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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tips N Tricks Thursdays...more cooking tips.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat them.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste.  Add garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Kitchen Boss and his Italian inspired chicken.

The Cake Boss has a new show...called the Kitchen Boss.  While I was watching it the other day, he had a quick and easy skewered chicken recipe.  I used the same marinade but didn't skewer it and it was tres yummy!

Marinade: Throw all of these in a blender...

Italian Parsley
Couple of Garlic Cloves
Oregano (he recommended fresh, all I had was dried)
Chili Flakes
Lemon Juice
Lemon Rind
S & P (that's salt and pepper!)
Olive Oil

Blend it all together and use it to marinate chicken (I used thighs) for at least an hour, then grill.

Mmmmm, mmmm, good!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fabulous Finds - Summerhill Pyramid Winery

This event was this past weekend.  And I've been to these type of things before...but kudos to the organizer of this event! It was great!  There was a nice mix of items and vendors that I haven't seen in the past.

They had everything from woodcrafts, pottery, art, and clothing. To knick knacks, vintage, organic foods, and jewellry.  And the location worked too!

This is the second year that they have done this.  And if you want to be informed of the next one, please join their Fabulous Finds FB page.  It will be well worth attending!

And this year they are giving back too.  They are holding a Silent Auction called Artists for Japan.  There are some great pieces that have been donated by local artists.  What an awesome idea!

Monday, March 28, 2011

In the Moment Mondays

Those chubby, chubby hands.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Swap n Shop

A friend of mine organized a Swap n Shop. A great way for the ladies to get rid of some of their old clothes and pick up some new ones. Actually, I loved watching the girls who were most excited about shopping, they were the ones who were there selling their old clothes. And the proceeds from the table rentals went to a local charity.

In a day and age of; reduce, reuse, recycle.  This is a great way to reuse!  And you can get some pretty cool deals at a fraction of the cost.  Being on maternity leave, I had enough fortitude to restrain myself a little on the fashion purchases.  But I couldn't resist this cute little ring for $5. 

Now I'm saving my pennies so that I can score big at the Baby Flea Market in Kelowna on May 6th!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tips n Tricks Thursdays

A friend shared an email with me with some interesting Tips and Tricks, I thought I would share a few of them every Thursday.  If you know of any other great tricks, please email them to me at themellowmama@gmail.com.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wasabi Izakaya...one Sexy place!

An Izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food to accompany the drinks.  The food is generally more substantial than food offered at regular drinking establishments.  (Thanks Wikipedia!).  They are similar to what we know as Tapas bars.

Recently, a few of these have been popping up around Kelowna.  And boy are they good!  Wasabi Izakaya on Pandosy is a fine example.  My husband and I went there the other day before a concert, and it was yummy!  At an Izakaya, you order several little dishes to make up a meal...and of course pair it with a good Japanese beer like Sapporo.  Pictured is the Sexy Dragon Sushi...yum!  But I have to say the suprising highlight was the Teriyaki Ribs, they were sooooo tender they melted in your mouth. 

Our server was lovely, he was helpful and very personal.  And I personally like having Japanese servers when I am in a Japanese restaurant.

They are located at 1623 Pandosy St, Kelowna, BC.  250-762-7788.  A great location to visit before doing a hockey game or concert.  And they are open for lunch too!

Food: * * * * *4/5
Service: * * * * */5

Stroller Friendly: * * * */5

Price: Dishes $5-$10 each (need to order several)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pakora Palace

We found this little hole in the wall Indian place, called the Pakora Palace in Kelowna, BC.  I love hole in the wall places, because generally they are hidden gems.  Unfortunately, not this time.  While the food wasn't bad, it wasn't that great.  I ordered the butter chicken and the lamb curry.  While the flavour was, ok, the chicken in the butter chicken tasted preformed.  And the lamb in the lamb curry was mostly bone, and at $12 not good value! 

This is mainly a take out place.  And it's too bad they weren't better...we would have loved to have found a place to visit on a regular basis.

