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Month: June 2017

Friday Five – Sweet treats from all over!

Friday Five – Sweet treats from all over!

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Five…5 things that are bringing me bliss this week!  You know how before you start a new diet, you have one last cheat day, where you binge on all your favourite foods, the ones you are going to give up?  Well, this week’s post is something of that sort.

Summer is here, and in an effort to get my boys away from the screen time, I’m trying to plan more of an active summer (key word there being “trying”…but I digress).  A great excuse to get more active myself!  My youngest is about to get a FitBit Zip for “grading” present, and then everyone in the house will have one.  I’m going to put fresh batteries in the others, and set us all up as “friends” on the FitBit app.  Our goal is 10,000 steps a day.  Being that my boys are pretty competitive, this should make for some interesting fun!  At least, that is my hope!

So, in light of our impending venture to increase our exercise and activity, we might as well start cutting back on sweet treats and incorporate healthier snacks like fresh veggies and fruits.  Going from this…

…to more of this…

Yeah…my kids will be super excited about this (did you hear the sarcasm in that??)

But as “Murphy’s Law” would have it, it seems yummy, sugary sweet desserts are crossing my path at every turn!!!  Here are some of the drool worthy things I’ve found this week.

1. Travel the world with ice cream

Wanderlust Creamery is an ice cream parlour in California, but with a twist.  Each flavour is inspired by someplace in the world they have been, or aspire to travel to!  Wanderlust at it’s finest!  You can dream of Thailand with the Sticky Rice and Mango, or envision high tea in Britain with the Earl Grey.  Lavender fields of Provence inspired the Honey Lavender, while perhaps campfires in the Pacific Northwest led to the Smoky Road flavour.  They also have seasonal flavours like Lilikoi Pineapple Li Hing Sorbet, inspired by my favourite Maui, Hawaii!

Check out this video for all the cold, luscious goodness from around the world!

2. Mini Pancakes with Nutella

Last week I mentioned our slight obsession with Nutella around my house.  Well, the internet went an upped the game with this tasty snack…mini popover pancakes drenched not only in Nutella, but peanut butter too!  OMG, I can almost taste that ooey-gooey goodness in my mouth just writing this post!

You can get these yummy snacks at Holland House, a food truck in the Dubai Mall.

3. La Maison du Chocolat

In french, that translates to House of Chocolate. All things chocolate. Chocolate heaven. Headed up by the best craftsman chocolatier in France, Nicholas Cloiseau, this boutique dessert shop makes all kinds of chocolate treats!

You can now find these boutiques all over the world, or order online from the original in France.  Be right back…I’m messaging my contact in Paris as we speak!

4. Taiwanese Wheel Cakes

While these tasty looking cakes have quite a long history, the company Catmint is bringing them to NYC, with both traditional and modern flavours!  Right now they can be found at various food festivals, but are hoping to open a permanent location after the summer.  Take a look!

5. Wild Doughnuts

Another NYC find is The Doughnut Project.  This specialty doughnut shop is creating some unique flavours in their small batch doughnuts.  Try PB and J, Blueberry and Parsnip, Beet and ricotta, or Everything!  They even serve Frozen Doughnuts in the summer!

I may have drooled a little on the laptop here…just sayin’.

You may have noticed all of these videos were posted by Insider.  They have a few different channels, including Insider Dessert and Insider Travel.  I love the inspiration that they share daily, and I invite you to check them out on Facebook for more!

Well, that’s it for this week’s edition of the Friday Five!  I apologize for the sugar coma I may or may not have induced.  Got a sweet treat I should try? Leave a comment below, or find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Friday Five – Mac’s Mural, Wonder Pens, Shrimp Rolls, John Williams and Nutella

Friday Five – Mac’s Mural, Wonder Pens, Shrimp Rolls, John Williams and Nutella

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Five…5 things that are bringing me bliss this week!

1. Mac’s Mural and Neighbours Day

A couple of weeks ago in the Friday Five, I posted about this blank wall outside my neighbourhood Mac’s store.

And here is what it’s been transformed into this week!!

This is the result of combined efforts of Waterloo Regional Police, Mac’s Convenience Stores, street artist MagicFinga WonG, and the local community.

You can check out more pictures and videos of the work in progress, and yesterday’s reveal on the Williamsburg Community Association Facebook page.

The project was finished just in time for Neighbour’s Day this Saturday!  Don’t forget to check out what’s happening in your ‘hood for this city-wide annual celebration!

2. Wonder Pens

This family-run company in Toronto, Ontario specializes in specialty fountain pens and stationery supplies; a very narrow niche market, that some could say is falling by the way-side with the advent of all things digital.  But there is popular return to “pen and paper”, calligraphy, and traveller’s notebooks (see my Friday Five post on my favourite Chic Sparrow notebooks).

My latest addition to my traveller’s notebooks meant shopping for some size specific accessories.  While other online retailers like Amazon and Etsy will usually fit my needs, in this case, Wonder Pens is not only less expensive, but much quicker than waiting for shipments from Japan.

