Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

I cannot believe Christmas is only a couple weeks away! I, for one, was shocked by how quickly the year flew by and was not prepared for Christmas at all. Luckily, many Christmas festivities have popped up across Lower Mainland to help getting into a festive mood.

Of course, the iconic Vancouver Christmas Market has returned for its 10th year. I still remember when it was back at Queen Elizabeth Plaza and how much it’s grown since. Same as the last few years, the Christmas Market can be found at the Jack Poole Plaza. I was invited to its media event and have returned a couple of times since. Here are some food and shopping suggestions for you.


Obviously there are some must-haves at the Christmas Market but they have new vendors this year too. Here are some highlights.

Mulled Wine

You can’t go to the Christmas Market without a cup of mulled wine (Gluhwein) to warm your cockles.


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I can’t believe we are just under 7 weeks away from Christmas! In fact, my work Christmas party is exactly 29 days away – that’s less than a month!! If you haven’t started panicking about holiday gifting, you probably should. I know I am now.

Here are some ideas to get you started. I was invited to a preview of Superstore’s holiday collections and after confirming with the agency, I can tell you that the new products should be in store now (I was told 2nd week of November). Let me share some of my favorites with you.

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

The Midnight Wish collection was definitely my favourite of them all. It is inspired by the starry sky on Christmas Eve and highlights the navy and gold trend. I was sold as soon as I saw the constellation line up!

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

Adding to my shopping list include the Dutch Oven, Galactic Water Bottle (or I call it the constellation bottle), Zodiac Mug (I’m a Sagittarius, by the way!).

2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore2017 Holiday Home Collection, Real Canadian Superstore

The Winter Green was also quite nice.


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Are you looking for gift ideas for the home cooks in your life? How about a cookbook?

I recently received a copy of the new The Dirty Apron Cookbook, and I thought I’d share my thoughts just in time for your holiday shopping.

The Dirty Apron Cookbook

As you probably know, The Dirty Apron Cooking School is one of Vancouver’s popular and favourite place for amateur cooks to unleash their inner chefs. Owned by former Chambar Sous Chef David Robertson and his wife, Sara, The Dirty Apron offers a variety of hands-on cooking classes. The new cookbook, published in October, caters to both beginners and more experienced cooks who are looking for delicious menus and wanting to build more confidence in the kitchen. In addition to recipes of different levels of difficulty, you will also find cooking tips and tricks such as a list of basic ingredients for your pantry, tips for plating and garnishing, making stocks and brines, and a temperature chart for cooking meats.

Not spending enough time in the kitchen, I thought we would be the perfect testers, to see how easy it is to use this cookbook. So, we tried a few recipes, including:

The Dirty Apron Scones

Dirty Apron Scones

Boeuf Bourguignon (more…)

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In recent years, it has become our Christmas tradition to visit the Vancouver Christmas Market. This year, the Vancouver Christmas Market is celebrating its 5th anniversary and of course we wouldn’t want to miss it!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Vancouver Christmas Market was created to bring Vancouverites the experience of a German Christmas Market. For the last five years, it has offered a mix of food, drinks, Christmas gift ideas, and fun for friends and families.

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Inside the Vancouver Christmas Market

Grab yourself a souvenir mug and a cup of hot apple cider for the kids, or mulled wine for the adults. The aroma and flavours of cloves, star anise and cinnamon have holidays written all over the mug — and it keeps you warm on a cold chilly day/night!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

There is a good variety of food vendors this year. How about stick-style pastries or chocolate fountain?

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Waffle on a stick and hurricane potato were pretty popular too!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

It was pretty cool to watch them make fresh Turkish pastries on-site!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

To this day, one of our favourite spots for food here is still Black Forest Delicatessen. (more…)

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We were approached to experience a new online coffee seller at GotMyBeans.com. The premise of the website is the freshness of the beans — “We ensure all beans delivered to our customers are freshly roasted, providing the unique aroma and flavour the Master Roaster intended. Our inventory is managed just-in-time, obtaining supply from our partners only to meet the immediate demand of our customers. No coffee sits on our shelves for more than five days. “ — as a coffee drinker, quality and freshness of beans do matter to me, so I was intrigued and agreed to give it a try.

The eCommerce website is pretty straightforward. You select the beans you want, put in an order and go. The nice thing is that it has a user review feature that allows you to read about what other fellow coffee drinkers think. I liked its clean design, too.

GotMyBeans.com Product Listing

GotMyBeans.com Product Listing

Upon placing the order, it is shipped when they receive the freshly roasted beans. Then it would be sent to you via Canada Post. I received the shipment within 1 week from ordering. You can smell the roasted coffee beans even through the packaging.

GotMyBeans.com Package

And as soon as you open the box, it’s as if you are circulated by a cloud of coffee beam scent. (more…)

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I recently checked out the Main Street Honey Shoppe, the retail front brought to you by the Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale. I remembered back in the days when I was working in the agriculture sector, I would drive by the Honeybee Centre all the time and stopped by a few times getting my fix of honey.

This retail store not only features their own honey product, but they also import interesting honey from Europe and Australia. You can also do honey tasting, or even grab a coffee to pair with pastries made with their honey.

This Vancouver store makes honey shopping much more convenient. Now you don’t have to drive out to Cloverdale to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Here are some photos of the store:

Honey TastingMain Street Honey ShoppeHoneybeeHoney meadBee skep decorDecor
Honeycomb + cheese + crackerHoney cake fresh out of the ovenBaked goods made with honeyImported honey from EuropeWhat's your favourite honey?Espresso made with Republica coffee beans
Honey stixIMG_3223

Click here to view the Main Street Honey Shoppe album on Flickr.

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