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NYE Family Bike.

December 31, 2011



These days if you want to bike while there is still sun out, you had better go around noon. We wanted to take advantage of the light and take the whole family on a Dougal off leash excursion (that is 3 minutes away on bike, but there is lots of fun off-roading you can do once you reach the off leash area).

So Dexter went into his Chariot.



Don insisted on installing his Chariot hitch onto his new winter bike so that I would not have to tow in the heavy wind (what a gentleman).

Speaking of which, here is his new winter ride! I don't get all excited about technical stuff, and I generally don't get too excited about mountain bikes either. However, Don is much more likely to go into the river valley and on trails with the dog than I am. And he rides a lot harder too. I am more of a super-leisurely, flat-surface cyclist myself. Just goes to show that cycling can be as high or low impact as you want it to be.



He is rocking a Karate Monkey by Surly.



The guys at redbike really pimped his ride, with a black & white colour scheme.





I'd love to tell you more details about the brakes, shifters, handlebars, studded tires, rims, etc... but like I said, I would have no clue what I am talking about. I'm sure I can get Don to recite me these facts at a later date.



For now, it turns Don into a winter biking machine!



All ready to take scruffy Dougal out.



The roads are still pretty non-snowy. Though, they are plenty icy (that is all the shiny stuff).



When we get to the park, we unleash the beast.



And after a bunch of off-road for Don and on-road for me (the Chariot seems to fare very well off-road), Dougal gets put back on the leash for more neighbourhood riding.



I wore my new coat from L.L. Bean.



It's a little big on me, which suits me fine during pregnancy and for layering. The sleeves are a bit long, but that also means it's ideal for biking because I get zero draft. It's wind-proof, warm, and has pockets to boot! Basically, it's a step down in warmth from my parka, but a step up from some of my more fashionable winter coats. And it's super casual, which is perfect for grocery runs or taking the dog out.

Is it specialized winter cycling wear? Nope. Do I wear it while cycling? Yes.

So now we're back at the house preparing for dinner tonight. Hope you all have a wonderful NYE filled with celebration and hopefully a little biking. It's the tried and true Miss Sarah combo for a successful day!

NYE Preparations.

December 30, 2011



Haven't been biking or blogging too much, since we have been wholly consumed with house projects. This is what happens when you already have no time. Vacation time becomes get 'er done time.

We are hoping that this is our last holiday embarking on big and time consuming indoor projects. I think the normal thing to do is actually hire people and pay them to do the work. We're just so handy dandy around here. We really ask for it. Yay for us.

Now, the good news is the end is in sight! And we're super excited to have a very low key new year's eve around here, with just a few friends over for a late supper.

I took time this afternoon to do a trial run of this non-alcoholic Mandarin Punch in the NY Times. It was really easy and TASTY.

Just make an infused simple syrup.



Add juice.



And more citrus!



I use the mix with club soda, but I've got several bottles of bubbles on hand for spiked Mandarin Punch.



I also dug out all the stuffs required to set the table.



A mixture of antique Limoges, and both new and old wine glasses.



Ta da!



Leanne and I will be busy in the kitchen tomorrow, with other friends bringing in apps and drinks. I am looking forward to making my guests give their thoughts and accounts on the past year, and eager to hear what everybody is thinking about looking forward to in 2012.

Open Bungalow.

December 27, 2011


My doctor told me that last time I was pregnant with Dexter (Dexter and baby no-name have almost the exact same timing) I gained 8 pounds in one month.

It was over Christmas time.

But who can deny oneself all the treats? I love treats.


We had lots of treats at our open bungalow last week, where people drop by to say Merry Christmas and have a drink.


Like Tom here.


At one point Larissa (right) taught Dexter how to use tongs to get the ice out of the bucket.


It made him feel incredibly accomplished.


Even though he was super modest about it all. Classic auntie Leanne & Dexter moment there, btw.


And ever charming, Dexter's ice bucket skills capture the hearts of many.


I am so pleased to report that having a kid doesn't always have to cramp one's party-style. In fact, having the little dude around just adds a new element of entertainment to our gatherings. I think the bungalow is now more fun than ever.





Holiday Family Time.

December 26, 2011


The day before Christmas we went out for groceries. Since there is so much entertaining it always feels like I am buying groceries. The fridge is full, but soon after it's empty again.

I was also given a little jar of caramel bourbon vanilla sauce, which I have discovered, is crazy delicious with oatmeal. I have approximately a week to consume it all and we were out of oatmeal. Clearly, getting hot cereal was a priority of mine. I didn't feel like eating honey nut cheerios for Christmas breakfast.

I told Don of my grocery intentions, and he suggested we all ride together as a family. Dougal too!


We hitched up the trailer to winter Kona. Don just had a new winter bike built up, but his trailer hitch hasn't been put on yet, so I was left with the towing duties.



It was a good work out! Plus, I was super over dressed. It wasn't even cold.


When we reached the Sunterra, we ran into Oliver.


He and Don were all excited about Don's winter ride, and Oliver took it for a spin.


Nothing like spending some quality time doing ordinary things with my boys.


Oliver happened to finish shopping the same time as us, and he lives in our neighbourhood too, so we all biked home together! That's what I love about biking, the quality family time, and also the unexpected friend-time you often stumble upon.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011



Hello readers, Merry Christmas!

Things here at the bungalow are low key and festive.



We opened presents.





Dexter got down to business too.







I made the mistake of giving Dexter LEGO to unwrap too soon. After the LEGO, we had to stop opening presents altogether so that he and Don could build it and play with it.



He is a lucky little dude, with all his new toys and treats. We also built up a gigantic train track for him. And we've all be obsessed with playing with the Zoob building toy that Dan & Leanne got for the little man.



Fun!

After Dexter gets up from his nap we're meeting up with the rest of the Chan clan for some too-loud English/Chinese bantering, and my dad going gaga over the grand kids:)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve.

December 24, 2011


T'was a few days before Christmas when I was out with winter Kona. We had to pick up a few groceries and meet Chrissy for lunch.

There were presents I had to exchange with aforementioned lady friend.


Chrissy and I have been best friends for 26 years:) And not just the "for old times sake" kind of friends, we're talking the real deal!


In lieu of all the turkey and such we knew lay in our futures, we had some bento box lunch.


Later on, Dexter got to open up some early Christmas presents from Grandma & Grandpa Iveson.


Presents make the little guy pretty happy.


OMG - a new passenger train!


And lots of new tracks too, with fun switches and stuff.



These days we have been packed with cleaning, home-improvement projects (we always seem to be scrambling with this stuff before entertaining - mostly because we never have time when we're in full swing with work), hosting, and Dextering.

Yes, I sometimes use Dexter's name as a verb.

Usually I am 100% into holiday mode, but I think my pregnancy induced lack of immune system is definitely casting a shadow on things. I can't have a prolonged conversation without my sinuses filling up with fluids, and I can't get any of my house chores done without the accompaniment of a dull throbbing in my head. Not being accustomed to being sick, this most certainly cramps my style.

I am hopeful that a few more good sleeps will remedy this situation!

It's been amazing to spend some time together as a family, even if I'm sick and we're super busy. Don, Dexter, and I are actually eating meals together! It's pretty rare and I am not taking it for granted.

So I hope you guys have some family time and relaxation time in store for today and tomorrow. T'is definitely the season to take it easy, and I'll try my best to take my own advice:)

Happy Holidays!

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