Little One



One year ago today, I was driving to my International Trade class at the U.  It was a cold and drizzly day (much like the ones we've been having as of late) and I was just going to be early enough to grab a coffee at Starbucks to keep me energized with the waning energy of the ending semester.  As I was turning off 35W, BOOM, my wheel locked up, the engine killed, and I was in the middle of the street in one of the busiest parts of Minneapolis.  As I frantically looked around for what to do next, I saw some open meters off to the left and used whatever momentum was left in my little Saab to slide into a parking spot while thrusting my wheel with every ounce of strength I had.  I made it.  Threw some quarters in the meter and now proceeded to walk the rest of the way to class in the rain.  So much for that warm cup o' coffee.

I sat distracted in class.  Thoughts of what was going to happen to our car, if my dad could come pick me up after class, and the looming end of the semester creeping ever closer swirled in my head.

Little did I know at that time that one of the sweetest little beings was being brought into the world about 1800 miles away.  My beautiful niece was born that morning as I sat consumed with my car troubles in class.

I begin this post with such an inconsequential story, because had it not happened on the day this little girl joined our family, I wouldn't have remembered it.  It wouldn't have mattered within months or years and I'm sure I'll soon forget it as the time passes.

Living so far away, I met this little doll 5 months into her life and have only spent a few short days with her--but her personality is contagious nonetheless.  She is quiet and reserved but always watching.  Once she warms up to you, she will stick with you through thick and thin. Being the tag-a-long of big brother, she is always learning from him and willing to play with any train, car, or automobile over a doll.

Sending you, sweet girl, every joy on your first birthday and I wish I could be there to celebrate with you (and eat some cake, of course!).  I look forward to getting to know you more in the years to come and seeing you develop into such a lovely little thing!!

XOXO,

Auntie Lissy
 

SUCH a ham! Oh, and to hear her squeal...
Baby K. (earplugs not included)

 


 

Rainy Day Activity


With 9 days out of the next 10-day forecast boasting of cold, drizzly rain, it only makes sense to strap on your rainboots, grab your rain jacket, and start puddle jumping! Caught in the chilly wind but wanting to dress in the light clothes of spring, I opted for layers on this relaxing Sunday afternoon. From trying out a new coffee shop with Mom to cozying into the couch at small group, this sweatshirt dress is just the ticket for appropriately wearing sweats outside of the gym, don't you think?



With all cares tossed to the wind, some natural waves seemed fitting for today--then one needs not worry about having your locks blowing about!





It was rather windy...one might even call it a wind tunnel....


What do you like to do on a perfectly rainy afternoon?

Soggy cheers to you!
A

 

 

 

 

Wearing: Madewell sweatshirt dress, American Living denim jacket (old), JCrew rainbootsMadewell bow beltJCrew silk scarf








Baseball and Ball Caps

There is something so simple yet delightful about baseball.  Yeah, American pass-time and all...but more than even watching the game, the sound of a game (MLB or little league) has a way of taking you to a state of pure relaxation where you can soak up the simplicity of whacking a little stitched lump of leather with a long, shaped piece of wood...or metal :)




Also, the man at Costco was entirely thrilled with my choice of  ball cap and inquired as to what the insignia symbolizes...I had to let him down easy and confess that all it was built up to be was a bunch of wonderful swirls.  However, I like to think it is the scroll-y monogram of a monarch from the late 1700s hailing from France. That just seems appropriate, right?


Cheers to my fellow Euro-monarchy history-loving readers,
A

Wearing: JCrew jeweled-collar blouse [similar], Crewcuts boys' rolled-collar crew (old), Gap chinos, Michael Kors sneaks, JCrew ball cap, Madewell Arrowstack necklace, JCrew brompton bag (old)

Grand Stroll(er)

What's the greatest part about springtime in Minnesota? You can finally take a stroll on all the cutest avenues and start soaking up that vitamin D...not to mention wearing dresses.  There is something uniquely wonderful about dresses--you put such little effort in but end up looking all pulled together.  Which is great when you have a baby in tow!





We had to stop in at the glasses shop to try on a few fun frames! (And say hello to the chihuahua dressed in a polo and sweater vest...)



 

That's when I saw these crazy frames...they have women's legs as the bows! Heels and all! How could you not feel just a little bit glam when sporting these?




