Monday, September 29, 2008

Holiday Hightlights

View from the front entrance of the resort

Sand Castle Competition

Minter Gardens (this is done with all flowers so pretty!)

Me in front of the view!
HonHon touching the "actual" hot springs!

What a wonderful holiday I had! It was so nice to have SEVEN working days off which meant I got two (long) weekends in there! It would have been nicer if HonHon could have stayed longer but he booked his flights too late and could not get onto a later flight. His trip was cut short to 7 days this time and he promised he'd make up for it on his next trip back to Vancouver so we'll see. But it was def nice to see him after so many long months of not being with him as part of our family.

There wasn't much that HonHon needed to do this time but he was excepted to pick up a few items for his family. His dinner requests were (as always) items that Kay and I occasionally dine on: Lasagna, BBQ pork (which we didn't have time to make), pasta and baked goodies. There were a few nights were we went out for dinner with my dad and my mom cos he sees dad every time he's in town if my dad is in town. Mom celebrated her birthday on the Friday (Sept 26) which I forgot about even though I should have clued in when she was home from work! But I had a good excuse (actually no excuse is a good excuse!!) as HonHon and I had just gotten back from our mini "holiday" from the Harrison Hot Springs! We had decided on renting a car from Avis instead of driving my VW bug cos HonHon was afraid my car wouldn't make it there or back! We reserved the rental for 2 days and rushed back to Surrey to drop off the car. By the time we arrived home, I was completely unaware of the day as my mind and body were quite relaxed and rested. Since we hadn't seen Kay in a couple of days (and a little bit of guilt that we left her for two days!!), we spent some time downstairs before heading upstairs to see mom and grams. After speaking to my mom and grams, my mom asked us what are plans were for dinner and then I realized OH NO! Mom's BIRTHDAY!!! Of course, we wished her a happy birthday and I even had cake for her! Well, not cake cake but local handmade cheesecake from a farm house in Agassiz! Actually, I had planned on splitting the cheesecake with my mom but I wasn't really gonna share the WHOLE CHEESECAKE....

Highlights at Harrison Hot Springs
  • The Spa at the resort is amazing! If you have never been and you've stayed at the resort, you must go again and book an appointment at the spa! But book the appointment when you are booking your hotel reservation as the appointments fill up quick. We didn't book our appointments until we arrived and since they were full with a couple of openings, we didn't get to book a couples package. HonHon did want me to try something and he wanted me to pick any treatment I wanted so I chose a facial. It is the best facial I have ever had (and I've done quite a few in my time) and it really did make a difference to my face and I felt so refreshed and exfoliated! Absolutely heaven, this is def the BEST PLACE on earth! I can't wait to do it again!! If you are wondering which treatment I did, it is called the "Purifying Skin Care Treatment"
  • Minter Gardens - with our vacation package, we received free passes and lunch at the gardens. It is a beautiful garden and although the weather hadn't been so great (rain rain and more rain), the temperatures were quite mild. The garden was huge and there were a lot of different kinds of flowers in the garden, I know my mom and grams would love it here, esp my grams since they had a section of the garden dedicated to roses which is my grams fave flower! The rose garden smelled lovely and spent quite some time in there. I also got to see a lot of different types of flowers and considered using them in my wedding bouquet (one day when I decide to get married!) so it's kinda neat to capture the flowers I would love to have part in my future wedding :) Also, it would be a lovely place to have a garden wedding and your wedding bouquet and flowers would come right from the garden. Also, I am sure it would be nice for the guests stay at the resort or drive back to Vancouver (not too far away) but I am sure all the ladies would love to stay a night or two at the resort!!!

  • Local farms in Agassiz - wow, did we get a lot of good stuff while we were out there! Esp. local items like hazelnuts, blueberries (the bestest!), blackberries, freshly picked corn (at a corn shack right off the freeway!), and cheese, ohmygosh, all the yummy cheese we brought back to share! Kay and HonHon are HUGE CHEESE FANATICS. They LOVE (I mean seriously LOVE cheese) and we got some local fresh handmade cheese at The Farm House Natural Cheese. Ok I am not a cheese addict like those two but seriously, my mouth was watering after I tried the cheeses that we bought! It is the BEST cheese I have ever had! We bought, cheddar cheese curds (for bruschetta and home made poutine), fromage frais (roasted red pepper and garlic) which you use as a spread on crackers or bread, creme fraiche for the berries (which is rich but not too heavy like it can be sometimes!) and their Voluptuous Vanilla cheesecake which is light and not super rich (a local suggested that we pick one up cos it is the best cheesecake you'll ever have and I agree!). The flavour of this cheesecake is indescribable so you will have to try it out yourself! The bottom layer had a very light and thin graham base with local hazelnuts and it was perfect! I would def consider using their cheesecakes as my wedding cake! I will have to see if I can outsource this here in Vancouver.

