March 31, 2011
Two weeks ago, Keira took her swimming test and finally (and people, I do mean finally) passed and graduated with flying colours to the next level! The photo above shows her with her dorsal floater on her back but she now swims without it. Unbeknownst to her, while she swam from the platform in the water to the other side of the pool, the instructors would take her floater off, she'd swim and then right before she got to the other side, another instructor would quickly slip it back on. We kept telling her she can swim without the floater but.. she never believed us until I finally videotaped her and showed it to her. Did it make a difference? Nope. What did? Seeing another swimming buddy jump in the water without her floater. Suddenly, that thing was old news. lol.
So goodbye Salamander, hello Moon Fish!
March 29, 2011
I am falling in love with making dresses but I'm still really bad at it. I only wish I had my mom's technical sewing and knitting abilities. She was incredible at it & used to make some of our clothes when my sister and I were kids. She would get japanese magazines and study the images and make patterns from kraft paper or regular newspaper.
Here, I used the same pattern as the last dress I made except I wanted to add shoulder straps from the back that would button on the front so I cut the bottom part of the dress according to the pattern and did freehand tweaking on the top. Start to finish, 4 hours. 1 extra hour was taken in trying to find buttons (nacre de perles buttons taken off my wedding blazer!), sewing button hole edges by hand and then creating the distressed flower detail on the front. I added some beads leftover from Keira's birthday party last year. Et voila..
I like how these sewing projects keeps my mind free of other things..
March 27, 2011
|Doing her best façon babboon... Just need to add a 'hmf!'|
|golden mornings. i love her little face..|
|wearing my hoodie and joking around...|
Car update: My van was fixed on Friday. Something about some thingamabobby thingy between the transmission and some other thing. I've refused to drive the thing and have stuck to the mister's car. We are now looking around for another car.
Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, wherever you are!
Posted by Chantale Park at Sunday, March 27, 2011
March 26, 2011
Here's a last look at these bento boxes that were auctioned off on Ebay for Bento4Japan! These two are going home to their new owners who were generous in their bids. I've added a little something extra for each of them as a Thank You. You can continue to bid on some fantastic bento items on Bento4Japan's Ebay listing.. All proceeds go towards Japan Relief Fund! Happy bidding..
For an update on how much Bento4Japan has raised so far, please go to www.hapabento.com or www.happylittlebento.blogspot.com! You will be amazed at how much has been raised so far. Thank you to everyone who's participated & bought our items!
March 25, 2011
|Vintage Blossom in citrine.. from DwellStudio|
I had really been counting on having a slow Friday and an even calmer and slower weekend so that I could come up with a tee design I promised our japanese media partners at work. They will be doing a charity ski event in Japan in April to raise money for Japan Relief. When I get more details, I'll let you all know the when and the where! They want to sell the tee's to raise funds. Sadly, it will end up being a rushed Friday and weekend as I got smacked with some unexpected rush jobs at work (sigh) and..... right in the middle of rush hour traffic yesterday evening, my transmission died on my old van and I could see my stalled van backing up traffic.
Have I told you how much I can't stand cell phones? Well, yesterday was one day where I could've actually used one. Luckily my car broke down near a bank and gas station. I couldn't reach Mr C (he later told me his battery on his cell was depleted), and I was nearing hysterics as I couldn't remember my friend's cell number and ran out of change to call anyone on the pay phone at the gas station. So I ended up at the bank and asking those wonderful ladies to call me a cab, got to Keira's school and breathed a huge sigh of relief as I saw Keira with her best friend Miss B and Miss B's mom all waiting for me.
I asked Miss B's mom to try to keep calling Mr C while I rushed back with the cab back to my van and when we got there, there was a cop car behind mine.. with another on it's way to me. They helped push my van to a side street so that traffic could move again. So while I explained why I wasn't with my van and why it wasn't moving, I had tears in my eyes as I tried to gulp the hysteria back down. What helped me was the fact that another one of Keira's friends mom drove by, rolled down her window and asked me if I wanted her to pick up Keira at school, if I was okay, if I needed her to do anything. Helped prove my point of why I had to leave my van to make sure my kid was taken care of at school. Plus, they didn't write me a ticket! There are GOOD people in this world. There really are. And yesterday proved it. From the bank people, to the taxi driver, to Miss B's and Miss L's moms to the police men who explained what happened to my car (transmission.. what in heck is that?!) and calling a tow truck for me while calming me down.. I was grateful for all of them and the kindness of their hearts.
