Monday, July 21, 2014

Dreaming of Beach Days

So last week was full of gorgeous sunny days, warm temperatures, blue skies and beach days... until Friday, when it turned grey and gloomy. It hasn't let up much since! "Reading a book on the beach" was LITERALLY on my list of things to do this weekend, and I wasn't able to do it once! Hey Mother Nature - WHAT GIVES, GIRL? It's July, you know. Not February. Let's get that sun back out here, pronto.

To hold me over till the next showing of sun, here are some beachy pictures from last week. Just imagine me snapping these photos while lying leisurely on a blanket on the hot sand beside the water. That's what I'll be doing.

Sunshine in a blue sky



Sunshine in a blue sky while lying on the beach
 3 sailboats

Kayakers in English Bay in Vancouver, from Kitsilano Beach

Kayaking into the sun in English Bay in Vancouver, from Kitsilano Beach

David in the water, English Bay, Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver
.  david in the water  .

Seaplane in the blue sky, Vancouver
.  that speck in the sky is a seaplane  .
View of downtown Vancouver from Kitsilano Beach

Wishing you beach days this week as well!!

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Farmer's Market, Picnic + My Workouts of the Week

The last 7 days have been good to me, I have to say. I've been keeping busy but also managing to take plenty of advantage of the gorgeous sunshine that we had all week long (aside from the last couple of days, which turned grey again). The gym is still very much a part of my routine, as you've seen, but I don't feel bad taking a day off from the gym and just taking a long walk out in the sun instead.  Here's what's been going on this week, in a nutshell:

Sunday: Walked to the Kitsilano Farmer's Market on 10th and Larch, where I bought some local kale, blueberries, and dark chocolate truffles.

Mixed berries from the Kitsilano Farmers Market in Vancouver

Fresh basil at Kitsilano Farmers Market in Vancouver

Monday: Went to the gym and relaxed on the beach after work, followed by a walk downtown before dinner.

Tuesday: Walked to Second Beach in Stanley Park for their Fresh Air Cinema series. Each Tuesday of the summer, they set up a big outdoor movie screen on the lawn, and you can come and picnic and watch the movie...

Fresh Air Cinema Stanley Park in Vancouver

... I put together a picnic dinner for us that included baby carrots, sandwiches, watermelon, chips, caprese skewers, and chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. The picnic was delightful, and it was a warm and sunny evening. Unfortunately, the sunshine was such that the movie wouldn't be able to start till 9:40pm, which was really too late for us, so we packed up and headed home around 8pm.

Tomato basil mozzarella skewers

Wednesday: Gym and beach after work.

Thursday: I headed down to Robson St. with David so he could pick up a few goodies for his nieces and nephews. While we were down there, I popped into The Body Shop (for the first time) and picked up a new body butter and a hand creme. After that, we got Red Robin for dinner and finished our downtown trip with a stop into Chapters to find a good animal book to accompany the other gifts Dave was bringing to his nieces/nephews.

Friday: In the early morning hours (around 4am), I brought David to the Vancouver airport for his 6:00am flight to Massachusetts. He'll be there for the next week visiting with his family. Friday night after work I went to the gym, picked up a quinoa salad for dinner, and finally rented Frozen from Redbox. I was crying like a baby by the 11-minute mark, and cried several more times throughout the 90-minute movie. Don't judge me. I also managed to eat an entire bag of Jiffy Pop by myself. So.

Saturday: After a completely leisurely morning at home, I walked down to Robson St for what was marketed as "the Robson Street Summer Fest." Once there, I was confused and disappointed to realize that I didn't really see anything resembling a "summer fest" going on. Some of the shops had balloons out in front on their sidewalks, but that's about it. Nonetheless, I managed to spend money in both Lush and Forever21 while I was down there.

Yesterday evening I spent some time going through my makeup collection to try to weed out some of the more useless space-taker-uppers. I was definitely able to get rid of some products, but not as many as I would have really liked. Anyone else have trouble throwing away makeup products?

My night ended last night with a satisfying trip to Scoop for some raspberry frozen yogurt and a million chocolaty sweet toppings. Mmm. Which brings me to this important question:  How are there people in the world who don't like sweets?? What in god's name is going on inside your brain and mouth that you don't LIKE sweets? TELL ME.

