Have a very Etsy Christmas…

I’m a Christmas junky, and proud of it! I’ve been pouring over the magical Christmas kingdom of Etsyland this morning, and I want to share my findings! (Someone really should confiscate my computer) I’m blown away by all the Christmas goodness out there…

I just adore this crocheted-star garland from Namolio

christmasbunting

 

Who can resist a vintage stamp with their name on it for stamping gift cards? Not me…so I ordered it from ISpyVintage

vintagestamp

 

These mini branch pencil crayons by INKKIT are just flat-out COOL.

christmasgift

 

If I had my act together, I’d wrap gifts in kraft paper and ribbon with these exquisite gift tags by Indelible Impressions

christmastags

 

I’m a sucker for anything blue and turquoise and vintage and glass and Christmas ball, like these mercury glass ornaments from Bohemian Lil.

vintagechristmasballs

Sunshine Award Goodness…

‘Tis the season for awards! Yay. I was nominated for the Sunshine Blog Award, which is given to bloggers who are inspirational or positively creative. Wow! I’ll take it 🙂 Sending lots of love to Diary of a House Elf for the nomination. She’s an original thinker and hilarious story teller. Keep your words flowing sister blogger girl!!!

So now it’s my turn to spread a little Sunshine, which is laughable given the wet, grey state of affairs on the weather front here in Ocean Park, BC. Let’s just say, it ain’t no Mexico around here…sigh.

To accept this award, I get to:

  1. Blog a post linking back to the person/blog who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions below, and
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers and notify them of the award.

So here goes…

  1. Who is your favourite philosopher?…………Jalaluddin Rumi, who was a persian poet and mystic the 13th Century. He was a follower of the Sufi philosophy and his words are meant to help us live a meaningful life.
  2. What is your favourite number?………….I think it’s kinda silly to play number favourites.
  3. What is your favourite animal?………….I used to dislike dogs (I was scared), but now I love them. I also love the little birds who live in my back yard. I adore horses. I’m afraid of cows–don’t ask. Snakes are just not necessary AT ALL. Who doesn’t smile when they see a bunny?!
  4. What are your Facebook and Twitter links?………in another life I was Nicole Jane Home. Now I’m CoffeeandCouch……@coffeeandcouch
  5. What is your favourite time of day?………..late afternoon…especially on Saturdays with a vodka martini in hand.
  6. What is your favourite holiday?………..I’m ridiculously addicted to the spirit of Christmas….I can hear the bell ring….I still believe
  7. What is your favourite physical activity?…………I get such a high from the freedom that skiing gives me.
  8. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?…………Skinny eggnog lattes….hands-down….’cause they make me feel Christmasy.
  9. What is your favourite flower?………..White orchids and white lillies.
  10. What is your passion?…………..My lovely husband and children, my extended family, my friends. Then there’s photography, painting, cooking, decorating, talking…and on and on. I can tell you what my passion is not….IRONING anything.

Now comes the really fun part…I get to nominate 10 other blogs that I love, for their inspiration and creativity. I encourage you to visit their sites too.

1.  Colored Brush….a gifted painter, who always makes me want to paint more. Definitely inspirational.

2. Grillfusion….Heather & Al’s blog is a wonderful ecclectic mix of photography, design, art, BBQ, wine…all the good things in life.

2. Oh Happy Day….If you love to hold parties and get misty-eyed just thinking of spending time on pretty lifestyle blogs, then you’ll LOVE Jordan’s blog. It’s full of DIY party ideas, photography, design, lifestyle…good stuff.

4. Geninne’s Art Blog…a gorgeous collection of arts and crafts. It makes me want to get out my pencil crayons and paper!

5.  Click It Up A Notch…a great resource for photography lovers. Definitely inspirational for my photography.

6. Birch & Bird…a wonderland of creative and beautiful vintagey wonderfulness.

7. Tracey Ayton Photography…I LOVE Tracey’s photographs. She is a really talented local photographer who is regularly featured in shelter magazines. I often look at her photos for inspiration to help make mine better.

8. The Design Pages…an endless source of creativity and inspiration. She always has new DIY projects on the go…I don’t know where on earth she gets her energy, but she’s got loads of it!

9. Moth Design….Erica is a talented Canadian design blogger. I had so much fun chatting with her at an event for the Canadian Design & Lifestyle Bloggers West last year in Vancouver. Her blog is full of design gorgeousness.

10. Hodge:podge…..Barbara’s blog is a Canadian design afficionado’s paradise. She puts the spotlight on the Canadian design scene through her prolific interviews with Canadian designers.

Wow, now I just want to spend the rest of the day reading all these wonderful blogs!!! Think I will…where’s my martini?

 

Granville Island Afterthought…

My Friday fieldtrip included a bit of an afterthought visit to Vancouver’s wonderful Granville Island. It’s a place that always makes me happy. It’s buzzing with creativity, colour, smells, sounds…what’s not to love?! If all else fails, you can always rely on a good time here.

Doesn’t hurt that I can ALWAYS find a new shot at the Island. These peonies were tightly closed when we first got there. By the time we finished lunch and walked back through the market, they were all gloriously open!

The lighting sucks in the market, and it’s not a place conducive to pulling out a tripod, so I didn’t know what the heck I was going to get with this shot. I was delighted when I cranked up the exposure in Photoshop! Makes me want to paint a picture!

I’m always hungry when I walk through the market…even right after I’ve eaten cornmeal crusted oysters washed down with a vodka martini!!!!

Love this craggy old guy!

This is where we ended up, of course. Doesn’t every fieldtrip?

