A Bite for Every Occasion – Graze & Cardamom

Eat.Graze.Love

Graze & Cardamom brings the Australian ‘grazing’ trend to the Lower Mainland. With their luxury styled boxes and lavish grazing tables, they don’t settle for average. Let them spruce up any of your events with beautiful boxes and grazing tables lavished will all your favourite goodies. They source local, fresh, and premium produce, cheese, meats, & more with your taste in mind.

Graze & Cardamom

Grazing Boxes

Friday night with the girls? Date night? Pre-wedding festivities? Corporate Events? Open Houses? They’ve got you covered! For us, we were celebrating a Friday night in post-engagement. When you have a child romantic date nights out aren’t so common and become far and few in-between. So when we could have a little celebration right in the comforts of our home with our little one next to us it made for a lovely evening. Plus our toddler ate some of the boxes content so I’ll call that a win-win!

But regardless of what you’re celebrating, these graze boxes and tables are the perfect addition. Incorporating all the things from grazing platters into a simple box. They truly customize boxes to cater to what you exactly crave and need at that moment!Graze & Cardamom

What’s Included?

Filled with a mixture of different cheese, wholesome dips, a variety of crackers, fresh fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, meats, olives, nuts, pickles, something sweet, and more you can tailor these boxes to your every taste and preference. For us, we like to go heavy on the cheese and crackers less on the vegetables! But the way G&C customizes the boxes you get a little taste of everything and it pairs so well with one another. Let’s just say I was wanting more for the few days that followed!

Need a vegan box? They also offer that as well! The great thing about G&C is that they truly customize your box to ensure all items are diet-specific whether you’re gluten-free or vegan-friendly from the cheese, crackers, and everything in between. Rest assured you won’t need to comprise what dietary values you have.

If you’re interested in trying these boxes out and are curious about what size to order – here are the options they offer.

Box Sizes:

  • Small (2-4 people)

  • Medium (up to 12 people)
    Box Dimensions: 19” x 14”

  • Large (up to 18 people)
    Box Dimensions: 26” x 18”

Graze & Cardamom

Grazing Tables

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more lavished set up G&C’s luxurious graze tables are specially created and crafted for each event. All graze tables are customizable to cater to your guests whether it be a smaller group of 20 or to larger wedding parties of upwards of 100+ people.

At this time they offer three different types of graze tables: 1 metre, 1.5 metres, and 2 metres graze stations. If you’re looking for another size, please contact G&C directly to discuss further.

All graze tables include the same as the boxes just in a wider quantity and larger value. Items included are fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, cheeses, wholesome dips, meats, premium nuts, artisan bread varieties, crackers, olives, pickles, something sweet, and much more.

Graze & CardamomThe Perfect Bite

Our family couldn’t have been happier with our Friday night grazing box. Paired with a nice glass of wine, kid-friendly movie and good company we were set. Honestly, I’d even order a box after a long week alongside a nice glass of wine to indulge myself (and not share with anyone hehe). Besides that – these boxes are truly great for any type of occasion or simply just because – you don’t need to have a reason!

Thank you G&C for providing us with a small box to enjoy and celebrate!

This post was in partnership with G&C. All opinions are my own. The product was gifted in exchange for a post.

Long Weekend Staycation | The River Rock Casino Resort + Tourism Richmond

Boardwalk River Rock CasinoOver the Victoria Day Long weekend, my family was fortunate enough to have been invited by Vancouver Mom to the River Rock Casino Resort for a 2-night staycation thanks to Tourism Richmond. This was the perfect little getaway for our family with May being one of the busiest months for us to-date. With plenty of deadlines, birthdays, a trip to Vegas and just life with a toddler it was nice to be able to get away from all the hustle and bustle for those few days!

The River Rock Casino Resort

If you haven’t been to the River Rock before I suggest you make it a must-visit for your next family staycation or overnight outing. Situated right along the Fraser River the views from the boardwalk alone are simply breathtaking! Conveniently located nearly 5 km from Vancouver International Airport, the River Rock which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year offers upscale dining with three on-site restaurants, an indoor pool and hot tub, an award-winning spa, gym and of course a 24-hour casino including live entertainment. Did I mention how close the bus and Skytrain station is too? You will also find FREE parking which when it comes to going anywhere in the Lower Mainland is a big plus.

