Exciting Things Happening Here

Hello all. It’s been quite a while since my last post. I know I keep saying this, but I can’t believe how time flies.

Lots of really exciting things happening around here. I lost my job somewhere around the last week of March due to the elimination of my department. On the drive home, I decided that I was no longer prepared to work for somebody ever again. I just got tired of relying on someone else for my wellbeing – financial or otherwise – and tired of living in fear that, any day now, my job will be eliminated. During the last month of my employment there, my job became very stressful, to the point where I was in tears most days and I dreaded going to work the next day. So I was somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to go through that anymore.

Over the next couple of weeks I researched various online opportunities. My son David, suggested I look into something called Digital Nomads. These are virtual jobs that you can do from anywhere in the world because they’re all online. I joined a few groups and delved into it a bit further. I finally decided on an ecommerce store selling everything for the home, and signed up for a course on everything to do with that.

It’s been exciting, overwhelming, exciting, overwhelming, exciting. My store is all set up now. I have some awesome suppliers (a lot of trial and error to find them) and I’m now in the marketing phase of my course which I’m enjoying a lot.  I’m hoping for a launch date of June 1st, so watch this space for the link to my new store!

In the meantime, feel free to visit our new facebook page and comment and share!

In the meantime, everything is blooming in our garden. Beautiful Daffodils

daffodils

daffodils

Tulips

Snowflakes

Rhododendrons

and more

and I finally got round to giving my front porch some plant love

the local wildlife have moved in

and Mr. Woodpecker mistaking our shed and patio beam for a tree

We had a bear come through our yard a couple of nights ago. He broke into our shed and stole our little deep freeze.! I kid you not! I found it in the bush a few meters away, completely destroyed. He (or she) had tried to pry it open with not much luck as it was locked. I tell you, you can’t make this stuff up!

April 23 was Tori’s birthday and we spent a quiet evening at home. I made a special dinner. He didn’t want a cake, so I bought an apple pie for dessert and made him blow out the candles on it 😀

 

I’ve been taking the dogs to the beach again now that the weather’s warmed up. Tiki just loves the water

and we spent a windy afternoon at Davis Bay a couple of weeks ago with hot chocolate in hand

Last weekend, we eventually got round to having lunch at a restaurant in Gibsons we’ve been meaning to go to for some time now. It’s called Drift Cafe & Bistro. We sat on the patio overlooking the bay

and sipped on lovely white wine. Their menu is small, but has a good selection of food. Tori chose the Vegetarian Sandwich which he found to be delicious, and I chose the Roasted Chicken Sandwich – equally delicious. We spent a very relaxing few hours there.

We’ve been talking to little Neil on the phone – he’s growing up so fast. He loves spending time with his Dad

We’re hoping to go to Edmonton for his 4th birthday in September.

Not much else going on. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the link for me new store!

Cheers!

But First, Tequila

 

 

 

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Spring – Right on Time

HellOooo all. I hope you are all well. Isn’t that the most beautiful sunset ever? This photo was taken by a fellow Sunshine Coaster – just stunning.

Things are wonderful here on the Sunshine Coast although it’s been pretty busy these past few weeks with what seems like all work and no play. But the days are getting lighter and sunnier and so this weekend I’m going to “dust” off our deck and clean everything up in preparation for after work drinks, barbecue suppers and after dinner tea.

The garden is coming alive again with little crocuses poking their heads up all over the place

and primulas

And the daffodils and tulips are growing bigger by the day

Our garlic is really growing nicely and is now twice the size of when that photo was taken – about a week ago

To continue with “operation clean up” from the Fall, we bought some lovely pots for our front porch along with some little bunnies that I found, oddly enough, in the drug store

In a few weeks we’ll plant lovely shade flowers and herbs in here such as lemon grass, fuchsia, primula bulleyana, sweet woodruff, cascading lobelia, viola, double impatiens, and zinnia.

Until next time …

 

But First, Tequila

Furniture Upcycle (continued), Breakfast Bars and Snow!!

No Bake Blueberry-Lemon Snack Bars

It’s been unseasonably warm these past couple of months and while the rest of Canada was chiseling the ice of, well, everything, we we experiencing quite the opposite. However, all that ended last weekend when we woke up to this a couple of Sundays ago

So we stayed indoors that day and puttered around. I did some baking which I don’t do a lot of because, to be quite honest, I don’t like very much and, therefore, I’m not very good at. It’s too much of an exact science for me. My mother was the master baker in our house. But I’ve been trying for the longest time to find breakfast-type foods that Tori can pack to work with him. He doesn’t have access to a kitchen or microwave at work, so I needed to find something that he can eat on the job, so to speak. I found a lovely blog called Making Thyme for Health which was the answer to all my breakfast prayers, and made Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies (cookies for breakfast – yeah, baby!)

