Bonnie Tyler was with me this morning!!!

Once upon a time I was falling in love, but now I’m only falling apart . . . and there’s nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart!

Okay who sang that while they read it?  LOL!  Yup, that was me this morning, singing Bonnie Tyler’s lyrics to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while watching the 2017 Solar Eclipse!  Now, I did try to use different words to suit the day, but either way, my boys were just looking at me like “Ummmm, what happened to Mom?”  Hahahahaha, I guess they didn’t hear my Celine Dion-esque voice at all 😉

What a huge buzz about the solar eclipse today . . . everyone around was so excited, and it was all over the television, internet, radio . . . everywhere!  Kind of cool that the last time this happened was 38 years ago, on February 26th, 1979!  I was just two years old; I totally remember it!  LOL!  Just kidding – I absolutely don’t remember it!  And I can guarantee my mom kept me indoors, closed every window and drew every curtain so that I wouldn’t look directly at the sun and scorch my retinas!!!  I am so glad that the last couple of days have had multiple warnings of what could happen if you look directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection!  It is scary to think that your eyes could get so damaged 🙁 Fortunately most of us have the means to see all of these warnings so hopefully nobody harmed their eyeballs today!

I saw a project on Pinterest (gosh I love love love Pinterest) that would allow us to see the eclipse while having our backs to the sun and moon!  It was fairly easy to make . . . all we needed was two pieces of white cardstock, some aluminum foil, tape and a pin! 

Easy peasy instructions:

Cut a hole in the middle of one of the pieces of cardstock.

Tape a piece of aluminum foil over the hole.

Make a tiny hole in the middle of the aluminum foil with a pin.

Take your two pieces of cardstock outside (the plain one and the one with the aluminum foil).

Place the plain piece of cardstock against a surface (we used our garage door).

Hold the piece of cardstock with aluminum foil to face the plain piece of paper (your back should be to the sun).

You will see the solar eclipse happening right in front of your eyes on the plain piece of paper!

It was so incredible to see this happening!  I love love love science and all it holds!  It amazes me that we get to experience things like this . . . I was so happy my boys and their friends were outside watching with me, and being excited about it too!  The next time we will be able to see another total eclipse is April 8, 2024 . . . not bad, I think I’ll still be ticking and alive and well 😉 But sadly, it will not be visible in Western Canada; the next time Vancouver will see another will be in the year 2771!  Hmmmmmm, I think I might be non-existent by then 😉 Soooooo I am very happy I got to witness this today!!!  Hope you did too!

Love love love, LC

 

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It’s Been A Slice!

A party without CAKE is just a meeting!

Those words spoken by Julia Child couldn’t be truer!!!  Cake is one of the most versatile foods that has a place in all of our hearts, and a place at every table!  Whether it is to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, have as a pick-me-up because of a “moosh” day you’re having, or to enjoy just because!  Cake always makes it better!

Now the reason I am writing about cake is because I had the best and most funniest (yes I realize that is not an actual word but I love love love it and will continue using it 😉 ) moments out tonight with a few of my best friends!  We were at Orrange (a great little restaurant in Port Coquitlam . . . I will write a blog post about it one day in the near future 🙂 ) having some appies with drinks, and enjoying seeing each other because sometimes the summer months make it a little more difficult to just get away and visit!!!  This restaurant is the perfect place to just relax, have some great food, and feel like your miles away from your little bubble 😉

We had finished our food and drinks, and the most loveliest waitress asked if we wished to have dessert . . . well, ummmmm YES!  I asked what they offered and as soon as she said “Strawberry Shortcake”, I belted out “I’ll take one of those!” I was so excited to try this delicious sounding cake!!!  Upon arrival of my dessert, it looked divine!  The cake was perfectly cut in a triangle, and the fresh strawberries sat on top of a heaping pile of whip cream . . . is your mouth watering yet???  And there was chocolate sauce drizzled on the cake and plate . . . or what I thought was chocolate sauce 😉

I took a bite of this delectable looking cake . . . hmmmmm, strange tangy jolt in my mouth, so I tried another bite!  Again, a little zangy sting on my tongue . . . has the whip cream gone bad, I thought to myself?  Now I thought I was going a little mad when I took a third bite, and it was not sweet, or tasty . . . just quite sour!!!  So I asked my girlfriend . . . “Can you please just try this sauce?”  She tried it, and yep, same reaction!  It was balsamic vinegar!!!  Now, the reason I was getting such a punch of this vinegar is because me thinking it was chocolate sauce, I was smearing tons of it all over my fork and piece of cake and then trying to relish it all in one big bite!  LOL!

