Inspiring, Recognizing and Celebrating Kindness

Posted by Stacey on November 30, 2015 in Life Musings |

For this blog post I have partnered with Life of Dad and KIND Snacks to recognize and celebrate kindness in our communities.

The fact is, in spite of all the difficulties going on around the world, every day there are wonderful acts of kindness taking place and I share the belief with KIND that it is important to recognize and celebrate acts of kindness.

#kindawesome infographic



KIND has been on a mission since day one to inspire and celebrate kindness and the program they are launching now really resonates with me as I teach my own kids the importance of being kind, recognizing kindness and celebrating kindness.

So when I stop and think about some of the acts of kindness I see in my community, at times I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy and happiness to know that I have so many wonderful people in my life and my community.

As an example, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving there was a terribly destructive fire in an apartment complex close to my home. As a result of the fire, some 40-60 people were displaced from their homes. Right before Thanksgiving, a day when families typically come together to celebrate all the things there are to be thankful for.

Well, the people who’s homes were burned or had serious smoke or water damage had no homes to celebrate in. No homes, no cooking tools, and no place to sit and gather to be with family.

Time for a random act of kindness – while I was in my local butcher shop, a small independent butcher shop called Meat Craft Urban Butchery, I overheard a woman talking to the butcher about buying five relatively large turkeys.

Greg the butcher asks, “Ummm, five turkeys is a lot of turkey. What are you planning?”

The woman told him that, along with her friends, she was going to cook the turkeys and all the fixings and hold a community meal for the people forced out of their homes because of the fire.

Greg hears this and says, “Well then there is no charge for the turkeys.”

An act of kindness brings another act of kindness.

I kept thinking about kindness and all the people I know who do wonderful and kind things for people nearby and far away.

And a name came to me as I was walking up the stairs to my classroom – Santa.

Well not actually Santa, but Richard, a friend and colleague of mine who plays the part of Santa for community groups.

Although it may seem strange to some, some people like to have a picture of their dog with Santa. Richard quite happily gets his Santa suit on and spends his time letting people get a picture of their dog with Santa.

The really kind aspect of Richard’s Santa work? He volunteers his time in an effort to help raise funds to help support a dog rescue group. He uses his ability to show kindness to help creatures who have been put in situations where their lives are at risk.

Who in your community inspires kindness? If you want to celebrate their kindness checkout the work that KIND is doing as they continues to seek new and fun ways to recognize kindness.

One of the ways KIND has helped spread kindness is through their #kindawesome cards, a physical card you can give to someone when you spot them doing a kind act – which is what I handed to Richard as soon as I saw him walking in the hallway at school. And then I explained to him what I was doing!

To recognize the kind acts your friends and community members are doing you can access the KIND program online which will empower anyone in the KIND community to actively celebrate the kindness around them.

To learn more about how we’re spreading kindness and how you can also get in on the recognizing, inspiring and celebrating of kindness, visit How Kind Of You.

Of course you can also check out @kindsnacks and #kindawesome on social media.

Whatever you do, be kind.

Disclosure: AS I said at the start of this blog post, I have partnered with Life of Dad and KIND for this promotion. 

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Disney On Ice – Frozen

Posted by Stacey on November 28, 2015 in Theatre |

This morning, along with my wife and two daughters, I attended a Disney on Ice performance of Frozen.

And you know, even though I have seen the movie version of Frozen 193 times and listened to “Let It Go” more times than I can count, today’s performance was actually a pretty heart-warming, and wallet-emptying experience. 

First about the wallet-emptying aspect of the show. I am popcorn munching kind of event-goer. So when I saw a young man with a long pole of bags of popcorn I stopped and asked how much one bag is.


The funny thing is, he added, “But you get to keep the bag!”

No sale.

When my daughter saw snow-cones in an Olaf shaped cup, I was not so lucky. $20 for a cup of ice flavoured with some weird coloured concoction.

I couldn’t stand the sight of watching my daughter slowly scooping the contents of Olaf’s head out but she seemed to enjoy it.

As for the show itself, well, what can you say. It is Disney On Ice and they do an incredibly good job of entertaining kids and adults alike.

Great costumes and great skating routines. Like seriously, look at Sven in the picture above. That thing was skating around the ice like a champ. All four legs moving in unison and holding the gaze of every kid in the building. Simply awesome costumes and skating.

Of course the stars of the show are supposed to be Elsa and Anna. And while they did a great job of playing their parts and the special effects – real snow falling from the rafters of the Pacific Coliseum! The character who drew the loudest cheers was of course Olaf.

When Olaf skated onto the ice at the Coliseum, the cheers from the crowd almost lifted the roof off the building. It was pretty cool.

Of course all the special effects to show him coming apart and melting and then his own little snow flurry all added to the crowd’s love for him. Really well done.


And did I mention that they had real snow falling inside the Coliseum?! It was so magical. And quite beautiful.

