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Lovely things: stylish bike helmet, bird-print backpack, honey & hair pins

Lovely things: stylish bike helmet, bird-print backpack, honey & hair pins

lovely things 17 May

 

Some beautiful things I’ve discovered lately.

01 // Goody Hair spin pins / Now that my hair is a bit longer, I have realised the beauty of these things. Twist your hair into a bun and screw one in at either side – it holds everything in place so much better than plain old hair grips/bobby pins.

02 // Sahn bike helmet / Vancouver-designed stylish bike helmet in a gorgeous matte blue. [buy from Walrus online]

03 // Herschel ‘Little America’ backpack in limited edition Bad Hills print / Beautiful watercolour birds of the Pacific Northwest print make this big rucksack a little less utilitarian. Includes an integrated cushioned laptop sleeve inside, I love this. I’ve had so many compliments on it. This print isn’t available online, so you’ll have to hunt it down in person.

04 // Mellifera Bees honey / Honey collected from backyard hives across Vancouver, this stuff is not only beautifully packaged, but tastes incredible. We tried the lemon-infused one, but I’m really intrigued to try the cardamom one. Mmmm.

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On Treehouse: Egg Carton Flowers

On Treehouse: Egg Carton Flowers

TH forever egg carton flowers

 

I’m over on Treehouse Parents with this simple egg carton flower craft project. I like this one because you can get as involved as you want – use pens for colouring if you’re not in the mood for getting paints out, cut out the egg cups ahead of time and you’re good to go. Elliot is not always all that keen on craft projects, but he liked this one. I think the fact that egg carton cups look like flowers right away helped.

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We have beehives on the roof!

We have beehives on the roof!

bees

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably have heard about the bees. I can’t stop talking about them, because I have been fascinated with the idea of keeping bees for ages.

When I worked at the arts centre in London, we had a hive on the roof of the concert hall. Hilariously named the Royal Festival Hive, it was also in the shape of the Festival Hall, and looked after at least partially by one of the guys from Saint Etienne. These crazy mashups are why I particularly miss working there. Anyway, we had artists in residence come up and sing to them, our poet in residence Lemn Sissay recited poetry for them – they were very cultured bees. Occasionally we hooked up microphones to the hive and ran cables down to the ground so people could hear the hive. The hive-keepers even had the National Poetry Library (located inside the Hall) look up bees in poetry. Apparently Sylvia Plath’s father was a beekeeper and she wrote quite a few bee poems herself. My favourite was a trio of singers who performed a selection of bee-related music, including a traditional English round first written in 1260.

We even had a party, and our one of our on-site bars made honey cocktails. It was a long night, I remember that much.

When the possibility arose that we could have a hive in our communal roof garden here at our co-op, I was beyond excited. Thankfully everyone else was keen, and from there things moved quickly. Late one evening last week, I helped Sarah from Hives for Humanity carry one of our hives up to the roof. The bees were so quiet, I couldn’t feel them at all.

The next morning, Elliot and I went up to put out the bees’ water dishes. I had no idea they need water dishes, but if you don’t put out somewhere suitable to drink, they will drown in fountains, or perch on the hosepipe scaring the landscapers. We used terra cotta plant saucers with different sized rocks in, as well as a few twigs for sitting on close to the water level. They seem to enjoy it, when I came out the same afternoon there were four or five on each one.

Our hives are sponsored by both Legacy Liquor, a lovely local neighbourhood shop, and Hives for Humanity. We will have the chance to watch the Chief Beekeeper from Hives for Humanity work on our hives, and hopefully learn a bit about beekeeping ourselves. After our first beekeeper visit, our bees have been pronounced happy and healthy. I admit, I sing to the bees when I bring them their water in the morning, in a bit of a homage to the old arts centre hive.

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Pizza class at Rocky Mountain Flatbread + WIN

Pizza class at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Pizza class at Rocky Mountain Flatbread
Elliot talked about Pizza Class for about two days, before we actually went. To a 3 year old, going to a class to make pizza is pretty cool. I think he told everyone we came within 2 metres of that day too.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread is a haven for Vancouver families looking for somewhere to eat that’s not full of junk and also doesn’t feel like every surface can be wiped clean with industrial solvent after you leave. A beautiful wood kitchen play area with IKEA cloth food every child recognises! Bench seating right next to it! Pizza! There’s a reason all locations are full to the rafters at dinnertime.

Did you know they do pizza-making parties? Or even drop-in classes? I know, I know. How clever is that!

Rocky Mountain Flatbread on Main Street generously invited a bunch of blogging parents and their children by for a sample pizza class. We started our two-hour class with trays set out for making a guacamole. The avocados were all soft soft soft, a great first project to get stuck into with spoons for scooping and forks for mashing. The tasks were shared around between the children. They squeezed in some lime and added some mango chunks. Finally, they peeled their own carrots to dip in their guacamole.

We moved onto lemonade and apple pie popcorn. The popcorn maker was fascinating of course, as well as the finished product of popcorn mixed with melted butter, cinnamon, torn-up dried apples slices and maple syrup. The lemonade was equally simple, with lemon juice, maple syrup and water mixed up in a jug. All of that disappeared in a flash and we were on to the main attraction.

The children paired up and took turns rolling out a dough ball. Sauce was spread, and then cheese dropped into waiting hands. Some of it even got onto the pizza. Elliot amazed me by picking chicken and mango as toppings for his pizza. With the wood-fired oven, their pizzas were finished in minutes. It was very good, but I’m mostly guessing because I was only allowed a very small corner of it.

There’s a children’s pizza making class every Sunday evening from 5-7pm for only $6.95. Best of all, you don’t need to join in, you can actually have your meal in peace. If you want to join in however, you’re welcome to on Mondays from 5-7pm for $13.95 for adults.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread also does birthday party packages for $13 per child (plus tax and 18% gratuity). This includes a choice of dessert, or you can bring your own cake. If you want, you can do apron and hat colouring too for an extra charge. I think this would be a great birthday party, I’m definitely filing it away for future reference.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread will be choosing someone randomly from their Facebook page to win 2 tickets to their Family Pizza Nights (Sunday and mondays 5-7pm). For your chance at winning Like their Facebook page.

Disclosure: Elliot and I were guests of Rocky Mountain Flatbread for a pizza class with the understanding we would review it. Opinions are my own.

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On Treehouse: Nature Hunt!

On Treehouse: Nature Hunt!

On Treehouse: Nature Hunt

I’m happy to say I’ve started contributing articles to the new Treehouse Parents site. Yes, it’s the same Treehouse as the TV channel, Canadian home of one of my son’s favourites shows ever, the Octonauts. I’ll give you a nudge when I’ve got something new to share over there.

You can check out my first piece for them, an outdoor nature hunt. I came up with this idea because most of the other nature scavenger hunts I had seen around involved picking things. I don’t encourage picking plants unless we’re harvesting to eat or helping it grow. Besides, then I have to find a place for more rocks and sticks in house! I have enough trouble with rock collections without inviting more.

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