But let's not forget about the elephant in the room...I was really out with this guy! Just hanging out in the sunshine :)

 

Wearing: American Living denim jacket (old), ANNO Design Stockholm dress, Madewell Arrowstack necklace, dainty gold necklace, Nike Flyknit sneaks (now on SALE!), Aden + Anais frog spitcloth

What's your favorite go-to activity when the sun is shining and you have a minute to kill?

Cheers,
Alissa

Peaches and Cream


HE IS RISEN.  HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

Oh what a joyful day it is that we may rejoice of our risen King! Forget those egg hunts and chocolate everything, for the Savior has struck down death and sits at the right hand of God.

There is not much I don't like about Easter...the hymns, Holy Week services, and shouting "He is Risen" waiting for that "Indeed" response!! But on a more superficial level, I also love the pastels, sunshine, and new life bursting forth in springtime buds. It was a wonderful, sunny day as I celebrated Easter by volunteering at church for some of the services, had a lovely light ham lunch with my family, and relaxed with my mom as we watched the classic "Easter Parade" with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.

My favorite depiction of the beautiful display of Christ's love through lyrics is the third verse from In Christ Alone:
There in the ground His body lay//Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious Day//Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory//Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine//Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Do you have any favorite hymns or Easter Sunday traditions?

 

Cheers on this sunny Sunday!
A



Wearing: Madewell embroidered blouse (old), J Crew double serge pencil skirt [similar], J Crew glitter wedges, J Crew necklace [similar]

And let it be known that I am a difficult one to capture on camera...I'm usually too busy telling a story to stop for a picture.  Hence, I get a lot of snaps in "halfway to a word" pose.  It's cute, I know.

 

Ok, fine. Let's take one last look at these sparkly gems...don't they sorta make you want to giggle and draw outside of the lines of your coloring book--just a little bit?

This Can't Be Beet

This can't be beat.

This city. This community. This ever-changing weather.  This local, farm-to-table fascination.  This hipster-artsy-Scandinavian-immigrant-melting-pot vibe.

By embracing this unique personality of Minneapolis, we cannot be beat.  After hosting the recent Vancouver-based athletic wear company, Lululemon Athetica, for their Warehouse Sale, both coasts and countless cities in between were confused by the location selection.  Lululemon responded, "if you're confused, you don't know Minnesota."  If one only associates this city (and this state!) with the eternal winter, some losing sports teams, and more lakes than anyone could dream, you don't know Minneapolis.

It's four seasons that make us revel in the weather of the moment.  It's celebrating an April snowstorm because we know it'll help the farmers.  It's making a bigger deal out of the High School State Hockey tournament than any professional team because we love seeing the future unfold in these kids.  It's about there never being an end to creative outlets.  It's about sitting on the end of the dock in July to the peaceful refuge of silently snowshoeing in January.  It's about the flocks of people filling the running trails as soon as the temp hits the 40s.  It's about the neighborhood rivalries of the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar on who has the better Juicy Lucy...

This city, this community, this opportunity cannot be beat.  The Minneapolis Farmers Market is at the center of it all.  Fueling all four seasons, farm fresh food, and countless vendors to meander through--before or after your morning jog.


So as Portland rocks the weird, let's Keep Minneapolis Fresh.  Support the Minneapolis Farmers Market this season and see what this fresh community has to offer!

Cheers!
Alissa

Photos courtesy of Chris Court and CBS Local.

Potter and Clay

"...He will rejoice over you with gladness and singing and calm your fears with His love." Zephaniah 3:17


Today I had the pleasure of seeing my cousin, twice-removed (or rather, my grandma's cousin), do a presentation on his testimony through the use of his pottery.  Having a love for the creative arts, this was my jam.  It was fascinating seeing him work with such ease as he related his art to how we are the clay and He is the master potter.

Afterward, as I went onto my small group, Renny's message stuck with me.  We just started our study of James had memorized James 1:2-4,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Now for a little lesson in Latin...
The word sincere comes from the Latin word for wax, cera, and sine, meaning without.  That seems odd, eh? Well, I'll just let you know what I was taught--as there IS some controversy on the etymology.  In classical culture, as pottery was being made, there were vessels that were without flaws and those that had cracks or would not be suitable for carrying liquids or other contents that could slip through the cracks.  Therefore, if a vessel was not made that was up to standard, it was sealed with wax.  When a vessel was not sealed in wax, it was considered sincere.

