Canada turns 144 years old tomorrow so it's time to dress up in your patriotic red and white colours and celebrate! There is no shortage of celebratory events happening around the Lower Mainland - it's hard to choose which ones to attend!

Here's some of the events happening around Vancouver:

  1. Canada Day at Canada Place

    It's the largest Canada Day celebration in Western Canada and includes all sorts of free concerts, kid-friendly activities, a parade and fireworks. There is even a mobile app for people with smart phones to plan their experience and keep up to date with the schedule of events. The celebration starts at 10am and goes on until 6pm. After the festivities are over, the 3rd Annual Canada Day Parade will begin at 7pm starting at Georgia & Broughton Street. The Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show will follow at 10:30pm.

  2. Canada Day at Granville Island
    Starting at 8am and going on 'til midnight, there will be lots of food, free jazz performances, kid-friendly activities, and a parade. The 12th Annual Canada Day Parade is begins at  1:30pm starting at Ocean Construction and ending at Ron Basford Park.

  3. Canada Day at the Olympic Village
    Celebrate Sustainability on Canada Day with WE CANADA in a multi-city event. There will be food, music, dance, documentary films and sustainability workshops and much more.

  4. Stevenston Salmon Festival
    Starts at 6:30am with pancake breakfast, 10am Canada Day parade, then the famous salmon barbecue starts at 11am. 1200 lbs of wild salmon are going to be grilled over over fire pits in Stenston village in Richmond

  5. North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations at Waterfront Park
    Lots of performances and kid-friendly activities

  6. North Shore Canada Day Parade
    Pancake breakfast starting at 8am-9:30am and a parade at 10am.

  7. Free Pancake Breakfast at Park Royal
    10am-11am free pancakes, music and balloon artists for the kids.

  8. Lonsdale Quay Market
    Music, face painting, balloons for kids.


I keep forgetting to post this. Last Sunday, I went with my family to check out the new lowrise housing community down by the Fraser river on Kerr Street. New Water it is called. A lot of people were there and there was food, drinks, popcorn and even a scavenger hunt of the kids. Unfortunately it was RAINING! Virgin Radio was also on location and the flight crew was cooking hot dogs. I met Tara Jean finally! Hehehe she recognized me from the Facebook photo I had tagged Kiah in.

So New Water had me in the mood for looking at housing. We went to MacPherson Walk next and took a look at some suites. They were almost sold out of Phase 3 and where offering discounts on the remaining suites. It looked so nice and the sales person was so convincing I got sucked in to purchasing one of the last ground suites which has a small yard instead of a balcony. I was ready to sign some papers but we took another walk around to survey the area and it looked too close to the skytrain for our taste so I backed out of the offer. I still have second thoughts looked so nice and owning my own home would be awesome. Someday...

Yay!!! My lilies are starting to bloom! The first one is an Asiatic variety called 'Lollipop'. Very pretty. I see a lot of blooms coming and I'm waiting in anticipation. I can't wait to take pictures of them! The purple clusters of flowers is actually an Allium. I wish I planted more of these. They'd look more dramatic in a cluster. I think the yellow flower is also a variety of allium. What sort of flowers are blooming in your garden?


So today I spent most of the day cleaning up my aquarium and rescaping it. I had pulled out all the plants yesterday and today I put some back in. The way I have it now, the fish can actually swim around instead of being choked in the plants. The water is still cloudy from the substrate shifting. I also added a layer of Fluval Plant substrate over the old EcoComplete gravel. Now there is a visible slope from back to front. It'll take a while for the plants to grow back in. I've gotten rid of a LOT. Basically the whole 40 gallons was chock full of plants. I removed some of the rocks and wood so that the middle would be more open. I plan to go back to schooling fish - maybe a variety of tetras so that means the Kribs have to go! Kribensis are very interesting fish to watch and they breed like rabbits but it's a problem since I never know what to do with the young!
Rev up your engines because the confident race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and his best pal Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) are back in an exciting, fast-paced sequel brought to you by Disney Pixar Animation Studios. McQueen returns to Radiator Springs after winning the Piston Cup only to be challenged to another race. With the support his friends, he accepts and heads overseas with Mater to participate in the first World Grand Prix that takes them to Japan, Italy and England to rub fenders with some of the world's first class cars. Clearly out of his element, Mater embarrasses McQueen. Mater gets split up from McQueen as he accidentally gets involved with international espionage due to mistaken identity. Mater joins British intelligence agents Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) as they investigate a mysterious and danger plot to take down the World Grand Prix participants. Mater will have to gather up the courage to become an all-star car to be able to save McQueen from the ultimate engine combustion.

