Entries Tagged as 'Travel'






We’re back from Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Well, truthfully we’ve been back for almost two weeks already, but September always seems to get ahead of me. Everyone should visit Tofino at least once in their lives. It’s just so beautiful! The sound of the waves, the smell of that fresh air… brings us back every year.


Beach Time



Yes, this is our eight year old, surfing! He made it look so easy! I’m pretty thankful that hubby is such a great teacher! Lord knows that my feeble surfing skills should not be shared with the next generation.

While we were on holidays the blog was nominated for Top 25 Canadian Mom Blog of 2013! We made it to #14 last year, and I’d love it if you could head over to Circle of Moms and vote for Flutter Flutter every day until September 25th. Thank you!





I love chalk art. I was thrilled to spot some inside Imig’s Kitchen & Bar at The Lafayette Hotel while in San Diego. I can’t help but smile every time I look at this picture, so I thought I’d share in case you need a boost today! (If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen it, but I thought it warranted a repost.)

Photo: Rosa Pearson,  Artist: Lynnie (no last name on the wall… anyone?)

Animal Daze




We just wrapped up a ten-day vacation with the boys in California! I think I could happily live there – I can’t imagine tiring of all that sunshine and blue skies! After another visit to Legoland, we visited the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo’s enormous Safari Park on our trip. I can honestly say that I reached my limit for animal gazing. That said, all of the photos from our trip are going to be great reference as I work on more Ampersand Animals!

There is one more week left of Spring Break for the boys! Thankfully the sunshine has followed us home, so there will be bike riding and trampoline jumping going on over here… in addition to Volcano Building, and Milk Art, and maybe even some Eye Bombing. It looks like I’ll be catching up on work in the evenings this week. And post vacation laundry is commencing as we speak. Wish me luck.

Hope you’re having a good week so far! Are you heading anywhere warm this year?

Memories of Tofino



As back to school busyness takes over, I can’t help but miss summer holidays. Do you find yourself doing that too? We just got back on Monday from Tofino, a beach town on the Westcoast of Vancouver Island. Surfing, bike riding, beach combing and boat rides on water taxis kept everyone happy.

I would venture a guess and say that this enormous beer (called a “Growler”) from the Tofino Brewing Company was Jason’s favorite discovery of the trip. I am not a fan of beer, but I loved the bottle!

We stayed at Pacific Sands Beach Resort this year, and the boys asked at least once a day whether we could move in! With a view like this, yes, please! It was so beautiful, and kid friendly too! Of course you can’t stay in a place like this without coming home and searching all the property listings, right?! A girl can dream…

PS – I posted about our 2010 trip to Tofino here.

Greetings from Whistler



Okay, so we aren’t actually in Whistler anymore, but haven’t we all received postcards from people after they’re already back from holidays. Consider this one of those! 😉

We usually head up to Whistler at least once every year. It’s so beautiful, and it really helps to unwind when you’re surrounded by nature. Between the hotel pool and all the lakes the kids are pretty much swimming the whole time, so they sleep well. I officially love family bike rides that end in everyone jumping off a dock and then drying off in the sun.

How about you? Do you have a spot that you visit for a yearly escape?

Portland, Oregon: Where To Shop



As you can imagine, we crammed a lot of shopping into our five day girls trip to Portland! I thought that I’d compile a visual list of all our top stores. I hope it helps you if you’re planning a trip to Portland sometime soon! Here we go!


Canoe, (1136 SW Alder) is full of modern, well-designed products for home, work and life. And such friendly people too!

Alder & Co. (537 SW 12th) is kitty corner to Canoe, and another fabulous find. Filled with wonderfully curated beautiful items for everyday use. I fell in love with their amazing felted rugs!

Crafty Wonderland (808 SW 10th) carries handmade goods from over 160 Portland area artists! I bought two amazing tops while shopping here, and discovered Jolby, local designers, when I spotted their fun mural (above) behind the cash desk.

Powell’s Books is a great place to give yourself a couple hours on a rainy day. You’ll need that long, at least, because it’s crazy big!


On our way to Besaw’s we discovered Manor Fine Wares (9907 NW 23rd Ave) and I could have happily taken the whole store home with me… such a warm, comfortable space.


Ink & Peat (3808 N.Williams Ave) is just down the street from Tasty n Sons, one of my favorite restaurants in Portland. This lifestyle store is filled with a clever mix of home decor items. You can find everything from Dash & Albert rugs to cookbooks, cards, candles, and so much more goodness. Oh, and it’s also a floral shop!

As a graphic designer Lark Press (3901 N.Williams) printing studio and retail space was a must see. I adore letterpress. If you need letterpress cards, posters, calendars, and such, then this is the store for you!


Manifesto (3806 N. Mississippi) is a fabulous shoe store, but, they also have a great selection of locally made jewellery, Orla Kiely bags, and more. I discovered my Minoux necklace here.


Hunt & Gather (1302 NW Hoyt St) carries a wide range of furniture & home decor, and paintings by local artists. I was happy to discover artist Sarah Kemsler‘s paintings… can’t stop thinking about these trees!

