Love, actually

So I know it’s all the rage to slag-off love and put down romance (and proclaim Valentine’s day to be nothing more than a consumerist, wallet measuring contest, etc., etc.), and it is very well known amongst those who know me, and those who read this blog (or both) that I am pretty direct about what I abide, and what I don’t, but – I just can’t get behind this movement.

Because I love love.

LOVE it.

So, all’s I really got to say is:

You hear that haters? TO THE LEFT!

What’s that you say? Relocation isn’t something you’re interested in? Well then, because I’m not a cold-hearted bastard, I’ll give you a second option.

In order to banish these bummed-out blues of yours, all you need to do is watch one film, and I promise you that it has the power to change both your mind and heart:

The magnificent, magical, mesmerizing tour-de-force that is Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.

If you let it, it will change your life.

After a week of where every day began by lugging my sluggish, bedraggled body out of bed, folding myself over the frozen porcelain of my tub, and standing under the searing stream of my shower – steaming my eyelids open as water pooled around my ankles (think the way you do to envelopes, when you’re not supposed to see their contents) – this movie pretty much saved my soul.

If you have never seen it, I recommend that you run (not walk) to your closest video rental store (erm, do these even exist anymore?) and rent the crap out of it.

You will not be disappointed.

Unless of course, you detest the accordion, because then, well, we may have hit the one and only snag.

No! I cannot say that. Because even if this was the case I would still recommend this film, because I am of the mind that even those who are intolerant (wrongly so, might I add!) of this fantastic instrument will still appreciate the soundtrack – a score that is beautiful and haunting and romantic and sublime.

Just listening to the beginning notes of the first song makes me want to dance in the middle of cobble-stone streets, kiss under water-stained, moonlit bridges, and ride bicycles with baskets filled with fresh herbs, sunflowers, and one (very) well behaved cat – don long, flowing skirts, and fitted, cap-sleeve blouses, and take round the world trips, – drink wine by the gulp, and cafes by the sips.

Alas…

Also, I have also decided that my favourite word in the French language is ronfle. (This, to be fair, is not so romantic. But still awesome.)

To spring, or not to spring, that is (Mother Nature's) question...

In the spirit of adventure and intrigue, on Saturday afternoon Mr. M and I threw caution to the wind, and went on the hunt for escapades and exploits a-plenty.

We started off on Commercial Drive, walking the length of the neighbourhood, stopping in at the fine art and clothing vendors along the way.

We had run pretty hard earlier that morning, so when it came time to eat, we decided to have lunch at the absolutely delish La Grotta Del Formaggio.

Oh my goodness.

Seriously people. GO THERE.

What I love so much about this establishment, is that it is like stepping into a time warp. I’m pretty sure the layout of the store hasn’t changed much in close to fifty years (and I’d wager a guess that the same can be said for the management) – the shelves are stocked with everything you could possibly imagine: dozens of different brands of olive oil, biscotti, dried pastas – a veritable smorgasbord of good eats!

Their sandwiches are also to die for – chose your bread, topping, meat (and if you don’t want meat, you get extra cheese!) and then they toast it up for you in jiffy.

We found two seats outside, sat down with our sammies, and just watched the world go by, stuffing our (very happy) faces with roasted red peppers, and eggplant, artichoke hearts and jalapeno havarti.

NOMNOMNOM

That’s another thing that’s so great about this part of Vancouver. The people-watching is tip-top and fabitty fab (aka DA BEST.) The range of individuals passing you by is mindboggling, and it’s unlikely you’d witness such diversity in many other areas of town.

Also, since I am incapable of walking the Commercial corridor without visiting the (always) taste bud tickling Fratelli’s baker (seriously my friends, it is a sensory overload and a half heading into that establishment) I made sure to make a quick pit stop while M was waiting for our paninis to toast.

After finishing up our first course, we set to work on this box of treats:

NOMNOMNOM REDUX

Due to rampant and soul-crushing indecision (and one massive, massive sweet tooth – or is it many, many sweet teeth?) I couldn’t decide on what to order, so I ended up buying a whole swathe of treats, of different sizes, shapes and varieties.

I think overall, my favourite was the red velvet cupcake, and M gave his gold star to the pistachio cake.

Next we continued on our merry way, ever on the look-out for a used edition of either Mind Trap or Trivial Pursuit.

Mr. M wants to play Mind Trap with his students, whereas I want Trivial Pursuit so we can play it every night for the rest of our lives. I’m a little unclear as to why I find playing this game pretty much the most humorous thing to do ever, but there you have it.

Needless to say, the end goal of this mission did not come to fruition (we are still on the hunt – so heed this search flare (or request) my fellow weirdos: if you know of where to procure good quality, used trivia games, do tell (but also consider letting me know ifncode, just to, you know, appeal to my geekiness.)

Okay, I feel as though I’ve fallen quite a bit from my introduction on the brilliance and beauty of love to some strange tangent about board games and nerdiness (one and the same?).

If I can't have Trivial Pursuit, I'll take this awesome sauce desk.

Soldiering on.

Remember how last Monday I wrote about a dress I tried on at Zara and my feelings towards it hadn’t really disappeared and the fact that I hadn’t purchased it was kind of sticking in my craw? Well, I considered taking Mr. M to the store for a second opinion, but before we even made it halfway there, we made a strange, and rather off-the-cuff pit stop at The Bay.

Now, The Bay has recently decided that it is Holt Refrew Part Deux, so I can’t go in there too often lest I begin to convulse compulsively and just start shouting (at no one in particular): Who do you think you are kidding with this crap?

But as long as I make it to the third floor in relatively stable condition, I am good to go (and not bait for the men in the white coats.) Anywho, to make a long story short, I ended up trying on and purchasing this majorly cute BCBC dress for twenty dollars!!!

YAY!

(For serious, this may be the most proud I have ever been of a purchase in my life. Plus it has little stars and planets all over it! And pockets! My head explodes with happiness just thinking of it.)

Make it so!

I should also say that I really, really love clothing from BCBG. I know a lot of it can be pretty kooky and out there (two characteristics I should never judge, lest I break all the glass houses with all the stones) but most of their pieces are so beautiful my heart beats faster just thinking about them.

And here I was, purchasing one at an eighty-five percent markdown.

I. Just. Couldn't. Help. Myself.

Bliss.

Which, I feel I should point out, probably wouldn`t have happened, had it not have been for a love-fuelled adventure, inspired by a love-filled movie.

So there ya go.

Haters gonna hate, but this lover is gonna rock her discount frock – until the sun supernovas, the stars fade away.