Sea Kayaking off Vancouver Island with the Orca Whales… sort of

Sexy OutfitWas alil freaked out about this trip as I did NOTHING to prep for it… not one tiny bit of training or toning… lol, yep definitely no toning going on.
This working full time this yr, while trying desperately to keep PC a float is killing me… I am dying, I tell ya!! The big red S has always been a no-brainer for me, literally. Great place to go socialize and never ever gave it a second thought while doing the job or after I punched out but this year has been VERY DIFFERENT…uugghh
ok sorry; … nuff about my work rant… back to the Kayaking.

So as mentioned above, I was alil freaked out about this trip for all the reasons mentioned.. then they gave me this sexy outfit … and again, nuff said :)

Loading the 'boats'We got to the orientation meeting, met the guides and previous owner of the company. He recently sold to ROW Adventures but every now and then, comes on these excursions when he is in town, purely because of his love for the region…yay BC!! We were really lucky to have Peter join us. He had a millions stories and tales… I loved it! What a lovely (small) group of people… all American, the other guests were.

We started day one by loading the kayaks down at the pier that was super slippery and filled with jelly fish… or sea jelly as they are now known as. I spent most of my time rescuing each jelly by gently picking them up and placing them back in the water. (Yep, a couple people found it weird… ask me if I cared :))

View from the 'loo'We then set out for ‘camp’. The paddling started out OK once I got alil instruction but after approx 1 hr, my carpal tunnel started to act up and both hands went numb… uugghh, I didn’t even think about it prior to booking this type of trip. But thank goodness, at about the same time, everyone was starting to feel it and needed bathroom breaks so we pulled into the next beautiful cove. Here we discovered some very unusual star fish… again, known as Sea Stars now… uuggh being politically correct has never been my strong suit… but here was also my first visit to the ‘loo’… yep pine box in the woods. Good times… not.
But to find the silver lining, this was the view on my way back to the beach… gorgeous!

Orange SeaStar We were lucky to also have Monica with us as a guide, she is studying to be a Marine Biologist so had a ton of info to share and a pure love of nature and wildlife… we got along great …lol… actually she ended up being Peter’s girlfriend… sweet couple

 

 

 

Kelp BedI borrowed my man’s underwater camera and got some fun shots of kelp. It was really interesting learning about it, its growths patterns etc from the guides. I just remember growing up in the West End that it was an irritant while swimming down at English Bay but it was interesting learning the other side of it.

 

Paddling along...Then after WAY too much paddling; we finally made it. We pulled the kayaks WAAAYYYYY up on shore so they wouldn’t float away… they were loaded with all our gear and weighed a friggin ton. While carrying them, all I could think was ‘buy a friggin rope’ … achieves the same result; no floating away.

Stunning BC Coastal morningThis stunning view was mine the next morning, actually EVERY morning… the fog hung around alot, and was chilly in the morning but was very cool to kayak through during the day, well, until it was foggy and rainy for 2 days straight. But made for some interesting photo shots… again always looking for the silver lining.

AAhh campfire eggs benny... MmmEach morning we were also greeted with an amazing breakfast … we actually got Eggs Benny one day. How the heck do you make Eggs Benedict on a camp fire… these guys are miracle workers. Plus they also went the extra mile by always making everything look beautiful.
Monica usually had a lovely fruit platter all cut and adorned with greenery and/or florals.

I am super strong...When not kayaking thru the day, Peter would take us on nature hikes thru the woods. This is where I learned how to tell a Hemlock… limp top due to its below average sized pine cones and a cedar or spruce.  We also made our way to other shoreline campsites to meet other kayakers… 2 others groups were from England… WOW imagine coming all the way here just to go kayaking on the coast. COOL!

BCs Gorgeous WoodlandsI got some great shots in the woods but this is one of my favs… love it!! When taking pics anywhere… I try to remember on occasion to look up!!