The waitress came over and I asked her if she could please let me know what this was!  She was also shocked that balsamic vinegar would be on a cake!  She took it back to the kitchen, and we waited!  Bless her heart . . . she came back and let me know that she had spoken to the kitchen manager and he had said that it was supposed to be a balsamic reduction!  What???  Serious???  For realzies???  I was laughing so hard at this point, and so was she!!!  I definitely have heard of strawberries in balsamic vinegar – they are quite tasty . . . but never with cake and whip cream!  LOL!  So needless to say, I didn’t go any further with the cake – we parted ways and ended our cake/love relationship!  Maybe my palette isn’t so fine . . . I blame it on my choice of ribs and poutine to start 😉 Yes, this was a great “cheat” night!

Orrange was absolutely wonderful about the whole thing, and we just giggled at it!  I am grateful to have made some memories tonight and to have learned that sometimes it’s okay to try new things, and not like them so much 😉 LOL!

Love love love, LC

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Refreshing Afternoon with Parkside Brewery!

What to do on a Wednesday afternoon while your husband is home from work, and your kids are with their friends?  Well, you go have a beer of course 😉

Parkside Brewery is where we chose to meet with some friends, and have a fun afternoon!  Parkside is located in Port Moody, on “Brewer’s Row”, right across the street from Rocky Point Park!  It literally was named because of the park!!!

Upon entering Parkside, it is very evident that this brewery is for everyone!  It rings true to what it stands for that it is one of the breweries that has a backyard feel to it while enjoying the sunshine outside sitting at one of their old school style picnic tables, a basement feel while enjoying some shuffle board that is to the left upon entering (and they have a video arcade game too), a pub style feel while sitting outside on the front patios while your dog enjoys the area provided for pets, and a home away from home style while sitting inside looking at the tile used for the backsplash and it reminding you of a kitchen that once was!  Sitting at this brewery truly made me feel at home; the sights and sounds of music playing, people chatting, kids giggling and dogs barking all made it what Parkside represents . . . the epitome of what a brewery should be . . . inviting for everyone 🙂 

I ordered a “flight of beers” to taste; this makes it fun because if you don’t want to commit to a full glass that you have never tried, this is your passage way!!!  Grab four different beers and let your taste buds lead the way!  I shared my “flight” with my friend, so I was excited to sample two of the four!

The first I tried was a guest beer from Howe Sound . . . a Blueberry Wheat Ale!  Oh my goodness gracious this beer was divine yumminess!  My taste buds did a little dance 😉 I enjoyed the hint of blueberry and that it wasn’t an overwhelming sweet beer! Definitely a two thumbs up! I could see this being a favourite of mine for the summer season 😉

The second beer I tried was the Dim Wit Belgian Witbier . . . it is a definite refreshing summer beer!  It’s light with good flavour for those who don’t necessarily like a “hoppy” beer, and goes down quite smoothly!

I am by no means a beer connoisseur but boy oh boy do I ever want to be!  I didn’t like beer before . . . it was always a bitter taste and it all tasted similar!  Now mind you, it was not your craft beer; it was your average big brewery “no flavour” beer for the sake of drinking beer!  I am love love loving craft beer – the creative minds behind Parkside Brewery beer have created the epitome of what beer is, and the attention to taste and quality sure shows when you see it poured from the tap with the colour shining through!

And one little thing that I definitely saw that I absolutely loved was the bathroom decals on the doors!  I’m all about detail and these did not go unnoticed . . . 

My goal is to visit more breweries and learn all about how beer is crafted, and the process involved!  I can’t wait to share those adventures with you!  Do you have a  favourite brewery I should visit?  Let me know in the comments (just click on the title above to do so)!  Here is “hopping” to find more breweries and tasty beers ahead!

Love love love, LC

 

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What did the Concierge say to me?

What are you going to write about that hasn’t already been written about Whistler?” said the concierge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to me!  I could have taken that as a rude, discouraging and belittling comment, but I chose to take it as a challenge for me to write something that hasn’t been written about!  And let me tell you, I can guarantee you that nobody has ever written about MY trip to Whistler with one of my best friends and her family!  LOL!  Let me share with you some of the fun adventures I have had the last couple of days on my family vacation!  Hold on tight because today’s post is going to be a loooooooonnnnnng one . . .

Whistler is one of the most beautiful, fun-filled, exciting cities that absolutely has everything for the single person, the married couple, or the family of however many to enjoy something little to something grand!  I love love love how there is simply something for everyone in this little gem of a city!  It feels like you are in your “home away from home”!  And it truly is what you make of it, and the one thing that makes me smile the most is all the stone-paved walkways throughout the village that take you from one amazing place to another to see all the different sights that Whistler has to offer!