Vancouver’s Chinatown Bound…

I played hooky from all my responsibilities on Friday and headed to Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown district with my good pal, Sarah, of Diary of a House Elf. What an absolute pleasure it is to sling my camera over my neck and start snapping shots–I really don’t do it enough. Chinatown is full of visual–and nasal–stimulation!!! It’s a gritty area with extreme poverty bumped up against extraordinary beauty. The people are so friendly and curious, and Sarah observed the irony that the bustling streets are more of a “neighbourhood” than our quiet suburban village.

Vancouver's Chinatown District

The lighting was really perfect for taking outdoor shots…Vancouver grey! It was also a perfect opportunity put my new telephoto lens to the test.

Vancouver's Chinatown District

Liebster Blog Award…

I’m giddy! I was nominated for my first blogging award–the Liebster Blog Award!!! I know, right?!

I was nominated by my good buddy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 (that’s right…WTF 4). She’s a brilliant photographer and raconteur! She gave me a list of five questions I have to answer, and then I get to add five random facts about myself and nominate five more blogs with fewer than 200 followers. So now it’s my turn to spread the love…

1. Who/what do you want to be “when you grow up”?
I want to be a world traveler, a famous actress, a photographer, an artist, a race car driver, a homicide investigater (I watch a lot of First48), and an awesome grandma.

2. What one thing would make your life better?
Money. A whoooole lotta money.

3. What one quote best resonates with you?
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” ―Rumi

4. What one living person – that you don’t know personally – inspires you?
Tina Fey…she’s incredibly funny and smart. In a “man’s world” of comedy, she smashed through all the barriers. I have dreams of her and I just hanging out being hilarious together!!!

5. If you could spend one entire day how you wanted, what would you do?
I would ski all day at Sun Peaks with my family and a bunch of close friends. Afterwards, we’d all soak in a gigantic hot tub with a glass of wine while the snow falls around us. Then we’d all sit around a huge harvest table eating fondue and drinking wine! We’d laugh into the night, and somebody would push back the furniture so we could dance to 70’s music!!!!!

Random things about me…

1.  I am obsessed with the Twilight movie series. I’ve probably watched Twilight at least 100 times.

2.  My grandma was the first woman in North America to fly a glider airplane. She was an artist and a poet. Her poem “Cherry Snow” was published in the New Yorker magazine.

3.  Elton John stood beside me and smiled at me when I was 11 years old. I was in Disneyland with my family, and we were standing on a mezzanine in a hotel. Nobody else was around and he walked up to me and we both stood there looking at a bulletin board together. I turned to look at him, and he smiled back, he kept watching me (creeper) and I took a couple of glances at his cool glasses before the nickel dropped and I realized who he was.

4.  I hate going under bridges in boats. Anything that disappears into deep water scares me, like the fallen trees that sink into the blackness of Lightening Lake.

5.  I was one of the “Smile of the Day” girls in The Province newspaper when I worked at Expo86 as a guest relations babe!

6. One of my favourite and most vivid childhood memories is the time my mom whisked me away from elementary school to go watch the huge storm waves at White Rock Beach. Some things are just way more important than learning your times table.

7.  The car I was riding in was struck by lightening on the way to a Gino Vanelli concert in Vancouver when I was about 15 years old. I like to believe it was a sign that Gino, and his long glistening black curly hair, was meant to be mine!

I was going to nominate five other bloggers, but I’m so technically challenged that I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how many followers they have, and I don’t want anybody’s nose to be out of joint if I get it wrong.  I will however list eight of my favourite blogs….they are definitely worthy of a visit!!! I have left off so many blogs that I regularly follow. I am giving you a cross-sectiong of my interests here.

1.  Colored Brush…my dear friend, Patty Ripley, is a gifted artist and she shared her inspiration, process and paintings on this lovely blog.

2. Hazy Shades of Me…a dear friend, Alana Agerbo, with a penchant for writing fiction. I’m stunned by how well she writes. It’s time the girl had a book deal!!!!

3.  Diary of a House Elf…a hilarious collection of musings from my dear friend (they’re all so dear to me), Sarah Johnson. It’s insightful, funny and honest, and I love it.

4.  Geninne’s Art Blog…a gorgeous collection of arts and crafts. It makes me want to get out my pencil crayons and paper!

5.  Click It Up A Notch…an awesome photography blog where I get loads of tips and inspiration for my photography.

6.  Birch & Bird…a wonderland of vintagey wonderfulness.

7.  Tracey Ayton Photography…Tracey is a gifted photographer and I love the photos she shares on her blog. She inspires me to keep learning about the craft of photography.

8.  The Design Pages…another amazing friend, Carol Smyth, writes this wonderful blog full of interior design DIY and advice. She’s a powerhouse of ideas!!!!

gingersnap cookie dreams…

Never fails! I declare I’m cutting something out of my diet, and within a day, I’m baking with said ingredient in large quantities! So here it is, plain and simple: I’m a flour junky! Apparently I’m not alone, according to Wheat Belly, the book I just read, there are millions of us out there. So I’m cutting bread (and wicked bagels) out of my diet. And that’s why I’m baking gingersnap cookies, duh!

I used my The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, and I’ve got to say their gingersnaps are delicious. I’m having company over for dinner tomorrow night, so I doubled the recipe and I’m keeping the dough in the fridge to bake some right before they arrive. Mmmm…the house will smell like a gingersnap factory (I can’t help it, I used to be a realtor).

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
And voila! The finished product. I cooked them a little longer than suggested, because I love a crunchy gingersnap. Mmmmmm.

gingersnap cookies

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