Fraser Valley & Metro Vancouver

Vancouver Christmas Market

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

It’s been a few years since my husband and I first attended the Vancouver Christmas Market. I was thrilled to see how it has grown! On now until December 24th, the market is located outdoors at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.

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This traditional German-style market is a great place to visit with your family this holiday season. There is live entertainment and fantastic traditional German gifts and products. The carousel kept my little guy happy, along with face painting, gingerbread cookie decorating; candle decorating was available, too.

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The Land of Boo at Highstreet

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Today Highstreet (3122 Mt Lehman Road), Abbotsford’s new open-air shopping centre will be transformed into The Land of Boo! Kids will enjoy this super family-friendly Halloween experience from October 21-31, 2013, hide and seek cats, pumpkin displays, Halloween trees and spooky music will transform Highstreet for everyone to enjoy.

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Apple Barn at Taves Family Farms

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

This weekend my family and I were invited to visit Apple Barn at Taves Family Farm. We had never been before, nor did we know much about it, so we were very pleasantly surprised! What a great local place for families to enjoy all that Autumn has to offer.

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This awesome farm boasts attractions such as a corn quest maze, bunny town, hayrides (so fun!), pony rides, bouncy barn, a pumpkin cannon (it’s loud – watch out for wee one’s ears), zipline, playground & slides, petting barn, cider press demonstrations and lots more!

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One of the most unique attractions at Apple Barn is the jumping pillow. Up to 30 people at a time can jump on this huge ground-level bouncy pillow. Kids young and old were giggling and squealing with delight as they ran across this. I can’t wait until my little guy is big enough to go on this! It looks like a riot.

The animals in the petting zoo were gentle. One goat had a little nibble at my boot, but otherwise they were well behaved and didn’t mind a toddler chasing after them.

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And of course Taves Family Farms has a big ol’ pumpkin patch, too! Pumpkins are sold by their weight and they have teeny ones up to fairly large sized Jack-o-Lanterns-in-waiting.

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There’s just so much to see and do at Apple Barn. There are playgrounds, slides, all sorts of stuff to keep the kids busy. The Apple Barn Country Store is really neat – it carries everything from freshly pressed cider to fudge to pies to pickles and fresh produce. Yum! The Cider Mill viewing area is a fantastic idea. Watch apples being prepared into fresh cider!

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After we had worn out the wee man at the Apple Barn, we went down the street to the U-Pick apple orchards. We came home with a bounty of fresh-off-the-branches apples that are huge and juicy and yummy.

This was our first family trip to a pumpkin patch and what a great one we chose! There really is so much more than I’ve captured here (toddler in tow = not a lengthy visit); I would recommend a visit to this great Abbotsford family attraction. It was a lot of fun!

After Apple Barn we headed over to Old Spaghetti Factory in Abbotsford. I hadn’t been in several years so it was nice to visit again. We all enjoyed some hearty pasta meals, all which came with soup or salad to begin with and ice cream for dessert. Our wee man was a big fan of the spaghetti! We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed, comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. The restaurant was full but the service was top notch and there was lots of cheer throughout the restaurant. It’s like an old friend – you forget how comfy it is here until you visit again. Located on Sumas Way, Old Spaghetti Factory is less than a 10 minute drive from Taves Family Farms. Perfect!

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What a great afternoon we enjoyed today! Thank you to Taves Family Farms, Old Spaghetti Factory and Slap Communications for the invitation.

Taves Family Farms Apple Barn
333 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford
www.tavesfamilyfarms.com

Old Spaghetti Factory
2030 Sumas Way, Abbotsford
www.oldspaghettifactory.ca

 

Disclosure: our admission (including a pumpkin & apples) and our meals were complimentary. All thoughts are my own.

 




Great Gatsby Garden Party

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Shannon and I recently attended the 1st Annual Great Gatsby Garden Party at Pretty Estates Resort.  Not only was this an amazing venue, but we loved the dress-up and get fancy theme!  If you’ve seen the recent movie version of the Great Gatsby, you’ll know that this era in history was an opulent, indulgent time where no amount of jewelry was too much, where the champagne flowed and where the parties lasted all night!

