Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Fever?

Even though Luc and I know we're not ready to have kids just yet, it's really easy to fall in love with the idea of having our own son or daughter when we're hanging around with our adorable nieces every day. They constantly surprise us with how mature they've become; they're only 3 years old, and when we arrived at their house a few days ago, one of them sat down next to me, rested her little hand on my thigh and said, "so...when are you guys getting married?" They're so crafty and precocious...just now while putting them to bed, one of them said, "you know Auntie Kristen, I really think you should sleep with us tonight.."....anything to delay bedtime! 

I'm slowly realizing why there are so many prolific mommy bloggers around these days. If I had a kid right now, I think my blog would inevitably be dominated by their hilarious comments. Kids seriously do say the darnest things. EVERY DAY! SEVERAL TIMES A DAY! 

Despite all of the note-worthy scenes unfolding in front of me, I feel like I've switched off my "blog-brain" this past week. Typically, with everything that happens in my life there is a parallel commentary running in my head, writing something that I can use in my blog. Any fellow blogger will most likely relate to this - it's hard to turn off the writer up there. I don't know if I gave this writer in my head the week off or if, subconsciously, I know that this is one of the few weeks I have off each year and that I should cherish it by relaxing and using as minimal brain power as possible. Whatever it is, I'm feeling kind of flat, but in a good, mellow, "I don't have to think about doing the laundry or waking up for work", kind of way. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


In first year university, I thought I invented the mocha.

Bet you didn't know this was possible

We've been living out of our suitcases since Saturday - we've already slept at 3 different houses and my frail body is having trouble adjusting to so many different pillows. Yesterday morning at breakfast I took a deep breath and threw out my neck and back - yes, you heard that correctly. I took a deep breath...and threw out my neck and back. Old ladies don't even do that. We're visiting with Luc's grandparents right now and his Nana is running circles around me. I feel...fragile. Last night when the family was sitting around chatting, I was reclined in the rocking chair with an ice pack saying things to Luc like, "dear...fetch me my wine, won't you?" We've got a volleyball tournament to play in this weekend back in his hometown so I'd better rest up and get my body functioning like a normal human being again. Despite my bizarre and embarrassing injury, vacation is wonderful. I still feel better than I do when I'm sitting at work.

Friday, July 24, 2009

#74 - Fire in the sky

74 - Watch a sunset

Each summer in Vancouver there is a string of nights where countries compete in, I guess what you would call a fireworks display contest called Celebration of Light. Each night a different country puts on a spectacular, large-scale fireworks display set to music. Everyone flocks to the beaches in the evening to stake a good blanket spot and cozy up for the show. Luc and I bolted straight to the beach from work to meet our friends for a little BBQ before the big show.

There's something incredibly relaxing about lounging on the beach in the evening - the afternoon crowds have thinned, the air feels still, the sun still gently warms your shoulders, the waves break in rhythmic swishing noises that can be heard over quiet murmurs from neighbouring blankets. After changing out of our work clothes, I took off my heels and dragged my feet slowly through the sand, swirling my toes along the surface then plunging them deeper, where the sand is still cool. There were so many perfect moments that it's better to just say it was a perfect evening all together. We inevitably took out the camera to capture the west coast beauty laid out before us, and I inevitably got carried away. It wasn't until after taking a long string of scenic pictures that I realized, "hey...the sun is setting, that's on my list of 101 things to do..."

I immediately stopped what I was doing and parked myself on a log to take in the ambiance of the setting sun. This was only after answering a flurry of questions from my friend regarding the validity of watching this sunset and being able to cross it off my list. There really weren't any specific rules or requirements, just me sitting somewhere and the sun setting in the sky. That's all! Just a peaceful few moments in appreciation of nature. Luc joined me and we both watched as the sun shone a fiery orange, slowly tumbling down behind the mountain range in the distance.

Thanks to Kate for taking this picture of us basking in the glow of the sunset ;)

When it would come in handy to be a gypsy

I'm currently trying to sort out (and very poorly negotiate a price on) our reception decor. I've watched those wedding shows on TLC where the brides talk the vendors down a few hundred dollars, but I always watch through squinted eyes, with my face in a full cringe. I've read that no prices are set in stone, but I just don't feel comfortable bartering over services. I think I'm also too naive in that I assume everybody will give me their best price without pulling the metaphorical wool over my eyes. When somebody says something is worth $400, I assume that it's worth $400, no less, and I don't get all sly and say, "ok....ok....but how about $300 for that AND the other fabrics?" It's not in my nature. Even when I've been in Mexico in the markets, I'm total crap at bartering...and if there were ever a place to do some hard core bartering, it's the markets in Mexico.

