Flowers are Cliché, Send a Brewquet

One of the big reasons I started my blog was because I wanted to share products, clothing and places that I love!  Whenever possible, I try to shop local and support small businesses.  This is why I am beyond excited to be teaming up with Brewquet!  If you haven’t heard of them before, Brewquet is a Vancouver, B.C. company who offers unique gift baskets featuring a selection of craft beers and yummy local goods.  On staff is a cicerone (essentially a sommelier for beer!) who curates all of the beer selection to ensure that only the best seasonal and local offering are always chosen!  Brewquet is currently serving areas within three hours of Vancouver and free delivery is offered to Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster.  For other areas, you can contact them directly for a quote.

IMG_6994

I’m not sure about you, but I have a handful of people in my life who are always a challenge to buy for!  Who wouldn’t love a bucket full of cold ones?!  Such a unique alternative to sending a bouquet of flowers!  As their website states “Be clear, say it with beer!”  A perfect gift for the upcoming Holidays, Birthdays, a big thank you, or really any occasion you just feel like giving someone a fun, delicious and creative gift!

IMG_6997

Another feature that I appreciate, is that 90% of offerings are earth friendly in that they are either recyclable or biodegradable.  The shipping boxes are recyclable, the paper crinkles found in the ice buckets are made from recycled paper and the burlap wrap is biodegradable.

IMG_7004

IMG_6999

IMG_7002

IMG_8175

Featured above, the Kitsilano which includes:

  • 6 local craft beers (you can choose from IPA’s, Pale Ales, Lagers or a variety pack)
  • 6 Non Alcoholic Craft Sodas are also an option
  • Jerky Baron’s Mount Pleasant beef jerky
  • The Nut Merchant’s Maple Siracha Pecans
  • The Brewquet stainless steel ice bucket & signature bottle opener

IMG_7003

I can already think of a few people who I will be giving a Brewquet to!

As an added bonus, Brewquet is offering my readers 10% off of their purchase… just enter code SSF10 during checkout 🙂

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Cranberry Apple Moscow Mules!

 

Cranberry Apple Moscow Mules

 

Back in the summer I posted a delicious drink called the Kentucky Mule.  This new beverage has been modified to give it a bit more of a Fall feel!  We have a fridge full of apples from our U-Pick adventures and a bunch of fresh cranberries so I figured why not play around and make a yummy Autumn version of this cocktail!?  Introducing the Cranberry Apple Moscow Mule 🙂

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ginger beer
  • 4 oz. Vodka
  • 1/4 cup of Cranberry or Cranberry Apple juice
  • Ice
  • Fresh apples, cranberries & lime for garnish

thumbnail

Directions:

Fill mule mug (or glass) with ice

Add vodka & your choice of cranberry juice

Pour in your favourite ginger beer

Squeeze fresh lime juice & mix

Garnish with fresh apples & cranberries

Enjoy!

IMG_6427IMG_6432IMG_6433IMG_6434

 

IMG_6426

 

Not only are these Moscow Mules delicious, but the red and green make it a perfect Christmas cocktail!

Do you have any favourite Fall & Winter cocktails to share? I would love to hear about them!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Baby E’s 1st Birthday Party

We threw my son’s 1st Birthday party a few weeks before he actually turned one.  I promised my husband I would keep it simple this year… (Apparently I have a tendency to go overboard… lol!)  Both my boys are summer babies which is fantastic because it makes it easy to have a pool or beach party and keep the chaos outside!  This post is for the parents like myself that cannot necessarily afford to purchase lavish cakes, decorations and catering for their parties.  Absolutely no offence to anyone who does, it is just not in my budget!  Trust me, I love reading about and seeing pictures of the extravagant parties!  I just wanted to share some pictures from his birthday to show that you can throw a cute Do It Yourself party without spending a fortune.  The kids had a blast which is really the most important part right?!

We call him our little Beast, so I decided to go with a Monster theme this year:

Monster Cake

Disclaimer: this wasn’t how I originally planned the cake to look, however icing the cake in 30 degree weather proved a little difficult and it started to melt a bit… lol!

Monster crafts

Crafts for the kids… Build a monster!  Free printable from somewhat simple.

Rice Krispie monsters
Rice Krispie monsters edible eyes & dipped in coloured white chocolate… yummy!

DSC_0984

Photo booth props that I ordered from Etsy (also used these to decorate the monster punch & anything else that needed eyes or a scary mouth!

DSC_0977

Mini monster jello.  Plastic cups & eye stickers from the Dollar Store

IMG_2791

I made this Monster ONE sign with some crafts from the Dollar Store & Michaels

DSC_0995

DSC_0987

Monster Punch

DSC_0986

Monster water bottle labels I ordered from Etsy

 

How did we ever have parties before Etsy & Pinterest?! 😉  It makes it so easy to have a fun and simple DIY themed birthday!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

Happy Monday everyone!  We made this plum cake a few weeks back (twice actually because it got inhaled the first time… lol!)  It is just too good not to share 🙂  Let me know if you have a chance to try it!

My husbands German plum-cake recipe, just like Oma and Opa used to make!

