Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year, New Blog

The New A Beautiful LIfe
I'm very pleased to announce the launch of a brand new look for A Beautiful Life! After 2 years of writing here I have finally decided to move over to Wordpress. You will find the new domain at

So I'll see you there. If you are currently linking to me, please update your blogroll with my new domain

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Baked Goodness on New Year's Day

I don't know about you, but I've been wanting more and more to nest at home and make more home made goodies. After the indulgences of the holidays, I just feel like hunkering down by the fire, eating simple home made food, and having some quiet time.

We did just that on New Year's Day. We hosted a brunch for family, and hubby was inspired to make a rustic loaf of bread after his success with a thin crust potato pizza. We started off with the most basic of ingredients: yeast, some sugar, organic whole wheat flour and regular white flour, milk and eggs. And no recipe - made up by hubby as he went along.
The process started the night before with prepping the dough. Plenty of kneading and mixing...
There was something satisfying about watching the dough rise into a giant ball over time. The kneading process was repeated a few times.
By morning, we were ready to put our masterpiece into the oven. An irregular shaped loaf was formed.
And voilà, freshly sliced bread. I was just stirring out of bed when this popped into the oven so waking up to the aromas was wonderful.
To accompany, we made pancakes with blueberry and strawberry compotes, sausages, Irish cut bacon, and mimosas. We had a few slices leftover the next day which made the BEST toast with smoked salmon and faux hollandaise sauce that we made with creme fraiche.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing You A Happy New Year!

2010, you've been quite something but it's time to say goodbye. To all my readers of A Beautiful Life, I want to thank you for your readership, for your conversation, and for inspiring me to keep sharing with you all those little things in life I cherish. I wish you a very happy new year. And 2011, I am ready for you!

There's been a lot of change in my life lately (see Nala), and there's lots more to come over the next 12 months. I can't say I know the direction of where this blog is going, but that's all part of the adventure, right?

As you know I'm super behind on my blog posts: I still have Europe pictures from Amsterdam and Copenhagen I haven't posted. And there's more travel to look forward to with a Hawaii surf trip in February - better whip into bikini shape fast after all this holiday eating.

Speaking of the holidays, they go by too fast. Spending lots of time with my puppy Nala on beach walks and forest hikes.
cropped nala
Sporting new Nobis parka, Mavi cords, and yes, I'm wearing UGGS and I love them.

We had one of my best friends Valerie over one night and made thin crust potato pizza from scratch. Yes, potato pizza with thick sliced pancetta, buffalo mozzarella, and chile flakes. It's kind of like eating perogies on a crispy crust. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of it but it was damn good.

Hubby and I went snowboarding for the first time in about 2 years in Whistler with our mates Allie and Allan on Boxing Day. Tons of powder and we had a great time. Kinda makes me want to come out of snowboarding retirement and ride again. Wrapped things up with a late lunch at Araxi where I had a lovely cherry tomato scallop pasta.
And finally, I've been putting on my annual tradition of watching the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. I love it!
What have you been up to over the holidays? And your plans for 2011?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My friends, meet Nala

My sincerest apologies to all my readers; I know I haven't blogged since October! The past 4 weeks have been insanely busy since hubby and I took our puppy home. My friends, I would like you to meet Nala, my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.
Pictures have been hard to come by as capturing a wriggly pup isn't the easiest thing to do (lots of blurry pics of a small furry creature). I've also had minimal sleep since she's joined our household, so not really in the mood for a ton of pictures. We are getting some portraits done hopefully in the new year but for now, here are some home pics mostly taken from my phone!

Below: Nala's first week home
Hubby looking extremely dapper in a tweed hat, coat, and Hunter green wellies and Nala in a green and plaid Shedrow doggie blanket
A rare moment of rest with me sporting red plaid to match her red wheaten coat and collar
Yes I know I'm darn cute
With the holidays coming up, I'll have some more time to catch up on A Beautiful Life. I've picked up a bunch of new cute things for the winter so I want to share that with you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hanging out with the Canucks

IMG_0857 (2)
Imagine that one morning you are told you get to not only meet the Vancouver Canucks, but also play Nintendo Wii, hang out, and eat dinner with them the next evening for charity? Imagine that happening to a girl who has been a hardcore Canucks fan since 1989, who was there at the games in the '94 playoff run, who still to this day loves her team very much despite all the heartaches. Well, it happened to me. (heads up - this is going to be a long post).

