Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Summer Bucket List: The Score

Some random dinosaur silliness from our summer
Since it's nearly the end of the summer, I thought I'd check in on my bucket list to see how we've done. As you can see, not terribly well:

  1. Swimming at an outdoor pool--New Brighton, Kits, or Third Beach
  2. Picnic at the beach
  3. Hiking at least once--maybe Quarry Rock
  4. Camping--probably tent camping by car, though I'm sure the Yuba could handle all our gear...
  5. Gelato
  6. Biking around Stanley Park
  7. Taking a ferry--maybe Victoria, maybe the Gulf Islands, maybe both?
  8. Get Slurpees--I know they're just sugar water slightly frozen, but they're just so summery!
  9. Having friends over for a barbeque--since we got our deck all redone last summer we need to break it in properly!
  10. Farmers Market shopping--no excuse not to, with two markets within a ten-minute ride of home: Trout Lake market Saturdays & Mount Pleasant market Sundays.
  11. Go to the PNE--we've gone every single year since Linnaeus was born: this will be his FIFTH time!
  12. See at least one outdoor movie--I love the Fresh Air Cinema events! 

If posing next to weird roadside attractions & public art pieces were on the list, we'd have scored much higher. We may be able to squeeze in a few more of the above, but I think hiking, camping, & the outdoor movies aren't going to happen, sadly. Ah well. There's always next year...

Did you make a bucket list this year? How many things have you checked off it?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Have you seen the new, improved Vancouver Aquarium yet?

Don't forget to bring your water bottle to the Aquarium! 
If you haven't been to the Aquarium this summer, you should go check out their new expansion. I got a tour of the facility in July & I can tell you, there's a lot to see.

The new building is more sustainable (built to LEED Silver standards) & now double the size, with a cleaner, more modern feel to it. You'll see it right at the new entrance, in the gift shop, the gorgeous new cafe with a large patio area, & a two-level atrium space featuring a huge globe upstairs & tons of space for events downstairs.

More importantly, several of the animal habitats are improved, including the Bat Cave & the Tropics area.

A glimpse of the new coral exhibit

Inspiring future veterinarians at the new Clownfish Cove
I won't show you too many photos of the new renovations--you should go see it for yourself! Before you go, or if you can't make it, please check out the page all about Chester, the recently rescued baby false killer whale. He's improving--now swimming on his own without the aid of a flotation sling--but he still needs 24-hour care at the Marine Mammal Rescue facility. You can read his story here. Your donations help with this important rescue & rehabilitation work. More information including a link to donate online can be found on the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre webpage.

Another way to support the aquarium is to buy a membership for yourself or your family. They make great gifts for kids (remember, Christmas is only four months away!) because they don't clutter up the playroom with another toy. Probably the best thing about having a membership to a place like this is so you can go for a short visit without having to worry about "getting your money's worth" in one epic day. Go for an hour just to see the frogs & snakes, then go watch the belugas from the Arctic Gallery on your next visit. Your kids can spend the next trip in the new, improved Clownfish Cove, playing marine mammal veterinarian. Membership benefits are many (Skip the line! Member-only events! 20% off at the cafe & gift shops, AquaCamps, Animal Encounters, sleepovers, & birthday parties too!)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

CityStudio invites you to Keys to the Street’s Sunset Serenade

Have you seen or heard any of the Keys to the Street pianos that are living in various outdoor public locations for the summer? Tomorrow Tuesday, August 26, at 6:00pm Keys to the Streets is putting on a Sunset Serenade at the Spyglass Dock piano.

​​Keys to the Streets is wrapping up its second successful year by celebrating a night of music at Vancouver’s original piano. They would like to invite you to Spyglass Dock for an evening of
performances while the sun sets over False Creek. They have scheduled performances from musicians met over the summer followed by a community open-mic. 

Aug 26, 6:00-10:00pm 
1800 Spyglass Place at Spyglass Dock
(under the south side of the Cambie St bridge)
Free parking is limited. Ride your bike!
Pay parking located behind 1800 Spyglass Place.


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Lancome #Grandiose Mascara

Earlier this year, I signed up to be a part of Influenster. As a member, I get to try out new products for free. The latest one they sent me in my VoxBox was Lancome Grandiose mascara. I'm not a daily makeup wearer, but when I do wear makeup, I always use mascara. My go-to brand has always been Maybelline, so I thought it'd be interesting to try something new. Here are my impressions after trying the Lancome mascara:

  • The tube is lovely looking--the flower inside the transparent handle is a nice touch & I like the curvy look of the bottle.
  • It goes on smoothly, but thickly. I prefer a more subtle look & I haven't been able to apply it the way I prefer. I think this is because of the wand style--it's one of those rubbery newish type with wider spaced bristles, rather than the older style brush.
  • The brush is angled, which I assume is supposed to make it easier to apply, but it just means I could only use one side of the brush. I think I prefer a simple straight brush.
  • I think this mascara makes my lashes look a little longer.

So, I'm not sure I'd buy the Grandiose next time I pick up a new tube of mascara. The price difference is quite a lot compared to the Maybelline Great Lash that I typically use: $35 for the Lancome, $5 for the Maybelline.

What do you think of this mascara? Have you tried Lancome's Grandiose? Would you buy it for $35?

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Grandiose mascara to try via Influenster. I was not otherwise compensated for this review & the opinions are my own, as always.

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Track Your Impact Abroad with Eco-friendly School Supplies

Eco-friendly school supplies that make a difference. Photo: Michael Rajzman/Me to We

Have you finished your back-to-school shopping for all the backpacks, notebooks and lunch bags you're going to need this year? This year, for the first time, students and parents in Canada have the power to make a difference with their back-to-school purchases helping thousands of children in Latin America, Africa and Asia receive access to education.

Me to We Staples, and ACCO Brands launched Me to We’s first line of eco-friendly school supplies with an impact. Each product purchased from the line gives a life-changing gift directly to a child or family in a Free The Children developing community overseas so they are free to learn without the battles against hunger, thirst, disease and financial restraints. Free The Children is Me to We’s charity partner to which it donates half its net profits annually.

Me to We’s line of school supplies extends from backpacks and lunch bags, to tablet sleeves and notebooks, and are made from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer paper. As a part of Me to We’s Track Your Impact initiative, all products come with a unique eight-digit code for buyers to track exactly where their purchase gives a life-changing gift. Each product provides a different gift – backpacks give a student overseas school supplies for one year; binders ensure a tree will be planted; lunch bags give a child healthy meals, and reusable water bottles provide one year of clean drinking water for one person, among other gifts. As Canadian students gear up for class they will also help send their peers in developing communities to school.

You can take a look at the Me To We line of school supplies here on the Staples website. They range from about $2 to $30, available online or in stores nationwide.

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