We have been out running around all day and I just came home and opened the mail and found I won another package of Huggies diapers.....yeah!!! Thank you Urbanmoms.ca for this wonderful surprise!!! I knew I had won a package from Huggies Enjoy the ride program but this was way to quick for it to have arrived as I only won it 48 hours ago on their site.....and our mail doesn't move nearly that quickly from East to West!!
One of my favorite hobbies is entering contests. I enter a lot and earlier today a courier arrived and threw a parcel on my front porch (and ran as fast as he could as he could hear the three barking dogs on the other side of the door...haha) ..hmmm....so I opened it and apparently I won a book. Of course I don't remember entering the contest to win it....but on further investigation in the mailer package, I also discovered there is a cover letter. I won this prize from The Penguin Group Canada and Chatelaine magazine. The title of the book is "This Charming Man". It is by Marion Keyes and is 885 pages long so it is a big book. I think I will wait until after Christmas to start this one!! Thanks Chatelaine!
Last week Canada Post brought me a package from a contest win also. It is from the Danone Yogurt company and is a very nice soccer ball. It seems like it is really good quality. I recently entered one of their contests also. This prize came very quickly. I haven't taken a photo of it as it doesn't have air in it yet. The kids will enjoy this in the yard come summer... Thanks to the Danone Yogurt folks for this lovely prize!
I also won a contest from Nestle Favorites Chocolate November 7 which I had hoped would arrive before Christmas but it doesn't look like that is going to happen...they are apparently backed up with their contest win send outs and are estimating mid January before it comes. Too bad on that one!!
And last but not least, I won diapers from Huggies this week playing their Enjoy the Ride instant win contest. That will probably take awhile to arrive also but we can always use diapers around here!!
First off before I go on with this post, Heidi.... if you are reading this, I changed the template and header picture and now the snow is falling!! Yeah!!! If anyone else wants snow to fall on their blog, please contact Heidi over at Fairy Footprints in the Sand....click on Tinkerbell in my sidebar for the fastest way to get to her blog..... she always has some gorgeous headers and other things to look at there too!
Recently Loretta invited Dakotah and I to come to her house to make Christmas cards. Well, I can never go to a fellow doll lovers house without bringing a doll so I brought the one above as she is one of my favorites and for many years was my "dream" doll. Of course once that dream came true other dreams sprang into my head but they will have to wait a bit.
Just before we headed to the car to leave to go to Loretta's, the mailman pulled up out front and had my swap gift from a "secret" swap pal in one of the vintage doll clubs I belong to. I packed the box up and took it with me as it is always more fun to open presents with others. The funniest thing happened when I was at Loretta's. I went to go out to the car to get something and there on her front porch was a box and in that box was her swap gift so we got to open both of them that day. Mine is on the doll on the right side of the picture and is from Jean and Loretta's childhood doll on the left is wearing the outfit from her swap partner Betty!
Here is my "living" doll under the Christmas tree at Loretta's. You can see by her smile how happy she was to be included.
And here she is with her cards...in front of her she has a container of mini M & M's that Loretta's mother brought for her....chocolate will always bring a big smile!
Here we have Loretta, Dakotah and Susie all working hard making cards.
Susie with all her beautiful cards in front of her. We each made three. Loretta had put together all the little goodies to put onto each card in separate little bags. She is very organized.
And here is me and mine!
Once the cards were done, it was time for tea...and goodies of course...yum..yum...
And this is my buddy Kelsie who always greets me at the side gate tail a wagging and excited to see me! It was a fun way to spend the afternoon!
Deep in the heart of Kitsilano in Vancouver there is a well kept secret place named "The Secret Garden Tea Company". The link will not copy and paste for some reason but if you Google the name it will come up and tell the history of this establishment. For quite some time my friend Loretta has been talking about us visiting this place where they serve a true English "High Tea". However, you have to plan well in advance as they have limited seating and fill up very quickly. A few weeks back Loretta suggested this date and booked a table. It was a good thing she had been here before because if you don't know it is there, you would have a hard time finding it. From the street it is a nondescript store front painted a dark green with a small hanging sign above the entry way. Once you enter you are shown to your table where a menu is presented with pages and pages of choices of tea you can order. None of us were terribly imaginative, some had a tea called "Queen Helen" (which the Helen in our group found to be suitably named LOL) and an English breakfast tea.