Through the kindness of others, I attended the Sports Celebrity for Charity Gala supported by the Canucks that raises money for the Special Olympics. It's truly a wonderful event where you get to interact with the players, bid on an auction, and then break bread with some amazing athletes. An incredibly worthy cause, and the Canucks organization is commended for supporting it. A big hand should go to the players too who show up with such enthusiasm and spend much of the day with a special needs child. This year, my (former) crush Mason Raymond was the spokesperson.

My first thought was, what do I wear?? I pulled out my Herve Leger bandage dress, boyfriend jacket, and some sky-high platform booties. Classic quilted Chanel bag on my arm.

And from my pictures, you can see the Chanel wasn't the only piece of arm candy I had ;). My friend Kat (@KatArnett) said it was just like Hump Day Hunks, but in real life!

Below: It's Peanut Butter Burrows time!! Really happy Alex is back in the lineup, and even more happy he's standing here with me
The evening started off with some Wii-ing (is that a word?) with Mason and Jeff Tambellini. Mase and Jeff were both really sweet.

Above: Mason and I after our game of Wii

Below: Jeff Tambellini playing Wii Archery with intensity
I got my official pictures taken with Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa, then Henrik and his two trophies, and finally with Lu and Mase. I apologize I don't have these pictures scanned yet but I'll do another post with them. Ryan was a lot of fun to be around - I tried to convince him to get teammate Alex Burrows on Twitter but with no success.

One of the funnest things I did was play table hockey against Swedish defenseman Alex Edler. I was worried that I would suck, but then I ended up beating him. I couldn't stop smiling. =)

Below: I love how Alex is smiling here!
Below: This is definitely my fave picture, with Alex Edler
For dinner, the celebrity guest at our table was Peter Schaefer. He was really funny and had lots of entertaining stories to tell. I have some funny group pictures of our table with Peter and Raffi Torres.

One of my highlights of the night was getting to know Danish forward Jannick Hansen a little more. I really enjoyed our conversation, and I really hope he flourishes this year on the third line because he really deserves it.
Below: Really glad I got this picture with Ryan at the end of the night
Below: Ryan Kesler
Below: BC native Dan Hamhuis
Not pictured here but I also met Sami Salo and Alex Bolduc. Sami looked good and I tried my best not to unintentionally hurt him.

All in all, it was an incredible night, and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to attend.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Five Winter Picks To Keep You Cute and Cosy

Happy weekend! Hope you're enjoying this beautiful, sunny fall day. The temperature has dipped to a chilly 4 degrees Celsius this morning (that's 39 Fahrenheit), and it's got me excited about some beautiful winter clothing and accessories.
nobis parka
Nobis has a gorgeous line of mens and womens parkas that look sleek, urban, and warm. I really want their Luna parka, and I can't wait until mid November when the jackets will be arriving in stores locally. FAB, The Premium Denim Store, is supposed to carry the line.
nobis longer parka
Nobis makes super cute knitted hats and beanies, too.
nobis hat
I've also ordered a pair of the below Manitobah Mukluks. The company is Aboriginal-owned and all shoes are made in Canada. They have many gorgeous styles from ranging from tall to short boots. The soles, unlike other mukluks, can be made with a rubber, treaded vibram sole which makes them suitable for snow and ice. You can choose from a choice of faux fur, or rabbit, coyote or fox fur. I know some of you are going to disagree with the use of animal fur, but please do remember, historically the use of fur is part of Aboriginal culture. Gravity Pope sells Manitobah Mukluks, although their website didn't carry the half-wrap style shown here.

I couldn't help getting a tie-dyed scarf by Brightly Twisted from Hills of Kerrisdale (you can buy it online from Vionnet Boutique, pictured here). It's so warm and soft, and it's the perfect pairing to my white burn-out tee and skinny grey jeans.

Have you started stocking up for Winter yet? Tell me about your finds!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Life's About to Change

In a really big way. Like, four paws kinda way.

Hubby and I will be welcoming a puppy to our household in about 4 weeks time! I'm beyond excited - we've waited for a long time to bring a dog into our family and now it's finally happening. A little sooner than I expected but we are happy all the same.

I've already scoped out some pretty neat things to get for her, and I'm definitely going to get one of these cowichan inspired sweaters by Granted.

Also love these very classic brown leather collars from Dog & Hydrant in Yaletown.

I'll be revealing the little pup's name and will post her pictures when she comes home. If you have a dog, I'd love to hear from you - any tips, classes to go to, fave pet stores - tell me about it!