Summer Eats

Who doesn’t love food? If you say you, I think you might be lying. Anyway, that’s besides the point because this is about me and some of the scrumptious foods I came across throughout the summer. 

Sweet Chili Cauliflower, MeeT in Gastown, Vancouver
Iced Mocha & Shortbread, Blacksmith Bakery, Fort Langley
Noodle Box with Chicken, Roaming Dragon Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
Vegan Mango Pineapple Ice Cream, Welcome Parlour, North Vancouver
Bacon and S’mores Waffle, Waffles with Benefits, PNE – Vancouver
The Main Event with Bacon, Reel Mac and Cheese Food Truck, PNE – Vancouver
Roasted Mushroom + Country Bacon Pizzette, The Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver
Chief Dominic Charlie Burger, The Tomahawk, North Vancouver
Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Gelato, Matteo’s Gelato, Port Coquitlam
Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Langley
Baja Shrimp Tacos, The Dime, Vancouver
Chili Cauli & Cucumber, The Dime, Vancouver
Warehouse Poutine, El Furniture Warehouse, Whistler
Sea Ya Later Tater, Taters: The Baked Potato Co., Shipyards Market – North Vancouver

Slavic Roll with Lemon and Raspberry Filling, Slavic Rolls Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
And now, something that totally surprised me. Coen suggested we have this for breakfast one day and I admit I was totally skeptical. It only took one bite to discover how delicious it was!

Bread, Butter, Sliced Strawberries and a Sprinkle of Sugar
There you have it. Some of my summer 2017 top eats! Below are links to some of the websites in case you get a hankering for something you see here. Happy Eating!


Blacksmith Bakery

Roaming Dragon

Welcome Parlour

Reel Mac and Cheese

The Belgard Kitchen

Matteo’s Gelato

Montana’s BBQ & Bar

The Dime

El Furniture Warehouse

Taters: The Baked Potato Co.

Slavic Rolls


Back to School

Boy, is it ever difficult to get back into the groove after summer vacation! No, I’m not complaining – I’m thankful for the time I get off! It was a rude awakening when my alarm went off on Tuesday morning but it was great to see my colleagues/friends; some of whom I hadn’t seen since the end of June.  And my little nuggets from last year? (You should have heard the outburst of laughter the time I called them my little chicken nuggets) Well, they didn’t seem so little anymore. I was greeted with hugs and “I missed you” from several of them. Students were only there for 40 minutes and we spent the time reconnecting and sharing about our summers. 

Meetings and preparations for the week followed. This year we decided to do something a little different for our opening week. We took all the grade 3, 4 and 5 students and organized them into five groups. Each morning we would do five rotations so each group would spend 30 minutes with each of the five teachers. We each chose lessons that were meaningful to us. My colleagues chose aspects of social responsbility, art and self-regulation. I chose Growth Mindset.

A couple years ago, a presenter and a Professional Development Day session I was attending mentioned Growth Mindset. I had never heard of it before but it intrigued me. I looked into it a little bit and have explored it with my students, although not to a great extent. 

The best resource I’ve found to introduce students to Growth Mindset is found on the Class Dojo website. There are five short videos (“chapters”), in which Mojo (a monster) finds out all about Growth Mindset. There are discussion questions that accompany each video as well as a set of questions to send home if you choose. 

Over the course of the three days I had the chance to go through the videos and discussion questions for the first three chapters. I also showed them the last two videos. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for discussion. Students who end up in my grade 2/3 class this year will explore it more!

Like most teachers, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and I’ve got a board dedicated to Growth Mindset. I came across several pins of picture books to use so I recently purchased What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem?  I am looking forward to using these two books!

By Friday I was exhausted, even though it was a short week. I’m sure fellow teachers can relate! On Monday morning I’ll meet my new class and, although I still have some of those beginning of the year anxieties bubbling around inside me, I’m looking forward to the new year!

