Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's A Tough Job, But Someone Has to Do It! #ToyTesters

Saturday morning began with an early start... Beebo and Xman had important work to do downtown Calgary and we couldn't be late!

We arrived at the Telus Convention Centre for the 'Walmart Canada Toy Testers' event. Our jobs were clear-- find the Top 20 toys to be found in-stores soon!  We put on our phone number I.D bracelets (great idea by the way!) and the kids ran off... LITERALLY.

Thankfully, Beebo and Xman were in the same age category (the room was broken up into various age groups), or I really would have got my 'workout on' !  

Xman found a remote controlled helicopter right away, because you know... the remote control helicopter is a "thing" in our family.  DaddyO asks for a remote control helicopter for Christmas EVERY YEAR, and if he isn't indulged by Santa or the kids or myself--- Papa Buz usually saves the day with the gift of choice.

I will definitely be purchasing one of these helis. The Air Con Roller Copter was indestructible and it even climbed walls!  Fun had by all with this toy!

I was a little surprised that Beebo went straight to the dolls area and then stayed there! She plays with some dolls at home, but they're not her go-to toy.  I still find the Monster High dolls a little freaky, but thought the new Monster High Fusion dolls were kind of neat.

Then Xman found the NERF display...

I have to admit it has been easier to keep the toy gun thing at bay, having an eldest girl and a younger brother set. But, Xman has been finding out about these things at play-dates and I get it, the NERF guns are rockin' fun!  His eyes glazed over at the newest NERF creations, stopping at the Bow & Arrow.  After some instruction, he was nailing the target, hitting the bulls-eye often.

This might be the first item on his list to Santa now.

Finally Beebo was ready to go check out the art toys. I was very impressed with Crayola's latest creations and so was Beebo.  We did some drawing on a Giant Light Up pad, loving the size of it... then moved on to an interactive tablet gadget.  Themed in 'Fashion Design' and 'Car Design', you can now design your own-- then turn them into real life images with your tablet! #Brilliant

Overall, I was glad that we participated in this Walmart toy event. We are at an in between stage for toys, so it was nice to find a few new toys to love.

Keep an eye out for Walmart's Top 20 toys, coming soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: The Best Caesar in Town Contest #Calgary #Stampede2014

Click to enlarge-- you have to see these garnishes up close!

Judging this event at the Calgary Stampede was so much fun! It definitely challenged my taste buds and stomach... slurping up 'roe' balls with my straw was a little over the top for me. <shudder>  I was very impressed by the quality of caesars presented-- each with its own unique flair -- rosemary sprigs, jalapeno cheese, spaghetti, and oh my... lots of bacon!

It was hard to choose. They were all good (only one was really terrible, but I'll keep that to myself as a 'one off').

In the end, Brandon Bailey's "Backyard BBQ Caesar" won! The cool cucumber muddled with home infused vodkas was very pleasing and fresh. To get his recipe, click HERE.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Smoke Clears If Only Briefly...

The Stampede dust has settled and the smoke has rolled into town. We are ablaze in these parts! Of course, we are not dealing with fire ourselves--- but we are being reminded of Mother Nature at work only an hour or two away. 

The Spreading Creek Wildfire began July 3rd after a lightening strike and is over 7000 hectares big! Almost 2500 hectares of that are in Banff National Park. As the wind blows our way, we experience a hazy sky in our 'Big Sky Country' and our minds flicker to moments of 'Smore' making by the campfire.

Then, a good ol' summertime thunderstorm rolls in... 

and after,

The sky clears. 

If only briefly.

Have a great weekend everyone! 
We are heading out camping, but are hoping to see the sun a lot!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SANDS ALIVE - Hottest Toy for 2014

We recently had the chance to test out the new Kid & Parent approved, SANDS ALIVE!  I have to admit, the sales pitch was great. Sand... would have never happened before SANDS ALIVE. While I may not keep the tidiest of houses, Playdoh on the floor (or worse, the carpet) practically sends me into a tizzy!

Why is it so hard to keep it on the table?

And stuck to their clothes?  ~Sigh~

SANDS ALIVE is not like normal sand. 