Anyway, speaking of being on a path towards Type 2 Diabetes, here's what I did at the gym this week to try to counteract the effects of eating too much sugar:

7/13 (lower body)
5 mins biking
3x:  12 sumo squats, holding 20 lbs
3x:  40 calf raises, 20 lbs each hand
3x:  40 bridges

7/14 (core)
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
40 crunches on exercise ball, holding 15 lbs
40 cobras

7/16 (upper body)
5 mins elliptical
3x:
   - 13 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
   - 8 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
   - 8 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
   - 13 bent over rows each arm, with 20 lbs
3x: 20 alternating chest flys, 8 lbs each hand
3x: 13 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
3x: 10 tricep extensions on exercise ball, 8 lbs each hand

7/18 (lower body)
5 mins biking
3x:
   13 sumo squats, holding 30 lbs
   60 calf raises, 20 lbs each hand
   60 bridges

This afternoon I'm going out to do something rather fancy and fun - an afternoon tea service at The Urban Tea Merchant in downtown Vancouver. A fellow Vancouver blogging buddy, Whitney, posted a recap of a recent afternoon she spent at the UTM and it sounded so delightful that I rounded up a group of ladies to go there to try it out ourselves. Whitney is even coming, too! I can't wait. 

I hope you guys are all having a great weekend!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Ombre Blue Nails

Whewww this week went by fast! Which is odd because I thought it was Friday on Wednesday. Then I thought it was Friday again for most of the day yesterday. Now, I know... for sure, I think, that today is Friday. Right?? Right. And that means it's nails day! Whooop.

This was a mani idea that spontaneously popped into my head earlier this week, and I'm so pleased that it came out as well as I'd envisioned it. MAYBE EVEN BETTER. Behold:

Blue ombre nails

I have a tonnn of blue nail polishes, in such a wide variety of shades. Might as well use a couple of them at once, right?

Blue ombre nails with Revlon and Forever21 nail polishes

The polishes I selected were Navy from Forever21's Love & Beauty line and Coastal Surf by Revlon, which is a color that Dave got me for Christmas.

Blue ombre nails Revlon Coastal Surf polish

I really like this Navy polish, you might have noticed. I use it pretty often - including last week! It's shimmer free and super shiny, though it does take 2-3 coats for opacity.

Blue ombre nails Forever21 Love & Beauty navy polish

Coastal Surf is an awesome polish, too. It's really opaque, and the brush is wide and flat - my faaaaav.

Blue ombre nails Revlon Coastal Surf polish



This was the classic sponged-on ombre technique, which I've featured before (here, here, and here). There was a little preview on my Instagram yesterday, to show you how the sponge looked:

Blue ombre sponge nails, Forever21 Love & Beauty navy polish and Revlon Coatal Surf polish

Aaaand here are how my crazy fingers looked after I sponged that shit on:

Blue ombre sponged on nails, pre clean-up
After that mess, you can imagine that it took me SO long to clean my nails up to the point that you see in these pictures. SO LONG. Meticulously, with two different nail art brushes dipped gingerly into acetone. Dip, clean, repeat. And it still isn't perfect! Oy!!

Blue ombre sponged on nails




Blue ombre sponged on nails

What are you rocking on your nails today?

Have you done the ombre method on your nails before? It's SEW EASY. DEW IT.

Anyone doing anything fancy this weekend? (I happen to actually be doing something fancy on Sunday - tell you about it later!)

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{Linking with The Nail Files and Friday's Fab Favorites}

Thursday, July 17, 2014

1 Good Thing & 1 Bad Thing: The Accessories Edition

Hey, you can't always have a few good things in a row. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Such is the case with accessories in my life lately.

On the one (good) hand, I was walking past the 4th Ave Footlocker recently when a wall display inside the store's big glass windows caused me to actually stop in my tracks.

Adidas display in Footlocker

DAT'S RIGHT. The shell toes are back, y'all!!

All white Adidas shell toe sneakers

Anyone remember back in February when I said that I was looking everywhere in Vancouver (even the freaking Adidas stores!) for a pair of all-white shell toes, but there were NONE to be found?? "Mark my words," I said at the time. "Those damn things are going to come back into style and you're ALL GOING TO SEE."

Actually, my exact quote from February 5, 2014 was:
I rocked the all-white shell toes back in college and I want another pair so badly. I can't find any of the all-whites in the stores right now, though I've been looking. Dave makes fun of me and tells me that it's because it's not the 90s anymore... But I think everyone is just so wrong on this. IF shell toes ever went "out" of style in the first place, they're definitely due for a comeback. Just don't say I didn't warn you or that you didn't hear it here first!
I MEAN. Come on. Look at me, predicting trends over here.

The only hiccup here is that Footlocker so far only has that style in men's sizes, with the smallest size being an 8.5. Which is obviously massive. But I can only assume that the style will trickle down to the women's shoes soon enough. AND WHEN IT DOES. I'm on it.

