Supermom, Humble Gardener, Expert Pizza Maker Lorissa F. | Retrospec Community Series


Lorissa embodies what it means to live with light and joy. Her family lives in a 1900s farmhouse in British Columbia and spends part of their year in sunny San Diego. Expert pizza maker, humble gardener, lover of seasons, and supermom. Her kiddos bolt around their property on Cubs while she sports one of our Chatham beach cruisers! Learn about Lorissa, her family, her home's rich past, and her favorite parts of living in the country. 

R: Describe yourself, who you are, and what you do

LF: Hi! My name is Lorissa. I would probably be best described as a cripplingly indecisive dreamer! I am generally the opposite of scheduled and organized, despite my strong aversion to anything remotely cluttered or disorganized, and it could easily be said that my life and personality is one big oxymoron. My favorite thing is planning and making lists, never mind that I tend to live life flying by the seat of my pants and my lists always vanish when I actually need them! I am a moody, semi-creative, slightly technical person whose brain apparently can’t decide between being more right sided or left sided! Most of my life I assumed I was an introvert, as I can be painfully shy and am horrible at making small talk until I realized recently that I’m actually extremely extroverted as I LOVE being around people! Oh, and I am very good at rambling on and on about pretty much anything! 

While technically I am a stay at home mom, and my days are spent looking after my 4 beautiful, spunky kids; but like many other business owner’s wives, my days usually involve much more than that! On any given day you could find me in the office doing paperwork, out running errands for my hubby, or even delivering materials to the job sites as needed, usually with all my kids tagging along! 

With such a busy life, we really treasure being able to live out in the county, and most evenings you’ll find us out biking through the fields together, enjoying the peace and quiet. One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to have people over. I love hosting parties, cooking for people makes me happy, and I find it both a pleasure and an honor to be able to make sure everyone who comes through my doors has everything they need.

R: Your home looks like a dream! What inspired you to buy a 1900s farmhouse? Was there something specific that called you toward a simpler life, or has this always been the norm?

LF: Thank you! We absolutely love the character that such old homes have, but the main thing that drew us towards it is the history. My husband always likes to say that “You can build a brand new home that looks old and has character built into it, but you can’t build history”. After moving in, we spent quite a bit of time researching the history of the house and the family who built it. They were a young family of 4, and they immigrated here from England to homestead here! A few weeks back the grandson of the couple who built the house showed up at our door. [He] wanted to check and see if the house he grew up in was still here. We had such a great chat with him, and it really made the history of the house come alive. Moments like that make all the issues that come along with living in such an old house totally worth it. 

We have always loved living in the country and never wanted to raise our kids anywhere else. It is so peaceful, our little retreat away from the busyness of life. There is just something about farm life that is both inspiring and rejuvenating. I just love the privacy and the ability to just get away from it all, every single night. I guess you could say the non-stop craziness of our everyday life lead us to really cherish the simple life of living in an old house on a farm.

R: Where are your favorite places to bike to or around in your neighborhood? (i.e. great coffee shop nearby, cool shops, nice scenery, etc.)

LF: Living out in the country we don’t have any shops that we can bike to in our neighborhood, but my favorite place to bike is through the fields in the evenings, just as the sun is setting. It is so incredibly relaxing, just soaking in the views. Often there will be deer on the edge of the cornfields or coyotes out hunting mice, and as we move closer to fall, I’m sure the bears will be out and about eating all the wild apples and competing with the deer for the corn! 

This fall we plan to spend quite a bit of time down in San Diego, and my hope is to be able to bike pretty much everywhere down there! I am most excited to bike along the boardwalk at Mission Beach, as it is my absolute favorite spot to go and we usually spend quite a bit of time walking around down there! 

R: We'd argue that the best memories are made while adventuring outside. Is there a certain outdoor experience that stands out as the greatest memory for you?

LF: I would totally agree! So many of my greatest memories are from amazing outdoor experiences. From fishing trips with my dad as a small child to winters spent skiing with my family, summers on the lake, wakeboarding and tubing, and my family’s amazing 3-month road trip around the states when I was 9! Seeing all the different scenery, the rock formations at Arches National Park in Utah, the mountains of Colorado, down to the swamps of Louisiana, over to the white sandy beaches of Florida, and back up the coast, was such an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

[One of my greatest memories was] my mission trip to Uganda as a teenager. The scenery was breathtaking. Watching the sun rise over the plains while driving through herds of elephants on our way to watch lions was incredible. Seeing the lions hunt and actually take down an antelope? Indescribable. 