About five years ago I went to Cancun with four of my girlfriends and I learned a thing or two about one of them that I never knew: she can barter like a one-legged gypsy at a back alley rummage sale. It would go a little something like this:
"How much for this ring?"
"120 pesos..."
....stunned look on the vendor's face, mouth agape...
"One hundred...and TWENTY PESOS!! WHHAAAAT??! ........I'll give you ten"
Vendor laughing hysterically.....
Then she works her gypsy magic and leaves with the ring for 20 pesos, meanwhile I'm at the stall next to her paying 350 pesos for my ring (that didn't fit when I got home and my swollen mexico fingers had unpuffed).

I don't expect to whittle every price down that's sent my way, but I would like to maybe make a decent negotiation here or there. I'm starting to realize though, that I'm the trusting type that can be easily swindled. BUT, I am also the type to try and make my own 60 foot chiffon swagged ceiling decor just to spite the vendor who wouldn't honour my request of $40 less!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

#30: Spicy Adventures with Turkey Chili

30 - Come up with 12 healthy “go to” dinner recipes (2/12)

This recipe took a significant amount of experimentation - specifically with the spices. The first time making it we had to chase each bite with a mouthful of bread and a douse of milk to put out the inferno. I'll list the original measurements for the spices, and those of you brave enough can try it the way the recipe intended...everyone else, follow me, here we go...let's make chili!

2 tsp butter
1 lb lean ground turkey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion
2/3 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder (original: 2 tsp)
1 tsp paprika (I do just a pinch less than 1 tsp)
1 tsp ground cumin (again, just a pinch less than 1 tsp)
1 pinch of ground hot cayenne pepper (original: 1/8 tsp)
14 1/2 oz plum tomatoes, chopped (canned with juice is best)
1/2 cup chicken stock

-Heat 1 tsp butter in a saucepan over high heat
-Add the turkey and season with salt & pepper
-Break up turkey and cook until browned thoroughly
-Remove turkey and keep in a covered bowl

-Reduce heat to med-low and heat 1 tsp butter
-Add red pepper, onion, celery and garlic, cooking for approx 5 mins or until vegetables begin to soften
-Add chili powder, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring for 1 min
-Increase heat to med-high and add tomatoes and chicken stock, stirring
-Bring to a boil over high heat
-Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 15 mins
-Add the browned turkey, stir and simmer for 5 more minutes

-Serve with toasted english muffins (or at least that's what we like to do!)

*I would also like to point out that the recipe says "serves 4".....this is definitely only enough for 2 people!

2 sleeps 'til Christmas!

...or at least it feels like it. Saturday morning Luc and I have a flight to Saskatchewan and we're spending the following 10 days there visiting with friends and family. We have a week off work and we're using it to lounge around in the prairies, eating, drinking and hanging out with people we love. That, to me, is like Christmas. And you're probably thinking - no, what about Santa? What about presents? Well, Luc's mom makes loads of cinnamon buns and brews the best coffee I've ever tasted....that is a gift; eating cinnamon buns for breakfast EVERY MORNING for me is like unwrapping a shiny red bike....and washing them down with a magic brew of half decaf/half hazelnut coffee is the big ribbon the bike is wrapped in. It's bliss. If you're wondering where the Santa Clause part comes in, you should see Luc and me at the end of our Saskatchewan visits: fat and jolly.


Strawberry Fields - Marina Lewycka


My new ring from Blue Sun Emporium on Etsy. She's a beauty. I've always wanted a piece of cameo jewelry and this is something subtle and pretty that I can wear every day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Musical Dilemma

When I bought my laptop last week, it came with a free ipod touch. Yes, the perks of being a student again are starting to show up all over the place. I'm also happy to announce that when I see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight, I will be buying my ticket at the student discount price. Mucho savings. Mucho.

