Friday, April 10, 2015

Meet the Artists

Do you have a passion for art? Are you looking for the next art piece or framed scenic imagery to add to your space? Looking for a date night out to meet some locals with your same interest in the arts? Then we have an event for you to check out this Friday, April 10th from 6 pm to 10 pm at the ROAM Gallery.

Meet The Artist
When: Friday April 10th
Time: 6pm - 10pm
Where: City Square Mall, Upper Level, Unit 126, 555 W. 12th Ave, Vancouver

From April 8th to May 5th seven emerging artists will be showing and selling their art of all mediums. 

Friday, April 10th the gallery along with the seven artists will be hosting a "Meet The Artist" event where you will get to view work, mingle and meet the artists of the month.

Our very own Mommy Ambassador Angel is one of the seven artists who be in attendance on Friday  so you will have a chance to meet her there.


More information check out www.roamgallery.com



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Eggs For Easter

If eggs are a part of your family’s Easter celebrations, there are some important handling tips to remember when you’re decorating, cooking or hiding them.
Egg Safety:
  • Shop carefully: Purchase refrigerated eggs at the end of your shopping trip. Check their best before date and inspect them to make sure they aren’t dirty or cracked. Dangerous bacteria can enter a cracked egg.
  • Keep eggs cold: Store eggs in the original carton in the body of the refrigerator instead of in the refrigerator door.
  • Keep clean: Wash hands, utensils, cutting boards and counters carefully with soap and warm water before and after handling raw eggs. This helps avoid potential cross contamination and prevent the spread of foodborne illness.
Easter eggs:
If you hollow out egg shells by blowing out the egg through holes in the shell:
  • Wash eggs in hot water first and rinse them in a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach to ½ cup water.
  • Refrigerate the uncooked egg contents immediately and use within two to four days. You can freeze the contents for up to 4 months.
If you hard-boil eggs:
  • Cook eggs thoroughly in boiling water.
  • Cool eggs completely by immersing in cold tap water, and make sure they are kept cold before and after they are dyed.
  • Use a non-toxic colouring dye to decorate eggs.
  • Decorated eggs that have been left out for longer than two hours are not safe to eat and should be thrown away after Easter.
If you’re having an Easter egg hunt, carefully consider where you hide your eggs. Avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with pets, wild animals, birds, insects or chemicals.
Chocolate eggs:
For those who prefer the sweeter taste of chocolate, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Although chocolate is not usually associated with foodborne illness, it is best eaten within one year of production. Check for the “best before” date.
  • If you have food allergy concerns, be sure to read the label carefully for the presence of allergens such as peanuts or other nuts.
  • The white or grey film that develops on chocolate isn’t a sign that it has gone bad. When the fats in chocolate separate from the cocoa mass, it results in something called “fat bloom,” which may alter the chocolate’s taste or texture slightly, but is perfectly safe to eat.
  • Remember, don’t overdo it! Most chocolate is high in sugar and fat and is best consumed in moderation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Baking with the Kids: Cadbury Creme Eggs Cupcakes

Cadbury Creme Eggs, always were a favourite of mine as a child, so once I had my own kidlets, obviously at Easter time, these were the go to item for me, and even better when I found them in mini size. I'm a big fan of cupcakes, so this recipe seemed to be the perfect fit! Sweet tooth warning: These are super yummy and sweet - the kids love them and these are super easy to make with
them.

For this demonstration, I used a boxed cupcake mix, just to show you how quick and easy these can be made. If you have more time you can use your own favourite cupcake recipe from scratch.  I selected the Super Moist Golden flavour but I've made them with chocolate flavour as well and found them quite decadent.



Step 1: Wash your hands and prepare a clean work space.

Step 2:  Gather all your ingredients, for this you will need the following:

1. Ingredients as per box, mine called for 3 Eggs, 1 cup of milk or water, 1/2 cup  of vegetable oil;
2. Frozen Mini Cadbury Creme Eggs, I usually let them freeze them over night. by freezing them, they don't fully explode inside the cupcake batter once they are placed into the oven. Each small bag contains roughly 16 mini eggs
3. Cupcake liner and cupcake pan
4. Vanilla Icing and yellow food colouring
Step 3:
 Preheat oven to 350 F


Step 4: Mix together all your cupcake ingredients and then pour the batter into the cupcake paper liners. I would recommend starting with 1/3 of the way or if you like bigger cupcakes like me, I usually go 1/2 of the way full. Then place one frozen mini egg in the centre and cover the egg with additional batter, so that the mini creme egg is not exposed.




