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.

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)

Luxurious Bath & Relaxation Inc. – Launch Party March 19th

Come join Luxurious Bath & Relaxation Inc. as well as some other local vendors on Sunday, March 19th from 2 pm – 6 pm for the launch of LB&R’s new line of natural and vegan skin care products, bath essentials, and candles. There will also be a photographer, plenty of desserts, a florist, gorgeous decor, calligraphy, and many other indulgences to keep you going all afternoon long.

Luxurious Bath & Relaxation Inc. is a local company based out of Surrey, BC, owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo. Both Harleen and her mother pride themselves on creating products that are made from natural and vegan ingredients, but also have a luxurious feel. (*all products are baby/kid friendly as well)

If it wasn’t for Harleen making these products for herself and therefore personally seeing the benefits of using natural based ingredients (where she knew of every single things going in and onto her body) LB&R would not have been born. Living a very busy lifestyle, as most do in Vancouver, she wanted to share these benefits with others. With a lot of research done via Facebook to see what her demographic would be interested in, she soon realized that other’s wanted the same things, they just didn’t have the time to do the research and would overlook the types of products they use daily (thinking it didn’t matter in the long run). Jump start to today – here you have Luxurious Bath & Relaxation Inc.

Their mission is simple: for their clients to feel pampered, and completely spoiled, every time they use the products!

It’s extremely common that people don’t make it a priority to care for themselves and turn to other methods of convenience – simply because it’s easy and available. A busy lifestyle is no excuse to forget our number one priority: making sure we take care of ourselves. This is why Harleen wanted to create and introduce products that were all natural, GMO free, and sustainable. It was vital for her to create products that were going to educate customers about the importance and value of using goods that are natural based.

In addition to being natural and vegan, LB&R’s products also have great therapeutic value; they create a variety of products and combination of scents to meet customers needs. Products range from those which will make you feel rejuvenated and help you wake up first thing in the morning, to products that will help you fight a cold, soothe skin irritation, or just simply help you sleep at night. The skin is the largest organ, but is one we often overlook. At Luxurious Bath & Relaxation Inc., they work with clients to meet their needs and make luxurious skin a priority.

Other vendors who will be at the launch:
– Kristen Day of Kristen Day Event Co.
– Rin Lee: RintzyLee Designs
– Little Sprout Creations:  Jen So
– Sonia Hundal: Creations by Sonia
– Cakes by Peddie
– Ana Tochor of Pepperoni Café
– Isabelle Sarmiento of This is IT Studios
… and many more

Location: Clubhouse at 8383 159 St, Surrey
Time: Sunday, March 19th from 2 pm – 6 pm

For more information please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/398656560489699/

Personal Product Review:

I had the pleasure of meeting Harleen the other weekend, and she was so gracious to drop off a few product samples for me to try. Below you’ll find a description on each item and a brief review of how I used and liked them. (All opinions expressed are my own).

Lavender Body Soap Bar: which is infused and made with organic dried lavender flowers.
This Bar smelt amazing – and I loved that it made my skin feeling so soft after using it, plus Lavender is great for the skin – I was even comfortable using it on my son during bath time.

Rose Votive Candle: 100% Soy Based Candle
This was great to have lit during my bath – I was able to relax (for a bit before dealing with my teething son) and the aroma was so nice and soothing. Not overpowering like some can be.

Renew Bath Soak: coconut and oat infused
I was told to add 3 Tbsp. to my son’s bath or 1/4 cup into my full bath – which is what I ended up doing. I even was recommended to use it as a face and body scrub – so why not?! It felt nice on my skin, I didn’t try it on my face though. I have extremely sensitive skin and I didn’t want to risk it. I am sure it would be fine, but I was satisfied with how I felt after my bath.

Citrus Bath Bomb: infused with lemongrass, lemon, and sweet orange essential oils and dried organic orange peel.
This one you simply just drop (whole) into a full bath. It also can act as a shower bomb to infuse your shower with the citrus scent. I haven’t be able to use this yet – but believe me I can’t wait!