Powder and Pizza: A Grouse Mountain Ski Wee Review

Grouse Mountain Y2Play Pass - Ski Wee School

My 5-year-old loves being active, and has yet to meet a sport she doesn’t like so when we had the opportunity to test out Grouse Mountain Resort’s Ski Wee Lessons over spring break, we jumped at the chance! I was especially keen for her to learn from their professional instructors given that my only skiing experiences occurred on the “mountains” of Ontario, and to this day it is a miracle if my skis don’t cross.

Our adventure started bright and early on a spectacular, sunny Sunday morning. We boarded the SkyRide to bring us up to the chalet, and were treated to a gorgeous view that stretched as far as the eye could see. Adri had blast looking out the windows and finding all the wildlife she could spot. The ride is a mini adventure in and of itself, and a fun way to start off our day on the mountain!

Y2Play Pass Grouse Mountain Ski Wee Bowl

Grouse Mountain Ski Wee Bowl

Once we reached the top, we were met by our sunflower waving guides who pointed us in the direction of the sleigh – yes I said sleigh – that we got to ride over the crest to the Ski Wee Bowl where the lessons take place. The quick 5 minute ride pulled us past the skating rink that was just being cleared, and through the snow covered trees. It was the second fun adventure of the morning and the skiing hadn’t even started.

Grouse Mountain Resort Ski Wee School Gear

All geared up!

Having arrived at our destination, Adri was fitted for boots, skis, a helmet, and they even threw in some goggles given how brilliantly sunny it was. They started off the lesson with some group activities before dividing them up according to skill level. I was really happy to see my ‘never been on skis’ munchkin was with just one other little guy and their instructor so she got tons of one on one learning! Parents aren’t allowed to stay past the warm up activities as children are often more focused (and, lets face it, better behaved) with Mom and Dad out of the picture.

Grouse Mountain Ski Wee School

Grouse Mountain Ski Wee School

I hiked back over to the chalet and enjoyed some me time with a coffee and amazingly delicious breakfast sandwich, and arrived back within the 15-30 minute window at the end that they recommend to see her last runs. I was completely blown away that in 3 short hours, my first time skier was able to ski down the gentle slope of the Ski Wee bowl, not only without falling down, but also with excellent “pizza” form in order to come to a stop at the bottom! She confidently rode up the ‘magic carpet’ flat, escalator-style lift to the top of the hill and away she went again.

Grouse Mountain Ski Wee School Slope

Made it halfway down and through the “tunnel”

I figured that after 3 hours of skiing, with only a short snack and break that they provide in the middle, Adri would be exhausted and ready to go home. Much to my surprise, she was gung-ho when they told us that we were welcome to stay and continue to practice what she had learned. I’m that she’ll be slaloming in no time!

Grouse Mountain Resort Banner - Y2Play Pass

From start to finish, it was an exceptional experience and Adri is already asking me when we are going back. Luckily Grouse Mountain is now offering their Y2Play pass, which starts at just $29 for children 4 and under. The Y2Play pass is good not only for the remainder of the current ski season, but the entire 2014/2015 season and has a ton of extras like one time rentals, food credits and a variety of other discounts. There are so many awesome flexible family friendly options including the Parent Pass and Family Pass that there is a fit for everyone! Given that the pass pays for itself in just 5 visits, it is no surprise that it is already 80% sold out, so don’t wait – grab yours today! Maybe we’ll see you up there – I’ll be the one tripping over my skis while my tiny snow bunny runs circles around me.

All on the table disclaimer: While I did receive free or discounted products/services, all opinions are completely honest and totally my own and you know I would never share anything less than superbly stellar with all my fave readers!


Bye Bye Selfie, Hello SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

In the world of blurry iPhone selfies and grainy Instagram shots of your family, good wall worthy photos can be hard to come by. Thankfully the photography gods intervened and I met Sarah Moldenhauer of SarahJane Photography when she brought her oldest to my Gymboree class 7 years ago.