So as I mentioned earlier it rained a fair amount while on this excursion, so I really embraced the layered look. I don’t usually do layers as I don’t like adding extra girth needlessly, since I do a great job on my own :) but here I am showing off my layers and enjoying a few rare moments of sun.

Layering

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting OrcaHere are a couple shots of some of the whales we saw… sadly a few times they would come in closer but I never had my camera ready since it was raining so much I didn’t have it out (since I am such a ‘nervous nelly’ about it getting wet)

Orca family with babeThis was a sweet family pod that visited us a few times… it was great this last time as we put the hydro phone in the water and could hear them ‘chatting’ with each other. It was super cool.

 

 

 

OrcaThis would’ve been an awesome day to have had my camera ready for as the whales were close to us… and would’ve been super close if we were in the kayaks but as you can see from the water; it was super choppy so we didn’t leave the shore. Plus it had been raining, so my big camera was in my tent.

Here are some random shots of everyday life…

CampFire MealsThis was the kitchen/eating set- up with Monica’s fruit plate, yummy oatmeal breakfast cake (yep didn’t get my pineapple upset down cake, but loved this one) and my steaming cup of tea. Without a Starbucks anywhere to be seen, I settled for a big cup of Tetley a couple times a day.

CampFire French Toast and BaconHahaha is it weird that I have this many food shots??…but it is my favourite part of most days.

But I was in a stunning part of our region so let’s finish up with a sunset shot … this was the view from my tent as the sun set each night. We would start ‘Happy Hour’ at 5p… where I discovered the joy of boxed wine, brie warmed on the open fire, sea salted whole nuts, green grapes and crackers…so yummy!!

Thx for checking in once again, All the Best, Carole

Night Night

Grizzlies, Eagles and Seals …oh my

My Grizzly Photo Safari started off with the same type of drama that seems to be my M.O. now a days. Missed the YVR shuttle because I stopped to get Starbucks in the AM, got dropped at the wrong terminal causing me to run full out to my gate, due to workload, stress & cost,I had to cut the days of the tour down from the original 7 to only 2 SO this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience quickly was becoming an adventure of nothing but stress & panic from hour one! uugghh

my view for the whole flightAfter finally arriving at the gate, and boarding in the nick of time, THIS was my view the entire time up to Prince Rupert. Yes she is cute, but can’t she feel my disdain for children…. and irritation with being disturbed. UUgghh!!

I then leave the small plane from YVR, board a smaller plane in Price Rupert and get on the boat that takes us up the coast in alignment with Alaska.  The boat was great with an upper deck with the ‘cockpit’…lack of knowledge for the real word… as well as loads of privacy… didn’t know I was supposed to be downstairs on the passenger level…oops! (they couldn’t have meant that rule from ME…could they??!!?)

But then, on the 2 hrs up the coast, I fell madly in love… no, not with some sexy captain, or even a rugged seaman on board or a foreign traveler to our lovely land but with this … ohhh man, isn’t it hot!??!!! Literally felt my heart go pitter patter…lol

MyDream LensThis sexy piece of Canon brilliant technology caught my eye early on and wouldn’t let up the whole trip. Finally I had to say something to the owner about my ‘equipment envy’… then because the universe was smiling on me today, he offered to let me use it and attach it to my own camera!! OMG… heavenly… and came home trying to justify this $12,000.oo purchase… hahaha

IMG_2484A_resizeAnd of course, the reason why I wanted to use that insane lens, was baby cub treasures like this lil one…

IMG_2445Claws_resizeHere’s another lil one making his way over a mossy log… the scenery was stellar but look at his claws – holy crapola

IMG_2571A_resizeThis was a momma bear who was letting her lil one know that he was getting too far away… yep, I wouldn’t argue with her either. He immediately came running back. This is my favorite thing to do while witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat… just sit back and watch them to their thing. In my opinion, the boat moved on too quickly from one group of duo of bears to another… I understand that that’s what people pay for …see lots of GRIZZLIES… but I, for one, would be sssoo content to just sit for a few mins with one group to watch behaviors, interactions, reactions, etc…

IMG_2605A_resizeHere is that same momma bear again, feeling much better about the situation clearly. But always keeping a motherly watch on him…

BTW this is sedge grass… total protein based… interesting I thought.