Day One – Thursday August 10th

We started our adventure hitting the road early Thursday morning, with our Starbucks in hand, and loving the drive up!  The drive to Whistler is breathtaking . . . the views of the ocean, mountains, sky . . . just gorgeous!  It didn’t take long to get to our fantabulous destination of Whistler from our home . . . but we always stop at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola for some fun, and that is where half of Thursday takes us!

The Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish is a yearly tradition that I don’t think we could ever get sick of; being at the top of the mountain feels like you are on top of the world . . . looking out from the viewing deck makes me realize how big the world is, and how there is so much out there . . . and that is just looking out at a portion of this world!!!  It is nothing compared to the grand scheme of things, however, it does something to your heart and soul while taking in everything that view has to offer!!!

We started up with the Gondola, and arrived at the top!  During the ride up, one my best friends, Sarah, and I sang our hearts out!  We do this every year . . . now I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t want to acknowledge how far up we are, or if it just is something we started doing, and continue to do . . . I am going to say it’s because of the first 😉  It was still a smokey filled sky, but that didn’t stop us from appreciating the views that nature had given us that day!  We crossed the Sky Pilot bridge to get to the trails that eventually lead us to the “Chief and Squamish Valley” viewing platform!  There is where the magic happens . . . the views, the heights, the nature . . . just the absolute picture perfect moments!  After a short hike around the numerous trails, we had some lunch and beers at the Summit Restaurant!  Then back down the mountain in the Gondola, and we were on our way toWhistler!

We arrived at our hotel, the grand Fairmont Chateau Whistler!  What a beautiful picturesque hotel!  It had all of the “wow” factors but it also had such a welcoming family-oriented feel to it!  We checked in and quickly settled into our room, which was on the sixth floor, with what I like to call, a view not like ours at home 😉  It was charming and definitely Whistler style!  We changed out of our sweaty and dirty hiking clothes, and nestled into the complimentary robes available for us to use during our stay at the Fairmont!  We had a little down time before our next adventure, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it . . . let me put it this way, I have never eaten so much in my entire life!!!

The Four Seasons Whistler Resort & Residence offers a “Signature Backyard BBQ” series in their Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar Restaurant every Thursday from 5 to 9pm, from the end of June until the beginning of September!  We had heard about this through Instagram, and of course were intrigued and wanted to try it out!  Well, it proved to be amazing and didn’t disappoint us at all!!!  It was truly a backyard feeling, with red and white checkered tablecloths, and family style seating!  There was a live band performing, Big Mountain Rhythm; Matt King and Jeff Van Driel make up this incredible duo band that have been performing together since 2009!  Their music coupled with the smell of the barbecued food and the energy of everyone around us was indescribable and so perfect!!!  Needless to say, I am so glad I wore a dress because I was stuffed!  The spread at this “all-you-can-eat” buffet included red cabbage slaw, summer squash pasta salad, spinach and watermelon salad with a balsamic blue cheese reduction, grilled vegetable salad bar, baked beans with chorizo and jalapeno, cornbread with kimchi, quinoa chilli, rigatoni with cheese, broccoli and chilli flakes, bbq spiced falafel with tea saison, hot sauce and tzatziki, flank steak with chimchurri, smoked pork belly, rescue ale pulled pork, marinated lamb leg, smoked porter bbq pork ribs, windrose spicy bbq beef ribs, dry rubbed bbq chicken, Italian sausage, fingerling potato with method pale ale braised cabbage, lemon gin bbq salmon, and bourbon blood orange mussels with orange fennel and leeks! Is your mouth watering yet?  And for dessert, they had ginger lime cheesecake mousse, warm chocolate pudding and fruit salad!  Oh my goodness it was quite the spread!!!  I won’t say how many times I went up but let’s just say it was more than once 😉 Included in this amazing event for the first year ever were breweries with their craft beer . . . Steel & Oak Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing Company, Whistler Brewing Company and Yellow Dog Brewing Company all represented with some of the tastiest craft beers I have ever tried!  My four top favourites were the Kaffee from Steel & Oak, the Quaywi Sour from Bridge, the Grapefruit Ale from Whistler and the Shake a Paw from Yellow Dog!  Love love love these breweries!  What a great way to end our first night!