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

From family photos to maternity and newborn shoots to head shots, she does it all with a unique, instantly recognizable flair. While her studio style shots are incredible, her signature is candid outdoor shoots that result in fresh, natural, one of a kind memories that will last a lifetime! I could rave on and on, but her work speaks for itself.

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

A mom of 2 herself, Sarah knows how to put children at ease and tease smiles out of even the most tired and grumpy uncooperative child. I’ve had shoots were I left discouraged at the end, thinking there was no way on earth anything good came from it, only to be shocked when the edits came back and there was my gorgeous, seemingly happy family smiling back at me. She truly is a miracle worker!

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

Copyright SarahJane Photography

It’s very true that you get what you pay for, and good photograph is no exception. Luckily Sarah runs a spring special every year and now is the time! With this amazing deal you get an on location mini shoot plus 10 digital images all for just $250!! As if that wasn’t great enough, you (my lovely and loyal readers) will get an extra 5 digital images ($125 value) just for doing a little name dropping – my name that is! Tell her you read this post and the extra images are yours. And believe me when I say you will want them, choosing just a few favourites is impossible!!

Copyright SarahJane Photography Spring Special 2014

Copyright SarahJane Photography Spring Special 2014


All on the table disclaimer: While I did receive free or discounted products/services, all opinions are completely honest and totally my own and you know I would never share anything less then superbly stellar with all my fave readers! 


What Not to Miss – Canada Marketing Summit

Canadian Marketing Summit

In the world of 24/7 connectivity; of social media and email, not to mention TV, radio and traditional print media, finding the best marketing fit for your growing business can seem like a costly and time-consuming labyrinth. This is where the Canada Marketing Summit comes in and saves the day.

Now in its 3rd year, this event features 18 extraordinary speakers including Guy Steeves from Constant Contact, Melonie Dodaro from Top Dog Social Media and Benjamin Louie from Plenty of Fish, just to name a few. Not only will you learn cutting edge marketing techniques, you will also have the opportunity to network with over 500 entrepreneurs just like yourself from across Canada and the US.

This amazing event is running Friday March 28th – Sunday March 30th at the newly upgraded Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. Tickets for the 3 day Summit start at $297, but for a limited time, you can get your full event pass for just $97 by registering here – selecting the Early Bird Pass and entering the promo code “YVRBloggers”.

I am thrilled to be attending this event as a social media partner, and know I will learn so much. Hope to see you there!


Walking on Sunshine

I soak up every little bit of sunshine I can living here in Raincouver, so I was especially warmed to be tagged in a Sunshine Award blog post by the ridiculously witty Brooke Takhar over at Miss Teen USSR. For those in the dark, the award is “FBBB (for bloggers, by bloggers), and a way to recognize people who have charmed, supported, enlightened, and inspired the awarder in recent months.” I’ll admit to being slightly insanely intimidated by the level of talent of the company I was included with, and will use that as my excuse as to why it has taken me so long to generate my own post!

My answers to Brooke’s questions:

1. What’s the one book you always freak out about and demand your friends read?

Anything by Khaled Hosseini. Exquisitely crafted and incredibly painful to read, I always preface the recommendation with the fine print “don’t read unless you need a good cry and have a truckload of tissue at hand”.

2. You have $100 in your wallet. Where do you go to eat?

I’m currently obsessed with Dark Table. Google it if you’ve never heard of it. It’s a great experience where you eat in complete and utter darkness, served by blind or visually impaired staff. I’ve been twice and am planning my third excursion.

3. Your choice: flying cars or hoverboards?

Since I have no talent with anything balance related (skateboards, surfboards, SUP’s), then I definitely vote for flying cars. That and I LOVE driving! Do you figure they come with manual transmission??

4. What’s the one thing your partner does that makes DIVORCE flash behind your eyes?

One thing?? Ha! I think the thing that drives me crazy is when he “forgets” something I’ve asked him to do, he claims I never told him in the first place.

