Aug
28

Introducing YP Grocery!


I’m delighted to share a new app with you, especially because its’ about a favourite subject of mine: GROCERIES.

Seeing as I’m a food sales rep and I’m in grocery stores all day long, one would think that I’m organized. Sadly this is not true.

However there’s a new app called YP Grocery, and it’s going to be a game changer for me (and hopefully you as well). I’ve just downloaded it and there’s a lot to like!!

YP Grocery is a new app that showcases the best grocery related deals in a given area.

yp - photo

I know there’s other apps out there but this one is different.

It’s a grocery list app. This means that the user (that’s you!) lists every product they need and YP Grocery will do all the work. Let’s say I’m looking for cucumbers – well YP Grocery will list all the stores in my given area that features cucumbers on sale.

yp - list

It combs through every current flyer for savings and grocery coupons. (two of my favourite words). Not to mention I can SHARE this list with my BF so we are on the same page. #loveit.

We have both downloaded it and here’s what we are enjoying about our experience using this app.

-it was easy to get the app up and running. i.e. extremely user friendly.

-we can store loyalty cards on it.

yp - loyalty

-there’s a filtering tool to search only the stores we like.

The only thing that would make this better would be a VOICE that said: “Vicky- you forgot the EGGS”. LOL.

Hope you get to check out this app too.

For more information:

Twitter: @YPGrocery

Instagram: @YPGrocery

Google PlayStore

Website: https://grocery.yellowpages.ca

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, however all opinions are my own.

 

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Aug
23

What a Fabulous Venue


It’s been a busy month. Here’s what I mean:

-Bar Mitzva Aug 5th, Toronto

-Travelled from Aug 6 to 13 (blog post to follow)

-Wedding Aug 19, Niagara on the Lake

-Wedding Aug 27, London England plus a trip to Israel (blog post to follow)

The wedding in Niagara on the Lake was so spectacular that I feel the need to spread the word about the venue.

You see, the wedding was held at Kurtz Orchards in Niagara on the Lake. It was the perfect combination of an outdoor setting, fabulous food and great cousins. How could you go wrong!!

Oh ya – it helped that the weather was gorgeous too.

Now, I’ve been to my share of weddings, bar mitzvahs and other sit-down events but I’ve never seen food like this before.

After the ceremony, instead of passed hors d’oeuvres there was a massive table of the best fruit, cheese and meat. It was truly gorgeous.

When we sat down for the main meal there was an option of salmon, beef or vegetarian. Here’s what my plate looked like. Look at the size of the meat – it’s almost as big as the 12 inch plate that it was served on.

Plus there were two salads on a giant platter. Each salad was unique and had all the right combination of flavors and textures.

For dessert there was a baked pear (sorry no photo – the sun had set) and a sweet table. I’m generally not a “sweet” person (no pun intended) but I tried every single item and everything was freakin’ delicious. I must make a note to visit this bake shop on my next trip to Hamilton. Although at the moment I can’t remember the name of this bake shop #seniormoment

However at the end of the day, it was truly being surrounded by family that made this wedding so special.

No idea who I should give the credit to for this photo. However it’s a great shot, don’t you think?

Congratulations to Kim and Alex on their recent wedding. It was truly a memorable occasion.

 

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Aug
20

Summer is almost over which is really really sad. However this recipe is going to make you smile. It’s super easy to make (3 ingredients) and it’s perfect for an after school snack!! (which is right around the corner for many of us)

However, you will need a lot of time. About 10 minutes to actually make the recipe and 5-6 hours to sit in your oven. You have now been officially warned!!

I hope you continue reading…..

As always, there’s a story behind this recipe! I happen to have gone raspberry picking and then realized that I was too lazy to bake and had no room to store them in the freezer.

I headed over to Pinterest and entered the word “raspberries” into the search engine. A whole bunch of ideas came up but one in particular got my attention that was featured on a blog called www.liveeatlearn.com.

I wish there were more photos but I honestly didn’t think it was going to turn out so I didn’t take any photos while making it. #lessonlearned #bepositive.

