December 11 – Day 346

Living in Vancouver and having access to The Pickle granted me access to some surreal mountain scenery


This was the view from the vantage point on the Brohm Lake Hike I did with Graham, Kathleen and Duncan this summer


Here is a horrible photo of me, but stunning one of Duncan and some glacial mountains at Joffre Lake. It was a hot and dirty hike but, obviously, well worth it for the scene


Here is Duncan and I at One Mile Lake, where I had a swim and scrub after hiking up to Joffre Lakes while Duncan howled on the shore


This is the view from Harrison Hot Springs. James and I went there for a romantic getaway – thanks Christina for letting us take the jeep !


And this is my favourite mountain range picture – Rowan’s Art! I like to think she made it thinking of me, as I had explained I live in Vancouver where there are lots of mountains. But who knows. She doesn’t remember why.

Her father sent me this picture one day. I had had a meeting with the Sarah’s Cards board members and we had discussed having a colour palette for the next edition to keep some uniformity. When I saw this piece of work, I thought “This is going to be Rowan’s contributing card and this will be the pallet”. And everyone agreed. And it was a great choice.


So, because I couldn’t get out and enjoy the mountains as I would have liked, I decided to make a little homage to the mountains for my cousin Jessica’s upcoming birthday.

I’d seen these kicking around the Pinterest-osphere so I thought I should get around to making one. I free handed everything. Pro tip- buy a cheap $3 bed pillow from Wal-Mart instead of ‘professional craft filling’ from a sewing shop. Also following the instructions that involve sewing the white/snow part first. I skipped over that and it was an ordeal




National Mountain Day well spent!


October 5 – Day 279

National Do Something Nice Day !

What a welcomed reprieve from the usual eat-something-I-usually-wouldn’t-style of day

I have been making these little ‘rainbows’ using yarn and embroidery thread. I took it up a notch today by picking up some jewelry supplies and making one into a necklace

I thought it would be a cute little going away gift for my friend Hannah who is moving back to Germany

I overestimated the chain length and have to buy some wire cutters to adjust so that it doesn’t hang so low, but other than that I think I had a highly productive Do Something Nice Day !

July 29 – Day 210

National Lipstick Day!!

I don’t think I owned a single lipstick up until maybe 2012 ?

But now I own a bunch and get a kick out of wearing really obnoxious shades.
I like the foolish, bright colours like Barbie pink, purples, blues and greens, but also black, because why not

This is by far my favourite colour – NYX Liquid Suede in Sway

But I tried out a pink one for the day

NYX is the best because they have the biggest selection and are really cheap so I would have to say they are my fave. However I do have a sample of Tarte liquid lip colour and it’s formula is way better

Day 208 – July 27

It wasn’t until Christina, Daniel and I were all sitting around the dinner table, mowing down on our chilli dogs and Daniel pontificated, ‘this is a little weird eating two foods that are usually meat, both in vegetarian format’, had it occurred to me.

My default setting has been meat free for so long, I couldn’t relate to the having that thought process whatsoever. I can’t remember the last time I had a real meat hot dog. Maybe 2000? And meat chilli- forget about it, I’m not sure I’ve ever had chilli with meat in it in my life.

On National Chilli Dog Day, Christina and I conspired to stew up a pot of vegan chilli and put Daniel on vegan hot dog grilling duty

We whipped up a chilli by combining:

  • onion
  • garlic
  • peppers
  • celery
  • can diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • corn
  • chili powder
  • chili pepper flakes
  • chipotle
  • salt
  • pepper
  • quinoa
  • peanut butter
  • roasted sweet potato

Once the batch was complete, we assembled on to our veggie dogs and garnished with some vegan sriracha mayo, green onion, avocado,  and cilantro


Day 162 – June 11


My new friend Steph’s birthday is National German Cake Day
She threw a birthday party, so naturally I had to bust out my cake making skills on this one.

It should be known that it’s not actually a German invention. It’s American. The guy that invented it had the last name ‘German’.
How very misleading.

