Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Walk a mile in her shoes...

Hey Sue,

Well, I'm on my "holidays" which is why I finally have some time to sit down and knock out a post or two. I can't believe its been over a month, I'm feeling the guilt but what can I say, the life of a working mom is a busy one!!!

Speaking of Mom's, mine is currently embarking on the trip of a lifetime. As of today my most incredible, brave and fit Mom, Bernice (pictured above) and her friend Bonny, begin their trek along The Camino Portuguese; a 610km walk from Lisbon Portugal, northward to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Pilgrims have been following this route since biblical times to pay homage to the Apostle James. There is even an old Spanish legend that tells how the stars in the Milky Way are actually the dust from passing pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. It is one of Europe's oldest routes, following along the remains of Roman roads through the cities, villages, rolling hills and Atlantic coastline of Portugal. Before their planned arrival in Santiago one month from today, they will not only have to face blisters, bedbugs and some of the worst drivers in western Europe, but they will have completed a truly incredible feat. 

My mom's reasons for the journey are like many others, not a pilgrimage but for the challenge and the experience. Since retiring some years ago Bernice has been working through her bucket list, a wish list of adventures that has included everything from zip lines across the Fraser River to hot air ballon rides and this 610km walk across Portugal and Spain. Although I will be worried about her I am just so proud of what she is doing and that she is my Mom. She is my inspiration, fierce in both body and mind and if I can be half the woman she is when I turn 70, well then I'll be laughing.

Here's hoping that baby Griff still ain't keeping you up all night...?

Alison xo

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Up all night.

Hi Ali,

Happy Thursday! I can only imagine how busy you have been since going back to work, you are one amazing Lady. I love love love your black and white kimono, it looks so good on you. I too have been a big fan of the kimono this summer ( you know how I love anything that covers my bum ). Also - Super cute pic of you and your Pashley Princess!

I have been spending most of my time inside these days, sleeping when Griffin sleeps and staying up when he does not (truth be told, I don't think he likes to sleep very much).  He is our little night owl ! Having said that, we did make it down to the beach this weekend for a picnic. It was so fun. We just hung out, people watched and ate sandwiches! These are a few pic's from the afternoon.

All nighters with Griff have me surfing the internet more than I would like to admit. I have been shopping on line quite a bit, although it is rare that I ever actually buy anything. I like to put things in my basket pretend I am buying them and then press delete at the very last second ! Ha Ha. Do you ever do that ? Here are some items that have been catching my eye as of late. For Griffin, I am in love with these galaxy harem pants and this sweet weightlifter onesie. As for me... what I wouldn't give to get my hands on these leopard print booties, this pair of bad ass  sunglasses and last but not least, this amazing bag. A girl can dream right ?!

Hope you have a great weekend. Talk soon.


Love Sue.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Back to porridge.

Hi Sue,

Thumbs up, peace and love back at ya ❤️. Sorry it's been so long since my last post but "wo-man" have I been busy!!!
 There's a saying over here in Northern Ireland, "Back to Porridge" which is a totally 'Norn Irish' way of saying "back to work". And after 39 weeks of maternity leave, getting back to porridge is exactly what I've been at these past few weeks. 

No matter how many times I've done it (twice, but whose counting) my return to the working world feels very overwhelming and will take much getting used too. Having the kiddies in a great day nursery, some military like planning and an early night when I can is half the battle won. The rest depends on a few wee essentials and my daily cycle to work on the Pashley Princess SovereignThere is no better way to set yourself up for a good day and shed some pesky post baby weight then a good brisk bike ride in the sunshine (or rain more likely).

Appropriately, I allowed myself one new item of clothing to make a girl forget that she's literally been wearing the same boring, but comfortable and easy to wash, outfit for the last 39 weeks. I chose this black and white, zig zag print kimono from Urban Outfitters because you could pretty much wear it with everything. Next, a few beauty essentials; my old faithful, Burts Beeswax honey lip balm, I never leave home without it, and the new kid in town this E.O.S lip balm in sweet mint. Essentially, my SIGG water bottle filled with fruit infused water so I don't shrivel up like a dehydrated old raisin. The Sawako Furuno helmut I bought on cyclechic.co.uk is a total bike essential along with my K-WAY in case it rains. A few pictures of the kids for the office helps keeps me from missing them too much,  and this ombre hair chalk  lets me have pink hair (and a whole range of other colours) without the permanent. It's so easy to put in, washes out in 2 shampoo's and leaves a really lovely ombre effect. I love it!!! 

As for today, I'm not working and the kids are home, so I think its a day to have fun cause all work and no play, as they say... Alison x

Monday, 14 July 2014

Thumbs up. Peace.

Hey Ali, happy Monday!

How are you?! Everything is great here although I am sad to report that my mum (instalyla) has headed back to Canada. We could not have been more grateful to have her here with us. We had so much fun and we will be forever thankful for the care she took of us while we were transitioning into parenthood!! She supported us, loved us and taught us how to take care of little baby Griffy.

