Kids & Family

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.

Land of Boo

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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.

 




Sponsored: Netflix Families

Friday, July 12th, 2013

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Netflix.

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Netflix has been very well loved in our home for the past year or so. It began when I was bedridden during pregnancy and completely bored with what I could find on cable TV. My husband and I both enjoy the selection of movies, full TV series, new releases and great documentaries. It costs us $7.99/month, we can easily login to watch Netflix from a variety of our devices and there are NO commercials to suffer through/fast forward!

Now that we have a one year old in the house, we have been using Netflix even more often. He doesn’t watch a lot of it, but when older friends are over to play we often watch a quick show of Dora or Sesame Street. I like how Netflix categories the kid’s section by character. A neat idea!

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The Beach Club Resort, Parksville BC

Friday, June 21st, 2013

My family and I are in Parksville this weekend so I can participate in the Parksville Qualicum Beach QR Code Road Rally 2013.

We are being graciously hosted by The Beach Club Resort, a gorgeous luxury hotel in downtown Parksville, right on the beach. Check out the view from our room. We are on the 5th floor of the tower. I’ve also stayed right on the beachfront and the views from any of these suites is incredible.

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I love this place. Chrissy and I stayed here a couple of years back when we visited the area for our Parksville Adventure.

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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!

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Extra Helping Food Drive™

Sunday, April 21st, 2013
Charitable giving generally isn’t top of mind this time of year, but with an average of 96,000 individuals, 29.5 per cent of whom are children, relying on food banks in British Columbia each month, donations continue to be critical this spring.

From April 19 – May 9, 2013, Real Canadian Superstore®,  nofrills® and Extra Foods® locations in B.C. (and across Canada) are holding their annual spring Extra Helping™ Food Drive.

Extra Helping Food Drive

How can you help? You can help your local food bank by purchasing or bringing nutritious, non-perishable food items to put in the Extra Helping™  donation bins in the stores. You may also make a cash donation at check out. One hundred per cent of the food raised in the community stays with the local community food banks.

When you are shopping at one of these stores, you will see this sticker on some shelves. This indicates a ‘most needed’ item at the local food banks.

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Here is a list of their most needed items:

  • canned fish/meat
  • natural peanut butter
  • whole wheat pasta and rice
  • pasta sauce
  • beans and legumes
  • low sodium meals in a can (hearty soups, stews, chili, etc.)
  • canned fruit and vegetables
  • whole grain/low sugar cereal
  • baby food, formula and supplies (diapers, etc.)

Every donation is helpful, whether it’s one extra jar of pasta sauce you can afford to add to your weekly grocery list, or several of the above items. Every contribution means a meal for someone in your community who needs a helping hand. Thanks for considering donating to this program.




Review: Liberte Baby Yogurt

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I’m excited to have been one of the people to join the YMC testing panel and try out Liberté baby, a brand new yogurt line for wee ones. My son is 9 months old and I was planning to introduce dairy now, so this worked out perfectly!

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The first flavour, or Step 1, is plain yogurt. The box says it is lightly sweetened. This is the one we tried first, as it specifies this one is for ages 9 months plus.

He wasn’t sure if he liked it or not. The texture is super creamy – that part I don’t think he minded. But it is plain yogurt and though it is ever so slightly seasoned, it’s still quite tart. I tried it myself and loved it, but I really enjoy plain yogurt. The creamy consistency is fantastic; I would eat this yogurt myself.

The Step 2 notes that it is for 12 months plus, but I allowed him to taste it anyways. This one was banana flavoured and, at first, received the same – I think the texture was new and interesting. Cold, creamy, thick… a little different from warm pureed yams or crunchy puffs! With this flavour he asked for more and ate several spoonfuls happily. Clear sweet tooth, this kid. Just like his Mummy. It’s a nice, subtle banana taste. Too many banana flavoured foods taste like sickly banana marshmallow candies – yeeeeuck! This is refreshing.

At $2.69 for a 4 pack where I purchased it, this is decently priced. Each container is a good portion, maybe even a little too much for my 9 month old at this point. I think we will buy this again in a few more weeks and give it another go.

I found Liberté baby at Planet Organic in Coquitlam. Apparently it is available at several Walmart locations through the Lower Mainland.

For more information about this product, visit Liberte.ca. To read additional reviews, stay tuned to YummyMummyClub.ca!




Zoku Chocolate Banana Cream Pops

Monday, April 8th, 2013

30 Days of Pinterest – Day 7

 

The Pin!

After making a cool treat for our doggie, I got a little jealous and decided I wanted to make a cool treat for myself! I first discovered the Zoku Quick Pop Maker at the Pacific National Exhibition (Vancouver’s PNE) last summer and instantly fell victim to the salesperson’s excellent spiel. Freeze popsicles on your counter in 7 minutes? Yes please! The ability to make popsicles with your own fresh pressed juice? Yum! And don’t even get me started on the ability to make your own core pops (think d.i.y. creamsicles)!

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The Project Process:

I have a whole board on Pinterest with Zoku recipes, but almost any popsicle recipe will work in the Zoku. The main exceptions are that you should avoid pop (unless it’s gone completely flat), artificial sweeteners or sugar-free juices. For some reason, the pops need to have at least a touch of sugar in order for the pops to slide out of the mould easily.

