Books for me! – a purpose for your kid’s old books

Let’s start the back to school time on a good note. A good friend just told me about this literacy foundation that is worthy of sharing with you. When was the last time that you went through your kid’s library? Fingers crossed was a while ago and this will encourage you to clean it up. Have you heard of ‘Books for me!’? “Books for Me! is a non-profit Society and a registered charity based in Vancouver. For many families, buying children’s books just isn’t possible. Books for Me! provides children from these families an opportunity to build their own libraries for free. Our program comes to life as children choose their own book to take home and keep.”

To find out more about ‘Books for me!’ check out their website http://booksformevancouver.org/.

Have a good 2013-2014 school year everyone!

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From farm to table

Hi all! Last Saturday I went for dinner with Laura (Again? I know. Guilty!). This time she chose the place and wanted to take me there. It’s a small restaurant on 4th west – Fables. They use local fresh produce in their delicious dishes. Their slogan is: from farm to table. Laura and I shared two dishes and the dessert.

“P” Gnocchi: Peas, pesto, pea puree, pea shoots, mushrooms

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It had a rich delicious flavour. But, I’m glad I was sharing it with her because I would not have finished as it was a heavy dish.

Steak Frites: Triple cooked potatoes, mushroom, buttered spinach.

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I love steak! This one was tender and juicy. I wish it was a larger serving. the potatoes were made to perfection.

The service was excellent. Our waiter was attentive and very nice. Definitely a 20% tip if not more!

It’s not a place I would go with a large party – it did not seem they could accommodate a large group comfortably. But will definitely go back with just a couple of other friends. If you go check it out, let me know your thoughts.

Celebration of Light

Hi Vancouver!

Don’t forget that this Saturday starts the Celebration of Light in English Bay. I just love the idea that every year a few countries get together to present their version firework show.

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It starts after sunset, but get there early to watch performances on two stages. For more information check out the website http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/artists/shorefest-2013

7 Layers dip: yum!

I can’t tell you how much I love dips: salsa, hummus, tabouli… name it, I’m all over it! I also think it’s a great thing to have in my fridge to serve to that surprise guest and/or the play-dates we have at home. It’s a great snack for children and adults.

One of my favourite dip is the 7 layer dip from Thrifty grocery store.

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Unfortunately, the nearest Thrifty is in North Vancouver. We have tried 7 layer dip from basically every grocery store in Vancouver and nothing is even close to this one. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water.

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I really recommend. You should try it! 🙂

Dinner at La Pentola followed by dessert at Glowbal Grill

La Pentola is La Quercia’s (which deserves its own posting) sister restaurant at the Opus Hotel in Yaletown. My friend Laura and I went there last night for a way overdue date. The place was inviting and warm as well as the service. Unfortunately we didn’t know about the ‘famiglia style’ and interestingly were not told about it nor it’s mentioned on the menu (at least I didn’t see it). The idea is that they serve 10 dishes for $55/person and you share them with your party. However, it is mentioned on their website and you are able to request it. How fun is it to get and share several dishes during a great night out? The idea is that whole Italian way of sharing food and really enjoying it and having fun while eating.

Well, Laura and I still had a great meal and time. We begun with the ‘Chef selection bruschetta’ for appetizer. I found it interesting – can’t say I would order it again. But, in retrospective I liked it was sweet – great contrast to the main course as it was salty (I love salty!).

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Laura ordered the ‘Polenta gnocchi, cheese fonduta, mushroom’ dish and on the side she got ‘Zucchini trifolati’. The gnocchi was good, but both of us have had better ones. The zucchini was warm and deliciously salty.

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I ordered the ‘Risotti’ (Potato, pancetta, rosemary). I simply loved it! Delicious! The potato and the pancetta blended so well in the ‘risotti’.

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Overall, I highly recommend this restaurant. The bill for the 2 of us came to almost $60. It’s a high-end restaurant in Yaletown that offers a fun menu for you to enjoy with your loved ones.

The night is young! After dinner we went to get our favourite dessert that is offered at Trattoria and Italian Kitchen – Zeppole di Cioccolato. As they describe in their menu “italian style doughnuts, chocolate ganache crème anglaise”. Seriously, I love it! Because both of these places are part of the Glowbal group and they offered it, we mistakenly assumed that Glowbal Grill would also have it. But they did have ‘beignet’ as part of their ‘dessert platter’. We asked them if they could make us the only ‘beignet’. They kindly did it! Isn’t it great when restaurants adapt to the customers wishes?

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It was not the same as the one offered at the other restaurants as it didn’t have the chocolate ganache inside of the donut. Even though it was good, I am now craving for the Zeppole di Cioccolato which I really recommend.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat in Vancouver undoubtedly consider La Pentola. I can’t wait to go back with Shun. It’s great place for a date night. And as I said before to go with friends and family. The Glowbal Group restaurants are a safe bet  and well known in the city. I think my favourite is Coast for the ambience and Italian Kitchen for the food. I haven’t been to Black and Blue yet (probably going this week – a new post). And to be honest don’t love Trattoria or Glowbal Grill, but also don’t hate them. (It might be content for a another post).

Ok! That’s enough for now. Hope you had a great weekend!

Birthday party on wheels

Researching for a new post idea I came across this cool birthday party – TumbleBus (http://vancouvertumblebus.com/). I have never ever heard about it before… have you? If you are thinking of hosting a birthday party at your house, but would like that extra twist –  how about this? A school bus filled with tons of fun stuff (zip line, slides, ball pit, etc) will come to your house and entertain the kids for 1 hour. Oh and if it rains you have that extra card in your sleeve. I can’t attest to this party, but looking at the pictures on their website it looks like a fun thing to have and ideal for little kids 2-4 years old.

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One more thing it’s not just in Vancouver. They have it in other cities too. Hope you like it!

Summer ready!

I’m finding a little awkward to post about this. But the whole point of this blog is to make the everyday a little more extraordinary. Right? If it means posting about waxing – Be it!!

Ok! If there is one thing that most girls hate on their body is hair. We take care of it all year long but during summer we really have to step it up. But it’s so hard when you don’t have an awesome esthetician to help you out. I think your search for one is over (if you live in Vancouver). I highly recommend Gisele at Le Petit Spa (lepetitspa.ca). I have been going to her for over 4 years. Besides being super nice, she is so good at her job and fast. At least for me fast is a must. Don’t you agree? I hope your search is over now.

That was short and sweet… Have a great Tuesday!