Anyhow, although I've had fun messing around with all the functions on the ipod touch, yesterday I realized that not everything is rainbows and smiley faces when you upgrade equipment. Luc loaded all of my music from the itunes on our PC onto my laptop so that I could start listening to music on my itouch and not just looking at photos upright, then flipped to the side....then upright, then flipped to the side...and so forth. Here's where I hit a snag; I have 14GB of music in my itunes and 8GB of space on my itouch. Meaning...I have to eliminate nearly half of my music just to fit it all on there! This would undoubtedly be a great opportunity to sift through my musical library and delete the 7 different versions of "Have yourself a merry little Christmas", and I guess I don't really listen to Ace of Base anymore....well, maybe I'll keep those ones. I'm torn though, I don't know whether to embark on the task of going through all 14GB of music or to sell my itouch and keep my current ipod and hefty song load.

Advice? Should I pare down my itunes library and keep the itouch?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coming to terms with a hard fact

I need to get my engagement ring resized - she's just a pinch too big and I'm worried that one of these days, she'll slide right off my finger and venture down the drain for a new life. She'll meet those sewer rats that build houses out of old toothbrushes and boats out of Chinese take-out cartons. She'll want to find her way back home but she'll fall in love with a young mouse who also lost his way. They'll fight the adversity of a rodent and an inanimate object being in a romantic relationship and live a beautiful life together. Ohhh the drama of it all!

So although I recognize the inherent danger of wearing ill-fitting jewelry, I really don't want to part with my ring! I know it will only be for a couple weeks, but I don't even like to take my ring off to go to the gym (and I don't!) I love the feeling I get when I'm sitting at work, typing away, then I pause to think about how much I hate my job and I look down and see that sparkly diamond, and I'm reminded of better times (I know, this is getting so cheesy....grab your barf bags now because it's only going to get worse). Every time I catch a glimpse of my ring I think about Luc and our upcoming wedding, and the day he got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. It's comforting and exciting and it makes me feel so lucky to have found the greatest love of my life and my best friend wrapped into one sexy man! And sometimes I look at my ring and I just think to myself, "holy shit can that thing ever sparkle!" 

However, now that I'm reconciled to my ringless weeks, all I need to do is get out the calendar and figure out an appropriate stretch of time to send it off. We've got holidays in Saskatchewan and a couple weddings to go to...and everything is perfectly spaced out so that if it took longer than 2-3 weeks for the resizing, I would be ringless for one of these events and the people girls and women who haven't seen us yet would surely be disappointed at the ring's absence. I know that some of you right now are reading this and rolling your eyes, shaking your's just a ring....yes, I know, but it's the ring that Luc saved up his hard-earned money for, researched and designed the setting for, hid for 5 whole months waiting for the perfect time to bring it out, the ring that I'm going to wear on my wedding day as a symbol of my lasting commitment. Surprise, this cynical, sarcastic little lady is incredibly sappy and emotional! Oh, and actually not so little, I guess. (Fun fact: I'm 5'11"). Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, when I went swimming in the lake this weekend I realized that treading water with one hand in a tight little fist isn't effective. No more living in fear! I'm getting my ring resized!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fancy that...a pigeon

Before leaving for the day, I printed this picture from Color Me Katie (one of my new favourite blogs) to put up at my desk. Now I might actually be looking forward to coming into the office on Monday.

The Bait and Switch

I've been having a great time designing stuff for our wedding - save the dates, return address stickers, seals for the envelopes, table numbers, place cards...basically anything that I can whip up in Photoshop (my other lover). I even went so far as to create a mock-up of what I want the tables at the reception to look like, from the chair sashes to the table runners, right down to the little candles. I made the mistake of showing Luc and he, understandably, laughed at me! In a loving way of course, in a, "darling, you're so delightfully weird," kind of way.

He's been great with the wedding planning - we got off to a rocky start when I was all, "WOOO! FULL SPEED AHEAD!" and he was all, "but the wedding's still soooo far awaaaaay." We're on the same page now; we even spent one night this week going over the budget, talking about the guest list, discussing the decor...and he was such a good boy that when we were done I took him to Dairy Queen for a treat! I had recently seen ads on TV for "Girl Guide Cookie Blizzards" and had been desperately craving one ever since. Desperately. We arrived only to discover that the commercial had said Girl Scout Cookie Blizzards, and that it was an American advertisement and therefore only available in the US. Why do they do this to us? Why? This isn't the first time I've been duped by American advertisements. Do you know what the Canadian Dairy Queen blizzard of the month is? NOT GIRL GUIDE COOKIES! I coped with the pain of losing something that I hadn't even had yet, and then I buried my face in a Crispy Crunch blizzard. Right away I had buyer's remorse...should have gone for the Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Why must I be so foolish?

