Summer Trends

by Laura Crawford of

There is some serious splendour in having two little girls and embracing the ease that is summertime style! It is definitely a favourite around here with those darling freckles and windblown blonde locks glistening in the summer sun – but also because it’s hands down the easiest. It doesn’t get much simpler than a sundress and sandals, but not only that, summertime style can be really fun. So here are some of our top summer style options.

Sundresses and sandals are definitely our go to. Throw in a pair of sunglasses and a sunhat and you are out the door in no time. Especially now that the girls have reached an age where they can bring along a little bag of their own for their glasses and snacks (insert mom’s happy dance – and return to the stylish purse here)!! Of course shorts with classic prints or simple denim cutoffs are also a simple win. Nothing too short, because kids need to run and play and sometimes tackle a warm slide on a summer’s day. However we are definitely not above a ruffle or two and even a tasteful bow or fun pattern. The details are what fancy an outfit up!

Few things have the ability to say summer and effortless beauty quite like white. A beautiful white sundress or eyelet top, is hard to beat. A special occasion often finds the girls in white, each with differing details and styles. Our annual photo of the two sisters in a local beach cove, has had them always wearing white, with an ocean backdrop. I am also easily swayed by a classic, retro print like a gingham or seersucker, a polka dot or even a stripe. Black and white or navy and white. These combinations don’t seem to go out of style, there are variations each season and I find myself generally quite drawn to each version. Either nautical in nature or more Parisian in inspiration.

I like a sandal or shoe in an eye catching colour or with an unexpected detail. My favourite is taking an everyday item, but finding it with a little extra pizazz. You have to wear shoes (at least most of the time) so why not have a bit of fun with it?!

Have you tried jelly sandals?! Jellies are the gumboots of summer. As in they are easy to slip on and are waterproof which – when you live this close to the pacific ocean and in a rain forest – counts for something. And they come in a crazy assortment of cute styles and reasonable prices (and don’t pose the same tripping hazards as flip flops). This year there is the adorable style of the flowing culottes, that is stylish and yet surprisingly comfortable and cool and will take you easily from spring into summer.

A messy bun or floppy hat are your best friends in the summer. Scrunchies are back – like it or not – and they are great for young girls (less pinch factor and make sweeping curls into a messy buns or long locks into a high pony on top of the head a breeze). Bright colours. Embrace whatever your child’s favourite pattern or colour is (and save your energy for somewhere else). Find common ground. My youngest wants pineapple everything and there are so many cute and bright prints to be found!! For a great transitional piece, it’s amazing how versatile a little denim jacket (better with a little stretch) and cute buttons is! Throw on an airy, gauzy scarf and possibly even a Peggalish Beanie (our favourite lightweight, breathable cotton/bamboo hats) in a fun colour and you are good to go for cool evenings and seasonal transitions.


Summer Dessert Spots in Vancouver

by Annette Cheung

I’ve always had quite the sweet tooth since I was a child, so it would not be a surprise that desserts have always been my favorite part of a meal. When we are at restaurants, I’m always eyeing their dessert menu before looking at the actual appetizers or main course. With Vancouver having evolved into a foodie heaven in the last few years, it’s great to know that new desserts spots have started to pop up throughout the city as well. Whether you love ice-cream, donuts, macarons or other sweets, Vancouver will probably have it and so I am excited to share some of our family favorite summer dessert spots in the city!

  • La Glace
    When you first step into La Glace, you will be reminded of a Parisian ice-cream shop. The decor is gorgeous and they serve French style ice-cream, freshly made pastries, coffee and tea. Their upcoming summer menu will include Key Lime Parfait, Avocado Toast, Kids Parfait and Macaron Ice-cream Sandwiches. The macarons ice-cream sandwiches are the perfect size if you are craving a little something sweet! Our little ones loved their macarons ice-cream sandwich and devoured it within seconds! La Glace has become one of our go-to family ice-cream spots.

  • Lee’s Donuts
    There are a lot of great donut shops in town, but Lee’s Donuts is still one of my favorite shops. I love walking around Granville Island with the family on a summer’s day and stopping by Lee’s window to watch them make donuts! When we do catch them making donuts, we will rush inside and order one of their freshly made batches. If we’re lucky, they’ll have just made their honey dip donuts – one of their signature donuts. We usually order half a dozen to bring outside so we can enjoy them at the benches while we watch the entertainers under the warm sun. The donuts truly melt in your mouth!


