These Boots Are Made For Walking: Coal Harbour

June 28, 2011 § 34 Comments

The Pacific Northwest region has a notorious reputation for inclement weather—here, rain could qualify as a fifth season. Vancouverites have accepted the cold and wet weather as a simple fact of life. You learn to deal with it by donning a raincoat and slipping on water-resistant boots. And you come to grips with the incessant water droplets by rationalizing that they are sustaining the largest temperate rainforest ecoregion on the planet—while sipping from your earth-friendly cup of fair trade coffee, no less.

After six years of living abroad, however, it seems that I need to acclimatize once again to Vancouver’s ‘enchanting’ grey skies. Mind you, I do think this is a lovely change from the tropical “I’ve-just-stepped-one-foot-out-the-door-and-I’m-already-breaking-into-a-sweat” humidity that is Singapore. So, with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees Celcius as of late, I decided it was time to head out into the city—with or without the sun!

Laced up in my oh-so-comfy hikers, I proceeded to (re)discover one of my favourite urban jaunts in Vancouver: the Coal Harbour waterfront walk.

Starting at Canada Place (the antecedent of the current Vancouver Convention Centre), I looped once around the building and filled my lungs with salty seabreeze before moseying on over a couple hundred metres  to the new extension wing.

This new wing was completed for the 2010 Winter Olympics and houses some rather interesting public art sculptures together with the outdoor Olympic Cauldron (albeit without the flames—a good measure considering the embarassing cacophony of incivility following a hockey game just two weeks ago).  

At one of the many rest stops available along the waterfront, I spent a moment watching as the water body before me transformed into a landing strip for seaplanes.

Ah, the seagull. I never thought I would ever find myself feeling so happy at the sight of these squawking birds. Singapore certainly has her own interesting share of avian species, but the seagull is just too goofy and comical not to fall in love with—that is, until they snatch the tuna sandwich straight out of your hands.


These boats remain anchored, waiting patiently for a sunny day to be let out and roam the waters.

With my urban trek almost coming to an end, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this little pupster romping around in the park by the waterfront. Sheema is the name of this sweet 1-year old Toy Poodle. Oh how she reminded me of Little Miss Maple! I think Maple and Sheema could easily become instant friends. *sigh* If only Maple had wings to fly.


Spare Us A Vote?

June 19, 2011 § 30 Comments

After several sleepless nights of fighting jet lag and recuperating from the 18-hour on-flight movie marathon across the Pacific Ocean, it is time to pick up where we last left off! MM tells me that Miss Maple is doing just fine and, in fact, hardly notices that her favourite momsy is 12,800 km (8,000 mi) from her centre of gravity. Ah well, so much for the imagined tearful cries I envisioned from the Lil’ Miss—it looks like I can relax more easily and enjoy my homecoming (*whew* long sigh of relief). Thank you, everyone, for your comforting words and reassuring comments :D

Now that I have gotten back my bearings, I hope to get into the swing of blogging again. First of all, I have a few thank you’s to send out. It was such an overwhelming surprise when I checked my inbox to find six(!) awards waiting patiently in the ‘Comments’ queue for approval. Without any further adieu, I would like to acknowledge the nominators for their generosity:

Versatile Blogger Award

Nominator: Didi & George from My Little Dog 
Nominator: Pauline & Oscar from Oscah Baby
Nominator: Novroz & Kame and Kroten from Kame & Kroten Blog
Nominator: Opie’s Mom & Opie from Opie’s Mom’s Blog

Genuine Blogger Award

Nominator: Miss Stella Rae from Just Ramblin’ Pier 

Inspiration Award

Nominator: Melissa & Yuki from Yuki The Dog Blog 

If there is one thing Miss Maple loves more than hoarding toys, it has got to be collecting awards! Fortunately, these virtual awards don’t require physical shelf space so, as a self-confessed cleanaholic, I have no qualms with Maple’s borderline obsessive compulsive behaviour—in fact, I say, “The more the merrier!”
The next bit of news I have to share also came as a welcomed surprise. Miss Maple is one of 50 finalists in a pet photo contest! 
The pet with the most number of votes wins a complimentary photography course—all the more reason for Maple to smile for the camera! We’re up against some tough competition and could really use your help. Please spare us a vote, or two, or three ;)  You can vote as many times as you wish up to one vote per day. The polls close on July 1st. Click HERE for the link!

You may also wish to the know that our blogging buddy, Ros & Le Le, from Le Paws Voyage also made it to the finals! Just look out for the cute Beagle with the blue tennis ball on the grass lawn—you can’t miss her. Give them your support, too, please!