Step 5: Place in oven for 15 minutes and allow to bake. Once the cupcakes are finished, allow them to completely cool down.

Step 6: For this, I used store bought but it can be substituted for your own favourite DIY icing, as long as it's vanilla. I leave half in the container as our "egg white" and then add yellow food colouring to the desired shade of yellow for the "yolk". Place both containers of icing into the fridge to allow to cool.

Step 7: Ice the tops of the cupcakes with white icing first as this will resemble your "egg white" and I like to put them back into the fridge at this point to cool again to ensure the icing is stuff and then use the yellow icing to put a drop in the centre and smooth out into a circle to resemble your egg yolk. You can leave them like this or go one further and place a second mimi creme egg on top for decoration if you'd like.

Happy Easter! 

April Fool's Day Pranks For the Kids

It's April 1st tomorrow, and have you prepared anything for the occasion? Share with your kids the joy of April 1st with some of these fun pranks.

Wormy Apple
Put an gummy worm in an apple in your child's lunch or in one of the apples out on the table and you're sure to get a giggly reaction.

Leaky Bottle
Poke tiny holes in a plastic water bottle, leave it where one of your little ones will grab it and see what happens when the water starts to squirt out!






Who Broke the Remote?
Put a small piece over the remote sensor and watch your kids try to change the channel.

Pillow Prank
Replace your child's pillow with balloons and watch them giggle at nap time!

Growth Spurt!
Put a bit of toilet paper or paper towel in the toe of your child's shoes. When he or she tries to put them on, you can say: "You're feet must have grown over night!"

Drink Up!
Make jell-o in a glass with a straw and tell your kids their juice is on the table. Imagine their confusion when nothing comes out of the glass.





Trick or Treat!
Take a candy box, remove the candies, replace them with carrots, tell your kids they can have a special treat... April Fool's! (Just be sure to have a bit of candy on the side to avoid tears of disappointment.)

Googly-Eyed
Stick googly eyes on everything in the fridge. So much fun! Then have them help you remove the eyes by playing who can collect the most eyes wins. 

Topsy Turvy
When your child goes to sleep on March 31, turn as many things as possible int he house upside down. Their reaction to a topsy turvy house on April 1 will be great!

For more ideas check out www.parentdish.ca 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Choosing a Stroller: One Mom's Search

As a first time, parent stroller shopping can be incredibly intimidating, overwhelming and frustrating. So many companies to research, options to choose from, fabrics for genders, safety concerns, lifestyle and many more factors that will weigh heavily on your mind when trying to decide which stroller is for right for you and your growing family! Thanks to my trip to Active Baby on Lonsdale Avenue, I learned about all the options, some of the companies and felt much more comfortable making  a better informed choice.

We learned about foam filled tires vs  air filled tires. We learned about the Patented Quick Fold Technology that Baby Jogger has, which allows you to fold the stroller in one quick easy step. We took the Bugaboo for a test drive to see if the Dutch designed, aesthetically pleasing bassinets did indeed actually make the ride as enjoyable as others. Then there was the Peg Perego strollers, which I'd seen more of than Bugaboo but Peg Perego Strollers were always said to be one that you could use from infancy to the toddler years. One of the highlights of this stroller is the easy fold and the ability to easily reverse the seat.

When Ava was  born, we had a second-hand  stroller/carseat combo and unfortunately due to an airline mishap, we ended up having to replace our stroller at the beginning of one of our vacations. Hastily, I made some car seat purchases that did not fit our family. I strongly believe, that before ANYTHING else, you must shop for your lifestyle, not for what other mommies have, or what the stroller looks like, and I can see that now, the second time around.

Mind you, I am aware that technology has changed a lot since Ava was a wee babe, but we did the car seat combo; we did the umbrella stroller, and the "jogging" stroller and at that time, there was not a single stroller that spoke correctly to our lifestyle and our needs. 

The Umbrella was too short and too flimsy, the carseat/stroller combos were never a smooth ride, as the front wheels are usually foam filled, rather than air filled, and found that the jogging stroller was too big for our life, from not fitting into the trunk to not fitting in isles of stores.

Now we are in the market for a new stroller and thought this time around; we go into a smaller independent store to actually learn and make the correct decision. We'd driven by Active Baby on Lonsdale a few times, and it seemed like the right place to start. We were greeted by several lovely sales associates and the owner. We began speaking with Elina about the large selection they had.