However, the part of the show that really touches my heart is the fact that at the end when Anna needs a “true love’s kiss” to save her life she realizes that it is not some schmucky guy she needs, it is her sister.

Sure, call me sappy, but I like that Disney has for once strayed from their usual message of the princess being saved by the handsome prince.

I had a great time. And I know that my daughters also had a great time. I’m not sure the people sitting around me enjoyed hearing me belt out “Let it Go” as much as I thought they would, but it was a great time.

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Coquitlam is Aglow this Holiday Season

Posted by Stacey on November 24, 2015 in Community Events |

This is the fifth year for Coquitlam’s Christmas light display and it is still one of the largest free outdoor light displays in Metro Vancouver.

Coquitlam City Hall and Spirit Square have approximately 10,000 individual lights located by the Burlington Street entrance! The 30’ tall Christmas tree alone has over 2,500 lights.

After viewing the Coquitlam City Hall light display, you can take a stroll across the street to Lafarge Lake and take in the approximately 50,000 individual LED lights in the trees.

The tallest feature is the three LED-lit Sequoia trees, which are approximately 45 feet tall.

There are also several dozen other custom illuminations including:

  • A lit trail section from the fishing pier, south to Guildford Avenue, complete with suspended chandeliers;
  • Custom-illuminated gardens at the Inspiration Garden (Guildford and Pipeline) – you can take your picture on the illuminated tractor;
  • A round-framed caterpillar that people can walk through (my kids’ favourite part of this light display;
  • A ‘fantasy forest’ village, which is home to several ‘Halflings’ who work in the ‘mine shafts’ (there is no word on whether they are being paid a living-wage or not);
  • A 14-foot tall, animated elf, fishing off the pier; and
  • A white garden with seven illuminated reindeer;
  • A simulated waterfall;
  • An illuminated ‘tulip’ garden made by the community from recycled plastic bottles.

The display is designed to be appreciated on foot along the south end of Lafarge Lake. There is parking available at the Evergreen Cultural Centre lot or beside the Inspiration Garden (located at Guildford Way and Pipeline Road).

The display can be viewed seven days a week from dusk to midnight until January.

The best part? The display is energy-efficient and sure to delight kids and grown-ups alike.

Finally, if you are like me and love to share your photos of amazing things on Twitter or Instagram, be sure to tag your photos of the display with #CoquitlamLights.


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Pedestrian Safety

Posted by Stacey on November 18, 2015 in Life Musings |

While driving down North Road near Lougheed Highway on my way to work I was listening to the radio news about how there have been nine pedestrians struck and killed by cars this year.

Pedestrian Crossing Road

Pedestrian Crossing Road

As I was sitting in the stopped traffic, in the middle of the block winding his way across eight lanes of traffic came a pedestrian dressed in black from head to toe.

He worked his way through the multiple lanes of stopped cars and then stepped into the last lane he needed to cross.

The last lane had no cars stopped in it because the cars were going to the corner and turning right onto Lougheed. So, as you can picture, there were cars traveling in that lane.

As the pedestrian stepped into the last lane on North Road he was nearly hit by a car traveling down that lane.

As you would expect, the car came to a sliding stop and the pedestrian jumped out of the way. The next thing that happened took me by surprise.

The pedestrian turned around, flipped the car driver The Bird and shouted obscenities at the car driver. Essentially he told the driver to “watch where you are going”.

It was obvious to me that crossing eight lanes of traffic, mid-block on a rainy day when visibility is very limited is probably an incredibly dangerous thing to do.

Of course drivers need to be aware and super vigilant when driving but for goodness sakes, pedestrians also need to take some responsibility for their own safety.

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Adopt An Orca – the Vancouver Aquarium

Posted by Stacey on November 16, 2015 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

Tis the season for…gift guides and they are popping up everywhere as shoppers look to get started on their shopping lists for the 2015 holidays.

Elfin the Otter

Elfin the Otter

If you are looking for a unique gift giving opportunity the Vancouver Aquarium offers a number of options for those looking to take a green approach – whether it’s a symbolic animal adoption or an eco-friendly gift from a local artisan.

Be assured that unlike the classroom hamster or guinea pig, if you do adopt a shark, a beluga or even an otter, there is absolutely no requirement that you take your adopted animal (are orcas, belugas and sharks actually animals?) home over the Christmas or summer break.

If you want to go all-in and actually adopt a killer whale, same thing applies – there is no requirement that you take the killer whale home at any point in the process.

So while you are doing up your Christmas wish list or thinking about what you can give your loved ones this Christmas, remember, nothing says I love you quite like adopting a killer whale or an otter.


Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project at the ECC

Posted by Stacey on November 10, 2015 in Theatre with Comments closed |

On November 19th at 8pm Jayme Stone will bring to the Evergreen Cultural Centre a “collaboratory” of some of North America’s most distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle, and reimagine traditional music

The performance will focus on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax.