Cargo (380 NW 13th Ave) is an overwhelming experience of imported furniture, one of a kind wonders, flea market finds. I found a great old map here.

Lizard Lounge (1320 NW Irving St) This store was full of so many great brands of clothes and shoes for men & women. Cool kids shop here.


Vintage Pink (2500 SE Hawthorne Blvd) and the many vintage stores along this street are worth a wander, but it’s not as tempting to buy when there’s a flight home to pack for.

If the rain had let up we would have hit more in this neighborhood. Elsa + Sam, and Imelda’s & Louie’s Shoes were on our list of stores to visit.

So, to all you Portland locals, have I missed any of your favorites? Let me know if I have so I can search them out next time I’m in Portland!

Portland, Oregon: Where To Eat



Portland has really good food. Here are some of my favorite spots, separated by area, all of which have gluten free options. I should title this post “Where I Ate”, instead of “Where To Eat”, but I really think both are accurate. These places were all so darn good.

The Pearl District

Irving Street Kitchen had amazing decor, food, and service. And they do take-home desserts in cute little mason jars! We took away butterscotch pudding with salted caramel sauce, and I spent the rest of our trip trying to get back there for another!

Oba has amazing guacamole, made right at your table, and fabulous mexican food. Definitely the place to come if you’re craving a margarita. 😉

North Williams

Tasty n Sons is the place to be! There is a non stop rush of people waiting to eat here… and I now know why! But don’t worry, you can easily kill some time at the shops in that area. PS – You really must try the Shakshuka.

Downtown/West End

My favorite patio experience was at Nel Centro, the restaurant located in Hotel Modera. It is an amazing place to chill out in the evening with friends around one of the many fires. I don’t have any pictures that do it justice… these ones are from their website.

Joe’s Burgers was the perfect mid-shopping pit stop. Amazing gluten free buns!

Clyde Common is located downtown in the uber-hip Ace Hotel. We arrived pretty late in the evening, and three of the entrees had already sold out. But I don’t think you can go too far wrong no matter what you order here.

And I know that I already mentioned Savor Soup House, but it really needed to be on this list too!

Nob Hill

Besaws topped my list of popular places to try, and it did not disappoint! If our hotel had been closer I would have come back repeatedly. Their Breakfast Sandwich (with yet another AH-mazing gluten free bun) and mocha made my day. If you are looking for brunch, make this your destination.

Have you eaten at any of these restaurants? Any favorite Portland spots that we missed? I know that we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how much this city has to offer the taste buds, which makes me eager to return again soon!

Photo Credits: Rosa Pearson except where otherwise noted. (taken with my iPhone!)




I discovered Minoux, a fabulous jewellery company, while shopping at Manifesto on my trip to Portland. I’m so happy that I brought one of her beautiful necklaces home with me! It’s always fun to find a trinket to remember vacations by. I love that my necklace was made in a barn in Portland, and would love to add the Skyline and Little zigzag necklaces (above) to my collection. Aren’t the little pops of color great!

I’m still working away on a post to share my favorite shops and restaurants in Portland with you. There were so many good things, so it may take a bit!

Have a fabulous weekend y’all! We have our sons baseball tournaments all weekend, and it’s my birthday on Sunday, so we’ll be busy!

Visiting Portland



I just arrived home from five fabulous days in Portland, Oregon with my friend Kelly. We hopped aboard Amtrak for the trip down and it was great! Other than the extended travel time I much prefer it to flying. I loved Portland! The people there were so friendly, and the transit was almost entirely free, and the food… I could go on and on.

I may have done some serious damage in the Macy’s shoe department. Between 35% off, no tax, and an abundance of size 11 shoes, I was destined for success. 😉

The weather was pretty similar to Vancouver… mostly rain… so I was thrilled to discover Savor Soup House in amongst all the fabulous food carts. Tasty, and with gluten free options!

We flew home in the smallest plane I’ve ever been on! I’ve never walked on the tarmac to get to my plane before! We saved the quick route home for the end of the trip – it only took an hour to get back to Vancouver!

Have you been to Portland before? Any favourite stores or restaurants? I’ll be sharing more of mine soon!

Hope you had a great weekend!

California Dreamin’



After a great time in Palm Desert with the in laws, we headed to Carlsbad to visit Legoland. We knew the boys were going to have a great time, but what surprised me was how much I enjoyed the trip! We decided to stay near the beach, not near Legoland. It was the right decision!

Downtown Carlsbad is charming. From our condo we were able to walk to shops & restaurants, and the beach was right across the street! The Naked Cafe is a must for breakfast or lunch. And you can eat in their beautiful courtyard! Also, Paradise Pizza is a hidden gem, with amazing pizza. Both of these places have gluten free options, which is part of why we loved them so!

I researched accommodations in Carlsbad for quite a while, and decided on Carlbad Inn Beach Resort Condominiums. If you’re going to head down to Legoland and still want some beach time, pool time and a kitchen so you can make some meals… this is the place!

I’m reminiscing about our holiday because it’s mostly rain in Vancouver lately. It makes me want to jump on a plane again! How about you? Have you been anywhere warm this year? Maybe we’ll all get some sun this weekend! Regardless, have a good one!

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