With roughly 14 strollers on hand from several different companies, there was a lot of information to learn, and thankfully they have very educated staff on hand that speak from experience! We learned about all the newest technologies that were not yet around/perfected as when we initially looked for strollers back in 2008/2009.

We fell in love with the Thule Urban Glide and as Elina showed us all of the features, it was hard not to imagine all the activities that we could use this stroller for. One of the things that immediately caught our attention was the weight. At a light 23lbs, this stroller is incredibly easy to maneuver. All of the features of this stroller just fit us so perfectly, the rear suspension gives a smooth, comfortable ride, which means every bump we hit on the way to and from Ava's school won't wake up Zoe.

The Ergonomic handlebar means that my husband at 6'0"  can set it at a comfortable height for him, and my 6 year old can also lower it to her height. Everyone can push the stroller, especially with it being so lightweight. The seating in this stroller allows for it to recline to near flat position for on-the- go naps. The final two features are the canopy overhead, which comes down almost half way to block the sun, half the times the canopy on other strollers provides very little sun protection. It also has a large storage compartment with zippered water resistant cover, which is perfect for "raincouver"

So at the end of this trip, we took away a lot of valuable information and learned about so many strollers, but most importantly I learned about the importance of choosing a stroller for your life, your family and your needs. It's very easy to fall victim to purchasing a stroller because of the way it looks, or the other moms who use it, or what having that stroller might say about you! I spent a long time watching moms with certain strollers and hoping that I could have one for my second pregnancy and truth be told, after testing it out, it just wouldn't have been the right stroller for us!

If you're in the market and truly want to learn about the different strollers, features and shop in a no-pressure family-run  environment than Active Baby is the best place to start. They have a wide variety of brands and options to help any family make the most educated and informed decisions on any baby product that you invest in.

Checkout our Urbanbaby & Toddler UrbanGuide Sponsored by Active Baby on page 28-29 of the Spring 2015 magazine for more information about choosing the best stroller for your family. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: Lost My Name

Adventure and travel are two things I strongly encourage and practice with the raising of my son. New scenery, adventures, getting lost and finding something new, and daydreams are all such great simple joys in life. Whether travelling far, near, to the park for an excursion, daydreaming a trip or reading a story you can get lost in, one thing is for sure, adventure is thrilling.

I discovered the book "Lost My Name" shortly before Christmas and knew it was a definite must have gift for my son. "Lost My Name" tells the story of either a little boy or a little girl who awakens to discover they have lost their name. After attempting to locate his/her name in their bedroom without any luck he/she embarks on a mighty long journey to find their name. The little boy or little girl will come across several characters throughout the book, each with a small story of their own which leads to their gift of a letter to the child. The letter given to the child is the first letter of the character name's so it's a learning experience wrapped into fun story time. By the time the child reaches the end of the book the little boy or little girl has ended up back at home and has collected all the letters in their name and would have been introduced to several new and interesting characters along the way.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is fun and engaging. My favorite part of "Lost My Name" is that it is personal and made just for your child. Unlike most children's books this one tells the story of your child on their journey in finding their name. When you place an order online you enter your child's name and gender and it populates a review of the book for you to see. You get to see all the wonderful imagery and characters your child will get to meet on their journey. The best part of the personalization is that you can create your very own dedication that will be printed in the book, making it perfect for a special gift or keepsake. The book which is printed on thick, uncoated environmentally friendly paper is in a beautiful landscape format and if buying for a gift you can add gift wrap to your order.

Whether buying as a gift, a keepsake, just for fun or even for yourself (who doesn't want a beautifully colored book all about them?) one thing is certain, this book is for everyone and will be guaranteed to delight the reader and viewer!

For more information or to place an order please visit: www.lostmy.name


Angel Fisher - Scenic photographer, professional makeup artist, writer, and lifestyle blogger. Mother of 11 month old son, Valentino Ace, a sweet little enthusiast of art and music.

www.angelfisherphotography.com
www.ohheyitsmeagain.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: Sea Monsters Revealed The Exhibition

Vancouver's aquarium recently launched the Canadian première of  The Sea Monsters Revealed The Exhibition opening  March 5th, 2015 and it will run until September 7th, 2015.

