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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Try It Thursday!

What could possibly help cool us down in this massive heat wave we are having?  Well, a pool and some sangria would be my answer, but today, I found the next best thing!

Snowy Village . . . have you heard of this place?  I wanted to see what the buzz was about, and I’m glad I tried it!!!  Snowy Village is located in Coquitlam, right by Coquitlam Centre Mall!  It is a quaint little restaurant that, at first glimpse, you don’t really know what you’re going to be getting, but one look around at the other customers, and their smiling faces with these amazingly presented dishes, and you’re sold!  Snowy Village opened its first location in Richmond in the summer of 2015!  The idea for this restaurant came from Korea; the goal was to not serve the traditional style shaved ice which uses water but rather use milk, freeze it, and shave it to produce a silky snowflake shaved ice that looks like snow!  This treat became such a hit that two more restaurants opened; one located in downtown Vancouver, and another in Coquitlam!  

We walked in and were seated right away; the hostess was quite sweet and accommodated for our group of 6.  I appreciated her moving some tables and chairs to make us feel comfortable and together 🙂 We were given menus, and I must admit, I was confused as to what some things were, but we quickly looked up and there was a television streaming their items from their menu!  Clever 😉 We decided to order an Oreo Bingsoo and a Mango Bingsoo . . . now you’re probably wondering what I was wondering . . . what is a Bingsoo???  It is a combination of snowflake shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, and any flavourings/ingredients added to the item ordered!  The Oreo Bingsoo consisted of Oreo cookie crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, milky whipped cream, and silky snowflake shaved ice . . . such a perfect combination!  The Mango Bingsoo consisted of 100% real mango, fresh whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk, and silky snowflake shaved ice!  It was the most refreshing treat to eat on such a hot day!  The sweet taste of all the ingredients, coupled with the coldness of the ice was just perfect!!!  We all got to share both flavours, and were not disappointed!

If you want to enjoy a cold, refreshing treat in the upcoming days ahead, go visit your closest Snowy Village . . . I promise you won’t regret it 🙂 The key will be just having one, but I can’t guarantee you will stop at one . . . you may want to try two or three different flavours!!!  I’m already looking forward to going back and trying the Cheesecake Bingsoo 😉

Love love love, LC

 

 

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Wellness Wednesday!

Who doesn’t love fruit?  Who doesn’t love sweetness?  And who doesn’t love a healthy meal?  Well, sometimes we prefer something other than fruit, but most of the time, a health conscious meal proves to make us feel better, and be better 🙂  Smoothie bowls are a big thing right now, and actually quite healthy!  I hadn’t ever heard of a smoothie bowl before, and I came upon it by complete desperation and I’m glad I did!

I was shopping at the mall, and lunch time came far too quickly!  I dread going to the “Food Court” at malls because 9 times out of 10, there are a lot of unhealthy choices.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love love love a bit of a cheat day with loads of calories, and sweet, savoury and salty treats, but I do try to regularly maintain a healthy lifestyle 🙂 So I decided to give Jugo Juice a try; it is the only one that had fresh fruits and vegetables hanging off the countertop so I thought, hmmmmmm, maybe there is something there 😉

I looked at the menu, and quickly became overwhelmed, and excited, with all of the choices in front of me!!!  I was so surprised at what I was reading . . . all of the ingredients listed under each item, and they were all healthy!!!  And I didn’t know if I was going for a smoothie or smoothie bowl – what was the difference?  The line up was long, and I just wanted something to eat (ya know, shopping can tire a girl out 😉 ) so I decided to order the “Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl”, and I added a Beet Juice to go along with it!  After a bit of a wait, which I didn’t mind because watching them carefully put all of these ingredients in this ‘bowl’ and make it so beautifully appetizing, I grabbed my food and found a spot to sit!