The highlight from our trip hands down had to be the saltwater pool complete with a whopping 70ft slide and the amazing food. We went to the pool three times on our first night there and we only checked in at 4 pm… so it’s safe to say Ryerson would have swum all night if he had the choice. For us parental units it was all about the food. Anytime we travel or stay overnight I like knowing we have options, but also that those options are actually good quality flavourful dishes. The buffet was West Coast-inspired with options ranging from pasta dishes to the traditional roast carvings and even sushi! Plus they served chicken nuggets and french fries, so that’s a win in my books right there. You’ll also find Curve Lounge where we were fortunate enough to have a family-style brunch the Sunday morning we checked out. If going out isn’t an option with the little ones opt-in for room service where a movie and eating in your pj’s is never a bad thing!

Swimming at River RockOur suite was very spacious for our family of three, with a queen bed and a sofa bed for the little one. The room also came equipt with a Nespresso machine, free WIFI, a 42-inch TV and complimentary bathrobes. We even had the cutest little personalized welcome gift waiting for us upon arrival. It’s truly the little things that make the trip that much more special.

Finally, no stay at River Rock is complete without a visit to Absolute Spa. Services include manicures, pedicures, massages and more. I chose to pamper myself with a pedicure seeing as we were off to Vegas in a few short weeks. I needed my feet feeling fancy and fresh! Taking some ‘me’ time during a staycation is always imperative for me. A quick break from the family makes me a way better mom and significant other! 

Richmond Night Market

Remember how I said everything was in very close proximity to the resort? Well if you’ve ever heard of the Richmond Night Market and were hoping to go – now is the time as they’re literally down the street from one another. The group of us were able to pack up our families and make our way without having to fight for a parking spot. And if you know me you’ll know I have major road rage… so this was super convenient and less anxiety-ridden. Plus it gave me the chance to walk off all the food we consumed.

I had been to the night market years ago when it had a different location, but wow! I can’t even begin to recall all the food that was coming and going but just the experience alone was something to rave about.

Final Thoughts

For those who are looking to take a family staycation for a change of pace The River Rock and Tourism Richmond have you covered! We loved every minute of our time there. It was such a relaxing weekend with just the right amount of busyness added in. We’re already talking about when we’re going back (maybe this time without our kiddo in tow).

A big thank you again to Vancouver Mom, The River Rock Casino and Resort, and last but not least Tourism Richmond for their amazing hospitality and creating some life-long memories for our family! We can’t wait for our next visit!

Family at River Rock Casino

This post was in collaboration with Vancouver Mom, The River Rock Casino and Resort, and Tourism Richmond. All opinions expressed are my own.

Charlie’s Colorforms City on Netflix // Spark Creativity

Charlie’s Colorforms City

As a parent keeping your kiddo entertained on a day-to-day basis is half the battle. I’ll be the first to admit screen-time is prevalent in our household and a lot of the time needed for my mental sanity. No, I don’t just stick Ryerson in-front of the TV but when I need to get work done or have a conference call you best believe he’s going to be on the iPad or watching something on YouTube or Netflix. And guess what… I am not the first parent to do this!

Luckily for us, we were recently introduced to Charlie’s Colorforms City that launched back in March on Netflix. This 13-episode adventure series for preschoolers centers around the character Charlie (voiced by Jacob Soley) and his colorful cast of friends as they create fun stories using different shapes! Take off for adventures in outer space, the Wild West — and from right at home; the adventures are endless!

charlies colorforms city
Image credit: Netflix

About the Show

Once upon a time, there was…Charlie! He is inquisitive, impulsive, emotional, silly, and Charlie loves to create stories. In fact, he created Colorforms City out of his imagination so that he can tell the best stories possible… like a knight trying to save a balloon, or a cowboy/cowgirl duel, or Charlie’s epic quest to eat a pancake.

Kids at home will help propel these stories forward interactively, playing along and helping Charlie creatively solve story problems. Imagine you and your child as main characters in the show, and like any other main character, the story and episode cannot move forward without them. And Charlie’s other friends will help, too… or at least they’ll try. There are the twins—Violet the brave and Red the cautiously curious, Miss Weather the unpredictable, or should we say “fair-weather” friend, and the Silly Faces, who are just that, primarily faces and primarily silly.

