Happy Dog, Happy Life

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If you asked me, three years ago, what would make for the perfect weekend, I probably would have said something like, “A morning of cardio followed by a good soak in the hot tub, lunch at Provence, then some good shopping.” Nothing could get in the way of that. Except for a little French Bulldog named Stella. Morning cardio class has been replaced, oftentimes, by some wet and muddy trail and, weather permitting, lunch limited to places with dog-friendly patios (or take-out, if all else fails). And somehow, I think I love my weekends now so much more. Yes, I’m usually more wet and muddy than I’d like to be, yes eggs bennies and mimosas are increasingly rare, and yes shopping is generally limited to work-week lunch breaks and times when my mom is able to babysit, but seeing Stella have the best time is just the greatest feeling ever. Who knew I could be such a mother?

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Today, we took a walk by False Creek, and afterward, stopped at Beaucoup Bakery & Café (it’s become a weekend staple) for some hot chocolate and a salted caramel éclair, which let me tell you, was really quite amazing. Not your typical vanilla pastry-cream-filled éclair, instead filled with a salted caramel pastry cream, and topped with a St. Honore-esque caramelized sugar and a sprinkling of black sea salt. The crunch and the salt – so unexpected, and so good.

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