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Monday, December 26, 2011

Halloween costumes...how far do you go?

First of all, sorry for the delay in posting...life continues to be incredibly busy. So, although Halloween was 6 weeks ago, I thought I would still post about it.

This year's Halloween was the first one where my son could participate. My little one was only 2 months old last year, so this year I decided to make him a costume.

Now, I am not a sewer (wait that doesn't look right!!). Maybe I should say...I'm not a person who sews. A friend taught me this summer, and it wasn't as scary as I thought. I tried several little projects and they all turned out great. So why couldn't I make a costume?

First though to decide what costume. I love when you theme it up with mom/dad's costume. So since Dad loves fishing, why not a fish costume. I did a little research online, and then started to formulate a plan. A visit to the fabric store to get supplies. And I was off and running.

I started my project, freehanding a pattern. And it turned out! Ok, the colors were a bit girlie, and some people said he looked like a mermaid...but he's not, he's a fish! It's very exciting to have a project turn out, it makes all the work very satisfying. And it really didn't take me that long, I could have easily spent that same amount of time shopping for the right costume.

What do you think? Fish/mermaid?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shatobu...a girl needs all the support she can get!

I've always wondered about these blogging opportunities that everyone was talking about...and then I was one of 25 moms chosen to test out the latest Shatobu wear. It all sounds very fancy but Shatobu is the latest in support wear. Yes, I said support wear!

Ok...not as glamourous as the latest smart phone or some cool kitchen gadget. But as a mom (of a now 14 month old), a very needed piece of additional support in my life. (no pun intended) So in September, I received my package of support wear...just as our fall heat wave hit! But I made a commitment and I wasn't going to wimp out. I pulled on the high waisted bicycle short version. And surprisingly they weren't that warm. I had committed to wearing them every day for 5-6 hours, for 30 days. And I did it! 

They were comfortable, easy to get on, and held a pleasant shape (no squiggy bum here!). What was also awesome about this support wear was that not only did they keep all the jelly in the belly in check, but the snug fit help suppress my appetite. (I felt full a lot quicker.) And that excessive back fat that usually occurs after putting on this type of garment did not get out of hand! Shatobu stands for Shape, Tone, Burn. It definitely shapes, but does it tone and burn? Who really knows, but since I ate less, I did lose weight. Yay!

I would say that this is a good thing and worth trying!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh no!! I've dropped my baby!

Yes, I finally did it!  The infamous "dropping of the baby" that every new parent does.  Lucky boy, he was almost one before it happened.  Just to clarify, it wasn't so much a dropping of the baby, but rather carelessly allowing him to fall off the change table.  :(

I had heard all the stories from other mom's, variations of dropping, falling, and knocking the baby's head on something.  I remember one mom telling me that the day after she got home from the hospital, the public nurse stopped by to see how they were doing.  And as she rounded the corner to greet the nurse, she banged her baby's head on the edge of the wall.

When my son fell, unfortunately it was a lot more preventable.  He had started standing up on the change table to look at the shelf next to it.  I leaned over to place something in the closet next to the change table, when I heard a noise and turned to see him falling off the table.  Luckily, he slowed his fall by grabbing the change table on the way down and landing on a small rug.  Unfortunately, as he landed he fell back and hit his head on the hardwood floor. 
Well my heart stopped!  I was trying to figure out what to do.  I waited to see what my son would do.  He then proceeded to do the “silent” cry, where it takes (what feels like an hour!) for him to make a sound.  I couldn’t believe that I had let him fall!
But within a minute, he was fine...I hadn't broken my baby!  These little guys really are tougher than they seem.  :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

My baby is turning 1!

I obsessed months ago about what I was going to do for my son's First Birthday.  With only a few weeks left till the day, we are running out of time!

There is a lot of pressure on what to do for a First Birthday.  Do we want a big affair, or a small intimate affair?  What type of food, what type of cake, what type of decorations?  Do we theme it up or just go with the flow?  What can we do to make it special? Clowns, ponies, or pinatas?

But maybe we should just remember what a special little boy we have, to just bring people together to celebrate and visit with us.  And take the pressure off, and just enjoy the day.  And have lots of wine!

This blog post can be seen on Okanagan4Kids. Follow The Mellow Mama as she shares her journey and passions through life. You can see her complete blog at http://www.themellowmama.com/ or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Putting my life in someone else's hands!

Sounds a little daunting doesn't it?  Like I am getting a serious operation or going on a dangerous expedition.  But no...I'm looking for childcare.

Is it normal to have this kind of anxiety?  I'm not afraid of leaving my little person with someone, someone I know!  This whole process of regular childcare is fraught with tension.  And not only is it about finding the right person but also the right type of childcare.