I was feeling like a creamier popsicle this evening, so I settled on the Banana Cream Pie recipe, with a few variations.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of  Prepared Vanilla (or any kind of pudding, really – I used banana)
  • 1/4 cup of extra milk
  • Bananas

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Since I didn’t have pudding already made, I started with this step first. I made the pudding according to the directions, and since I was craving something a little chocolately, I decided to add a few teaspoons of cocoa powder to the mixture. Once it reached the boiling point, I removed the pot from the burner and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Because I wanted the chocolate pudding mixture to cool as quickly as possibly, I transferred the mixture into a bowl and placed it in the fridge for 15-20 mintues. If you are able to do this portion ahead of time (i.e. the morning before making the pops) it would be ideal; as this would give the mixture time to properly chill.

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Next I cut up the bananas and got them ready to be placed in the mould while the chocolate pudding mixture was cooling. You’ll want to use the placement tool that comes with the Zoku. Alternatively, if you do not have a Zoku, it is worth mentioning that any popsicle mould will do just fine for this recipe. You may not get the same ‘bananas on the outside’ look, but they will all taste the same!

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Once the pudding mixture is cool enough, add the extra 1/4 cup of milk and stir to blend. I ended up adding a bit extra on top of the 1/4 cup, as I found my mixture was still a touch too thick. I placed my bananas along the outside of the mould, placed my sticks and poured in my delish pudding mixture.

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About 10 minutes later, I had 3 delicious (although not quite beautiful) chocolate banana pudding pops! It took a little bit longer than usual because my pudding mixture was not thoroughly chilled before adding it to the mould, but they still turned out great! Next time, I plan to make my pudding mixture ahead of time, so it decreases my prep time later on.

Do you have a Zoku Quick Pop Maker? If you do, how much do you love it?




Frosty Paws!

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

30 Days of Pinterest – Day 6

 

The Pin!

Our kitchen has been so full of yummy treats lately, that I thought it was about time to do something for our wee doggie, Rolo! Since he’s a Bichon Frises (which is a fairly small breed), he tends to have a more sensitive stomach than other breeds. It wasn’t until I seen this pin that I learned that “Frosty Paws” are actual doggie treats made by Nestle – who knew?! Unfortunately, we usually have to be very careful with the type of treats we feed him, so I jumped at the opportunity to make a natural version of them at home!

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The Project Process:

The best part about these treats are the readily available ingredients. In fact, even though these treats are meant for doggies, they are 100% human friendly as well. Bonus!

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces of yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 tbsp honey (omit if your family pet is still a young puppy)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

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Since this is my first time making homemade treats for my pooch, I actually made half a batch as a trial run. Like the original pin mentions, this is one of those recipes that you can really play with to suit whatever you have in your kitchen. It originally called for plain yogurt, but I only had strawberry in the fridge, so I decided to give it a go. The only reason I would opt for plain yogurt in the future is because I would prefer to watch the sugar content, and add fresh fruit instead.

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Like banana bread, this is a great way to use up those bananas that are starting to get a little soft. If your bananas are still  a little firm, mush them up with a fork or masher before combining all the ingredients. I then added all of the ingredients into the bowl of my mixer, and set to medium until thoroughly combined (a hand mixer works just as good).

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Once mixed all together, pour into ice cube trays (or egg cartons) and pop in the freezer. It’s that easy! You can make the cubes as full as you’d like, but I made mine about half full since my guy’s so little. That, and I dislike half melted things on my carpet (it happens with full sized ice cubes all the time)!

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Once they are completely frozen and ready to go, I recommend letting them sit on the cupboard for a short amount of time to make them easier to remove. They won’t pop out as easy as ice cubes, so they might need a little help from a butter knife. For ease of access later on, I removed them all from they tray at the same time, and put them into a freezer bag for storage.

As for our beloved taste tester’s opinion?  He ate them up so quickly that I’m pretty sure he didn’t even taste them – so that’s a winner in my books!




Bunny Bread Bowl

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

30 Days of Pinterest – Day 3

The Pin!

This Easter I was feeling the need to get in touch with my crafty side. My son is just 8 months old, so he wouldn’t yet appreciate my creative efforts. Instead, I turned to Pinterest and looked up something neat to take as an appetizer to Easter dinner.

The first thing that popped up was this Easter Bunny Bread bowl and I thought it was hilarious and adorable. I had to make one!

The recipe called for frozen bread dough, which I didn’t have on hand. So I took a quick detour over to one of my favourites – Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Here I also found a great bunny bread recipe and it was soooo easy. It literally took me 15 minutes to make the dough in my KitchenAid mixer and to form my rabbits (yes, rabbits, I made two!). They sat to rise for 30 minutes, baked for 20 and, voila, I had some adorable bunnies!

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For one of my Easter parties I was asked to bring something chocolate. Easter = Easter eggs, so I loaded up on some tasty Lindt eggs and popped them into Mr. Rabbit’s belly. For the second party I made the same well in the belly, kept the bread for dipping, added a few carrots to the platter and filled his belly up with a yummy artichoke dip. I was really feeling fancy at this point, so I even popped on a little pink icing onto his nose. :)

These breads were so simple to make, a great conversation piece and the bread actually tasted really yummy! It is something I will most definitely make again. Perhaps I’ll try fashioning other bread bowl animals throughout the year, ha ha.