29 October 2014

Josh is going away to camp again this week.   Like last year, for two nights.  He’s all packed and excited.  Unlike last year where they’d bunked in a dorm, this time they will be in sleeping bags in tents, on/near the beach.

Zoë gave him a big hug tonight and held fast.  We all gave him huge hugs and told him that we’d be thinking of him while he’s away, that we wish him a fantastic time with his friends.  He will have a grand time, I know.  Already, he’s looking forward to building a raft, one of the many activities that they will be doing while there.   I can’t wait to hear stories of his adventures when he comes back home!

Unicycle-(1) (Street performers at Ocean Park)

24 October 2014

Arctic Treat

We visited Ocean Park on Tuesday with some friends.  We haven’t been by in a while and it was great to finally see the penguins.  They were so adorable!  If it were not so cold inside where they keep the penguins, I could have stayed for hours.   We got there as soon as the park opened and were lucky enough to get to see the penguins before the crowds came.   Some of the penguins were just standing there on the ice, but a few of the more playful ones were swimming about, diving and splashing in the water.  This one swam straight towards us.  It was such a treat for us to see them up close like this!


22 October 2014

Riding the Waves

We went to the beach on Monday, trying to sneak in one more visit before it gets too cold.  What a great decision that turned out to be.  The weather was just right –not too hot, not too cold.  What’s more, the beach was not crowded at all!  We brought along our usual stash of beach toys.  The kids dug pits and tunnels, built sandcastles, tried to catch some fish with their buckets, caught a crab (and let it go again)… One of the highlights, though, was bodyboarding.  Both of them took turns on the board and both had a blast.

Waiting for a good wave…Waiting for a good wave


That was fun!BB-Z-(2)
(Also linking up with Life Through the Lens.)

21 October 2014

17 October 2014


This summer the kids and I had our first-ever “real” camping trip.  As in we had to pitch our own tent, had sleeping bags, air mattresses.  As in we built a campfire, had smores, cooked our own food on portable stoves, washed the dishes with water that had to be carried over from the tap at the end of our camp ground.  Real camping with raccoons who would tear into my bag of chips in the middle of the night and crunch away.  Waking up in the middle of the night needing to use the washroom and it’s pitch dark outside.  Good thing my husband offered to walk with me to the washroom up the road from our site.  Loose stones and dry leaves crunching underfoot, with flashlights to light our way. 


It was quite the experience for me and the kids.  I’m not one for roughing it out, but I survived “two nights in the wild,” I like to say.  My nephew helped with washing the dishes.  Josh helped with making scrambled eggs.  The kids had fun.  I had fun.  For two nights, it was fun.  Not sure if I can do more nights, though.  I was so happy to be back home and have a decent shower and be back on comfortable beds.


Josh will be going to camp again soon.  With his classmates.  I’m sure it won’t be as ‘rough’ as what we did back in Canada, but it will be close.  They will be sleeping in tents and having cold showers.  But apart from that, I think most other things are catered for.  He is looking forward to it and I know they will all have fun.  And us?  We will be missing him. 

Linking up with: Little Things Thursday, Photo Story Friday, 1440, Friday Photo Journal, and Friday Finds

15 October 2014


We went for a hike on Saturday with friends.  It was a beautiful day, –a bit hot, –but still beautiful.  To get to this point in the photo below, we had to climb up the steep hill next to where we live.  Barely five minutes into the climb, I was huffing and puffing, but I steadfastly carried on, as the kids and our friends were already up ahead.  When we reached the top of the hill, we had to start up Pottinger Peak –which was another 500 steep steps up.  I had to stop for a number of water breaks and to catch my breath.  But all that?  Was worth it.  The view was amazing.  No matter how many times I’ve done this hike before, the view from up there always takes my breath away.  
From that point onwards, it was pretty much downhill, so it was very relaxing.  All the way down, you have this view of the water and mountains.  The trail ends at right at the beach.  The kids were after me to bring along their swimming stuff, but I just didn’t want us to be lugging along so much stuff.   We could always drive to the beach another day.

Along the way, we saw butterflies –colorful ones, big ones, and little ones.  We also saw this big guy.  Actually, he’s the second spider we spied along the hike.  I don’t like spiders, but this one was all kinds of interesting –check out its body (the underside).  The web it had spun looked pretty sturdy, too.  I generally don’t mind running into a spider or two if they’ll just stay put and let me take a few snaps.  They do make interesting subjects, you have to admit.