I guess I can say it's been a good summer so far if some of my biggest problems has been stressing over blizzard flavours. We're off to Whistler this weekend to canoe, wrestle bears and drink on the patio. It's my parents' 34th wedding anniversary so we're planning a nice dinner on Saturday night...and then wrestling bears after that. I'm also excited to do some swimming in the lake. Wrestling bears can be a sweaty task. When we went camping a couple weeks ago, the lake was quite high in the mountains, and word had it that 3 weeks prior, it was still covered in ice! We let our extremities dangle in the water when we were drifting around in our boats, but we weren't so bold as to go for a full on swim. By this time tomorrow I'll be nothing but a shrivelled little prune being swept down the lake's adjoining river. Have a good weekend friends!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


There's no such thing as a cool vanity license plate. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#18: The reason I skipped the gym tonight

18 - Buy a Macbook

I am currently writing to you from my shiny (literally) new Macbook Pro. She's a real gem...and it only took us 3 hours, one bottle of wine and a handful of curse words to figure out the wifi connection! Maybe we had the wrong password...but it's all behind us now.

This is my first mac, so the getting acquainted process is going to be sluggish. However, the way my new laptop vibrated with delight when I inserted the Photoshop setup CD makes me think that I'm not the only one excited to start drafting wedding invitations and airbrushing photos! Forget learning how to organize documents or work the iCal, let's make some pretty stationery!

Buying the laptop today was a funny experience - it was one of those completely ironic moments. Usually when I walk into the Apple store, at least three guys in turquoise shirts flash their adorable geek smiles and quickly shuffle over to my rescue only to discover that I'm "just browsing"...this time, the one time I came equipped with just my wallet and a hankering for some spending action, every mac dork genius was occupied. I put on my best "I want to buy a laptop NOW" face and tried my hardest to make eye contact. No dice. I was a sitting duck, just waiting to be plucked from the pond and have my pockets emptied (you know...if ducks wore pants with pockets).

Eventually I was taken care of - and I dodged all those add-ons and million year warranties like a pro. Nothing bad will ever go wrong with my new laptop - don't call me naive, I'm just optimistic!

#30: Squash Curry, Number One

30 - Come up with 12 healthy "go to" dinner recipes (1/12)

Just to clarify...when I say "come up with", I don't necessarily mean "invent"....just find and tweak! For this recipe I would recommend using a wok:Saute in canola oil with a touch of sesame oil for 3-4 mins:
4 green onions, diced
4 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed
6 fresh whole kaffir lime leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

2-3 Tbsp. red curry paste (I prefer 3)
1 can coconut milk
4-5 cups squash cut in large chunks (butternut or mexican squash)
1/2 can water (basically enough water to just cover squash)

Mix gently so that the curry unclumps. Cook on high for about 15 mins or until squash is nearly done.

One bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped to desired size (I like very finely chopped)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach

Mix gently until all spinach is wilted

1 -14oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
squeeze in juice of 1 lime
chopped cilantro (optional)

*Be sure to salt as you go to your taste

Mix for about 5 mins, pick out the kaffir lime leaves and serve on rice (I like to use basmati rice).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Birthday Weekend

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity - starting with cleaning the apartment on Friday night. That's right, we spent a luxurious Friday evening on our hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom, wiping down every surface in the living room, scrubbing pots and pans in the kitchen, and generally taking care of business with a bit of elbow grease elsewhere in the apartment. Luc moved furniture while I took command of our brutish vacuum cleaner. I don't mind the act of vacuuming, it's the physical strain of dragging this beast out of the clutter in our hallway closet that's made me say things like, "you know, the dust on the hardwood doesn't even look that bad, it gives it this, antiquey look. And the rugs...they just look, more lived in." But in the end, I'm way too much of a neat-freak to support the existence of dust bunnies.