As I pondered trials and pottery and being sealed without wax...I was so grateful that we are not simply made and then marked sincere or not.  We are constantly being molded and shaped by both the good and bad trials we face.  We must therefore rejoice in the opportunities of growth; knowing that each obstacle we endure, we are becoming more sincere in our faith. Not until that glorious Day will we be finally marked sincere--made perfect in Him.



We all took home a little treasure of his art...perfect for flowers or coffee, don't you say?

Have you seen any art lately that stuck with you? Inspired you? Made you think for days after?


This one was incredible...a verse from Isaiah in Norwegian! 

Textures



As "spring" seems to be eternally lurking just around the corner, feeling inspired by the sunshine, new blooms, and dainty florals will have to wait as us hearty Minnesotans continue in our mixture of textures.  To bring some playfulness to the gloomy skies, I threw together all the fabrics I love: denim, wool, silk, sparkle, and leather.

Well, sparkle isn't quite a fabric...but in my book, it fits.

Today was filled with baking, chatting, laughing, and some sweet fellowship.  Taking the opportunity to make some snickerdoodle blondie brownies was worth it.  YUM.  Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll share the recipe with you...

Until then, how are you remixing spring? Outside of the continued sweater-weather, do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve for warding off those not-quite-springtime blues (or should I say, greys)?
Cheers!
Alissa

Wearing: J.Crew jeweled denim blouse (old), J.Crew wool Minnie pant (old), GentileSouls loafers, Anthropologie silk scarf, Target faux-mohair hat, Skagen watch, J.Crew quilted baby brompton


From up above



Do you ever think about your unique experiences and how different they may be from those around you?

I find it so interesting, especially in this day of being over-stimulated by Pinterest, Instagram, fashion blogs and the like, what a fascinating concept that we will never see ourselves in the same way as those around us may see us.  Sure, we can glance in the mirror or snap a quick photo...but even then, the true image of how we see ourselves is our legs below us, our surroundings, and those we choose to share life with.

So as I was three stories in the air, trusting my life to a harness and catwalk, I thought to my self, "this is an experience only I have been given to enjoy at this moment." And on popped the lightbulb...see lightbulb below...

Starting today, I will consciously snap some photos of my day over the next week--only from the view of the world at 69 inches off the ground.  So stay tuned for what life is like from my perspective of the world!


Have you ever considered the same? When you look down, what's your favorite sight? Coffee in hand, or a fluffy new animal friend, maybe a treadmill (or preferably yet, pavement!) beneath your feet?

Cheers,
Alissa

The world isn't big enough...


This past week in my small group, we chatted about the faithfulness of God.  Reflecting on a sermon by Geoff Bohleen, our discussion questions brought up the topic about our patience in the difficult and "waiting" periods of life.

As I hopped in my car ready to buzz over to The Gathering, I heard this song on the radio.  It struck my heart with such truth as Josh Wilson says, "I hoped to get to know you when everything was going well, but evermore do I cling to You as my world falls apart." (I paraphrased...I am clearly no lyricist)

In the sermon from the last week, Pastor Geoff spoke of a friend he had that was 80+ years of age; and, as this man reflected on his whole, but difficult life, he remarked on how much he saw the Lord's faithfulness--especially through the difficult times.  As I reflect on my short but variant life, even I have seen the Lord's hand in my life--what a treasure to look back on 80 years!!

John says in John 21:25, "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (ESV)."  In our daily life, is that our perspective?  That if we were to recount all the things the Lord has done in our lives and guided our ways, that the world could not CONTAIN all the good and faithful things He has done?  What a thought!

I so often forget of His faithfulness when I struggle with patience.  I guess that is why patience is a virtue...it's something we strive for and work on every day.  I think the perspective of hindsight is a glorious gift from God...what better way to see his good and perfect ways and/or timing than when we can look back on a situation and see how wrong we would have been to receive what we originally desired!

What is your favorite song, poem, or work of art that reminds you of His faithfulness?

Cheers,
Alissa

Structured Sweats



Happy Monday! The weather is brisk, the snow is swirling, the sun is overshadowed by the clouds, and yet today couldn't be a better Monday!

First, I get to wear sweats to work.  TO WORK.  That's right! This weekend and next, I have had the pleasure of working for a pop-up shop of Lululemon for their Warehouse Sale, #March2MN.  It's been stellar.  I have been re-styling some "workout" pieces in my wardrobe to make them more public friendly.  I like the items from their collection that can serve the sweaty workout then transition to a coffee date!