Day Two – Friday August 11th

Ahhhhh pool day . . . we had been waiting for this day!!!  The pool layout at the Fairmont is quite perfect . . . the big pool for everyone, which includes a shallow end inside the hotel for the littles to play, three hot tubs (one of which is solely for adults), and a lap pool! Something for everyone who wishes to be in the water!  We all met down at the pool and claimed our seats . . . the hotel has a 30-minute rule where if you leave your chair unattended for more than 30 minutes, they will give your seat to others who are waiting; I actually love and respect that rule!!!  We were always very conscious of our time 😉  The temperature of the water was always just right . . . not once did we ever hear the kids complain; that was our gauge LOL!  One of my very favourite moments was when a group of cutie patootie older ladies were doing a water aerobics class, and Sarah and I joined them!  Oh it was loads of fun!  We were giggling as the instructor encouraged us with each step and each lunge!  A sweet lady in the front turned around and said, “There is way too much laughing going on back there!”  The instructor smiled, looked at us and said, “Translation, she loves it!”  LOL!  It was quite the treat to work out with these amazingly powerful women!  We survived all of 15 minutes while these women kept going strong for an hour!!!  We sat poolside watching our children play in the water for hours and it was splendid!

Another exciting adventure that we jumped into was at Whistler’s Original Escape Rooms!  I was so excited to try to escape a room with my family; all I kept on thinking was that this would be a true test and trial of our “working together” and not fighting!!!  Well, I was so surprised and happy to get through it with us truly working together!!!  We chose the Rabbit Hole Escape Room; it is loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, and we envisioned the Rabbit running by and us following it . . . he dived into the tree hole, and we followed it!  As we entered the room, it was like we walked into a page from Alice in Wonderland!  It was so magical, and so vibrant, all I wanted to do was emerge myself into the story and find that stinking White Rabbit!  LOL!  We all helped one another with the clues, and contributed to each clue and hint!  If you haven’t heard of an escape room, the premise behind them is that you are locked (not really, you can always ask to leave) in a room(s) and you follow clues and hints to get you through to the next room, and eventually if you get through all of them successfully, you escape!!!  We asked for hints (you’re allowed 😉 ) and we were minutes away from escaping!!! Sadly, we didn’t succeed, but we had fun trying to!  Our time was up and the amazing staff came in and let us know what the last of our moves should have been to escape . . . we were soooooo close!  Next time we will escape 😉

Dinner time took us to a wonderful restaurant . . . Pizzeria Antico!  Oh is this ever the most incredible pizza place!!!  It truly defines the art of traditional pizza and pasta!  It has such an Italian vibe to it, and the wood burning ovens give it its authenticity to creating the most savory and delicious pizzas!  We ordered the Margherita pizza, which has tomato sauces, fior di latte, parmigiano and basil!  Oh sweet angels singing above, it was divine!!!  We also had a taste of the Diavola pizza, which has tomato sauce, Calabrese salami, fresh fior di latte, parmigiano, and red onion!  Again, taste buds were singing their own version of “Hallelujah!”  We also tried the Gnocchi di Antico, which were made from Pemberton potatoes with garlic tomato sauce and pecorino cheese!  Definitely not disappointing, but I have to admit, these were not like my Mama’s; the gnocchi still disappeared off the plate 😉  Pizzeria Antico is definitely a place to venture to for a taste of Italy – you will not regret it!!!!

The day ended with us and the kids in the hot tub, just reflecting on what had seemed like 5 days of vacation already, in a good way, and getting excited for what was to come the next day!  That is what I love love love about Whistler . . . anything and everything around you is always exciting!  We had a little time to walk around the village before our Escape Room adventure, and that was tons of fun!  Watching all walks of life passing us by, and each of them with smiles!  It is amazing to see that!  Sure, there were some little ones who were having tantrums because they didn’t get an ice cream when they wanted it!  We felt a little bad when we scooped up our ice cream from the famous Cows!  Oh this would be one reason I would just drive to Whistler and back home . . . the ice cream from Cows is like no other, absolute hands down truth!!!  Cows started in 1983 and now has 11 stores across Canada, and one in China!  Their old-fashioned recipe has carried on all of these years, and is a true testament to why everyone keeps going back to Cows; it is handmade with the finest of ingredients and is so creamy and fully of yumminess!!!  The flavours are out of this world . . . Apple Crisp, Bubble Gum, Chocolate Cheesecake, Cownadian Maple, Messie Bessie, Royal Cownadian Mint, Sea Salted Toffee and Wowie Cowie are just a few of their delicious choices!!!  Now if only I could have given a wee bit of ice cream to the little ones who were upset that their mommies and daddies wouldn’t get them some, everyone would have big smiles in Whistler 😉

Day Three – Saturday August 12th

Another beautiful morning, and another pool visit!  Seeing my boys enjoying their time in Whistler being care-free is what fills my heart!  Their giggles, their laughs, their smiles, their fun . . . just makes every fibre of my being fill with happiness!  Sitting poolside and watching all of them play and splash was the perfect start to another wonderful day!!!