IMG_2688A_resizeSo as we were heading in, we passed this small island filled with sea lions… as the boat approached though all the seals darted into the water… this one and a smattering of others stayed behind, of which I was very grateful… look at those eyes!!

IMG_2742A_resizeOn the 2nd day, the boys do this bizarre cawing into a microphone and throw clams and raw chum-like stuff off the deck for the eagles… well, the eagles are totally game for this little show because man, did they perform. At one point, I counted 23 eagles circled, diving and battling… it was an awesome sight.

IMG_2780A_resizeThis is the fine line with photography… do I pull the lens back so I can get the whole bird with his full wing span or stay zoomed in so we can see some of the details… uugghh oohh the struggle…teeheehee

IMG_2791A_resizeI loved this guy, because you can tell he is solely focused on his mission of getting FOOD!!

Of course, there were a million more shots and think I posted most of them on Flickr but wanted to share a couple here too and tell you about the experience.

It was good for the most part, but definitely NOT enough time with the bears… think next time I will do one of the sleep over many night packages and also one with a view platform where I can sit for as long as I want. (Remember the watering hole in Africa, right outside my bedroom and how I spent the whole night out there watching… and watching and listening… it was MAGIC)
The boat was gorgeous and huge and the crew were amazing. I really appreciated the few little nature talks they did as well about the region and the bears themselves… that was interesting.
the food.. once again, I am choosing not to mention…lol

So that was my June adventure … can’t wait to spend time with the Orca whales next month.

Thx for checking in,
Hugs, Carole

 

 

 

 

March Madness in Seattle

SilksClassNow anyone that knows Doris, knows that mornings aren’t her favourite time of the day but my dear dear friend showed up at my place at 630am to pick me up for a promising girls weekend in Seattle. WOW you know you have a good friend when she would get up that early for you, scrap her windshield and drive out to Richmond… she is so sweet!!
I had even gone to ‘Bucks beforehand to grab us some beverages for the road because I had been up for hours at that point (lol) …sadly when juggling my suitcase, our lil cooler with lunch and treats, and a special bday gift to open on my actual birthday I dropped our drinks all over my lobby… gulp, oops!!! uugghh…

SilksClass_DorisOur first stop was to an Aerial Silks class @11am just beside SeaTac airport…where we were taught many tips and tricks on how to use the fabric strips hanging from the ceiling safely and properly. WOW, the instructor made it look so easy and so graceful… Dee and I …well, not so much but holy crow we had a ton of fun and were actually sweating after… it was an amazing workout. In the end, we couldn’t figure out if our ABS were hurting because of the movements or because we were laughing so hard… it was hilarious.

MarchSilksCaroleWe went on from the Aerial Class to Woodinville where they house the most bizarre set up of wine tasting rooms. It was a commercial group of buildings where they do the bottling and tastings. All the wineries represented do their growing elsewhere in the state but come together in this one central location on the weekends for the public to try their wines.

We visited at least 4 of the wineries for at least 5 tastings at each… so by the 2nd one we were finely toasted and having fun. We really enjoyed the Italian and the Spanish ones …but truly just about everything was yummy.

WodinvilleWinesThen we headed into downtown Seattle to stay at the W one night and the Sheraton for the other… both arranged and taken care of by my baby brother and his lovely wife.

Then the next day we headed off to Boeing Field for a Helicopter Lesson…. that’s right; I learned to fly a Helicopter….crazy right!!!

BdayPilotI met my instructor and had a one hour ground lesson where he went over all parts of the copter and what I could expect, how to course correct any problems and why a helicopter is different from plane…

CopterControlsThen we took off, which of course he did… then he gave me control… sadly every time I took over I kept taking us into a nose dive. He would even us out each time and then hand over control again. Each time I would freak out slightly…  imagine all of a sudden, being face down to the ground… a touch concerning LOL.