Second, I get to gather with some of my gal pals this evening for a prayer night.  So fun to share life with one another around coffee, laughs, and a few tears.





After being immersed in the world of J.Crew for many moons, you start to think the half tuck is the only way to wear a shirt.  But there is an art to it...still perfecting it myself.  But I like to think it gives the perfect balance to the "just rolled out of bed look" and the "ladies to who lunch."


Just found this little piece of heaven in my sister's get-rid-of pile.  It weighs about 100lbs and therefore it the comfiest and closest thing you will find to taking your bed and comforter with you everywhere.


Like the incredible hulk, this crazy shirt has the ability to transform! The collar can adjust to show off a little personality...  Whether a classic fold-over, an uptight-hipster-straightjacket version, or (as my sister likes to call it) a Christmas-ribbon-candy swirl, this shirt is perfect for any occasion.  And made from athletic tech material, it is comfy, quick drying, and perfect for travel.  So who's with me? I'm ready to hop the next flight to anywhere!



See? The sun came out, my friends! I love flying because then we can be reminded that whether we see the shining rays scattered around town or covered by the gloomy grey sky, the sun always rises.  What joy to remember that!!

So enjoy these last days of bitter cold as we draw near to the cheeriest of seasons and welcome new living things of the Earth!  What's your favorite way to wear sweats? The classic...at the gym as you workout? :)

Cheers,
Alissa

Wearing: Lululemon Lab blouse, Lululemon trousers [similar], Madewell necklace, J.Crew sweater (old), Michael Kors sneakers (gifted from boss)

A Celebration



Six years ago, I gained my very first brother. Having grown up in a family of all girls, this was a big deal.

Although my sister and brother-in-law have never lived in close proximity to me, I have been so blessed by both of them and their relationship. Whether across the country or in another country all together, these two still manage to encourage, support, and engage in my life. By setting an example of a Christ-centered marriage, I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to witness their love for one another as they work together to serve The Lord. 

Happy anniversary, you two!! May God bless you with many more years to come and continue to guide you and your family in His glorious way.



Let's all just admire what a beautiful bride my sissy was, eh?! And what a good looking tie! :)



Enjoy another year together, you crazy, fun, hockey-loving Canadians!! Mucho love from your little sis

Cheers,
Alissa

Ballerina Bulldog



A few weeks ago I attended an incredible art exhibit at the American Swedish Institute.  It was based on the awe-inspiring medium of papercutting.  Ranging from large pieces stretching high above my head to smaller ones perfect for a nursery, there was simply not enough time to stare at these works of art.

Some had stories or descriptions attached, some were left up to the viewer to interpret.  One of my favorites was one that the artist had cut to a specific piece of music...for 6 months straight! The intricate designs and patterns were reflective of the musical piece through crescendos, climaxes, and repetitions in the tune--WOW.

It was impressive to say the least.

I hope I never stop to see the wonder of all sorts of various art mediums--whether a painter, musician, chef, photographer, writer, or one that cherishes slicing through the world with a scissor and x-acto knife in hand.  In this expansive world of all types of people, how wonderful it is that we can speak to one another through the universal language of art?  There may be cultural influences woven into works, but that is what brings such beauty to the individual piece.

I loved this list that my sister shared with me via Pinterest...

What is your favorite medium of art--to do or to admire?  Have you seen any exhibits lately that took your breath away?

Cheers,
Alissa

The Intelligent


Today Divergent came out.  Quite a handful of my friends are more than enamored with the series and so I agreed to see the "midnight" showing of it--only at 8 pm. When did that become a thing? I'd like to think it is solely for us millennials starting to creep up in age that can no longer start a movie at 12 am...well, I'm thankful for it nonetheless.

Anyways, I also took the quiz of what faction I ought to belong to...and I got Erudite. Having not read the books, I was rather pleased with myself for appreciating intelligence! (Not like I knew what any of the foregone factions I had not been "qualified for") ...But I guess I naturally dressed for the Abnigation faction in my ensemble of all grey....
Laughing here as I thought it was hilarious that as I snapped some photos, my wee nephew was just hanging out in his carseat a few yards away....just don't tell sissy.  It'll be our secret.  Just you, me, and the world wide web.