We headed out to El Furniture Warehouse for lunch after our pool time came to an end!  Now I promise El Furniture Warehouse is a restaurant; I questioned it at first wondering, why would I go to a place to look at furniture?!?!  LOL!  This restaurant screams fabulous and extraordinary!!!  The energy was fantastic, and once again, this restaurant catered to every single person . . . young adults, families, a newly married couple, women on a bachelorette weekend . . . the list goes on!  And the best part . . . wait for it . . . every single item on their menu is $4.95!!!  Yup, you read that correctly . . . $4.95!  El Furniture offers delicious quality food from perogies, which we had and I promise you they were the best perogies I have ever had, to burgers, nachos and salads!  It has one of the most versatile menus . . . it has an item for every single person, even the pickiest of eaters, and I can validate this because I have a little one that is quite picky, and he loved loved loved the fries!!!  Definitely two thumbs up for this place, and a definite must for anyone visiting Whistler!

The afternoon took us all around the main village; we walked and strolled through many of the stores!  My boys each wanted to buy a souvenir from this amazing city, and there were definitely tons of shops to peruse through!  And the little things that you can find are absolutely fantabulous!  My youngest son bought himself a silver necklace with a snow board charm that had “Whistler” engraved on it . . . beautiful piece of jewelry and not badly priced either 😉  My oldest son is heavily passionate about riding bikes, so he purchased himself a pair of bike gloves that he had been eyeing online for quite some time . . . Whistler has everything for everyone!  After looking through many stores, we came upon a man’s voice from the middle of the village, saying “Everyone come join in . . . we are having a hula hoop competition!”  Well, what do you think I did?  Yes you guessed it, I joined in!!!  My son, our family friend, and I joined in the hula hooping fun, and giggled and enjoyed every minute!  Guess how long I lasted?  1 minute?  2 minutes?  Maybe 5 minutes?  I lasted all of 13 seconds!  LOL!  It was quite the show 😉  So many individuals lasted more than 15 minutes, and it all came down to two kids . . . a boy and a girl . . . and the little girl won!  She hula hooped her heart out!!!  The man behind this amazing contest was Ira Pettle!  He had such an energy of an entertainer that I had not seen in forever!  He gathered a crowd, and got everyone clapping and cheering in a matter of minutes!  He was able to engage with the kids, and some of us adults 😉 and truly made it such a fun time!  Check out Ira Pettle’s webpage – he is a pretty spectacular guy!

And now for the greatest thing we have ever seen in Whistler, well it’s at the very top of our list so far . . . . Crankworx!!!  Crankworx started in the early 2000’s, and has been making headlines ever since!  It is a mountain biking festival that is watched worldwide, and every person who watches can’t take their eyes off of these individuals on their bikes, seeing them gain heights off of these dirt slopes and land in what seems like the most effortless way!  It truly is an incredible thing to witness!  I didn’t have the opportunity to chat with an official Crankworx competitor, however, I did meet a huge fan named Dallas Lozoway from Victoria!  He explained what Crankworx was, and how it all works, and how people get involved in it!  It was so great to see his energy and passion for riding while talking to me about it!  He rented a bike for two days, and took in all the trails that Whistler had to offer during this Crankworx event! We chatted about those involved, and just how talented these competitors actually are!  He also told me that this festival is touring four different places in the world this year . . . New Zealand, France, Austria and Canada!  What amazing countries for these athletes to visit, and hopefully try winning the top prize!!!  This mountain biking festival is truly one that every person who has a like or love for riding should watch!  It was such an inspiring moment for my boys; to watch their eyes light up and get bigger as each individual took the course and did tricks and jumps, and land them successfully!  What great moments!  Dallas encouraged me to get my boys involved if they loved it, and also told me I could do it one day!  I giggled, and politely said, “Maybe!”  LOL!  You never know . . . anything is possible, especially after seeing some of the moves these individuals do!!!  A must see for anyone in Whistler over the next week . . . get out there and watch Crankworx!

Tradition tradition tradition . . . we hold true to tradition, and for us, tradition means anytime we are in Whistler, we need a visit to Zogs!  The poutine that they create at Zogs is incredible!  It is so tasty, and the amount of gravy and cheese ratio is perfection!!!  It is the best late night snack ever!!!  Open until midnight or later, Zogs offers a taste of poutine from Whistler that I say is possibly the best poutine there!

