Category Archives: THINGS TO DO

BACK TO SCHOOL

The countdown is ON!!!!

There are just a couple of weeks left before we all have to get back to our routines and all the hectic schedules. We all need to start getting ready not just with school supplies and latest fashion trends, but making sure our kids get to a good start to the school year.

There is no misleading ourselves about the amount of information kids loose over 2 extended months of holidays and with that  in mind, there are things we should be doing.

We could, for starters, make sure they have been reading during the summer (there are fabulous programs in all local libraries): http://www.nvdpl.ca/children, http://www.westvanlibrary.ca/index.php?page=69 . Lead by example and make sure your kids see you relaxing with a good book in hand. Ask them about the book they are reading, who is the main character, what is the plot, is there anything they would’ve added to the book to make it more interesting? Don’t forget, kids, just like adults, get a lot of confidence when they are heard and taken seriously.

For those kids with curious minds, there is now a Science Outreach Organization that creates and delivers science learning programs and services to get or keep kids interested in science, realizing how important it is for any nation to make sure the talent is there to keep us growing: www.letstalkscience.ca

If you are still traveling in the coming weeks, make sure you visit the museums and art galleries, wherever you go. It’s a great way to get kids interested in arts and a fantastic opportunity to learn more about different cultures. And if you are staying in town, check out the exhibit at the  Vancouver Art Gallery  featuring Mattisse and other modern masters.

For those who were struggling with academics last year, please, do not wait until they start struggling again to take action. There are many different strategies you could apply and many programs that are bound to fit your kids necessities. Whether it is one on one tutoring, or through a program like fun-wey tutoring services, listen to what your kid is telling you about his learning abilities and check with teachers about what style of learning they see fitting for your kid. (Check our fall education tab)

Make sure when you prepare the schedule for your kids, there is a good balance between sports, arts, academics and leisure time. We tend to over schedule our kids and ourselves, making life increasingly difficult for everyone giving ourselves the old excuse: “but they wanted to do it”… You are the parent, and you are the adult and you should make sure you keep things reasonable.

Whatever else you do, enjoy these last two weeks of glorious weather, BBQ’s with friends and sleeping over !

 

 

 

 

FINALLY SUMMER

I have to confess, I had started to check online for last minute all inclusive get aways…

My favorite time in Vancouver is the Summer. It’s just perfect: 20 to 25 degrees (Celsius that is), tons of beaches to go to, bbq’s with friends, lighter traffic and since I’m a fair weather runner, well, if not during the summer then when?

I had almost given up! Last week was a disaster! It looked and felt a lot like the end of November: tuques were out, winter jackets were out, rain boots… OK I didn’t put gloves on but I was wearing a scarf… It was sad. Even sadder the fact that I got no pity around my house. My husband and child kept on pointing out “how lucky we were”, “rain makes everything greener”, “purifies the air”, etc, etc. All perfectly sound, reasonable things, except that  they don’t suffer like I do of perpetual coldness. Yes, it is a disease! It can not be transmitted though, so no worries :)

And then, as if God had picked over my shoulder and taken pity on my husband ($$$$),  the skies opened up and the sun came to us!!! Finally.

So? we started with an Ice Cream @ Pink Berry in the Park Royal Village. Head for Ambleside Beach, were we walked  along the seawall, laughed at my son as he and his friend were trying, “unsuccessfully”, to catch a pigeon, admired the elegance of the swans in the lake and the majestic fly of a Heron as it took off from the same lake. Then, we went to Dundarave were we swang in the swings and just enjoyed a bit more sunshine while being mesmerized at the beauty of this place we call home.

Dinner time arrived and at home we barbequed some delicious Filet Mignon on a nice bed of wild rice with oven baked asparagus & carrots drizzled with sesame seed oil (everything tastes great with sesame seed oil). There you go: 3 super easy things you can prepare for dinner in less than 20 minutes.

Let’s hope it last more than a few days. Did I mentioned I LOVE Summer?

 

 

 

SPRING IS HERE… OR IS IT?

Up until yesterday – and even this morning – we Vancouverites were so excited to feel the sunshine on our backs, to see the beautiful cherry blossoms starting to – well – blossom and not having to wear a fleece, a rain jacket, rain boots, a hat etc.

But, as we all know, all good things come to an end and we are back in the rainy April season, at least until Saturday… or so the weather predicts.

The thing about rain though is that it makes it possible to have so much green surrounding us all the time. This is, at the end of the day, a beautiful place to live. Rain or shine we tend to forget all about the bitter cold that seeps through our bones as soon as a little ray of sunshine touches or bodies but while we wait for Summer to arrive, why not going for a walk to Rice Lake which is accessible by Lynn Canyon Park and Lynn Headwaters?

It’s just a matter of getting the rain boots and rain jackets on, and heading with your kids for a great walk. The walk will take you between 40 minutes to an hour and there is lots of parking by the gravel parking lot north of Capilano University or at the Lynn Valley Headwaters. The trail on itself is a loop that will let you have several different viewpoints of the lake. The lake is stocked with trout each year around Father’s Day and during the summer you can even go for a swim! Thank God for forgetfulness and for rain gear!