great way to end the Christmas festivities.

After a relaxing morning drinking coffee and cuddling on the couch with my beau and the kids and watching a movie, it was time to begin my day.  My friend Eve and 2 of her girlfriends were on their way to my house for a few days of fun on the island.  They wouldn’t arrive until 5ish, so this gave me most of the day to clean my place and prepare a big pot of spaghetti using ground Moose meat.  Since my dad and brother are avid hunters, I always come home with a cooler full of meat when I visit Vancouver.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the food I made.  (camera ran out of batteries). 

210After dinner it was time for some games.  The girls brought over Scribblish and Taboo.  We had a blast playing as all of us have never played these games before tonight.  I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. 

Tomorrow we’re off to Mt. Washington for some fun in the snow.  Did you know that Mt. Washington currently holds the world record for the deepest snowpack in the world? Over 500cm already.  Can’t wait!  And the weather is supposed to be beautiful.  Let’s hope my car makes it up the mountain. 

What’s your favourite mountain activity?




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to my home

I must admit being a school teacher has it’s perks.  One of the things I love about my profession is the fact that we get 2 weeks off over Christmas.  My time back home has gone by really quick.  It was great seeing my family and friends again and celebrating Christmas with everyone was fun.  After spending my first week on the mainland, it was time to say goodbye and come back home.

I had one last visit with my good friend and her husband.  DSCN3523We met up Sunday morning (Boxing Day) for breakfast at the De Dutch .  I haven’t eaten there in such a long time.  If you’ve never eaten at one of their locations, it’s worth checking out.  They serve such things as Eggs Benny, Omelettes and of course their famous Pannekoeken, which are genuine Dutch pancakes over 12” in diameter and they have something like 50 different combinations. 


 I ate the “Windmill" – which has Edam cheese, smoked salmon and a side of Hollandaise.  I asked for a poached egg to go with.  So yummy.  After breakfast I went to visit my grandparents before going back to my parents to back for my trip back home Monday. 

Monday, December 27th was a travel day.  I have to take a 2-hour ferry ride, followed by a 2 hour drive to get back to my house.  I decided to make a pit stop at Costco to pick up some items for the house.  Why is it that every time I visit Costco, I can never seem to spend less than $100?  Things add up quick! Good thing the nearest store is not just around the corner from me. 

I couldn’t wait to get home to see my kitty, my boyfriend and the kids.  Excitement was in the air once again as presents were waiting for me under the tree and I came bearing gifts from Santa to everyone as well.  DSCN3533DSCN3535





Ironically, I’ve been eyeing it for the last few months as my Breville Espresso maker died in September and I’ve been espresso-less since then (drip coffee just isn’t the same). My beau must have read my mind.  Thanks hun Smile  

It was a nice ending to a busy day on the West Coast.  Once the kids were in bed, we finished off the evening watching a movie “What happens in Vegas” – a pretty funny movie. 

What do you look forward to the most after coming home from a vacation? 




Sunday, December 26, 2010

Perhaps some inspiration?

With less than a week left in 2010, the thought of “New Year’s Resolutions” may be lingering in people’s minds.  Each year we make ourselves promises of how our new year will shape up.  Probably the most common resolutions that I hear are Quit smoking, lose weight, save more money.  We start off with good intentions, but how many of us actually keep up with our new goals?  Life gets busy and the next thing we hear is “better luck next year”.  I think most people try to make too drastic changes and then get discouraged when it doesn’t work.  A couple of years ago I decided to make myself a goal of becoming more active and more fit.  With a lot of patience and time, it worked.  I didn’t expect any miracles, but if I could do it, I think anyone can.  Here is my story

A couple of years ago, I was overweight.  I weighed about 140lbs and am only 5’2.  I kept wondering why my pants were getting tighter and I blamed it on the washer shrinking my clothes.  I also had no real motivation to get active.  I started playing a little bit of Ultimate Frisbee, because it was something my then-boyfriend was into, but I was not able to keep up with the ultimate crew  I was always out of breath by the time I made it to the other side of the field.  It probably didn’t help that I was in a relationship where there was a lot of wine and beer drinking going on.  I joined in because it was a new relationship.  Other than snowboarding and Ultimate Frisbee, I was also not really encouraged to get active either.

Once the relationship ended, it didn't help matters because I more or less lost contact with the social group - except through Facebook. I decided that I wasn't going to sit around waiting for things to happen, so I'd finally had enough and decided to make a change. This was also the time of my life where I discovered my IBS and made changes to my diet.  It took me a while to realise what was happening, but once I finally found a way to overcome it, I couldn't be happier.

I joined a gym, bought my mountain bike and got active. I am in love with Kickboxing and this year I’m playing my 3rd season of ice hockey too. I also decided I wanted to give myself a challenge and started training for my first running event.  This was a major accomplishment for me since I have never been a runner because of the large size of my breasts.  (I had breast-reduction surgery in 2007).  In May of 2009 I ran/ walked my first 32km event (The Galloping Goose Linear Walk), followed by the 64km big one in June of 2009 (The Great Walk – North America’s Toughest Pledge Walk).

Since moving to the Island, I've lost about 15lbs (a combination of eating right and an active lifestyle). 

Today, I am finally happy with my physical status..getting my stomach issues under control, I love working out and being active and feel all around happy.  I am also blessed with having found a wonderful man to share my life with. 

I think that it’s important to remember that life isn’t always going to be fun and games and challenges will always lie ahead…it’s how you react to these challenges that will determine the outcome. A little while back I found these quotes on the “Status Shuffle” application for facebook. 

“In order to get the rainbow you must tolerate the rain.”

“You only have one life, so live it up everyday because who knows when will be your last!”

“We should challenge the impossible, explore beyond our comfort zone, refuse to be limited by boundaries and never settle for less than we deserve.”