3 Ingredient Fruit Leather Roll up (original recipe can be found here).

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fruit (try raspberries, try this with mango, try it with blueberries…)
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey can sub sugar or sugar-substitute
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (I didn’t have any and it still worked out)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend fruit in a fruit processor. Mix in sweetener and lemon juice. (simple eh?). It shouldn’t be too thick or too thin.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap (a good quality one).
  3. Pour the pureed mixture into the pan lined with plastic wrap then spread out ⅛ to ¼ inch thick
  4. In oven at 140 to 170 degrees F (60 to 75 degrees C, or as low as oven will go) for 5 to 6 hours, or until middle is not longer tacky.
  5. Allow to cool, then remove from plastic wrap.
  6. Use clean scissors, cut into 1 inch wide strips.
  7. Wrap with strips of parchment or tissue paper, then use tape or string to seal. (I didn’t do this step as it was so good that we ate all of it right away)
 Final Result: Pretty Cool eh?
 
I can’t wait to try this with the strawberries that are sitting in my freezer.

Happy Baking!!

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Aug
17

The CNE has arrived and my stretch pants are ready! ! This year there’s another incredible line up of food at the CNE. and I was all too happy to snap a few photos and taste a few items as well.

Here’s just a few examples of what you can expect to indulge in!

  1. Bacon Nation has created a Canada 150 inspired ALL Canadian Red Hot Burger. (Location: Food Building)
  2. The King of Curds will be serving deep fried cheese curds sprinkled with icing sugar and served with pure Canadian Maple Syrup. YUM. YUM and more YUM.  (Location: Midway)
  3. This photo says it all (location: Food Building)
  4. Tim Hortons as always,introduced some tasty Canadian-themed treats.
  5. Yatai (a sister project of Kanpai snack bar) has created this pretty epic fried chicken burger that’s in between fried ramen (instead of a bun) along with two kinds of kewpie mayo. Loved it and you will too!6. Pizza Nova has introduced a Pizza made with Carbone Dough.  Basically this is their traditional dough infused with activated charcoal and I regret not tasting it!!7. The Lisa Marie food truck will be serving an enormous double lobster patty burger. Seriously this burger was bigger than my hand. 
  6. You can also find this deep fried goodness at this years CNE.

Seriously there’s no end to interesting food at the CNE: Deep Fried Chicken Feet, Cricket Cones, Peanut Butter Sriracha Bites, Spaghetti Donut Balls, and more!

There’s also the Midway and I couldn’t resist playing one of my all time favourite games….

Not to mention that this years’ CNE features OH Canada! Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show with internationally renowned skater Elvis Stojko. There’s two free performances every day (2 and 5 pm).

Details that you should know about the CNE 2017:

-The CNE opens from Aug 18 to Sept 4, 2017

-Gates are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm (rides and midway stay open until midnight)

-Labour Day Monday: Gates close at 5 pm. Buildings close at 7 pm, rides and ground open till 9 pm.

-General admission $19 (14 to 64 years)

-Children (5 to 13 years) $16 Children under 5: Free

-CNE Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children, or 1 adult and 3 children) $59

Specials:

-Opening Day Special $10 (Friday Aug 18 only)

-Kids Toonie Mondays

-$8 after 5 pm on Monday Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays

To learn more about the CNE and about special offers and discounts please visit www.theex.com or call the CNE info line at 416 263 3330

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Aug
14

I love to save money. Some of my friends would describe me as being “frugal” and it’s true. I won’t argue.

I’ve been like this since I was little. I just loved to save money and not really spend it! Now I spend it but I’m careful about how I spend it and think hard before making purchases.

Not to mention I do a fair bit of research to find out if I’m getting the best price.

Thankfully there’s apps these days to help me accomplish this. Lately, I’ve been using RedFlagDeals.com (RFD) which is a leading deal-finding app and website that syndicates geo-localized bargains, and hosts user-generated forums to help Canadians find the best deals around.

Seeing as it’s back to school season – I think this app will come in very handy for many households!

This app has many amazing features…take a peek:

I can find all the hottest deals and more. Here’s a few of my favourite features that are on this app.

-I’m able to personalize the deals (BRING IT ON!!) and flyers I’m looking for. For example, I live close to a Metro Grocery store so I can easily set that particular grocery store as a “favourite” so I can see all their flyers first!

-I have the ability to get the latest news, information and tips that matter to me. Here’s a screenshot which demonstrates this. Love knowing what’s going on with some of my favourite retailers.