CopterInstructorThis is Brian… my instructor and savoir…literally :) He was so calm, cool and collected

FlyingHIgh(Look Ma, I am flying…) Think I will post a bunch of Copter Shoots on Flickr so will update here when done.

CocoaWest TrufflesIt was the most fun EVER… I loved it!!! and wanted to do it again and again… then Doris and I went and did some shopping, had dinner and enjoyed happy hour in the hotel. THEN later that night… well technically, early the next morning, after a fun ‘texting marathon’ with my new man, I was able to open another birthday gift… a box of my favourite truffles on the planet. They are only available at a specific chocolatier on Bowen Island where he had to psychically go visit to get for me… how amazingly sweet is that. Doris and I very much enjoyed them (yep, I did share) and were so moved by his actions. So amazingly thoughtful. (as a small side note, gotta say…this one is blowing my mind…hhhmmm)

March TreatsThen we got back to town late in the day, and when heading to work the next day, I was also moved by the kindness of my dear friend Rhonda when she arrived at the store (on her day off) with my most favourite cinnamon bun and a Starbucks card for my bday and another friend at the store brought me a HUGE chocolate almond croissant… i told you i was spoiled rotten.

MarchAnton'sIt was the most magical birthday EVER… on many many levels. Gorgeous eCard from my Dad, beautiful touching card (with alil American LOVE) from my Mommy, a fun and spirited meal with JillyBean and Shelley at Luke’s on Granville with plans for a great PaintNiteOut and fabulous dinner out with my family at my favourite italian restaurant on the planet, Anton’s. A whole month of favourites and a month of super special moments and memories. I could NOT have asked for anything more perfect.

Thank you all so much,

Carole

 

 

 

Merry Month of March continues…

Origami Surprise…the 16th brought more unexpected gifts of magic and sweetness… like an origami bird made by a dear friend’s newly acquired skill as well as a fun sleepover with J.

We went to Watermania for a couple hours of wave fun (oohh, and I caught a lung infection from an unknown inhalant… bizarre, but true… and was put on an inhaler for 2 weeks) then we had quite a humorous discussion about dinner as we left. J seemed to feel that White Spot was the only option, til I spent some time discussing the accolades of Ricky’s and their grilled Cheese with Bacon and fries and gravy… which I had been craving for a number of hours… to which J announced; in his driest a-matter-of-fact tone… “Ya Ricky’s… not gonna happen”… OMG I almost peed my pants… he is 6 yrs old, where does he get this bravado from; let alone the terminology…
PhotoBombHowever as much as I enjoy this energy, this strength within him to voice his opinion… he quickly learned that when his Auntie has a craving and more importantly, the one with the wallet… he will go where she wishes… which he happily went along with without any fuss or muss.

Then when trying to capture this memory and photo of the moment, he once again showed all HIS SIX YR moxie and photo bombed my photo by licking my ear… uugghhh, whatever will I do with him…. except laugh regularly and love him unconditionally :)

(also we had a great time at the office the next day when J once again shocked me… it was the first time since his arrival he had ‘ a plan’ for photo shoot.
On his previous visit, I showed him some shots I got of him playing hockey and when the puck would hit him and the funny faces he would make… well, he decided that he wanted LOTS of pictures of his ACTION SHOTS …and here is the gallery of images at Flickr… NNNOOOO there is no theatrical drama in his future at all…

AfricanRingsThen I rec’d the most amazing gift for my birthday …the most special napkin rings that scream of ME. 6 handcrafted African animals that look perfect on my table. I LOVE them. Then D and I spent the weekend in Seattle for a ton of birthday fun!!

March was Marvelous…

…as only March can be!! WOW it was a jammed packed month and I am tickled to be able to share bits n pieces of it with you.

MarchGastroTourThe month started off with a fabulous gift from a friend… a GastroPhoto Tour… what the heck, right??? It was a Photo Walk with a professional photographer down Main St to a few different bistros and 2 bakeries while getting tips and tricks on taking food photos.