Before Griffin was born we took the train to Paris for a weekend. We had a such an awesome time. These photos were taken as we walked along the Seine from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower (a very chill way to spend an afternoon in Paris, while taking in many of the cool sights). Our top three favourites of the weekend were: Cafe Pinson for vegetarian eats, Merci for shopping and Chez Prune for drinks. For some reason every time Ry took a photo of us we would make a thumbs up and a peace sign with our hands. I am not sure why, but some how it became the motto of our trip and has stuck with us ever since.

I love the photo's you took at little Monday cafe. What a cool spot to hang. 
Good Luck with preparing to go back to work, I am thinking of you.

Thumbs up. Peace.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Little Monday

Hey Sue,

Well it's been 2 Mondays since I left British Columbia for Alberta, it's been 1 Monday since the little'uns and I arrived back in Belfast and somewhere in between all that I was lucky enough to pay a little visit to the Little Monday Cafe in Calgary. 

Johanna and McKenzie

Discussing important cafe' stuff...

That's right, our dear old pal Johanna has gone ahead and opened herself a cafe. I am loving her entrepreneurial spirit, but not half as much as the turkey Reuben on rye she made me for lunch. Topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing it was a winner with me and Charlie. I could have left it at that and been satisfied but I went out with a bang, Little Monday's famous s'more brownie (part s'more, part brownie, add campfire!!!) and to top it off, and bring it all back home I had a good ole cup o' Joe - fresh roasted Roasterie goodness (all you Calgarians out there will know what I mean!!!) 

Small and mighty with a quirky style, friendly staff with well groomed facial hair and a down to earth DIY approach, what more could you ask of a coffee shop? If you can visit Little Monday (3401 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary) you should!!!

As for me, Mondays will soon be taking on a new meaning. In just 2 Mondays I will be rejoining the other working world. The enormity of this task hasn't quite hit me yet and when it does I will probably be needing a lot of coffee to get me through it. But sure that's why coffee was invented right, to make Mondays little again...

Alison xo

Charlie's hard day at the office - Not to worry, I don't actually feed my kids coffee... 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

To Market To Market

Hi Ali,

Happy Tuesday! You definitely found some cool stuff while treasure hunting on your holiday. One thing that I seriously miss about Canada are the garage sales and the thrift stores. It's all about the smell of old furnishings, the promise of something great at the bottom of a "free box" and the adrenalin rush when a sweet find is uncovered. Geneva has an awesome flea market held every Wednesday and Saturday in a square near the university. There are plenty of mystery boxes to be searched and deals to be had, it helps to quench my thirst for thrifting. Above are a few items I bought on the weekend, nothing like a few great finds to brighten up a regular old Saturday! Below are some photos of the market. It really is very cool and one of my favourite places to hang out in Geneva.

I love a good flea market. Checking out new markets when travelling is one of my favorite things to do. The best one I have ever discovered was Noordermarkt in Amsterdam. On Monday mornings it is an absolute second hand paradise. A close second is The Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. It is held at Fairfax high school and is one of the coolest markets around. I have always wanted to go to The Rose Bowl Flea Market (also in California), from what I have heard it is huge and is the absolute bomb! Hopefully one day I can check it off my list. I hope you have a wonderful last week with your family and a safe flight home. I will be thinking of you.

miss you lots.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Rainy Day Pursuits...

Hey Sue,

While you've been enjoying the Park Life with baby Griffy, the Kootenays took a turn for the Irish and we got rain. It was the first time in 3 weeks that I wasn't wearing shorts and it was an opportunity to get stuck into some indoor pursuits. My sister and I have been hitting the garage sales and the second hand stores hard, here's a few of our finds...

You just can't beat a wilderness scene painted on black velvet. Unfortunately for me I am unable to bring any big items for the house home but I can certainly make room for some soft furnishings like this crocheted afghan blanket...

I have also been finding some great kids items for Avery, not all of it fits now but I can't wait until it does. My sister Rhonda and I had a great day in Nelson on Monday and found this amazing place called The Positive Apparel Thrift Store. I found a few real treasures; like the red overalls with the hippy/90's/Guatemalan stitching, the bright pink cord Osh Kosh B'Gosh overall dress and the bee outfit, which kinda reminds me of the dancing girl in that Blind Melon video "No Rain".
It'll be a perfect Halloween costume for Avery.

Oh and I can't forget this super cute hand me down t-shirt of a Dinosaur and a Giraffe hugging, a gift from Odessa, modelled by the curliest little scallywag I know, my niece Anna... 

This place is amazing, the Kootenays have revealed a treasure trove of thrifty wonders and hidden gems and its all cheap, cheap, cheap!!!
If vintage finds are what your after and your geography is more UK then Canada you should check out my friend Linda's blog Hey! Homewrecker.  
I only have one week left out here in British Columbia, its nearly the first day of summer and thankfully the sun has finally come out with a vengeance. Even better the kids have all gone down for a nap so I'm gonna sign off and catch some rays in the back yard with a cold one. HEAVEN!!
Love Alison xo