the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Win a copy of Amber Dusick’s “Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures”

UPDATE:  Winner for this contest has been chosen.  Congratulations, Nia!!
You know what changed after I had kids?  Everything.  Most of the changes were good.  Very good.  But I’m not going to begin this book by talking about unconditional love or any of that boring shit. – Amber Dusick


Oh, Amber Dusick, you so speak my language.  This is a parenting book that I can get on board with!

Based on the popular blog, PARENTING: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures is a collection of stories, anecdotes and lessons on the many trials and tribulations of parenthood, accompanied by hysterical drawings that are, admittedly, crappy. Read more…

Five things you don’t know about Melissa Carr of The Thirties Grind


Vancouver’s top mom bloggers have gotten together to bring you another fun chain post.  This time, learn a little something you didn’t know about each of us!  Check out the other ladies’ posts and explore their awesome blogs!

PhotoLineUp1The Connection We Share                The Thirties Grind                                TuTuMama


Little Miss Mama                                  Mumfection                           Mama Papa Bubba


The Write Mama                      North Shore Mama

Absurd Vancouver Property (March 27, 2013)

Keep coming here for funny, sarcastic, tongue in cheek Vancouver property comparisons…like this one.

A budget of $2.4 million can stretch pretty far…in most places.

In Beverly Hills, California, you could buy Canadian comedian, Mike Myers’, compound:

mike myers

The two-story house has a formal dining room, family room, office and bonus room. The parklike grounds have a pool, spa and patios.  There is also a pool house that can accommodate guests.   Read more…

The REAL Real Housewives of Vancouver: Courtney Vye

RRHOV ButtonCourtney Vye is the creator and host of Hockey Talk with Courtney.  She got the idea for this show one day while working at a breakfast restaurant in Vancouver.  She started to pay attention to hockey once she realized most of her customers were talking about the Canucks.  Figuring it would give me something to talk about as I poured coffee, curiosity for the game exploded into a full on love affair!

Courtney is also an actress who has studied all over the world.  Her greatest role, however, is being a mom to her son, Hunter.

You can find Courtney on Facebook and Twitter! Read more…

Turkey quinoa burgers: gluten free and AMAZE-balls!!


Image from

Ground Turkey and Quinoa Patties
(Makes 10-12 patties; recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cumin
generous pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional – my kids detect anything “spicy” and then refuse to eat!)
6 T finely chopped fresh mint
3 green onions, sliced and then finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T olive oil (more or less, depending on your pan)
Tzatziki (for serving)

Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions…set aside.

Mix together all ingredients except the olive oil and Tzatziki.  Once combined, ad in the cooked quinoa a little at a time.  Form into fist sized patties.   Add olive oil to a heavy skillet and bring to medium-high heat.  Place 2-3 patties in the pan and cook until golden on either side (approximately 5 minutes per side).

Serve the cooked patties with Tzatziki for dipping.  DELICIOUS!!

Vancouver real estate: do we have a foreign investment problem…or just an investment problem?


Last night, a sold out crowd congregated at SFU Woodward’s to listen to a panel talk about “foreign investment in Vancouver real estate.”  It’s a subject I’ve covered here over the last year.

What was revealed is that Vancouver appears to have about 7,500 more vacant housing units than what would be expected in most other Canadian cities. For Metro Vancouver, there are around 15,000 to 20,000 more.  To arrive at this conclusion, UBC planning professor Andrew Yan analyzed 2011 census numbers to try to add more information to infamous debate around Vancouver being an offshore investors’ holding tank.  Is this the case or are many of the unoccupied units simply “second homes” for local investors (e.g. snowbirds who live in Palm Springs half the year).

One thing is clear to me…developers are operating businesses and, as such, will continue to build for the highest bidder.  Often, this is an investor who can afford a holding or vacation property in one of the world’s most expensive cities.  Because of this, families will continue to be priced out of the Vancouver real estate market.  What does this mean for the notion of community and neighbourhood in these areas?

Here’s what it means…community and neighbourhood will cease to exist.

Will Vancouver move towards being a city that is for tourists and investors only?  Are we already headed in that direction?

What are your thoughts?

Crate & Barrel Vancouver Media and VIP Opening (March 20, 2013)

Last night, I attended the media and VIP opening of Vancouver’s first Crate & Barrel, located at Oakridge Centre.  As guests, we were wined and dined as we perused the gorgeous home furnishings throughout the store.

Customers of the new Vancouver location will discover the brand’s fresh and colourful 2013 Spring and Summer Collection, which features entertaining and decorating essentials for every room in the home.  The assortment will highlight stylish choices in furniture, accessories, textiles, tabletop, kitchen, bed and bath, storage, and outdoor living. A favourite gift destination for celebrations of all kinds, Crate and Barrel will also offer its popular gift registry service, as well as its Designer Rewards Program for eligible industry professionals. Read more…

Two Vancouver teens arrested after Skytrain stabbing spree.

What on earth?  Two teenage girls were arrested Monday night after they stabbed and beat numerous people while travelling along the Skytrain line.  Apparently these two have had numerous (over 140) encounters with police over the last year. Read more…

The REAL Real Housewives of Vancouver: Agi Mayer

RRHOV ButtonAgi is a mother to a 4 yr old boy, a labor and delivery room nurse, wife, baker (Agi’s Creations) and a blogger. She blogs about life, motherhood, fashion, recipes and anything and everything that inspires her.


Foreign Investment in Vancouver’s Real Estate Market: free event at SFU Woodward’s


March 20, 2013 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Free, but registration is required.

Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Presented by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the SFU City Program

In Vancouver, there has been a lot of speculation about the impact of foreign investment on our real estate market.  Evidence has been limited.

So does such an issue exist?  What are the facts?  How does foreign investment impact affordability, if at all?

What are other jurisdictions doing?  What public policy interventions would make sense, if any?

These will be some of the questions discussed by our panel, moderated by Tyee editor David Beers:

Andy Yan, BTA Works
Tsur Somerville, UBC’s Sauder School of Business
Sandy Garrosino, Independent City Council Candidate
Richard Wozny, Principal, Site Economics Ltd.

Register here.

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