After my research I have discovered this...there are childcare centers, licensed daycares, unlicensed daycares, nannies and casual babysitters. And they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Childcare centers-these are what we think of as traditional day cares.  Held in public buildings, with many caregivers, and many more children (max 12 kids for infant/toddlers).  Really, to me,  it's like school for the little ones. Advantages are that they are more flexible for when you need part-time and everyone is fully certified, and the disadvantages are (and I'm just guessing) that the relationships built with the caregiver and child are more like teacher/student relationships.

License Not Required Caregiver (unlicensed daycare): they are allowed to care for two children or less that are not related,  not including their own children.  The advantages are that there are less children, disadvantages are that there is no licensing requirements needed.  They can be registered as not licensed and that requires them to have first aid, criminal check, home inspection, and references.

Licensed Caregivers: they are allowed up to 7 children including their own.  And there is a range of regulations regarding the ages of the children.  Advantages, fully regulated and full certifications like, Childsafe First Aid Certificate, Criminal Record Check, References, must comply with the Child Care Licensing, & Facility Act and Regulations. Disadvantages many more children to caregiver ratio.  

Nannies: this is where a caregiver comes to your home to care for your child.  Advantages are personalized care, no need to transport child, ability for child to bond. Disadvantages are no social interaction with other kids, no supervision or other children around, and much more expensive.

Luckily there are a few organizations in Kelowna to help the child caring process.  Nannysitters they will arrange all types of child care for a fee, although the fee can be a little expensive, it does help in a bind. We are actuallly using one of their babysitters next week while going to a wedding.  There is also the Kelowna Child Care Society which is a government funded society with resources and a referral service.  I was able to find a bit of information regarding rates & regulations on their site. 

So there are many things you need to look at when deciding on the type of childcare that you require. Other than the details like, when are they open, what happens on holidays or when the child is sick, or what they charge, it really comes down to the particular person or place. And the most consistent advice that I have received,  is to find someone or somewhere where you feel comfortable.  Go with your gut instinct, it's mother's instinct. 

And if you have any other advice...please let me know! Maybe I should just lock him up in a cage?!

This blog post can be seen on Okanagan4Kids. Follow The Mellow Mama as she shares her journey and passions through life. You can see her complete blog at www.themellowmama.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bloggess...a shout out!


Gotta send out a shout out to a qwirky blogger. Just read this blog and love her sense of humor! If only I had the guts to buy myself a 5 foot chicken.

But I guess the mini lesson to be learned from this blog post is "learning to pick your battles".  Picking your battles...not something I'm good at (ask my poor husband).  I guess that I feel that we are always going a hundred miles an hour, and if I don't address something now, it will get missed.  But my husband (a man) needs to be able to process information, not vent it. 

I always found it a challenge to wait for the right time, but as a new mom "right times" come so infrequently now.  So how do we come to happy medium?  Why do I always feel like I am the one who has to bite her tongue?  Or does it just feel that way. :(

Maybe the trick is to treat it with a sense of humor.  Hmmmm....where can I get a 5 foot chicken?!

Monday, July 11, 2011

When one door closes...another always opens.

I have come to the end of my maternity leave, now what to do?  I unfortunately was downsized a few months prior to having my baby.  While it was wondeful to have the luxury of just worrying about being pregnant, the return to work issue takes on a whole new challenge.  It's one thing to try and juggle a new addition to the family while returning to a job that you know well, it's another to try and find & start a new job. 

When starting a new job, you don't have the flexibility of being able to negotiate different working conditions (ie.  part-time, flex hours, or working from home).  You also tend to have to put more time in to learn your new job...and time is precious when you have a new family.  BUT...I do now have the opportunity of doing something I love, taking on new challenges, and totally recreating my work conditions.  However, when the world is your oyster...which pearl should I take?

About 10 years ago, I had returned to University to complete my degree.  And being an "older" or more "mellow" student, I had the luxury of being a little wiser than my original trip through post-secondary education.  I do remember saying to my fellow (and younger) classmates to "do what you love, because you will be good at it, and the money will follow".  So now it is the occasion to follow my own advice...let's see if I can make a go of it!

This blog post can be seen on Okanagan4Kids.  Follow The Mellow Mama as she shares her journey and passions through life. You can see her complete blog at www.themellowmama.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Domesticity at it's finest!

Is domesticity a word?  It is, it is...and I'm gonna use it!!

Well, domesticity was never my strong suit.  I was a career minded woman, who was much too busy to be domestic.  But having a baby has "slowed" things down.  And yes "slowed" is said with tongue in cheek.  Maybe I should say that having a baby has made me "live in the moment" more.  All those things I was too busy for in the past, seem so much more important now and appreciated. 

I was always a little intimidated by the domestic things in life, thanks to a few friends to help me along the way...and I have become a machine! A canning machine! When I was expecting, this was my version of nesting.  We moved into a house with lots of fruit trees and they bore way more fruit than what we could eat, so canning made so much sense. 
Then I decided to take a cake decorating class.  I had started baking a couple of years before, but now I had to make the baking look pretty for many of the upcoming birthdays I have to look forward too.  I'm no pro...but practice makes perfect (I hope!).  And as you can see by the picture...I need a lot of practice! 