Here you can see the hanging sign outside and the rather hard to see green painted front of the tea room.
Tea is served in individual tea pots with cute tea cozies on them. The china is English Bone china and the placard indicates the times High Tea is served.
And here we are. Starting from the left side is Loretta's dear Mom Susie, next to her is Loretta, next to Loretta is an old school chum of hers named Helen, then is Leona, who is Loretta's younger sister (and one of Susie's other daughters...there are 4 in all!) and finally myself all decked out for Christmas in my Christmas tree shirt.
The high tea is served on a 3 tiered plate. On the second layer is a cranberry scone and slices of coconut banana loaf. The little dishes contain clotted cream and jam to spread on the scones and bread.
The lower layer of the plate contains various little sandwiches. Some are on bread, others are on tiny mini croissants. In the middle of this plate are egg rolled sandwiches. My favorite was the pesto chicken on the croissant, but all were delicious!
Loretta and Helen enjoying their tea.
Leona and I.
The desert section of the cake plate was at the top and was decadent. There were miniature lemon tarts that are excellent. An apple cheesecake with a dollop of whipped creme and tiny miniature gingerbread men on top as a garnish...note the one on the right is handicapped and only has one eye..Leona packed him up to take home....she thought her sons would like to see him! And finally a chocolate brownie type of square with a glob of fancy pink frosting and sitting on top of that a tiny miniature pinwheel cookie. Imagine the time it must take to make these teeny tiny garnishes for the desserts. They were all excellent and it would be hard to pick a favorite but I did really enjoy the lemon tart a lot.
Soon it was time to head home as Loretta had another event to prepare for. I went into her house for a few minutes to see my buddy Kelsie the doggie and to collect a few things I had left there and Loretta brought her new Elsie Dinsmore doll down to show me...isn't she just the most darling doll? She is made by a company called Life Of Faith and they have apparently stopped making the dolls now. Loretta has her dressed in a Daisy Kingdom dress that suits her to a T. I have a few other cute pictures but will have to post them in a week or two as they involve a Chatty doll and the lovely outfit she is wearing. The outfit which Loretta has just completed making is for a Christmas swap in one of the doll collector groups we belong too and just in case her swap partner happens to read the blog, I don't want to post any pictures that will tip her off as to what she is receiving and ruin her surprise! In the background of this picture you can see a bit of Loretta's lovely Christmas Village that she has set up on the piano top for the Christmas season. It is so pretty and she has it in a perfect spot.
This lovely lady is giving away this gorgeous teapot in a celebration of her 400th post so try and stop by if you have a minute, it is a lovely blog to visit! Her link is displayed on the picture above.
The Olympics are coming to Vancouver in 2010. I am not much or an athlete nor do I follow sports. Had I been asked if I wanted the Olympics to come to Vancouver in 2010 I would have said no and voted against it but no one asked my opinion! (Imagine that....haha) The powers that be decided to bid on the winter games and they won the bid. We, the loyal citizens will be paying for this with our tax dollars probably for the rest of our lives. There are many, many reasons why it was not a good idea (at the top of the list is the fact that most local people cannot even afford to go to the games and with cuts to education, health care, etc...should we be paying the tab on this rich man's sport?) and then add to that a world recession and... but that is all water under the bridge now. We have the bid, we have to pay for the things needed to host this world party so we might as well get into the swing of things and at least enjoy some of the stuff we can afford that have to do with the big event.
When Loretta and I went our field trip to Hycroft, we went through The Bay department store to get to the Skytrain rapid transit to come home. The Bay is the store chain that is allowed to sell official Olympic "stuff". And do they have the stuff there!! They have an entire floor of the store set up as "The Official" Olympic store and they are selling everything you can possibly think of there and probably a lot of things you never dreamed of... A few weeks back Loretta had ventured forth and picked up a really cute pair of Olympic red mittens so while we were downtown today I bought a pair also. The proceeds of these mittens is supposed to be earmarked for Canadian Athletes which are very underfunded so the thought of the money going there is appealing. I had checked our local Bay store on the weekend and the mittens were sold out but they were expecting more in mid week. Loretta has heard there is a limited supply of them so I felt the "need" to obtain a pair before they are gone! I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice they are! We saw a number of people heading for cash registers with their arms over flowing with the mittens so I guess they are a hit. At 10.00 they are probably the best Olympic buy out there.