Summer Beauty: My Top 12 Photos

I love taking pictures of all things that fall into my definition of beautiful.  I only use my phone and sadly mine died at the beginning of August so I’ve been using my old one with a less than stellar camera, but I’ve still managed to capture some beauty throughout the summer.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver
Train tracks on the way to Brandywine Falls, Whister
The trail to Brandywine Falls, Whistler
Brandywine Falls, Whistler
Whistler, British Columbia
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver
Totem Poles at Stanley Park, Vancouver
Vancouver from Stanley Park
 Stanley Park, Vancouver
Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington
Vancouver from North Vancouver
Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver

Majestic Beauty: Hurricane Ridge

Every so often I come across somewhere that is so beautiful it’s hard to put into words.  This summer, that place was Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.  Coen visited with his parents in October 2016 and showed me several stunning photos, including one of my all-time favourites of him!  Coen really wanted to show it to me and we thought about visiting in March but the 17 mile drive up from Port Angeles can be dicey in the winter so we decided against it.  When he suggested we go a few weeks ago I was all for it.

20953564_10159102122575363_6680963219486937819_nAs we began the drive into the Park raindrops appeared on the windshield.  “Are you kidding me!?!” I thought.  The summer had been ridiculously dry and THIS was going to be the day it rained?  REALLY!?! Thankfully it didn’t amount to anything as we kept driving.  It was pretty gloomy (you actually want some clouds for a more dramatic feel but the nice fluffy ones) but we stopped at a couple lookouts anyway.

When we arrived at the Visitors Centre parking lot I put a hoodie on for the first time in I didn’t know how long. Ugh. It was super cloudy, misty and pretty drab looking.

20882918_10159102123440363_7779499128002091599_nWe heard an announcement about a guided walk along the Cirque Rim Trail with a Park Ranger and figured we may as well do that in hopes that the weather would clear up while we were on that.  The walk was excellent and we learned about the FBI!  Fauna, bacteria and insects, of course!  At one point there is a gorgeous view of the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  You can even see a bit of Vancouver Island!  Sadly my pictures don’t do it justice.

Lo and behold the weather improved throughout the duration of the walk!  Much of the cloud coverage had blown away, the sun was shining and my hoodie came off pretty quickly!  Before we had started the walk Coen pointed at Sunrise Point which is at the top of the High Ridge Trail and said we would go there after.  Every so often I would look at it and say, “You really expect me to hike up there?” or “I’ll never make it.” Now according to the website it’s actually only a 0.5 mile loop with a 0.1 mile dead end spur trail to Sunrise Point, with a 220 ft elevation change which sounds pretty manageable.  However, I’m an expert at getting all into my head and psyching myself out.  Thankfully, Coen often challenges me to do things I don’t think I can do.  This was one of them.  So, off we went, with him encouraging me one step at a time (it really wasn’t that bad.)  I was rewarded with some pretty great views from Sunrise Point and along the trail.

When we got back to the Visitors Centre the view was so much better than earlier.  I found it absolutely gorgeous.  Quite breathtaking really.

The gift shop has all kinds of things.  Coen bought me a benchmark key chain to commemorate our visit!  He also surprised me with a certificate when we got home.  So cute!

I highly recommend visiting!  I’m so thankful we did and wouldn’t hesitate to go again.

I asked Coen if he wanted to add anything.  He said, “I like Hurricane Ridge because you can see over the mountains. It’s pretty and good for a nice walk or tour.”

Check out for info!

Tourist in My Own City: Tour Guys Downtown & Waterfront Walking Tour

Back in July I blogged about the walking tour I did of Granville Street and Gastown.  I had such a good experience that I wanted to check out another of the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours!  Coen and I decided to do one while he was here, opting for the Downtown & Waterfront tour.  We extended the invite to some of my friends and four of them joined us!

The tour began at Pacific Centre.  The first building we went into was the Hotel Vancouver, where we learned a little about the history.  From there we visited Christ Church Cathedral.  I had never been inside; it was small but beautiful!