Cars 2 is a very entertaining movie. It may be impossible for Pixar to make a bad film! Compared to other Pixar movies, it may be at the bottom of the scale but it still is a wonderful movie to watch especially if you are a Pixar fan. It was fast-paced and action packed, accompanied with an awesome soundtrack. The story was interesting but a little forced and this time clearly centred around the funny and direct Tow Mater. It doesn't have as much emotion as previous Pixar films but it still had its moments. The film was really funny and had jokes that both kids and adults would appreciate. Movie buffs will also spot a lot of Easter eggs hidden throughout the film. The animation was amazing and the 3D effects were fantastic especially when going really fast in the races and during explosions. Overall, Cars 2 is a very fun, entertaining summer movie that the whole family will enjoy.

Cars 2 races into in theatres this Friday, June 24, 2011!

Prior to the main movie, we were treated to a hilarious short: Hawaiian Vacation that brings back Toy Story gang. Ken and Barbie had planned a special trip to Hawaii to celebrate their relationship only to be left at home. Now it is up to the gang to help them experience trip of their dreams!

Have you seen the official trailer for the Muppets movie?! After several teasers, it is finally released! The three previous teasers where in the form of spoofs; the most recent one being of the Green Lantern:

There was the Hangover spoof:

And the rom-com spoof:

I love the Muppets and am really glad that another movie is being made with them. The Muppets movie comes out in November! I can't wait!
Freddie Highmore stars as George, a lonely slacker in the last year of high school, in this coming-of-age romantic comedy. Though George has shown talent as an artist, he has mastered the art of getting by in school and life by doing only the minimalist amount of work while teachers and the Principal tries to persuade him to do otherwise. He just lives day to day, believing that life is dull and meaningless. It isn't until he meets, Sally (Emma Roberts) who introduces him to her world of friends and parties that he finally finds some meaning in life. On Career day, he meets Dustin (Michael Angarano), an artist who becomes George's unofficial mentor and encourages him to develop his artistic abilities. Between his relationship with Sally and Dustin, George begins to show more interest in life but when things seem to change too quickly for him including his feelings for Sally, he withdraws back into his old lonesome world, alienating his new friends. However, George can't resist change forever, as graduation approaches, he will need to stop being afraid of living and seize the moments to redeem himself in the eyes of his mom, his teachers and Sally.

The Art of Getting By is a nice, feel good movie to watch and also quite funny at times too. That being said, the story line is kind of predictable and bland, however it is the actors that really shine through and carry this movie. It was nice to see Freddie Highmore all grown up! The dynamic between his and Emma Robert's characters is believable and endearing. They have very good chemistry in the movie. They are the reason this movie is as good as it is. Most likely teens will be able to relate to what these characters are going through. Though, one thing I didn't like was that both characters smoke. Overall this movie is okay, not too exciting but teaches some good life lessons if you can sit through the entire movie.

The Art of Getting By opens in theatres today, Friday June 17, 2011.

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!
Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is known for being reckless behaviour but is talented test pilot for the United States Air Force. While struggling to deal with his feelings with a tragic accident in the past and the relationship with his co-pilot, his life is turned up when a dying alien shows up and bestows a ring and a green lantern upon him claiming that the ring chose him as his successor. After reciting the oath, Hal is transported to the ancient world of Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps, a organization tasked with the duty of keeping peace and justice in the universe. Green Lanterns use the power of Will which is channeled through the ring each of them wear. The vigorous training and responsibility of being a Green Lantern overwhelms Hal and he quits. When a seemingly unstoppable evil called Parallax returns to use the power of Fear to devour to whole worlds and threatens Earth. Hal will have to step up and prove that he has what it takes to be a Green Lantern and to save the people he cares about.