  • Trying to find "local but not too touristy" gifts for co-workers and ended picking up some really nice natural bath products from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. I love the smells and the ingredients of these items and I ended up picking up an Eczema unscented body butter for myself cos of the customer comments on the display next to this product. I have really really bad eczema and I will try anything once so hopefully this is as good as it says and will help get rid of my terrible eczema pathes all over my legs!!!
We had a wonderful time in the Hot Springs and we loved being up there so much that we have decided this will have to be an annual trip to the Springs every Sept. Next time, we are going to book a couples spa treatment so we can enjoy the spa together.

It was lovely to have HonHon spend some time with us and even though it was a short visit, 7 days only not including the evening he landed cos it was later in the evening, he promised he'd be back really soon maybe even at Christmas time! Wow, we haven't had a Xmas together in years!! But the airline tickets are quite expensive during the high season but on the other hand, I will have almost 2 weeks off this year!! We might even go away to the island or Seattle the next time he's in town, only for a couple of days! We are going to miss him tons!!!

Enjoy the photos on my flickr page (even tho we didn't take that many! mostly photos from Minter Gardens!).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walk The Line

I finally watched this movie and it's pretty interesting, I am glad that I didn't go to the theatre to watch it nor did I have to pay to rent the DVD. Johnny Cash had a very interesting life. Not a must see but a good movie if you have nothing else to watch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Suki Pure

At lunch time, I decided to go for a walk to Capers to check out their natural and organic beauty products. I knew that Capers/Whole Foods would carry Suki Pure cos I saw it on their distribution list on their websites. I can't wait to test this product out, I am sure it will do wonders for my face and complexion!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Warehouse Party

I can't believe it's that time again! When Rhoda starts planning her company's warehouse party, I know that fall is really around the corner! This year, Rhoda did all of the planning for the party and it turned out great! This year, there were some changes and the company decided to go with another freight company which means the party was being held at a different warehouse. This warehouse is a bit smaller than last year's warehouse but everyone at the warehouse was really nice and helpful. I met up with Rhoda at 2.45pm at Lansdowne (to park the car) and we drove over to Costco to meet Jeff (pick up more food!!) and back to the warehouse to set up. There wasn't that much drama with K this year although she did live up to her ways and let's leave it at that. Overall, it was a great party with lots of food and entertainment. Again, big thank you to Rhoda for inviting me again! Always such a great time and sometimes I feel like I should be working for this company since I attend a lot of their functions!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Machinist

The Machinist was a very interesting movie and very well done. Christian Bale (Batman) looks so different and I can't believe how much weight he lost for this role. He did an amazing job and he is def. an amazing actor. Def. recommend this movie but be aware it can be quite dark and a bit intense.

Synopsis: Christian Bale delivers one of cinema's most sacrificial performances in Brad Anderson's mesmerizing thriller. Written by Scott Kosar (2003's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), THE MACHINIST takes place in a bleak and nondescript American city, where Trevor Reznick (Bale) is quite literally withering away to nothing. During the day Trevor works in a colorless industrial factory, while at night he seeks refuge in the bed of a tender prostitute, Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh). For reasons unknown even to Trevor, he hasn't been able to sleep for an entire year. In the process, he has shed over sixty pounds, making him look like a walking skeleton. After an accident at the factory costs Trevor his job, he finds himself tracking a mysterious figure that may or may not, in fact, provide some answers to his confusion. Meanwhile, he begins to connect with a pretty airport waitress, Marie (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon), who shows Trevor some much-needed sympathy. By the time the film builds to its revelatory conclusion, it becomes quite clear just what has been tormenting Trevor all along. Anderson and Kosar's vision is brought to spectacular life by cinematographer Xavi Gimenez and composer Roque Banos, whose haunting atmospherics recall the best work of Alfred Hitchcock. And then, of course, there is Bale, whose performance is as terrifying, brave, and devastating as the screen has ever seen.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dinner and a movie