Food: * * *3/5

Service: * * * *4/5

Stroller Friendly: * * 2/5

Price: Dishes $8-$12 each

Monday, March 21, 2011

Minimum Wage on the rise in BC...to $10.25/hr. Premiere Christy Clarke don't do it!

Minimum wage is on the rise, but who does it benefit? 

I have a strong opinion on raising minimum wage...DON'T!  After so many years, and tonnes of case studies, why does the provincial government continue to insist that a legislated increase in  minimum wage is necessary?  Oh wait they don't, but they want votes!

Here are a few of the pros and cons as I see it:

-Minimum wage employees will now make $10.25/hr, meaning they will make $23, 210 per year if they work a 40 hour work week.  (Please note that most mimimum wage employees don't work 40 hour work weeks.)

-All businesses that rely on minimum wage employees will have to increase their prices to make up the wage increase.  A short (but not all inclusive list) of such businesses are:  restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, retail shops.  That means that $8 movie, will now be $10.25.  Same goes for that $8 burger!

-Only new employees will make the $10.25, anyone who makes more than that won't receive a raise.  So when that burger goes up to $10.25/hr, they will have less spending power with their money. 

-Some of those businesses who rely on minimum wage employees, won't be able to weather the increase in costs.  So they will go out of business, so that means their employees will make $0 per hour, since they won't have jobs. 

-We have just seen a perfect storm in the restaurant industry in BC.  Adding HST, lowering the legal drinking limit, and a bad economy.  Increasing minimum wage looks like another nail in the restaurant coffin.

-During an economic boom (as we previously had), we know that businesses paid more than minimum wage.  So doesn't it stand to reason that the best way to increase minimum wage is to boost the economy.

-We all know that the best way to boost the economy is to increase spending.  But if we reduce spending power of money, this slows the economy down.  Hmmmm...so how do we increase minimum wage again?

I do believe that people should make more money, but that the best way to increase wages is through a strong and vibrant economy, not through government legislation. I'm so disappointed in our new premiere, that didn't take her very long.  At least it's really clear on how I will now vote.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ipad 2...on Mother of a Sale!

Mother of a Sale is having a contest to win one of the new Ipad2's!   Head to their site to enter.  Or go on their Facebook page and tell them The Mellow Mama sent you! 

Good Luck, and happy winning!

You've heard of BabyTalk...now here is BabyWalk.

Walking is considered one of the best exercises for new moms. 

Walking while pushing a stroller adds that much more resistance (especially if you add that diaper bag!).  Change things up by adding hills & speed, and you will see some great benefits.  You can also combine socializing with exercise, so rather than just going for a coffee and pastry, go for a walk.Walking not only gets you and your child outdoors, getting exercise.  But it is also a chance to discover parts of your city that you may not have been able to experience in the past.

My girlfriends and all have a good 3-wheel jogging stroller, they are more maneuverable than a regular stroller and a little lighter (keep in mind none of us jog!).  I have yet to see the need to have a conventional stroller.  We also all have rain guards which work really well to keep the wind out of the stroller too. 

If you want to record your walking workouts...check out these Walking Calendars by TBWAP.  They are designed for the expecting mom...but are easily adapted for the post-natal mom.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Great Big Sea-18 years of Kitchen Parties!

Great Big Sea 183b
Thanks to Catisfaction for this great photo.
I went to see Great Big Sea last week with some friends and found out that it was also their 18th Anniversary as a band!  It was an amazing concert, in the Kelowna Community Theatre that only seats 853 people.  Wow what a great venue for a band like this! 

The band was engaging and witty...and Sean McCann is definitely easy on the eyes.  They led the crowd through many of their songs, along with some other bands' hit songs.  They definitely had the crowd singing and dancing throughout the concert.  They wrapped it up with the five of them at the front of the stage serenading us with a folk song, sang a Capella.

Definitely one of the better concerts that I have seen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SNAP Okanagan, giving us all our 15 minutes of fame!


I wish I had thought of this first!  This is a great publication, people love to see their picture in print.  While I was in Cranbrook recently, they snapped a picture of me at an event there. SNAP East Kootenay had just come out with their first issue. Heehee...now I am famous (there)!   The people of SNAP must love their job, what a great way to attend some of the city's awesome events while working. 

