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IMAGINE 2016

February 25, 2016

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Next weekend, March 5th I am honoured to be a part of the IMAGINE, a fundraising event put on by SHARE Family and Community Services Society. I will be a guest judge for their main fundraising event, a cooking challenge – my favourite! I will be taking part in judging the Best Sweet and Savoury categories from 8 local restaurants and caterers. The Hamper Challenge is a Master-Chef inspired competition, where locals chefs will be paired with mayors to create a two-course meal from the contents of a SHARE food hamper. If you’ve ever watched Master-Chef on TV, you’ll love this event. One of the challenges real families face when receiving food hampers is making nutritious meals out of the typical hamper items. 

The Food Bank receives no government funding, and relies on the generosity of the community to support them, and those living in their community that use their service. Last year, SHARE distributed close to 19,000 food bank hampers and 650,000 pounds of food with a retail value of more than $1.6 million.

For many of us we are fortunate enough to not need the assistance from others, but there are many families that rely on the Food Bank to help them. A staggering 35%  of SHARE Food Bank users are under the age of 19 – It’s hard to imagine young children and youth without enough food to eat, but it’s easy to help.

As a teacher, I’ve taught in many schools and seen many families on food programs. These only help students at school, however, not at home. I can’t help but think about those weeks or months when school isn’t in session and if they are receiving enough food. Thanks to Food Banks, there are options to help those families when they need it.

IMAGINE also supports youth with developmental delays and disabilities, which is so important in our schools. This is just one of the great things they do.

 

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The event takes place at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Theatre in Coquitlam on March 5, at 7:00pm. It’s sure to be an evening filled with delicious creative food, live entertainment, prizes, live and silent auctions, an after party, dancing and more! 

Tickets are $85 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit sharesociety.ca/imagine or call 604-529-5105.

Want to WIN tickets to the Event? Thanks to SHARE, I am giving away TWO tickets to the event! 

Simply Comment Below telling me what items you think are most important to include in a Food Hamper. The tickets will be available at will call on March 5.

Winner will be chosen February 29th and announced March 1st.

If you can’t attend, but still want to support IMAGINE 2016, you can donate online.

Life

Happy Birthday, Lainey.

May 8, 2014

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Today is a very important day – It is Lainey’s 10th birthday.

10 years ago my mom made a decision that would bring little Lainey into our lives forever. 

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I wrote about how we got Lainey here (2012) and here (2013). We actually knew when she was born, she was our neighbours litter. However, we wouldn’t have her as part of our own family until a month later. She was brought to us in a time of need and has helped more than she could ever know. I will always remember that summer morning I woke up surrounded by family, a little ball of white and brown fur walking up over my bed towards me and snuggling into my face. 

My mom jokes that Lainey is my shadow – wherever I go, she goes. From the moment I wake up, until the minute we go to bed (together, under the covers of course) she is by my side.

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We have three floors in our house, and if I go from upstairs to downstairs or leave a room where she is, she will follow. She will run up and down the stairs all day. Even if I leave the room for only a minute to put something away or get something, up she’ll get from her warm comfy spot on the couch, blanket, or pillow and come to see where I am – usually cocking her head to the side as if to say  “what’s up?” I try to tell her, as if she understands, to “stay here” but she always follows.

 Although, I believe she understands lots of things I say 😉 At least she knows walk, bone, hungry, food, bedtime, up and at ’em, lets go. Everything but stay I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 

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Lainey is my shadow, she’s walked by my side through the bright times, and the not so bright times. It’s really hard to believe that she is 10 years old – she is still so much like a puppy to me. Everyone always thinks she is a puppy because she is still so small. She loves children, and they always think she is a puppy when they see her. 

Lainey is the most spoiled, lucky dog as we say. My mom would love to help all of the dogs in the world, but she always says if she can’t help them all she will just love the one she has. So, Lainey has a pretty good life. And really, that’s all a dog can do – is ask to be loved, and taken care of. 

A good long walk, new toy and bone are always good every now and then too. Plus endless cuddles, nap laps and head pats. A nice big comfy queen sized bed will also do for a dog bed. She really does take over a large portion of the bed for such a small dog. 

We always include Lainey in all of our family photographs, holidays, birthdays – because she is, part of the family. 

I had to laugh when I was at work the other day in a Kindergarten class, because of the book a student was reading. It was as if someone was writing about Lainey (which I would love to do).

This is Lainey to a point:

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Lainey is also always up for a good Cheez-It.

IMG_5505IMG_5507It’s her birthday – she gets what she wants. 

 

 

Life

When your significant other works out of town

April 19, 2014

1509895_10152127727125482_1718379005_n weddingsasIMG_6552.JPGAs I mentioned Adam is now working out of town – meaning he actually lives somewhere else for longer than he lives at our house now. He works out of town for two weeks, 14 days of work without a break, and then gets to come home for one week off. He only began this new job in February (right after Valentine’s Day) and we’re slowly getting used to the routine. 