And my latest foray has been into sewing.  Believe it or not, but I have never sewn a stitch on a sewing machine.  And now with the help of a friend...I made a sleep sack!!  Yay!!! The world is my oyster now! I can finally fix those leggings that I had to wear with boots because they lost their hem. 

Thanks PM, CE, and SD for helping me travel down this road of domesticity. (There! I used the word one more time!)

This blog can also be seen on Okanagan4Kids.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tablets...the modern high tech kind

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi, Black) NEWEST MODELI'm thinking I need to get myself a tablet PC...but there are so many kinds! It was great when the only choice was the Ipad. But now we have the Blackberry Playbook, the Motorola, Samsung, and even Viewsonic has an android powered version. I work with a Blackberry phone currently...so a part of me would love to take advantage of the apps that the ipad/iphones have. I also use Windows based programs...so to delve into a different operating system would be awesome!! A tablet PC would  be great for social networking and to be used in place of an Ereader.  Is the backlight of the ipad really that bad? 

Is there a real difference between tablets? And will I lose out by not getting the Ipad?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summertime...a change of routine.

Summer is here! And if you have lived in the Okanagan a while, this is the time when our out of town friends and family descend on us to sample a bit of the lifestyle we enjoy. We love having family come to visit us, and I am not adverse to change. I love to travel, and have always considered myself a little carefree and adaptable. But after a recent visit, I realized that I do have a routine...and my sister's family routine is different.

My sister came with her family which included, along with her husband, two four year old twins and a 1 year old dog. Talk about a different level of energy than what's usually in our house with a 9 month old son and a 16 year old dog. Naps never seemed to coincide and baby nap time seemed to be at the peak of the 4 year olds energy. We even went through a couple of nights where it felt like he was up every hour.

However, it was pretty cool how my 9 month old was fascinated with his big cousins. He would follow them everywhere a crawling baby could, but that caused bedtime to become a challenge. I'm sure that he felt that he was missing out on something while he was sleeping, so he fought it with all his might.

Learning to be adaptable is a reality in life, and I would love my son to learn this trait. Although, I was thinking, it would be nice to get him back into a proper routine with proper sleep. And as I was writing this, I did notice something else that may have been the culprit of those rough sleeps...looks like tooth #2 is here!

This posting was featured on Okanagan4Kids.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting Venture Capital...the new way!

Have you got an amazing idea?  But no funds to produce it?  Why not use the internet and hope your idea goes viral?!  http://www.kickstarter.com/ is a great sight for raising capital.  You do need to provide your backers with something, either a prototype, limited edition, or in some cases a mention in the credits.  My favorite is the Capture Camera Clip System.  Peter is currently being funded with over 2180% of his goal...that means his goal was to raise $10,000 and currently he sits at $218,000 raised.

Check this site out and see what the power of many can do!  I better get mine before it's too late!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mommy obsessions

Why oh why...and how?! Did I become mommy obsessed?  We all have our little obsessions...currently mine are nursing tops, baby carriers, and diaper bags.  Ok I have a bag obsession in general...so it's not a big stretch to become obsessed with diaper bags.  And in all fairness, the shoe obsession has been reduced a little lately. :)

I love trying new nursing tops.  I think I currently own about 5 different brands...but it is an expensive obsession!  But I am on a quest to find that perfect nursing top.  I have to say that one of my favorites so far are the Boob nursing top. (Which are now available online at Toysrus-my Canadian friends!)  It offers just the right amount of ease and discreetness.

My other obsession would be baby carriers.  One of the images in my mind when I was pregnant was carrying my baby while doing chores and while nursing.  That definitely did not happen! First, had a wee little trouble figuring out that nursing thing which didn't get resolved until about the 3 month mark.  And then my little one was much bigger and not so easy to carry. I tried a standard carrier (2 kinds), a wrap, and briefly a sling.  But so far the winner, hands down, is the Ergo Baby! It's comfy for me, comfy for the baby...and easy to use!! Yay, the obsession has paid off!

And finally diaper bags.  I have my assortment of diaper bags, but what I have discovered is that in reality...if you have a bag (any bag...like a sports bag) with lots of pockets, and a couple of bottle pockets (which lots of them do now), you are good to go.  All of them can be adapted to hang off your stroller, they even sell the attachments separately.

The awe of the uniqueness of all these cool items is finally wearing off a little.  Probably due to the lack of use of some of these cool items...I've used my shopping cart cover-exacty twice!  Although, I'm sure if I had the cover when E was smaller, then I would have used it more.  But now he eats goosepoop-so why worry about a few shopping cart germs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Relay for Life...in loving memory.

This past weekend was the local Relay for Life.  A friend and I decided to run a concession instead of putting in a team as our contribution to the Relay.  Not only did we want to raise money, but we wanted to offer healthy food at the event.