“There are 3 kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

“Your life is your story, you write it chapter by chapter.  Decide how you what the story to end, then make it happen!”

Have a great day!



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Traditional Quebec Christmas

After a very relaxed day in my PJ’s, tonight my parents and I headed to my brother’s house, who hosted our second Christmas dinner.  Since his mom and dad-in-law are visiting from Quebec, we were treated to a traditional Christmas dinner Québec style.  And let me tell you, it was delicieuseWe got to their house around 6ish.  While our hosts were putting the finishing touches on our feast, I enjoyed taking pictures of the Christmas decorations.  I must say they did a great job.











For dinner, I was served turkey (white and dark meat), meat pie, mashed potatoes, a dish made of turnips and of course gravy.  And not a bite was left on my plate..hmmm Smile 


After dinner my brother taught his wife and her parents a dice game (and retaught me because I kind of forgot some of the rules), one that we used to play all the time as a family while growing up.  After a couple of practice rounds, we had a great time.


Even Clyde wanted to play

I hope that you were able to enjoy your Christmas Day surrounded by wonderful family and friends. I hope that everyone’s bellies are filled with yummy food and drinks. 

How did you spend your Christmas day?  What did Santa bring everyone this year?  Would love to hear some of your stories.

If you are venturing out for Boxing Day shopping tomorrow, I have one thing to say….Good Luck and take along a lot of patience.



Christmas Eve 2010

I hope that everyone had a safe and joyful evening with family and friends.  My evening was great, as is every Christmas Eve with my family.  It was definitely the largest gathering in the history of my family.  This year was special because it was my brother’s first Christmas as a married man.  HIs wife’s parent’s flew in from Quebec to celebrate with us as well.  All together we were 12 people…thankfully our table could be extended to host the large crowd.  Dinner was spectacular.  We don’t cook a Turkey for our traditional Christmas dinner.  My family comes from a small area near the Black Forrest in southern Germany.  Every Christmas, we cook a traditional kind of ham….the meat comes from the area around the pig’s shoulder blade.  You can’t buy this cut of meat from just any grocery store.  My parents know a butcher that comes from the same area of Germany and he is able to prepare it for us

My mom first cooks the ham in a pressure cooker and then wraps it in bread dough, which is then baked in the oven until the bread is crispy.  It is unbelievably tender and the bread is so good.  Not to mention, the presentation of the ham is pretty cool.    You haven’t had ham until you’ve had it this way. Smile

A few shots from our dinner buffet:

Homemade Venison Carpaccio

Cold Smoked Salmon

Shrimp and salmon mousse

After dinner we all gathered by the tree...where did all the presents come from?  I felt like a kid again :)

One of the many fun presents I get from my students at Christmas time.

What did I get?  Well with all the excitement of everyone opening up their presents, I didn’t take any pictures, but I just say that I am one lucky girl once again.  My brother and sister-in-law gave me a nice digital picture frame with preloaded pictures from their wedding (and some hunting pics from my brother).  It was very thoughtful of them, so thanks guys !  I appreciate it more than you could ever know.  I also got some money, PJ’s and a nice spa set from my brother’s in-laws.  Merci beaucoup ! 

That pretty much sums up my Christmas Eve.  It was a wonderful evening filled with love, laughter and great family and friends.  I hope you all had a lovely evening as well.  Christmas time is such a wonderful time of the year.  I love seeing all the lights, beautifully decorated trees, Christmas carols and the smiles that light up all the children’s faces as they anxiously await the big day.  But most of all spending time with the one’s you love and hold dear to your hearts.  I am reminded that I really am lucky to have such wonderful family, friends, but most of all am thankful for my health and that of my families.

From my family to yours, I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS…may this year bring you love, joy, health and happiness.  Be safe and joy this special time of year.

All the best,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vancouver Christmas Market and Stanley Park

This year Vancouver was lucky enough to have a Traditional German Christmas Market.  Of course, this was right up my alley since I love Christmas time and the German’s really know how to celebrate.  The market was really small, but quaint and cute and so much good food and drink.  Here is some information about German Christmas Markets, taken from their website. (


German Christmas Markets … a 700 year tradition

Christmas Markets - a 700 year old tradition

German Christmas markets are a centuries old tradition in Germany. The markets light up communities with gaiety, fun, laughter, companionship, good food and drink during the advent season.

Charming Christmas markets are a good antidote to holiday commercialism. Instead of mass-produced gifts, the markets feature unique, hand-crafted items, purchased from vendors who have often crafted the items themselves.

During the Christmas season, there are Christkindlmarkts throughout Germany. Each Christkindlmarkt has its own special charm, unique to the community and region. Visit a German Christmas Market to experience the sights, smells and sounds of an Old World Christmas.

I must say that the market was fairly small, but I think it was a great success.  They were open for a month and had over 100,000 visitors go through the gates.  I hope they are around next year again.  I went with my brother and his wife.  Her parents are currently visiting from Quebec for Christmas, so it was nice to give them a taste of our German culture.  They were quite impressed.









We spent a few hours at the market and then decided to head to Stanley Park for Bright Lites with hopes of catching the miniature train ride to see the Christmas Lights.  Unfortunately it was all sold out when we got there, but we were still able to take in the numerous displays.  Next time I think we will look into buying tickets ahead of time.  If only we had known. 

DSCN3485 DSCN3483DSCN3487

Happy Holidays everyone.

Merry Christmas Eve :)

Hey Everyone!  As a new blogger on the WWW, just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  Will try to add more to my site in the coming days. 

Hope everyone was good this year.




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And so it begins

Welcome to my blog.  This is just the beginning of my blogging adventures, so please stay tuned to see what will become of my new hobby.  Please have patience with me as I learn what blogging has to offer.