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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Clean Up & Celebrating With Friends

Well hellloooo! Phew I have had a busy few weeks. I’m a Logistics Coordinator, which means I arrange shipments throughout North America. A couple of weeks ago, the sales person I work with, dropped 60 shipments on me all picking up at the same place in Vancouver and all going to the same place in Calgary, but all requiring different loading times and delivery appointments. Making that all happen was nothing short of a miracle and at one stage, I became quite overwhelmed. Last Friday was the day from hell where 4 of my shipments (separate from the 60 I was moving) all went wrong and ended up in 3 of them being cancelled due to lack of proper information and lack of communication. Understandably, customers were upset and there were lots of irate phone calls back and forth. It was a day I don’t want to repeat any time soon. I consoled myself with leaving work early that day and drowning my sorrows in several vodkas all the while venting my frustration to Tori who took me out to dinner to a lovely little Greek restaurant – probably because he didn’t want to listen to me venting for the rest of the night :). Buuut – it cheered me up no end!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I always vow that I’ll post something here at least once a week, and then life just seems to take off and before I know it, it’s almost the end of the month – again. I finally found a hairdresser that I love. The ladies reading this will know what I’m talking about. Since moving here over a year ago (already!) it’s been a battle to find the right fit, but I had a hair consultation with the lovely Mikala and booked an appointment for highlights and a cut.

I love what she did.

The weekend after that saw us back in Vancouver celebrating our friends’, Karen & Chris, 20th wedding anniversary. We started off with dinner at the Keg

and then onto a pub and live band – lovely singer Sally and her band, the Melos

Tequila and vodka flowed. It was a good evening

Tori & Jane

We spent the night in the cabin again and woke up the next morning to this frosty scene – winter is officially here!

frosty morning

The following weekend (after the Day From Hell), saw us continuing our yard clean up. To read about that from the beginning, click here.

We burned all the extra wood and garbage lying around

and then raked up some more leaves and put a few things in a garbage pile to take to the dump (not the dog – she stays!)

Back yard clean up

Beneath a huge fern that Tori had to cut back to make way for the garden bed, he found this lovely thing

I think it’s a coal scuttle,  or something to hold wood. Either way, I love it, and am going to clean it up and do something with it.

And then we started on the garden bed – this will house the Sweet Peas, Gladioli, Lavender, Spring Bulbs and possibly the Nasturtiums cascading over in the front. There was a gap between the bottom of the shed and the ground, so Tori boarded it up so the soil wouldn’t disappear

New Garden bed

and then he put down some stone for drainage and put together the wooden frame

A quick run into town for some soil which Tori shoveled into the bed

It almost looks like we know what we’re doing, doesn’t it? 😀

Once it was all finished, I planted the Lavender in one corner and the Daffodil bulbs for the Spring (yikes! I hope it’s not too late)

Just as I finished, it conveniently rained, so I sat on the shed step and had a glass of wine.

Until next time …

 

But First, Tequila

More Birthday Shenanigans and Fireworks for Halloween

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all well. We found ourselves back in Vancouver this weekend for yet another birthday celebration. Our beautiful sunshine came to an end and the heavens opened. Didn’t do much for my ‘do’, but after a couple of drinks and a tequila (or two), I stopped worrying about it. We started off at Ingi’s house with Tequila shots and then on to an Irish pub where good music and good friends were in plenty supply

Lots of people dressed up (Halloween) including this guy who seemed to be the designated pub photographer

As always, we spent the night in the “Mo-Ho”. What a fun night it was.

Last night was officially Halloween and Tori and I drove down to Sechelt with some friends to watch the fireworks. I love fireworks

And then just like that, October came to a close. Next month is Christmas! Are you ready? Me neither.

 

But First, Tequila

Beautiful Fall and a Birthday Party

Hello everyone. I hope you’re all well. I’m ok. Last week was very draining, emotionally, and what was supposed to be a get-together of friends, turned into a complete mess and ended up in my losing a friend. At this time of my life, I didn’t think there could be anymore high school-type drama, but the actions of one person lead to hurtful things being said and hurtful things being hurled back and before I knew it, I’d become someone I didn’t recognize.

I deeply regret what happened, but the best I can hope for is that time will, eventually, heal us to a point where we can, perhaps, start over.

We’ve been having beautiful Fall weather here – sunny, crisp and clear. I went into Vancouver this weekend for a birthday party and the city was abaze with the reds and golds of a dying summer

Saturday night was a welcome relief after the events of the week before. It was lovely to reconnect with some people I hadn’t seen for a few months and it was fun having a sleep over with the girls in what has affectionately become known as “The Mo-Ho” (the motor home – LOL)

Cheers!

 

But First, Tequila