Every story is an opportunity for Charlie to create. Charlie’s built Colorforms City on the Signature Black Background with the sticky magic of Colorforms. Charlie can peel, stick, scale and animate his world to move stories forward. From a madcap farce to make enough pancakes to feed all of his friends with a pancake machine, to an epic quest to deliver his forgotten birthday party invitations in a rocket ship-submarine, the stories get better, sillier and more creative with the magic of stick.

This series celebrates the stories kids love to tell and gives them the tools to enrich their stories and make them even better, through kid-friendly storey structure, creative problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and humour.

Charlies Colorforms City

Spark Creativity

We were sent some fun products to play with while watching the show. Of course, when Ryerson received his own Colorforms Book he was ecstatic! He had such a fun time playing and creating pieces that he cooked up in his imaginative mind. If you’re looking for a new interactive show for your preschooler or already have one that is a fan of Charlie and his gang, they’re going to love the Colorform Book. Wanting to get your kids to follow along and enjoy the activities Charlie is doing? Download Charlie’s Activity Book here!

If you weren’t already familiar with the Coloforms brand – Charlie’s Colorforms City is based on the classic toy brand Colorforms, a humour-based creativity brand that offers unique and tactile products and experiences that activate creative thinking, self-expression, and experimenting through story-based play. Founded back in 1951, the brand has stood the test of time, being named one of the Top 100 Toys of all time by TIME Magazine.

Ryerson has loved watching the show and playing along since we were introduced to Charlie’s Colorform City. I’ve noticed such a big improvement with his colours, shapes and numbers and it’s been such fun watching him grow and learn alongside this show. It goes to show you that not all TV shows are harmful and non-educational for kids. This series truly celebrates the stories kids love to tell and gives them the tools to enrich their stories and make them even better, through-kid friendly story structure, creative problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and humour.

Now, who else is ready to have their kids join Charlie in his next adventure?

Charlies Colorforms City

Don’t forget you can find Charlie’s Colorforms City on Netflix right now!

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Charlie’s Colorforms City. As always, opinions are all my own. Products were provided and gifted in exchange for a review.

Social Media To My Social Circle: Bonds That Mean More Then A Like

We live in a society where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and basing our self worth on the amount of likes and followers we have on social media. I’ll admit, I have fallen victim to this exact thing. Watching my number rise and decrease as though it actually has an impact on how I live my life… when in reality it means absolutely nothing.

I’ve been in the media and freelance world for almost a decade and jumping into the “blogger” world was something so foreign and unfamiliar to me. I had always written for pleasure, and kept a handful of journals/diaries. But I had never given it a ton of thought that my writing would be put on the internet for other’s to read. So how, and where did I start?

Networking!

The first thing I did was look on my social media channels and analyzed what I thought was “real” and “honest”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to know who is genuine and authentic – but you’ll be able to catch on real quick. I’ve been ghosted by other bloggers and met some who have been less then who they portray themselves to be. I’m here to tell you they aren’t all like that. Especially the lovely lady you see in these pictures with me.

Heydy Lopez from Raising Jay & Abel was the first person I reached out to when wanting to take the leap into blogging… and guess what?! Over a year and a half later we’ve become extremely close friends. When we first met it was a brief meeting at Subway. I asked her a handful of questions (I took notes… laugh all you want), and we simply kept in touch after that.

Now you may be thinking, well that’s simple. Yes, and no. Fortunately for me, Heydy and I had a lot in common and were able to relate to each other far beyond a surface level friendship. She has always been someone I look up to and someone who genuinely cares about her family, friends, and the community around her; what you see is what you get!

Collaboration Over Competition

Over the past year, it’s definitely taken me some time to realize and know who exactly is in “my tribe”. The blogger world is cut throat and fierce. At the end of the day it’s nice to be able to rely on those with whom you trust and look up too. I have never felt like lesser of a person because my Instagram following is far more minimal then hers. She is the first one to give me advice, critique me, and offer support where I need it.