  • Passion 8 Café
    If you have a craving for a cold icy dessert, Passion 8 Café offers a variety of snow mountain combinations. Their snow mountain is made of 100% shaved milk, so it’s light and creamy. My kids’ favorite is their Mr. Choco Brown, which is homemade brownie and chocolate flake, with chocolate flavor ice-cream on snow mountain. It’s definitely perfect for the chocolate lover! Other great things to try are their special toasts topped with different flavors and their list of creative drinks.


  • Beta5 Chocolates & Cream Puffs
    Beta 5 has a little of everything for everyone. Their chocolates are amazing and the flavors and presentations are very creative. Beta 5’s cream puffs are exceptional as well and they always bring out seasonal flavors. In May, they will be introducing their ice cream sandwiches and ice cream by the scoop. Each weekend will feature a new ice cream sundae flavor with two delicious scoops of their house made ice cream, garnished with a variety of toppings.

  • Dragon Ball Tea House
    Summer would not be the same without bringing the kids for bubble tea. I have been going to Dragon Ball Tea House since I was in University, so it has been many years and the quality of their bubble tea has not changed. When you order their black tea or green tea, you can taste the tea with the accompanied flavor unlike other bubble tea house. One of our favorites is their Lychee Green Tea as it comes with pieces of lychee. Their mango milk tea slush is also another family favorite. They are a must try for bubble tea lovers.


  • Laduree
    All the way from Paris, Laduree has set the bar high for macarons. They have become one of our favorite spots to pick up a few macarons as treats for the little ones. The macarons are quite delicate with a crisp outer layer. The macaron is usually filled with ganache or jam and we actually found them not as sweet as other places. Laduree is a gorgeous venue that reminds you of Paris. I’m happy to have a little Paris in Vancouver. There are so many great dessert spots in Vancouver, but these are just some of my favorites. It was really difficult to narrow down this list as there are so many amazing dessert places I love to go to with my family. Hopefully you’ll also love these places as much as we do.

Father’s Day DIY Gift Idea

Father’s Day is coming and here’s a great DIY gift idea for all the fathers out in the world: make your Dad a special, personalized Gummy “Beer”!

How to make it:

  1. Print the label from the below
  2. Find an empty beer bottle and rinse and dry it (or substitute with any soda bottle)
  3. Fill the bottle with his favorite treats
  4. Cut a label from below and apply glue to the back
  5. Cover the bottle label with the fun Father’s Day label
  6. Wait for Dad’s smile and give him a big hug!

Your DIY Father’s Day gift is done!

Download the PDF below for the bottle labels for the Father’s Day gift:

VKFW Father’s Day DIY Print


Groupons for Places Where Moms Can Relax on Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is just two weeks away! Take a day off and spend a little alone time or gather your girl friends for a long overdue day out. We listed down 5 groupons to help you enjoy your day without the guilt of splurging.

1. Shangri La Body Care

Shangri-La Body Care is currently offering a spa package (with up to C$324 value) in a hot deal of C$75. Perfect for moms looking for the relaxing full package that will not break the bank. The deal includes Hot-stone massage, Body-slimming wrap and a choice of one of their 15 facials or treatments. The caviar firming treatment is a good choice for those seeking an antidote to signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin; the vitamin C facial, meanwhile, helps make skin look luminous and benefits clients of all ages. Then there’s the purified seaweed facial, which draws out toxins, and the diamond microdermabrasion facial, which gently removes the topmost layer of skin, helping products better penetrate. These and more others to choose from!

2. Harbor Wellness Centre

Conveniently located in the heart of Gastown, Harbor Wellness Centre is currently offering C$65 90-Minute Relaxation Massages (originally costs C$135). During each massage, certified practitioners combine Swedish and deep-tissue massage to promote full-body relaxation. Swedish massage helps promote healing while targeting pain, injuries, stress and stiffness using gliding, kneading, tapping, friction and light shaking—designed to ease back pain and help relaxation, while deep tissue massage uses firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). It’s used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.

3. Selfology Spa

For moms who are looking for a way to take a day off from parenting duties with their partners or even a quite girl’s night to catch up with a girl friend, add Selfology Spa’s Couples 60-Minute Hot Stone Massage package to your itinerary. The C$189 package (valued C$520) includes a one-hour hot stone massage with aromatherapy and two of your choice from their add-ons (Seaflora Facial, Mud Detox for Back, Body Wrap, Eye and Lip Chamois Treatment Mask, Eyebrow Tint, Eyelash Tint, Eyebrow Wax or Lip Wax) for each person. If you’re looking for some alone time they also have this deal tailored for one person for only C$99!

