Join me for a fun filled night of needle felting.  We will learn to needle felt a rabbit and give him a 3 dimensional home.  This  cute little rabbit and cave is a great little surprise for you little ones on Easter Sunday morning. 
Your investment: $40/includes tea, light snack and supplies


Spring has Sprung

Spring is here and I am skipping and a hopping!!! Yahoo! It's time to celebrate! Snow is melting into puddles, crocuses are pushing through soil, birds are chirping and the days are longer.  What a great recipe for a smile on my face!  Hip, hip,  hooray!  I know you share my enthusiasm. 

Mother nature is starting to express herself in my favorite ways with new growth and lots of promise.  I have the spring fever and in the mood to do some creating of my own.   I have been organizing my work space and getting ready for a felting blitz. This weekend I am kid free, boyfriend free and have a date with lots of wool. It is time to get ready for Handmade Harvest.  Let the creativity flow!

If can't tell from the above, I am having a most awesome day. It started off with spending time at Lady Evelyn with Zoe and Owen followed by teaching baby and mom yoga at Rama Lotus.  This is such a special class. I so remember attending this class when my babies were born.  It's a great way to connect with your newborn and other mom's.  After class I met karie, we had lots to catch up on.  Check out her shop! Very cool Karie and nice chatting with you!  I plan on having some new items in my shop very soon.

For your felting needs don't be shy to contact me.  I have a wall of wool in an assortment of colours. I have needles, offer workshops and am full of ideas.


 A few people have asked me if it's hard coming back from my adventure to Asia.  I must admit to having one day where I missed the simplicity of living with no computer, phone, electricity and cold bucket showers.  What missing cold bucket showers?  Yes, I did.  I will tell you that 3 weeks of cold bucket showers gives you gratitude for hot showers and I miss those reminders of not taking things for granted.  I missed the sound of crashing waves, sunsets and let's not forget Thai food.  Jet lag was also hard to over come as last week my body would wake up as early as midnight ready for the day. 
 As sorry as I felt for myself on that day, I love my life here in Canada.  I cannot help but look around at the beautiful faces that grace my life and feel gratitude for all that I have.  While traveling I am always reminded of one thing and it's this:  "It's not where you are but who you are that counts".  Wherever I go my mind follows so the secret to my happiness is a healthy mind with a healthy perspective.
 When I left there was snow on the ground and the thermometer read 25 degree below zero.  Upon my return spring has come and I feel rejuvenated and ready to celebrate this turning of season.  Our plans are simple lots of playing, singing and decorating our nature table. This morning a friend dropped by with planted hyacinths.  The pot sits on our nature table and we will soon be decorating our little corner with butterflies, fairies and so much more. 
 There have been lots of super heroes flying about these days, saving the day.

 I really noticed that Samuel has grown a lot during my absence.  He has so many more words and soooo cute.
 I missed Zoe and Owen and spent a great weekend reconnecting.  We haven't missed a beat!


I haven't disappeared I am just recalibrating to life as working mom in the west.  Here are some photos of this week and the cute faces that I see everyday.  I hope all is well. Stay tuned I will be back soon.


Bye Bye Flip Flops

It is time to trade my flip flops for running shoes and summer clothes for the warmer alternatives.  I am in my last hours here in Thailand.  I am sad to be leaving and excited to see everybody back home especially Zoe and Owen.

 I love Thai food and it was a struggle to decide what would be my last meal here.   After much contemplating I decided on Som Tam (papaya salad), Kow Kniow (sticky Rice) and Gai (barbecue chicken).  Thailand is the land of many delicious, savoury, yummy to my belly foods.  In every corner fresh fruit, soups, salads, meats and things I don't recognize are being sold.  I love Thai food and yes there is a difference between Thai food sold in Canada and here. In Canada it is not as fresh as here (makes sense) and often it is a fusion and not exactly the same thing good but not the same. 

Tonight I fly to Shanghai where I will have a 12 hour lay over.   I will hopefully go exploring this huge Chinese city and find myself an adventure.  I have never been to China and look forward to the experience. 

I am so looking forward to downloading my pictures and sharing these with you.

Jay will be staying in Asia for another 3 weeks.  Have fun Jay and I already miss you! To all of you back home "Pop Gun Mai!"  (See you soon!)

ps.  I send love to all those who are affected by the devastation in Japan. 


Visa Run

As my trip slowly comes to a close I am savouring every moment in the sea, every morsel of food, every sunset and so much more. A few days ago we went to Burma for a visa run.  We took the speed boat to Ranong and from Ranong  a long tail boat to Thailand's neighbouring country, Burma.  As soon as we got off the boat there was a different vibe, the buildings a little less polished and things a little more behind the times.