I decided to use my BlackBerry thru the tour because taking pics with my DSLR is never an issue.  Since most of the time when I am out and want to grab a pic of our dinner or some appies, I only have my BB with me and thought she might have some good smartphone tips…. WELL>>> that wasn’t technically the case.

Sadly it was pissing rain, so walking to each venue was irritating, I was the only one wanting to use my phone so all the hints about depth of field etc were wasted and then she started giving us help on staging… BUT the food arrives at your table PRE-STAGED… and because I only eat HOT food, I had no desire to rearrange it so I could take a photo.

MarchCupcakesSo even though it was fun sending an afternoon with fellow camera enthusiasts and see a few different restaurants on Main St that I had never been too… and was an incredibly thoughtful and brilliant gift… as usual as i hoped it would be more.

Then Linda stopped by the office one day and brought me my favourite cupcakes for an early bday surprise… so thoughtful and so friggin yummy.

I LOVE RED VELVET cupcakes… but wow its amazing how different they are at each bakery.  Its a very distinct flavouring…not like chocolate or vanilla… very specific and so flippin good!!

LegoGirlWhistlerThen Chadley (Chad T…from way way back) and I (oohh, and his new girlfriend) went up to Whistler to go Skeleton Sledding at the Olympic Sliding Center. We spent a couple hours before taking photos and watching the bobsledding… they go ridiculously fast so snapping a photo was really really hard… but HA… I got a few!!!

(Also recently I saw the cutest photo of a Mini Lego figurine with a camera taking a photo in London on Pinterest… and had the best idea… what if I take my lil Lego Girl with me on all my adventures and get photos of her everywhere… so this is the 1st shot of her at Whistler)

MarchBobsleddingThe sliding experience itself was super fun… like amazing fun… but then I got to the bottom (,made the rookie mistake of relaxing) and ping pong’d off the wall and as many of you know, this gave me a concussion and made me nauseous for the rest of the day.  However Chad and Barb stayed with me, drove me around til I was feeling a touch better… even though I JUST WANTED to go home… then it hit me, that when my tummy gets upset, my Mom would get me some GingerAle and saltines so we stopped at the closest pub on such a hunt … miracle of miracles… they helped tremendously!!

MarchMagicAnd this was just the first 2 weeks… including some very special MAGIC… the rest to follow soon…

The Season of Aries begins…

2013 Birthday Shot

2013 Birthday Shot

OK I know a ton of people think astrology is full of ca-ca… but I, for one, have always been a full-fledged Arian… everything you read… I mean, everything I read has always been 100% bag on for my personality, my thought process and my feelings.

I remember once meeting a guy at SandBar for the first time years ago and he asked me my sign… initially, I thought…wow, weak line buddy… but I was happy and proud to play along… so said “Aries”… swear to god, you would have thought I said “Serial Killer or Child Molester”  The guy sort of jumped back and grabbed his drink while declaring “Oh, we will never get along. I have never been able to tolerate an Aries”

To which I RESPONDED … of course, without batting an eye… “Well, it does take a real man to do it… so maybe when you grow a pair you can try again” then I walked away. UUGGH, can you imagine being so caught up in the theory of it all that you are willing to dismiss an entire group of people because of their birthday dates. Friggin nuts!! …and yes, very very weak!!

But I digress and now back to me…lol…  actually to my sign and some fun tweets recently from @AllAboutAries that I find to be so perfectly stated that I HAD to share.