Usually I do not go out on a weeknight due to my early morning wake up to be out of the house by 7.00am and into the office by 7.30am but tonight, I had to pick up some EA games from Vince. We decided the night before to have dinner at his place, I would bring a dish and he / Meryl would make something to compliment the dish. Also, I wanted to watch a movie that I borrowed from the library and it is due tomorrow. Witches of Eastwick was recommended by a coworker and I'm glad I decided to borrow it cos it ended up being really really good! Of course, those two are never on time and even though Kay and I were a bit late, we still managed to beat them to their condo. I had told Vince that we were making PESTO CHICKEN and he didn't tell Meryl that, instead he mentioned we were bringing chicken. Just chicken and she assumed it was an asian dish so she made something that DID NOT compliment my pesto but nonetheless very very yummy. Meryl can cook Asian! She made a pork dish and a vegetable dish, both were very yummy and scrumptious but def did not work with my pesto chicken. Poor Meryl, she felt bad but I told her not to cos it was still very yummy and we haven't had asian in a long time cos we don't really cook asian anymore! After dinner and some wine, we settled into the couch to watch the movie, poor Vince - he fell asleep during the movie, apparently he's had a very long and tiring couple of weeks at EA. During the movie, we got to eat fresh fruit for dessert, another yummy treat! Kay was SUPPOSE to make dessert but she got lazy. By the time we finished the movie, got home and into bed, it was almost 11.30! I have an early morning meeting tomorrow, I hope I can stay awake! It was a good night and so nice to catch up with those two, we never really get to see much of each other anymore.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Must Own Books

Lately, I have been borrowing books and dvds from the Vancouver Public Library cos it's free. Also, I get to "test" (read and browse through) the book before I decide to make it a part of my book collection. I have to say, the following books I most def. recommend:

One Smart Cookie by Julie Van Rosendaal
(Her websites: Julie, Dinner with Julie)
*Just noting that Kay and I have tried many recipes in here and we cannot believe the low cal content and how good it can still taste! Been meaning to blog about them but we eat the baked goods way too fast before we can take photos and post them! Sorry HonHon!!

Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

Although, I have not read the Gorgeously Green book (wait listed to borrow), I have read the reviews and it seems like this is another must have book. A green book targeted for women, wives and mothers, being green can still be gorgeous!

Another book I am wait listed for is the 100 mile diet which is very interesting and they have a website with some really great and helpful info and reasons about why it is important to eat local. Wish I could use more local products in our diet but I don't know how well I would do without coffee for 365 days! Check out their "Local Resources" tab, there's a link (Certified Organic Associations of BC) which provides local and organic farms in and around Vancouver, BC. Good to know!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Babel is a really GREAT MOVIE! LOVED IT! The storyline is done in a similar way to Crash which is another movie that I really enjoyed! This is a must see movie and the characters played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are so interesting and how one minor decision can cause such an impact to people who are indirectly/directly related. AWESOME.

Brunch, Shopping and Lifestyle Change

Today for lunch, we (Jas and I) met up with KD at Milestones in Richmond. We haven't seen KD in over a year and after months of avoiding this lunch, I finally broke down and agreed to meet her so we could catch up one each other's lives. She also needed to go shopping and wanted our help in picking out a dress for an upcoming wedding. Lucky for me, Jas is such a great friend and she let me convince (without twisting her arm) her to come out for lunch and shopping. I'm so grateful that she did cos I don't know how I would have handled her all on my own. Jas is a sweet and sensitive person, knowing exactly what to say and how to handle KD while she went on about her break up and her life over the past year. KD moved out of her ex bf's place a month ago and she is now in a new place in Richmond where her rent is incredibly cheap (renting from an old friend who gave her a rent reduction). After lunch, we stopped by to see her new place and to park my car in the condo's parking lot cos she is only one block from Richmond Centre. The condo is new (only about 1 year old) but the layout is horrendous, the suite is vertical or horizontal (depends on which way you look at it I guess). Instead of being designed and built into a squared layout, the entire suite is rectanglular. I don't like it at all plus it is designed for a Honger. I wouldn't even consider living there even if it was my last resort, actually I wouldn't ever consider living in Richmond. I don't like Richmond. PERIOD. After a quick browse of her new place, we went over to RC to find her a dress and we all agreed to get a Starbucks cos I'm so damn addicted to Starbucks. After going through the entire mall, she came out with 75% done on her shopping list. One thing I had to buy was a SLS and Paraben free cleasner for my face which I was hoping to find at Escents Aromatherapy but only to be disappointed that most of their items contained SLS and paraben, only one item in their store that did not contain these were an unscented Wash & Bubble. The SA said I could use this as shampoo or a face wash and it is not limited to just a body wash or for bubble baths. Because this product's ingredients are natural and chemical-free, it does not last as long on your shelf as store bought products. Due to the unscented version of this wash, I also picked up a tea tree oil to add to it and to use directly on my face. Tea tree oil has beneficial medical healing properties including antispetic and antifungual action which I am hoping this will help clear up my skin. After shopping, we headed back to KD's place to pick up my car and I drop Jas off at her place, she had other plans that night.

I headed home to find Kay helping mom with the last bit of the garden and I went inside to prepare and make dinner. I offered to make dinner for my mom as well cos she wanted to go out for dinner and I didn't want to eat out. I'm trying out a new pesto I bought at Famous Foods, the product is all natural and shipped directly from Italy. I am really tired of Costco's Pesto cos it is a huge container which goes bad easily and I end up throwing it out with more than half of the container full! Plus it's quite oily and I find that there is not enough "pesto" or basil flavours in their pesto. Kay and I really love and enjoyed the new pesto we bought so this will be the replacement for all of our future pesto dishes! Mmmmm... I love pesto :)

On another note related to my new beauty product........