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At first it was exciting – after living together for 4 years it was definitely a change to get used to and exciting when we get to see each other again after two weeks apart. And now the reality of “this is going to be our life” for the next year to two years (possibly) is settling in.

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We’ve always had a great relationship, of course an argument (ahem) here and there (where i’m always right of course 😉 ) but nothing major obviously – but when you are used to being with someone all the time, day in and day out for such a long period of time, being away from that person for any length of time is strange to think about. We were pretty certain we could do it (no turning back now!) since we both trust each other, are settled into our lives together (we’re engaged!) and had already lived together for four years we thought we would definitely be able to make it through a couple weeks apart. 

Well – that’s all easier said than done even with the most confident of couples. You see, the thing about ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is incredibly painfully true – unfortunately.

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This makes the time spent together even more special, which in tuurrrnnn makes saying goodbye after a week together for two more weeks apart more difficult with each turnaround (our new terminology for our living situation). Because the more time we spend apart makes us appreciate the time together all the more, which makes saying goodbye each time more and more difficult as time goes on – or so I’m hypothesizing. We’re also planning a wedding while Adam is out of town – which is a whole other hurdle in itself. 

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There are times like this weekend (Easter weekend) that I’m happy the long weekend is filled with activities like birthday parties and family dinners to keep you occupied. Other times the nights drag on, weekends are boring (sometimes) and you find yourself having a glass of wine and charcuterie for one while watching Gravity with your dog on the couch on a saturday night. 

At the honeymoon stage of our new situation – the first turnaround – things like this Buzz Feed article about 26 things the happen when your significant other is out of town were hilarious – and awkwardly true. We joked about how they actually happen, and now with a few months under our belt of our new long-distance relationship I thought I’d make up my own list of things that happen when your fiancé (or gf/bf) is out of town.

If you’re in a long distance relationship, or dating someone in the military (much longer time apart than 2 weeks no doubt) or significant other is always out of town you might relate to some of these – feel free to add some more in the comments!

1. You can’t watch the next episode of your favourite show because its tradition to watch it together 

true. Mad Men, New Girl and Brooklyn Nine Nine cannot wait for two weeks before watching said episodes. Sorry Adam.

2. At first, you get unreasonably excited about all the extra space in your bed. Then you end up investing money in a pillow for cuddling

Fact: Adam bought me a body pillow to cuddle while he’s away, but it ended up freaking me out more than anything. Maybe because he put a t-shirt over it and I kept forgetting it was there then startled myself whenever i walked in the bedroom. 

pro bed to yourself. con you have to go to bed alone every night, except for when theres a little dog to cuddle.

3. If your significant other is far enough away you get really good at doing time difference math. 

well not really, it’s only an hour difference but changes to 2 hours in the fall – but it does make it annoying for breaks/phone calls. Plus Adam’s working a night shift so he’s sleeping when I’m awake and I’m sleeping when he’s awake. Another bummer. 

4. When you have a bad day, you have no idea what to do with yourself

yup. venting to the dog is not nearly as satisfying as screaming/yelling to a real human who can talk back and carry on a conversation. With Adams work schedule I also can’t talk to him until his break, which is at 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm – making it difficult to call them when you’re frustrated about something during the time I can’t actually talk to him. Annoying. 

5. You have leftover food because you’re used to making enough for two people

now this is true. I made too much food for two people as it was, but now cooking for 1 is almost pointless. Sometimes I can’t be bothered and end up eating oatmeal, cereal or scrambled eggs on rotation. 

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Not all meals can look like this one – more like leftovers/bowl of cereal.

6. You and your S.O are texting a lot more than you usually do, but literally about nothing.

so true – case in point:

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including sending each other random selfies

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also note the facial hair + hair growth in general. Adam’s decided he won’t be cutting his hair / shaving his beard while working.. yay me. (to be honest I actually like it :S )

7. You realize all the teeny tiny everyday things you’re dependent on your S.O. for and appreciate them tenfold. 

things i miss: someone to do dishes after I cook, taking out the garbage (I’ve missed a couple pick-ups…), unloading the dishwasher and taking the dog out a 10 pm. Oh – and turning off the light once we’re in bed – the light switch is on his side of the bed and I just can’t sleep on his side even if he’s not here – doesn’t feel comfortable. 

8. You finally learn how to turn on the BBQ

I can now grill my own chicken/steak without being afraid that it will blow up (anyone else have this fear?)

9. You make a pledge to work out a lot more, and read more 

true on both accounts – so far…

 

Are you in a long distance relationship?? are you the one out of town or the other? What things do you do ???