I’ve never made a German Chocolate Cake before and, quite frankly, don’t know if I’ve ever had a really good German chocolate cake before.
The idea is rich chocolate cake and coconut & pecan frosting more or less.

I deliberated on making a regular one, as I was bringing it to a party full of people who don’t give an f if there is chicken embryo or cow puss in it, but as I went through recipes, I realized I had more of the vegan necessities to make it so decided to stay true to moi and went vegan

I followed this recipe from Whisk & Shout more or less to a T (very rare for me, as we all know).
I used my own DIY Cashew Mylk instead of the almond milk called for. Probably why it was extra delicious

I walked the 25 minute walk to her house in the scorching sun with this fucker.
But it was totally worth it. Home made shit is just so damn touching.

I ended up having to leave before the ceremonial singing and serving, which was fine by me, that stuff half makes me cray, so I didn’t an official slice. However I did sample some of the crumbling ( it was a hard walk on the cake in the sun ) and icing and was  pretty pleased with myself.



Day 151 – May 31st

National Macaroon Day

Feels like I haven’t baked or cooked anything in a while for this project so although Whole Foods is not even a block away and you can get a pack of vegan, gluten free macaroons there for like $6, I went the old fashioned route and decided to make them myself, as I have never made them before.

I looked up recipes and came across this one by The Minimalist Baker and liked the sound of it:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate

Basically combine all the ingredients save the chocolate in a food processor. Scoop into macaroon like shapes and place on baking sheet. Bake briefly (they said 8-10 minutes, mine burnt in 5 so keep an eye… )

Allow to cool and then dip in melted chocolate



Yeah so total disaster all in all but sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you, amiright?

May 31st is also my big cousin Kory’s birthday 

He should have been turning 39 today
He died the year before Sarah
Testicular cancer.
I was aware he had been diagnosed and was undergoing treatment, but I was completely naive and thought he would be fine and just come out the other side- it was really shocking when I got the news it didn’t go down like that.

At this point in my life, what is more shocking is that I had been lucky to have never experienced losing a family member until then.
He, like Sarah, left three children behind.
Quite frankly, I usually push away thoughts about it as it’s just straight up eery

So I just wanted to take a moment to not just celebrate National Macaroon Day, but also to remember my cousin. Kory was a really happy person and just pursued ‘joy’ unlike anyone else I knew.
Gone but not forgotten. Hope he is at peace. Xo cuz.

Day 108 – April 18

Animal Cracker Day!

Now, if you ask me, these guys are totally a cookie.
But whatevs.
Who am I to tell a baked good what I think they are.
To each their own.

You’d think my favourite would be the elephant. But it’s not.
Gorilla hands down.  He just looks so damn pleasant.

Animal Crackers are also vegan, FYI… as am I for the time being.

Now these cookies, I mean, crackers, are great with Nutella.
But that shit is full of palm oil and cow puss so today, I decided to try them with a cashew mylk chai latte instead.

My instincts were on point. Chai latte + Animal Crackers = Match made in cruelty free heaven

To make your own at home you will need

Brew some super strong chai tea. Add some maple syrup and cinnamon. If you have an espresso machine with a steamer, combine the tea and the cashew mylk and steam. If not just combine the two and heat on the stove. Feel free to use an immersion blender or milk frother to get some foam going.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkling of cinnamon and voila.



Day 37 – February 6

Another day, another chance for Vancouver to prove its incapacity to deal with snow.

There was a lot of hype about this snow day – my pretentious chiropractor assured me Monday was going to be ‘the worst day yet’. I had received an email the night before from the director of my school saying that school will likely be closed.

It wasn’t. A lot of other stuff was shut down though.  I was really looking forward to having the day off so I was sulking about having to go in when the storm didn’t play out as horribly as planned. But then I saw through one of my fellow holiday celebrators Instagram account that Monday February 6 is SMUNDAY ! The official day to call in sick to work or skip school in the UK and the day after the Super Bowl in USA!

SO I DID! I just did it. Emailed in to say I wasn’t well and not coming in. I just couldn’t fathom being in that building seeing the same people I’ve been holed up with all weekend again. Just couldn’t do it. Plus I gotta do whatever holiday is presented to me so, onward ho!