13 October 2014

This month’s theme is interesting to me in so many ways.  I used to think baby/kiddy hands and feet are the best to photograph. They’re tiny, oftentimes chubby, and look oh so soft.  Certain shots of adult feet gross me out, I’ll be honest here.  I generally don’t really go around looking for feet to photograph.  Hands, maybe, but not feet.  Bodies?  Meh.  Wrinkles and age?  Now, those I look for.  I love capturing age and wrinkles.  I don’t know why, but I do.

Here’s one of my nephew playing Cat’s Cradle with his friend…
Here’s one of my daughter doing a scratch-and-win with her grandma.Hands (1)

Didn’t I say that kiddy feet are adorable?Foot-(1)

Here’s one of my little chimp when she used to play with paper dolls…Feet and paper dolls

Where else but at the beach or at the lake can you find so many different body types?Bodies-(1)

(From my archives, sorry!)

I do have one image from my archives that manages to tick all the boxes for this month’s theme:  Hands, Feet, Bodies, Wrinkles, Age!  This is actually one of my favorite shots.  Ever.

Now, please hop on over to the lovely Becky (here) and check out her photos of the same theme.  You’re in for a treat, as one always is when looking through her photos –so full of heart and rich with stories in those images.  Trust me.  Once you are done visiting our circle, please check out our Facebook page and share your interpretation of our theme!

10 October 2014

How to Draw a Pig in a Wig

If you ever want step-by-step instructions on how to draw a pig (or more specifically, a “pig in a wig”), Zoë can help you!   (This is the third ‘tutorial’ that she’s come up with –the first two being How to Draw a Girl and How to Draw a Christmas Tree.)

The steps (from her drawing below):

1) First draw the feet (hooves).
2) Then do the same for the hands.
3) Now join the legs with curved lines, but leave the top.
4) After that, do a shape of an oval, then do the ears…
5) Now do the snout…
6) …and the eyes.
7) Then do the twirly tail and
8) Finally add the wig. DONE!!!


I don’t know where she gets the idea that people need instructions on how to draw a pig in a wig, but I love it!

08 October 2014

Rainbow Dumplings

Last week, we tried out a new restaurant.  You see, Josh loves xiao long bao and this restaurant serves them –in different flavors and colors.    So, of course, we had to try it. 

The ones you see in the sampler below have the following ‘flavors’:  truffle (black), ginseng (green), original (white), cheese (yellow), crab roe (orange), garlic (gray), foie gras (the other orange), “mala” spicy (dark orange).  Pretty, right?  Taste-wise, they’re not bad.  We tried quite a few of their other dishes, too.  Again, they’re okay, but nothing really outstanding.  (We still prefer Din Tai Fung.)


I do love the look of the restaurant, though. They obviously put some thought to the design and layout of the place.  It kind of made me feel like I was having tea back in ancient China.


06 October 2014

Yellow Ribbons and Umbrellas

{These photos were taken last Thursday (Oct 2). These are in no way any indication of which ‘camp’ I’m more sympathetic to in this whole affair, but are merely snapshots of what I witnessed on that day.}

We haven’t been out to the ‘hot spots’ since then.  Violence had broken out in some areas.  It has been a week since the protests first started.  I’ve been reading the news and I get updates from social media.  Photos, videos, and links are shared left and right.  It’s easy to read through a discussion thread and see valid points for both sides (both protesters and those who want the protests to stop). 

I am not solidly in one camp or the other.  I am frustrated with how close-minded some people from both camps can be –the ones who have blinders on and cannot acknowledge that both sides have points.  I am tired of reading self-righteous rhetoric and biased comments from both sides.  I don’t know what the right thing to do is, but I sure hope that the government and the protesters will do the right thing, whatever that might be, for Hong Kong to move forward.  I hope they do it soon.







Linking up with:  Texture Tuesday, Texture Twist, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Good Random Fun

02 October 2014

Salted Caramel… Sweet!

We’ve been missing our favorite salted caramel ice cream, so when I came across a recipe for salted caramel frosting, I knew I just had to try it.  Now, I know how to get our fix whenever we feel like a little bit of salted caramel…


¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), at room temperature
½ tsp fine salt
1 cup powdered sugar (125g)

1. Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6-7 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth, Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

3. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

4. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel, Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

Go try and make it, the caramel lovers in your family will thank you!

Linking up with:  Little Things Thursday, Photo Story Friday, 1440, Friday Photo Journal, and Friday Finds
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