... But as the title of this blog indicates, there is a bit of "bad" news as well. We need to have a moment of silence for my freshly departed pair of sewwwwper cewte Forever21 sunglasses:

Colorful pair of Forever21 sunglasses

These things have been with me for a couple years now, a notable feat for a sub-$6 pair of sunnies. Their bevy of colors meant that they went well with so many different summer outfits, and they were a constant source of compliments (which is never a bad thing). These glasses met their sad end while I was paddleboarding in English Bay last Thursday. They slid off the top of my head and into the water without my noticing, and by the time I realized it, they were long gone. While they were a well-loved accessory, this is really just a perfect example of why it's foolish (for me) to spend much money on sunglasses. Bummed though I was, I haven't been losing too much sleep over losing my cheap-o sunnies. Actually I already replaced them with two more pairs from Forever21 this past Sunday.

But it's still definitely a bad thing that they're gone.

So there you have it - out (and overboard) with the old (sunglasses) and in with the new (shell toes).

Any good or bad news in your accessory life lately? Share your dramas with me ;)

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Few Good Things

A couple weeks ago I went to dinner at the Cactus Club Cafe in English Bay with my friend Rose. This was our view of the Bay from our window at the restaurant...

Tankers and ships in English Bay, Vancouver
We finished dinner just in time to head outside to watch the sunset:

Vancouver sunset
Me and the sunset!

Me and the sunset!

July 1 was Canada Day, which means little to me other than "FIREWORKS!" Your girl loves fireworks, in case you weren't wise to that. We headed down to Kitsilano Beach to watch the 'works being set off from West Vancouver, across the Bay.





Walking along Vancouver's West End on my way home from a walk to Stanley Park, I had to stop and take a picture of this ivy-covered building:

Building covered in ivy, Vancouver, West End

Building covered in ivy, Vancouver, West End

And just for a dose of self-deprecation, here's a picture David took of me falling off my paddleboard last week:

Falling off my paddleboard in Vancouver's English Bay


What sorts of good things have you been capturing lately?

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{Linking with Finding Beauty}

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sophie's Cosmic Cafe in Vancouver

Just a few blocks up the hill from my apartment, there's a very popular 4th Ave diner called Sophie's Cosmic Cafe. Since moving to Vancouver, Sophie's has become one of our top picks for breakfast places... in part due to its close proximity to our home, but also because of their tasty food and fun atmosphere. You've probably even heard me mention it here on my blog multiple times, if you're any sort of a regular reader.

See, Sophie's doesn't just serve up food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) - they also serve up a trip down memory lane. Every inch of the entire building is decorated - covered, I should say  - in old, classic toys and nostalgic memorabilia.

Even the building's facade has character - "Sophie's Cosmic Cafe" is spelled out above the door in leopard print letters, and the entrance is flanked by a 4-foot-tall fork and knife set...

Sophie's Cosmic Cafe in Vancouver
.  source  .
 Here's a peek inside the place, though keep in mind that I took these photos months ago, during the holiday season (hence the Christmas decorations you may notice in some of the pics)...

Inside Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, decorations


My Little Pony decorations inside Sophie's Cosmic Cafe


Wall decor in Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, Vancouver

Such crazy wall decorations in Sophie's!
.  obviously these particular pictures were snapped back during the holiday season  .



Vintage Coke bottle railing, inside Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, Vancouver


Tractor toys on the wall in Sophie's Cosmic Cafe
.  this is a shot looking UP a wall!  .
They have cute hand-drawn placemats too...

Hand-drawn placemats at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe in Vancouver






Onto the food though!

Menu, Sophie's Cosmic Cafe in Vancouver

There is a massive menu, so be forewarned. However, my favorite section of their breakfast menu is called the Light and Low Cholesterol Breakfasts, which is where I always order from.

Light and Low Cholesterol Breakfasts at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe

Actually, I always order the same thing - 2 poached (medium) eggs, wheat toast, bacon, and a side of fruit. It's called the Light Breakfast and it comes with a choice of bacon or sausage and fruit or salad. I love how thick the toast is and the slightly vinegary taste of the poached eggs.

The fruit bowl at Sophie's is also one of the best in Kitsilano, as far as breakfast places go. They give you banana, kiwi, strawberry, melon, pear, orange, grapes and grapefruit!

Poached eggs, bacon, wheat toast, fruit bowl at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, Light Breakfast, Vancouver

If you're in the Vancouver area and are into yummy breakfasts AND pop culture relics/vintage toys, you should probably head to Sophie's. There is always something to look at, and they even have a great patio that's open during the warmer months.

http://www.sophiescosmiccafe.com/
2095 West 4th ave, Vancouver, BC
(604) 732 6810

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This post isn't sponsored. I just love breakfast food.