We checked out the Marine Building next.  Another I had never been inside!  I’d never noticed that some of the detail on the building is marine-related!


From there we walked to Canada Place.  On the lower level there are a few exhibits that are worth checking out, including a podium, torches and medals from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  There is also a variety of First Nations artwork. The exhibit pictures are from when Coen and I checked it all out in March.  I didn’t take any pictures inside this time.

We walked along the waterfront to Jack Poole Plaza, where the Vancouver 2010 Cauldron is and walked to the small area on top of the Cactus Club where you can look down on the plaza as well as see the Convention Centre’s green roof!

20729323_10159080658150363_8285027017256694845_nThe tour ended there so we headed to Railtown to check out the Belgard Kitchen ( because Lori had been wanting to try it for awhile.  It was yummy and worth a visit!

We wandered around Downtown Vancouver afterwards.  What a great day with some of my favourite people!

Check out for info on the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours.

Summer’s End

And just like that, summer is almost over.  Where does the time go?  I’ve been in a panic to get things done; it’s not like I’ve had the past eight weeks to do them.  The weather is ridiculously hot; my condo feels like a sauna.  How am I supposed to tackle all my little chores?  It’s like I have no choice but to visit places with A/C; like my massage clinic and Earls (hellooooo, Happy Hour) later this afternoon.

Despite having so much time off it’s always hard to go back to work.  I look forward to seeing last year’s class on the first day.  I love hearing about their summer adventures and sharing mine.  Truth be told, I miss my little nuggets over the summer.  It’s a strange feeling to spend Monday through Friday with them over the school year and then to not see them for two months.

It seems like just yesterday I was leaving my classroom for the summer and now it’s time to go back to set things up for next week.  The anxiety is kicking in…what grade will I be teaching?  Who will be in my class? What is going to be best for all my little learners?  How can I reach each and every one of them? What can I do to ensure they all feel loved?  Should I set my classroom up differently this year?  What should I keep the same?  What should I do differently?  So many questions, so few answers, and some of those questions will remain unanswered until I meet my new students.  It’s virtually impossible to know what I should do until I get a feel for my new kids – their interests, their needs – all that jazz!

So, fellow teachers, try to let go of those anxieties – there is nothing we can do at this point – and enjoy the last week of vacation!f33a217f3c6955931cfc3a000f13bebc


Challenge Accepted/Tourist in My Own City: Fort Langley

Earlier this month Coen and I visited the Fort Langley National Historic Site ( but when we left we couldn’t find any parking to check out the town.  Yesterday I met my friend, Christine, and her adorable little man, Jackson, for lunch in Langley and decided I would check out Fort Langley afterwards.  It was an insanely hot day so my first stop was Wendel’s Bookstore and Cafe ( for a cold drink. 20170828_155458 It was a cool little spot with a small bookstore on one side and cafe on the other.  I ordered an unsweetened Iced Tea to-go.  It was super refreshing!  My parking spot was only good for 30 minutes so I hopped back in my sweltering car and drove across the little bridge to Brae Island Regional Park (  I enjoyed my Iced Tea while taking a short walk on one of the trails and checking out the view of the Fraser River.

Afterwards I headed back over to Fort Langley and found another parking spot.  I popped into a few shops, including TAP (  I’m pretty much obsessed with lavender so I picked up some tea and lip balm!

2017-08-29 11.49.00I haven’t tried the tea yet, but I love the lip balm; the lavender scent is amazing!

My last stop was the Blacksmith Bakery ( which my sister-in-law had told me about.  It DID NOT disappoint.  The service was great and my Iced Peppermint Mocha and shortbread were delicious!20170828_160958
I could see myself setting myself up with a drink, a snack and my laptop to get some work done!

While I didn’t spend much time in Fort Langley, I got a little taste of what it has to offer.  I definitely want to explore it a little more one day!