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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!