The response from the community was amazing!  Not only were we able to get about 90% of our products donated, but we had over 20 volunteers step forward to help us! 

Our menu was quite impressive:
Greek Lentil and Feta Salad Wrap, Black Bean and ChickPea Salad Wrap, Tijuana Chicken Wrap, Hearty Three Bean Chili, Vegetable Minestrone, French Onion Soup,Papa John’s Pizza, Natures Valley Granola Bars, Sunrype Fruit Source Bars, Sunrype Fruit Snacks, Assorted Woodfire Bakery Pastries, Organic Oranges, Apples, Bananas, Multigrain, Original, Honey Nut Cheerios, Fiber 1, Hot Apple Cider, Juice Boxes, Water, Milk

Our Sponsors were even more impressive!
Nesters Market, BC Tree Fruits, Specialty Bakery, Urban Harvest, Kelowna Family Gourmet, Woodfire Bakery, Sunrype, Costco, IGA Rutland, Fresh is Best, Home for Dinner, Save on Food – Cooper Plaza, Safeway - Dilworth, Starbucks West Kelowna, Sysco Foodservices Kelowna, Red Robin Kelowna

Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for your contribution to this great cause!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All this rain, and a welcome little visitor

Steggie came to visit us!  In all this grey weather, it is so nice to add some brightness to our day.  Our little visitor is completely handmade and adorable. And my son loves him!

So often handmade items are geared to girls, so it is so cool to have a unique toy that is geared to boys. This little dinosaur is just one of the unique designs made by Snap Pea Designs, and they have plenty for the little girls too. I do have to say that I have a soft spot for this little froggy too.

Beautiful colors and made from cotton, wool or super soft merino/angora, each design is unique. Made by a local Kelowna mama, you just know that each one of these toys was made with love.  You can order these items directly through Snap Pea Designs or stop by The Natural Baby Shop to see them.

Check out our blog on Okanagan4Kids.

Monday, May 30, 2011

From Whining to Winning...

I thought I would forward some information about a great event coming up:

Do you have what it takes to be a writer in today's world?  Join award winning author Gordon Kirkland, one of Canada's more successful writers, for a night of wine and writer's wisdom.

Being a writer is not an easy task.  Gone are the days when all you had to do was submit an idea and agents and publishers would fall over themselves trying to sign you up.  Today, getting published in any genre is an arduous task. Whether you are a fiction writer, humour writer, non-fiction writer, columnist, or poet, Kirkland will take you down the path from whining to winning in this three hour seminar.

The event will be held at the Beaumont Winery on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011.  The evening starts at 6:30 pm with wine tasting and a sampling of organic cheeses from Gort's Gouda. The seminar begins at 7:00 pm with a mid-evening break for more wine tasting and cheese sampling. The evening ends with a reading from Kirkland's latest book "Crossbow" and a meet and greet with the author. During this time you can ask questions and learn from someone who has been there, done that, and come out the other end with a modicum of sanity and a few Stephen Leacock awards.

Gordon will be giving away a set of seven books as a door prize, as well as two bottles of Beaumont Winery Rose.

Learn how to survive life as a writer in the 21st century.  Tickets are $25 and available at the Beaumont Winery, Dragon's Lair Tea Shop in the Vintage View Mall and online at http://www.artisticwarrior.com/.  There are only 40 seats available so book yours today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mommie movies...a little different without a bucket seat.

Last week Mommie Movies were on at the Capitol Theatre in West Kelowna!  I've been a faithful attendee since E was born, but this time I had to pause.  My little guy doesn't use a bucket seat anymore, where was he going to sit?  And two hours!  Can he sit still that long? 

So I armed myself with lots to eat and drink (especially Cheerios), a reclining stroller and some friends.  I was lucky this time, that I had a couple of friends that were free to join us.  And so we headed off to the movie. E was pretty good, he did get a little fussy around the 1 hour mark and again a little later, but I think he was just tired.  I just kept him fed with treats, and I had his stroller ready for him to take a nap in.  The great thing about the Mommy Movies are that it is acceptable to make noise during the movie  (and you don't have to be a Mommy to go, you just have to put up with noisy babies).
And that's a small price to pay for the $6 price tag!

Mommy Movies are held every 4-6 weeks on Thursday's at noon.  Email them for more information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What does a hippo sound like?

Last night, my husband and I were reading a bedtime story to our little one called "Jungle Babies".  There are four jungle babies, and we act them out and make noises.  And I love when we get to the hippo, because my husband makes all kinds of crazy "hippo" noises.  What exactly does a hippo sound like?

Why do kids books have animals that make the weirdest noises? 

Do you know what a hippo or a giraffe or a lemur sound like?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Skechers Shape-Up Giveaway

  Shape-ups Point Five - Fine Feather

We all know walking is a great way to get fit!  Here is a way to get a little more bang for your buck while walking.  Win your own pair or 3 of Shape Up Skechers?! 

