Hi friends! The weekend is here! What do you have going on? We’re headed to Vancouver for our Disney Alaska cruise and CAN’T WAIT for the fun. The Pilot hasn’t taken this much time off work in forever – last time was when P was about 6 months old and we had two weddings to attend- so I’m really looking forward to a true family vacation. The girls are so pumped about seeing their favorite princesses, and I’m looking forward to relaxing and a couple of fun excursions we have planned. I’ll still be blogging next week so be sure to check in! Of course I’ll share a full recap of the cruise when we’re back, too.
(Not packed yet, but Disney nails are done. #priorities)
For now, it’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! These are some of the things I’m lovin’ this week, and as always, please share any faves in the comments section.
Your Vancouver recommendations. We’ll be in Vancouver, Canada for a couple of days, and I put the call out on Instagram for fun things to do a places to eat. You never disappoint with incredible recommendations, and here are all of the things I added to the list:
– Bike around the Sea Wall
– The Vancouver Lookout
– Grouse Grind hike
– Science world/ aquarium
– Capilano suspension bridge
– Drinks at the Diamond
– Fly Over Canada
– Eat: Nuba Lebanese, Vancouver Urban Winery, Nicli Antica Pizza, Chambar (for mussels), Artista Pizza, food trucks (and an amazing grilled cheese food truck), Earnest Ice Cream, Earl’s in Ambleside, Purebread Bakery (many recs for this one!!), Cafe Media, Japadog’s, Miku Sushi (reserve a spot in advance), Deep Cove for Honey’s Donuts, Rain or Shine ice cream, banana coconut latte at Giovane, Red fish blue fish, The Acorn (plant-based), Vij’s (apparently the best Indian food ever; line up 30 min before opening to be in the 1st seating), Shabusen (all you can eat sushi and Korean bbq), Jam Cafe for the best breakfast, Tavola for dinner (amazing garlic chicken), Twisted Fork Bistro (brunch), Lucky donuts, Hubbub sandwiches, Virtuous Pie (many recs for this), Juice Truck, Heirloom, Guu Izakaya, Asian food on Robson street, Nelson the Seagull for avocado toast.
I wish we could be there for a month after reading all of these suggestions!
Summer fun!! Yesterday was our first official day of summer break and the girls and I did it up right. I rode the Peloton before everyone was moving, and then we had breakfast at home before getting ready for the day. We started the activities at the mall to get mini bottles of shampoo + conditioner, a giant stuffed dragon (to match P’s new giant pink flamingo), and candy from the candy store.
After that, I took the girls rock climbing at Bloc for almost 2 hours (!!) and then we came home for lunch and some math. I’m trying to avoid the “summer slide” so Liv and I worked on word problems for a little while and P colored a numbers worksheet. They played outside for the rest of the afternoon while I did some chores, madre hung out with them while I got my vacation nails, and then we met up with the fam for Taco Thursday.
LOVING Beyond Meat!! I decided to give it a try after seeing it at pretty much every grocery store. I got a pack of the hot Italian sausage, and it’s kind of creepy how meat-like it is. The flavor is great and it tastes just like real chicken sausage. I read online that their target demographic is people like me: those who eat meat, but are willing to explore other options and diversify their diet. I’m absolutely going to buy these again and can’t wait to try the burgers.
(This was lunch yesterday. Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s cooked in the skillet with Beyond Meat Italian sausage, then I added arugula and basil from our little garden and a drizzle of Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing. This combo needs to be repeated.)
Read, watch, listen:
Yogis who are working to end the stigma associated with mental health.
3 things that bring me hope, perspective, peace, and strength.
The podcast will be back the week of June 3! Make sure you’re subscribed and ready to go. 🙂
The War of Art. This book is a serious kick in the pants and just what I needed when motivation was lagging. We’re truly our own worst enemies when it comes to creative content; doubting ourselves, questioning the outcome, and wondering if anyone cares. The section on imposter syndrome really spoke to me, and the author said when you doubt yourself, you’re doing a good job. [I just realized I’ve already featured this in Friday Faves but was worth another mention because it really is that good!]
Why you’re more likely to cry on an airplane.
Fashion + beauty:
Memorial Day shopping! There are so many great sales happening this weekend.
Here are some of my top finds:
Express: 40% off everything! Love this dress, these pants, this swami, and this romper.
gap: 40% off everything with code READY. I’m stocking up on summer dresses for the girls like this one, this one, and this one.
Athleta: 20% off women’s swim! How cute is this blossom rash guard?
J. Crew: 40% off sitewide with code SHOP40. I’m obsessed with this maxi dress and strangely excited that are back in style.
Pottery Barn: tiered savings through the weekend. I’m going to lurk their outdoor furniture since our patio is still pretty bare.
