Wow! 14 countries! 

Just wanted to share that yesterday was my highest reader day in 14 different countries. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I love connecting with all of you. 

Don’t forget to click the “follow my blog by email” icon on the right hand side of my page to receive all my posts in your inbox. I’d love to hear from you. 

Only joy, only love,

Michelle 

xo

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My happy place

The first time I visited Shanghai, I went to the Confucius Temple on Wenmiao Lu and fell in love with the place.  I bring visitors there, my family have been several times and I like to go their by myself, as well.  It is so very calm and I instantly feel better when I walk through the gates.  It is more of a museum than a working temple but locals do go to light incense and write wish cards, mostly written by parents or the students who are wishing they do well in school.  I always learn something new during the tea ceremony….the oolong ginseng has become my favourite tea in China.

I wanted to share a few pics of my happy place.

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You would never know that the temple is through these gates.

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The busy street you walk down to get to the entrance.

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Confucius himself.

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Mom, Dad and J hanging their wishes.

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Isn’t it just beautiful?!

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G cracking me up, as usual.

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The girls with Glenn’s mom, Margaret Antle.


My Aunt May and her sister, Trudy came to visit us. 

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My sister’s in laws, Sue and Phil Quinlan, and our sweet tour guide, BB.  We spent the day together last fall before they started a tour of China.  So nice when people are passing through Shanghai. 😂😂All of the tour guides are students that volunteer at the temple.

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I always learn some thing new at the tea ceremony.

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Come visit and I’ll bring you here too 🙂

Only joy, only love!

Michelle

xo

 

and Chinese New Year begins….

Warning….lots of photos in this post. Too many good ones to share.  😃😃

I love this time of year with Chinese lanterns hanging everywhere. It is so beautiful and festive and we get to add it to our list of family celebrations. How lucky are we?! The girls get 1.5 weeks off school and work is slow for Glenn because the country really shuts down and almost everyone goes home to their family. We’re having another staycaytion in Shanghai and are so looking forward to it.
Our weekend started out with a CNY celebration at the girls school – YCIS Hongqiao. I just LOVE this school and the education and experiences our girls are getting there. It truly is incredible. And this event was so well put together and a perfect way to kick off CNY. 
Here are some pictures of our day. 




Then we went to another one of my favourite places, the Hongqiao bird and flower market, to buy more CNY decorations. I love how everything has meaning and that J & G are teaching us what they are learning in school. Their Chinese study classes are always so interesting. I’m going to do a series of videos of the girls explaing all the meanings this coming week. On Tuesday, I am attending an event for YCIS parents to learn about the different traditions of CNY. I can’t wait for that! 
Here are some photos from the flower market. 


The flower market is another place that brings me peace in this crazy busy city. I love puttering around there. The people are lovely and are so tolerant and warm when I speak my “Caveman Chinese” to them. 😂😂 

Tonight we are hosting Glenn’s staff for supper at our house for a CNY celebration. We have ordered hot pot. My first time to try it. 

I’ll post about that tomorrow. 

Have a beautiful weekend. 

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

The stats

I just love writing this blog. It has helped keep me focused and helped me find my voice and place in this crazy busy city. I feel like I’m buzzing all the time and it’s an incredible feeling. I’m sleeping better and I’m calmer all around. We’ve had a lot of challenges over the past few years but my home and family are truly happy and working in sync again.  It’s a beautiful thing. 😃

One of the cool features of WordPress is that I can see the stats on my posts. The stat I love the most is where it tells me the countries where people are reading. I just love connecting with all of you. It makes my world feel smaller and definitely more joyful. 

Check out my country stats on today’s post. How cool is that?! and everyone is mostly still asleep in North America. 

If you like reading my blog, I’d love it if you would follow it and sign up to receive my posts by email. Never miss one again. 😂😂

Until next time…

Only joy, only love,

Michelle 

xo

Update: I’m up to 9 countries now. Who’s in Singapore? Or do you think it may just be different VPNs?