I'm sure my Canadian sister can't wait until I can be close enough to babysit...so I can leave her babies strewn about the sidewalk.  Don't fret, my dears!! Baby E was always in sight :)



My mom...err, photographer, thought this house was perfect with light blue bricks to match my freshly lacquered nails.  She's always had an eye for details.  And light blue bricks? Who ever heard of such a thing?
I like to think babies are an outfit's best accessory.  Especially when this cute!

This puff? It is amazing, no?!

I have been craving everything in the light blueish-purple family.  I guess Pantone has been successful in convincing my psyche that radiant orchid is the only way to go in 2014.  But guess what? This puff is not from 2014.  It's from my mama! It was her puff from when she was just a young lassie...therefore this radiant orchid number is far superior than any other I could find.
Having now seen the movie...it was a great flick. A short "review" of sorts coming soon!  Have you seen the movie or planning to? Have you read the books? Thoughts?

Cheers,
Alissa

Wearing: J.Crew sweater (old), J.Crew strip tee [similar], Urban Outfitters jean [last seen here], Converse sneaks, Vintage puffer vest, J.Crew quilted crossbody, Timex watch, Brighton clamp bracelet (gifted from St. Paul Winter Carnival)

Neighbors to the North 2.5


Day Five was our big adventure to Van City! With only a few places on our must-do list for Vancouver, we were willing to go where the day led us. After the first exciting view of Van, we accidentally got separated from my brother-in-law's car (with the kids) and ended up in Stanley Park...




We felt bad as our caravan was separated, but this stunning view made up for it! From mountains, to ocean, to the picturesque trees and bridge...it was more beautiful than what a picture could capture.
Finally finding our way back to one another, we met up with the bro-in-law and kiddos as the girls were about to venture to the Lululemon Lab and the boys to the Whole Foods for lunch. This kid is just always the happiest as can be...I think he gets it from his mama!
 
 
Then began the passing-the-kids-around as we all wanted a little bundle of cuteness! After a quick trip through the Lululemon Lab store, we met up with the boys and my bro-in-law said that he ought to take the littles home before the fussies started.  Sad to see them go after the effort of driving to the city, we bid them farewell and continued our adventure...
Needing a little nourishment for the what lied next on our agenda, we stopped at the famous Japadog--where your typical hotdog is reinvented with the flavors of Japan. If it were ANY closer than it is, I would be quite tempted to eat there at least once a week.  This place was DE-licious.
 

 

We topped off our meal with a "hotdog" of ice cream balls in some sort of fried/toasted/sugared bun. Sissy and I thought it was just the right thing to end our meal with but Dad was not as big of a fan of the Green Tea flavored ice cream!

Next, the Vancouver Public Library! When sissy lived just outside of Van, she would spend some time here as her hubs was away at work.  Beyond the incredible uniqueness of the architecture of the building, the library sported some indoor-outdoor qualities--after stepping through the first set of doors, you were welcomed into the "outdoor" part of the library where small shops and coffee houses offered their tasty eats and treats to the studious community, then winding around, you entered the library. Being the other official language of Canada is French, there were rows upon rows of French books and magazines!
Mom and Dad at one of the cute (hotdog?) shops called, "I Love Love House"...I think something was lost in translation. 

We also figured out why Canadians are so green...instead of calling the trash "trash," they just skip that and call it "Landfill."

As we ran out of the library onto our next destination, we saw some enticing signs for juice-infused tea...so we gave it a shot! Mom and sissy voted for the Hibiscus Apple and Dad and I preferred the Mumbai Orange...clearly the orange one makes you a kung-fu elite so the choice was clear for me.

 

Having only seen a small part of Van the last time I was here, I was overwhelmed with the number of shiny glass apartment buildings were crammed in the city. My sis compared Van to the LA of Canada where the young and successful come to make it big!
This city sure isn't lacking in shops! We strolled through the Lululemon retail store on Roberts Street then wandered over to Roots Canada for some classic Canadian styles...clearly this hat was it.
So long, Vancouver! Until next time!!
I was able to find a hat I LOVED! Hailing from the men's section at Lululemon on sale, this is bound to become a staple in my life. 
Cheers from one happy girl,
A

Neighbors to the North 2.4


After every fun-filled-to-the-brim day, we have to then have a day of relaxing around the house. Having so much fun is clearly exhausting work! Day Four was all about the "Birthday Dinner" we planned for my sister...it was her 28th at the end of January and we were happy to be able to celebrate with her! On the menu was a sweet and savory combination of a twist on Chicken and Waffles.