I personally love the aquarium, rain or shine! It's an instant mood brightener with its bright colored coral fish, waddling penguins, cuddly sea otters and fun splish splash shows from their belugas and dolphins. I enjoyed the aquarium even before I became a mother but experiencing it with a child is quite a remarkable thing to witness. Shortly after my son was born I got my husband and myself a year membership so we could take our son frequently. He loved it from the very first visit and each visit afterwards he becomes more and more aware of his surroundings and remembers his favourites (the dolphin show, and watching the belugas from the below viewing area). My personal favourite is the 4D theatre, I always have a blast in there!

The Sea Monsters Revealed exhibit has by far been my favourite and most intriguing thing to see at the aquarium. The exhibit delves into the deep seas to explore the myths and legends of the monsters of the sea. So why do we call them these creatures monsters anyway? We tend to associate the unknown with being scary as we don't have a clear picture of it. It's this reason that we associate these magnificent sea creatures with being scary. The Sunfish for example sounds scary with weights reaching 5,000 pounds, the heaviest bony fish in the ocean however I found this to be the most intriguing segment of the exhibit and found myself researching this fish more when I got home. That's the most fun part of this exhibit, it isn't the typical displays of sea life that we are used to seeing at aquariums, it sparks an interest at the kid in us and is guaranteed to spark an interest in your children.

The exhibit showcases actual sea creatures, through polymer preservation, giving viewers an up close look at the skeletal system of these fascinating creatures. In addition to this showcase there is an incredible 4D show, 'A Prehistoric Adventure', a film that will transport you back 82 million years ago to the time of dinosaurs. I found this film very fun with a few scenes that may scare younger viewers, use caution when determining if your child is ready to see the film, it is not recommended for viewers under the age of four. Out of all the films I have seen in 4D this was by far the most exciting and it left me with a better understanding of the prehistoric era of sea life. Once you have viewed the exhibit and film you can head over to the 'Let's Get Kracken' interactive game and participate in some game show fun!

I highly recommend that you check out 'Sea Monsters Revealed: The Exhibition', you and everyone in your group will be sure to have a great time and will most likely be eager to learn more once you get home. I recommend picking up a copy of the limited edition exhibition catalogue in the gift shop for some interesting story time that doubles as marine education. Memberships and passes go towards supporting the aquarium, the animals and all those involved so it's a trip you can feel great about!

For more information on the aquarium, the exhibit or show times please visit www.vanaqua.org

Contest Alert: Enter to win a family pack of tickets (two adult day passes and two child passes) to attend Sea Monsters Revealed The Exhibition at the Vancouver Aquarium. Enter at www.urbanbaby.ca


Angel Fisher - Scenic photographer, professional makeup artist, writer, contractor, and lifestyle blogger. Mother of 11 month old son, Valentino Ace, a sweet little enthusiast of art and music.
www.angelfisherphotography.com
www.ohheyitsmeagain.wordpress.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mim-Pi Comes to Canada

Mim-Pi is a super hip and cute clothing brand from the Netherlands and it is finally making it's way into Canada.  Angel and I had the honor of being invited to view the upcoming Winter 2015 collection from Mim-Pi as well as actually see it first hand on with two very lovely little models, who adorned the clothing.


The soft launch was held at the residence of the Dutch Consul General in Vancouver which afforded us a wonderful evening to view some beautifully designed children's garments with adorable images, bright colors and soft, gentle fabrics.  

We were given a bit of a background on the fashions of young children and people viewed children as little adults and thus their clothing was reflected as such.  There was no logic to children being viewed as little adults, when their wants and needs for clothing are much different and thus Mim-Pi designs beautiful clothing for little people with little people wants and needs in mind.

The fabrics are soft, whimsical and flowing with beautiful bright colours that tell a story of childhood dream, play and imagination. By looking at the designs, you can envision the type of play that little girls could dream up and the countless hours of fun, twirling, jumping and dancing about, watching the skirts bounce with every step.

The company was wonderful, with many others in attendance, eager to soak up the information about this lovely home sale network.  The selection of Hors d'oeuvres were created with the idea of children's food with an adult twist, many lovely options that left our mouths watering and wanting more!

So all in all the event location was perfect, the food was incredible and the clothing was playful, delicate, childish and whimsical.  Every element of the evening complimented the other perfectly and set the stage for a wonderful evening to learn about Mim-Pi. They bring alongside them many wonderful opportunities, wonderful insight into the ever changing and expanding industry that is Baby and Children clothing.  Welcome to Canada Mim-Pi and best wishes in all your future successes, which we are sure will be plentiful!

For more information: Checkout www.mim-pi.com