Being that I've never read anything about Green Lantern in my life, I wasn't sure what to expect. I've heard from people who have read the comics that the movie follows relatively closely to the original story. The trailer looked promising and I wasn't disappointed. The movie tells the back-story of the Green Lantern Corps and how Hal Jordan was first human to be inducted into the Corps. I liked the story and Ryan Reynolds brought his charm to his character. There were a few funny moments that had the audience chuckling.

The screening was in 3D and though there were some good 3D effects, these were few and far between. A warning to those who are looking for an action movie: most of the film is spent telling the origins of the Green Lantern, the powers of the ring and setting up character relationships. Only at the end is there a big fight between Parallax and Hal Jordan. I would also liked to see the relationship between Sinestro (Mark Strong) and Hal developed more. Sinestro is suppose to be the mentor of Hal and I didn't realize that until I researched about the characters. Despite these points, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly! It's a good fun movie to watch in the summer.

Remember to stay for the credits! Looks like there will be another Green Lantern movie in the future! Hurray!

Green Lantern opens in theatres on Friday June 17, 2011 starting with midnight showings tonight!

A large Green Lantern symbol lit up the Sears Building on Granville and Robson after 9:30pm last night, calling to all with the desire to Join the Corps.

Right after the Canucks game I headed to the "secret" location to see what was up. It was only 8pm but there was a lot going on already. The Green Lantern street team were set up and parading up and down Granville street with their big Green Lantern posters taking photos with hopeful Canuck fans and handing out swag. A shaved ice machine was set up and there was a long line up to get the lime flavoured treat with a green glowing stir stick in it!

A huge crowd started to build as it got closer to 9pm. The street team did a great job of handling the crowd given how big it was. Rings, t-shirts, coasters, foldable water bottles, drawstring bags, temporary tattoos, glowsticks and Green Lantern toys were all given out. 17 lucky people also received a advanced screening pass to go see the movie tomorrow!

I usually don't see such events happening for movies held in Vancouver; they are usually reserved for bigger cities like Toronto, but Green Lantern is filmed in Vancouver and the star Ryan Reynolds was also born here! I hope last night's success will mean more events like these will be held in Vancouver!
Green Lantern is coming to theatres this Friday! I can't wait to watch it!

On Sunday I went to EAT! Vancouver for the first time. EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival is an annual food convention where celebrity chefs, popular local restaurants, food and beverage manufacturers, wineries, retailers and many others from the culinary world gather for three days of food heaven! I went with an empty stomach and left at the end of the day stuffed full of delicious food and bag laden with samples. There were many displays and vendors giving away samples - Yoghurt, beef jerky, Clamato, McDonald's iced coffee, candied salmon, humus just to name a few.

Rob Feenie of Cactus Club Cafe was also there presenting on the main stage. I stayed to watch him for a little while but my hunger got the better of me and we purchased some tickets to trade in for food. There was so much to see and taste! EBO Restaurant and Milestones were there. I thought EBO's presentation of their food was the nicest! There was also a junior chef competition. USA won gold, Canada took silver and Chile placed third.

Just looking back at the pictures makes my mouth water! I can't wait go again next year!





After the Green Lantern event at Metro I headed down to the annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival at False Creek. The weather was beautiful and water's edge was packed with people watching the races. The vendors are located at the Olympic Village this year due to construction on the other side of Science World. The races are exciting to watch but since I don't know anyone participating in them watching one was enough for me. Hahah. I was more interested in the cute dogs there as you can see by my photos.

The Dragon Boat Festival is still on tomorrow. Make sure you line up to get your picture taken on a boat; you can get a small Rio Tinto Alcan foldable water bottle afterwards. Sad to say that there is no cooking show or tin foil giveaways this year.

Phew what a long day! And tomorrow I'll be going to EAT Vancouver! There's always lots to do in Vancouver!