Saturday afternoon was spent traipsing up and down Granville Street with a couple girlfriends in the fierce summer heat. We found refuge on the Joey's patio for lunch, where my steak somehow arrived as a salmon fillet. I think that was actually the first time someone had completely messed up my order by ringing in the wrong item. My lunch was free, so I'm not really complaining, and it was kind of funny to watch the server squirm under the pressure from her own negligence....but I ended up just eating the salmon and now I'm still craving a big steak for lunch. I might pull one of those princess moves and say something to Luc like, "you have to take me out for a steak lunch because it's my birthday week." It was my 25th birthday on Sunday, but who says it can't last all week? I SAY IT CAN'T! No, I will not be that girl. From the title of this post, you can see that it was already a weekend rather than a day...I've had enough festivities - we had some friends over Saturday night (hence, the feverish Friday cleaning) to celebrate, and we also had a birthday dinner with my family on Sunday night.

The Sunday dinner turned out to be a surprise engagement party! We were showered with bottles of booze (they didn't actually pour it on us, but rather gave it to us in nice little wine bags) and we got a chance to see everyone since our trip to Penticton. The evening was great - one of the highlights was when my cousin's 2 and 1/2 year old daughter helped me blow out the candles on my birthday cake and then I got to help her eat some chocolate engagement cake. Yes, you read that correctly...two things to celebrate = two delicious cakes! (Actually, it's 3 because on Saturday night Luc got me a wonderful chocolate mousse cake!) It really meant a lot to me that everyone came out to celebrate with us. I stand by what I said in my other post; family is more important than anything, and I'm very lucky to be surrounded by such supportive, loving and generous people.

Monday, July 13, 2009

#19: Keeping my eyes on the prize

19 - Buy Photoshop for my MacBook

It seems backward to be crossing this off my list before I even own a Mac, but I'm in the market for one, and Luc knows this, so for my birthday he bought me Photoshop! Right now I only have access to Photoshop on my work computer, so I'm excited about being able to use it ANYWHERE and at ANY TIME! Sitting on the toilet? Why not airbrush some zits and give Luc a cyclops eye? Eating cereal? The perfect time to work on next month's banner. Driving to work in the morning? It's wedding DIY time! Thank you Luc, you have created a Photoshop monster!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

-Never buy a car without cup holders

-Starting a sentence with "OK, but you can't tell anyone" always ends up with someone finding out

-Don't give cab drivers your credit card at the beginning of the ride, they're only going to crash trying to fill out the papers while they're driving

-Karma is a bitch so don't be a jerk

-Don't EVER sit directly on a public toilet seat, it's never clean and rarely dry

-Find a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/partner that's your best friend and life will always be awesome

-If you have a retainer and you don't wear it, your teeth WILL move

-Don't eat pizza when it's too takes patience, but if you jump the gun and burn the roof of your mouth, the whole pizza is going to suck

-Take lots of pictures, but don't forget to enjoy the moment!

-Inserting a piece of chocolate into the centre of a roasted marshmallow is 10x better than an actual smore

-If he's not calling you, he's just not that into you!

-Don't finger or holler obscenities at other drivers, because they just might be conducting your next job interview

-There's no secret to losing weight; eat less and work out more

-Family and friends are more important than anything (even your Blackberry and your Bentley)

-And one more thing.....take off that SILLY ASS HAT!

Friday, July 10, 2009


The new TLC show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant is to a 20-something woman what The Exorcist is to a 10 year old kid....terrifying.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

#45: And Away we go!

45- Keep a running list of all the books I'm reading

Without delay, I'm delving into my 101 things to do in 1001 days list and checking off number 45. I've started an account at Good Reads to keep track of all the books I read, starting with the book I just finished this morning.

Kage's i-have-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

I already have my next book lined up, courtesy of my girlfriend in Australia. A year ago we decided to start the tradition of giving each other books for our birthdays, and since she's over in Australia studying med school for the next who knows how many years, it's not only fun but convenient! A couple days ago a finely wrapped package arrived from Amazon, which I tore open to reveal "Hotel Pastis" by Peter Mayle. She hit the nail right on the head because I'm a huge Peter Mayle fan...last year I gave her one of my all time favourite books, "A Year in Provence". If you haven't read it, it's a definite must. And while we're on the topic of recommendations, this same friend once lent me a book that's since become a favourite: "Left Bank" by Kate Muir. There is some continuity to these choices; they are all french-inspired. I find it so easy to get swept away in the landscapes and the colourful characters of novels revolving around France and french culture. J'aime la belle France! So, with #45, my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days has offically started....allons-y!