But what makes Wonder Pens amazing is their attention to detail, and good old fashioned customer service.  When was the last time you got a hand-written thank you note for your business?

I invite you to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and if you’re local to Toronto, they also offer workshops in calligraphy, letter writing and more!

3. Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls

Our summer weather is about to get HOT this weekend.  I find it always makes for a struggle when looking for meal ideas that don’t involve the stove or the oven.  We love the barbecue, but sometimes even that seems like too much effort when the temperature outside soars.

A few weeks ago I came across this recipe on Facebook, and thought I’d give it a try.  I had all the ingredients on hand except mint, so I just made a quick trip to the grocery store.  We keep frozen, pre-cooked shrimp in the freezer, as it makes a quick protein to add to salads.  Just dump about half the bag in a bowl of cold water and thaw for a few minutes.

I have made a similar recipe before, but this one also included a tip for rolling the rice noodles in romaine first.  It made rolling everything in the rice paper soooo much easier!

While they do take a bit of effort, and patience, I think the results came out pretty good!

My finicky boys weren’t fans, but the rest of the family enjoyed them.  I will definitely make these again.  They would make a great addition to a pool party or get-together with friends!

4. John Williams tribute

Harvard University’s recent commencement ceremony included a special tribute to composer John Williams.  If you’re not sure who John Williams is, check out the video, and see how many of the songs you recognize!

5. Nutella Cafe

We’re pretty big Nutella fans in our house.  I am a bit ashamed to admit that most jars don’t last long, and rarely see anything other than a spoon.  So we are totally on board with this new cafe Ferrero is opening in Chicago, celebrating all things Nutella!!

Now, there is a Nutella cafe in Toronto, but it’s more of a “grab and go”, not the dedicated chocolate hazelnut establishment Chicago welcomed this past week.

Definitely adding this to my list of places to visit in the windy city!

Well, that’s it for this week’s edition of the Friday Five!  What’s been great in your world this week? Leave a comment below, or find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!




Friday Five – Wonder Woman, Lego, Pottery, Neighbours Day and a Ventriloquist

Friday Five – Wonder Woman, Lego, Pottery, Neighbours Day and a Ventriloquist

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Five…5 things that are bringing me bliss this week!  It’s starting to feel like summer, and we’ve got a jam-packed weekend ahead of us!  PA Day movie, Lego, getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather!

1. Wonder Woman

I have very fond memories of my childhood.  Raised in a family of all girls, my mother made sure we believed we could do anything, be anything, that boys could.  Now that I am a mother, I may have two boys who are all about superheroes, but I’m still raising them with the same principles, that girls can do anything.

In that vein, I was stoked to take them (and my mom) to see Wonder Woman today.  And I want to love this movie, I really do!!!  But I have to say, it was just good.  It started out really great!  Diana the child is fiery, precocious, adorable.  Gal Gadot is perfect in this role, fierce, yet kind.  The storyline and the scenes of the Amazon tribe of women, wonderful.  And I like Chris Pine and his character Steve.

Something just sort of unraveled in the ending, and I was left missing something.  I do think the reviews I have read so far are pretty on point.  The movie is inspiring, certainly for little girls who so desperately need some mainstream female idols, and I think it will still accomplish that.  But as a true fan, I wanted just a little bit more.  I’m hoping a few more viewings, maybe when it comes out on Blu-Ray, will do the trick.

Did you see it yet?  What are your thoughts?  I’d be interested to know!

2. Lego Fidget Spinners

Today is a PA Day for the boys, and I’m always on the lookout for stuff to keep them busy, without their electronics.  Luckily this week, Lego posted on their Facebook page instructions for a few different Lego Fidget Spinners!  Pretty sure we’ll be able to scrounge up the pieces to make these today!  I’ll post pictures of what the boys come up with, and I’d love to see your creations too!

3. Waterloo Potters Open House and Seconds Sale

Celebrate Summer with Waterloo Potters Workshop!  They are hosting their annual Open House and Seconds Sale this weekend, June 3 and 4.   Located in Waterloo Park, at the Eby Farmhouse across from Lion’s Lagoon, this is our opportunity to tour the workshop, catch a demo of pottery being thrown on the wheel, and let the kids play with clay.  You can also shop the pottery “seconds” that have been donated, with all proceeds benefiting local children’s charities!

4. Neighbours Day

This annual City of Kitchener event happens the second Saturday in June, this year on June 10.  Free events and activities are happening all over the city, as part of the “Festival of Neighbourhoods” initiative…garage sales, BBQs, sports, movie nights, outdoor activities, cooking demos and more!!  You can check out what’s happening near you or host your own event!

My family is looking forward to playing soccer with the KW United Football team, Food Trucks and Movie Night at Max Becker Common in Williamsburg!  What is your neighbourhood up to?

5. Darci Lynn

Check out this audition video from America’s Got Talent.  Darci Lynn is a 12 year old ventriloquist, not your ordinary, everyday talent!!  It’s pretty clear she wow’d everyone, including the judges!

Well, that’s it for this week’s edition of the Friday Five!  What’s been great in your world this week?   Leave a comment below, or find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!