Morning Glory Breakfast cookies

and No-bake Blueberry Lemon Snack Bars

No Bake Blueberry-Lemon Snack Bars

Very yummy – the No-Bake Blueberry-Lemon Snack Bars also make a perfect after-supper treat. In fact, I ate most of them! To read more about our healthy-eating journey, click here.

Tori continued with our furniture upcycle/refresh project and finished one of the kitchen islands.

The green is a very bold colour for us, but I saw a similar kitchen in a magazine a few months ago and fell in love. The kitchen was completely white with lime green accents and the effect was incredible. Our plan is to paint the other kitchen island to match the first one, and then paint lime green on all the kitchen cupboard door and drawer knobs. Continuing the bold trend, I ordered a white (yes, white – yikes) slip covers for our living room love seat which used to be this blue/gray colour

It now looks like this and I’m beginning to wonder how I’m going to keep it that colour with the dogs and cat

You’ll also see the finished product of our end table that we painted blue and white from it’s original red colour. To refresh your memory on this, click here.

We still have a couple of things to complete – our TV stand. If you’ve been following these posts, you’ll remember that I painted one shelf to see if it would work out.

tv stand makeover

and our shoe stand, which used to be a book case. My kitchen letter project was delayed a little due to some kind of drill and/or bit problem (I must confess, I wasn’t really listening when Tori tried to explain it because I don’t really understand how it all works). When I suggested that he just bang some nails into them, the C and T broke, so we had to buy some more letters and paint them

But clever Tori figured it out and here’s the finished product

 

I LOVE it!

The snow is already melting and the days are getting lighter and warmer. This weekend we bought some new rugs for house and some stuff for the garden, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we can continue with Operation Clean Up.

Until next time …

 

But First, Tequila

 

 

 

January – The Nothing Month

Helloo lovely readers. I saw something on Facebook this morning which made me realize that January seems to be the only month that seems to go on and on and on. It read “It literally feels like January 74th.”  Nothing happens in January because we’re all tired out from the December festivities.

In past years, I’ve used January to declutter and give my house a deep clean, but this year it doesn’t really need it. I changed my cleaning strategy last year so I wouldn’t have to endure Saturday clean-a-thons which took away from enjoying my weekends. I mean, who wants to spend all of their days off cleaning? So, I’ve been cleaning a different area every day for 20 minutes (because, who wants to spend all their evenings cleaning?) and it’s been much easier to keep everything clean AND enjoy my days off.

Buuuut, we have been tackling some projects that we’ve been planning for some time, but haven’t actually got around to. Some of our furniture is in dire need of freshening up. What worked five years ago, or even two years ago, is not working now. I want more of a beach house look since we are now living in, well, a beach house.

This end table, for instance (yes, that little red one in the corner). The red has definitely run it’s course

and so, last weekend, I painted the bottom white and the top a lovely dark blue

upcycled end table-beach decor

In a day or two, I’ll paint the bottom part below the tape the same dark blue as the top. Pretty cool, huh? I love how fresh it now looks. Check back here in a week or two to see the finished product.

We also started on one of the two kitchen islands that we bought from Ikea about a year ago

Ikea kitchen island

We intend to paint to two colours – the first one being white – can you see a pattern emerging here?

Ikea hack - kitchen island

Hopefully we’ll get round to finishing it next week.

Nothing is escaping our paint brush! Our TV stand is going to get a white-washed look, but before I painted the whole thing and risked hating it later, I took out a shelf and experimented on it first, and I loveit! Check back here in a week or two for the finished product.

tv stand makeover

Winter hasn’t really visited us here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. We’ve had the usual rain and it’s been bit foggy in parts

but the temperatures have been quite warm for this time of the year. My rose bush has been in full bloom up until a few days ago and we even had a whole bunch of new buds, which probably won’t flower now

The bulbs are starting to poke their heads through the soil also

We had a bit of break from the rain last weekend, so Tori took me into the mountains where we encountered some spectacular views. The road was 4-wheel drive only, but well worth it. The weather didn’t make for a very clear day, but the view was beautiful all the same. This is Sechelt from our first vantage point

and then a little further down the road, more stunning views

Shortly after that we came to a little bridge and a waterfall

Not sure what Tiki thought of it all. Judging by that look, she probably wanted to get out of the car

We kept going along the dirt road

and encountered signs to watch out for falling rocks. I wonder how much longer before this one falls – yikes!

And then more lovely waterfalls

Looking down over the other side at the water rushing downhill, I would not want to fall into that. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but there was some pretty strong-looking white water

and then we meandered along the forest road until we came out at the main road to Sechelt. On the way, we encountered one house in the middle of the forest. If we were in a fairy tale, it would have been the witche’s house in a clearing surrounded by trees. Creepy, yet fascinating.