101 Things to Do in 1001 Days!

I present to you my list of 101 things that I intend to accomplish in the next 1001 days. Check out this site to make your own!

Start Date: July 10, 2009
Finish Date: April 6, 2012


1-Kiss Luc on the top of the Eiffel Tower
2-Check out “Antique Alley” in New Westminster
3-Go outlet shopping in the US
4-Go to a 2 or 3 day music festival
5-See a concert at the Gorge in Seattle
6-Visit Alcatraz
7-Ride a cable car in San Francisco
8-Visit an Art Gallery that I’ve never been to before

9-Get a scholarship to help pay for my Masters degree
10-Save $1000 more for school than I had planned by September 1st
11-Get my Masters of Publishing
12-Get my French speaking abilities to “so fluent I’m not nervous when talking to French people in French” (sober)
13-Get a job in Publishing

14-Buy a long, dangly necklace off
15-Get a cat or dog
16-Buy a home
17-Buy a pair of red shoes
18-Buy a Macbook

19-Buy Photoshop for my MacBook
20-Get invisalign to fix the bottom tooth that moved because I stopped wearing my retainer at night (whoops….)
21-Buy a vintage tea set
22-Buy a new camera

Dining & Cooking
23-Cook 5 recipes from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”
24-Cook a steak dinner
25-Bake a delicious cheesecake
26-Order room service
27-Bake a batch of cookies and surprise a friend
28-Bake a pie
29-Have breakfast at the Wedgewood Hotel
30-Come up with 12 healthy “go to” dinner recipes (4/12)
31-Host a wine tasting party
32-Host a dinner party (at least 6 people)
33-Have my parents over for a well-cooked meal
34-Dine on the patio at the Vancouver Art Gallery
35-Celebrate something with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot

Reading, Writing & Watching
36-Watch an entire season of the British “Office”
37-Write a poem
38-Enter a writing contest
39-Write fan mail to Peter Mayle
40-Read 5 books in French (0/5)
41-Publish a book of my own work (photos, stories, anything!) on
42-Watch all the movies that won
"Best Picture" since I’ve been alive (17/25)
43-Mail in a secret to
Post Secret
44-Write the story of how Luc and I met
45-Keep a running list of all the books I’m reading
46-Draw someone’s portrait (however poorly it may turn out)
47-Read 100 books (8/100)
48-Write in to the Editorial column of a newspaper
49-Start writing a novel
50-Write 10 letters (via snail mail) (0/10)
51-Read 5 “classics” (0/5)

Physical Activities
52-Ride a rollercoaster with Luc
53-Play tennis with my cousin (and get my ass kicked)
54-Swim at the bottom of a waterfall
55-Hike into a glacier
56-Hike the Squamish Chief
57-Sleep under the stars
58-Go surfing in Tofino
59-Snowboard “Ruby Bowl” on Blackcomb Mountain
60-Ride my bike in the “Critical Mass” bike brigade in downtown Vancouver
61-Do the Grouse Grind
62-Golf on a real golf course (not a pitch and putt)

Other Activites
63-Paint my nails candy-apple red
64-Meet a bloggy blog friend
65-Post a video on YouTube
66-Do an engagement photo shoot with my friend taking the pictures
67-Participate in the
26 things project
68-Have a picnic at a park
69-Have a picnic at the beach
70-Participate in a book-giving chain letter
71-Sing a song at a karaoke bar and completely embarrass myself
72-Organize my entire iTunes
73-Watch a sunrise
74-Watch a sunset

75-Learn how to sew a button (that doesn’t fall off)
76-Get a good pair of sunglasses that I wear for more than 3 weeks
77-Get lasek eye surgery
78-Spend a day with my friend around the city taking photos
79-Do a hilarious group costume for Halloween

Things for Other People (mostly Luc, it seems!)
80-Take Luc to the spa for a massage
81-Give a homeless person a meal
82-Surprise Luc with a nice dinner out
83-Surprise Luc with a nice dinner in
84-Take Luc for tea at Secret Garden
85-Volunteer for something
86-Design and bake a birthday cake for a friend or family member

87-Donate blood


88-Invent a delicious martini
89-Floss every day for an entire month
90-Fit comfortably into my white dress pants
91-Make use of a “word of the day” calendar for a year
92-Be able to hold a head stand for over one minute without falling
93-Audition for a commercial
94-Do a 5-day cleanse
95-Go a week without eating chocolate or cheese
96-Do yoga every day for 2 full weeks
97-Learn a song on the guitar
98-Go an entire week without checking the stat counter on my blog
99-Get down to that magic (and secret) number on the scale
100-Finish an entire “cryptic crossword”
101-*Write a blog post for each item I complete on this list*