Mr. T helped Nana make dinner while Miss K helped Papa squeeze in a little work on the computer...then it was all about trying on Auntie Lissy's big, silly shoes.  This little goon can make anything funny.
 
My sister at home sent an adorable Kate iPad case to my sister for her birthday...as Mr. T loves to play with his mama's iPad, I took the foam insert from the case and drew a fake screen on it so he could enjoy the "iPad" without messing with the adult electronics...
 
 
*These drawings proudly brought to you by Tim Horton's and TimBits.
So, instead of fried chicken and waffles, we served soft, crockpot Cranberry Chicken and Pancakes with homemade maple syrup whipped cream, fresh fruit, and blueberry balsamic vinegar...say what you may but don't knock it till you try it! It was delicious and the perfect balance of breakfast-for-dinner.

After that, it was just all fun and games.  Cheers!
A

Neighbors to the North 2.3


Day Three of our adventure was great.  Beyond what activities filled our day, what described it the best is lots of laughter.  That generally describes any day spent with my mom and sisters...always lots of laughter and chatter!

Today we planned to drive south of the boarder to the historic town of Fairhaven (part of Bellingham, WA) and enjoy the picturesque stops along the way.  Before leaving, I obviously had to squish in a little snuggle time with dear little Miss K. Because really, who could resist her? Even when she squirms away from Aunt Lissy kisses...
 

 
And some snuggles with Mr. T too, of course!
Then he found my camera on my phone and decided to keep himself entertained with selfies...I now have the pleasure of having quite the selection of snaps of my sister's ceiling.
 

Stopping in the Dutch community of Lynden, WA just across the boarder, we grabbed some lunch at none other than Dutch Mothers.  We indulged in some really tasty eats like split pea soup and Italian meatball soup...and taking some of their famous pie home to share with the others we left at home!
 
Being the cute Dutch restaurant it was, it wasn't complete without little "wooden" slippers...
We practically forgot we were in North America!
 

Then finally arriving in the beautiful town of Fairhaven, my sister was thrilled to take my mother and I to a toy shop that also sells art supplies.  She has loved getting into needle felting and wanted to show us the wide variety of vibrant-hued wool all ready for your next project.
Being that my middle sister works for a toy manufacturing company, we thought it only appropriate to send her pictures of us looking at all these other toy brands...and this is my sissy with her best ostrich face.  What a beaut!

After realizing we were spending all too long in a TOY shop, we made a run for the coast to catch the last rays of the sunset.


Finally making it to the dock, my sister and I wanted to get some snaps standing on the dock that floats right on the Pacific Ocean...meanwhile, mom was having a major freak out that we would fall over.  A mom's job of worrying is never over!

My sister promised we wouldn't step onto the dock and just stand at the bottom of the connecting bridge, but in typical youngest-child fashion, I pushed my mama to the last of her nerves by requesting one more picture ON the dock...I wanted to point to how high the barnacles were on the large posts holding the dock from floating away to show how high the water level has been at different times of the year.  While a rather windy night, the ship just off in the distance shouted to me that I was going to catch frostbite...little did he know that back home in MN it was -20 degrees and this Midwest girl could handle anything!
As we continued touring this adorable town, we wandered into Drizzle--a balsamic and olive oil tasting bar. Be still my beating heart! After trying just about EVERY variety of beautifully infused balsamic, we each walked out with our bottles of flavored vinegar, eager to pour it on everything.

 

While our tummy's had filled with the tasty delights of balsamic vinegar heaven, we began craving some heartier food.  Wandering around, we found a lot of cute places but ended up at a lovely Mexican restaurant that is more than good enough to write home about! My sissy is planning on taking her hubs there for his birthday--wishing I could tag along too! :)
 

WHAT a great day it was!!
Cheers, A

Neighbors to the North 2.2


Welcome to Day Two in Abbotford, BC! It happens to be the raspberry capitol of BC which clearly means there must be a raspberry sculpture standing proudly in town ;)

Today, we set out to drive up Sumas Mountain and hike around a little bit to see some of the views.  Practically forgetting that it was almost mid-February with the temperate weather, we began the trek up the mountain to have to turn back around due to our tires not being able to grip the icy road...and on a scary only-big-enough-for-one-car kind of road, we thought this venture would be better suited for a little later in the year (maybe our next trip out?!).


We were still able to capture some breathtaking views! Sissy has a dear friend that is building a home and THIS is their view. Almost seems unfair, eh?