To end the night perfectly, we stopped by the Mallard Lounge located in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and picked up a piece of their Rainbow cake!  Since day one, we had been walking passed this lounge, and eyeing this piece of cake!  It just called our name every time we walked by!!!  LOL!  So finally, on the final night of our visit, we decided to grab the very last piece . . . it was meant to be 😉 We decided to take it back to our room, and as a family, we shared this piece of cake . . . and boy did we have an eruption of laughter go along with it!  Now I know it would have been great for me to take the most perfect picture of this cake sitting on the cake platter, or on a pristine white plate so all of the colours would just pop . . . but nope, I decided to have this piece of cake photographed in the “to go box” and grouped with my family!  We shared this cake (plus a coconut raspberry slice which was okay, but definitely not even close to the rainbow one!) while in our pajamas and robes, on our bed, with two forks!  I have never laughed so hard with my kids . . . that right there was worth every cent that cake cost, and more!  The best way to end our time in Whistler!!!  It was the “sweetest” moment for me to hold on to for a lifetime!

Day Four – Sunday August 13th

Morning came fast, and suitcases were quickly packed!  We didn’t say our goodbyes to this gem of a city, but rather said our “see you later” because we knew we were coming back!  There is no way Whistler had seen the last of us!!!  And I still want more experiences to write about, especially since I am holding on the challenge of Mr. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Concierge . . . I will have many more adventures in Whistler to write about that nobody has written about before, I promise!!!

On our way out of Whistler, we made our way into Squamish, and met my incredibly talented friend Deanna Wampler, Digital Engager, at the Squamish Adventure Centre!  What a beautiful building we entered, and the little coffee shop inside was so sweet and inviting! We sat and had the best conversation about life, and blogger life!  She taught me so much in one hour that I don’t think I could ever truly tell her how grateful I am!!!  I am so excited about growing my blog, and continuing to share with you all my adventures and journey through this amazing life!  This trip may be over, but this journey is not over . . . it has just begun!

Love love love, LC

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Greek Salad . . . and it’s Vegan!!!

I have always loved loved loved Greek salad . . . it has been one of my favourite salads to quickly whip up, and enjoy!  It goes great with so many things – chicken, meat, fish, pasta . . . really anything!  I have been trying to be a little more health conscious lately, and am trying to cut out dairy, and possibly meat!  I know, hard right?  It’s what I’ve grown up with – meat, cheese, veggies and pasta . . . an Italian girls dream!  LOL!  Oh and don’t forget the bread 😉

So I decided to make a Greek salad the other day and just eliminate the Feta cheese, because I wanted to try making it a true Vegan Greek salad!  And success!!!!  Below is the recipe . . .

2 tomatoes, half a cucumber, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/4 red onion, olives, pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and a bit of dried oregano . . . mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

I have heard that you can buy Vegan Tofu Feta cheese, and that is next on my list to try!  It would definitely add back the Feta flavour I absolutely love!!!

Let me know if you have any Vegan salad recipes that you love . . . leave a link or recipe in the comments, I absolutely would love to hear about them!

Love love love, LC

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Dessert before dinner? I say YES!!!

What does BC Children’s Hospital and Dairy Queen have in common?  Well, more than you think!  They are all about helping kids, and what they do is beyond our imagination!

Every year, Dairy Queen has “Miracle Treat Day” . . . this year it is on Thursday August 10th!  On this special day, net proceeds from every Blizzard Treat sold at participating Dairy Queen locations will be donated to local Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals. Every single day, more than 4,000 children visit a Children’s Miracle Network member hospital.  Since 1984, Dairy Queen and Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals have joined together to help with life-saving treatments to kids from across the United States and Canada!  It truly is a miracle that they have been able to raise over $125 million through all of these donations!  Over $4 million was donated just last year; let’s try and beat that this year!

My heart is a little biased right now because I know of a special little someone who is fighting for his life . . . he is my brave little friend Mitch!  Mitch was diagnosed with Leukaemia last year and has been a brave fighter!  He has shown us what true heroes look like, and he does it with a smile on his face!  This little guy has gone through invasive tests, bloodwork, chemotherapy, and anything under the moon and stars that you can think of to make his fighting body better, and he has done it all with a cheerful attitude!  We can learn a few things from Mitch 🙂 His amazing family is one that I admire so very much!  They take it one day at a time, fighting right alongside their beautiful boy!  And the most heart filling thing of all is, while they are being brave and helping their little one fight, they are helping to raise awareness for so many other children going through similar journeys.  They are truly amazing people 🙂

Mitch: I hate cancer

Mom: Me too buddy

Mitch: Why I have cancer?