Sticky Situation

Phone rings at work.....a call from our office out East.....
Me: "Hello?"
Caller: "Hi Kristen, is Tom there?"
Me: "No, he's not in this Carol?"
Caller: "'s Bill...little different..."
...And then I died a little inside of embarrassment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I've been slowly chipping away at the creation of my "101 things to do in 1001 days" list. This list comes from a site called Day Zero, wherein the participants pen lists of 101 measurable things they would like to accomplish within 1001 days. I'm nearly done, and I'll be posting my list of great and small endeavours on here when it's ready to go. I also registered online for my Master of Publishing classes this afternoon...and then I saw my tuition fees balance...and then I went back to my 101 list and wrote:
1. Save a billion dollars ASAP

Monday, July 6, 2009

Callaghan Lake

The best seat in the house at the foremost camping destination in the lower mainland (in our books!)

Callaghan Lake from Kristen Gladiuk on Vimeo.

Alexander Falls

I have mosquito bites on my face but I'm still smiling

What happened to us (me, Luc and the couple we were camping with) on Friday was nothing short of the biggest heartbreak we've suffered all year. Our campsite was FULL. We toiled away behind our desks all day with visions of roasted marshmallows dancing in our heads while troops of youngsters (I turn 25 on Sunday, I can say youngsters) flooded into the campgrounds, securing every last open site. Yes, I recognize that I'm being melodramatic, but we had been anticipating this Cat Lake camping trip ever since we left the site last year (it's become an annual tradition). I've previously mentioned how Luc was so excited for this trip, he started packing about 2 weeks beforehand.
So while other fellow-deserted campers were glued to their Blackberries, researching other sites in the area, the 4 of us were lamenting over our loss. We weren't interested in one of those commercialized, family campsites that are essentially parking lots with sporadic groupings of trees. Cat Lake is half way to Whistler, where my parents have a cabin, so I made a call to let them know that they might be spending the weekend with us, lighting torches on the front lawn. Fortunately, my resourceful father had another option for us....and after following his sketchy directions, taking a few wrong turns up narrow, cross-country ski paths (whoops!), stumbling upon a huge waterfall and then the ensuing 45 min trek up a bumpy goat path, we finally arrived here:
All we wanted was a secluded site with a lake on which we could float aimlessly, drinking in our Canadian Tire, blow-up, plastic boats. After all, Luc bought a green pool noodle with the intention of cutting it up to fashion a floating cooler, and we didn't want his ingenious design to go to waste. What we got was a majestic lake in the foothills of a snow-capped mountain range, surrounded by dense forest. The lake itself was expansive and peaceful with a rushing creek hidden around the corner, the perfect locale for our beer chairs. At night, the moon hung low and lit the area with a vibrant light that bounced off the lake and drenched the trees in an eerie glow. The night-sky was a mosaic of vivid constellations, shooting stars, and satellites, all set against a black backdrop, freckled with stars of every size. Everything was perfect...except the population of angry mosquitoes. Luckily, they were only out at dusk and in the mid-morning. This was still long enough to sustain bug bites on every inch of my body - including my face and scalp. And ankles. And between my toes. And my knee pits. And one crafty bugger got me right between the fingers.

The weekend fulfilled every dream I had been coddling since last summer - I wiped my ketchup stained face all over my hoodie after gorging on hot dogs, we feasted on burgers, set marshmallows aflame, then washed it all down with drinks cooled in the creek. On Saturday we pushed off from the shore in our blow-up boats and we were so relaxed under the midday sun that we unknowingly floated across the entire lake. A few drinks later and a light breeze made paddling back quite the feat of strength and endurance. I came in last (not that it was a race or anything), but I did make a pit-stop at some guy in an inner tube who provided me with sustenance...many would argue that the extra drink was a hindrance to my paddling abilities, but I made it back with a smile on my face and a free margarita, so I'm still a winner!