Duncan took to Smunday (or Smonday) like a fish to water… or a bulldog to napping!

With a whole new day ahead of me I got to work catching up on blog posts, getting school assignments started and some even finished, and eating some froyo for National Frozen Yogurt Day!

Kathleen graciously agreed to partake in celebrating this particular day with me. We deliberated about going to Menchie’s but ultimately decided to support a local small business that was actually closer to where we live. Scoop! on 4th !

It’s not quite as DIY as Menchie’s and other froyo vendors of that nature – the counter attendant handled all the froyo dispensing- no getting carried away and ending up with a 40$ bill

They had toppings galore and you could serve yourself

Quite fancy indeed


I went with Chocolate Hazelnut frozen yogurt and added Oreo, brownies, yogurt chips, marshmallow sauce and salted caramel sauce.. and a few sprinkles to enhance the photogenicness of it all

Kathleen followed suit more or less- looks like she wailed on the coconut and chocolate almonds

We were really cold and eating frozen yogurt in February in a ‘snow storm’ after emailing in to school ‘sick’ is pretty ridiculous, I must say

It was really good- and yogurty 

And then to really top off Smunday, Christina and I went to Mount Seymour for some $10 Ladies Night Night Skiing!



Skipping school was the best thing I’ve done so far on this celebratory journey, if I’m being honest.




Day 4 : January 4

This Christmas season was arguably the worst one I have experienced.

The first Christmas without Sarah, my family was still partially in shock and also partially relieved – her twins had been hospitalized, intubated and in grave danger leading up to Christmas, so when they came out alive and, relatively, well, we were overjoyed. This time period of my life is pretty deeply repressed in my memories. It was just too hard- Sarah wasn’t dead two months. All the doctors and nurses thinking I was their mother and having to explain the situation to their shocked faces.

I remember getting a call from their father saying Grant’s lungs had locked and it looks like he is going to die and I drove like a maniac to get to the hospital. I was at a set of red lights and contemplated just finding the nearest cliff and driving off it. Truly. But when the light turned green, I made the left turn to continue to the hospital.

I think about that moment every time I find myself at that set of lights. It was such a painful and trying time, I’m getting emotional just reflecting on it.

So, as I was saying, this Christmas was, if you can believe it, even harder. It’s my third one without my big sister here. The fact that Sarah is never going to be there Christmas morning, to see the glee on her children’s faces, or to open the annual Christmas pyjamas our mother gets us every year really set in. She is just not going to walk through the door.

On top of this emotional revelation, my husbands step father, Melvin, was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. My husbands father died of cancer ten years ago, his mother was devastated, but eventually found joy and happiness again with Melvin. He is such a wonderful person and so sweet I just can’t believe it. Cancer stole the father in law I was supposed to have and is now taking the other.

My husband and I spent the holidays commuting between my emotionally traumatized family and his emotionally traumatized-en-route-to-be-even -more-traumatized family.

Today Melvin finally saw the oncologist and the diagnosis was even worse than anticipated. The cancer is pretty much everywhere. They are going to try intense radiation next week but the overall sentiment is it will be futile at this stage.

My husband came home with the news of the severity as I was making the spaghetti. I just wanted to collapse – I am heading back to Vancouver on Saturday so the next time I see Melvin may very well be the last time I ever see him.

I had spent the day prepping trivia questions and running around town buying ingredients for the spaghetti supper. I had friends coming over and wine uncorked but I felt exactly like I did at those stop lights three years ago.

I decided to “turn left” again. I let the commitment to this blog and the cause to trump the emotion that was overwhelming me and went ahead to try and ‘celebrate’ this particularly painful day… which was National Spaghetti Day & National Trivia Day

I didn’t follow a recipe for the sauce, I just free styled as I am apt to do. This sauce consisted of:

  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 purple carrot
  • 1 orange carrot
  • 3 peppers – red orange and yellow
  • 1 package of Veggie Ground Brown
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • tsp of paprika
  • fresh oregano
  • jar of tomato sauce
  • salt & pepper

To prep for the spaghetti I roasted some garlic by slicing off the tops and laying some sprigs of oregano artfully about to set the mood

I then pour extra virgin olive oil down into all the crevices and wrapped them in tinfoil. I placed them in the oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes.