Just enter on My Organized Chaos!  These ones are my favorite!

Contest ends June 15th, 2011.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Steps, Big Steps

Watching the growth of our son has been amazing.  Slowly he has been developing into the little person that he is, that is until 2 weeks ago!  Then things really speeded up! That is when he pulled himself to standing for the first time. Since then, he has continued to amaze us with new milestones nearly every day. The last couple of weeks he has surprised us with waving, clapping to a song, saying "more" in sign language, crawling, and many more wonderful moments.  How lucky we are to be able to spend the rest of our lives experiencing beautiful milestones!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fisher Price Toys: New and the tried and true

Thomas & Friends™ Tough Trike

Fisher Price Toys have been around for ages, since 1931 (that's over 80 years!).  I remember the Fisher Price Record Player, I wonder what happened to that one?!

They really have some cool toys to encourage development in many areas for your little one.  Like the Brilliant Basics™ Musical Activity Walker (in Canada, I am sure that it takes the place of the exersaucer type walkers that are outlawed in our country).  They also have the Thomas & Friends™ Tough Trike for the boys and if you would like to win one, head on down to My Organized Chaos!  Tell them that The Mellow Mama sent you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mother's Day...being a late joiner, things are a little different.

Mother's Day was here last week, my first one.  My husband made sure that it was special, not only for me as a new mother, but also as a tribute to my mother. 

I woke up that morning to breakfast in bed, a beautiful home made tshirt, and a "mom" crown. Woohoo, way to go honey, well done!  Then he came back with a tray with some beautiful flowers, two cups of tea, and a picture of my Mom (she left us in 2007).  My lovely husband made sure that we remembered my mom as well, on this special day. 

It then made me think, that one disadvantage of being a "mellow" mama, is that often, we don't have our own mama's around. Unfortunately my mom never got to meet my husband, see me get married, or be there when my son was born.  Although, I do know that she is always "present" in our lives, I wish she was really here. 

We are trying to keep her memory alive with my son by showing him pictures.  I know my sister has done an incredible job with my nieces.  They were only 6 weeks old when she passed away, but if they see a picture, they know who Oma is. I wonder what other things I can do to keep her memory alive for my family?

So while there are a lot of wonderful things about being an older mother, unfortunately this isn't one of those things. 

This blog post is featured on Okanagan4Kids.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Great Wine, Great Mussels

The other day I was visiting some beautiful wineries in the area and did a little wine tasting. While at Beaumont Estate Winery I found out several things.  One, they are organic, which is good for us as we live next to their vineyard and were a little concerned with the spraying.  No worries now!

The second is that we started discussing how Gewurtraminer was a great wine to make with steamed mussells.  And I had a little mini aha moment. I was always under the impression that you cook with leftover wine.  My husband and I love wine, but we don't drink a lot of it. We rarely finish a bottle that we open...so I realized that I should cook with the wine first, leaving at least 2 glasses to drink with our meal! 

That evening I arrived home with a new bottle of wine and a pound of mussells.  And started to search for a recipe, and here is a good one from Martha Stewart! Easy Peasy!

Mussels in White Wine and Garlic


2 cups dry white wine

4 large shallots, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 pounds live mussels

1/3 cup mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chervil, or basil, chopped

6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


1.Rinse and scrub mussels under cold running water. Using your fingers or a paring knife, remove beards (strings that hang from the mussels' shells), and discard.
2.In a large stockpot set over medium heat, combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes. Add mussels.
3.Cover, and increase heat to high. Cook until all mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs and butter. Remove from heat. Divide mussels and broth among four bowls. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As seen on the streets of Kelowna....

Walking Down Memory Lane

We had dinner with some friends on the weekend. And we started talking about a trip we took over 12 years ago together.  As we were walking down memory lane, several things occurred to me. 

First, I have a really bad memory!  My girlfriend was amazing, reminding me of the great time that we had on this trip during our misspent youth...especially the adventures that we encountered. She even had a photo album of the trip. Our big adventure on this trip was that we had been running late on our last day of our trip (don't you usually sleep in when you are a little hung over?! remember this was our misspent youth!).  So we were already a little bit delayed heading to the airport.  And then our taxi got a flat tire on the way there!!  I remembered that there wasn't the sense of urgency from our cab driver that we expected. And it took us a little bit to come to terms with that.  I guess people are a little more laid back in Mexico. But all in all, it worked out!  And we arrived home safe and sound.

Second, that I actually look better now than I did back then (now that's a switch isn't it).  I have lost weight, and was in better shape.  At least I think I am, and I'm still not anywhere where I would like to be, I'm still trying to get rid of some of that baby weight I'm carrying around.  But I'm working on it!

Third, I hadn't forgotten everything!  While I had a tough time with some of the specifics, I still had some very wonderful memories of this trip.  And I wasn't the only one!  Here was someone else who shared these lovely memories.  Someone else that I don't see often enough.  Someone else's life who I had touched in someway, as they had touched mine.

