Monthly Archives: May 2008

where oh where oh where

Found on Hei Astrid Blog

…have I been? My little blog here is still a passion, but there just hasn’t been enough time. So many potential posts float before my eyes, while my fingers have not been quick enough to grab them. I have been posting almost daily for a month and a half now. And, as I’d hoped, I’ve formed a full-fledged habit. I am biking to work this week, so please excuse my sporadic visits. I still have so much to share.

Picture found at Hei Astrid’s who found the picture herself here.

I like that magazine’s motto: Special made Simple.

I am learning biking is a simple pleasure.

not-so champagne wednesday

San Francisco

No actual champagne, that is. But I promise, we were still very champagne-like in spirit.

You see, Ash had a craving for sweet and sour pork. So, wandering we went down Commercial Drive with Whiskey in tow to scope out Chongqing (the Szechuan place on the corner of Commercial and 12th that has really great take-out). The only problem is that our champagne vision involved a patio. And Chinese restaurants rarely have patios. It’s true, think of any you know (fusion doesn’t count). Also, it turned out Ashleah’s craving was very specific and did not include “restaurant” Chinese food at all, but “mall” Chinese food (which I actually refuse to assign an ethnicity). So wandering onwards we went, finally ending up at the very opposite end of Commercial (as often happens when we are hungry and trying to make a decision) at a place called Zawa. And yes, we were going to have champagne, but Sleeman’s were on for $3.99/pint. The place was empty, and slightly disjointed with its trendy sign outside and old pub style interior (complete with crazy-haired man eating the $13.99 New York Steak special). Anyway, they have a huge patio. And the owner was nice enough to turn on the heater just for us so Whiskey didn’t have t wait in the car. The waitress was spacey in this oddly charming way and, against all better judgment, we liked the place so much we ordered bruschetta, just because we wanted to give them some business. And you know what? The Bruschetta was pretty good. With balsamic drizzle and roasted cloves of garlic and, sure, a dead looking salad garnish, but who’s perfect? And isn’t that the Champagne spirit? Not waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect place but just raising your glass to the person or place you love and saying, this is perfect enough right now.

Where shall we go?

Lulu with Ammo Books

Good morning. I found this piece of collage inspiration on Elements of Style – and I thought it was the perfect way to begin this week’s Champagne Wednesday (well, actually a mimosa is the perfect way, but we’ll just pretend). Perfect, especially today, as Ash and I pour over travel sites trying to decide where we should go on our honeymoon. It will be November. Too chilly for our love of Europe, where we shivered through the last two early springs. Too late for the mindlessness of Cancun, where we’re sure to face Hurricane season. Travel is a privilege. Neither of us take the decision or the weight of such a gift very lightly. I see many more nights in bed with dueling laptops until we decide.

PS: this collage, as shared by Erin, is from an artist named Lulu de Kwiatkowsk. Lulu’s hand-crafted collages are a trip in themselves. You could go on a mini vacaton now if you’d like to take a look. I love the one with the juicy green grapes.

PPS: The joys and pathways of blogging never end. Erin has an etsy shop where she sells the most beautiful vintage wallpapers. I like her idea for framing them above a bed. Brilliant.

Make this:

Writing and Pizza in San Francisco San Francisco  

Creamy Mustard Vinagerette Recipe
….from the lovely Ina Garten
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature (see Note)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately.

Note: I left out the egg, but it’s better with it.


The end of a long feast

This weekend was a feast. First, Jen and Matt’s, then Matt and Kim’s, and finally a gathering at our own house with family. If you’ve ever scratched your head and wondered how to lay out a platter, take a few tips below from Jenn’s backyard masterpiece. I am going to send a couple of these pictures to Toast & Tables (a wedding site that doubles as a great resource for anyone planning a party).

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We really have great friends.

More to come…


Trout Lake Farmer’s Market Opens Today

Vegetables at the Market

Viva la summer! It’s hot out. Two backyard bbq’s on the agenda today and then a trip to the airport to pick up my parents who are returning from 3 weeks in Italy. Also exciting? The start of farmer’s market season in Vancouver. I was so sad when we moved away from the Nelson Street market – my bedroom window was perfectly situated to lift my head and see if the vendors had set up their tables yet. Luckily, we moved just down the street from the even bigger Trout Lake market. Can’t wait to get shopping locally. I may even use my Climate Action Dividend when it comes in June.

Letter to myself at Coco et Olive

Dear me,

Thank you for leaving work so decisively for your lunch hour and driving like a mad woman to Coco et Olive. There is something so beautiful about knowing exactly what will give you pleasure, reprieve, salvation – and when.

This short americano with 1/4 pack of raw sugar and your hand wrapped around spotless white porcelain are just what you needed. It’s steady, certain and knowing, a kind of love passed to you across so many kitchen tables.

Natural light pours into the cafe and winks at you as if to say so many more beautiful things are in store. Your roasted tomato, goat cheese and basil quiche with side salad is only one of them. The dill is a subtle surprise. Then a homemade two-bite espresso brownie arrives at your table. The icing slips off like silk sheets.

It’s simple to find pleasure when you look for it. Today its been traded for $12.49, food made with care and time to yourself. Your Ikea work desk is not this charming red table with its curvy, vintage legs. Try to remember that. Demand more from your daily menu.

Oh, and please stop eating slimy soup from the troughs at the IGA across from your office. I like you better than that.



Midday chat

me: I need to go get lost in LA.
Ashleah: Why LA? can i come? i’d like to do that as well
me: just seems like a place to get lost and sit on beaches or patios and be kind of fancy free. Yes, I cannot go without you. you are my forever companion.
me: you make me happy.
Ashleah: that’s the goal. I think we should get nexus passes.

San Francisco Collage Journal

San Francisco Collage Journal


My fiance (boyfriend back then) knows me so well! He booked us in at the Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill. I’ll admit I felt a bit Julia-Roberts-in-a-red-polka dot-dress walking into that vast lobby of tiger coloured marble. Being whisked away for the weekend is a lot of fun. The room itself was fairly standard. The robes were a bit on the crunchy side. But waking up every morning and heading down to the Gone-with-the-Wind lobby was worth the trade. Of course, we had to celebrate with two flutes of champagne in the lobby lounge:

San FranciscoSan FranciscoSan Francisco

To be continued with tips on where to eat, what to do and other great SF finds…

My wild heart

I love this. It makes me want to write a letter. It makes me want to wear yellow at my wedding. The poor girl trying to put on Stevie Nick’s make-up just has to step back and let the moment happen. It reminds me of a greyhound bus and of Kari, when she tells the story about singing Anne Murray at her wedding.

I run around like a spirit in flight
Fearlessness is fearlessness
I will not forget this night
Dare my wild heart
Dare my wild heart

Thank you, thank you, my wild heart.

Happy Champagne Wednesday. Press play.