I sautéed the red onion,  purple carrots, orange carrots, celery, and mixed peppers till soft. Then I added the roasted garlic, a jar of tomato sauce, the veggie ground brown,  cinnamon sticks, salt, pepper and the fresh oregano.

I brought a large pot to boil with well salted water. Once it was going  I added the fresh pasta and let cook for about 8 minutes.

The fresh pasta looked like this when posed gingerly next to some carefully curated props :

When it was done, everyone helped themselves with the autonomy to determine their own noodle : sauce ratio,  and sat down family style around the kitchen table

Paired with some Italian wines and Parmesan cheese, dinner was a success.

Everyone said they enjoyed it very much and I believe them for the most part.

Especially Duncan

Next was the celebration of National Trivia Day. Hosting my own trivia night turned out to be a great experience. When you go out to pubs for public trivia you are roped into the entire night and the chance of being surrounded by douchebags.

At home you can pick who you let in! And limit the questions so you don’t have to play for hours and hours! Win Win!

I decided to go with a strong “Italy – Spaghetti” category to re-celebrate National Spaghetti Day. I did my research on various websites then got bored with trying to stick to other category concepts so the rest was just “Micellaneous”

Prizes are key to keep the enthusiasm high. There was an Italian bottle of wine at stake but it accidentally was consumed before we even started…oops.

Everyone was given a piece of paper, pen and asked to number it 1 – 21

I was the quiz master and everyone played as individuals

My questions & answers were as follows:


1. Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning what? (String or twine)

2. How many different shaped pastas are there in the world? (600 approximately)

3. As you’d expect, Italy is the country that eats the greatest amount of pasta worldwide. What are number 2 and 3? ( Venezuela and Tunisia)

4. Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? (Fruit)

5. Does Italy have any active volcanos? (Yes, 3 – Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli)

6. As a result of it’s 1866 victory over Austria, Italy first gained control of an important city that had formerly belonged to Austria but today is very much a part of Italy. Which city?  (Venice)

7. Which was not an italian invention : piano, cello, thermometre, espresso machine, or eyeglasses ? (Eyeglasses – Spanish invention)

8. Which of these things found in the Olympics moves the fastest? Ice hockey puck, bobsled, luge, or speed skier? (Skier – 140 mph)

9. What does ISO stand for? (International Standard Organization – determines cameras sensitivity to light)

10. What medieval unit of time equates a minute and a half now a days? (Moment)

11. What do M & M stand for in M&M’s?  (Mars & Murrie)

12. What is the capital of Estonia? (Tallinn)

13. What are Jerry Seinfeld’s character’s parents names? (Helen & Morty)

14. What is a zeedonk? (The offspring of a zebra and a donkey)

15. True or false Anne Frank, Dr. Martin luther king and Barbara walters were all born in the same year? (True – 1929)

16. When did the canadian flag first make it’s appearance: 1867, 1921, 1965, 1980? (1965)

17. Feb. 25, 1964, young boxing phenomenon Cassius Clay first gained the heavyweight title when he knocked out which champion? (Sonny Liston) +Bonus what was Cassius later named? (Mohammud Ali)

18. What astrological  sign would someone born July 1st be? (Cancer)

19. How do you spell ‘inexcusable’ ?

20. When was the first iPhone released? (2007)

21.  Portugal is bordered by which other country? (Spain)


Tim & Hillary were the winner – tied at  11 so I guess they were kind of hard questions.

If I did it again I would make sure there was more questions with ‘option’ answers and probably movie and music questions.

And so ended another celebrated day. It really did beat lying on the couch weeping which is probably what I would have done that night if I hadn’t previously arranged Spaghetti & Trivia night so there is that !

Up next : National Bird Day, National Screenwriters Day & National Whipped Cream Day