#Arians are ambitious, with lots of drive and a strong will to lead. They are poor followers.
(sheepishly grinning, yep, not a great follower)

Although an #Aries appetite is lusty and they radiate sensuality, at the end of the day, they just want that special someone who truly gets them.
(aaahh we do love to just cuddle too…lol)

#Aries spend about 70% of their time replaying memories and creating scenarios of perfect moments.
(WOW I thought it was more than 70%… but YEP, I am all about the moments)

Sometimes when #Aries pushes you away, they are really fighting for you to pull them closer. Don’t let them go.
(it’s pathetic but oh so true)

The typical #Aries will dine with beggars and kings with equal ease and genuine affection.
(super-duper true)

#Aries don’t mean to be offensive; it just happens that way sometimes.
(oops…)

No matter how tame an #Aries may seem at first, there’s a bit of the brawler and street-fighter in every one.
( beg your pardon…hhmm, well ok…lol)

An #Aries woman is very assertive and because of this needs a “real man”.
(see; told you)

Let an #Aries know that you love their zest for life and that you find them intriguing.
(yep we like this word…lol)

#Aries always know what they’re doing. They’ve all got a game plan.
(always… you got have a plan)

#Aries Opposites You’re Attracted To: Libra, Scorpio
(Hhmm)

#Aries don’t care if they fit in or not, they just like to be themselves.
(100%…take it or leave it…makes me difference to me)

BUT this has to be my favourite – 

#Aries are in incredibly fast at getting angry. Please don’t get them started. Just stop talking before shit goes down.

So that’s my little homage to the beginning of Arian Season (March 21-April 19th)…

What’s your sign and do you fit the ‘stereo type’ of it like a glove?? I know Doris is a pretty perfect Scorpio, my Mom is a very fitting example of a Taurus, Jill, I believe, is a Gemini and although you are supposed to get along with one side more than the other – I treasure both sides of her :)

Thanks for checking in,

Big HUGS, Carole

Currently – March 1st

As of March 1st 2014… currently I am…

NYPD RedReading – NYPD Red; James Patterson… not great, alil disappointing… need a new D. Balducci but have already ready his 2 latest. Also revisiting Daring Greatly by Brene Brown before the class starts this month; and an old book from Doris

Listening to  – Country Hits 2014- couple great songs  – like Highway Don’t Care and Hey, Pretty Girl …over and over with the rest being just OK; my favourite podcasts i.e. Paperclipping, Daily Digi and Candid Photographer

Watching  – well, its 3am so I am watching my PVRd shows – right now, the new Survivor series

Feeling – super excited about the month’s plans, thrilled to be turning 46, alil bit of (good) apprehension about a recent bump in the road, forever hopeful and always so very GRATEFUL

Eating – Banana Protein Shake…great for a quick meal

Thinking – about tonight’s dinner…should I have cleaned up more… and/or prepped more…hhmm, and my 3 days off and everything I will get to complete …but also that today will be fun at work… i hope! Yesterday was a touch blah for me …but drama all round…

BrushScript SamplesStarting – to go thru the Brush Script class that I was supposes to start Feb 1st… which just didn’t happen (too busy). Excited to try this technique on Sunday  – it’s a HUGE trend right now in paper crafting as well as home decor

Finishing  – my 2013 digi-life album… maybe if i get another photo album I will feel more inspired… right now, not so much…so it may sit incomplete a wee bit longer

Tweeting – about our Gold medals last week and the VBOT events this week… Thursday nights event was amazing!! Not so much tweeting this week…

Wearing – my new navy blue nightie… it was supposed to be saved for Italy, but it’s so soft and was freshly washed so… well, it was somewhat inevitable…

Excited about – Dina Wakely’s Art Journalling class in June; I originally thought it would conflict with the bear safari BUT it’s actually on the day I get home… see the universe taking care of me yet again!! (she never ceases to amaze me)

What’s currently going on with you

Thanks tons for checking in,
Big hugs, Carole

 

 

February Recap

(first off, I know my January recap hasn’t been posted yet… but it was one of the best ever and jam packed…so I am still working on it)

Not gonna lie – February has been AWESOME!! Filled with fun, friends, new experiences, loads of possibilities and super excited to be finally getting a grasp of working so much at the store while trying to keep my own world turning smoothly… or smoothly-ish!! I may almost have it down to a system… and we know how I like my systems :)

StormyPtRobertsI found myself at the beginning of the month, trapped in Pt Roberts for 1.5hrs forced to kill time… after becoming irritated with this interruption to my schedule… i realized it was a gorgeous day, and I had my camera with me so quickly changed my attitude and really enjoyed my afternoon creating my own little photo-walk.

