My sister’s wedding was last weekend. It was a beautiful day full of love, family and friends. In the mist of having my parents in town and helping with the preparation, I had to make sure I took some time to slow down and enjoy the fact that my baby sister was getting married. I took a couple afternoons off for quality time with family and spent the day before the wedding with my sister to take in each little moment. It’s hard to not get caught up in the to-do lists and last minute details but my favourite time was our family dinner the night before. We all sat down and enjoyed one of Moe’s specialty, beer-butt chicken. I’ll have to share the recipe one of these days but for now, enjoy this week’s smiles!
There’s nothing more relaxing than getting out of town for a few days, turning off the phone and just taking in what the day brings you. This is exactly what Moe and I did recently when we headed out to Bowen Island for a couple nights. Tucked away in a little cabin, enjoying a nice glass of wine and some cheese, what a difference a short 20 minute ferry ride can do! A few hikes, some mid-day naps and a nice dinner on a patio, we came back to Vancouver recharged and full of smiles.
The last month of so was a bit of a downward spiral. I let one little aspect of my life completely take over. I started focusing on the negative and I just could not see the little things that made me happy anymore. I did not want to smile anymore. I did not want to blog. I did not want to bike or bake or do any of the things I loved. I just was not feeling it. I was completely drained!
Moe and I love to explore new spots in the city. Of course, we have our go-to places and neighbourhood favourites but it’s always fun to try out something new. Sometimes, we’ll go for a walk and just discover a cute little cafe and other times, we’ll go somewhere specifically to try something out. After a bit of a stressful week, there was nothing I looked forward to more than trying a new ice cream place Moe had been talking about. Lik is just as much about eating ice cream than about watching them make it with liquid nitrogen. It was fun to go with a few friends before a walk on the sea wall.
Looking back at my smiles this week, I noticed that the little surprises are what make me smile – an unexpected invitation to dinner at a friend’s house, a peek-a-boo view of the mountains while biking. Living in the present has allowed me to be more aware of my surroundings and that means I’ve noticed more and more of those unexpected, yet completely lovely little moments. I appreciate them to their fullest and that makes me smile even brighter.
Growing up, I’ve always loved my family traditions. From our holidays in the South of France every fall to my dad taking on the challenge of cooking our Christmas dinners every year, I cherish those memories dearly. In the last few years, Moe and I have started creating our own traditions, most of them revolving around friends and food. We now have an annual camping trip, a Pi Day celebration, wine and cheese party and at the beginning of summer before everyone gets too busy, we get together for a favourite tradition: our pickling party. It might be a bit of an untraditional tradition but it’s certainly fun and delicious!
It’s very rare that I ever have weekends with nothing planned. Not that it’s a bad thing but they usually fill up with friends’ birthday parties, dinners, and all sorts of fun events (sometimes chores too unfortunately!). But for the last couple weekends, it seems that the stars and moons lined up just right and I got to enjoy some free time. Of course, I still filled up my time but with things that I don’t always get to do like spending some time in the book store (in the cooking book aisle obviously!) or taking a nice long walk in my neighbourhood.
There’s nothing better than sitting down on your patio basking in the sun at the end of a long day. Strawberries, tomatoes, kale, snap peas, sage, rosemary and even sunflowers, we really made the most of our farmer’s market trip last weekend. So excited to watch them all grow! The first leaf of our sunflowers sprouted today and I can already see a few strawberries forming. It’s going to be a great season.
I just love the month of May – maybe it’s because of the longer days or the fair weather that makes biking everywhere so enjoyable or maybe even because of a saying my mom used to always tell me when I was a child. En Avril, ne te découvres pas d’un fil. En Mai, fait ce qu’il te plait! Roughly translated, it means – in April, don’t take off any of those layers but in May, do as you wish. And so, as we head into May, I am doing as I wish from checking out the Tulip Festival to going out for ice cream at all my favourite spots (3 times this week but whose counting?).
Too often, we forget that the people surrounding us are the ones who make us truly happy. We get overwhelmed with to do list forgetting to spend time with those who make us smile. With a few friends visiting this week, I decided to drop all those chores (they can wait!) and focus on those very amazing people I am lucky enough to call friends and family.