We hired a moto taxi that drove us to the nearby village of Poolow Ton Ton.   The main dirt road was lined with little shops selling candy, food and daily necessities.  Foreigners don't go this way very often so when the locals saw us they started coming out of their shops smiling, children followed our footsteps with little giggles of fun.

We walked across wobbly wooden planks that formed a lane way for wooden shacks on stilts hovering over water.  Two boys played below, floating on a big plastic block, waving up to us with big grins.  They used a long stick to push themselves through the water.  Burmese faces peared out of their windows and people gathered.  There is an innocence about these people, a beauty and kindness.  With children at our feet I began to teach them a song I would teach  Thai students while teaching in Surat.  We went through our numbers 1 - 10.  They repeated after me.  Next I sang the song "One little, two little, three little finger (to the tune of one little, two little, three little Indians) and soon the children began to sing along with me.  They had a sparkle in their eyes.  One little girl held the beat by tapping her foot to the ground.  It was magic.  I loved seeing the simplicity of their lives.  It brought back memories of my travels through Laos so many moons ago.  I wish that Zoe and Owen could have been there with me.  I wish they could have seen these magical children and what very little possessions they had.


It doesn't matter what colour your skin is, what possessions you have or what country you are from.  We all want the same things; happiness, good health, family and prosperity.  Here on the Island there is a mixture of nationalities Germans, French, Canadians, Australians with different accents and languages.  There are many great people to meet with great stories and this diversity really opens your mind.

With 4 nights left by the sea, I am making the most of every moment.  I am breathing in the moment with gratitude and appreciation.  To all of you back home I hope this finds you well. I look forward to seeing you next week!


Sea Kayaking

I am  a little over a week away from heading back your way.  I look forward to hugging all the little kiddos and inspiring people in my life.  All that said I am still having a marvelous time here in the heat of Thailand.  It is so hot here that at times I have the impression of melting.  Picture the wicked witch of the west melting to the floor and that is me.

Jay's friends Tim and Ian are adventurers of the sea. They have kayaks called Feather crafts that can come apart and fold into a bag,  special hammocks with mosquito nets and cooking gear.  With their little possessions and floating devices they have been paddling the west coast of Thailand stopping in small villages and exploring the country from a different vantage point.  They are now here on Koh Phayam staying at Tonson Resort, some bungalows down the way from our Big Tree resort.  For the last few nights we have been sitting back listening to their tails of  sea kayaking and enamored with their experience.

 Tim's Kayak

This inspired us to rent kayaks of our own and venture into the wild blue waters of the Andamin SeaTim showed us how to put our spray skirts on  and gave us pointers as to what to look out for and how to navigate our craft.
Me getting into my spray skirt

Tim helping Jay
We paddled together Tim, Ian, Jay and I for about 6km then Tim and Ian continued on their way to Koh Chang a nearby island about 30km away. We inched our way towards Buffalo Bay to have lunch.  We watched them paddle away with great admiration.  They seemed to be one with their sea craft,  paddling with great ease and effortlessness.  The sea was calm, the sky was mostly clear and it was smooth sailing.  We stopped at Mr. Gao's for lunch which consisted of a cheese sandwich for Jay and Tom Kah soup for me.  I love Thai food and can't get enough.  Often I stare at the menu and find myself in confusion as to what to order as I want it all! Last night I had " Lap Gai" which is minced chicken with a mixture of spices and so delicious and so spicey which I love.  I love eating spicy food and that feeling of my endorphins kicking in with the sensations in my mouth.  Yum!

We had lunch and left the restaurant around 12:30 in sync with the falling tide.  We were all about making things working for us.  Our kayaks are beautifully handmade of wood in Songklabury a province north of Bangkok. The deep dark wood is beautiful and eye catching.  They are a conversation piece for sure.  Back in our kayaks we began the 8 km journey back to Big Tree on Aow Yai beach.  The sky had lost it's bright blue hues and was slowly being replaced with light gray clouds, the water was choppier and from behind us we could hear thunder and wherever there is thunder there is lightning.  Since I was a child growing up on lake Nosbonsing  I have been told to stay away from water when there is lightning.  A little knot of concern began to form.  We paddled out of the bay and the thunder increased.  I looked back to speak to Jay and my eyes grew bigger with surprise.   On our way to Buffalo Bay we could see the island of Koh Chang but now visibility was nil and in it's place was a grey dark wall of doom and rain was surely responsible.  The urgency to paddle faster took over.  The waters were choppy so I had to put mind over matter and paddle with strength and determination.  Every time my left paddle pushed it's way through the water I chanted Sat and when the right paddle pushed through I chanted Nam.  Sat Nam means truth is my essence and we use it in Kundalini yoga to increase the meditative mind, go deeper into meditation and find our point of dishtri (point of focus).  Thunder drew closer and I paddled faster.  It was a race between us and her. The shore line was decorated with lime stone cliffs, jungle and small little inlets  Every breath taking was lost on this frantic paddler.  The ocean is powerful, unpredictable and I am inexperienced in what it is capable of.