The “collaboratory” includes Jayme Stone (banjo, voice), Moira Smiley (voice, accordion), Sumaia Jackson (fiddle, voice) and Tristan Clarridge (cello, voice)

The repertoire includes Bahamian sea shanties, African-American a cappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes, and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fisherman, prisoners, and homemakers.

For tickets to this event you can visit the Evergreen Cultural Centre’s website or call the box office at 604-927-6555.

I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be attending this event!


The Bond & Knight Giveaway Winner is…

Posted by Stacey on November 6, 2015 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

The Bond & Knight Passport Wallet winning number is 190. Congrats to all who played and to the winner. I will contact the winner via email shortly. 



The Bond & Knight Giveaway

Posted by Stacey on November 3, 2015 in Giveaways, Luxuries |

Some time ago I did a YouTube video review of a couple Bond & Knight wallets, this origami-style Passport wallet included. Now, as I promised in my YouTube video, I am giving away this beautiful wallet!

A little review about this wallet – in short, it is gorgeous. Ultra-precise cuts and folds with NO stitching! It is made in England from one piece of Italian leather and is based on a design from the 1940s with creative folds and tucks giving it a very slim appearance and feel.

Other than the bi-fold wallet that I purchased from A Simple Leather Belt Co, a wallet made from English Bridle leather, I have not yet held a wallet with such fine and beautiful construction as this Bond & Knight Passport Wallet.

All that being said, seeing as this wallet was sent to me to do a review of, and I have now done so, I would like to pass this gem of a wallet on to one of my readers. Perhaps to you?

To enter this giveaway of a Bond & Knight Passport Wallet, in the comment section of this blog post

  • write a comment with the type of wallet you are carrying now
  • AND a whole number between one (1) and two hundred (200).

The Fine Print –

If two people enter with the same number, and that number is the winner, the first person to have entered will be the winner.

If there is no exact match, the next closest number, higher or lower, will be the winner.

I will use a random number generator to find the winning number.

One entry per email address please.

This giveaway closes at 6pm PST on Friday, November 6th 2015.

The winner of the wallet is required to pay for the cost of shipping the wallet in its pretty little box to their mailing address.

That is it! Play fair, have fun and good luck!

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End Daylight Saving Time!!

Posted by Stacey on November 2, 2015 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

This weekend just gone was a double dose of frustration and anxiety inducing activities for parents over most of Canada.

When did Halloween turn into an event in size and scale that rivals Christmas?

Kids now require their parents to purchase “real” costumes; it is no longer acceptable to dress your kids up as hobos and other simple costumes.

And of course it typically rains on Halloween so even though your kid has the expensive costume on, they are more often than not covered with either a black plastic bag or a massive raincoat.

Yippee. Not.

The other not-so-joyous event from this weekend is the fact that we were forced to “fall back”. Yes, as if we needed another reminder that winter is coming, we moved away from Daylight Saving Time.

The end of daylight savings time is just a cruel joke for anybody with young children or dairy cows.

Much like milk cows who require milking on a very regimented schedule, children have internal clocks that pay no attention to the mysteries of “springing forward” or “falling back” according to what some government bureaucrat dictates.

So if you have children like mine who typically wake up at 6:30am, that means that in the fall they will now be waking up at 5:30.

That means that the promise of an extra hour of sleep is actually a cruel joke for parents and for dairy farmers.

There is an online petition for people to sign begging the BC government to end the madness.

On behalf of milk cows, dairy farmers and the parents of early rising children, like myself, I implore you to sign this petition.



Things I Used to Think Were Cool

Posted by Stacey on October 26, 2015 in Life Musings |

Sometime ago, I wrote a blog post detailing things that I used to think were stupid but now realize are more useful than they are stupid.

Somewhat related to that blog post is this post, where I look at a number of things that I used to think were cool but now realize were actually quite stupid.

Take for example my belief in the old days that everybody anywhere near me must have shared the same taste in music as me (Neil Young and Crazy Horse or anything from Led Zeppelin other than Stairway to Heaven).

In the old days I drove a soft-top jeep. A jeep that I saw fit to equip with a sound system with a 200 watt amplifier.

The six speakers I had mounted in the jeep and on the roll cage made sure that anybody within eight nautical miles of wherever I was driving or parked was able to clearly hear my musical choices.

Wow did I ever think I was cool. I realize now I was probably the biggest jerk on the road.

FJ 1100

FJ 1100

On a similar note, I used to have what I thought was the coolest motorcycle on the road but now realize was probably the most annoying thing on the road.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a motorcycle and I still ride motorcycles regularly. However, in the old days I thought it was super cool to have a motorcycle with an exhaust system on it that made my bike sound more like an out of control jet-engine than a street bike.

I also thought it was extraordinarily cool to open it up anywhere I was riding, especially between midnight and 3 AM while riding through residential neighbourhoods.

Another one of those things that I thought was cool but now realize what an annoying jerk I probably was.

It is interesting to see how my perspective and understanding has changed through the years.

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