Tuesday, February 24, 2009


i feel like vancouver is always rejuvenation time for me with the fresh, moist ocean air, the healthy home cooked japanese food, the warmer weather, the slower pace and the friendly faces. here is my ultimate vancouver list:
  • hang out with おばあちゃん (oba-chan)
  • hang out with the westcoast hashimoto's
  • gorge on japanese food (non-sushi)
  • sushi!
  • the vag
  • steveston fish and chips
  • denise's candlelight yoga
  • play piano
  • lori & dash
  • the naam
  • modern club
  • skate the olympic oval
  • aimless skytrain riding
  • matcha lattés
  • nhk
  • jericho beach
  • occupied shoppe
  • green tea bubble tea
  • main st.
  • galleries
this might be a slightly unrealizable list, but i'm sure i'll be able to put a big dent into it. 2 more sleeps.

Friday, February 20, 2009

monochromatic days

in one week i'm going to escape these monochromatic days and be transported to warm vancouver, where i'll hang out with my grandma. i'll also arrive just in time for cherry blossom season! oh cherry blossoms, i haven't seen you in 3 years!

unfortunately, b and i couldn't get the timing right to see each other in vancouver this year. hopefully next time. also this time, i'm going by myself. which means i'll miss andre and duke (and now myae) terribly.

why can't the distance between toronto and vancouver be more like the distance between toronto and montréal?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

there's no place like home

with all the holiday time i get, i still love spending a good chunk of it in vancouver. besides seeing family and friends (and actually, i've realised i don't know that many people in vancouver anymore!) i love spending time enjoying my hometown -- just walking around or sitting in a cafe people-watching -- without feeling like i have to fill my days "doing" something or being a tourist.

we also made a short trip to san francisco (well, oakland) before arriving in vancouver to visit my american relatives. here are the highlights of the trip:

  • spending time with my 90-something grandparents (who have recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary!!! a-ma-zing!!!)

  • getting to know my american cousins and their partners better (i haven't spent any extended amount of time with them since i was about 12)

  • enjoying the california sunshine (walking around in short sleeves in february!)

  • taking deep breaths of the lovely fresh air in vancouver, all pine-y and moist

  • eating real chinese / japanese / korean food

  • potluck at my parents' house with all my canadian relatives (d's first ever potluck experience, as potlucks don't exist in england)

  • six hours of rock band with my cousins and my brother

  • learning to turn on a snowboard and getting off the chairlift without falling (baby steps, baby steps!)

  • hanging out with amy at her parents' house (we used to do that A LOT) and catching up with other girlfriends

  • shopping on main street (d and i both lamented the fact that so many neighborhoods in london, and even the rest of the country, all look the same, with the same chain shops and the same chain restaurants. it's so refreshing to find independent shops all clustered together on main street, and so many supporting local designers and artists.)

  • a morning walk on kits beach, and lunch at sophie's cosmic cafe

  • going for one-last-meal with my family before leaving

photo: whistler (hey, no one looks good in a helmet!!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

basement bathroom sneak peek

long subway tiles

shower stall sneak peek

'jellybean' mirror

the silicone is curing, but the walls have been primed and painted and tiles have been grouted. i always take care of finishing the dry wall (sanding/mudding/priming/painting)and andre, well he takes care of everything else.

this room is now officially the nicest room in the house. full photos to come after all the green tape is removed!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

her morning elegance

a facebook friend posted this lovely video that i wanted to share. such imaginative and enchanting animation.

have a great weekend tout le monde!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

kitchen - part I - ideas and progress

the before
the scary before! these cabinets were either super cheap or super old. the shelving was bare, unfinished plywood.

inside the cabinets
the previous residents tried to hide the plywood by decorating with these lovely gingham ribbons. country kitsch at it's best!

wall removal
the wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed. this photo was taken after the plaster and wire mesh was removed. notice the old 'knob and tube' electrical remnants.

new appliances
the ceiling is reinforced with thick beams and now we have an opening that lets natural light into the kitchen area.

after a lot of dry wall dust, banging, sawing and sanding we are finally at the point where we can install our cabinets.

so far we have:
- new floor tiles
- new low voltage pot lights
- all old cabinets removed
- tile glue removed (you can see some that remains in the last photo)
- skim coated walls where tile glue was
- new appliances delivered (had to take advantage of the sale!)

- priming and painting all walls and ceiling
- installing new cabinets
- hooking up appliances
- buying undermount sink and tap
- ordering countertop

partially because of the contemporary aesthetic and mostly because of the DYI aspect of cost savings we went with ikea's kitchen cabinets. yesterday, andre and i spent 3 hours at ikea: 1 hour waiting for the kitchen specialist to come help us order our cabinets; 1.5 hours ordering all our cabinet parts and another half hour, picking up some of the parts and then paying for our purchase.

while we waited i amused myself by holding an impromptu portrait party. after a while i was able to persuade andre to join in on the fun. as you can see, however, his attempts were half hearted at best.

while waiting at ikea