5 Great

5 Great Things To Do This Fall

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Since the weather has clearly shifted into the fall season, I thought now would be a great time to start reminding myself that there really are great things to love about this time of year! If you’re anything like me, you know how difficult it can be to get used to the dreariness of it all. Too cheer myself up, I thought I would put together a list of great things to do this fall – and it’s already helping me get into the spirit.

So, grab a pumpkin spice latte, your favourite quilt and a ginger snap cookie, and get ready to embrace fall for everything it has to offer!

1. Bring the Outside, In!

We know, we all have the best of intentions when it comes to bringing all the warm tones of fall into the living room, but somehow they seem to be left dangling from our internet inspiration boards. This year, avoid getting overwhelmed by starting small (and early). Pick up a few gourds during your next visit to the grocery store, or a vase full of orange or dark red mum’s from the florist. These touches cost less than $5 and are a great way to set the tone for Thanksgiving dinner.

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5 Great Recipes for Fresh Summer Strawberries

Friday, June 7th, 2013

This contest is now closed – congratulations Janelle, Deborah S, Yvette S & Bettina!

The u-pick strawberry season is just around the corner, and I’m excited to say that this will be the first year that I’ll be heading out to pick strawberries together along with my family and a few friends. While visiting Krause Berry Farms last week, we learnt that their u-pick crop is scheduled to open sometime between June 10th & 15th this year, and since I’m going to need a lot of strawberries for my upcoming wedding, u-pick seemed like a great experience (and way to save  a little money)!

Since not everybody will be making a ton of strawberry favours this summer (like me), here are a few amazing strawberry recipes to inspire you to head out a pick a few pounds for yourself!

1. Champagne Strawberry Dressing

This recipe is a favorite in our household, and it’s been a hit when made both with and without the champagne! It tastes so sweet and dessert like but it’s healthy – best thing ever! It goes great with a spinach salad, throw on a few almonds, sweet onion and a few extra strawberry pieces and you’ll be craving salad all summer long! PS – if you think the rest of the champagne might go to waste, try purchasing a package of four small bottles of champ instead of one big one!

Strawberry Dressing

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Fabric Gift Wrap

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

30 Days of Pinterest – Day 13

The Pin!

As some of you may know, I work as a personal shopper. I have all kinds of clients, from helpless husbands to corporate folks to those who just want someone to source something unique. I’m good at my job. I don’t often say so out loud, but I am resourceful, creative and thoughtful with my gifting. However, I SUCK at wrapping presents. If a client ever asks me to wrap, if it’s not a gift basket, I hire someone else. No joke. From awkward corners to tape in the wrong spots, whatever I try to wrap just looks terrible. But this poses a problem, because I’m not a fan of the gift bag. I like nice wrapping, my motor skills just don’t make it happen.

Soooo… I have been looking for something different. Here is my go at wrapping a gift with fabric. This is what I started with… super uninspired, eh?


First things first – acquire fabric. I decided to practice with a pashmina and one of my son’s blankets, ha ha. Knowing my track record with craft fails, I thought it best before I spent money on some beautiful fabric. My intention is to head to one of the south Asian fabric stores we have locally; they have the best, brightest fabric in every colour of the spectrum!

So I headed over to Pinterest to figure out how on earth one makes this happen.

My very first go at fabric gift wrap!


Pinterest led me to a site called Furoshiki. This awesome site has fabric wrap for purchase, as well as accessories and so many fun fabric wrapping techniques. If you love pretty gifts, you must check out this site. It’s fantastic.

I tried six or seven techniques; they are very simple.

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 8.18.00 AM

What do you think? I think it’s neat. One thing I would suggest is that a firmer, less sheer fabric folds with crisper edges, making the technique for each a bit more impressive. As well, at some points I felt like I needed a third arm. For larger gifts, or really tight, impressive corners and folds, you may want to enlist a wrapping partner.

I’m looking forward to creating some of my own bottle wraps and flowers wraps sometime soon, too.

Now I’m off to collect some fabric and I think I’ll also pin on some wedding bells & flower accessories found at places such as Michaels.

5 Great Summer Date Ideas

Monday, August 20th, 2012

After all the camping trips, family reunions and busy neighbourhood BBQ’s have taken place, it’s time to make the most of the rest of summer, right here in the Fraser Valley. We think late August is the perfect time to sneak off for a few hours and head out on a summer date with your sweetie. Who knows, with all this great weather we’ve been having, you might even be able to fit in more than one!

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5 Great Metro Vancouver Day Trips

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Even though we love our Fraser Valley and everything it has to offer, every once in a while we get the itch to go on a bit of an adventure! Day trips are a great way to get out and explore what’s beyond your front door, without having the additional cost of spending the night away. We love that these 5 great day trip ideas are far enough away to feel like a mini vacation, but close enough to home to avoid packing a suitcase! 

