The Perfect Family Getaway to Penticton BC

Staycation Getaway to Penticton BC

Summer is here and we know that finding family-friendly places to visit is a must for family vacations especially right now with everything that is going on with COVID. Penticton, British Columbia is a somewhat undiscovered beauty to many tourists and BC residents. Luckily for us, we took full advantage of this!

Known for sun, sand and delicious wines, Penticton has all the right ingredients for a perfect relaxing getaway for the entire family. Breath easy on the soft sandy beaches or splash around in two of the big lakes, better yet – the adults can test their tastebuds at over 70 different wineries all within a half-hour of each other.penticton trips

Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre

When it came time to decide where we wanted to go for a quick 2-night getaway this past July, Rick and I both knew we didn’t want to be driving for more than a few hours tops. Immediately we thought of Kelowna but were in need of some lake views and easy beach access. We pondered with the idea of maybe going to Osoyoos but most hotels had already been booked well into September so we decided to look around the area when we stumbled upon Penticton.

The Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre which is right in the heart of the Okanagan Valley seemed like the perfect fit for us. It was smack dab on the lake with views for miles, wineries within 10-minutes and beach access within minutes we knew we wanted to stay here. Plus, they had plenty of availability to choose from.

The one major downside to staying here was the lack of updates in the rooms and furniture. Some of our furniture and decor had stains and small tears and there were nicks and dents in the tables. These rooms could definitely use a bit of TLC. However, with that being said, the location of the room was fantastic as we got to enjoy lake views from every angle and our patio was fabulous.

The weather wasn’t bad – it was a bit cooler the weekend we went so didn’t get as much beach time as we wanted but overall there was no rain so we were happy!dirty laundry

Local Winery Visits

Surprisingly we managed to fit in a total of 12 wineries with a 4.5-year-old over the span of the 2-days. We had only made 2 reservations as many of the wineries in the Okanagan are doing so to limit the number of people who are coming in and out. However, there is still a good handful that does allow walk-ins and frankly, we just got lucky at some places. Below is the list of wineries we hit and a little about each.

Our first stop on the Thursday was to Dirty Laundry in Summerland. Rick really likes their rose and I had heard it was such a cool location – you know with negligee hanging about.  Dirty Laundry has such an interesting history (which is not so hush-hush) behind it and I love that the tasting staff share it with such pride and excitement. Not to mention they have one heck of a pizza place right on the property. Pizza and wine, could it get any better?

The next two wineries we then hit before taking it easy and having a pool and lake day were Three Sisters Winery and Township 7 Vineyards. The first of the two, was Three Sisters Winery, which pursues its commitment to the environment by reducing packaging, using lighter weight bottles and ambitious targets for energy saving, waste reduction and sustainability. I wasn’t as big of a fan as a lot of their wines were on the drier side, but Rick really liked one so that came home with us.

Up next, a name that we’re familiar with as we have a Township 7 right here in Langley, BC. This was our last stop on Thursday and it was the perfect one to close the day. We took our tasting flights out to their back picnic area and sat amongst the vines. Ry had a blast running around and exploring while we were able to enjoy and sip our wine (slowly). Again the wines here are much more on the drier side so not something I’d typically go for.

Fridays Winery Ventures

Friday was a pretty successful day we’d say in terms of what we were able to accomplish. The one winery we were dying to try was Painted Rock as they only serve red wines (which are mine and Ricks go-to choice when it comes to wine). The property is absolutely breathtaking and the winery itself is so classy and modern with a sexy sophisticated edge. We happen to have the first tasting of the day at 11:00 am and we were graciously served by John Skinner himself, the owner and mastermind behind Painted Rock. It was so fascinating to hear how he came up with the idea and how he has a passion and love for when and realized “if my friend can do it, I can do it”. Honestly, we could have stayed there all day and are looking forward to going back!

