Tag Archives: Shopping

Favourite green places in Vancouver

Earth day…like as opposed to Seceratary’s Day or Mother’s Day? I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of  “days.” Holidays are one thing but random days that hardly anybody knows about until it’s all over CNN as you sit there with your morning coffee feeling like crap because it’s not fair trade just seems a little easy. Especially for a topic like the earth, which is of paramount importance every day (and indicative in every choice you make from that second latte in the to-go cup at the coffee stand to the time you get in your car and drive yourself home). I could go on, but I won’t. All I know for sure (to steal a line from Oprah, who is curiously silent on subject of green) is that I have started making shifts in my day-to-day life that not only make me worthy of an Earth day button but actually feel very right. Looking to see where my produce was grown (Chile? too far! BC? I’ll take it!).  Buying organic pillows so that my husband can sleep through the night without severe allergies. The simple act of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.  I like all of it. I know there is so much more my family can do and we are definitely growing in that direction – not just for one day, but one day at a time.

M Smart Designhttp://www.m-smartdesign.com/ Not only is this store dedicated to carrying organic products, but the owner is passionately knowledgable about everything she sells. Watch for this stores’ upcoming move from Park Royal to the edge of the newly fashioned design row on Beatty Street (also home to Chambar and Provide). Re-opens May 31st at 163 W.Hastings St.

Trout Lake Farmer’s Market http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html      All I can say is – is it May yet???? If you’re not in the East end, click through to find a farmer’s market near your neighbourhood, though by July, I don;t think there is a more festive or busy market than the one at Trout Lake.

Little Nest http://www.littlenest.ca  Though this place is best known for its “parent friendly” atmosphere, do not be scared away if you’re looking for somewhere to read the paper over organic fare. The free-range eggs are pumpkin organge and the organic multigrain bread is always fresh. Fair trade coffee makes it all go down nicely (friendly little visitors or not!). 1716 Charles Street on Commercial Drive

Be happy. Be Green.


Adventure Saturday: Fort Langley, BC

One year and 200 posts later, I celebrate my blog’s anniversary with a return to antiquing. You might recall last March when I came home with this champagne bucket from Mission. That seven dollar bucket still brings me great joy. It’s funny how far small wins can take us. I am glad I stuck with blogging – otherwise I wouldn’t have this circle to complete  and a few wonderful readers to complete it with. I really appreciate everyone who’s stopped by Champagne Wednesdays and I’ve especially loved when you’ve left your comments. I’m pretty certain a few bottles of bubbly have been cracked as a result- and that is the ultimate reward.

This March, we headed to Fort Langely, in part to peruse the Antique Mall, in part to go to the Fort Langely pub, and in part to try and ride the Albion Ferry before it closes forever this July. Here is what most Vancouverites know about the Albion Ferry: 7 to 10 sailing waits. You hear it everyday on the radio and it makes you really, really happy you don’t live outside of the Vancouver-core – at least that has been my experience.



Unfortunately, Fort Langely was very rainy and very cold. So we cut short all the hustle and bustle of Fort-life, skipped the obligatory gelato, reminsced quickly about the days of yore and headed fairly directly to the pub. But even in our rush to be seated fireside with beer, we saw a few gems that are worth returning to on sunnier days:


1) Coast Perrenials – a pretty little garden shop with every variety of well-marked herb you can think of at growers’ prices. Next to the hardware store.


2) Summer house: a charming, weathered atilier with modern fashion and bohemian antiques. Perfect for finding the quintessential white summer dress.


3) Admittedly hard-to-spot through a jungle of trinket-hell, a few fine antiques at good prices. This Medalta stone pot was a steal for $92.


5) A little puppy love along the Fort to Fort trail linking Fort Langely to Derby Beach Regional Park. It’s not the prettiest trail but you can walk forever along a riverside path with no cars. What more can a dog-owner ask?      

6) And finally, the pub itself.  A pint of Rickard’s Red and a colourful meat draw between 1pm and 2pm. It’ll have you singing, I’ve been working on the railroad before you know it. I would stick to your standard beef dip, burger, french fries fare. I saw a shrimp melt. It wasn’t pretty.

Oh yeah…and there were hats!

IMG_1661.JPG IMG_1662.JPG IMG_1663.JPG 

PS: We did not ride the Albion Ferry afterall. There was a long line-up.

Ground Control to Vitamin V

This morning Vitamin V (or is it D now?) sent me my regular morning hit of spend-more-money, get-more-beautiful, we-are-fabulous. Given that I usually open their e-shout-out about 7:00am, on my way out of the shower, with a ratty towel twisted impossibly on top of my head and various creams covering various areas of concern on my face, I am usualy fairly receptive to their suggestions.

This morning, though, I emerged from the steam of my windowless bathroom….well….steaming. I sure hope they were halfway through a bottle of Cristal when they put together this list. Otherwise, it’s just cruel.

Vitamin AIG’s Spring-must-haves (you can view the actual items here):

  • Dress, $628
  • Dress, $555
  • Pullover, $338
  • Leather Jacket, $2,065
  • Boots, $360

Here’s what irked me most. They asked five Vancouver boutique owners to name their must-haves for spring. Fair-enough these would be pricey high-fashion items, after all, these are fashionable ladies. But editorially-speaking, would it not have made more sense to list the top 5 must-have items FROM Vancouver’s small business owners? Must-haves that willing disciples like me might actually be capable of running out and buying?