4. Classic Cuts Hair Salon

If you’re looking to pamper and give your tresses some lovin’, Classic Cuts Hair Salon’s all in one treatment might be what you’re looking for. The package, originally valued at C$350, includes keratin treatment, wash, haircut, and style. The best part? It’s currently 53% off on Groupon – bringing down the total to C$165 for the entire treatment.

5.) Vinoscenti Vineyards

A wise woman once said “The secret to a stress-free life, is wine – lots of it” (sure i added the last part, but you get what i mean). This mother’s day, gather your mom squad and take the day off to enjoy the local wineries around BC. Vinoscento Vineyards is currently offering wine tour, tasting, and charcuterie for one, two, or four people. Sale prices starts at C$15 (yes you read that right).


Cute and Casual: Japanese Brand Million Billion

KAORI YAMAGISHI is a Japanese-based fashion designer, born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. After graduating high school, she went on to study at Bunka Fashion College where she majored in Fashion Creation Technique.

Upon graduating, Kaori worked in the apparel industry where she honed her skills as a pattern maker. Continuing to work freelance, Kaori launched Patterns Well “Mammy Jewel Box” in 2006, acting as a designer and a pattern maker for ladies’ wear, kidswear, bags, etc.

Kaori is also active in Mook books, magazines and her translated books are on sale around the world. Her kids’ label was launched in 2017 . “Million billion” is a casual childrenswear line offering colourful and cute garments. The stylish and comfortable characteristics of the clothes is inspired by children’s movements.

Instagram million__billion
Twitter: @millionbillion_

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Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

Takashi Murakami
Photo: Maria Ponce Berre, © MCA Chicago

The Vancouver Art Gallery has successfully launched its spring season with one of its most monumental exhibits to date. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, opened for public view last February 3, 2018 and will run until May 6, 2018. The exhibit’s eventful opening, in time for his birthday, featured a media preview, a birthday bash for the artist and a Murakami-themed dinner hosted by Shangri-La’s Market by Jean Georges. Local and international medias along with patrons and followers of his work celebrated at the gallery with Murakami himself, and luckily, we were invited to join the momentous event.

Takashi Murakami is best known for his unconventional artistic style which he coined “superflat”. It is described as both the aesthetic characteristics of the Japanese artistic tradition and the nature of post-war Japanese culture and society. Aside from his influential works in fine arts media, the Japanese contemporary designer is also known in the fashion industry for his collaborations with international brands like Louis Vuitton, Vans, Shu Uemura, Issey Miyake, and most recently, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh and London’s Gagosian Gallery, as well as his collaborations with musicians like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. His involvement in other aspects of the creative industry also extends to animation, which is where his early career started.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg featured over 55 artworks that highlighted the evolution of his works from the 1980’s to the present, including his recent large scale creations — a five-meter tall sculpture and two multi-panel paintings.

For Murakami, connecting with his audience and allowing his artwork to be accessible to the general public are integral aspects of what he stands for as an artist. Murakami has created a new major public art project featuring a skull surrounded by octopus tentacles which will cover the Gallery’s Georgia Street façade, extending the exhibition outside the traditional confines of the Gallery space. The exhibition opens with Murakami’s early paintings from the 1980s that synthesize traditional Nihonga-style painting techniques and formats with contemporary subject matter, and goes on to trace the artist’s shift in the 1990s toward a distinctive, anime-influenced style. From his signature animated flowers to the iconic character Mr. DOB, a mouse-like figure that serves as part ambassador and part self-portrait, the works in the show offer an in-depth look at Murakami’s unique Superflat universe. Additionally, the exhibition also features works from a recent body of paintings depicting groups of wizened Buddhist monks (Arhats), including the ten-panel 100 Arhats (2013), The Arhat works mark Murakami’s return to his training in traditional Japanese painting in order to find a response to the suffering caused by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan in 2011 that killed more than 15,000 people.

Needless to say, Murakami has already established himself and his company as an international household name both in Eastern and Western cultures, and has reshaped Japan’s contemporary art. Catch this and more of his incredible work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.