It made me realize that every day we may do something or say something that will affect people that you interact with.  That my life has more meaning in this world than I thought.  And that the really important goals in life should not be the high powered career, the big money, and all the stuff. But rather how you touch people, how they remember you, and how you have impacted their lives.

Thanks my friend for the great dinner and the wonderful walk down memory lane...

Today's blog is featured on Okanagan4Kids.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Garage Sales

One man's garbage is another man's treasure. 

Wow, there were a lot of garage sales and flea markets in town on Saturday!  The sun was out, and so were the shoppers.  I went to two BIG ones, and they were great.  The first was the annual Baby Flea Market, got some great deals on a stroller, shoes, an easel and my big weakness a mini diaper clutch (like a diaper bag but smaller).

The second was the Kettle Valley Neighbourhood Garage Sale...everyone in the neighbourhood had garage sales going.  And the people were out for a deal!  I managed to get some beautiful bar stools for our new house (the old ones are a little short and we look awkward sitting on them). 

There is a lot to be said for shopping at flea markets and garage sales.  I think shows like American Picker brings a sort of mystique about this type of shopping, but most of us aren't looking for a treasure just looking for items that we need or could use that cost us a fraction of the original price. 

Now I just need a garage sale to get rid of all my old stuff!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Naramata Heritage Inn, for Mother's Day Brunch...hmmm, it's ok.

We went to Naramata Heritage Inn for Mother's Day Brunch this year.  While the drive there was lovely, and the building is gorgeous, the Brunch definitely wasn't the highlight.

If only the dining room looked like the one to the right.  But it didn't!  It was carpeted and had oak chairs and tables, and not ones with character like in the pictures.  And even though we made reservations for 2 plus a baby, we ended up with a high chair missing the tray and we felt lucky to get that!  But the big disappointment was that it was a menu brunch not a buffet brunch-they should really be clearer about these things when you are making reservations. Any suggestions for a good place to have a buffet brunch in the Okanagan?

But aside from that, the food was good and the servers were nice. We started off with an appy of a loaf of bread with pickled garden beets, goat cheese with roasted garlic, smoked salmon, and a yummy herbed butter.  I had a Grilled Rare Albacore Tuna that came with pickled shitake mushrooms, greens, on a chickpea pancake.  The flavour of the pancake definately enhanced the Albacore Tuna and they didn't overcook it!  My husband had a Ribeye Burger that he quite enjoyed, it was nice and moist which can be a problem with burgers that big, but came with some greens that were a little on the unexciting side (and guys would probably prefer fries and that wasn't an option).  And of course, I had my Mom-osa, yummy!

We did notice that there were a lot of stairs and there were no ramps anywhere, difficult if you are with stroller (and nearly impossible with a wheelchair).  There are handicapped elevators, but who knows how to access those.

Now would I recommend it for Mother's Day, probably not.   And if you do go for lunch there, eat on the patio...that looked amazing!

Friday, May 6, 2011

We have a winner!!

Congratulations Chelsea Bitgood, you have won the Bed n Blooms Mini Session from Tacey Photography!  We can't wait to see the photos, have fun!

Check out Tacey's Blog for more great photos that Tacey has taken.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Having fun halving grapes.

I love grapes in my salads, and most of the recipes recommend that you halve them.  But it can get a little finiky or time consuming. 

Well, I just found the best trick to halving grapes.  And you can use this trick for cherry tomatoes too. Thanks Chatelaine!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Win a $150 photography package with Tacey Photography

Photo Courtesy of satedlotus.wordpress.com

There are only a couple days left to win-deadline is May 5th at 9pm!

Details on the photography package are on Tacey Photography's Blog.  Remember you have to be available this coming Saturday at 2pm to take advantage of this limited photography session.  Click here to enter and see contest details.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden...

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that..." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Canadians today is the day to vote!

Today is the day to make your voice heard!  Canadians, get out and vote for your new Prime Minister.  If you had questions on where you should vote, or what information you need to vote, you can find it here.

You only have until 7pm tonite!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Win a Beds n Blooms Photo Session from Tacey Photography

taceyphotography.com/blog logo
Win a Bed's n Blooms Mini Session!
Bed's n Blooms creates a beautiful setting using a French Provincial bed, on green grass, under a Cherry tree in bloom.  What a great background for your little girl's photo session. 

And we are giving away one $150 Bed's n Blooms photo session to a lucky winner!

Details:  Since the photo session is based on the availability of cherry blossoms, spots are extremely limited.  The  winner's session will last about 20 minutes and will be at 2pm on Saturday May 7th, 2011 (so you must be available at this time).  The sessions are intended for young girls only (baby girls must be able to sit up).  You will be given a private online proofing gallery with approximately 10 fully edited proofs, from which you can select your favorite 5 digital negatives.  There is no cash value, and can only be used at this specific time and place (Kelowna, BC). 