It is-

100% organic and all natural
Never dries out
Bacteria free
Water soluable

Beebo made a big marshmallow (SANDS ALIVE really is soft!),

Whilst Xman worked hard to smooth and flatten it all out!

If we haven't convinced you yet,

watch this SANDS ALIVE ad!


Ages 3-103 years ... stave off the summer boredom with a DELUXE set of SANDS ALIVE! (ARV $80) Open to all Canadian residents, ages 18 and over.

Giveaway ends July 31/14 @ 12am MST

Leave the sand at the beach

and build your own fancy castle at home!


Friday, July 11, 2014

I'll Be a Guest Judge in the Calgary Stampede's 'Best Caesar In Town' Competition!

Last week, I entered a contest via Instagram and Twitter, to be a 'Guest Judge' in the Best Caesar in Town competition. The Best Caesar in Town competition will see 12 mixologists vie for the title, in front of a panel of 6 judges. The official cocktail of the Calgary Stampede, this competition takes place Sunday, July 13th at Nashville North.

I am so excited to announce that my #StampedeCaesar photo WON! I'll be joining in all the fun and I cannot wait to see what the competitors come up with!

To make this winning Caesar:

Rim glass with a lemon wedge and dip in Steak Spice
2oz. Vodka
Worchestershire (don't be afraid!)
Mott's Clamato Juice
Salt & Pepper
Pickled Asparagus Spear

To read my interview with the Calgary Stampede, 

click HERE.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Acreage Management - SamiJoe vs. Black Henbane

Last Friday evening, while the kids were playing on the trampoline, I noticed a new flower. It didn't look like any flower I had seen in our field before, so I took a better look around. There were a few more smaller ones, all in bloom. They were stalky and strong like a Canada Thistle, so after looking through my wildflower-plant-weed books, I decided to put the question out to my social media world.

Within only a few moments, a lady I know was pretty sure this weed was a Black Henbane, also known as 'Hyoscyamus Niger'. I was a little bummed to discover that this weed was noxious and was extremely harmful to animals, humans and the environment.  That only meant one thing... I was going to have to walk the entire ten acres field to look for more traces of the Black Henbane. With over 500,000 seeds in each plant (and seeds that were good for up to four years), I was sure to have a field of them in no time. 

I geared up in jeans, big tall boots and long sleeves to protect myself from ticks. I packed the kids wagon with some tools and was off to seek and destroy noxious weeds. After clearing out the known spots of Henbane, I needed to make sure they hadn't spread to other areas. That's when I started making new discoveries.

Like this one...

How does one have rhubarb growing on their land and not know it? A few years back, a new septic tank had been installed and a patch of rhubarb had been destroyed by a group of men who didn't know better. Sigh. Any ways, the rhubarb had survived but was off in the middle of the field, between two evergreen trees. This rhubarb plant towered over me, at about 9 feet tall including flowers. I examined the rhubarb plant... clearly it had never been chopped off. A lot of the stalk was woody in texture, but the stalks nearest the bottom were a beautiful red, dripping with juice when cut.

I was pretty stoked to find a stockpile of rhubarb, but what was hiding on our property next was even more exciting! Up on the hill behind some trees, I found a whole patch of wild strawberries! I can't be sure how long strawberries had been lurking in this area, but I found two sleeping deer nearby... so I assume they must have known about it for awhile.

That morning, I had woken a little annoyed that I was going to have to search the whole property for the Black Henbane plants. After the chore was done however, I laughed at my silliness-- if I hadn't needed to go looking for these noxious weeds, I never would have found the other treasures!

And we will be enjoying these new found treasures for a long time! 

Strawberry and rhubarb pie anyone?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Canada Day Trivia Answers #CanadaDay #Trivia

As promised, here are the answers to our game of Trivia from Canada Day:
(answer appears underneath each photo)


The Saskatoon Berry bush! 

#2 -

The Robertson Screw!

 #3 -

Prince Edward Island

#4 -
The Caesar! 

#5 -
Peanut Butter!

How well did you know your Canadian trivia?


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