Sowden Park: A Review

Sowden Park is a small playground in Lower Capilano / Pemberton Heights, just off 23rd Street & Lloyd Avenue. The playground is fully fenced adjacent to a grassy soccer field, so it’s a good destination if you have kids of multiple ages and interests. The park should appeal to kids from 1-7, as it has low access for early climbers as well as a few more challenging climbs. It’s a small playground, but great for local residents. 

Sowden park pemberton heightsImage Credit: North Shore Realty

Is this park worth driving to? No. But it’s great if you live close by!

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For more of my playground reviews, check out the full directory of North Vancouver Playgrounds.

Murdo Frazer Park: A Review

Today Damien and I paid a visit to Murdo Frazer Park on the Capilano side of Edgemont. The playground area of the park boasts a very large green belt and play structure, with nearby some tennis courts and pathways to the duck pond near the Murdo Frazer Cabin, and finally a stairway up to Edgemont Village. If you are looking for the playground, access is off Elizabeth Way and there is ample street parking. 

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On our visit today, we only played at the playground. Which kept Damien plenty busy! There were swings, climbing for both little and older children and lots of space to run around. This would be a fantastic park to sit back with a large group of kids!

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I plan to return to this park soon!

On my way out, I noticed there are two port-a-potties near the far end of the tennis courts, with plans to build a more suitable washroom facility in Summer 2015. According to locals, there is another washroom further along the trailhead as well. 

For more of my playground reviews, check out the full directory of North Vancouver Playgrounds.

Moodyville Park & Playground: A Review

Moodyville park is a small neighbourhood playground located in the wedge between East 3rd Street, before it heads down the hill, and the new Low Level Road. The Spirit Trail runs along its lower edge, just past the trees. The playground itself is set in a lovely little area, with lots of grass and natural features that would make it an appealing destination for a shady picnic or after biking the Spirit Trail. 

The playground itself is quite modest, with a basic swings and climbing structure. The playground is definitely older, but still in good condition. We spent a happy hour there playing with some local kids. 

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As a neighbourhood playground, parking is not well-planned. I suggest coming to this park on East 2nd street, driving East past Moody Avenue, as street parking seems most readily available on this East 2nd. There are no on-site bathroom facilities. 

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For more of my playground reviews, check out the full directory of North Vancouver Playgrounds.

Aiden’s First School Concert

16942682620 b3fd059c43 bAiden had his first elementary school concert this past week. His music teacher was unable to schedule a Christmas concert for this year because of a baby on the way, so this was our first concert with Aiden in school. 

The theme of the night was Disney, with each class performing two dances / songs from a different Disney movie. Aiden’s class had Robin Hood and performed two dances on stage, doing the do-si-do, some basic movements and lots of fun moments acted out. They tried So hard and it was quite adorable, mistakes and all!

In addition to the two Robin Hood performances, the primary classes present that night (I think half the K-3 classes) all sang together for about 5 or 6 songs, including Zip A Dee Doo Dah and It’s A Small World, among others. I was surprised how many songs Aiden knew by heart and he was very clearly enunciating the words, which I thought was quite impressive. 

Aiden often “doesn’t remember” much about his days at school, so I had no idea they were practicing so many songs, some of which had their own little performance elements to them. I was thoroughly impressed with it all!

Music is one of Aiden’s favourite classes at school and it was clear from this performance! I am so glad he no longer has a fear of performing and instead can clearly enjoy his moments in the spotlight!! So proud of my boy!

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Custom Art from Minted Creates Memories for a Lifetime

For the past few years, I have been making custom art prints with Minted, along with our holiday card order. We have been ordering holiday cards for 3 years (see my past reviews), and my first year I created calendars featuring our kids. 2 years ago, instead of a new calendar that inevitably gets taken down, I decided to create a custom art print using one of the wonderful photo art templates available on Minted. This way, I could use our pictures to create a wonderful collage that would always memorialize our kids at this point in their lives. 

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My first art creation was a compilation of photos of my boys from their first two years of life, balancing shots of them together with shots of them solo. I used the Heart Snapshot template and spent hours scouring my archives for an equal balance of photos of my boys from their various ages, then spent time trying to make the resulting image as well-balanced as possible, both with each boy and with the colors in the photos. I originally purchased this as a gift for the grandmothers, but have since purchased it for our home too! Along with my purchase, I was able to add frames, making it a simple gifting process. Here’s how amazing the frame looks, alongside a piece of art my 5-year-old Aiden created to match!

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Last year, we involved both the grandmothers in our annual family photo session with Sarah Jane Photography, then surprised each grandmother with a custom print. One grandmother’s print was created with the Love Line template and the other with the Mom Love template, which I further customized with a custom phrase, “love you to the moon and back.”

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Above is also featured our 2014 holiday card, which is one of my favourites so far. I love the shine to it!

Although shipping to Canada from Minted is kind of pricey, I have always been super impressed with the quality of the prints. The designs at Minted are created by independent artists, whether they are supplying holiday cards, wedding invitations (*new*), custom photo art, or a variety of beautiful art prints. Everything is printed on textured paper (not photo paper), so it has a lovely feel to it. What keeps me coming back to Minted is the beautifully updated designs and the amazing interface. I love that your own photos can load into the preview screen for a whole section (not just per item) and that you can customize so many aspects of both art and cards. 

If you have kids, there are some beautiful options for decor from the Love You To The Moon & Back photo art to custom name art, birth stats, room signs and more! 

Disclosure: Minted has offered me credit in exchange for a review of their art, though in all honesty it has been on my list of “stuff to write” since post-Christmas when I could officially write about the latest custom prints without ruining the surprise! All opinions are my own, obviously. ;)