U-Pick Plums
Our U- Pick Plums

Directions:

Start with the simple dough recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup of butter (3/4 a stick)
  • a pinch of salt (1/16 teaspoon)

Mix the above ingredients into a bowl, cutting the butter into small chunks.

  • 1 egg
  • Milk (read below)

In a small measuring cup, crack the egg, and then fill to 1/2 cup with milk. As the size of eggs can vary, it works out roughly to 3 oz of milk. Beat the egg and milk together.

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mixed together to make your dough.

  • 18 – 20 plums (late summer, fall fresh picked Italian Plums) cut into quarters, pit removed.

Spread the dough over a thin cookie sheet. The dough is supposed to be thin, similar to a thick crust pizza. Layer the plum quarters on top, overlapping each row cut side up.

  • Bake at 350 to 360 degrees for an hour, edges should be golden brown

Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes, you’ll notice the plums will start sweating, at that point sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of sugar on top. This adds a nice contrast to the tart of the plums with some sweetness!

Making German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

 

This is a really delicious cake and it definitely does not last very long in our house!! Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Apple Picking!

I love summer so much but one of the things I enjoy about the beginning of Fall is taking the kids apple picking 🙂  We are lucky enough to have a couple local farms to choose from.  Our first trip this year was to Willow View Farms.  We actually managed to get there on opening day for apples and plums.  It is such a fun place to visit.  There is the cutest little general store where you can get delicious apple cider slushies, pies, syrups, fresh corn, potatoes, adorable crocheted toques and so on!  Later into the fall there is a petting zoo,  hayrides and a pumpkin patch that opens so you can guarantee this won’t be our last trip of the season.  We usually visit quite a few times as the kids love running around, picking their own fruit (and later choosing their pumpkins), feeding the chickens and petting all the animals!  It is a great place for a family outing, you can easily make a day of it.  There is a covered picnic area where you can bring lunch and a big climb on play area for kids.  I love this farm because it is family run and you do not have to pay any sore of admission to get in, you just pay for the fruit you pick.

Willow view farmsWillow view Farms

My strong boy, pulling the wagon out to the U-Pick field
My strong boy, pulling the wagon out to the U-Pick field

You Pick ApplesWillow View farmsU-Pick Plums

FullSizeRender-9

The U-Pick Apple Field
The U-Pick Apple Field
Riding the tractor.. his favourite!
Riding the tractor… his favourite!
Enjoying an Apple Cider Slushie!
Enjoying an Apple Cider Slushie!

 

*Update: Since I wrote this post, Willow View Farms actually had a devastating fire that destroyed their country store and cooler building!! They have managed to reopen for U-pick, but if you are thinking about visiting I would recommend checking out their website for updates!  Wishing them a speedy rebuild!  They can probably use local support now more than ever 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sangria Popsicles!

We threw my son’s first birthday party a couple of weekends ago.  I felt that I needed to make my girlfriends something yummy to drink to thank them for coming to celebrate with us on a beautiful, sunny Summer Saturday so I whipped up a big batch of pink sangria.  Being as it was a huge bowl that we were not able to get through, there was a bit leftover so I decided to turn it into “adult popsicles!”

Sangria Ingredients: 

  • Bottle of Wine
  • 3 cups of Vodka
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 4 cups of water (to cut some of the sweetness)
  • 2 cans of lemon Sanpellegrino- I like it to have a bit of fizz
  • 1 frozen can of juice (I used Strawberry Fruitpoia because that is what I had in my freezer!)

(Please remember this made a GIANT punchbowl full of Sangria!)

Directions:

  • Place all of your berries in a bowl & pour vodka overtop (I like to leave my fruit to soak overnight in the fridge)
  • In a large punch bowl (or pitcher) pour in the wine
  • Add fruit mixture & vodka to your bowl
  • Pour in frozen juice, water & sanpellegrino
  • Stir to mix all the yumminess together & enjoy over ice!

I’ve found that sangria will usually keep for up to 48 hours in the fridge, but in this case I had just enough to pour it into 6 popsicle molds…. They were delicious and super simple to make!  The only tricky part was explaining to my children why they couldn’t eat “Mommy’s popsicles”… lol!

Making Sangria Popsicles

making sangria popsicles

making sangria popsiclessangria popsiclesSangria PopsiclesFullSizeRender-32sangria popsiclessangria popsicles

 

Popsicle Cheers :))

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

SaveSave

Lunch at the Winery!

What better thing to do on a beautiful Friday afternoon then have a delicious lunch with a couple of my best girlfriends at one of our local wineries?! Maybe follow that lunch up with a wine tasting? Sounds like a plan!  That is exactly what I was fortunate enough to do a few weeks back and it was fabulous.  My two girlfriends and I met up at the Bacchus Bistro at the Chaberton Estate Winery.  We sat out on their lovely little back patio in the sunshine with a glass of wine and a light lunch.  When we finished up our meals we unanimously decided that we were not finished visiting yet and should probably stroll over to the wine shop and do a quick tasting ;))

For the wine tasting you get to choose from 4 of their available offered monthly selections for a fee of $5.00.  Upon purchase of a bottle, the fee is waived.  I am a fan of sweeter white wines and their Reserve Siegerrebe is one of my favourites!  Quite honestly, I enjoy most of their wines.  Let’s just say I have yet to pay the tasting fee on any of my visits as I tend to leave with a few bottles in hand!  Chaberton is one of my favourite local spots to go.