I’m also able to use a search engine that will feature freebies (yay) and coupons too. See the coupon at the bottom for the CNE? Well I know for sure that this freebie will interest many (many) people…including me!!!

Hope you get a chance to download this app soon for the chance to save, save and save some more!

For more information:

Website: www.redflagdeals.com

Instagram and Twitter: @redflagdeals

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

 

 

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Aug
11

Trying to Stay Healthy!!


Summer is quickly passing us by and sometimes I can’t believe that September is just around the corner. I don’t know about you but there’s something about summer where I strive to eat more fruit and salads.

I’ve also tried to take advantage of this fitness track which is 100 ft from me.

At the same time, I must admit that some not-so-good habits have occurred. For example, I definitely ate way more than I should have at a recent cottage weekend, (but it was worth it). I also know that while watching The French Open and Wimbledon, I snacked even though I wasn’t hungry at all. #argghh.

The good news is that we can all refocus and get back on track!! September offers a fresh start and a chance to get back to healthy living. This can sound like a daunting task, but I’ve got a few tips to share that I know are going to help me form some healthy habits. Hope they help you too!!!

1. SLEEP: I don’t know about you but i’m always pushing the limit and going to bed about an hour too late. I know that I function better with the right amount of sleep so I really have to make this a priority.

2. VITAMINS: Trying to select the right vitamins and supplements for a healthier lifestyle can be overwhelming. However Jamieson Essentials makes it easy by identifying four products that best meet the health needs of Canadians.

With over 100 years of experience, Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for you and have identified Multivitamin, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take EVERY DAY as a foundation for a healthier living. I couldn’t agree more and really do believe this.

3. EATING HABITS: I have to be more mindful of “why” I’m eating and “what” I’m choosing. I must. It’s not easy but It can be done, right?

4. EXERCISE: I’ve been wearing my Samsung Gearfit and I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying it. This watch really does remind me how active I am or how inactive I am. (which happens!!)

Here’s to a healthier Fall Season. Let’s embrace the colours, cooler temperatures and the seasonal produce as well!!

For more information:

Website; www.Jamiesonvitamins.com

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Jul
09

More Brunch Recipes!


Another Sunday = another opportunity to host a brunch for friends that were visiting form Ottawa. My friend graciously offered to bring bagels and cream cheese but I was eager to try to try out some new recipes that I found on Pinterest. As for the recipes I tested….I scored. They all came out perfect and of course I’m going to share the details with you.

The table looked like this. Don’t you just love the grass runner and those adorable shot glasses (which were perfect to serve mimosas?)

brunch - table

As for the food…. the main attraction was this Easy Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake from www.thesaltymarshmallow.com. Once again I need to thank Pinterest for helping me find this incredibly easy and tasty recipe!

Recipe: Easy Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake
Ingredients
  • 2 French Baguettes cut into 1/2 slices. (I used one long baguette and it was fine)
  • 1 12 ounce Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cups Blueberries
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream or Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter a 3 quart casserole dish.
  2. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer or large spoon, (I used my Cuisinart and I’m glad I did) to combine the cream cheese with the maple syrup, and cinnamon, then fold in the blueberries. Pretty easy eh?

  3. Spread about a tablespoon (or so)  of the blueberry cream cheese mixture onto one side of each slice of bread. Place bread slices evenly in a row in the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl,  whisk together the eggs, cream (I used cream) or milk, and vanilla extract. Pour mixture evenly over bread slices.

    Cover pan with foil and refrigerate at least 3 hours – overnight. (Overnight is best and I agree!)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Place the bread mixture in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown.

  5. Prepare the topping: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Drizzle over french toast as desired. (note: I forgot to do this step and it was still delicious).

    brunch - blueberry dish

I also served baked eggs in rep pepper shells! For added flavour I put in some vegetarian sausage and chives (for color).

brunch - eggs

Healthy. Oh so healthy.

This fruit salad served in kiwi cups were also an idea I found on Pinterest.

brunch - fruit

Hope this blog post encourages you to host a brunch one day soon and hope everyone is enjoying their summer too!!

 

 

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Jun
29

Summer Salads


I must admit that there was a time, where I hated making salads. Mainly because I hated to chop. Well things have changed….I now love making salads!!