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5 Great Fraser Valley B&Bs

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

If you’re looking to get away this summer but don’t want to go too far away, the Fraser Valley has some amazing bed and breakfasts that are perfect for a quiet little retreat. Whether you feel like getting out and touring the area or staying in and reading, and whether you need a romantic weekend for two or a getaway for the entire family, these five great bed and breakfasts have lots to offer. Bed and breakfasts offer a warm alternative to a hotel stay, too. So when those summer guests are checking in from out of town, be sure to look for a B&B in your neighbourhood.

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Fraser Valley Spa Parties For Girls

Monday, June 11th, 2012

It doesn’t take long before little girls discover the wonders of brightly painted and sparkly fingers and toes and learn to delight in warm, bubble baths that soothe and pamper the body.  The fun and delight at the chance to be “just like Mom”, green goopy face mask and all, has companies bringing the spa to your own home for birthday parties and Mommy-and-Me time alike.

These Fraser Valley in-home spa party companies offer a range of spa services and target a variety of budgets as well.  While some parties are geared towards specific age groups, others are inclusive for all-ages.  The best part about these parties is that they bring all the products and supplies needed for the party, so you can just sit back and enjoy.

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5 Great Fraser Valley Fish & Chips Restaurants

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Growing up as a fisherman’s daughter, fish and chips were always a family favourite in our household. Now that I’m all grown up (and adjusting to a life without fresh fish at my fingertips), I’ve learnt just how difficult it can be find a great plate of fish and chips! This month we set off in search of the traditional British favourite, and were surprised to find great fish and chip restaurants throughout the Fraser Valley – not just White Rock! Whether you are new to the fish and chip idea, or are a long time fan, we promise you’ll love the mouth-watering plates these restaurants serve up!

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Fraser Valley Hot Yoga

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

While yoga has been around for quite a while, it has risen as a popular workout trend in the last few years, appealing to a mainstream group of spiritually-minded individuals and athletes alike.  It has become a regular fixture on class schedules from fitness gyms to recreation centers and private yoga studios have popped up in many neighborhoods.

Yoga is a great complement to other high impact sports and exercises.  It allows you to stretch, tone and challenge your body in ways you might not be able to otherwise.  Through yoga, you can learn methods to calm the mind, release muscle tightness, build core strength and focus on proper alignment of the body, among other benefits.

Hot yoga has become widely popular as many people like the benefit of warmed muscles from the heated room.  I have to say the warmth suits me well as I don’t consider myself to be a very flexible person.  Oh, and the warm room also feels like a mini vacation to Mexico.  You can’t go wrong with that, right?

I’ve been going to yoga for a few years now, but hot yoga is somewhat new in my world and it wasn’t until I recently tried a few different classes that I really learned what separates one type from the other.  Most of the hot yoga classes I had been to were a standard yoga style, such as Hatha, in a heated room. The room is usually between 25° – 30° Celsius to start, with the source of heat coming from heat lamps or infrared heat.  Generally, the postures practiced in each class are different from one to the next and the class length ranges from 45 – 60 minutes.

To mix things up, I thought I’d try Bikram yoga, which is practiced in a room where the temperature begins at 41° Celsius, is 90 minutes long and the same twenty-six postures are practiced each class.  While I prepared myself physically by drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, I wasn’t prepared for the mass amounts of sweat and mental challenge of this class.  My first clue of what to expect should have been the groups of people sitting outside the yoga room, dripping in sweat in their barely-there workout gear.  These people were red-faced, sweating, and looking like they had just been chased by a Lion in the desert.  I instantly knew I was overdressed.

Once in the studio, I let my body adjust to the heat and carefully placed my towel beneath me.  The instructor barked the directions for each pose as we followed along like a sweaty batch of Gumby dolls.  There is a lot of focus on proper alignment and it was helpful to have the teacher provide slight tweaks or suggestions throughout the class.  I managed to make it through the class without passing out, and physically pushed myself further than I thought I could go.  I was exhausted, mentally beat and not sure I could do another class.

Somehow, I made it through a few more classes, but have since returned to my “regular” hot yoga class and love it even more than before.  After stepping out of my comfort zone to try something new, I learned that a) you have to enjoy the form of exercise that you choose to do or you won’t stick to it b) you are capable of more than you know and c) unless you try, you won’t know if it’s for you.

Are you a hot yoga fan? Where do you practice in the Fraser Valley?

2012 Cloverdale Rodeo – Live Blog

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Today we are at the 66th annual Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair! Year after year, locals and visitors look forward to the May long weekend festivities here in Surrey. When we say there is something for everyone, we aren’t kidding! If you’ve never been, fear not. The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is on all weekend long – hope to see you here!

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