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Tourism Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Bucket List Contest

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

This is such a fun initiative by two local municipalities with so much summer fun to offer!

If you’re looking for fun and exciting events and activities this summer, look no further than your own backyard. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have definitely come alive this summer, with so many festivals and attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re having an adventure with the kids at Wild Play Element Park, dancing to Music on the Wharf or taking out of town guests to enjoy the scenery at Golden Ears, Tourism Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows encourages you to explore all the amazing things the area has to offer.

Throughout the summer, they’ll be providing Bucket Lists online, highlighting the best the region has to offer. From sumptuous dinners hosted by the Golden Ears Cheesecrafters to the entertaining Tomato Toss at the Haney Farmers’ Market, there is truly something for everyone. Best of all, enjoy a stay-cation in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and you could be eligible to win fantastic prizes all summer long.

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Simply download a Bucket List from the Tourism Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows website and bring it along as you check out the events and activities included on it. At participating locations, you’ll get a stamp (with purchase) that earns you an entry into the contest. Following the Tourism office on Twitter and tweeting or emailing them a photo or anecdote about summer fun in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows can also earn additional entries.

The summer Bucket Lists are sponsored in part by a wide range of local businesses and organizations, including: the Maple Ridge Downtown Business Improvement Association, Maple Ridge Strategic Economic Development, Pitt Meadows Economic Development, Heather Hills Golf, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, Osprey Village, Wild Play Element Park, the Haney Farmers’ Market, Hopcott Meats, Meadows Maze, The ACT and Stomping Grounds Coffee House. They’ve joined forces out of love for the community and belief that there are so many fabulous attractions in the area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Look for more contest information online at www.mapleridge-pittmeadows.com and around town and enjoy a stay-cation this summer in beautiful Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows!




Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour 2013

Friday, July 19th, 2013

When the weather warms up or when visitors come to town, one of my favorite things to do is the Circle Farm Tour!  It is such an amazing way to visit some of the local businesses in the area and I love showing off what the Fraser Valley has to offer.  We are so lucky in B.C.!!

For those of you who haven’t heard of or been on a Circle Farm Tour, it is a self-guided tour that you take to the locations of your own choice once you’ve picked up one of the easy-to-follow maps.  These maps highlight a variety of specialty farmgate vendors, open-air markets, display gardens, artisans and restaurants in the area.  The tour maps are available for multiple cities and districts, including Abbotsford, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, Langley, Chilliwack and Agassiz & Harrison Mills. Kristi attended the media tour in Langley last week!

I (Shannon) had the pleasure of taking the Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour and as usual, I was not disappointed.  In fact, I occasionally feel embarrassed about not having been to some of these awesome places sooner. Shame on me for not exploring my own backyard, right?

The first stop on our Circle Farm Tour was at the lovely Taves Family Farm & Apple Barn, which I’d heard so much about, but never had the chance to visit.

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Langley Circle Farm Tour 2013

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Circle Farm Tour is a self-guided tour (a detailed map) that directs participants to a variety of specialty farm-gate vendors, open air markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, fairs and other special events. You travel in your own car, at your own pace, when it suits you. Visit one, or all, of the locations in a day. Each stop may not specifically be a farm, but all are related in some way to agriculture and the area’s farming heritage.

Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Agassiz Harrison Mills and Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows are the participating communities. We recently hopped aboard a media tour of the 2013 participants on the Langley Circle Farm Tour for a sneak peek at this season’s participants. I’ve been on a few of them and this year has some great new additions. Do put it on your list of summer to-dos!

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BAM!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Although we may not like to admit it, for many of us, especially women, there is a level of identity and attachment to the locks on our heads.  We cut it, color it, style it, curl it, comb it, pin it and look for ways to make it shiny and soft.  It represents an element of youth and beauty.  I personally can’t imagine how it would feel to go from having a full head of long, healthy hair to having none within only two weeks’ time.

This extreme story of hair loss became reality for one of the founders of BAM!, which stands for Bold Alopecia Movement.  What is Alopecia, you ask?  It’s an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks its own hair.  It sounds crazy, but it’s true.  Alopecia can have varying degrees of it, from bald spots to total body hair loss, in both men and women.  It affects 2% of the global population.