PaintTexturePtRoberts is pretty rustic so I decided to go on a hunt for TEXTURE… I found a ton of rust and peeling paint samples once I left the beach and I ended up being down there for 3 hrs… ridiculously fabulous spontaneous fun all by myself!!!

RustTextureGot a bunch of different rusts… this one is a touch dark but will still play with it.

PaintNite VancouverThen the next week, D and I checked out one of the PaintNite’s held in a local pub… it was a ton of fun. The instructor Steph was super bubbly…and not in the annoying way… just lots of energy and passion for her craft. D splurged on some amazing wine that we both agreed went down way too quickly so we didn’t pay a ton of attn on the painting and it was pretty dark in room so painting and colour matching was really difficult.

The floral above was my creation from the night and here we are full way thru having fun… shocker, I know!!

PaintNiteVancouverThen I had the joy of FINALLY visiting a practice session with her band. They have her singing heavier (metal) stuff than what usually shows off her vocals but as suspected she was incredible even at that… plus it’s all original tunes. She amazed me.

Then of course, there was Valentine’s Week, knowing that I was working a full one at the store, I didn’t advertise the season at all but still had a few great sweet and loving orders…. even from the icky guy that sent 3 of the same gifts to 3 different women all signed “from your special Valentine” ….yuck!! Oh well, I try not to judge… OH LORD who are we kidding, you KNOW I was totally judging!!!
It also ended up being a really perfect day for me personally… which was a pleasant surprise since my initial plans were all cancelled; but I couldn’t have been tickled or happier with the end result :)

WineTastingAt the beginning of this week, we attended a Rodney Strong Winemaker Dinner at Luke’s on GranvilleSt. I hoped it was gonna be good but it was off the chart AWESOME!! the wine was RIDICULOUSLY fabulous… and the pairings were spot on… well done Chef Jessie. We will definitely be back!! And the rep from Marc Anthony was actually monitoring social media thru the evening’s event and awarded us that gorgeous photo coffee table book of the Sonoma Valley where RS Vineyards is located, because of the tweeting we were doing during the courses (some of the pics above were some I posted in my tweets.) Can you say ROAD TRIP!??! I love that stuff like that always happens to us.

ConferenceGiftsFor the rest of this week, I had to have my head down and spent 3 solid days at the office to complete my large conference order which I was blessed to receive again this year.
(Plus had to facilitate at the Board’s Roundtable again this month… so that  was a blast as always… got some really sweet comments after too, which is always so kind)

So yes, I know there is still a week left in February but must say, this month ROCKED… and will be hard to beat… but guess what, MARCH is next month and since we ALL know it is officially the best month is the whole friggin year and always promises to be filled with nothing less than pure bliss… I can’t friggin wait to bring it on!!!!! Wait til u hear all about it… you will die, I tell ya… just die with all the unique and wonderful crap going on!!! lol

Thx tons for checking in on me and my lil life, hope your February rocked too!!
Tons and tons of Hugs and Kisses,

Carole

Recap of January … WOW and it’s all gone…

(this recap was posted in March but created in January for the most part… be prepared…its long)

So January in my lil world was a whirl wind, as hard as I tried to maintain my regular schedule of LIFE… it sssooooo didn’t happen.

This working 2 jobs (both full time, right now… uugghh) BLOWS… not just sucks but friggin BLOWS!! I had to cancel (or reschedule) a couple nights out with friends due to exhaustion… I even tried to convince Julian that sitting in my office talking one afternoon was more fun than our usual hockey game in the hall (he wasn’t buying it) because I had just worked 5 days straight at the store and was again, exhausted… plus I had done NOTHING towards my new 2014 goal of working out more (or at least some… which, of course, would be MORE) ….but to date, nothing…uugghh

HOWEVER>>> a wee little bit of fun was still had by yours truly… so here’s a small recap of a couple adventures.