West Mountain Environmental Hot Pot deliciousness 

Glenn runs a small Canadian environmental company called West Mountain Environmental that transfers Canadian environmental technologies to China for both soil and sludge treatment. He has a small but fierce team on the ground who are working tirelessly to make this company successful. It’s exciting to build a business in China. Everything does seem to take longer here and it is a marathon, not a sprint but after 6 years of working in China, they are really earning a reputation as a company that has high standards and operates with integrity. I’m so very proud of Glenn and his team. The year of the rooster is going to be a good year! 

In the past we’ve gone out to a restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year. This year we decided to invite everyone and their families to our home and order in hot pot, which is like fondue. It was fabulous and so easy as they dropped everything off and then picked it up again when we were finished!  It meant that we could really enjoy our guests without having to work too much. The kids were able to play and relax and it was lovely spending time with them all. There was a lot of laughter. 

The year of the Rooster. Jack works so hard to support the West Mountain projects. He is an outstanding project engineer. He and his sweet 3 year old son, 豆豆dou dou, came from Wuxi to be with us. Lisa, Julia and Georgia hanging out Georgia loved not being the youngest. She took her job to take care of him very seriously. Julia and Lisa had so much fun playing together. They are the same age. Chris is Glenn’s right arm, left arm and both legs!  😂😂 Seriously, she is a saviour for him and always goes above and beyond for the company and our whole family. ❤❤Steve is in SH from Vancouver. He’s the VP of Business Development. We always love when he comes over for work. Steve, if you’re reading this I have to ask….when are you going to bring Louise over with you?? 😁😁So much food!  Beef, veggies, shrimp, fish balls and tofu. All ridiculously good. We had two types of broth-normal and super spicy. The spicy was delicious and I couldn’t stop eating it but my whole mouth was on fire! Yummy! The lady wearing the green shirt is our Ayi.  Her English name is Lucky and I tell you what….we are so lucky to have her working for our family. The girls love her and she bring a beautiful energy into our home!  I have a feeling she will be with our family for a very long time! ❤❤

We had to be reminded of what the characters meant. From top to bottom they mean Luck, Longevity, Health and Peace. 

I had to hang some decorations outside our home too. Love the red!

For those of you in Shanghai, I highly recommend this hot pot restaurant. It is called  Hai Di Lao海底捞 and they have several locations around Shanghai. It’s a fun experience in your home and again….so easy. 

That’s all for now! More CNY pics coming up this week. 

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

All things Newfoundland today 

Happy Friday!

Seeing this tourism video of my home town (St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) just made my morning so I had to share. The video is so beautifully done. The city really is as amazing as the video portrays and it is exactly what our summers at our home look like…..always ending with the weekend long Folk Festival in Bannerman Park.  I’m so incredibly grateful to be from here and to be able to spend our summers surrounded by such beauty….the landscape and the people.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the DVD store and found FRONTIER right at the front of the shop!  I may or may not have freaked out a little bit. The owner of the shop now knows more about Newfoundland than he ever wished to. 😂😂 For those of you who don’t know, Frontier is filmed in Newfoundland with an incredible amount of NL talent involved on the screen and behind the scenes.  I can’t wait to watch it! Hurry up and get home Glenn Antle. ❤❤


And to top off my sunny morning,  I’m listening to Cory Tetford’s album In the Morning. Country is not normally my favourite genre but this album is incredible. Cory is a Newfoundlander, an uber talented musician and a super nice guy.  His rendition of Amazing Grace will make the hairs stand up all over your body. Check him out on iTunes!

So all things Newfoundland today. It’s a beautiful day and only 8:45am.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo

What a smile…

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Photo credit: Katie Kinsella

My friend, Katie Kinsella, and I were sitting outside a pub having a pint last St. Patrick’s Day and this lady walked by. At first she was giving us the hard stare but once we said “ni hao” she gave us this huge smile. She told us, in Chinese, that she was 98. I misunderstood and repeated 68 and she quickly corrected me. Very proud. Every time I see this picture I smile. I must get it enlarged and hang it in my home. She’s such a cutie.

This is a girl that I met at Shanghai Brewery last week. She was in town for business and just kept talking to me and asking me questions about Canada and how we like living in Shanghai. I think she wanted to practice her English. When she asked for a selfie with me, I asked to take one with my camera, too. I’m going to do that from now on. There are a lot of pictures of me and my family floating around China. They love their selfies. 😂😂

Happy Monday!

Only joy, only love,

Michelle

xo