YCIS International Food and Culture Fair

We had a beautiful day on Saturday for the International Food and Culture Fair at the girl’s school, YCIS Hongqiao. Our family headed up the Canadian Booth and sold out of poutine in two hours!  It was a hit. We had tattoos and flags donated by the Canadian Consulate here in Shanghai and the kids loved getting them put on. Georgia was covered in them from head to toe. Not so much fun scrubbing them off the next day. 😜

We were also sponsored by Purity Factories from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. We served Purity Syrup, which is a sweet concentrate that you mix with water. It was a huge hit as well and we even had to use our personal stash bottle that my mother in law sent us that was meant for display purposes only. My children (and husband) were not impressed. 😂😂. I will admit that the jam jam cookies that they donated went to Glenn when he was in hospital for 9 days. He did share with all the nurses and doctors at Shanghai United. Special thanks to Purity Factories for supporting our family and bringing a little bit of Newfoundland and Labrador to Shanghai. 

The event started out with a parade of all the counties and music by the Shanghai Big Band. They are an amateur Japanese Big band and they were incredible!  I could have listened to them all day. I have to mention that it was also my father’s birthday that day and he and Mom spent it volunteering with us at the food fair. It was so nice to have them there with us. 

Glenn was in his wheelchair but he had no problem getting around and trying out all the food at every different booth. Every time I caught him in my perpherial, he was sitting in his wheelchair with a different plate of food in front of him. It was hilarious. I guess he got his appetite back. He also brought his guitar and rocked out from the booth. 

There were 15 countries represented and it was a colorful and delicious day! I love seeing the pride people feel representing their home country. It really brings the school community together and all proceeds go to a local charity called Seeds of Hope. They support and help developing schools in rural China. 

So it was a feel good day and I think we represented and brought the small but mighty Canadian YCIS family together. Looking forward to next year. I must give kudos to Carol Mao for doing an amazing job at organizing this event. She is a perfect fit as the Parent Relations Officer at the school. 

Here are some photos from our beautiful day. 

Our first customer was a Canadian from Quebec. She approved of the poutine 😀

Seriously, I think he tried every booth! 

And Carol Mao just sent me these two photos…..photo credit : YCIS Marketing Team 

Thanks for reading! Until next time. 

Only joy, only love,




Capturing the Fabulise

My dear friend, Lisa Browne, is a pretty amazing photographer and avid traveler. She is so talented and has a very unique eye. I just love seeing the photos of her travel and especially how she captures people.  If you get a minute, do yourself a favour and check her out.  

Blog- http://www.capturingthefabulise.wordpress.com

Website – http://www.capturingthefabulise.com

Instagram- @capturingthefabulise. 

You’ll be glad you did!

I wanted to share some photos that Lisa took of my family back in February. We are so pleased with them. Thanks again, Lisa, for your patience with my stubborn 5 year old who really doesn’t like crowds…..which can be challenging living in a city of 26 million people. 😜😜

Lisa is currently traveling in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region and has been posting some amazing photos. But the photo below cracked me up this morning. ‘Split Pants’ are very popular in China and I can still remember the first time I saw a child in them. She just squat down and let it all go on the sidewalk. No diapers….just split pants. Using them definitely speeds along the potty training process. 😂😂 

Happy Friday! 

Until next time. 

Only joy, only love,




Glenn may be in hospital but I’m on a two day streak kicking his butt playing crib. No pity for him! 6-2 for moi. In this particular game, he wasn’t even across the skunk line. You’ll notice that he snuck his middle finger into the second photo. 😂😂 

In all seriousness, it looks like he is breaking out tomorrow. He’ll be on oral antibiotics for a while and still needs to take it easy and not walk more than 10 minutes at a time for a few days. So I’ve rented a wheelchair to get him out of the house. I think I’ll just push him in the scooter lane on Hongmei Lu. I should attach our go pro to his wheelchair. That would be funny. 

Thank you to everyone who has reached out sending love and support. I can’t express how much it meant to me. I can feel the love and positive energy and am filled with gratitude for the beautiful people in our lives. We are beyond blessed. 

I have benefitted from the kindness of so many people and it makes me think of this quote which I say to our girls all the time. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”  – Etta Turner  Isn’t that the truth. 

On another note, I’m so happy that my parents got to see the Great Wall today. Mom and Dad wanted to cancel because Glenn was still in hospital but I pushed it because we were good and I know how amazing it feels to stand on that wall. I’m delighted they got to experience it. Check out these photos that their fantastic tour guide, Alice, sent me. They are so stinking cute!  Thanks for the recommendation, Shirani Alfreds. Alice took great care of them. 

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,



It’s been a while….

Just wanted to write a post as life has been kind of crazy lately and I simply haven’t had time but I’ve missed it. I am writing in my notebook a lot though. Perhaps some day I’ll organize those thoughts. My husband, Glenn, has had three knee surgeries in the past two and a half weeks. The first one to repair a torn acl and the other two to help stop the infection he got from the first surgery. He’s still in hospital now on IV antibiotics but is on the mend and in excellent care. We just need to get the infection under control and get him home!  We all miss him. 

To be honest, we’ve had a lot going on personally and professionally and the last few months have been extremely challenging. I hit a pretty big low this past week and was having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees, as my dear friend, Dana, says. I’m tired and it’s hard to cope when you’re exhausted. Things are turning around and I am so lucky to have my Mom and Dad here visiting to help, listen and support me and my family. They had no idea how timely their visit would be when they booked it last fall. ❤️❤️ I sent them off to Beijing this morning for a quick trip to see the Great Wall. It’s their second trip to China and they need to see it. 😁 

So I’m working on really owning “only joy, only love”. It’s easier to type it than implement it some days. Life is always sweeter when I approach it with this mindset.

Here are a couple of thoughts that I’ve read or heard this past week that have resonated with me. Thought I’d share. 

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.”          – Maya Angelou

“The best things in life are on the other side of your maximum fear.”     – Will Smith

My sweet father read me a quote last night that I just loved. 

“Even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea.”                       – Algernon Charles Swinburne.     This one makes me feel calm. ❤️❤️

I hope to write more soon. We have an exciting week ahead. 

Until next time!

Only joy, only love,



P.S. The girls enjoy playing “surgery” when they visit Glenn. I have to say that they have amazing bedside manner. 😂😂