Next up, and likely a close tie to being our favourite was Crescent Hill. Tysha Pope one of the winemakers and owners of the winery was so lovely and made our tasting experience such fun! It’s a small tasting room so we had the whole place to ourselves. I have to commend them on some kick-ass branding. The images and artwork are so different and sassy, they really are eye-catching. We ended up purchasing three bottles from here, two Hissy Fit which is a 2016 Blush and my favourite the 2018 Sparkling Blush – First Crush. If you’re in the Penticton area this is a must stop!

Then to round off the day we made stops in at Play Winery, Da Silva Vineyards and Winery and Time & Evolve Cellars before heading back to the hotel and grabbing a bite to eat at the Hooded Merganser.

Also, if you’ve ever been to Penticton or are planning on going you have to stop in at The Peach Ice Cream Shop – on the beach (no intention of rhyming there). Serving up some fun and funky ice cream cones along with their crazy shakes, if you’re looking for that perfect Instagram worthy shot and wanting to indulge in something super sweet this is the place to go.The Peach in Penticton

Homeward Bound

On our way home, we had said we had to stop and get some local produce aka peaches. Did we? No… let’s just say the addition of about 4 more wineries stopped that from happening. I should note, Rick was the one doing the majority of the tastings I was having sips here and there so one of us was able to safely drive!

One winery I’d never heard of was 8th Generation Winery. The name goes without saying that 8 generations later, the story of this winery continues on. We ended up purchasing two bottles of their wine, one being Confidence 2019 (Frizzante) a new release with tasting notes of Wild strawberries, Rainer Cherries. It was quite crisp and tasted of fresh field berries mingle with a hint of pink grapefruit. I’m a sucker for a little bubble so this was a super nice touch. Also to curb my sweet tooth we grabbed a Late Harvest wine that is meant to be like a dessert wine.

Finally to round off our wine-ventures we stopped into Sumac Ridge Estate WineryBlack Sage VineyardSteller’s Jay, Summerland Estate Winery and Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards at Greata Ranch.

It’s safe to say we had a jam-packed but fun time in Penticton and are looking forward to maybe making this an annual trip!

fitz winery penticton

Grow your own Magic with My Fairy Light Garden

A Toy that’s Also a Real, Live Garden!

My fairy garden is the first of its kind: a toy that’s also a real, live garden! Children love kits that allow them to grow plants at home; it gives them a connection to nature and a sense of satisfaction at having nurtured a living thing. Fortunately enough, Playmonster was kind enough to send us our very own My Fairy Garden Fairy Light Garden!

My Fairy Garden takes it to a new, exciting level by allowing children to interact with it as part of an enchanting playset! Children plant the seeds, and care for their garden, all while setting up and playing with adorable fairies, woodland friends and accessories! I know what you’re thinking – and yes this toy is also okay for boys. My son has always loved to help me garden and watch our plants grow so I knew this would be right up his alley.

Each kit includes everything children need to grow their very own fairy garden, nurture the plants, and play in the fairy world they create!

my fairy garden

About My Fairy Garden

Did you know that fairies are everywhere? They are! Fairies love nature, so you’ll usually find them near flowers, trees, and toadstools or among other wild and beautiful plants.  If you’re wanting to invite a fairy into your home, creating a magical garden for them is the first step.

This set includes everything you need to make that special garden for the fairy Saffron and her beautiful unicorn. Saffron spends much of her time daydreaming in her garden, petting and chatting with her unicorn, Calista. Saffron especially loves her garden at nighttime when it’s quiet and peaceful. She blows on her magical mushroom home to activate magical lights and music to fully relax.

Once you build Saffron’s garden and start growing your own plants, you can have fun playing in your new fairy world.

Contents of this kit includes: Light house, bridge, waterwheel, watering can, gardening tools, seed packets, seed starter, Saffron the Fairy, Calista the Unicorn and the fairy flying-cord.

my fairy garden

Make it your Own

As you’ll see in the photos Ry and I decided to add our own plants after the fairy garden grew. Sadly we went away on holidays and the fairy garden was looking a little sad when we got home so we decided to re-plant and regrow. Don’t ask the plants, I let Ryerson take the lead and he grabbed what spoke to him. It’s so fun watching him create and be so fascinated with the nature that is right in front of him.