Truth be told, though, I think all the pet photos are adorable—how can you not break into a smile seeing the happy faces on these furry friends and critters! If anything, hopefully these pictures will brighten up your day. Have a great weekend, everyone :D

Homeward Bound

June 9, 2011 § 51 Comments

With end-of-the-semester assignments and exams completed, it is officially the start of summer. So, I say: Let the vacationing begin! It’s no wonder, then, I’ve been feeling a tad restless and my mind has been wandering to faraway holiday destinations—I think I’ve been hit with the travel bug.

At the moment, Singapore is my ‘home away from home’. Ever since my arrival on this tiny tropical island six years ago, I’ve tried to make biennial trips home to reunite with family and friends. I always look forward to these homeward bound journeys and will get dizzy with excitement months before the departure. This year will be a little different, as it will be my first time being so very far away from Miss Maple. Fortunately, MM will be staying back with the little pipsqueak so I shouldn’t need to worry. Or, should I? :|

I know in my heart of hearts that MM is most capable of caring for Maple, yet there is this constant nagging feeling of wanting to be here. All the time. Supervising. Oh dear, did I just say that aloud?! *sigh* Well, there’s no hiding it now. My name is SJ and I’m a worry wart, yes I am. Any ordinary individual would relish the thought of being temporarily liberated from all the duties and responsibilities required of a high-maintenance furball. But, oh no, not me!

Therefore, to make things a little less anxiety-ridden, I’ve created a reminder board for MM—I’m sure he’ll appreciate it ;)

With that aside, my next worry is how I’m going to squeeze a wardrobe full of summer clothes and shoes into my tiny (unhappy and protesting) luggage—it’s insisting that I S-L-O-W-L-Y lay down the eighth pair of shorts, put my hands up in the air, and back away. 

I’m also thinking of Happy.Bark.Days and how oddly strange it will feel blogging from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. On the one hand, I’m brought so much closer to the dog blogging community in North America (maybe I’ll finally be eligible to enter a few giveaways, yay!). On the other hand, access to Miss Maple will be limited so, content-wise, I’ll have to find ways to improvise :idea:

Until then, here’s wishing everyone a pawbulous weekend ahead! I’ll catch-up with you all next week from a new location and a new timezone. Cheerio :D 

Miss Maple on The Daily Toki

June 8, 2011 § 21 Comments

When Christine from The Daily Toki approached us with an invitation to participate in an interview, we couldn’t resist! We were utterly flattered by the request—our first ever interview—and we were happy to oblige the beautiful Miss Toki.

If you haven’t already heard of The Daily Toki, then you absolutely should skip over there pronto! Not only are the photos of Toki captivating, but the stories behind them are just as entertaining and endearing. Christine also writes very informative product reviews and feature articles that are most definitely worth your while to check out.

Thanks again, Christine, for your very gracious review of Happy.Bark.Days! You have totally made our week and little Miss Maple, here, can’t stop beaming :D

Wish List No. 02: It’s a Charmed Life

June 4, 2011 § 32 Comments

Holly Golightly, the infamous New Yorker who made the ‘little black dress’ a fashion icon, is one of the most memorable characters in modern American film history that was played by British actress and timeless beauty, Audrey Hepburn.

The film adaptaton of Truman Capote’s 1958 novel by the same title opens with Miss. Holly alighting from a taxi and walking with determined strides to the storefront window of Tiffany’s. There, Miss. Holly unwraps her breakfast and pecks away on a pastry while admiring in a dreamy state the glittery jewels on display—hence, breakfast at Tiffany’s!

So, are diamonds a girl’s best friend? Well, Maple would like to think that she’s a girl’s best friend. And, rightly so, in my eyes! You see, I’m not much of a frequent-flyer when it comes to wearing jewellery (my mother-in-law, on the other hand, would have earned herself several trips around the world by now). Consider yourself lucky if you can catch me strapping on a watch as I step out of the apartment (LOL)! It’s not that I dislike embellishments altogether but, rather, it’s simply a sheer lack of motivation in clasping and clipping them on. Ironically, this has not hindered my appreciation for the art of jewellery-making. Like Miss. Holly, I have a penchant for pretty little things that shine.

While browsing Etsy the other day, my curiosity got the better of me and led me in a search for ‘dog charms’. Have you ever experienced that feeling of walking into a store and falling recklessly in love with every item on the rack? I’m often that way when it comes to bookshops and, doggone it, it now looks like Etsy has me hooked as well! 

From the results of my spur-of-the-moment search, I discovered the cutest charms ever that ranged from little pawprints to doggie bones to personalized self-portraits. Talk about keeping your four-legged friend close to your heart!  Excuse me now while I grab a donut and cup of tea—I’ll be admiring these little charmers from the comfort of my study chair while wearing my PJs as Maple sprawls out by my feet. I may not have the polished glamour of Holly Golightly nor the propensity to adorn my pinky with a Tiffany’s ring but, with my little sidekick, Miss Maple, I feel like I’m already living a ‘charmed’ life.

Click on any of the images below to check out the artists’ Etsy shops! 

 Source of Images:

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