BAM! is a non-profit foundation that is aimed to help people with alopecia feel confident again.  It is a support group started by co-founders Tanya Huang and Erin Leach.

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Knot Theory Creative Director Tanya Huang, who has had alopecia since age 10, shared her personal story with a video that went viral on Facebook and Youtube and received an outpouring of support, which fueled her desire to make a positive impact in the alopecia community.

Co-founder Erin Leach, shared her personal story of rapid hair loss with us at a recent fundraiser/fashion show held at Ginger62.  It was really inspiring to hear how far Erin has come since losing her hair in such a short time and discovering that she had the condition.  She credits her progress to her supportive family and friends.

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London Drugs Fall Cosmetics Preview 2013

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Last week Shannon and I attended the exclusive fall cosmetics preview with London Drugs. What an incredible event. We were SO spoiled! Let me tell you all about it…

First of all we were picked up from the Vancouver Heliport and taken by London Air helicopter over to YVR South Terminal. My first helicopter ride!!! The flight was 8 minutes in total. I’ve never seen our beautiful Vancouver from above like that! I’m terrified of flying, so I was all ready to cuddle Shannon if necessary, but it was such a smooth, fun flight. What an experience… I would have felt spoiled enough with that flight alone!

We arrived at YVR South Terminal and were taken by limousine to the London Air hangar. Well, let me tell you that London Drugs thoroughly outdid themselves! The decor was all white and teal, London Air colours. Look at this setup! Checking out new and exciting cosmetics and hair trends while mingling amongst London Air choppers and jets? Fun!

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There were 16 of London Drugs’ top beauty partners at the event. Each had their own area set up for us to visit, learn, sample and get dolled up. In attendance, and spoiling us rotten, were:

*NYX
*Mineral Fusion
*Annabelle
*Cargo Cosmetics
*Layla Cosmetics
*Revlon
*Maybelline
*Lise Watier
*LashEm
*John Frieda
*Red Carpet Manicure
*got2b
*Nexxus
*Conair
*Jouviance
*London Drugs Skin Analysis

It was a wonderful evening where members of the media and other VIPs were allowed to sample all of the great new products that are either available now, or will be available at London Drugs in the next few months. We sampled nail polish from a great new Italian line called Layla Cosmetics (my new favourite), Red Carpet Manicure (DIY gel nails), Maybelline (polka dots!) and Lise Watier (their nail polishes have a LIGHT shining down the brush). John Frieda was offering lovely hair product samples and Conair twisted and twirled our locks with their new Curl Secret device. We both had our skin analyzed with the London Drugs Skin Analysis machine – that was informative, and my skin is healthier than I thought, so yay me!

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My makeup bag is now full of awesome, vibrant new eyeshadow, blush, liners and mascara shades from Revlon, Maybelline, NYX, LashEm, Mineral Fusion and Annabelle. If you see this tired mama looking a bit more colourful from now on – it’s thanks to them! Our faces are enjoying some TLC from Jouviance, a new fave of ours.

We left this event with tons of samples, new product information and a great preview into what is available at London Drugs. I truthfully didn’t realize how many cosmetics partners London Drugs had. Since the event I have visited my local store and took a look at all of their lines. It’s quite an extensive list! I even purchased a product I had sampled at the event – one of the great bronzers from Mineral Fusion.

We are looking forward to sharing some of these fab new products with you over the coming months. First up for me is going to be the Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, from NYX. Dear pencil, where have you been all my life??

Thank you so much to London Drugs, London Air for your hospitality. You certainly threw the event of the season!

www.londondrugs.com




Howdy, Partner! Krause Berry Farms Launches Estate Winery

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Within Langley (and throughout the Fraser Valley), Krause Berry Farms is known as the destination for all things berry. From berry pies and teas to berry ice cream and perogies (!!!), you name it and they probably make it. Since I love berries (and wine), I was thrilled to receive an invitation to help Krause Berry Farms celebrate the grand opening of their estate winery!

Krause Berry Farm

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