A facebook friend asked me “why do I love making salads” and indeed its’ a great question. Here’s my answer.

  1. I enjoy LOVE going to Farmers Markets and then coming home to make a fresh salad with produce thats’ local and fresh. The other week, I found this beautiful bibb lettuce for $3.50 at Wychwood Barns. How could I NOT buy it? In fact I bought two!!

salad - bibb

  1. I love that you can take a few ingredients and create something that is ever so pretty!!
  2. Salads are healthy which means I can eat more!!
  3. I consider it fun to scour Pinterest looking for unique recipes to try. (Please don’t judge me)
  4. Salads provide you the opportunity to include something crunchy, sweet, savoury etc.

Here’s a few photos to prove my point:

  1.  I had leftover chicken in the fridge, leftover corn on the cobb and before you know it – there was this beautiful salad on the table.

salad - chicken:corn

2. I had some kale in the fridge, some tomatoes and some blue cheese. Perfect ingredients for a delicious salad.salad - kale?

3. Bought some sea asparagus for my first time (apparently they are FULL of nutrients) and once again, I threw a few ingredients into a bowl which resulted in a nutritious salad

salad - sea asparagus4. This salad simply consisted of Bibb lettuce, grapefruit segments, avocado and toasted almonds. Freaking delicious. Oh ya – I threw in some edible flowers.

salad - grapefruitSee what I mean? I hope that I encourage you to get out there and visit your local Farmers Markets AND to make more salads!! All that chopping is worth it. Promise.

Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!

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Jun
27

Mom Who Snacks…


I’ve been in food sales for about 10 years now, although at one point I took a 3 year break. I really enjoy being on the road and spending time in my car roaming around to existing customers and prospecting new customers as well.

Last month I started a new job and at the same time I made a resolution to try and bring snacks-from-home to nosh on during the day. I’m motivated to spend less $$ and to watch my waistline too.

So every morning before I head into my car (which is really my office) I slice up some veggies, grab some almonds, and a few rice crackers too and stick them into little containers.

snacks

However I always seem to grab a coffee somewhere during  the day and with that coffee I want/need a “treat’ but I want a wholesome treat!!  Therefore I’ve been gravitating towards these two products to go along with my coffee.

Good & Simple Bars which are available in three flavours: Cranberry Orange + Flax , Walnut + Grains
or Blueberry Oatmeal

good and simple - bars

I’m also a fan of the Good & Simple Muffins which are also available in three different flavours:  Fruit + Fibre (with Blueberries and Cranberries), Banana Bran or Chocolate Chip Oatmeal.

good and simple - muffin

Good & Simple Muffins and Bars are delicious fresh-tasting baked goods that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.  For me, this means I’m enjoying them in my car!

vicky car

Not my car but I wish it was my car!!

Made with real ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries, bananas, walnuts, chocolate chips and flax seeds, each Good & Simple Muffin and Bar is made with whole grains and with no artificial flavours or colours. The combination of ingredients creates a wonderful texture and flavour experience which I’m really enjoying.

These wholesome snacks are individually wrapped making them perfect for on-the-go snacking. Once again, this is perfect for my situation as I’m on-the-go more than the average person.

You can find Available at the in-store bakery at Metro and Freshco grocery stores.

Now that my car is fully stocked with snacks, I’ve been less tempted to spend $$ and be more mindful of the snacks I’m selecting.  As for the job….it’s been a great month in that respect too! Promise to blog more about exactly what I’m selling in the near future. Promise.

For more information:

Facebook; www.facebook.com/GoodandSimpleCA/

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

 

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Jun
08

The Coolest Gift Ever


Do you ever have those occasions where you need to buy a gift for someone who has everything? Well this gift is sure to impress. Trust me.

I’d like to introduce you to the new Breville Smoking Gun. As you know I’m a huge fan of all Breville products but this one is certainly unique.

For a change, I put together a small video clip for you to watch so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. It features me actually demonstrating how to use it. Go ahead and take a peek. PS I think I’m going to do these video clips more often. #somuchfun

I have a feeling this gift would be a huge hit if you are looking for a Fathers Day Gift, a hostess cottage gift, or any other special occasion

Happy Cooking!!

Disclosure: this product was provided to me by Breville Canada however all opinions are my own.

 

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