All in all, it was a lovely drive, except for the huge potholes 🙂

On the Sunday night, we experienced a full blood moon and an eclipse of the moon. Apparently this happens only 3 times in 100 years. I’ve never seen this before and it was the most mystical thing I’ve ever experienced. This is a photo take by one of my neighbours.

And that’s all for January.

 

But First, Tequila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve Party with New Friends

Welcome 2019

HellOoooo lovely friends and family. We’ve had some pretty amazing wind storms here in the last few weeks. Although we are situated on the Pacific Ocean, we are protected by Vancouver Island and so don’t get the huge waves that you would normally see on a seaside coast. So these waves were pretty spectacular to watch from a restaurant in downtown Sechelt.

It was pretty heartbreaking not being able to spend New Year’s Eve with our very good friends on the Lower Mainland, but we were lucky enough to be invited to a New Year’s Eve party here on the Sunshine Coast and we had a lot of fun and made some lovely new friends in the process

As you can see, quite a bit of alcohol was involved, and the next day was spent doing this

New Year's day lazy day

Getting back to work was a bit of a struggle to say the least. I’m grateful that it was only for 3 days. I don’t think I could have worked for 5 days!

This year we are working on incorporated more whole food, plant-based foods into our daily diet. I’ve been researching this way of eating and all research points to either preventing and/or reversing high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and so many more diseases that are caused by all the junk food and processed foods that we are eating now. Tori has high blood pressure and arthritis and I’m determined to prove that these diseases can be reversed. Check out my blog about this here.

Until next time …

 

But First, Tequila

 

A Quiet Christmas

Christmas Margaritas

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I grew up having wonderful Christmases. It’s the best thing in the world for family and friends to gather round the dinner table and enjoy a good meal and good company. But in recent years, it just hasn’t been possible to do this. Clare and Alex are living in Edmonton and, while it would be possible to spend Christmas there with them, it’s just too much of a rush to get there and back in such a short space of time, leaving no room for relaxing and enjoying the festivities with them – and vice versa.

Last year it was our first Christmas on the Sunshine Coast and we had a wonderful day enjoying all the delicious food I had prepared. But this year, I just couldn’t seem to get into the ‘mood’ for some reason. We still managed to have a good Christmas with our traditional Kahlua in our coffee and later on, Christmas Margaritas

Christmas Margaritas

by the bonfire

Christmas Bonfire

For dinner, I cooked a stuffed turkey breast

Christmas Table

But somehow, it just wasn’t the same with just the two of us. I really miss family and friends gathering around the table at this time of the year, and so we decided to try something new next Christmas and go away. If I can get the vacation time over that period, we want to escape to Cuba. If not, we will spend those couple of days at a high end hotel in downtown Vancouver or beautiful Harrison Hot Springs.

It’s now New Year’s Eve and we’re spending it with some people from Tori’s work. I don’t know them very well, so this will be an opportunity to make some new friends.

I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019 and hope that all your dreams come true.

 

But First, Tequila

Getting Ready for Christmas & an Impromptu Trip to Pender Harbour

cat spoon rests

Hello all. Are you ready for Christmas yet? I’m almost there – just a few little finishing touches to the porch and a table runner and napkins to sew and I’ll be done! As of Friday, I’m on holiday until the New Year, so I should be able to finish it off over the weekend.

We got our tree up over the weekend. It’s a beach cottage Christmas this year

The only place it would fit in our tiny cottage was where that white wicker chair was, so it’s a bit of a squeeze. But it’s only for a few weeks, so I’m sure we can manage.

I decorated the top of the pantry as well – there’s a couple of bottles of wine under there somewhere 😀

And then I added to the winter wreath that I made a few weeks ago

On Saturday, we took a drive to Pender Harbour to buy a couple of steaks (the butcher there has the best meat), and decided to do a little sight-seeing. Even though it was a grey day, it was still very beautiful. This was Irvine’s Landing

Pender Harbour - Irvine's Landing

Pender Harbour - Irvine's Landing

and boats and a totem pole on our way to Daniel Point. There’s so much water here – both salt and fresh water – many people have boats

Pender Harbour Totem Pole

We came across this road sign along the way – although no Billy Goats in sight

Billy Goat

and this was just one of some of the enormous houses at Daniel Point – lots of money here

Huge houses at Daniel Point

This sign says there’s a Recreational Trail

but the only evidence of anything vaguely resembling something you might be able to walk along was this treacherous-looking rock that made me think I might break something (or kill myself) if I attempted it. So we gave that a miss.

The next day, we went for breakfast and I splurged and had Belgian waffles

Belgian Waffles

and then I bought these cute little teaspoon/tea bag holders

cat spoon rests

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

 

But First, Tequila