We paddled and stayed close together well at least I tried to stay close to Jay. For some reason my kayak kept veering to the right which pointed me towards the middle of the sea in other words the great unknown.  It took a lot of effort the paddle through the choppy waves and head wind.    We could see rain clouds hovering over the island showering down it's wet pebbles.  We felt grateful that it seemed to be passing by us but then the wind shifted and things changed.  The clouds came our way, the rain pounding around us, splashing into the dancing water.  I then found my fear of lightning.  My arms were tired and there was still 3 km to go.  At times my kayak rode some waves going in and within my fear I found a little pleasure.  Finally our efforts brought us closer to shore.  I felt so grateful for the last wave that landed me smoothly and safely into shore.

Once we were safe and sound and under cover I took a great big breath of relief.  For the rest of the night I felt so alive and invigorated and needless to say my arms felt as though they could fall off.  Today we are meeting Tim and Ian for our skills lessons.  Stay tuned. Much love and happiness, Annie :)


Thai Massage

Last September I celebrated my 40 birthday which seemed to correspond with more aches and pains in my body.  My knees hurt, my legs get achy and my neck holds knots of stress.  So I am quite happy to be here in Thailand where Thai massages are but $10.  Our friend Oiy who is Thai but lives in Canada 6 months of the year is great with her hands.  When she is done with me I feel like I can fly. 

Thai Massage is an ancient form of healing.  It's origins comes from Buddha's time and developped by the Buddhas doctor. I like to call it lazy man's yoga as the practitioner presses into your knots and stretches you in different yoga poses. I love it and so does my body.  These days I am feeling younger by the day.

Last night I had a dream of Zoe and Owen. I don't recall details but vividly remember the ache in my heart as I miss them so much!!! When I see children I long to be able to hold mine. 

Thai food is amazing and I am appreciating every morsel from barbecued chicken, papaya and mango salad to seafood and so much more.

Not much time to type but I hope all is well with you :) and that the sun is shining if not outside at least in your heart.


Letting Go

The morning is fresh and the sing song of birds tell me to rise from my bed.  I lay out my yoga mat on our big wooden balcony overlooking the sea.  I tune in with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, close my eyes and find that space within.  Yoga has been my early morning practice.  While I sit, stretch and breath hornbill birds perch in a nearby tree. They sit in pairs of twos with their long yellow bills,  they soar from tree to tree.  In my romantic mind they are love birds flying together singing each other songs of love and commitment.

 Hornbill lovers

 Scenes from our Balcony

In my yoga practice I am suppose to keep my eyes closed but I am drawn outside of myself, in awe of my surroundings, big thick rubber leaves, fuchsia pink flowers, geckos and the colours in the sky as the sun rises to the occasion grasp my attention.  I am less enamored with the busing mosquitoes as they find their landing strip on my arm, leg, and all those juicy parts my human flesh, a reminder of the ying and yang of life.

My yoga practice is over and I climb into my bathing suit for the first swim of the day.  The fresh morning water caresses my skin,  I revel in the buoyancy of my body as I lie on my back floating, looking up into the sky.  These weeks are dedicated to self-care and letting go.  I am doing well in both departments.  I feel good, I feel alive and my heart is open.

 beach find

What I like about travelling to 3rd world countries is how it opens my mind and gives me the feeling of the world being my oyster.  Everything is possible and I can be all that I can be. As I see people riding on motor bikes with no helmets,  pee in toilets that don't flush but need help with a bucket of water,  and experience new things I tap into the realization that there is no right or wrong way to live.  There are no concrete answers things are  just as they are.  When I go with the flow in acceptance of what is true in the moment I find a certain satisfaction.  The simplicity of living in a hut  that only runs electricity from 6 pm - 11pm and with minimal belongings I realize the lack of importance in things.  Our hut is in the jungle, perched on hillside overlooking the ocean blue water.  I am more attuned the rhythms of nature, to me this is paradise and what I miss about living in the city.

Taking it easy

Yesterday while sitting on a bamboo platform waiting for my turn to play volleyball I met a Canadian man.  As our conversation got deeper into our origins we discovered that he grew up down the road from me in my small home town of Astorville.  My father coached his hockey team and my cousins were his favorite play mates.  I barely new this man and yet after our conversation I felt like he could be my brother.  That is the beauty of this planet, it is so big and yet so small.

 Paul is to the left

Today we are mope-ding around, yes, with no helmets (sorry mom) and touring the island. There are no roads here only a sidewalk path.  There is a smile on my face and I am relishing every moment.  I hope you are well.  My sister says that Zoe and Owen are doing great which is a blessing for me.  I am grateful to you Mad.  I love you sista!