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Granny Stripe Headband & Vancouver Visit

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We went to Vancouver for a couple days last week and I made these “Granny Stripe Headbands" as gifts!  Aren’t they pretty, especially with the layered flowers as embellishments?  Working on these granny stripes reminded me of the "Granny Square Blanket" that I had so much fun making for Myla last summer :)  You can find the free pattern for the headband HERE on “Tangled Happy”.  I absolutely adore this free flower pattern HERE, and it’s a great way to dress up a hat or headband!

I’ve traveled to Vancouver many times throughout the years as I have family who live there.  This, however, was Myla’s first trip and I was a bit nervous…  She did very well on the flight though!

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I thought I would share about some of the delicious food we ate in Vancouver!  Ryan and I always LOVE stopping by the food court at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond for some of our favourite dishes, so we went as soon as we arrived.  The crispy chicken wings are incredibly flavourful and piping hot as they make them fresh each time- we saw many tables enjoying this dish.  The Hainanese Chicken is so moist, tender and delicious with the special rice.  We always get these two dishes whenever we visit this food court!

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We love shaved ice, and I am so happy we decided to try out “Frappé Bliss (also in the Aberdeen Centre food court) that specializes in Taiwanese shaved ice!  The first time we went we customized our own dessert with milk shaved ice, coconut milk, condensed milk, and rice balls.  This was sooo good and it was my favourite dessert of the whole trip!  We went back towards the end of our trip and ordered “The Garden of Eden”, consisting of mango shaved ice, mango ice cream, strawberries, kiwi and mango.  This shaved ice is especially delicious because the ice itself is flavoured (without adding extra syrup or flavouring) and so finely shaved that it is very light and fluffy!

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We always stop by Daiso when we visit Aberdeen Centre as well.  I stocked up on cute packaging as I love giving away crocheted goodies in these adorable bags :)

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That night our friends took us to “Sushi California" for some well-priced, delicious sushi!  Look at how thick those slices of sashimi are!  Vancouver never disappoints with its variety and freshness of sushi!

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The next day we went for afternoon tea at the “Truffles Café" in the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  I looove going for high tea as it’s always such an elegant affair.  The sandwiches were delicious and the view was lovely- I imagine this place would be very popular in the Spring and the Summer when the flowers and trees are all in bloom!

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In the evening we went to “Sura" for some delicious Korean dishes!  This was some of the best Korean food I’ve ever had, and the decor inside was beautiful.  The chab-che and grilled beef were sooo yummy…

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For lunch the following day our friends took us to a little French place called “Salade de Fruits”.  It reminded me soo much of the French restaurants we visited in Paris last year!  The waiters, waitresses and much of their clientele were all speaking French, so we knew this place was very authentic!  I had their mussels and fries and they were very tasty.  As you can see, there were generous portions as well!

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After lunch we took a stroll towards Granville Island.  Vancouver is known to be quite rainy, but we are very thankful that it was sunny and clear for most of our stay!  

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We enjoyed this beautiful view with our strollers :)

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We ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant called “Sandbar" on Granville Island, and it was situated under the Granville Bridge!  I had the most delicious ahi tuna that I’ve ever tasted, but I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately…Myla started crying so we had to eat quickly!

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The next day we visited “Bella Gelateria" for their world-famous gelato!  I had the salted caramel gelato.  I wore this beautiful cape sweater that I bought the first day we arrived in Aberdeen Centre- I really love its beautiful pattern and design!  It also pairs very nicely with my Momzelle nursing tank that I blogged about here!

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For our last meal before we headed to the airport, our friends took us to “La Brasserie" for oysters!  They were so fresh and tasty….I knew I wanted to eat oysters on this trip, and this definitely hit the spot!  The Brasserie Burger that I ordered was also very good :)

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Here are some other shots that Ryan took of beautiful Vancouver…

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Vancouver Convention Centre

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Granville Bridge (Ryan calls this photo “Daddy Long Legs" ;P)

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Seagulls on Granville Island

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Waterfront SkyTrain Station

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We are so thankful to our good friends in Vancouver who brought us to all these wonderful food spots!  They are big foodies and are always in the know of new restaurants popping up in their diverse city.  Our friends have babies as well, so most of these restaurants were stroller and baby-friendly (“Salade de Fruits" and "La Brasserie" were the only ones that didn’t fit our strollers since they were smaller establishments).  We had a great little trip to Vancouver full of good food and wonderful company :)  Vancouverites, have you been to any of these places?  What are your favourite food spots?

Granny Square Baby Blanket

A baby blanket was one of the first items I wanted to crochet as soon as I found out I was pregnant many months ago!  When I was younger, I started crocheting a few afghans with the ambitious hope of completing them all, but I usually got distracted by other projects and the sheer size of these blankets seemed so daunting.  I knew making a baby blanket would be easier, however, since it would be smaller and of course I was motivated to complete this project for the little one growing inside of me!  I fell in love with this free pattern I found through Ravelry on the Lion Brand website (you have to sign up for a free account to access the pattern) because of its beautiful design and variety of colours.

One of the most fun parts was choosing what colour combination to use!  I wanted the blanket to be modern with a vibrant colour scheme, and we were inspired by these beautiful Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags we saw while baby shopping! 

We decided to go with coral, white and grey, and we added in yellow for another pop of colour.  I ended up needing only one skein of yellow, white and grey yarn and one large skein of the coral yarn, although I purchased extra in case.

We then tried to figure out what colour order as well as how many rows of each colour would look best.  To help visualize different options, Ryan used Microsoft Paint to lay it all out.  This really helps give an overall sense of what the blanket will look like!  We ended up going with the option on the left!

I was incredibly excited to start this blanket, and I’ve always loved patterns with granny squares since you work in the spaces!

After completing each colour, I tied a knot and then crocheted over the yarn end to conceal it.  And so, I hid the ends along the way, not needing to weave in all the ends at the very end.

I was amazed at how quickly I was whipping through this blanket!

Each round was taking no time at all!

But then, of course, the rounds got progressively larger and larger.  Once I started working on Round 20 and up, I made it a goal to try and complete one round everyday.  I enjoyed taking my time crocheting this blanket as I prayed for the baby while working on it and also listened to music (baby loves to move and squirm around when music is played!).  I loved being able to crochet without needing to worry about keeping the count or accidentally losing my focus, which is often the case when I’m crocheting amigurumi! 

36 rounds later, I was finally done!  It felt like such a big accomplishment to finally finish crocheting a blanket, albeit a baby one :)  This pattern is much quicker to whip up compared to many other blankets, and I know people have used this same pattern to make adult blankets as well because of its simple pattern and beautiful clean look!

Here’s a peek at what the blanket looks like in our nursery on the crib!  I think it’s so special having handmade items for the baby, and when we use it in the future, I’ll remember all the love, time and energy I poured into this project as each stitch was stitched with love!  I hope it’ll be a wonderful keepsake for our child too :)  Once again, you can find the free pattern for this granny square baby blanket here (entitled “Bright Baby Blanket”).

You can also check out the other baby projects I’ve posted about so far, including the newborn earflap hats, 6 month earflap hat, stork pouch/hanging cocoon and loop rattle grab toy!  I’m currently finishing up some baby booties and other cute hats that I will blog about soon!  Follow me on facebook, twitter or instagram (@AllAboutAmi) to get my updates :D

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