On our short-lived drive up the mountain Miss K fell asleep right away as we proceeded to attempt a backseat selfie. What do you really expect from 3 grown women being squished in the backseat?


Next up, Abbotsford outdoor mall! Making a point to stop at David's Tea, I was wishing there was room in my suitcase to take home the whole store...Tiffany-blue paint and all.  This was quite a happy place!

Then grabbing a bite to eat at the better-than-Chipotle Mexican place, I enjoyed some tacos while Miss K enjoyed some granite counter.

 

Once more mountain snaps had been captured, we were on our way home (hotel-home, that is).  In the chilly wind, Mr. T felt it was necessary to run to each new destination and didn't mind having Nana in tow...this little guy loves being able to hang out with his dear Nana!


A fun-filled day but with few pictures to show for it...
Until next time, Cheers!
A

Neighbors to the North 2.1



This past February I was able to visit my sister and her family in Abbotsford, BC, Canada with my mom and dad.  Having only spent less than 48 hours in Abby with my sissy in December of 2012, this was an exciting trip that I could finally begin to indulge in all things Pacific Northwest (PNW)!!

In typical fashion, I waited until the last minute to pack.  In order to be able to mix and match outfit pieces, I chose to stick with a black and white theme and keep all things kid-friendly.


This is how thrilled one can be about the ability to pack...I only took up one half of my suitcase and reserved the other half for random things we were bringing to my sister. And yes, there were 6 balls of woolly yarn for her.
Clearly people don't like to fly across the US during the Super Bowl game because our flight to Seattle was EMP-TY...as you can see from the 6 seats in between my dear mother and I.  We soaked it up by scribbling down notes and throwing them to one another across the aircraft like little school girls.  That was, until we displayed why were were not professional bball players and epic-ally failed by having the crumpled note land in the row behind us. Mortified, we both burst out in laughter...once again, like little school girls.  We shouldn't ever be trusted.

Then, after waiting in the Seattle airport for a short time, we welcomed by Dad coming in from DC.  His gate was quite spirited with Seahawk balloons and all.  I think it made him feel famous.

 

Now, off to our short drive into Canada...but not without stopping at Timmy's!

After a quick night's sleep, we excitedly headed over to my sisters--I had never met my 7-month-old niece and was elated to be seeing this precious girl for the first time!!

Upon walking into their home, I was greeted with a request from my 2-year-old nephew to draw a train.  He has taken quite a liking to trains and drawing so that only seemed the fitting thing to do the very second we walked through the door.  I began to spell his name, but he insisted I make it a "choo choo." I obliged.
 
When I said I wanted to pack kid-friendly clothing I wasn't kidding.  I specifically chose things I knew would spark the interest of a wee tot without me freaking out that she was drooling on it.  Therefore, between an extra-sparkly collar and a long, sturdy necklace, this little one could have been entertained for days!
Is she not so darling?! Here's a few more to make sure you agree with me...
 
 
 
Then off to lift Mr. T up to the window ledge so he could observe the construction going on across the street.

We then headed out the door to Chiliwack, a neighboring city, to run some errands and take my sister to the chiropractor.  It was a beautiful day to see some of the mountains--I don't think I could ever get sick of this view!!
More playing around with this cutie.  He was winning all the hearts of the people at the chiro/sports PT clinic.
 

 
Then we went over to Timmy's...when in Canada, do what the Canadians do...and they do Tim Horton's all the live-long-day.  Forget a "kid in a candy store," pretty sure a kid in a doughnut shop is more dangerous.  This boy was filled with glee to be around all these tasty treats!
 

After Timmy's we headed over to a quaint specialty grocery store owned and operated by a friend of my sister's from church. We spent hours there. Between looking at all the fun finds, to lots of laughs with the owner, and special cheesecake treats he had the cafe serve up for us, it was a wonderful way to spend our evening! And Mr. T learned that he liked salt and pepper--it's his new treat of choice.  What a goon!
 
Continuing on our journey, we headed over to the strip mall to check out the Joe Fresh shop.  It is great and inexpensive clothes that are perfect for little ones...and with my parents being grams and gramps to 3, it's their favorite place to stock up on cute finds for the littles! Then Mr. T began trying on sunnies.  It was quite the experience for him...I think he liked the adult-sized ones better than the kid-versions.
I'll leave you with one more look at the mountains...doesn't that just make you wanna jump on a plane and head west?!

Cheers,
A