And while I can beat myself up about all the stress that happened to me yesterday evening, I kept thinking about those in Japan who lost everything and thought, hey.. I can bike to work if I have to. In perspective, it was just my car that died. Nothing else.
So today, I dive into my work and try to finish that up and this weekend, we try to shop around for a new (used?) car and run around as usual. You see that roll of DwellStudio fabric up there? I'm hoping to make something out of that too this weekend. I find sewing calms me.. it challenges and calms me. Is that even possible? lol.
So I wish you all a wonderful and chillaxin' weekend! And I can happily say to you again: There are good people in this world. You meet them when you least expect them.
March 24, 2011
Keira has a school outing and I was required to make a lunch for her to bring to school. I packed her snacks of fresh fruit, crackers and cheese in these new bento boxes I got for her through Lunch à Porter's website. Remember when we saw gorgeous bento boxes in a shop window while walking around Old Montreal (post here)? Well Keira chose her boxes online and I finally put in my order and we're extremely happy with what we received! Plus, there was a little extra something in the order (thank you so much Nobuko!). What you don't see here is her thermos filled with macaroni & cheese as her main meal. Pretty much the same as the ones I've made before (see here).
First off, the quality is amazing! Plus, every single item came with exact care instructions so you're not left wondering if the products are dishwasher safe, microwaveable etc.
My absolute fave? The Gel Cool Cooma bear bento box which has a gel top that you can pop into the freezer the night before and it keeps your food cool for hours the next day. I can't wait to use it for Keira's summer lunches. I also used the little triangular snack box for her cheese and crackers. It is such a pretty box! You can also remove the inner split lid to add bigger snacks like grapes. And of course, I also got her the lefty spork. Keira's been eating with it since Friday.
I also added my lunches for half the week.. Korean bbq bulgogi with rice and fried tofu on the side. Why haven't I used the new bento boxes? Because apparently I am not allowed to. lol.
So thank you Lunch à Porter! For an easy to navigate site, easy method to purchase and fast delivery. Check out their website for more fantastic choices.. Since I'm not allowed to use these new ones, I guess I will have to get my own. I am eyeing this one.
I am slowly getting ready and prepping up to making bento lunches every weekday for Keira come summer. I can't wait for the farm fresh fruits & veggies stands to open up near our house too..
Don't forget! You still have time to bid on some incredible bento items in Bento4Japan's Ebay page to raise money for Japan Relief! There are some super cute items newly added and some terrific STARTER KITS for all of you who are new to bentos and want to get started. The amount raised so far has been wonderful! Some incredibly hard working people in the bento and food community have worked tirelessly to make this a true success, I tip my hat off to you all and I consider myself a lucky gal to be your friend.
March 22, 2011
|Keira un peu 'dandy'.. hehe.. avec sa nouvelle parapluie.|
This project took my mind off of sad news on the telly & is my Sweet Shot Tuesday. Now I encourage you all to enter your own Sweet Shot Tuesday photos here: My3Boybarians.com.
March 21, 2011
|Beth & the Ballad of Billings Hill by Tuesday Mourning. Why yes, I love Merrilee's art! See Keira's portrait by Merrilee here. The mask is the latest souvenir of Venice, Italy from Keira's tante Francine..|
|Keira's room. Yes, that is her princess band-aid collection stuck to her headboard. She opened a new box of bandaids and stuck on her favorites. (Just in case you were wondering if they were used).|
|Our newest little mobile fifi mandirac.. From Shak Shuka!|
March 19, 2011
|Sweet little Abiko & her Papa..|
|Two lovelies! Abiko & her Maman..|
|She wrote "Japan ♡"|
|Bags and bags of cookies!|
|Why yes, she is getting her nails done.|
|Keira shows off the finished results.|
|Everyone thought Keira & I were japanese.. we just pretended we were for the time we were there.. hehe.|
Hopefully next time, we'll set aside some more time to chat and have fun with our new friends and Abiko too. Our pockets full of cookies, an origami crane, new artwork and sparkly nails.. we headed back home.