I have decided that I am going to change our beauty and health lifestyle. I have decided we need to change our grocery shopping to include more organics and local (if posible) even though I do buy organic, only about 40 - 50% of our items are. We never buy processed food except for deli meats (which I think are processed....). I am also planning (and researching) to switch over my beauty regime to organic and natural beauty products versus the store bought items. I have been reading a book called "Ecoholic" by Adria Vasil and found some very interesting facts about the chemicals used in beauty products, why you should choose organics and what alternatives are better for our earth for daily living from this book. This is the Canadian Eco Friend Guide (or Bible) in my opionion and I love it so much that I have decided to add this book in my permanent collection. Right now, I am borrowing books from the library to "test" the book and see if I should consider buying it for my book collection. Also, I am looking into a few different brands of natural and organic beauty products and this one site called Upurea sells natural and/or organic items. But you have to be careful cos even though some say "natural", it contains quite a few chemicals (organic compounds) in their products! Currently, I am interested in purchasing some face products by Suki Pure cos it seems like she is one of the few that uses all natural ingredients in her products, if I can understand the words and I know exactly what it is then it's all good. Can't wait to try it, now if only I can get to a Capers to purchase these products!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home Jen! Tonight, Rae and I met up with Jennifer for dinner cos we haven't seen her in ages!! She just got back from her trip around Europe and wanted to share her stories and catch up on life. I think the last time we saw her was June? Even though she's back home, she won't be staying for long as she plans on heading over to Australia for a year. We caught up with her life and stories and it was so nice to see her, she hasn't changed a bit! Lucky for us, we had the Japanese restaurant all to ourselves and this place makes good sushi. Jen wanted to eat sushi cos she hadn't had sushi in such a long time. As always, she brought back little gifts for us from her travels and we both got a beautiful hand blown glass necklace (mine is gold), each piece being unique and never duplicated and I also received a chocolate liqueur cos Jen knows me! Chocolate + Liqueur = Mmmmm... great combo! After dinner, we headed over to PC to walk around and do a bit of shopping. Fall fashions are in the stores and Rae wanted to see if she could find any summer sale items. We didn't really end up with anything but I managed to buy a pack of Hello Kitty socks at H&M's women's lingerie section! Yes, the WOMEN'S lingerie section not children's! I can't believe they carry Hello Kitty items, that was a bit shocking and my socks are so cute! All in all it was a great night and I'm so happy to see Jen back! Hopefully, we'll catch her again before she leaves for another year!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Long Weekend

Wow, I can't believe it's already September! The summer has gone by so fast and we didn't really get much of a nice and hot summer! Kay is back to school tomorrow (only for an hour) and I am sure I will have to write at least one cheque for school "fees". Canadian education is suppose to be FREE and covered by the government and the taxes we pay. But somehow the school board manages to take more money from the parent's pockets! Back in my day, there was no fees for anything! Oh well, enough ranting.....
Over the long weekend, we didn't really do too much, mostly relaxed and did stuff around the house. Kay helped my mom finish up the gardening and I did some errands and chores. It's nice to stay home over the long weekend to just relax and catch up on household chores. I guess the reality for some (Kay and my mom) is that they are back to school and work on Tuesday but for me, it's a long weekend! Woohoo! I will have a busy Tuesday though, we have a proposal due on the Wednesday and our deadline to complete the proposal is 4pm on Tuesday!! We haven't even started printing off any of the items in this document cos the managers/directors are still working on it. But I'm sure we will be fine and everything will work out.
The most exciting thing I did over the weekend is I finally got a hair cut. Lisa (Jess's hairstylist) did a lovely cut and style by removing the dyed out ends (I had a colour a couple of years ago) and she made my normally heavy and thick hair a face lift by giving me multiple layers through my hair. The length is still there but it's much lighter and easier to manage. At first, I wasn't so sure about this cut cos I noticed there was a lot of hair on the bathroom floor but I think I will get used to it and I always feel this way when I get my hair cut! Kay really liked it and she said it doesn't even look like I cut that much off due to the length. I really liked how Lisa cut and styled my hair, she has a very fun and easy going personality plus she's not at all over priced! She works from home so it cuts the cost down and she only charged me a 20! I think I will take Kay there for her next cut cos Kay hasn't been happy with any of the stylists that she has gone to, they always seem to cut off a chunk of Kay's hair in a place that is quite visible!
That is pretty much it. A quiet and relaxing weekend......