For those looking to get this or if you already have it, be sure to really make it your own though when you grow your garden. Add rocks, sticks, twigs, shells, etc. Why not even add some extra flowers or plants as we did?!

I also loved the fact this was a STEM toy. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s great for the kids to become educated on how things work in a fun way (also with a dose of magic).

Now, what are you waiting for… go plant some magic and watch it grow!

my fairy garden

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. The product was gifted in exchange for this blog post. 

Stacking Just Got a Whole Lot Sillier with Stacktopus

It’s Fun for the Whole Family

Nothing sayings being silly quite like putting funny objects on your fingers!

PlayMonster‘s Stacktopus is having players slip on silly sea fingers to become a stacking octopus…a Stacktopus!™ Stacking these cups should be easy, but when you’re wearing octopus arms on your fingers, it becomes silly competitive fun! Race to match your stack of cups to the card shown to win! It’s great fun for kids, but also for families—wearing the silly sea fingers levels the playing field for kids and adults! Best for only 2 to 3 Players.

stacktopus

Silly isn’t just for Kids!

When Ryerson received this game in the mail he was so excited. Talk about killer branding with a giant fun-loving Octopus on the side, what kid wouldn’t want to open the box immediately? Of course, dad had to join in on the fun (plus I don’t let Ry win if I’m playing #badmom hehe).

I will admit I have seen the octopus hands not just used for game-play… Ry likes to pretend to be an octopus and run around the house mostly scaring and annoying the cats, but sometimes he wants to just because. Sometimes the simplest games can keep the kids’ imagination running wild.

Rules of the Game

To play the game, kids draw from the included deck of 24 stack cards to receive their mission. From there, it’s a fast-paced race to see which player can complete the colourful stack on their card first. Kids (or even the adults) place three octo-fingers onto one hand to tackle the task. Nine of the awkward appendages are included, so up to three players can take part in the fun.

Stacktopus is a perfect addition to the game shelf for the entire family to enjoy. It’s a game that can be played quickly, stores easily, and will put smiles on faces all the way around. This game is recommended for 5 years and up but younger kids definitely can still join in.  Of course, Ry being younger didn’t always follow the rules but we made the best of it.

stacktopusDisclosure – This game was gifted and sent to us for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you PlayMonster and ChizComm.

Small Prints – Big Impressions

Smallprint Vancouver North, which specializes in handcrafted jewellery that captures the fingerprint of a loved one in silver. No moulds are taken; which means the silver keepsake has literally been touched by your loved one. Hand and footprints, drawings, and love notes can also be turned into silver jewellery. All items are handcrafted and hand engraved by Mahnaz (Naz), the owner, in her North Vancouver studio, from start to finish!

Heartfelt Impressions

When Naz reached out to me wanting to create some lifelong keepsake jewelry pieces I was floored. I had seen her work on other people and on social media so I was ecstatic to be working with her to create some unique items that were meaningful to me. The process was very easy. First, Naz sent over an inkless print kit where I was able to run a (wet wipe) a Magic Inkless Print Kit over Ryerson’s hands and feet and then press them onto this ‘special paper’. Then voila! His prints appeared (see image below).

small prints vancouver

Making A Mark

Additionally, I got Ryerson to write down his name and the word ‘MOM’ as this is something I wanted to be imprinted onto a charm for me to be able to wear as he grows. Something so simple yet meaningful, it seemed like the perfect choice to get on a piece of jewelry. I then took a photo of each of the pieces of paper where Ry wrote the names and emailed them to Naz. The rest was left in her magical hands.

The two pieces I had done up were a bracelet with the word ‘MOM’ and on the other side Ry’s handprint. Additionally, a keychain was made with both of Ry’s footprints and his name that he spelt out. On the back of the keychain was the date and his age so we were able to know exactly when the prints were taken.

small prints vancouver

Perfect for Every Day & Special Occasions

Smallprint Vancouver North offers a beautiful collection of handmade sterling silver keepsakes that are perfect at any time of the year.