Speaking of "15 minutes of fame".  This was a quote coined by Andy Warhol in the 60's...I'm wondering with internet and social media if we should change that to "150 minutes of fame"?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tsunami's, Tsunami's everywhere!

Up until the Tsunami in 2004, did anyone hear of deadly tsunami's before?!  I don't get it...how can we have two devastating tsunami's in seven short years!  I was in Phuket, Thailand exactly one year before the 2004 tsunami. And it is unbelievable to think of the little restaurants and hotels on the beach that were swept away. 

I have watched several video's on the Japan Tsunami, but this one from CBC really brought it home for me. What always gets me is the utter hopelessness to be able to do anything when there is a natural disaster.  Can you imagine watching your home, car, or business float away with all your worldly belongings and there is nothing that you can do?

Having been evacuated due to forest fires a couple of years ago, and previous to that working at the evacuation center during an earlier forest fire. We were able to see, first hand, what the local Red Cross was able to do to assist those in need.  Time and time again, whenever you see news footage from around the world, you see members of Red Cross/Red Crescent at the heart of the disaster. 

Please donate to the Red Cross, so that they can continue their humanitarian work for those who desperately need it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Britax B-Scene Stroller Giveaway on Baby Half Off!

Baby Half Off is giving away a Britax B-Scene Stroller...if it's anywhere near as good as their carseats, it would be awesome to win!  The contest is sponsored by Shari Crisco.

Someone has to win, why can't it be you!!  Information on how to enter is available on the Baby Half Off Blog.

Happy Contest Entering.

Okanagan 4 Kids, thanks!

Thanks to Okanagan 4 Kids for drawing my name to win the Date Night!

With no family in town, I didn't realize how much harder it is to get childcare.  Luckily, I have had a few friends offer...I'm just a little shy to ask them. Can you imagine...tickets to Wednesday's Hockey Game, Dinner for 2, and a babysitter (from Nannysitters)? 

Unfortunately, my husband has to work out of town this week.  I hope the new winner has a great time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bai Tong: Great New Location

deep fried banana and ice cream baitong thai food restaurant kelowna, okanagan, bcBai Tong has a great new location, and it is always great to be welcomed warmly by owners Kitty and JamJeet. 

We arrived 4 moms, 4 babies, and 4 strollers!  And they were extremely helpful and accomodating to us.  This new spacious and ground floor location made it a great lunch experience for us!  After much juggling, we were able to settle down comfortably to lunch.  Kitty was very helpful suggesting the best combinations to try.  So I tried Lunch Special Gang Leung with Chicken: Bamboo shoots, bell peppers, carrots, onions, lime leaves and pineapple are combined in this yellow curry sauce flavoured with coconut milk.  And having not seen them since long before my little guy was born, we were surprised with a congratulatory Fried Bananas and Ice Cream!

Check them out  275 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC, Ph# 250-763-8638 http://www.baitong.ca/

Food:                  * * * * */5
Service:               * * * * */5
Stroller Friendly:  * * * */5
Price:                   Lunch $10-$15

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Money Class: I Guess the Rules have Changed

The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream
I guess some of the finance rules have changed.  Suze Orman has written a new book, The Money Class.  One of the big changes is that she now says that it is okay to rent, where her previous advice was to make sure you buy a home as property was the best investment you could make.

Now keep in mind that most of her advice is for Americans, who are in a different set of economic circumstances than Canadians.  But I do like her Top 4 Financial Tips.

1. Live below your means, but within your needs.
-If you can afford to buy a $800,000 house, then buy a $550, 000 house.  You don't need to always have the best of everything.

2. The pleasure of saving should =equal= the pleasure of spending.
-This is a new mindset that people need to get into.  Not everyone feels this way, but it is much more sustainable.  No more retail therapy, now we need saving therapy.  Can you get the same joy out of purchasing an RSP as you do a car?

