Local Awesomeness

jam sessions

what a cool couple of days. not only was i exposed to some of the most insightful and inspiring goals that my peers are chasing, approaching and crushing, i was living and breathing specific and beautiful visions with these strong, identified, and passionate human beings who are so excited to create and live in possibility for what they can create, unrestrained, for their future. epic, epic, epic.

to top it all off, this evening was spent in the company of inspired people, the artisitc community in Vancouver, and individuals working for a bigger cause and inspiring action in their social networks.

submiT vancouver, a fund raising event for imagine1day and their initiative that 'All Ethiopians have access to quality education free of foreign aid by 2030' was on the event schedule for tonight, taking place at Performance Works on Granville Island.  A group of engaged individuals created their notion of what a contribution looked like.  they made their CREATRIBUTION, and it was a great success!

drinks, appetizers and eclaires (ohhh yes) aside, being in the space of local artists sharing their craft in support of something bigger (a bigger picture, if you will) sparked some conversation with a couple firey friends that have hige huge ideas.  The brainstorming that was a direct result of being around art, conribution, dynamic change initiatives and some GREAT dance moves (of course - this is how we do!!) was insane.  Concepts for other events that will carry forward the feeling of achieving amazing goals while supporting anothers' goals and the bigger picture (Global Leadership, if you ask me!) began flying around - the energy was palpitable.  The excitement was electric.  And the ideas just kept getting bigger....and bigger.......!

I realized tonight that I have the capacity to contribute to and collaborate in conversations built on a crazy, unique and utterly spectacular concepts, and that in holding back or using a negative way of approaching the possibility, I ultimately lose of power of speech, and make something huge and significant a 'maybe' or a 'no'.  Ultimately, I will create the space for youth to learn, grow and become powerful and engaged leaders in their communities.  And it is all going to start with a bike ride.

More to come on that front -

have a great Friday! Mine is going to be filled with ideation, creation, and a WHOLE bunch of other awesomeness.  I can just feel it!!

xo j


there are so many epic bits about Vancouver Island.  From the sometimes-lengthy commute via the ferry system, to the quaint towns and cities that litter the coastal shores and valleys, the list of signifying aspects of life on the island is long and thorough.  There are, however, a couple gems on that list of unqie and suprising (at times) locations not to be missed when visiting the island in search of something truly unseen on or in the Lower Mainland. Their names are Still Life, Hemingway Boutique, and Rebel Rebel.

      Still LIfe

Rebel Rebel Hemingway Bouttique

The landscape and views from downtown Victoria (among other vantage points and points of interest) can take your breath away, but one thing that seems to be of a greater concern as of late in conversation here in VanCity which takes the drivers seat on visits to the escape that is the island: one of a kind fashion pieces and outfits.

The pro of living in Vancouver: lots of great outfits and idea to pull from in creating your look - whether that be a corporate inspiration, something more laid back from a scene on main, or something uber classy and well put together, as seen on the streets of Kerrisdale.

The con: lots of people wanting to look great = over shopping of styles and particular garments, and loss of individuality.

The boutiques on LoJo in vic have it together - offering great pieces at varied price points with diligence in limited orders and constant movement of their product.  They are always getting in new pieces, moving things around for new merchandising opportunities, and show no fear in bringing unique style and attention to fashion from the hotbeds of international trend devekopment tehmselves.

The trend for boutique style shopping comes to Vancouver in stores such as Oak and Fort (Gastown), Vincent Park (main street) and Charlie And Lee (Chinatown - an export from Victoria to the mainland).  I understand that size of cities denotes the scope of what stores carry and need to sell to stay in buesinsss, but I believe these stores truly have it down.  UNique yet simple basics with a twist, accessible prices and the willingness to improve your experience with some legit education makes me go back.  and back, and back.

Needless to say, my shopping my be taking place solely in Vic for now.  Love me some mass-produced staples, but gimmie something special to flaunt and this girl has some spring in her step!

xo j

picking up where we left off.....

The  morning following a successul night out with great friends and impressive mixed beverages (see last night's....errrr this morning's post regarding mixologists and a well bred appreciation for the savory flavorfulness that was the Fawlty Basil) is never complete without brunch.  Whether that be rolling out of bed and frying up a pan of eggs and tofurkey bacon for yourself and the friends who so responsibly crashed on your loveseat, or forcing yourselves out into the sunny day for a public display of hunger satisfaction, the accompaniment that cannot be missed, and sets the rest of the day up for success, is the coffee. So many amazing things are being done to make the art of not only drip (stove top percolator, anyone?) but also espresso based drinks unique, much like our cocktail experience from last night.  Enter: Lavender Lattes, brought to you by Cafe Medina (Beatty street, between Dunsmuir and Pender - from the Chambar family, to you!).