Consider a unique handcrafted sterling silver jewelry piece or  personalized keepsake for:

  • Mother’s Day & Father’s Day
  • Birthday or a new birth
  • Engagement, Wedding or an Anniversary
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas
  • Graduation
  • or even just because! There are so many reasons why these pieces make a great gift.

Smallprint Vancouver North also offers Memory Treasures for the bereaved. These handcrafted and personalized memorial keepsakes can provide comfort to those with loved ones they are about to lose as well as preserving the memory of those who have already sadly passed.

Who Can Get Their Prints Done?

Anyone really! From children as young as newborns to their grandparents, loved ones of all ages can get their prints taken for your Smallprint keepsake. And did you know that you can also take your furry friends prints? Anything you’d like to get an impression of you can realistically.

small prints vancouver

Experiences that last a lifetime

When you choose a Smallprint Keepsake, you are getting the experience in addition to your personalized accessory. And it really only takes a matter of moments. The creation process happens right in front of your eyes and you’ll have a memory of exactly where you were when your special piece was made. I loved the idea that Ry was a bit older so I was able to get his hand and footprints in addition to some of his writing. I think it’s also adorable that you’re able to get an actual drawing your child has created done up and recreated into an everlasting piece of jewelry.

Which Smallprint Vancouver North pieces would you love to receive? What special memory would you like to carry with you most? Let me know in the comments below.

If you want more information on the Smallprint brand you can either visit the Facebook page or  Instagram.
Smallprint Vancouver North in the media.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Smallprint Vancouver North however, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Hair That’s Crafted

Crafting The Perfect Hair

As many people would know I haven’t changed my hairstyle in over a decade. And yes, that may seem a long time for most people for me I stick to what works. I’ve never been a fan of having someone touch my hair let alone getting it cut. Luckily for me, a long-time family friend who also happens to be a hairstyle had the daunting task to get me to try and step out of my comfort zone and work her magic on my long locks.

south surrey hair salon

Come for the Experience, Leave with Confidence

For those who aren’t familiar, Craft Academy Salon is located in South Surrey (with another location in East Vancouver) and specializes in providing its clientele with killer hair regardless if you’re just wanting a new hairstyle or to a beautiful blowout or banging new bob.  Guests who visit Craft Academy Salon can expect excellent customer service, a welcome tray including snack options upon arrival and an in-depth signature consultation, beauty haircare coaching, a welcoming, relaxed and enjoyable setting with passionate stylists and support staff capable of recommending the most innovative products and on-trend services available.

craft academy salon

Preparing a Masterpiece

Upon my first visit Heather basically ‘interviewed’ me if you will during our consultation. She asked me a handful of in-depth questions pertaining to me as a person, my hair goals and just overall lifestyle. I like to call this hair therapy. You strip everything down to the roots (no pun intended) and get down to what your hair needs, wants and desires are. You then go over the suggestions your stylist has and what she envisions and thinks is possible for your hair. Whether you’re a brunette and want to go platinum blonde they would never say ‘no’ to you but offer some of the best suggestions on how to achieve healthy hair while doing heavy bleaching or maybe another alternative that would suit you and your lifestyle better.

After we went over what my goals were and what I envisioned we set aside some time for my next appointment to begin the hair process but before I left Heather provided a quick scalp treatment called Kerastase Serum Extensionist. This bottle of goodness drenches your scalp with moisture and helps to strengthen the hair fibres to increase hair growth and protect your scalp from seasonal dryness. It is easy to use! Apply the serum with the applicator to the areas you experience oiliness, itch or dry scalp and within a couple of weeks your scalp will be noticeably happier and your hair will be growing stronger and longer! Just what I needed during this time of year.

Stylist at Work

Upon my next appointment – it was time to make the magic happen! At the chair, Heather did a custom hand-painted highlight and lowlight for my hair colour. This type of balayage was created to accentuate my new haircut and one that would look beautiful either straight for day-to-day or curled for a bigger event. Then at the sink, my hair was rinsed and a shine-enhancing gloss was applied as well as a Smartbond Treatment, followed by a relaxing scalp massage using one of the salon’s favourite Kerastase products.

