Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Vancouver Mural Festival 2020 Spreads the Message of Unity and Physical Distancing

Artist: Benjamin T. Stone
I finally had a chance to head by Robson Street to check out all the murals for Vancouver Mural Fest 2020. Glad that I did because the next morning, crews had started dismantling the storefront covers in preparation for the reopening. In my opinion, Vancouver is lifting its social distancing measures in a haste. Vancouverites have already been the mockery of Canada for flaunting their freedom by flocking in troves to beaches and parks. With only warmer and nicer days ahead, I can only imagine the crowds that will be forming along Robson Street. I digress. 

I must say, the 2020 murals are by far my favourite. I love the colour choices and the collective message of strength and unity. This is why I am extremely bummed that these murals are not going to be permanent fixtures in Vancouver. I feel like a lot of the murals from years prior are too "graffiti" in style for me or strongly connected to Native American Art which I also do not relate with. This year's pieces we can all relate to and understand! 

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Celebrate Mother's Day From a Distance with these Last Minute Vancouver Gifts

Mum's do a lot for us and they deserve to be celebrated and a single day in the year does not sum up how much they mean to us. Given the current state of the world and the restrictions in place in my own hometown - Vancouver, we need to celebrate our amazing mothers from a distance. I am lucky enough to live at home with my mum, so I will be spending Sunday, May 10th, annoying my mum with all my love hahaha. 

Most gifts are completely off the table because boutiques, malls and shops, for the most part, are closed. I tried to look for Vancouver-based local gifts for mother's day. This is also a great way to support local businesses and makers. The best places to look for a gift for your mum would be at local grocer-cafes, florists and patisseries. 

Saturday, 2 May 2020

The French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake is Simply Delicious

I have been on a mission to find a cake recipe that is not only easy and quick to make but also delivers on flavour while remaining deliciously moist. After countless hours of research - yay for Google! - I came across The French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake. This lemon yogurt cake stands apart from others with its simplistic method and soft moist crumb. 

You might be wondering why it is called the "French grandmother's" lemon yogurt cake. the story goes that Grandmother's in France added yogurt to their cakes for added moisture and then measured their remaining cake ingredients with the glass yogurt jar. Unlike North America, yogurt in France is sold in adorable little glass pots. The yogurt is cultured in the little glass jars that they are sold in. Each little yogurt class jar is approximately 1/2 Cup in measurement. So one jar of yogurt, two jars of sugar, 3 jars of flour, 1 jar of oil etc! 

Monday, 27 April 2020

Hidden Neighbourhood Gem: The Federal Store Luncheonette & Cafe

When it comes to hidden gems, neighbourhood cafe-grocers are at the top of my list. These little establishments are so much more than a place to grab some pantry staples or a quick bite to eat. Nestled between some of Vancouver's most beautiful early 1900s homes, The Federal Store Luncheonette & Grocer has helped foster a sense of community, inadvertently uniting the neighbourhood. 

The Federal Store is definitely a special place and can be found at the corner of Quebec Street and 10th Avenue. Despite being only a block away from the chaos of West Broadway and Main Street, the atmosphere surrounding The Federal Store is calm and tranquil. On any given sunny day, you will find patrons chatting away happily inside as well as at the tables and lawn out front. It is honestly nice to get away from the big city noise and linger around at the Federal Store and basking in the warmth of the sun. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Spreading Support and Positivity for Healthcare Workers through balloons

I work at one of the busiest hospitals in BC and my windowless office is hidden in the subbasement of the building. Needless to say, I do not get any sunshine nor much foot traffic. I also begin work at 6AM aka when everyone is sleeping. So I arrive at work when it is pitch black out and do not see daylight until 2 in the afternoon. 

Last week, I walked out of work to a delightful sight. A local business had donated two massive balloon arrangements with words of encouragement and overall positivity during these uncertain scary times. I could not help but smile because the balloons were bright happy shades of colour and mixed in were some cute accent balloons like the rainbows with smiling clouds. Nestled amongst the balloons were beautiful messages done in gorgeous lettering. I wish my writing was that pretty! Seriously great penmanship. 

Friday, 10 April 2020

My Go To Skincare For Average Skin with Mild Acne

Problematic skin seems like the bane of all our lives, but it is what it is. I had my fair share of acne. I recall waking up to a new angry pimple nearly every morning in high school. The worst part was how big, red and painful my acne was. Despite acne wreaking havoc on my skin throughout my adolescent years, I know only get the occasional angry pimple. For the most part, I get a few little bumps here and there and some redness. 

I have tried a whole slew of acne-targeted products. The over-the-counter topicals and creams to the fancy facial washes and serums. Heck fun fact, I even took a year of antibiotics, Minocycline, but decided to go off of them because I wanted to reduce the amount of medication I was putting into my body. 

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Rediscovering my love of Board Games and SCRABBLE

Who remembers weekend afternoons playing board games with your siblings, cousins and friends? Growing up, my family and I loved to play board games because believe it or not, in the '90s there was no wifi or internet at home and we only had basic cable. No on-demand movies or tv shows or endless world wide web entertainment. What we did have was each other and board games! 

The first couple of days of the Government mandated physical distancing and isolation was wicked because it felt like I was on Spring Break. Hangout at home in my comfy leggings and sweatshirts. Not being nagged by my parents for being lazy and cooped up at home was wicked! But there is only so much TV and mindless web surfing that can fill your days. After the initial excitement wore off of getting to kick back, relax and watch all the TV I wanted, my brain began to feel like mush. I basically turned into a zombie laying on the couch passively watching the Next Great Spring Baker on loop. 

I need stimulation, I need excitement, I need to be challenged! This is when I rediscovered my love of board games! When I was younger, I preferred Monopoly, LIFE and SORRY! Monopoly is still lots of fun, but definitely requires four players for a decent game pace. I only have my Mum to play with me, so SCRABBLE has been the winner for us!