At the end of the day I am far more grateful for the friendships I have formed through blogging then anything else. Social media has its ups and downs but the connections that can be made are so valuable and some I’d never thought I’d make if I didn’t venture on this journey.

Photography by: Diana of Happy Bees Events & Studios 

{A big thank you to Hunni’s in Langley for providing mine and Heydy’s outfits!}

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. Head to my disclaimer page for more information.

Fresh Prep Review: Making Life Easier for This Single Valley Mom

As a mom, yet alone a single, work-from-home mom; meals can be challenging. Especially when you have an almost two year old who is a super picky eater. With there just being the two of us (me not being a great or big eater myself), meal-time is extremely frustrating and painful! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. But when it’s just for myself and a little one, what’s the point?

Here’s how it works.

Jump on over to Freshprep.ca, create an account and you’re ready to place your order. You will first select whether you’d like the meals to provide two or four servings and how many you’d like for the week (two, three or four different meals). They also ask for your dietary preference: gluten free, vegetarian, etc. At this point you can have them select the meals for you if you don’t want to sort through the options, or you can modify the order to your specific choices.

When it comes time to cook, everything was washed, prepped, cut up and labeled with directions to follow and a promise (with minute by minute instructions) on how to get the meal on the table within 30 minutes. And sure enough it did. I was amazing at how fresh everything still was – considering I waited a few days to make the first meal.

It was simple and hassle free!

One of the things I really like about this service is that you don’t have to be home to receive the order and you get a notification where the driver is. Is it creepy for me to note, you are actually able to track his driving status? Once they arrive you receive another notice that they’ve delivered your food. The food comes in cooler bags with ice packs allowing it to be left at your doorstep. I loved the fact they were able to communicate exactly where they were and when they left. I didn’t have to be concerned that I was going to miss them or my food never showed up.

Convenience at its finest!

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed receiving these meals and cooking them! I tried out the chickpea curry as well as the cauliflower detox bowl. My vegetarian choice was not planned, and I was so surprised how much I enjoyed them. It was nice making something I wouldn’t normally, and not having to waste money on ingredients I wouldn’t normally buy or have too much leftover. Plus you can somewhat tack credit for “making” your meals, right?

It was so much fun being able to have Ry help me out in the kitchen, watch me cook – and not be stressed about it, and if he didn’t eat a ton of his dinner, I wasn’t overly concerned. He tried it and for that, I will call it a win!

If you’d like to try them out, you can use this special link (click here) to get 3 FREE plates with your first order!

Have you tried Fresh Prep or any other meal delivery services? What did you think?

Thank you Fresh Prep for providing the delicious meals featured in this post! All opinions expressed are my own.

Central Park Farms – Long Table Dinner

central park farms

Last month I had the pleasure of attending my first Farm-to-Plate Longtable Dinner; which took place at Central Park Farms in Langley. I had no idea what to expect when pulling up their gravel driveway… but my goodness was I ever in aw.

Upon arrival we were greeted and given a spiked lemon-aid to sip on by Kendall Ballantine, who along with her partner, own and run Central Park Farms. Ballantine opened up and shared a little about how she got into farming and why she decided to specialize in non-GMO fed pasture raised animals. “Ultimately it came down to making sure the animals were raised in a positive environment”.

The evening consisted of a tour of the grounds, backyard games, and of course indulging in a family-style meal prepared by Chef Adrian Beaty. The menu consisted of pork and herb biscuits, fresh farm salad, BC Buzz Honey-glazed chicken, and one killer lard-crusted fruit pies with candied bacon ice cream. Yes, I said bacon ice cream!

All in all the evening was fantastic. I was able to reconnect with other bloggers I have met along my professional career and meet others whom I have admired for some time. If every week consisted of evenings like this one – I’d be one happy camper.

Other amazing people and vendors involved that evening:

Table decor and set up done by Valley Wedding
Farm Fresh Salad – True Grit Farms
Wine – Backyard Vineyards
Vodka – Roots and Wings Distillery
Trading Post Brewing
Musical talents – Ryan McAllister
BC Buzz Honey

Photography by the lovely: Olivia Loney – oliviaannphotography

Thank you again to Central Farm Park for hosting this magical event along with all the other amazing vendors! Also, thanks to Summer from Slap Communications for the invite! xx