Archive for August, 2010


Little Leaguers with Big Hearts

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you will know we delight in a good news story, particularly one that shows civility is not a lost art.  In recent weeks, we’ve followed the heartwarming story of a team of Little League baseball players who personify the ideals of sport with grace and poise. Vancouver’s Little Mountain Little League team for 2010,  cruised through Provincial and National tournaments and earned the right to represent Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  En route they became ambassadors for their district, city, province and country and garnered immense respect not only for their extraordinary efforts on the field but also for their good humour, charm and courtesy off the field. In a previous post we talked about the rarity of these qualities in professional sport – we think the pros could learn a lot from these dedicated 12 and 13 yr olds. They were a delight to watch, whether winning or losing, as they focused on supporting one another and purely enjoying the game. As they hang up their cleats, stinky socks and flamboyant trousers for this season, we give them 3 cheers! 

Read more cheering in this Letter to the Editor from the Vancouver Sun on August 21, 2010.

Little Mountain baseball team won hearts and fans

By Adrianne Sprogis and Tony Valaitis, Vancouver Sun August 21, 2010  

My family and I had the pleasure of billeting some of Vancouver’s Little Mountain team as they competed in the Canadian Little League Championship here. Never having billeted before, we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew we would be cooking a lot, doing some laundry, and driving around to get the boys to their games and practices on time. But we didn’t expect how much we would get back from these boys, their coaches and their wonderful families.

Over the 10 days of the tournament, the boys and their families became part of our family. Not only were we able to share in their tears and their joy, but we learned so many things. I learned how empathetic my own children were as they tried to make the guest room more “sporty” to make our billets feel at home, knowing some of them had never been away from their parents before. My kids learned that even though our Little Mountain boys were elite athletes from way across the country, they still loved to play Wii and Nerf wars and swim, just like them. They learned that we could cheer equally well for our home team as well as our new family — even in the final. As a coach, my husband was reminded that kids’ sports should be relaxed and fun, even at a very competitive level. I learned that 12-and 13-year-old boys can be extremely gracious, even when they win a lot.

So thank you, Little Mountain, for sharing your great kids with us.

Adrianne Sprogis and Tony Valaitis

Ancaster, Ont.       (affectionately known as Little Mountain East)

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


“Pants on the Ground”


A trend which has surprisingly endured in the past few years is that of sagging jeans or trousers – low riders revealing significant exposure of a fellow’s underwear. This baggy trend appeals mostly to younger men and tends to draw much attention, not all positive.  Historically fashion has often found itself crossing into the realm of social commentary – think flapper dresses and mini skirts to the more recent Burberry ball caps among  UK gang members … It is said that the low-riding trend among men “is believed to have its roots in this country’s prison system where inmates are issued uniforms which are often too big and the wearing of belts is prohibited due to safety concerns.”  Recently, a young man sporting this trend in the Bronx burrough of New York City was summoned to court by a police officer on a charge of “disorderly conduct” – the “conduct” being his potentially revealing costume. The judge in the case declared:  “While most of us may consider it distasteful, and indeed foolish, to wear one’s pants so low as to expose the underwear . . . people can dress as they please, wear anything, so long as they do not offend public order and decency.” He deemed there was insufficient evidence that a significant enough number of people were offended by this man’s pants as to warrant the charge.

Read more about this particular case at: The New York Post 

How low do you think fashions should go?


Fall Fashion Trends

With September less than a month away, you may be wondering what this fall’s fashion trends are. Here is a quick preview of the top 7 trends to look for this fall:


Cleavage made a big comeback on the Fall runways with hourglass silhouettes front and center. Nina Ricci’s combo of bustier and curve-hugging, below-the-knee pencil skirt had a retro 1950’s twist, as did the made-for-Christina Hendricks dresses at Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana.


At Chanel, everything from the house’s classic tweeds and quilted, chain-strap bags to yeti boots was trimmed in fur—faux fur, that is. Many pelts decorated the catwalks – they came patchworked at Fendi and Acne, positively ferocious at Lanvin, and in the form of an ultra-plush peacoat at Burberry Prorsum.


The way to wear color this fall: head to toe, believe it or not. Tomas Maier sleekly paired a rosy blouse with red leather trousers while Tory Burch showed an orange sweater and skirt with matching lipstick and leggings. On the cooler end, Oscar de la Renta’s blue tweed suit with coordinating checkered tights, and a bodacious, bright purple frock and leggings combo at Mark Fast. Turns out “matchy-matchy” is now a compliment.


Menswear-inspired suiting and outerwear are key looks—and the smartest way to carry the minimalist trend forward. Celine’s Phoebe Philo made a convincing argument for cropped, ankle-flaring trousers, and even Alexander Wang did a tailored wool jacket albeit with an exposed midriff that might get you canned on Wall Street.


It wasn’t all beige, beige, beige on the season’s runways. Diane von Furstenberg and Dries Van Noten turned out gold lamé frocks, Jason Wu and Peter Som added flourishes of metallic foil printing to their dresses and Marco Zanini went for head-to-toe brocade shimmer at Rochas. Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin, for his part, combined all of the above into his most decadent collection yet.


It’s time to retire your micro-minis and sky-high heels. Designers have gone long for both day and night, turning out demure yet dramatic skirts that skim the upper shins (Marc Jacobs at both his own label and Louis Vuitton), graze the ankles (Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren), or fall gracefully somewhere in between. The most comforting part of this story: the new lengths look smashing with easy-on-the-feet kitten heels and flat-soled boots.


The minimalist resurgence may be continuing apace but that didn’t stop some designers from taking a more-is-more approach. J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons covered her models in a mix of sequins, shearling, cashmere, and denim, and there were upward of eight garments in a single outfit at Rag & Bone. Elsewhere, the layered look took on a chic-nomad feel: wrap sweaters and skirts resembled handwoven blankets at Rodarte and striped shawls were worn with cozy suede boots at Kenzo. Whatever else, you won’t go cold this winter.

(photos and excerpts from



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