I took off the lid, and just stared at my lunch for what seemed to be an hour!  LOL!  I then proceeded to take a spoonful of this yummy goodness and oh Heaven, I just fell in love with this food!  I completely and utterly get what “foodies” feel now!!!  The foods appearance, taste, texture, and everything about it is taken into consideration, and I, in that moment, titled myself a foodie!  The flavours that burst in my mouth were just the exact right combination, and I still couldn’t believe this was healthy!!!  So delicious . . . the dragonfruit mixed with almond milk, and the bananas, nuts, chia seeds . . . all just a perfect perfect combo!  The beet juice was pretty good too 😉

I came home and did my research on smoothie bowls, and love love love what I found . . . it’s a simple recipe to making your own – you need three things, a base, liquid and toppings!  For your base, you need frozen fruit and a banana.  Then you add some liquid; it can be coconut milk and/or water, almond milk, or cow’s milk.  And finally, you pour your ‘smoothie’ in a bowl and add toppings such as fresh fruit, nuts, granola, chia, hemp or flax seeds, and any spices you like!  It’s really that simple!  I actually tried making a few at home and was very successful!!!  To one of them, I added almond milk to some frozen raspberries and a banana, blended it all up, poured it into my bowl, and added some fresh banana slices, fresh blackberries, chia seeds, and some toasted granola with macadamia nuts!  So so so delish!!!  

If any of you have any tried and true smoothie bowl recipes, I would love love love to hear about them!  I am super excited to keep trying all different variations and keep being healthy, well, most of the time 😉

Love love love, LC

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Emojis Takeover Trending Tuesday!

Emojis . . . we all use them, that majority of us love them, and quite honestly, they have become a part of our daily communication through texting and messages!  I love love love emojis for the very reason they were created . . . to absolutely show what emotion goes along with the messages being sent 🙂 

Emojis were created by a man named Shigetaka Kurita, who explained that the reason why he created these every day symbols was because attaching one to a message would hopefully assure the reader what the tone of the message being sent actually was.  For example, if I send a text to a friend of mine canceling plans, I may text “Sorry can’t make it”.  Now reading that, the tone that comes off from it is a bit cold, and not kind at all.  But if I add a sad emoji next to it . . . “Sorry can’t make it 🙁 “, it shows that I am genuinely sad that I won’t be able to get together.  It really does make a difference!  Tone through messages can be taken so many different ways, and sometimes really can create confusion, hurt feelings, and anger.  However, I do believe in using emojis, it can create a whole different conversation, and better feelings 😉 The key to a great conversation is being clear, upfront, and honest right?  So emojis really do create that kind of conversation!  Now I love love love emojis, and anyone who messages with me sees how many I use daily; hmmmmmmm, if I had a dollar for every emoji I have used, I would be a multi-billionaire!  LOL!

I always wondered how emojis were created, and Kurita explained that he thought back to his childhood and created images from that; from comic books that he had read, from different symbols he had seen, etc.  He did a great job in my opinion!  I wish I could be part of that creative team, and come up with a few new ones . . . yup, I do like to doodle here and there, and think there are some that are missing that can prove to be quite useful during messages 😉  Apart from the traditional emojis that were created, there have been so many more additions that just liven up conversations . . . I am 100% positive that a whole conversation can be had with these images today!

 

Take a guess at what I am saying with these emojis . . . 

Leave your answers in the comments and I will let you know if you’re on the right track 😉

Emojis are such a trend, that they aren’t just found on communication devices, but can be found in every day items like clothing, stationary, books, pillow cases, stuffies, etc.!  There is even a movie out now that has all of the emojis in it!  I actually can’t wait to watch it!  Yup, I admitted that!  From a little idea that Kurita had to improve our ways of communicating, came along such a worldwide obsession with these little symbols . . . I am curious to see where else these emojis will pop up!

Love love love, LC

 

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Monday Mention!

A few years ago, I received one of the most unique gifts on my birthday . . . a Lokai bracelet!  It was one of the best presents ever!!!  I still wear this bracelet daily, and am gifted the reminder of what it stands for every moment of every day!

