#Twinsters

I can’t imagine never growing up with my twin, and missing out on that experience of having my twin being my best-friend.  It happened to these two, Anais and Samantha, who found each other via social media, and finally reunited.  They are in post-production of their documentary, and here is a link to the trailer #Twinsters.  They are also looking for some crowd-sourcing to help them with post-production, so if this touches you, and you’d like to donate, click on the link at the end of the video to find out how you can help.

 

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Summer Fresh Fruit

I love summertime for it’s abundance of fresh fruit.  Being on the West Coast in British Columbia, the weather is perfect for growing berries, fruit trees, and whatever else you can think of.  Fresh corn on the cob is also a favourite of mine.  The best way to eat summer fruit, is simply rinsed/washed, and then down into the tummy it goes!

A few places I’ve been to for picking fresh fruit, is Krause Berry Farms, and Dreidiger Farms,  There are also many other farms, of which I haven’t visited, some in Richmond, Delta, Surrey, and Maple Ridge.

Many years back, I’ve also frequented Meadows Maze, at least 3 or 4 times.   There are hay rides, a corn maze, petting zoo for small children, etc..  It’s a great place for adults who enjoy the challenge of getting lost in a maze, and a great place for families too.

Unfortunately, we will not have the chance to visit any farms or corn-mazes this year.  So the next best method of getting fresh farm fruit, is via Farmer’s Markets.  I enjoy walking amongst the stalls of Farmer’s Markets, seeing the fresh fruit and vegetables, eyeing the jars of delicious honey, smelling the fresh baked bread…  I should say, though, that not all Farmers Markets are equal.  Some are larger than others, some have more variety, and others have more of a “community” feel to them, with local performers attending the event, and with kids’ tents to entertain and attract children.

If you are in an area where Farmers Markets are few and far-between, or simply non-existent, I encourage you to purchase locally-produced fruit.  Look for the “Made in BC” sticker (or “Made in wherever you happen to live” sticker).  Local fruit and vegetables are more fresh, and your “local” purchase helps the domestic economy.

In any case, I believe I will be visiting Farmers Markets more frequently, as I am now beginning to prepare my own baby foods – fresh, local, and organic (whenever possible) are what I’ll be looking for, for my baby’s produce!

 

 

Review: David’s Tea

I have never been to a David’s Tea before, until two weekends ago, and I must say that I enjoyed it very much.  It will be my new go-to place for a refreshing beverage – a much healthier, less sugary, tapioca-less alternative to bubble-tea.  Ah yes, bubble-tea.  I used to crave bubble-tea regularly, until I became more conscious of the amounts of sugar I was consuming with each sip.  Even asking for “less sweet” at the counter, still had me wondering if they actually added less sugar (which of course, they did).  But now, bubble-tea, move aside, I have discovered iced-teas at David’s Tea, and they are thirst-quenchingly tasty.

So what did I order, that now has me hooked?

On my first visit, I tried a tea-pop.  Flavour: Tropicalia.  I liked the flavour of the tea, sweetened with agave, but the carbonated water was a bit too… “pop”py.  I decided that tea-pop was not for me.

On my second visit, I tried an iced-tea.  Flavour: Guava Cadabra Lemonade, sweetened with honey.  It had the perfect flavour of guava-tropical-fruitiness, without being too sweet, or too overwhelming.  It was also thirst-quenching.  Cost?  $3.  A very good price, for what I was getting, in my opinion.

There has only been two visits, though, but I like what I’ve tried, and so many of their flavours look promising!

Something to look forward to – Austenland

When it comes to Victorian literature, and Victorian authors, I become a little giddy – but that’s because I’m an English Lit Major.  And that is why Austenland has me grinning from ear to ear.  I’ve been informed that in fact, Austenland is a novel, turned into a movie.  I now have to find that novel.  And I look forward to watching this silly movie.

Want a sneak peak?  Here is the trailer for the goofy movie.

Release Date: September 27, 2013.

I think I will be making a movie date with my girly friends, and leaving behind the babies and husband.  🙂  Girl’s night, Yay!

Kid’s Feature: Jungle Jacs in Pitt Meadows

Last weekend, my 3 year old went to a birthday party at Jungle Jacs in Pitt Meadows, BC.  It’s basically a giant jungle gym for kids, that includes a toddler play area, ball area, sports area, and many other places where kids can “monkey around”.  This is not a place for helicopter parents, or for timid children.  Laser Tag and Mini-Golf are also available, although I did not see it, or participate in any of it.

So how did my 3 year old like this place?  Well, she just turned 3 years old in June, and sometimes feels more comfortable playing with littler kids, than older kids.  She first warmed up in the toddler area (technically for kids 3 and under), and then moved on to exploring other areas, tagged along with a parent (my husband).  It took some time, but the kid finally found her niche in the ball launcher area, not so daring as the big slides, but fun and tame enough for her to have fun and feel “safe”.

After about an hour of exploring and playing, the birthday party crew were called over into a Party Room, over the P.A. system.  The birthday party crew had exactly one hour in the room before being kicked out – just enough time to eat a snack and cake, and quickly open presents.  One hour, in my opinion, is not long enough for a group to enjoy their cake and opening presents.  However, Jungle Jacs is super-popular as a birthday-party-destination, and there seemed to be non-stop birthday announcements over the P.A. system.  I am guessing that there were at least 5 or 6 parties there within a 2 hour span.  Therefore, given it’s popularity, I suppose a one-hour time-slot for a party room is fair.