Mom:  Honestly honey, we don’t know

Mitch: Cancer’s stupid

This conversation speaks volumes as to what a true hero Mitch is!  Mitch has been receiving his treatment from BC Children’s Hospital, one of the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital; it is like his second home.  Every trip to the hospital either brings good news, or not so good news, depending on his levels for the day.  August 25th, 2019 is when he will finish his treatment.  He has a ways to go, and he has already been on such a journey.  BC Children’s Hospital has been a pivotal place for his journey.  They have provided a safe and friendly place for Mitch while he undergoes numerous treatments.  There is always a playroom stocked with toys to keep his smile more vibrant than ever!  The doctors and nurses are incredibly connected to the families and the children, and it is them that make the unbearable become a wee bit more bearable.  Any donation to BC Children’s Hospital helps keep this kind of environment, staff and journey a better one.  

This Thursday, on Miracle Treat Day, Mitch has his monthly IV chemo and will also be undergoing a lumbar puncture.  A lumbar puncture consists of a needle being pushed into the spinal canal, where cerebral spinal fluid is drawn out, and then tested for cancer cells.  Chemo is then injected into the spinal canal to treat cells as well as his brain. It definitely will be a rough day for our little hero. Mitch will be asleep during this process, and will need to rest at least an hour after.  He will then be given ‘factor replacement drugs’ to prevent bleeding due to his hemophilia.  This will be Mitch’s 13th lumbar puncture procedure.

I am writing this today to please ask you to go to your local participating Dairy Queen this Thursday, and while Mitch is going through this heart-wrenching unimaginable procedure, you and your family can think of him, and buy Blizzard Treats in honour of him!  Mitch, and his brother Nelson, love love love Oreo Blizzards, so if that is one of your favourites, grab a few and remember you are helping Mitch and the many others who rely on BC Children’s Hospital . . . their lives depend on it!

This post is dedicated to you Mitch . . . may you always know how much of a hero you are in my eyes, and how much this world loves you, to infinity and beyond!

Love love love, LC

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Friendship Bracelets!

Do you remember making “friendship bracelets” when you were younger?  Do you remember having them wrapped around your wrist and bursting with pride?  I remember having so many on my wrist, and always wanting more 😉

Friendship bracelets originated in Central America years ago; the knotting design was adapted from macrame, which is a form of knotting rather than weaving or knitting.  These bracelets were specially handmade to be given to one friend from another to symbolize their friendship!  Sometimes best friends would have matching bracelets to represent that they are the two peas in a pod 😉 There are so many different varying patterns, and sometimes beads are added to make the bracelets extra special!

There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better; these people are your friends!

Friendship bracelets come in all sorts of different colours too, and each colour represents something different!  Here is a list of different colours with their meanings:

PINK = kind

RED = honest

ORANGE = energetic

YELLOW = cheerful

GREEN = responsible

BLUE = loyal

BLACK = strong

I love love love when you combine colours to make a truly special friendship bracelet that represents your friend!  I loved making these as a child, and started making them with my littlest!  It has been loads of fun!!!  It definitely is a great way to pass the day, especially when you want to stay inside away from the smokey air we have been exposed to!  Great activity 🙂

Love love love, LC

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Ageless Mind!

How old are you?  Is that a rude question or is that just someone being curious?  When has age become such a taboo topic?  I believe that your age is just a number; it’s how long you have been on this Earth and that’s it!  The real indicator of what drives you in life is how old you feel mentally . . . I have always felt like I am still in my 20’s!  Yes, sometimes I do act like a little old lady getting out of bed in the morning, and my mind tells me that I’m still a young 23 year old who is ready to start the day and grab life to it’s fullest!!!  

I was asked recently how old I am and I said “53”!  Now the look on the persons face was priceless . . . “Wow, you look great for 53!” Why yes, yes I do!  LOL!  I told them I was totally kidding and then I revealed my true age, and again, just thought, why is that important?   Why do we put ourselves in such a funk about our age?  Oh Lordy this is 40!  What is wrong with 40?  I am actually embracing my 40s and truly enjoying the start of them!  I definitely feel so young at heart, and love love love that my mind allows that little fib to occur 😉  Yup, Lisa, you surely are 23!  LOL!

I don’t define old as “crotchety, grey haired and wrinkly”; I would define old as knowledgable, wisdom, and a bucket full of experiences!  When we reach the point in our lives that we know we are about to reach that destination we all are guaranteed, I want to look back and remind myself that I lived a great life, and didn’t just exist in it!  I lived with my body, my mind and my heart . . . no number attached to that!  Just a simple, fun, happy life full of love, smiles, and family and friends all around me!  