The Lokai bracelet was designed to always give a friendly reminder to stay humble and stay hopeful!  The black bead holds mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, signifying the difficult moments experienced through life reminding  you to stay hopeful.  The white bead carries water from Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, representing life’s highest moments reminding you to stay humble.  This bracelet is the true representation of what humble and balance mean!  It is a daily reminder to always be your authentic self, and to truly make all the moments in life count, whether they are high moments or low moments!  That is the key to life!  Love love love what this stands for!

Stay humble.  Stay hopeful.

I appreciate using the Lokai bracelet in photographs of moments in my life where I always want to remember the balance of it all; the highs and the lows combined making this journey of mine an adventure I will never forget!  

For your very own Lokai bracelet, visit www.lokai.com; there are so many to choose from!  And the one thing I absolutely love love love most of all about this company, is there generosity towards incredible causes!  They have made an amazing impact on various charities, raising millions of dollars to fund things such as building schools and having clean water available for those who normally wouldn’t have it.  They are a kind group that wants to do better for this world, and they truly are staying humbled and balanced by doing so!

Love love love, LC

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Silly Sunday!

Life is too short, way too short, and my personal belief is that you need to live every day of your life, not just exist in it!  And I know that we all have every day stresses which add up, and trust me, I wish I could magically snap my fingers and have stress be forgotten for good!  Sadly, I don’t have those magical powers (although sometimes my kids think I do 😉 )!  What I do have though, is a sense of humour, and that comes along with me in my every day life of living . . . and the silliness I get to experience on a daily basis is great!!!  

Being silly is not just what kids do . . . it is having fun, laughing with friends, looking at something that is just an obvious picture but seeing something else that is uncontrollably beyond comprehension, and so much more!!!  I appreciate a sense of humour so much, because without it, truly, life would be so stale and boring!  Imagine hearing a joke, and the punchline leaves you in stitches; you literally feel like you’re going to roll on the ground laughing!  Now imagine that joke again, however this time, with a stone cold face, no emotion, no laughter, no humour . . . just a joke that doesn’t make you react any which way!  Soooooo which of the two would you choose to be your reaction?  I definitely choose door number one!!!  Laughing is proven to alleviate so much stress while triggering endorphins to release in your body!  These are your feel-good chemicals that your body produces naturally!  Now I am going to laugh laugh laugh all of the time because it is medically good for me – doctors orders 😉 

I enjoy my “snap” chats with my friends . . . it isn’t just for teenagers, I promise!!!  It is loads of fun, and when new filters come up every day . . . well let me tell you, I appreciate them and the fun and silliness they provide!!!  The smiles, giggles and hysterical laughs I get out of “snaps” is just exactly what my body appreciates; the endorphins released daily while I snap must be in the millions!  LOL!  Snap Chat is a mobile app you can get that allows you to take pictures and videos of  yourself with or without filters!  These “snaps” self destruct within seconds of sending them; now please understand . . . I do not appreciate this feature!  I will never understand the reasoning behind sending someone a message or “snap” and having it disappear!  It creates so many problems, and allows for an increase in cyber-bullying.  I am not an advocate of this feature at all!  My fun in “snaps” is the pictures and videos that are fun and uplifting with friends and family . . . definitely all about the humour in it, and nothing to do with sending a message that is erased within seconds so that nobody else ever sees it!  Now maybe if I was telling my bestie my crush, but even then, ya I would tell her in person!  I remember many times telling my bestie that Jimmy Fallon was my crush (he may or may not be still!!!)  I loved talking in person and having a greater appreciation for the “in front of me” reaction, rather than nowadays, a text that can be read completely wrong because of tone through words.  I will save this topic for another post . . . the most amazing conversations with other incredible mommas have happened because of this very topic, and we were all in person when we spoke 😉

In a world where you can be anything, be kind and silly

Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of my “snap” pictures . . . and this short little post for the day!  Silly Sunday is always a fun day, and I hope you all had a chance to smile, laugh, giggle, roll on the floor laughing, or any of those combinations today!  Remember, the key to life is to add a little humour . . . the doctor prescribed it 😉

Love love love, LC

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