To enter, simply visit Tacey Photography and leave a comment here on The Mellow Mama Blog or on Facebook, telling us what extras Tacey has available for the Beds n Blooms photo shoot.

Don't forget to submit your name so I know how to contact you!  You can also qualify for extra entries, leave a comment for every extra entry.

You can:

(1) Follow my blog by email, The Mellow Mama

(2) "Like" The Mellow Mama on Facebook

(3) "Like" Tacey Photography on Facebook

(4) Share this contest on FB, just tell us who sent yah!

(5) Follow The Mellow Mama on Twitter

(6) Tweet about this giveaway "Go to http://www.themellowmama.com/ to win a Beds n Blooms Photo Session from Tacey Photography" Tweet daily for extra entries.
I'll draw for a winner on May 5th at 9pm PST (Happy Cinco de Mayo!). Please check back for the winner! Good luck everybody!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding...this millenium's style.

I don't know if I am a complete Royalist...but I do believe they have their place. Yesterday was the wedding of Prince William and his new wife Catherine. It was a beautiful ceremony, with several tender moments between bride and groom. The bride's (and maid of honor's) gowns were lovely. Everyone looked very regal. And I had this sense of loss. I actually felt a little like...Oh my Goodness, I'll never get to marry the future King and become a Princess!

Ok, I am a bit deluded.  The facts are, I live on the otherside of the world, I'm already married, and oh yes...I don't know Prince William, or any of his friends and family. :)

What is it about Royal weddings that bring the idea of fairytales out in us? Why do many women want to have a fairytale romance, with a prince on a white horse whisking us away.  Maybe it has more to do with the fact that I just passed our one year anniversary. And I remember that when I got married, my maid of honor said that I would never look at weddings the same. That I would always get a tear in my eye and think back to my wedding.

Newlyweds: Prince William and his bride Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, enjoyed the Royal Wedding cake at their reception
And why am I worried, I did marry a Prince, my prince.

PS The picture at the top was a mock up by the Daily Mail in April 2010...the one on the right is the actual picture of the Royal Couple...good guess on the wedding dress Daily Mail!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Allergy Season is here.

Photo : allergyremediesblog.com

Oh my, I have a tough time with those allergies.  They vary in severity every year, but I sure hate the foggy feeling allergies give me.  I've been given advice that it is best to take antihistamines on a regular basis to help you body build up a resistance to the histamines in your body.  But boy are those things expensive!

Below are several coupons for Reactine Products.  Remember that at London Drugs you can stack multiple coupons and use competitor coupons.

Follow these links for your free coupons:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tips and Tricks Thursdays...tips for summer, camping and bbq's!

1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drip.

2. Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you’ll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.

3. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.

4. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

5. Ants are said never to cross a chalk line. So, get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Birthdays and Loot Bags

Photo: picnic.typepad.com

Although I am still 4 months away from hosting my first child's birthday party, the thought of it instills fear in my heart. I have been to several different birthdays and have picked up a few ideas that I liked.  But other ones were a frenzy of presents, a frenzy of eating, and then everyone grabbed their loot bag and left. All that intensity in a 2 hour period...whew, don't know if I can do it! 

I picked up a few good ideas on Picnic for some different cute types of lootbags (galvanized pails, cloth bags, decorated paper bags).  And to fill them, here are a few more ideas on Yummy Mummy.  We'll see if I will have the energy or creativity to pull off a cool party come the end of summer!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Ham...more than enough for Split-Pea & Ham Soup

Having had a delicious Easter Ham, we decided to use the left over for Split Pea and Ham Soup.  But I've never made a split pea soup.

I have recently started watching (recording) Chef at Home, and he had just made an quick and easy Split Pea Soup.  So I thought I would give it a try. What I like about this show is that it isn't just about recipes, Chef Michael Smith emphasizes using whatever you have in the kitchen.  He talks a lot about what ingredients that work well together, and to take recipes and make them your own.

Speedy Split Pea with Bacon (or in my case Ham)

Yield: 6 Ingredients

1 package bacon, chopped (I substituted leftover ham)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (I had parsnips, so added those as well)
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled sliced thinly
2 cups dried split peas
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
2 cups of frozen peas
1 tablespoon of any vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1.Place bacon in a large soup pot over a medium high heat.
2.When the bacon is brown and crispy drain away the fat, leaving about 2 tbsp in the pot.
3.Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and sauté for a few minutes.
4.Add the dried peas, stock, bay leaves, rosemary and salt and pepper.
5.Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the soup is thick and the peas are completely soft.
6.Stir in frozen peas and stir to heat through.
7.Stir in the vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter and Family Traditions

 Happy Easter Everyone! 

Easter was never a big thing in my family growing up (it was more of a religious holiday for us). It's a big thing for my husband.

