Around Town | The Valley Bakery


Sometimes the best things in life are right in front of you. And this bakery in Burnaby Heights is one of them. I used to frequent the area often but somehow was oblivious to the fact that this little bakery, inexpensive with a glorious selection of sweet and savory treats and breads, was right under my nose. Definitely check out The Valley Bakery!



BOOK CLUB | Fred Herzog’s Vancouver Photographs & Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic


Lately I have been consumed with learning local Vancouver history and Fred Herzog’s Vancouver Photographs has helped quell my desire. His photographs of locals, local establishments, and everything quintessentially ‘Vancouver’ is a marvel to hold in your hands. The colors are vivid and transport the reader anywhere from the 1950s to the 80s.


Of course I have a special place in my heart for anything that details vintage fashions, but his photographs are so much more than that. Flipping through, I am reminded to start taking more photos to diary my own experience of living in this ever-changing city.


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Picked up on a whim at my school’s library, I’ve been immersed in Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Now I know why it has been so acclaimed in the media. I feel as if detailing this book any further would give away its plot, but the storyline reminds the reader that no family is perfect and skeletons hang in almost everyone’s closets. Sometimes the art in graphic novels can turn me off from a great story, but the style in Fun Home is very pleasing and easy to read. A quick, heartfelt read.


Sakura. Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver. Hanami.

Spring Blossoms

in cherry blossom shade
there are even those
who hate this world

Spring has arrived, as is witnessed by the massive amounts of cherry blossoms and buds littering the sky. Overwhelmed by the beauty, I took my camera out for a spin and captured the fleeting allure of the pink petals that have captivated many generations the world over.

Spring Blossoms

Cherry blossom life is so short that you have to stop, sit, and stare to fully appreciate their delicate mortality, and in turn, your own. Even a swift gust of wind is enough to strip naked tree trunks that once held a bevy of beauty.

Spring Blossoms

mountain cherry blossoms–
hair decoration
for a bald man

For more cherry blossom photos please visit my Flickr Set

Spring Blossoms

DIY: Solid Perfume Tutorial

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Lately, I have been ‘pinning’ up a storm of DIY projects and I actually attempted one of them! Other Pinterest addicts can relate, I’m sure. Anyway, my sister and I tackled a do-it-yourself solid perfume project which has been making its rounds on the internet. I have always loved solid perfume and combined with the fact that it’s not always available in stores, this was a perfect day project to complete with my sibling. Sister time, yay!

As always before starting a new DIY project, I researched on Pinterest. There were a few websites which I consulted (which will be listed below) but we eventually came up with our own recipe using beeswax, coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, and essential oils.

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You may be thinking, where the heck do I purchase such things? For people in the Vancouver GVRD area, Wicks & Wax in Burnaby is a candle-making shop with very affordable beeswax and supplies with really great customer service. My chocolate bar sized hunk of wax only cost $4! They also have online ordering and wholesale rates, and even lip-balm flavours like raspberry which cost a couple bucks. You can’t go wrong with this place!

As for the coconut oil, I bought a tub of it for $7 at Superstore. I wanted to try Jojoba oil, but it was too expensive. The Vitamin E oil I picked up at Pharmasave (little gel capsules) and I bought a bunch of essential oils at Escents Aromatherapy near my place of work in Vancouver. I thought Superstore also carried essential oils, but I couldn’t find any at the Grandview location.

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I could’ve spent all day at Escents Aromatherapy, but I decided on the Aroma Blend Trio of Tuberose, Lilac, and Narcissus because I love floral scents and it was cheaper than buying them individually. For my base note, I decided on Cedarwood as it is more palatable than musk and the fact that it reminded me of my dad growing up as he worked in the forest industry. Plus, I live in the Pacific Northwest and anyone who says they dislike the smell of cedar doesn’t belong here! To round out the scents, I grabbed Mandarin (lighter and less one-note than Orange) to cut the heaviness of the florals and Noir Love (a blend of Jasmine and Violet) because it was 50% off. Who doesn’t love a deal?

Considering I wanted to try different blends of scents (I bought ten 1 oz. containers at Wax & Wicks), instead of mixing the oils right into the melted wax as the tutorials online suggested, I blended the oils with a toothpick in each individual container before pouring in the melted wax. Just don’t leave the toothpick in the oil blend, as the wood sucks the mixture up.

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How to make DIY solid perfume:

  1. Grate or chop up beeswax. I ended up using half a chocolate bar-sized brick of beeswax.
  2. Combine a 1:2 ratio of coconut oil to beeswax in a double boiler (stovetop was on low). Stir until melted. For about four 1 oz. tins filled halfway (as we were just testing out scents) I melted 4 HEAPING tbsps of beeswax to 2 tbsps coconut oil. Then I punctured a couple Vitamin E capsules to throw into the mix. If unsure about the consistency, grab a little spoon and let the melted wax solidify. Test.
  3. Mix your essential oils with a toothpick in a tin. I used about 10 drops.
  4. Pour melted wax into the tin and quickly stir with your toothpick until it begins to solidify. Leave for about 1/2 an hour. Then enjoy! Just make sure to write down your recipe as you go, for future reference.

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Overall, I would say that DIY solid perfume is a very fun and easy project to complete with another person but there would be some things I would change next time around:

  • Instead of the 1:2 coconut oil to beeswax mixture, I might increase it to 1:1 for a more malleable solid perfume. Don’t get me wrong, the 1:2 ratio works, but it’s about individual preference.
  • Increasing the ratio of the ‘lighter’ essential oils. Lavender and Cedar are very strong, even with 1 or 2 drops.
  • Try replacing coconut oil with jojoba oil and beeswax with soy wax, as coconut oil and beeswax can go rancid.
  • Replace the 1 oz. tins with different containers, like lockets for solid perfume necklaces or even seashells, and vintage jars and glasses for a retro look.
  • Find a way to make the perfume last longer. Might have to do with increasing the amount of essential oils.

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