I'm still in relative shock that we all made it back without any major (or even minor) burns. The boys had a good time with the torches, and us girls had a good time watching from a safe distance! When I heard the news that Cat Lake was full, my spirits were a bit crushed, but I knew we would work something else out. The weekend was a success and I think we might head back to Callaghan Lake again this summer...but maybe we'll have to buy a Hummer first to survive that road in. Seriously, it was bad. Our speed ranged from standing still outside the car surveying the rocky gully in front of us, to a roaring 15 km/hr on the "smooth" parts of the always-bumpy trail. If anyone is interested, I might post some pics or videos.

Being back in the office after a great weekend is always tough, but I have a mountain-high to do list to keep me occupied and some amazing pictures to gawk at when I get bored. I noticed that my calendar says 33 more days of work until I'm free, which is great, but that means 33 more days of work until I'm back in school. And once I'm back in school, that means less than a year until our wedding. Lots to do! For now though, I'll just sit at my desk, scratching my bug bites and staring at our camping photos.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Because my mom reads my blog

I know that my mom reads my blog, and I think it's cool, because she says nice things like "you've got such a flair for writing" and "you made me laugh sooo hard". I know that all moms think their kids are the best and are obligated to say such things, and even though my mom thinks I'm funnier than the cast of SNL, prettier than Angelina Jolie and smarter than Stephen Hawking, her compliments still make me feel great. The woman's delusional, but all mothers are when it comes to their children! She's one of those awesome supportive moms that makes you excited to have kids and be a mom one day. Even when my kid is sinking to the bottom of the pool at his or her first swimming lesson I'll say something like, "yes, and you sank faster than everyone in the whole class, you're SUPER!"

But I I know that my mom reads my blog, but I don't know how often or if she reads everything. But this morning I could say that I was 99.9% sure that she had read my previous post on camping, and also shown it to my dad. My first clue was when she casually mentioned in an email that "alcohol doesn't mix well with swimming, boating and fires"...little does she know that's the magic combination for the perfect camping trip. What really gave it away though was my dad's email, blunt and to the point as dads like to be.

Subject: have a great weekend but use your head...... re: drinking and swimming , fires etc.‏

Thanks mom and dad, I'll try not to set my future husband on fire! But don't worry, it's over a year until the wedding so any hair lost can be regrown. And you'll be happy to know that I've just talked Luc down to bringing 3 cans of kerosene rather than 5!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camping: the best part of any summer

Tomorrow we flee the city with another couple for a weekend of camping; drinking beer for breakfast, wiping my face on my shirt after eating, experimenting with torch-making, hot dogs galore, the annual self-made "sweat lodge", late night swims, flaming marshmallows...there is so much fun to be had that I think I need to take a "personal day" to get mentally prepared. However, we don't actually have that much packing to do tonight because in giddy anticipation, Luc brought out all of our camping gear from storage 2 weeks ago, and when we had company over last weekend it was a really elegant addition to our living room decor. He's also spent the past couple of weeks diligently researching different elements, metals and chemicals that will alter the colour of fire. As long as I come home with nothing more than a 2nd degree burn, my original full head of hair and no sign of singeing on my brow, I'm sure the fire/torch experiments will be great fun!

Last year it was pouring with rain the first day...all day. But we managed to mix enough Bailey's into our hot chocolate to not care, and after a couple hours to not even realize it. The second day the sun broke in the late afternoon and we scurried to the lake with a couple inflatable boats. This year we've stepped it up a notch and each of us has our own boat...this was after protesting from us girls, not wanting to share our boat with a wet, drunk, hairy man again. Luc was pretty eager to get me my own boat, which leads me to believe a wet, drunk Kristen is not a pleasant boating companion either!

The forecast says sun all weekend, so I'm going to pack my "fancy" sweatpants...they have holes for air flow. Ooh laa-laa, c'est magnifique! We try to keep it pretty low key, but I can't help it if my camping outfits are naturally fabulous. I also have a bleach stained tank top that will be coming along...the stains look like a modern twist on tye-dye. Tres chic. My girlfriend and I also prefer the "au naturel" look whilst roughing it in the woods - no time for makeup application, we're too busy catching and skinning our lunch. Her fiance lovingly refers to this look as the "naked mole rat". So tomorrow, two hairy men and two naked mole rats will pile into their respective vehicles and trek off into the woods for a weekend of wilderness...if you don't hear from me by Monday, it's because Luc accidentally set me on fire with one of his torches and I died a spectacular, rainbow-coloured death.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009