5. Best time of day to be productive – early morning or late at night?

Early morning, 100%. My brain shuts down once wine o’clock rolls around

6. I am of the belief that all jeans require a belt. If you agree, you may move to the next question. If you disagree, you need to make a very good argument for it.

I HATE belts. Mostly because they are totally unflattering to someone who is already generous with the curves. I don’t need any more help with a muffin top or extra bulk around my midsection, thanks. I really want to like them, I would have a wicked buckle collection, let me tell ya!

7. You fling your covers off the bed and there is a ____ on your pillow that makes you shriek long and hard. What is it?

A child right in my face! More than once my munchkin has snuck in while I’m fast asleep only to wake up nose to nose. Scares the crap out of me!

8. If you have children: knowing FULL WELL that there is a HUGE chance it could go HORRIBLY wrong, if your child wants to pursue a career in show business, do you help them?

Absolutely! Both my girls have been involved in the industry already, albeit in a very small way, and I think no matter what kids choose to do (entertainment, athletics etc), there’s always a chance things can go horribly wrong. Parent’s need to be involved 100% and make the best decisions they can. My 5 year old has become a bit of an introvert lately and has decided she wants to take a break for now, so that’s what we’re doing! Always her call.


Now it’s my turn to pass the sun beam! My 8 nominations are celebrating local love for my fellow North Shore bloggers

Arieanna Schweber from Active Mama

Cher Hanusiak from Eco Bravo

Jessica Blumel from North Shore Mama

Parrish Wilson from Just Another Mompreneur

Angela Santoro from Modern Mama North Shore

Janelle Baker-Chan from Yaya Baby

Bianca Bujan from Bits of Bee

Lindsay Coulter from Queen of Green

Your questions, should you choose to answer them are:

1. What is your favourite piece of technology as a blogger? As a mommy?

2. What’s the craziest fad diet/workout routine you’ve ever attempted?

3. Automatic or manual transmission?

4. What is your ideal number of kids?

5. Have you ever broken any bones?

6. What is the best old school way of writing? Pen & paper, typewriter, tablet & chisel?

7. What is the most unusual entry on your list of baby names?

8. What is the craziest thing you did as a child that you’d never let your own kids do?

Looking forward to reading all the great posts!


A Letter to my Daughter on her 1st Birthday

Aven's First Birthday

Dear Aven,

Today is the first anniversary of your grand (speedy) entrance into the world, and I have no idea where the past year has gone! You amaze me at each and every turn, and the bond between you and your big sister is something I never could have imagined and it takes my breath away. She continues to be your favourite person – the one you look for when you first wake up, the one who makes you laugh the most, and the one who you smile and run to when she comes in the door from school. It is my greatest hope that this bond will last a lifetime, through difficult, hormonal years, possible distance, careers, marriage and children – whatever life throws your way as you grow up, may you never grow apart.

Photo Credit: Cherish Bryck Photography

Photo Credit: Cherish Bryck Photography

You have an incredible sense of humour and are a wickedly accurate mimic. You love to copy whatever sounds/words you hear and do an impressive job of it. You are toddling around with increasing accuracy and speed and love to be outside as much as possible! You are VERY opinionated, and do not hesitate to share exactly what you think with everyone around you, through funny faces, shrieks, shouts, laughs, pouts, and throwing yourself down on the floor. We definitely have a budding drama queen on our hands!

You have the biggest, brightest blue eyes that light up when your big sister, Daddy or Mommy walk into the room, and an infectious laugh that matches the giant smile that often stretches from ear to ear, still with just 2 little teeth at the bottom. Your beautiful blond hair is thicker and starting to get longer with the slightest curl beginning to emerge. People often stop us on the street to tell us just how gorgeous you are, and how you look just like the gerber baby! We tend to agree.