I popped in to take a look at the Join the Corps event at Metropolis Comics & Toys today. The store was hosting a Green Lantern party and had a lots of contests going on. I didn't stay for the entire duration of the event but I met some enthusiastic Green Lantern fans and also met the people behind @WB_Vancouver on Twitter. Very cool! The Warner Brother reps will be Play On ( the Street Hockey event happening at Metrotown Kingsway parking lot) again tomorrow at 2:30pm. If you find them you can get some cool Green Lantern swag like rings, t-shirts and bags.

Also on Monday, Vancouverites will have a chance to Join the Corps! There will be a "Green Lantern" symbol projected somewhere in the downtown core at 9pm. The specific location is unknown but each day, Warner Brothers is releasing a clue to lead you to that secret location! The first 17 people to find the location will receive advance screening passes to see the movie on Wednesday! Other prizes will be available as well. But if you are a Canucks fan and there is a Game 7 which one would you go to? Hmm Tough call. Remember that Monday night is also game day so there'll be a lot of people downtown! So make sure you are on your feet!

Here are the clues:

Pre clue #1: During the Olympics the streets near this building were closed for the celebrations of superheroes clad in red and white.
Pre clue #2: Everyday it overlooks the most artistic building in Vancouver.
CLUE #3:  One of its neighbors is a vault for priceless works of art.
CLUE #4:  If shopping is your superpower, you can utilize it at this building.
CLUE #5:  Masked with secrecy this building has no windows.
CLUE #6:  One of its neighbors has never lost to its archenemy: high clothing prices.
CLUE #7:  If villains needed money to fund their evil plans they would target its neighbour recognized by its green logo.
CLUE #8:  The son of Rob meets his Gran at this ville.

Green Lantern is in theatres next week, Friday, June 17th, 2011.

A sci-fi thriller written and directed by J. J. Abrams, Super 8 follows Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his friends (Riley Griffiths, Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning) who are making a movie using a super 8 mm film camera for a contest in a small Ohio town in the summer of 1979. While filming at train station at night, the group barely escapes a catastrophic train crash. Strange occurrences start to happen around the town shortly after and as Joe and his friends dig deeper, they discover that accident may not be an accident after all and some thing has escaped from the wreckage. Things get stranger still when the military arrives to execute a coverup and a hunt for the creature.

Super 8 has a great story that is mainly centered around its characters. The acting is superb and completely natural. As for action though, besides the train wreck in the beginning, the middle of the movie goes at a relatively slow pace. We are only shown glimpses of that is causing the strange disappearances of people and metallic devices. However, this is super successful in building up uneasy and chilling atmosphere during that time - there were a few times where I jumped. The action doesn't pick up until the ending. Being that Super 8 was produced by Steven Spielberg, it is not a surprise that the ending is slightly reminiscent of E.T. Compared to the rest of the film, the ending seemed too happy happy to me. A lot of set up was done throughout the movie to give the viewer an emotional happy ending. It is nice that this film is so focused on the relationships between characters. It's not bad but it seemed just slightly over the top at the end. Still, besides the awesome dynamic of the characters, the movie is amazingly choreographed and train crash is spectacular and there are lot of explosions towards the end. Highly recommend watching it in theatres.

Super 8 is coming out in theatres and IMAX on Friday June 10, 2011.

Want to win tickets to see Super 8? IMAX is hosting a facebook contest here. Good luck!

Entering 'MINT' at will also give you a chance to RVSP for an advanced screening in select cities in Canada and the US.
We were at the Party on the Plaza at Rogers Arena before the game started and boy was it packed! Today was also the Vancouver Canucks mascot, Fin's tenth birthday! Look how long his playoff beard is getting! Hahaha! There was cake and a lot of celebrating. I even got a photo with him! His birthday wishes include: 1. A big win tonight 2. A big win on Monday night 3. A big win on Wednesday night. Looks like one of those has already come true! Again downtown Vancouver exploded into celebration when Burrows (<3) scored that OT goal, 11 seconds in.  People on Granville Street were packed like sardines and still more people from other live sites were pouring in. The atmosphere was so energetic, everyone was smiling and cheering, complete strangers were giving each other high-fives. This is way bigger than Olympic Gold. There absolutely is no comparison. We've waited 17 years for this and tonight we are 2 games closer to the Cup. Go Canucks!