The addition of slightly sweet, lightly flavored lavender, mixed in with beautfully brewed and poured espresso and steamed milk made the java fix of Saturday morning that much more enjoyable.  Also on the menu: Vanilla, Raspberry, and Caramel (if my hazy memory serves me well).  Stepping out of the ordinary and trying something that came HIGHLY recommended by friends more experienced in the Medina dining world, proved to be a VERY well received and pleasant suprise.

While being out in the atmosphere of the exposed brick and vaulted celings held strong with raw-wood beams pulled each and every aspect of breakfast together, lattes inclusive, I would love to bring that uniqueness home to entertaining at Chez Robson.  It's not the inspiration that is lacking, but the knowledge of the 'how' and the tools needed (espresso machine, for example, and a full bar, if looking at the mixologists!) to make myself a barista-mixologist-entertainer-supreme for all my guests.  My work: getting creative with what I have and knowing that building a home FULL of everything I need/want to be the next 'home hosting' starlet takes time (time to collect the things you need and time to actually have people in....!).

so, all in good time, i guess.

for THIS time being, i will continue my quest for all the best of vancouver when it comes to beverages.  all shapes, sizes, temperatures and content!

got a great place with innovative offerings?? leave me a comment! xo j

the mixologists

a fine art, mixology is. not only taking an old concept and adding a new twist, but innovating with unexpected ingredients and taking the time to let the drink come together (seemingly, about 7 to 9 minutes per cocktail) takes patience, understanding, creativity and passion.

an evening out with friends from out of the city - playing semi-tour guide is one of my most favorite things - proved that taking newbies to Vancouver to hidden AND not so hidden gems reaffirms that those ladies and gents behind the bar of the multiple establishments we Vancouverites like to visit so much have it going on.  furreal.

Chill Winston got us excited with their Pick Me Up martinis (espresso, espresso and vanilla vodkas and baileys, on ice, in the largest snifter I have EVER seen) and the Revel Room followed suit with three impressive, quirky and unique beverages.  A hand made, spicy salsa inspired Caesar, the Secret Garden, complete with gin and fresh apple juice, among, and the star of the night, The Fawlty Basil.  A savory cocktail that defies the norm of too much sweetness needing to be in a cocktail to appeal to the masses.  It was savory, only a baby bit sweet, and classy enough to be garnished with a basil leaf.  THATs innovation.

My dining mates had open minds.  They went for something new, I went for an old favorite.  If the 'something new's hadnt taken place, the Fawlty Basil would still be a mysterious option not yet explored.  But, braveness took over and won, and placed that glass a the top if the awesome list.


Moral of the story: try something new.  Do it now.  Who knows what savory flavors are awaiting you!


xo j

a lotta local love

sunday mornings were meant for this. a three block stroll to a farmer's market where you meet the farmers.  i'm talking dirt under the fingernails gals and guys.  the people that I so desperately want to be one day (although probably on a back-yard 'look what i grew!' scale) chatting freshness, best places for crops to thrive, and flavor, flavor, flavor.

a beautiful sunny and clear sky (thank you very kindly, miss mother nature) provided an impressive backdrop for the market and a Picnic In The Park event that was just building momentum, with the crowds building in density minute by minute.  Honestly, my 'fight or flight' senses did take over at one point, with my sense of urgency nagging away, telling me to get moving, get the best deals and the best looking heirloom tomatoes.  why let somone else have the nicest and ripest Green Zebras? but, in enjoying the scene and in being in a light coversation about weekend shenanigans with my mum (hi mum!) whilst milling through the crowds, i settled into my most favorite, long needed and so loved feeling: the sense of belonging in a community and contributing to the creation of something amazing for a group of people.  on today's great-creation menu: awareness about local producers and the fantastic nature of what they create and in turn share with us.

people being together, in the sheer splendor of finding beauty in the experience of eating and sharing social events with the direct providers of the 'meat to the table' (straight up, there was a for real rancher and butcher there today....) builds a beautiful story to the meals we all were separating to concoct.  while I might not have made a new friend today, or might not have had friends over for dinner tonight to share my market story, best believe I have already shared the most flavorful blueberries with a friend, shared the glory that are the green beans who made it home with me, and will be showing off those Green Zebras this week at the office when i slice them up for lunch.  the value in purchasing your produce face to face from the farmer is priceless.

and the stories are endless.

xo j