Now what am I supposed to wear?

Hey, that’s my coat…I like what you’ve done with it.

 Fur Pillows from Coat Check

Because I have been in the smelly back corners of Main Street vintage shops, I ask you this question: is this gross or genius?

A Vancouver-based company named Coat Check is saving mink coats everywhere. Yesterday’s social faux-pas is today’s designer recycled good. The Coat Check ladies refurbish old fur coats into reincarnations of plush throws, pillows and personal accessories – and sell them back at an upscale price ($250 for the pillow above).  All this from their studio space in Chinatown! I am intrigued.   

I am also curious. How do you communicate to those Liberation BC protestors that your new bag is really made from a very friendly, green rabbit? Lately, fur has pretty much been the domain of those who want to look fancy-hookerish (please see: Yaletown, Fridays) and the Queen E crowd on Opera nights.  In the home, however, it’s a different story. My mind immediately jumps to that faux white Ikea rug that was so popular last season (and nothing is cuter than my naked naphew on that rug). Then it jumps to lazy mornings in bed, cold winter nights, fireplaces, hot chocolate, reading on Sundays.  

There is just something comforting to me about fur in general. Something very half-man, half-steed.  Something that smells more like nature-in-the-raw when the mountains all around are deocrated with ski hills and condos.  I can almost hear Pan’s flute now…

Coat Check on Etsy.  


The Girl Likes…

Things this girl likes today:

The song, The Girl, by City and Colour (especially how it ends and then starts again faster and more feverously, as if to say he really means it the second time).

The owner of Provide Home, who welcomed me into his fabulous store yesterday with pleasant conversation and a Nespresso cappuccino.  Across from Chambar and Cafe Medina on Beatty Street, you really need to go see this store…I wanted everything! I still want everything. It’s one of those places you could happily linger away an afternoon.

Provide Home

Provide Home

And lastly, the view from my office window. Of which, there is no photo to show you. I can only try explaining how the snow is beginning to melt away, the mountains are blue again, the light is dull, but more importantly, there is light. Yes, I can see it, finally. An eye of sky just opened.

This is not good

Smitten Kitchen

Yesterday, I went to get my eyebrows shaped and the lady burned me with boiling, hot wax. Now I have a scab above my right eye, a very tender eyelid and an outstanding appointment for waxing of a different “venue,” so to speak. Believe me, I am canceling that appointment today. The sad thing is, the people who run this little spa are so nice. Just a young couple really trying to make a go of business ownership in Vancouver’s East side. And I really did want to support them in their venture. But, seriously, you have to protect your face.

Also not good, the place we’re getting married can’t seem to find anyone to fill the role of event planner (the lady we’ve been working with is going on maternity leave in one week). There are so many loose details still and now, it seems, we’re going to be dealing with someone very, very new to their job. On the other hand, it will probably be the new person’s first wedding, so maybe he/she will try extra, extra hard. Yes, I like that kind of thinking. It’s a real half-full approach.

In other news:

  • Still craving chili. This one.
  • Barely able to contain excitement for the adventure planned this weekend.
  • Loving my birthday boy.
  • Dying to make a trip down to Anthropology soon.
  • Looking forward to Sunday night with family.
  • Trying to get mentally engaged with issues in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding
  • Making coffee in the bodum because our carafe broke (again).

Have a good weekend!


PS: photo from Smitten Kitchen

And then love came in red

Michelle Brusegaard

Yes, I bought it. Yes, I love it. Yes, I will run home every day for the next two weeks to check my mailbox. Yes, I sometimes wonder if Michelle Brusegaard thinks she’s as fabulous as I think she is.

Yes, there are others:

Scarf from EtsyScarf from Etsyetsy scarf

Believe me, your girlfriend, sister, best friend, mother, etc would like one. Michelle makes the most beautiful stationary and linens as well. And yes, she’s from Etsy and yes, she has a blog.

Then another kind of red: Kat came over for dinner last night and she, Ash and I launched life plans over Thai red curry and red wine (don’t ask about the bean burgers – they died an early death). Plans that I really hope will come to fruition. It was the perfect way to spend an evening. And it’s not even Wednesday yet.

Have a great champagne day. Drink it up.


Today. Today. Today.


Today, my mom and I go pick up my dress. I have to admit- in all my one-day of dress shopping – I was absoltuley taken by this little store on West Broadway called Frocks. Sure, it might have only had six dresses to choose from (great for me), but they were well-chosen, not fussy and you got to lounge about deciding which one you liked best while chewing on red vines from dainty glass jars. I liked two. I bought one. It all felt rather pleasant. I only wish I had a polaroid camera.    

After dress pick-up, it’s home for champagne because, afterall, it’s a Wednesday and what’s a Wednesday without a little something special? Tonight our trusty Costco wine fridge (which Ash keeps unplugging because he has a dear, energy conscious heart) holds a Californian sparkler called Chandon. I will report back on how it tastes tomorrow.

PS: photo from A Practical Wedding.