Aliza's First Birthday, Teddy Bear Theme

 Aliza's first birthday happened this past weekend over on the island and well we decided to have some fun with it. It was a small party my immediate family and then my sister-in-law's family which ended up being 14 people plus the little ones on my sister-in-law's side.

My sis (S.I.L - can I do that? refer to her as S.I.L. = sister in law) organized all the food, co-ordinating with both families - my parents hosted the party at their home, and I --- decorated! Heck yes, I went to pink teddy bear heaven and never came back. I knew it was going to be an adult party (other then the 3 little ones including Aliza) so why not have some fun with it. I love dinner parties!! If only I was good at cooking, I see why I didn't manage the food now...

These teddy bear quotes hang from the dinning light saying 
"Teddy bears don't need hearts they are already stuffed with love"

teacup flower arrangement

after dinner mints (left)

Each child was given a teddy bear with their names on it and a lyric from the Teddy Bear Picnic song

grown up take home treat bags for cake and yummies

My favourite part I think was the little tree's which are now sitting in my home, can't wait till i get to trim them into shapes (thanks phillips body groom for her ads).

seats for the little ones

aunty and aliza -- too bad she doesn't look all that impressed...

daddy & aliza

my S.I.L. trying to get her in her chair for dinner, while Aliza is plotting how to reach the balloons up high

she learned "hug" recently

Aliza says: "But daddy where is my red convertible like on sweet 16?" - actually it was more like a squeak "ba ba, ba ba"

Yum! Aliza's gluten-free cupcakes especially for her.

"that was delicious, gimme more..."

my gift to Aliza, a kitty winter jacket fully equipt with tail. heck yes, aunty gets the fun outfits that are white... hello oxyclean!

Rebecca & Evan an Engagement Session in New West

Let me begin by saying this is my 2nd wedding with a member of the Jansen Family! Exciting, heck yes! When I first moved to Langley/Vancouver I started attending the Art Institute studying towards my diploma in Graphic Design - by simply asking for a carpool buddy I met a good friend named Lydia (Rebecca's sister). Which then turned into an amazing friend & her family. From late night study sessions - I'm talking till 5 am + sometimes no sleep trying to work through all our projects never simply having enough time to perfect them. Tamara Jansen & Byron Jansen gave up their rec room/barn so we could have somewhere to sleep when working on projects, the office printer, a jetta and much more when I was in college with their daughter. Then watching our lives change out of college seeing my friend getting married and have her two children! From meeting Lydia I had the pleasure to meet her siblings - photographing Lawrence's wedding earlier this year. My first magazine feature! And now, Rebecca's wedding to Evan this October!!

Rebecca and Evan must be meant to be - considering Evan is from out East! I always feel that when someone finds love, and it involves tremendous distance that they were meant to specifically break boundaries and find each other! I'm so very excited to be apart of their wedding day and had an amazing time photographing their engagement session.

Rebecca and I hadn't really been familiar with each other prior to the wedding, she is a busy girl attending Trinity University and Evan is part of the major growing business of Darvonda (the greenhouse). I had always thought this golden haired beauty was shy, well was I ever wrong! The minute I put the camera up she lit up like the sun (fitting right, with her hair?). She posed, she smiled and worked it like a super model. Evan loving held, caressed, and kissed her so sweetly - giving away his excitement that he is excited to spend the rest of his life with Rebecca.

Thank you both for choosing me - can't wait for your wedding!!!!

Osoyoo's 2011

I have amazing people in my life. My parents, my brothers, their wives, uncles and aunts, my best friend *cough* shot out to Dayne *cough*, photographer friends, and girlfriends -- and most importantly, last but not least - Verlon. All these individuals have somehow helped me out at one time or another whether it be words of affirmation or the confidence to continue on-ward - everyone has had an impact on my life personally and professionally. Now, Verlon -- he knows exactly what I need sometimes and that means a break from the rush and time to relax. Whether it be simple quality time or an adventure.

This past week Verlon surprised me at home with a beautifully wrapped box from one of my favourite stores with an outfit he had picked out! Such a surprise being that he was whisking me away for the weekend for our yearly, what I thought might have gotten cancelled weekend in Osoyoos! I love wine, no seriously - wine is the entrance fee to my dinner party heart. I'm a big fan of Charlie Don't Surf in Whiterock for a couple of reasons a- their location is stellar across from the ocean b- they have fish n'chips and c- they have See Ya Later - Gerwurtzminer, white wine! Well guess where we went this weekend... See Ya Later Winery! 

We stayed at Walnut Beach Resort which was amazing and reminded us of Mexico right on the lake in Osoyoos (felt like I was back in Mexico at the resort in July). We had a Saturday filled with wine tasting at Moon Curser (previously known as Twisted Tree) - one of my absolute favourites, Burrowing Owl, Church & State, Blasted Church (branding, wow awesomeness), See Ya Later, and finally Hester Creek for dinner. If you want to know more about wines, feel free to give me a call - I'll tell you my favourites! 

Sunday we decided to head up to West Bank and visit Mission Hill and whoa. Was it ever about the experience, what a neat establishment from the location, the look, feel, architecture, and the staff was so incredibly informative. We met Verlon's sister and brother-in-law (Lori & Josh) there and later for Dinner. I picked up a great desert wine "Riesling - Late Harvest" which I'm thinking is going to make some vanilla icecream very happy. 

I'm pumped for the week after this great adventure -- next adventure, Aliza's 1st Birthday!

I'm pretty sure this was the first time I ever saw "Turtle Crossing"

The vineyard at Hester Creek Winery

The restaurant at Hester Creek - such yummy pizza made with truffle oil!

my take home (other than wine) from blasted church - a serving dish

camera timer on a wine barrel! Did we ever get funny looks! 

The driveway to Blasted Church

This right here, took me back to being a kid -- my dad has one of these from when he use to make and crush grapes for wine -- I just remember always wanting to play with it because it was so cool. I also remembering hearing stories about my brothers putting drywall mud (my dad is a contractor/construction man) into the wine mixes... Dad = not impressed then!

Josh (Verlon's brother in law) and his wife (Lori, Verlon's sister) -- met us at Mission Hill since they live in Kelowna, and in a plot to take pictures of verlon and I, josh asked "Can I just play with your camera?" and well, i said "okay"

Then I turned the tables on them!

time for scripty font with our names, heck yes! My turn!

I'm not sure why this always feels right but whenever I don't know what to do -- I throw my hands up like this and furrow my brows. Heyo - rapper in my previous life apparently.