Moments like those will forever be in my memory. 

R: How do you teach the importance of activity, movement, and exercise in the lives of your children? Are there specific things you do as a family to help stay fit and adventurous?

LF: There was a time in our life when our kids were a little younger (they are currently 8, 7, 6, and 3) when we let the busyness of life take over, and we didn’t focus on the importance of exercise as much as we should have.  We have since learned to make time for it, and we frequently have discussions with our kids about how important it is to look after our bodies and keep them healthy, and how keeping active is a huge part of that.

As I’ve mentioned, we love going for bike rides as a family around our property, and in the winter when the 2-3 feet of snow on the ground makes it a little difficult to bike, we go downhill skiing!  Mostly we just encourage our kids to be outside as much as possible, whether it be simply running and playing, or something a little more difficult like stacking wood for the winter! It is definitely something we are still learning, and we are constantly looking for new ways to stay active as a family.

R: Your garden is so beautiful! Do you have any advice to those of us who can’t seem to keep a single plant alive?

LF: Thank you, though I have to say I am only a beginner gardener (this is only my second year having a garden!), so I am still very much learning myself!  That being said, my main piece of advice, as simple as it sounds, is to get the best soil possible! I have learned the hard way that the soil you use makes a huge difference. I attribute most of the gardening success I have had to the amazing soil we have at our home. Don’t dismiss the importance of what your plants are growing in!

My other piece of advice is to find people in your life who have beautiful gardens and don’t be afraid to ask them questions!  Ask what plants grow the best in your area, what soil is needed, how much and when (if at all!) to prune? Etc.

My Grandma was the one who got me started on gardening when I was little, I remember spending many days on my knees beside her as she showed me how to gently take the plants out of the containers and softly place them in the ground.  So many of the little things she taught me came back to me as I attempted to plant a garden for the first time last year, and she is still my go-to for advice on any and all things gardening and has been and huge help to me, and a large part of why I’ve had any success at all in the gardening department!

R: What are your favorite things to do outdoors in each of the 4 seasons?

LF: One of my favorite things to do in the spring is hop in the side by side with my hubby and kids and go for a drive around the farm. We love going down and exploring around the creek especially! There is a little waterfall about a 10-minute walk down the creek, and it is so gorgeous down there, especially in the spring when the creek is at its highest!

Summertime is the best for long evenings outdoors with friends, eating, drinking, and enjoying the warm weather. I would have people over basically every night if I could!!  Pizza parties are definitely a favorite!

The fall is winter prep time, and we love taking the truck up old logging roads, building a campfire, and roasting hot dogs while my hubby and I cut and gather up loads of wood for our wood stove at home, our main source of heat in the winter!

My absolute favorite outdoor activity in the winter is downhill skiing, I grew up skiing twice a week and loved every second of it!  Last year we got seasons passes for the first time at our local ski hill and I taught all four of our kids to ski! They loved it every bit as much as I do. We’ve already purchased our passes for next year!

R: If you were able to live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

LF: My dream would be to live in Italy, as I just love everything about their approach to life, their culture, their food, the amazing landscape, the rich history, everything!

Realistically though, I would move to San Diego.  It is my happy place. We try to go there at least once a year, more often if we can swing it.  There’s just something about that city that has captured my heart! The whole vibe of the city is amazing.

R: How do you take your coffee?

LF: I take my coffee black, though I will never say no to a good cappuccino! When I’m out and about on errands I love to treat myself to a good Sweet Cream Cold Brew or a Peppermint Vanilla latte, hot or iced!

R: Best pizza near you? (It’s okay to say you if you’re more into homemade goodness!)

LF: At the risk of sounding incredibly vain, I would have to say the best pizza around comes out of my pizza oven!  My husband built the most amazing woodfire pizza oven a few years ago, and it makes the best pizza around, or so we’ve been told.  According to our friends, our pizza is legendary! We love spending our weekends having pizza parties with our friends, and we even once hosted a wedding rehearsal dinner here, doing pizza for about 40 people!!

R: What are 5 things you can’t live without?

LF: 1. My husband. 2. My kids. 3. Carbs!! 4. Coffee. 5. Music.

To see more of Lorissa and her adorable family, check her out on Instagram!


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