3. If you are underwater in your house-->keep plugging away to pay it off.
-Now this is more applicable to Americans, but it is happening right now on a smaller scale in Canada.  Basically she is saying that even if your house is worth less than you paid for it, this is where you live and you need a roof over your head.   Keep plugging away at your mortgage payments because you will eventually build equity.

4. Focus on what will be gained, not lost.
-Don't focus on the spa visits you can't have, the new car you can't buy, and the latest fashions you won't be able to get.  Rather, focus on your increased savings and your peace of mind of not having financial burdens.

In a hot economy, it was easy to get caught up in the spending mentality...but now things have to change.  Being fiscally conservative wins the race!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Outstanding Young Person Award

As a long time member of JCI (Junior Chamber International), I was thrilled to find out that JCI Kootenay was presenting this award to my niece Deondra.
This award was originally called the Vanier Award. And in 2004 it was revitalized as the Top Outstanding Young Persons Award. There are four categories where a young person may be nominated; accomplishments, innovation, achievement, contribution and leadership.

I had the opportunity to head out to the Kootenays, and attend the Cranbrook Chamber Business Excellance Awards, where they were presenting this award. Thank you to a couple of my fellow JC's who helped make this happen. It was great to be able to be there to see such an accomplished young lady be recognized. I expect she will do some great things in her life!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The United Way, helping communities.

Do you know what the United Way does? I was never really clear until last year. Basically, they raise funds to help many local non-profit societies. Last year they raised over $1.3 Million in the Central Okanagan. The cool thing is that the money that is raised locally stays locally.

I started out volunteering with them by helping out with the local allocations committee. Our job is to interview a few of the charities to see if the United Way would like to provide them with the funding that they had requested. Its a pretty neat task. Last year I learned so much more about 3 well known organizations in our community. The organizations are so proud and are very willing to share with you everything that they do.

This year I get to meet another 3 charities. I am so looking forward to it! We have over a dozen committees out interviewing charities. This means over 30 charities are supported by the United Way every year. So next time you see a United Way fundraiser, remember that your support will go to help over 30 non-profit organizations, who in turn will help 1000's of people.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Extra cautious about everything?

Are you extra cautious about everything now? Last night we went on a roadtrip to visit the grandparents. Admittedly, the roads were atrocious. But we heard the weather was going to get worse before it got better.

So we loaded up the truck with mom, dad, baby, and dog. Along with bags for all of us, as well as food and gear for baby and dog. Actually, just getting going was an adventure. But we finally hit the road, and we hit some bad spots along the way (fog, snow and ice), along with copious amounts of semitrailer trucks. And all I could think about was the terrible things that could happen.

But I'm a strong believer in Laws of Attraction, so this didn't sit well with me. So I would try and think of positive things. And as I was drifting off to sleep (don't worry I wasn't driving!!). Those pesky bad thoughts would creep back in. That's when I remembered, that now that I am a parent, I get to spend the rest of my life worrying about my little guy. That it is actually my job to worry about his well being until he can do it for himself. And then...I probably won't stop. Have you come up with an ways to reduce the worrying?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update to "Have Passport Will Travel"

Retailers had me convinced I needed to go to a specialty photographer to get passport photos. But after chatting with other mothers who had passport photos taken of their little ones. They had all gone to regular photo places with success.
My little guy had a busy day on the day we were scheduled for our specialty photos. And subsequently had a meltdown when it was time to get pics done. Not wanting to have a redfaced passport photo, I postponed it to another day. Any other tips to the passport application procedure I should know about?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where does the day go?!

I had all these great plans to get out and have coffee with a friend, stop at a couple of shops, and go to the bank.  And all I got done was a little shopping.  The days just fly by, no wonder we say that children grow up so quickly. 

When you have a little one, it is amazing what takes up the day.  Sometimes it's difficult to get out the door...and then there is the unpredictabity of the length of naps.  My little guy can nap from 30 minutes to 3 hours.  How does one plan a day with variances like this? 

A common feeling among new moms is the guilt of always being late for everything.  Fortunately, some more experienced mom's told me that it takes at least a year to figure out your day with a new baby.  And I try and share that wisdom with new moms I meet all the time (it aleviates my guilt too!).