Photo Credit: Sarah Jane Photography

I look forward to watching you grow this next year – seeing more and more of your personality emerge, watching the bond between you and your sister go from strength to strength and discovering your talents, abilities and likes. You are an absolute treasure and complete our little family. It was a long journey to this point, but worth every single step. I can not imagine life without you and am blessed to have such a wonderful life with you! I hope you always know just how much you are loved, and how proud we all are of you. Happiest of happy 1st birthdays my lovely girl.

Love, Mama.


5 Helpful Hints for Running in Vancouver

So I completed Day 1 of Couch 2 5K today, and I’m feeling pretty damn proud! Despite my novice status, I feel this qualifies me to offer some helpful hints to runners, beginner or marathon junkie. In my short 20 minute jaunt, I quickly took note of things that I would do differently for the next run (assuming there will be one).

1. Invest in high quality footwear. Preferably some sort of sneaker/rainboot hybrid that will prevent your feet from becoming damp, cold and smelling of squished worms.

2. Wear a hat with a brim. Or better yet, one with a built in umbrella that keeps the driving rain from plastering your hair to your head (and dripping down your neck), running off the end of your nose (at lease I think that was the rain), and generally rendering you incapable of running, or seeing for that matter.

3. Avoid hilly terrain. This one is specifically for us novice runners. I mean is it too much to ask that there be some flat areas on the side of a mountain? I’m trying to start running for pete’s sake – cut me some slack. I can barely crawl up a 40 degree incline, forget about run!

4. Waterproof everything. Particularly valuables like your headphones and mobile, no matter how much you loath that voice encouraging you to “begin running now”.

5. Run in the dark. It hides a multitude of sins, including, but not limited to bright red, sweaty face, desperate gasps for air, the frantic look in your eyes when you hear the cheery voice say “you’re halfway done!”, clothes that ride up and/or fall down, not to mention the running technique perfected by watching Friends reruns. Also less cars on the street to shower you as they drive through the lakes puddles.

Despite the soggy start, I’m not discouraged. I figure if I can run in the dark in the pouring rain and live to tell the tale, then it’s all downhill from there (hopefully literally)! Stay tuned for more tales from the trenches as I get the hang of this running thing.

Are you a runner? What do you love/hate? 


Far From the Stage: A Post Oscars Reflection

Oscar Statuette

There are many commentaries that could be generated from this year’s Oscars ceremony; the art of aging in Hollywood seemingly the most popular one, but something else stood out to me as I watched the notoriously lengthy production. The display of genuine emotion and celebration by the winners is directly proportional to the distance they are seated from the stage.

The farther away you get from the stage, the more likely the winners are to jump up and down, scream, cry, pump their fists, form an impromptu mosh pit and otherwise let their joy and excitement bubble to the surface with abandonment prior to their long jog to the stage. These are typically the unknowns – winners of categories such as Best Foreign Language Film, Best Animated Short Film, and Best Original Song to name a few. It is most certainly their first appearance at the Oscars, and for some, perhaps their last. They appreciate the experience, recognize the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ quality it possesses and therefore live in the moment, soaking up each drop. It is a stark contrast from the graceful, demure, faux humility expressed in many (but not all) A-listers. They are jaded, well accustomed to the grandiose of awards season and it shows. They don’t see the sparkling magic like the ingénues do and it drew for me a startling comparison to the different ways in which children and adults view and experience the world.

Children, like these Hollywood newcomers, experience life at full volume. They find joy and wonder in the simplest of everyday things that adults no longer even notice and they express this joy and wonder spontaneously and genuinely, instead of the reserved, polite expressions of happiness that adults have limited themselves to. They revel in the highest of highs and despair in the lowest of lows (often in the same breath) and aren’t afraid to let everyone around them know exactly how they feel at each and every turn.

I think we can all take a lesson from these 2 groups and (to paraphrase an overused saying) ‘sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like you’re far from the stage.’