Madewell: 20% off dresses and shoes with code PERFECTMATCH. This dress is so cute with sneakers.
Saks Off Fifth: extra 20% off select styles.
Beautycounter is also offering a Memorial Day promo, and if you spend $125, you’ll get a free sunscreen combo pack of the sunscreen mist and a 1 oz of the sunscreen lotion. If you’re looking to switch to safer skincare and beauty products, sunscreen is an awesome starting point. Conventional sunscreens contain chemicals that are being questioned for their safety, and can also be damaging to ocean ecosystems. The Beautycounter mineral-based sunscreen works extremely well and is an option that’s safe for your family and the earth.
Happy Friday, friends!
I’ll see ya on Monday with some new workout ideas you can do during summer break.
I’m running a half marathon in Vancouver (in August) and will have to eat at some of those places!
I don’t know if they still do this, but when we took our kids on a Disney cruise we brought shirts and sharpies to the concierge and by the end of the week all the characters had signed our shirts and returned them to our cabin. Have a great trip!!!
A Disney cruise sounds amazing! And we are heading to Vancouver in July for a family vacation — first time ever there, so these recs are so helpful. Enjoy it all, Gina! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks too!
The Grouse Grind was by far the most difficult hike I have ever done! I would suggest not bringing the girls if you plan on doing it, but definitely a satisfying challenge
Hope you have a great time on the cruise! Love the nails! 🙂
The Beyond Meat burgers are amazing. If you go to A&W (you can find them in downtown Vancouver) you can get one there. If you didn’t know that they were plant based you would think they were meat. Except they don’t have the grissel that real burgers contain (yuck!).
no way! tom and liv were at a&w today while p and i napped. i should have gotten one! can’t wait to try the burgers
Hi from Canada!
My favourite Vancouver thing is Granville Island Market–a farmer’s market with lots of food choices, beautiful views, tons of interesting shops, and even a kids market. You can even get there by water taxi! Parking there is a hassle, so try to go car free.
Be careful about the Grouse Grind–it used to be a nice hike but now people tend to do it for time and race up and down. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver has lovely trails and some great boulder-y rock outcrops to climb on. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is another favourite. Science World is a blast (my sister helped set up some of the exhibits many years ago) and Chinatown is fun, too (bubble tea and red bean buns).
Too much to see in one visit. Plan to come back! 🙂
We are in Ireland on vacay right now (AMAZING!) & my daughter was just telling our guides today how much she loved biking around the SeaWall when we were in Vancouver a couple years ago. Do it!!! Enjoy your cruise!
Can’t wait to hear all about your Alaskan Disney Cruise. My husband wants to take the kids on an Alaskan cruise one day and what better way than on Disney?! Vancouver is so much fun. Have a great time!
i’ll definitely report back! thank you!
Here are my local recommendations from the Instagram list :
Japadog (hot dog stand downtown, the girls will prob like the classic with teriyaki sauce, but I like the savory one with cabbage!)
Vij’s Is the best restaurant experience I’ve ever had, it’s owned by Vikram Vij, super famous Indian Chef (google him!, lots of celebrities have eaten there, incl, Giada!)
Honeys doughnuts in deep cove are the BEST I’ve ever had, beautiful area to explore too!
The grouse grind is not kid friendly, but they can ride up the gondola and meet you at the top! Spectacular views, cafe and trails up there.
The aquarium is in Stanley Park, not with Science World
Cross the water on the sea taxi to Granville island
Have fun! I hope you sorted out the travel stuff & get the girls on the sky train, my kids love it!
PS Can’t wait to hear about the Disney Cruise!
so many incredible suggestions- thank you!! we did the aquarium today and LOVED it. i’m going to get the girls a japadog tomorrow before we head out on the cruise
thank you again for the suggestions. hope you’re having a great weekend!
Hey Gina! Vancouver local here. I’ve been reading your blog since the Valdosta days. 🙂 I work at a hotel restaurant in Coal Harbour in Van right on the seawall. We see a ton of families cruising to Alaska! You can grab a free shuttle to Capilano Bridge from my hotel which makes it super easy. Are you staying downtown? Please email me if you guys have any specific questions. I’d love to give back for the years of enjoyment and information you’ve given me through this blog. 🙂
thank you so much- i really appreciate it! we’re having the BEST time here. i want to live here lol
beyond meat is life. i’m not in love with the sausage but the burgers are INCREDIBLE.
i can’t wait to try them now!
You absolutely HAVE TO go to Thierry and get the chocolate marquise cake it is LIFE CHANGING!!!! https://www.thierrychocolates.com/
YES to beyond meat. So, so good. We eat the burgers at least 2x’s/week haha. Enjoy your trip:)