Heather then suggested a few of their go-to products to keep your hair luscious and honestly just in good health after you leave the salon. Since I do straighten my hair every day or curl it my hair is constantly getting played with and having damage done by high heat. The blowdry cream that was suggested is Kerastase Nectar Thermique, which is to help with dry hair and to increase suppleness and shine while protecting the hair from heat styling, blowout to curls or straightening.  The end result will feel soft to touch as be so radiant and with regular use your hair is getting a hydrating treatment!

I, of course, needed a good hairspray recommendation and dry shampoo (because let me tell you this girl can’t go more than a day max two without washing her hair – let’s just say oily city). Besides Heather, she mentioned all the girls are in love with these products and use them daily themselves. The Kerastase Laque Couture hairspray is so lightweight that you can’t overuse it! A quick spritz of this beautifully scented luxury spray will add extra shine for your events and lock down the hair in all weather conditions. Keep your hair looking beautiful without a helmet! And drum roll, please… RandCo Skyline! THE BEST dry shampoo around (from what I was told). Puff it in to absorb scalp oils before bed to wake up with fresh clean hair! Apply it on day one after a blowout to add a gentle lift near the scalp. Use it to make your hair look full without backcombing! So many great uses for this gem!

Overall, my experience and knowledge I left Craft with were amazing! The entire staff is super hands-on and friendly that you get to know each and every person who is in the salon. I, of course, cannot thank Heather enough for doing such a fabulous job on my hair! I am definitely holiday-ready and just freshened up for the season and New Year to come!
If you’re looking for a refresh or just want to talk about your options make sure to call Craft Academy Salon in South Surrey and ask for Heather Hall! Tell them I sent you and you’ll be given a 15% off promo of your next service! *Offer subject to change at the discretion of the stylist.

Here are a few before and after photos of what we did to my hair!

Before

After

Craft Academy Salon
15240 BC-10 Unite 102, Surrey, BC
craftacademysalon.com

Jars by Jodi – Creating Magic in the Kitchen for the Entire Family

Jars by Jodi

I’ve got a major sweet tooth… there is no lie or shame in me saying that. So when I was originally introduced to Jars by Jodi a few years ago it was a match made in sweet-tooth heaven!

Jars by Jodi was originally created by none other than Jodi herself, when her husband and she were newly married and on a limited budget. They wanted to provide quality Christmas gifts to their extended family without breaking the bank. With the help of the trusty friend ‘Google’, Jodi searched for “quality gifts on a budget” and mason jar mixes popped up. They were a hit! A few years of growth later (…and a couple of kids later…) Jodi now has her mason jar cookie mixes available for purchase at various markets each year, in 5 local retail stores year-round, as well as for local pickup at her home in Pitt Meadows.

What are Jars by Jodi?

Jars by Jodi is a small business, located in Pitt Meadows, that sells all the baking ingredients for cookies or desserts, all layered in a mason jar.

Each holiday season Jodi comes out with your traditional Christmas mixes including Gingersnap, Christmas M&M’s and Christmas Mini Egg along with a handful of others. This year Ry and I opted to go with the Snickerdoodles and Christmas Mini Eggs. Well, let’s just say after the cookies were made I think they last less than 24 hours… which resulted in me eating vegetables and salad all the next day. Balance right?

Fun for the whole family

What Jodi has done by creating Jars by Jodi is allowing families and individuals not to stress about the mix and mess of making a batch of cookies. All you need is a bowl, spoon and a few other ingredients like milk, eggs, butter, vanilla you name it. Clean up is done in a matter of minutes! And most people already have those few items laying around their house. This has allowed families to max a batch of their favourite cookies in less time and enjoy the tasty benefits.

Having a four-year-old requires A LOT of patience and some days well it’s not there. So having something like this allows us to have some fun in the kitchen and lets him get messy so to speak and then watch what he’s created come to life! And let’s face it he’s the one whos going to be eating more of these anyways.

If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy afternoon, looking for a yummy treat when having guests over or looking for a unique and delicious gift look no further then Jars by Jodi!

For more information visit: https://jarsbyjodi.ca/ 

You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram!