Sunday, 30 November 2014

C-Bar



A few weeks ago, Greg and I got a babysitter and headed out for dinner and a movie. We never made reservations anywhere and just planned to eat at Chinook but we decided randomly to go somewhere fun and as we were driving down 17th we saw Cilantro and decided to eat there.
They were out of their sweet white wine so she suggested this fonseca port.  I did not like it.  Not even a little bit.  I ended dumping my water it so I could water it down and force it down my throat.  At least now I know that I don’t like port.
My favourite thing about the restaurant is the little plates.  I love tapas style.  So many things to eat and you can order like 4 or 5 different things at one meal.

The first two items that came out were amazing.  The one on the left was coconut coated pork belly slightly deep fried with an apple-pineapple compote.  I hate pineapple but you couldn’t even taste it.  It was like apple pie on top of coconut pork.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The plate on the rite is roasted beets which consisted of them with soft goat cheese, balsamic glaze, and candied walnuts.  I love all things beets I really do and I even love goat cheese when paired with beets.  The first time I had the combination was at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and I was shocked that I ate it.

The next two plates came out and they were good but not nearly as spectacular as the first two.  The one on the right is Crisp Salmon: Red quinoa salad, cauliflower, citrus crème.  It was alright but nothing that I would order again.  On the left was Seared Scallops: Roasted cauliflower & celery root purée, potato chip, truffle oil and that was delicious and would most definitely order it again.  

The dessert was so good.  Especially the coconut macaroons.   I love me anything coconut and macaroons might just be my favourite cookie besides whipped shortbread.  The chocolate Soufflé was also pretty good.  Greg makes a good soufflé so I am pretty spoiled with that.
When we were leaving, we realized that we were eating at C-Bar which is owned by Cilantro.  I couldn’t figure out how this happened since I know I drove by a building that said Cilantro. It turns out the restaurants are in the same building but the entrances are separated by something that I cannot remember and we didn’t realize that.  So C-Bar is great and now I need to go eat at Cilantro.  This is one Calgary restaurant that I highly recommend!!
Then we need ended up at Dumb and Dumber To.  Greg was died laughing every time he saw the trailer so we went opening weekend.  It was ok, although I think sometimes it tried too hard to be ridiculous.  It was better then I expected it to be so I guess that is a good thing, haha.  The biggest disappointment was the music.  The first Dumb and Dumber’s soundtrack was epic.  It still is.  In fact, I bought it on iTunes recently and love it as much now as I did 20 years ago!!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

DIY Frozen Party


DIY Frozen Party


A few weeks ago we had Finley’s Frozen themed birthday party.  If there is one I am not, it is a good crafter.  I am average at best and even that is a lofty statement.  However, a frozen themed party is quite easy and I managed (with some help from friends) to pull it off with success.
The top 2 on the left is jello that i made in ice cube trays so that they would be Kristoff’s Ice Blocks.  It worked out great while they were still in the trays but pretty much turned to mush once I got them out.  Another idea I saw was that it was in a bowl like a skating rink so it could be Eryndale at the end when they are all happily skating on it.  I also should have used extra gelatin in the jello to make it more firm but that never crossed my mind until after the fact.  
The third photo is rice krispy treats made into snowflakes.  It was a lot of sticky work and I wasn’t thrilled with how they turned out either.  I also made sugar cookies cut into snowflake shapes and decorated with blue icing and sprinkles.  They were a hit and I even forgot to take a good photo of them!!
The last photo on the right of the top row were Sven snacks.  Those were just pretzel sticks.  Easy Peasy.  The bottom row, I had Olaf’s noses which were just carrots in a cup and then we had Elsa’s Ice Punch which was just blue kool aid and water.  The last photo was the “I wanna stuff some candy in my face” buffet which had various blue candies, marshmallows, the rice krispie squares and cookies.  It was a HUGE hit amongst the kids – and the adults too.
These are the loot bags and I think (or at least hope) they turned out ok for the kids.  I bought teal bags from target which were on clearance for $.59 and snowflakes from Michaels which I then superglued together.  My friend Tara made the bookmarks which she also made for her daughter’s party.  And they are awesome!  Elsa currently keeps my page in my own books :).  I cleaned out dollarama of their blue gloves and their blue xmas ornaments which i thought were snowflakes but turned out were stars but my kids still loved them.  And to top it off I ordered the necklaces off of ebay from a mom in Washington.  Another easy peasy frozen idea.
Some random photos: We did Frozen bowling which I found at Winners for $9.99.  Pinterest had some cool ideas for Frozen themed bowling but this was easier and the girls still play it so it worked out good.  The top right is just some decor.  The top part is just a blue paper garland from the dollar store and then 3 different colours of crepe paper strung down which I think looked pretty.  
The bottom 2 photos were a great idea I found on pinterest.  It was like the bridal shower game where you can divided into groups and toilet paper one person to look like a bride except this time you would be Olaf.  It was a disaster that made my house look like a charmin plant.  TP was EVERYWHERE!! But the kids had a blast.
This was Pin The Nose On Olaf.  I had it made by a girl on my mom’s group and it was so awesome.  I loved it.  Unfortunately, Finley got her nose on the fireplace and not on Olaf and that wasn’t so awesome but this still was.  The kids really enjoyed it.
This was mostly stuff I bought at Target, the dollarstore and I think that is it.  The pink snowflakes were super cute and I really like those.
Printables thanks to Pinterest and some name place cards I made with scrapbook paper and stickers from Michaels.  
This was a craft I had the kids do when they got to the party waiting for Anna + Elsa to arrive.  It was an idea that I stole from Southcentre who did this when Anna + Elsa visited.  I bought popsicle sticks and hot glue gunned them together and bought jewel stickers from dollarama.  this worked out well and cost a total of $4. 
So hopefully this blog will show that people who are not overly craft can pull off a DIY Frozen party with great success.  I had a lot of fun doing this and my mind is already spinning with ideas for Penelope’s party in August!!!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Peppermint Wishes



On Saturday, we headed down to the Round Up Center after soccer for Greg’s Work Christmas Party. We have never actually been to one before mostly because Rider playoff games were always the same weekend. 
Our first stop was to see Santa since the line up wasn’t too long.  I had been telling Penelope that she was on the naughty list and she told me she was going to ask Santa when she saw him.  She didn’t because she gets too shy and just smiles and giggles when on Santa’s lap.  However, he did say that he checked before coming down from the North Pole and both were on the nice list.  He went on to say that could change if they didn’t go to bed nicely or put away their toys.  It was great.  After Santa, we went and had some lunch. It was gross.  So gross that it’s not really worth posting about.
They had all kinds of bouncy castles and slides set up for all kinds of age groups.  Clearly Finley was enjoying this one.
This was like a bouncy castle obstacle course.
After lots of playing in all things bouncy, we headed over to the cookie and crafting section of the christmas party.
Here are the girls decorating their cookies. The icing was a little thick and hard to spread so I helped them out and did that.  Penelope used mostly chocolate chips and Finley squeezed as much as she could on that cookie because after all it is just a method to get all kinds of sweet things in your mouth!
The crafting area was really neat basically they wanted you to do a watercolour of a winter house with a cool frame that they made.  
Finley really focused to get hers a lot like the example photo.  Penelope’s was the exact opposite.
Then it was off to balloon making.  Penelope got her rudolph and finley got the best version of olaf that they could do.  Olaf was on a  “stick” because it is hard to carry and as you can tell Penelope was not happy that she didn’t get one too hahaha
Next came face painting.  This had been the longest line all day but it wasn’t bad when we finally got around to doing it.  Greg hates face painting but the girls love it.  Penelope actually dosed off while getting it done.
The girl who did Finley had been dying to do an Olaf FOREVER and she did awesome.
Hello Olaf!!!!  How awesome is this.  It was so much better then all of the other Olaf’s done by the other ladies.
Rainbow Tiger
One last slide before heading home…
Their gifts from the party.  The Water Wow from Melissa and Doug is seriously the greatest thing ever!!!  If I ever see them in other themes I will be buying them up.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Finley's Frozen Birthday Party




Finley turned 6 this year and wanted a Frozen party to nobody’s surprise of course! However, we had to postpone her party for 2 weeks so that we could travel back to SK and celebrate her Great Gramps’ life on what was to be her party today.  Not once did she complain about having to move her party or anything.  Such a big hearted little girl we have.
Finley does have a Elsa princess gown but it ripped and the fabric where it ripped was too delicate for Greg to do himself so I went to Target and randomly found this dress for her to wear for her special day!
This was her birthday cake and she LOVED it.  My friend Lynette from Short and Sweet Cakes made it.  It was perfect for the occasion!
The first order of agenda after they raided the candy buffet was to do a craft.  It was popsicle sticks that I hot glued together in a shape of a snowflake and they got to put sticker gems on it.  It worked out pretty good as we waited for the real entertainment to arrive.
Everybody was SO excited to have Anna + Elsa arrive at our party.  They were fantastic!  They told the story of Frozen which all of the guests knew…
And then it was time for questions.  Some of the questions were cute and they answered each one no matter how silly or unrelated they may have been. 
Then they played Dance Freeze Tag where they remained frozen until Elsa tapped them on the head and asked them a question.
Then Elsa taught them how to blow a kiss.  This was pretty cute to watch.
This was the best photo we could get of the bunch.  And I have lots of photos that didn’t turn out.  It was fun to go through them all.
The birthday girl with her princesses
Sisterly bond
Originally we had face painting planned but the girl who does the faceprinting was booked on the 16th so we go sparkle tattoos instead.  This worked out better I think!
And then time to say goodbye.  I love this photo so much.
Pin the nose on Olaf.  This was handmade by a lady in Chaparral who belongs to my mom’s group.  It turned out great.  See that nose on the fireplace and not on Olaf?  That was Finley’s and she went NUTS.  Actually that was an understatement.  I thought she might be the first kid who was in her room when their cake was being cut and ate.  But eventually she calmed down and blamed it all on me.  What a kid.  The other kids enjoyed this game even if the birthday girl did not!
Blowing out the candles
She loved her cake!
She was spoiled so much by her friends.  We are grateful for all that came and made this day so special for Finley.
Then I saw this great idea on Pinterest where you use toilet paper to dress up the kids as Olaf kinda like you did at bridal showers.  It backfired and turned into an absolute disaster.  At least the girls had fun!!!
I will be posting a DIY blog on all the Frozen stuff I had for Finley’s party because if there is one thing I am not, it is crafty.  I have managed to make a few friends who are crafty to take care of some of the stuff for me :) I used Princesses by Mimi for Elsa and Anna and they were so awesome and very accommodating when we needed to postpone her party.  I highly recommend them should you ever want a princess party for your little princess.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Autumn Pumpkin Festival




This year we got season passes to the Calgary Corn Maze and I am so glad we did.  We ventured out about 5x which more then paid for our passes.  And amazingly enough, we never once did the maze.  To be fair, the corn maze wasn’t very successful this year due to the hot summer and snow we got in September but the great thing about the Calgary Corn Maze is that there is just still so much to do to keep you busy for a solid few hours.
We ventured out for the final time of the season to the Autumn Pumpkin Festival on Thanksgiving Monday.  This festival runs the last few weekends of September and until they close in October.  They have a pumpkin patch, a mini pumpkin patch where you get to pick a mini pumpkin to take home and they have a decorating station at the maze if you wish.  It was CRAZY busy and the line up was the worst I have ever seen it.  Thankfully a bonus to season passes is not having to wait in the line ups!!  Woo hoo!!
The first place the girls wanted to go was the mini golf.  The girls and I had done this a few times, but we never seemed to get to it with Greg.  He was trying to teach them the correct way to hold a golf club.
As you can see, it didn’t really bother the girls that they were holding the clubs incorrectly.
Another part of the Autumn Fall Festival is the Pumpkin Explosion.  So the first thing is that they shoot off a pumpkin and watch it explode.  I don’t quite get the fascination with this but it is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Then they shoot another pumpkin full of candy for all of the kids to go crazy getting. Here is the girls waiting for it to go off.  Finley is clearly in her candy zone.
And then it is complete pandemonium as your kids go running searching for candy and you go into complete panic mode because you can’t see them and you fear they are being trampled by the much too old children stealing candies from the littles.  Thankfully you spot them in a mere few moments.
This large slide with the potato sacks is a huge hit with the girls.  Probably their most favourite activity other then the pig races.  They could spend hours here if we would let them, which we don’t 
The poor, tiny corn maze that wasn’t.  It had no hope after our crazy hot summer and Snowtember.  But at least some people were venturing through it.  The kids corn maze never even developed at little bit.
This is another new activity.  The girls really liked this one.
Greg challenged them to stand up in it and make it roll but it proved to be quite challenging.
Happy Turkey Day!
Picking their pumpkin out very carefully.  The decorating station was crazy busy so we grabbed a few items and they decorated them at home the next day.
We really love the Calgary Corn Maze and love all the ideas, energy and love that they owners put into it making it an awesome place for us to spend the day.  And of course, it helps that it is so close to us!! We held Penelope’s party here too and everybody had a great time.  There are pig races, more slides, playgrounds, petting zoos, turkeys, donkeys – so much fun.  You must check it out if you haven’t before!!!