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.

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

Finding Clarity & Quality

 Back in mid-February I was on Instagram and looking at some of my followers stories when I stumbled upon the Vancouverite Blog’s story. She was mentioning something about a local company: Clarity Quality Goods – that were making bath bombs and donating partial proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Associate.

Seeing this immediately triggered my interest on how I could support an initiative that had to do with mental health. I was fortunate enough to get in-touch with one of the founders: Cassie Micona, who gave me a bit more information and background behind CQG’s.

“We are a group of 6 students all in our practicum, completing our Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Marketing Management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Our practicum includes an 8-week sales competition where groups battle to sell the most products and have the strongest margins.” Currently the sales period runs from January 25 to March 22nd. The products are created in Richmond, BC in small batches to ensure precise measurements and craftsmanship.

Cassie and her fellow colleagues and business partners decided to donate partial proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association because all group members have been effected by mental health in some way shape or forum. Thus igniting a passion in creating a product that can not only help balance your mental health, but also raise awareness and get people talking about it.

They are currently producing twice a week at large quantities in order to keep up with demands. By doing so they have learned from experience that they were wanting to produce a high-quality product at the lowest cost possible.

Their ingredients have been sourced from local suppliers and are of the highest quality, including therapy-grade do-Terra Essential Oils. The products are simple and only contain ingredients that are necessary (they do not contain sodium laureate sulfate which is commonly found in many cosmetic and personal hygiene products as a foaming agent.)

The overall mission and purpose for this dynamic 6 was to create a product that helps balance stress. Understanding that life gets busy, hectic and stressful and sometimes you need to take a moment to yourself.

I was extremely grateful Cassie dropped off a bath bomb for me to try (Uplift) which is infused with Wild Orange Essential Oil. This specific oil contains anti antioxidants, making it perfect to re-energize and uplift the mind and body while also purifying the air – which indeed it did. The fresh, sweet aroma will definitely lift your mood and help you forget about the stresses of the day while you enjoy your moment of clarity (or until your toddler comes barging into the bathroom).

Cassie: “I think as students and young adults everyone goes through a time of darkness and helplessness. We wanted to create a product that not only helps with relaxation, but something that shines a light on mental health and gets people talking. As someone who is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, there is nothing more comforting to me than to be surrounded by people who understand, without judgement, what I am going through.

Taylor: “I believe that no matter who you are, or what you have experienced in life, there are times that take a toll on your mental health and well being. At the age of 12, I had already experienced more trauma than a child should, and I had to learn early on that taking time for myself would be one of the most important things I do to make sure I stay mentally healthy, despite what goes on day to day.

Our products allow for me to take a break, just relax and rest and recharge my mind and body, and I believe they will do that for you too. The stigma surrounding mental health needs to end – reach out, talk to someone. It gets better. I promise.”

*There is less then a week left to place orders until the contest is closed.*

If you’re interested in purchasing a product, want to know how you can become involved or have questions please feel free to reach out.

Website: https://www.clarityqualitygoods.com/
Instagram: @clarityqualitygoods

Photo Credit: Clarity Quality Goods (Devon Seidel)