Thanks for letting us know about the event Aya!
|(Based on the Yo Gabba Gabba song, Lovely, Love My Family, written by Amos Watene, performed by the Roots.)|
After the past week, this is truer than ever right?
You can get your print in Merrilee's etsy shop here: etsy.com/tuesdaymourning
And remember! You still have time to bid on Bento4Japan's terrific items on Ebay! All proceeds go to the relief fund for Japan. Remember my 2 items are Free Shipping Worldwide! (See previous post)
March 18, 2011
You probably noticed the new badge on my sidebar the last 2 days? A few days ago I got a tweet from Lia, Mils & Alissa about helping out the bento community. Inspired by the amazing Maki of Just Bento site who has been tweeting since the earthquake/tsunami hit in Japan with updates and news (seemingly non stop and without rest, she must be Super Woman), Mils started the Bento4Japan blog/site and got together everyone to donate items for their Ebay page. All donations and money raised goes towards GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund (small percentage goes to MissionFish for processing).
There are some terrific items up for auction on the Ebay/Bento4Japan page! Like a signed copy of Crystal Watanabe's & Makiko Ogawa's signed Yum Yum Bento Box cookbook, super kawaii bento boxes and accessories and more!
Even if you aren't a bento lover or haven't tried it before, the cookbooks will help you on your way and the cute bento boxes are a fun way to bring your lunches to school or work. These aren't for kids only.
Here are my 2 donations that I got from LunchàPorter.com! The wonderful owner Nobuko of Lunch à Porter is also donating towards Bento4Japan! These are super quality bento boxes so if you bid, I want you know how gorgeous they are. If you bid on the boxes below, I also want you to know that although it says shipping to United States, I will ship WORLDWIDE for Free for you! Thank you to all my friends in the bento community for letting me be part of a greater good and to the wonderful Mils, Crystal & Debra who has helped me and so many others out with her time and energy!
So Happy Friday everyone. I hope you take the time to check out Ebay and bid on some items for a very good cause.
|2 Tiered Small Snack size bento box|
|3 Tiered Pear Collection bento box|
March 16, 2011
Lullatone's videos and fell head over heels in love with their music, their concept and the video itself! After everything happening, it completely made my heart sing and smile.
Lullatone is for sharing! And I wanted to share with all of you all that is wonderful that is Lullatone. After checking out their sweet blog, I realized that Shawn, his wife Yoshimi and their sweet, adorable son Niko are living in Nagoya, Japan. I hope that they, their family and friends are all okay.
Shawn can also be seen on japanese tv every Saturday morning teaching kids how to make instruments from materials around the house! How cool is that? I am going to watch this video with Keira tonight as she's already made 2 'maracas' from empty plastic bottles filled with my beloved chocolate covered peanuts (!) and rice.
Lullatone is selling their music to help raise funds for Japan! All proceeds from the sale of their album will go to the Japanese Red Cross. You can download their music here: www.lullatone.com/category/shop/. It is a 'pay what you want' download.
I think the "We Will Rock You to Sleep" cd is perfect for this cool lil' dude here:
|The S-dude.. Photo credit: Kristin of KLTworks|
|WOW! I just love the illustrations for their music. We Will Rock You to Sleep & Hello Kitty Black Wonder disc. Image credit: Lullatone|
Please go and check out their wonderful and sweet blog: lullatone.tumblr.com & www.lullatone.com where we get to peek into and read about Shawn and his family and of course, all things Lulla.
|The lovely lady, Yoshimi, Credit: Shawn Seymour, Lullatone|
|The awesome Niko, isn't he so amazingly cute? Credit: Shawn Seymour, Lullatone|
|And the creative sir, Shawn + Niko! Credit: Shawn Seymour, Lullatone|
Lullatone - Experiments Around the House from lullatone on Vimeo.
You can view more Lullatone magic on:
Their vimeo page: vimeo.com/lullatone
Their website: www.lullatone.com and lullatone.bandcamp.com
And connect with them on twitter: @Lullatone and facebook: facebook.com/pages/Lullatone
Shawn, thank you so much for letting me know that Lullatone exists! I am completely and utterly smitten with my heart uplifted. I hope you all are too! Please stay safe in Japan, our hearts & prayers go out to you all.
All photo credit except for S-dude Lullatone. S-dude: KLTworks