Now that I have a family of my own, I would love to create some cool family traditions. One that only includes a little chocolate! Aside from the traditional coloring of the Easter eggs, Easter Egg Hunt and Easter ham, any special ideas on what we can do?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Surprise Getaway...revealed

My husband suprised me with a trip for our wedding anniversary!  What an amazing man, how did I get so lucky? 

On this trip we checked out a prison, walked on an old bridge, had to take these train/bus things everywhere...and all the walking was up hill!  Doesn't sound exciting?  Well it was awesome!  San Francisco is a great city, definitely on our list to visit again.

Thanks Honey, Happy Anniversary!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tips n Tricks Thursday's...uses for Alka Seltzer (do they even sell it anymore?!)

Yes they do! And here are some alternate uses for Alka Seltzer:

Clean a toilet: Drop in 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, brush and flush.

Clean a vase: Fill with water and drop in 2 tablets.

Polish jewelry: Drop 2 tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for 2 minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle: Fill the bottle with water, drop in 4 tablets, and let soak for an hour.

Unclog a drain: Clear the sink drain by dropping 3 tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

Wow...unclog a drain and get rid of indigestion!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bringing fashion to the delivery room


Have you ever thought green (hospital green) wasn't your color?

Well this item will take care of that! Dressed to Deliver has taken fashion into the delivery room. Combining practicality with comfort to bring you a dress fashionable enough to wear before your due date all the way to the delivery and beyond.

With well thought out features such as an empire waist that supports your breasts. To straps that undo to allow access for IV's and nursing. The dress is made of a soft jersey knit that is stretchy when & where you need it the most, and comes with a hidden snap opening in the front and the back.

There are currently three prints to choose from, sizes Sm to XL. Look your best on this amazingly special day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hipstamatic...reliving the good ole days of photography.

Hipstamatic...what a cool app! 

You can take your iphone pictures and make them look like pictures of old.  They have "digital" lens, flash, and film that you can interchange to create different effects. You can even order prints to be delivered. And of course there is easy sharing with Facebook and Flickr.  All for $1.99!

Now...all I need is an iphone.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In the Moment Mondays...do you know your neighbours?!

This weekend, the weather was beautiful!  So I took advantage of the great weather and checked out my neighbourhood.  I went to a couple of local businesses and visited two garage sales.  And as I went around, I met my neighbours.

We moved in to this neighbourhood about 10 months ago.  I was 8 months pregnant at the time and with the rush of moving in, we only got to meet the neighbours on our block.

Now, not only did I meet 3 sets of neighbours.  These are the things I discovered...

1. One of my neighbours plays a mean guitar and serenaded me with "Country Roads".
2. You can't see into our back yard from a house up the hill.
3. I need to always check out the garage sale of another neighbour, as they own a party supply company and get rid of some cool stuff!
4. Another neighbour uses only organic sprays on his orchard, so no need to keep the little one indoors when they are spraying.
5. I was invited to join the neighbourhood Diva's!

Well worth the exploration...don't you think?!  I'm really digging this neighbourhood!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Korean Food at Soban Korean Bistro

Korean food is not easy to come by in Kelowna. But there is a new restaurant in the downtown core that serves great Korean food, with friendly service, and a great atmosphere.  Once again, we arrived enmass with 3 ladies, 3 babies, and 3 strollers, and they were very accomodating. 

Not knowing what to order, the server was extremely helpful in helping us wade through the foreign sounding menu.  We ended up with a few sampler platters, where we could try a little bit of everything.  Included was Kimchi, Jopchae (stirfried noodles with vegetables) Seafood Pajon (seafood pancake), Bulgogi, and Bimbimbop (rice base with veggies and dressing).  When you look at the individual ingredients in each of the dishes nothing seems extremely different.  But the flavours!  Were amazing!

And they did everything to make sure that we were comfortable with our babies in tow.  Setting us up at a comfortable table with adequate room for the strollers. 

If you get the chance to try it out, don't hesitate!  SOBAN Korean Bistro is at 530 Bernard Ave, Kelowna BC.  You can call them at 778-478-9638.

PS I recommend you try the tangy ginger soy dressing for the B-bop (aka Bimbimbop)!

Food: * * * * */5
Service: * * * * */5
Stroller Friendly: * * * */5
Price: Lunch Special $14

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tips N Tricks Thursdays...Spring is here, time to head into the garden.

FrugalistaI have long heard about all these cool, tried and true tricks to solving everyday household issues wiht every day products around the house(they seem to work better than the latest spray, device, or gadget "as seen on tv").  I picked up some cool budget garden tricks from The Frugalista on CBC Ottawa.  Find out what you can do with table salt, coffee grounds, egg shells, vinegar or plastic forks to help you with your garden this year. 

The Frugalista doesn't just offer hints on gardening, but all types of money saving ideas.  From travel tips (I have a few of my own to contribute in this area), to saving on bank fees, to making your own cleaning supplies.  Check it out!