Healthy Movie BsktsMy first week of working 5 FULL days this January ‘almost’ cost me a very large order. I was beside myself with angst over the thought of it … hhmm, well that sounds better than what was actually going on… I was fuming mad and in my mind, I wasn’t gonna lose it.

So I busted my a$$ to get it done as I promised… and started delivering at 7pm to the hotels and private residences and didn’t finish until approx 930p… BUT most importantly, I got ‘er done!! 18 health conscious baskets found homes :)

GrouseMtnAgain some fun times were had after this drama… Tracy and I headed up Grouse Mtn for DineOut Vancouver for snowshoeing and fondue. There was a great guided hike with tons of great info… about the Mtn, its flora and fauna as well as its wildlife. Then we went on to the observatory where they had a lovely spread set up at each table incl cheese fondue and an assortment of breads, chicken as well as vegetable stock with a huge selection of proteins and veggies then after you are overly stuffed they brought out the chocolate fondue with cookies and cakes… just heavenly.

GrouseMtnDineOut

BearTourPLUS I started getting lil signs that this might be the year for the Grizzly Bear Photo safari… like 2 of my reg photo mags had articles on them, I rec’d an email from a friend asking if I’d be interested in taking one with him, and more so I took the plunge and booked it. Because you know me, always gotta follow the signs…

Also did some shopping down south, and truly went with the intent of NOT buying black or grey… well, clearly THAT didn’t happen  :)

Black n Grey

DonnaandMeThen had one of the best weekends ever… it was spend with the one and only Donna Downey… the brilliant, hilarious, infamous multi-media artist extraordinaire and all round friggin awesome person!! We hit it off immediately since we met prior to class starting… then I met her hubby Bill, whom I also fell in love with. What a dynamic amazing and insanely fun couple!!

Donna and BillWe learned really fun and very useful techniques… she is brilliant at explaining what medium goes with what and what just doesn’t … yep that’s a toilet paper roll in the corner. She encouraged us to just PLAY… even though I am more of a rules girl…Do this, and Do that then THIS happens… but D says just throw it on the page and see what happens… scared the crap out of me :)

PlayingwithPaintThis is the journal (below) she had us make from scratch… made from a  cardboard box…I was so excited with how it started to turn out …

My 2014 Journal Of course, I also had her sign my art smock.. the only other instructor I have let sign my shirt is Dina Wakely so this was very fitting.  Actually its super cute because she asked who the other autograph was from … I said Dina… she giggled and said ‘Oh perfect’… my thoughts exactly, since we knew that I didn’t ask a few instructors to sign it…teeheehee, such an elitest!! lol

Shirt SigningIt really is a crap-shoot when meeting an idol.. whether it’s an artist, an author, a business professional or celebrity… there is a chance you will be disappointed when you get to know THEM vs the person you have created in your head.

DDweekendBut nothing about Donna Downey disappointed, she was everything I KNEW and HOPED she would be!!

Hugging BearsThen D and I headed to Whistler for an incredible weekend filled with boys, wine and fun!! Yep pretty sums it up… with of course, an agreement that we will do it all again next yr without my commitment to work at 6am the next morning… uuggh that was rough!

WineOfferingsThen Doris very sweetly drove me out the Eagle Sanctuary so I could get some photos …sadly, we didn’t see any eagles close enough or worth grabbing since I didn’t have my big zoom but it was still a great drive with lovely scenery and, of course, perfect company.
During the Whistler weekend, I was a touch ‘pre occupied’ with a couple things at home but Doris was so perfect in understanding and being the best possible sounding board and voice of reason!! Thx D!!

So even though the month started with some great drama… it actually got loads better and I ended the month with a twinkle in my eye.
Here is my scrapbook layout of recap: 

Jan2014Recap

Thanks for checking in,
Hugs, Carole

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