So would I return?  Maybe when my youngest is old enough to enjoy it.  I definitely think it is a fun birthday destination for kids, and I am a fan of mini-golf.  I definitely wouldn’t mind trying that with my family.  I’m a sucker for family activities, like this, though, possibly because I never experienced activities like this when I was growing up (not that I feel particularly deprived, or anything). I really just enjoy channelling my inner-kid.  Thank goodness I can use my own kids as an excuse to do something childish like this!

 

Share bear follow-up

So I took the kiddos to the mall and saw poor Share Bear all cooped up in his cell. His digs weren’t so bad, actually. He had a lovely ottoman to sit on, and he had many visitors dropping by to chat and take pictures. Share Bear certainly has many friends – friends who couldn’t bare to see him go hungry, or be locked up in his cell. I certainly hope that Share Society meets its goal.

Below is a pic of Share Bear and some hand-painting, done by a lovely volunteer.

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Share Bear Coquitlam

Today is the big food drive for Share Society in Coquitlam.

The Goal:  To raise 10,000 pounds of food, and $10,000 in donations.

Share Bear has been looking for food in all the wrong places, and he is now very hungry, and has been caught by local conservation officers!  Donations are being accepted to help bail out dear hungry Share Bear.  Don’t have a monetary donation?  How about extra food?  Share’s shelves (food bank) are near empty, and there is a great need for food donations!

The event is happening now, today, at Coquitlam Centre Mall, from 1pm to 6pm, outside the H&M entrance of the mall.

If you have some time, please visit the event for some family fun.  More info can be found here:  http://coquitlamcentre.com/content/feed-free-share-bear

Not available to visit the mall today?  Donate online at: http://www.sharesociety.ca.

If my kiddos cooperate and behave today, I may take the time to visit the event later this afternoon, and I’ll post about it tonight!

Hopefully Share Bear will be able to make bail tonight, and there will be enough food to stock up the shelves of the local food bank!!

What I’m drinking now

Mmmm mmmm, Coconut Water.  Packed full of electrolytes, less sugar than fruit juice, and satiating on a hot day!

I DO LOVE my fruit juice, and pop, however I’ve recently discovered the benefits of coconut water.  There are several different brands of coconut water.  Several of them add coconut flavoured jelly, coconut pulp, sugar, etc into their drinks.  I avoid those.  The additional additives do not tempt my taste buds, and in fact, I’ve dumped several of these down the drain, due to the unappetizing additional sugar content.  If I wanted a sugar-packed drink, I’d pick up a can of pop.

Pure coconut water… very thirst quenching.  And in fact, I’m drinking some now, as I type this!

Heavenly Coconut Bliss

I am on a dairy-free diet, and it’s been tough, especially when it comes down to desserts.  My favourite desserts are loaded with dairy – cakes, ice-cream, cookies, etc..  With summer weather on it’s way, I’ve been on the lookout for dairy-free ice-cream – specifically coconut ice-cream.  And I’ve found it, and I LOVE it.

Brand:  Luna and Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss

Flavour:  Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

Place to purchase:  Thrifty Foods

Bonus:  Organic, Soy free, Gluten Free, Vegan

 

 

 

The taste is to die-for, and if I had no worries for my waist-line, I could (and might) eat the entire container in one sitting (although I would probably regret it by getting sick, soon after).

I am the only dairy-free eater in the household, so the entire container of Coconut Bliss is mine.  I’m fine with it, since I definitely would not want to share.  I’m a Glutton for Coconut Bliss, and I will definitely be looking out for more flavours!

Target

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

Target is in my neighbourhood, here in Coquitlam, BC.  I’m not a cross-border shopper, and cannot compare it to Target in the US, but I am excited to have this retail giant here in Canada.  On the second weekend after it’s grand opening, I finally made my way to Target, and made my walkthrough, through the store.  With my husband, toddler, and baby, we made our way around the perimeter of the store.  There were crowds, and long line-ups but I was highly excited to make this trip.  I haven’t decided whether the hype is justified, but curiousity and excitement  got the better of me. Me, with one child, and husband with the other, we somewhat went our separate ways.  I was quite happy to see such a large selection of products, but at first glance, it seemed as though I was walking through a newly revamped Zellers – but nope, it was a Target – there was no mistaking that with all the iconic red and Target logos around.  As I continued my walkthrough, my comparisons to Zellers seemed off.  This was most definitely Target, and it was sleek and much improved from it’s predecessor.  A grand improvement for the shopping mall.

Shelves were neatly stocked, and I scanned the shelves for prices, deals, and products.  I was surprised at the food/grocery section – I didn’t see any fresh meats like poultry or fish, but there were milk and eggs, and tons of canned and boxed goods like cereal, soups, etc..  Prices were comparable to other stores, and some deals were slightly better.

I didn’t have enough time to scout out the men’s and women’s clothes and shoes, but I quickly scanned the kid and baby clothes, and the prices and styles definitely are within budget and are good quality.   As a mother of a toddler and baby, I would definitely return to purchase my children’s clothes from here – good prices, nice designs, good quality.  I definitely would not break the bank by shopping here.

I will return to Target soon.  Yesterday, I received my second flyer, ever, for Target.  I will be taking advantage of the deals and offers there, and my husband and I definitely need a more thorough walkthrough of Target in Coquitlam, in order to get a better gauge and comparison to other stores.  I am on the Target bandwagon though.  Target will be a new experience for me, and I hope it does not disappoint!