This is a coffee shop located within the Olympic Store in The Bay. Can you tell Coca Cola must be one of the official sponsors?? And speaking of sponsors, when I paid for the mittens, I was told either cash or Visa. Out of curiosity, I queried the clerk..."What about my Bay card..." He said "No, we cannot take the Bay credit card, gift cards, or anything except Visa and cash. The Visa company paid big bucks to have the sponsorship of the Olympics and so The Bay card can't be used"....I found it interesting and for those who also think it is interesting...The Bay card...the official card of the Bay department store is a Mastercard. I wonder if this policy is only at the "official" store downtown or if it applies to all the Bay stores...the reason I am wondering is because in June, I bought a pile of Olympic clothing at another location to give to relatives elsewhere and I used my Bay Mastercard to pay for it!! Interesting little tidbits that make you go UMMM......
In the background to the left is official Hudson's Bay blankets which as far as I know can only be purchased from The Bay (formerly the Hudson's Bay) department store. And on the right is a part of a wall full of Olympic collector pins. We couldn't find prices on the pins so have no idea what they are selling for. There is certainly something for everyone in the pin department...tons of different ones to chose from.
Another thing we like to do at Christmas is visit the Christmas department in the downtown Bay store. It was a little disappointing this year, the displays not as plentiful or nice as last year. Maybe because of the Olympics or perhaps just a cost cutting thing in a recession time. I am not sure which but I was hoping for something as pretty as last year....
This sleigh full of snowmen and Godiva Chocolates was really cute!
There was a display wayyyy up high above the cash desk of Christmas Villages. I could see one I have never seen before with all these different people, horse and buggy etc circling the house and going round and round so I went looking to see what it is and discovered it is called "City Sidewalks". It was one of the nicer village pieces I have seen. It was priced at 129.99. Nope...it didn't come home with us but it was lovely to look at!
These cute carolers were on display in the Christmas department. There were a few versions, and all were cute. I so wish my house were bigger when Christmas time rolls around...so much cute stuff and so little space to put it!!
Nutcrackers must be popular this year as this guy was available for purchase. My oldest son was crazy about nutcrackers growing up. I am glad this size wasn't readily available then or he would have found a way to buy it and whatever would I do with it the rest of the year???
These very attractive candles in a number of shapes and sizes are really pretty and elegant...another item I wish I had more room for....they are quite similar to a set of dishes they carried last year. I bought two of the large mugs from the dish set last year and my husband and son love them for their hot chocolate.
Today Loretta and I ventured out in a cold and blustery Vancouver day to attend Christmas at Hycroft. This is my second trip to Hycroft. Each year the University Women's Club Vancouver has this marvelous fund raising event and invites everyone to attend and view their beautifully decorated Edwardian mansion in the very affluent area of Shaughnessy in Vancouver. You can shop for specialty Christmas gifts as they have many artisans there selling their craft work. The website telling the history of the magnificent piece of property is here and well worth the read: www.uwcvancouver.ca/house/index.html If you click on each picture it should display large so you can see all the lovely decorations in the photos. We had a lovely day and I hope you enjoy the photos!
To believe is to know that every day is a new beginning. It is to trust that miracles happen, and dreams really do come true. To believe is to see angels dancing among the clouds,To know the wonder of a stardust sky and the wisdom of the man in the moon. To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,The innocence of a child's eyes and the beauty of an aging hand,for it is through their teachings we learn to love. To believe is to find the strength and courage that lies within us, When it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again. To believe is to know we are not alone, That life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it. To believe is to know that wonderful surprises are just waiting to happen, And all our hopes and dreams are within reach. If only we believe.
I am a mother of two grown sons and gramma to 4 darling little grandchildren. When I can find the time I enjoy reading, gardening, sewing, walking, visitng friends on my computer and my doll hobby. I also enjoy travelling. I lived in Hawaii for many years and miss being there a great deal. In recent years our destination of choice has been Southern California where we always have a wonderful time and the weather is fantastic. Computers are not my strong suit, nor is technology so I am just stumbling my way through and learning as I go along. Thank you for visiting my blog!