How old do you feel?  What does your mind tell you that you are?  Answer in the comments – I would LOVE to hear about you 🙂

Remember, the key to feeling young is staying young, with your mind!  And a few wrinkle-free creams help the situation too 😉

Love love love, LC

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Fries Before Guys ;)

Today was an adventure and a good one . . . we ended up at Spud Shack!  Oh this place is just pure perfection!  I say this because it has the key to what every restaurant should be . . . versatile!  It is the kind of little gem that upon entering, you could picture having lunch with your buddies, having a family dinner with your children, getting a bite to eat with your Grandma, or flying solo and eating a delicious meal while perusing social media apps on your phone!  It has that feel to it . . . anyone and anytime can feel like they are in the perfect place, with the perfect food!

Spud Shack opened it’s doors in December of 2013, and has been going strong ever since!  It is known for its delicious poutine combinations, plus other items that are definitely worth trying!  Dan Close is the hero in my eyes . . . my poutine hero 😉 Close is a Red Seal chef and triathlete, and every time he would run a marathon or bike ride, he would reward himself with a plate of fries!  Now that sounds like something to look forward to; I would exercise for fries 🙂 One day, on one of his bike rides, he came up with the idea of making his own fries . . . he wanted something better than greasy, frozen, deep fried fries . . . he wanted something special!  Well, he created something special alright . . . the perfect fries!  The perfection of the fries is all in the way they are prepared; 100 pounds of potatoes are cut up late at night by Close’s crew, and are soaked in cold water (with the skin still on) overnight and then drained and blanched in the morning for an hour.  Once these potato strips hit the frier, they will cook evenly because of this process!  They are then cooled, and they take a little rest until they are ordered up, and then deep fried and added to a recipe chosen by the customer!

Buffalo Chicken Poutine

You can enjoy simple plain fries, in a paper cone that can be nestled into a little hole in the table where you can sit, eat, and taste the goodness out of each morsel of a fry!  There are also different poutine options, which is what makes Spud Shack famous . . . there is Original (fries, cheese curds, and gravy), Butter Chicken (marinated chicken thighs simmered in creamy tomato sauce, cucumber raita, and cilantro), “Baked Potato” (bacon, sour cream, green onions), “Big V” (vegetarian chilli, sour cream cheese blend, green onion), Buffalo Chicken (breaded chicken, Franks hot sauce, ranch dressing, green onion), and the “Squealer” (pulled pork and bbq sauce).  These are just a few, but there are many more to choose from!  Is your mouth watering yet?  There are also burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sharing items on their menu . . . check them out at www.spudshack.ca!  And guess what?  Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . they also have vegan options!!!  Yes you read that correctly!!!  This is why I feel this is the best little gem around; it really caters to everyone!!!

The staff is also super friendly and so lovely!  Love love love when you encounter that!  And I am little biased, the hostess who was incredibly kind is named Lisa!  Yup, Lisa’s are pretty fantabulous 😉  She was so great, and what I loved the most was her energy!  She was the first person we chatted with upon entering the restaurant, and she set the tone to what was a great visit!  Love when that happens!!!  I loved watching the chef making all of the food; it was like I had the opportunity to sit in the viewing gallery of a show on the Food Network – he was that good!!!  The open concept of the kitchen is pretty incredible, and my favourite thing to have read while watching him cook, was their sign below the counter where you pick up your food . . . “leave your dishes on the table and we’ll love you even more!”  A way to a mom’s heart . . . not having to do anything with dishes while out for dinner with my kidlets!  LOL!  

Spud Shack is located at the New West Sky-Train Station, on the Eastbound platform, directly above Safeway!  It is worth the trip if you don’t live close by; I promise you will not be disappointed!  And Spud Shack is licensed, so if you want to stop in for a beer and some fries, even better 😉 All I can say is bring your appetite, your stretchy pants, and your curiosity because you will be in poutine heaven!  And I promise you will leave with a full tummy, and plenty of smiles!  I know I will be going back again and again, and again!!!  Thank you Dan Close for creating the perfect fries, and having your vision come to life!!!

Love love love, LC

 

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Fun Fact Friday!

I love love love getting new curls in my brain . . . learning something new keeps us young and vibrant!  So every once in a while, I’ll have a short little blog post with a fun fact 😉

Today’s fun fact is . . . .  you can tell which day a loaf of bread was baked by the colour of the plastic twist!  Neat little fact, eh?

 

Love love love, LC

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