I have a couple more wineries close to home that I plan to visit before the summer is over… Stay tuned!

Blue Linen & Chambray off the shoulder dressesBacchus Bistro at Chaberton estate wineryLunch at DomaineChambray off the shoulder dressChaberton estate winery Langley, BCin the vines at Chaberton Estate Winery Langley BCChambray off the shoulder, Green maxi dressesLunch at Domaine- Tasting Room

If you have any favourite sweeter whites or Rosés to suggest to me, I am always looking for new favourite wines!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Mixing up a Kentucky Mule!

My husband recently returned from a work trip.  When I asked what the best part of his trip was, he told me that it was being introduced to the Kentucky Mule… not exactly the response I was expecting!  I thought he might actually mention something work related… lol!  Neither of us had heard of this drink before.  A Kentucky Mule is a take on the popular and delicious Moscow Mule which I was already well acquainted with ;))  It is a super refreshing drink that consists of ginger beer, lime, mint and vodka.  To switch it from a Moscow to a Kentucky, all you have to do is substitute Bourbon for Vodka.

Kentucky Mule

Ingredients:

  • Ginger beer
  • Lime
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Bourbon (it’s a Kentucky Mule after all)
  • IceKentucky Mule

Directions:

Throw some mint leaves and 1/2 of a lime into a shaker and muddle together

Add ice, along with 1 oz to 1 1/2 oz of bourbon, then give a good shake to mix all those flavours together

Pour into a copper mug

Add 4 to 5 oz of your favourite chilled ginger beer

Garnish with a few mint leaves and a lime wedge

Kentucky MuleKentucky MuleKentucky Mule

Hopefully you have a chance to enjoy this delicious & refreshing drink this summer!

Kentucky Mule

Copper Mule Mugs

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

A Day at the Cidery!

Cider TastingMy girlfriends and I are always looking for fun restaurants and activities for when we get to steal a couple of hours away from our beloved children.  A few weeks ago one of them suggested we should go cider tasting sometime.  I didn’t even realize that there was a local cidery where we could do that… I love cider, so imagine my excitement!  Turns out that I am not super out of the loop…. the Cidery only opened their doors in May 2016 and I have been pretty tied up the last few years having babies… lol.  Well wouldn’t you know, the stars aligned for us and we were able to both have a few hours free on a beautiful Sunday morning.  We decided this would be the perfect opportunity to make a trip to the  Fraser Valley Cider Company!  The moment we walked in I knew that I was in love.  The tasting room was full of rustic charm and so many cute details.  The tasting was a good deal as well… only $4.00 or waived if you purchased a bottle (which obviously we did!)  The staff was so lovely and knowledgeable and the ciders were seriously delicious.  We decided to order a charcuterie plate and a bottle of the Rosy (a raspberry infused cider) and sat outside in the picnic area to enjoy it.  An added bonus is that everything they offer to eat and drink is locally sourced… as I love to shop local & support small businesses!Cider Tasting RoomCider Tasting RoomStyle Files TastingStyle Files TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider Tasting

We both loved the ciders we tasted and had such an awesome time there.  If you are looking for something fun to do one weekend (they are currently only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday) I definitely recommend a trip to the Fraser Valley Cider Company!  My husband had asked me to bring him home a bottle of my favourite… I couldn’t decide so I had to buy one of each… lol.  With the exception of the sold out Elderflower Cider… they were just in the middle of brewing a new batch.  Guess I will have to make another trip back soon…..  ;))

Style Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider TastingStyle Files Cider Tasting

My Outift Details:

Linen Sundress // Sandals similar here // Sunglasses // Bar Pendant Necklace

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

Nutella Ice Cream!!

Once in a while you come across a recipe that is so delicious that you cannot believe it is low fat…. this is NOT that recipe… lol!  That being said, it is sinfully delicious and worth every decadent calorie I promise!  You have to indulge on occasion right?!  It is a simple recipe (only 3 ingredients & 4 steps) to make Nutella Ice Cream and you can do it without an ice cream maker.  My children (and hubby!) seriously go crazy for it.  It is easy enough that the oldest two kids love helping me make it.

Nutella Ice Cream ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup Nutella

Directions:

  1. Whip the cream
  2. Mix / whisk the condensed milk & Nutella together
  3. Fold the Nutella mixture into the whip cream until it forms a smooth consistency
  4. Scoop your mix into a freezer safe container, and place in your freezer for at least 7 hours

 

Nutella Ice Cream

(See what I mean? My husband snuck a spoonful before I could even take the picture!!!)

Delicious nutella ice-creamhomemade nutella ice creamHomemade nutella ice-cream

This mixture could also be placed into the fridge and served as a chilled mousse, however frozen it is an incredibly smooth ice cream.

 

If you like a little texture in your ice cream, feel free to add a few chopped peanuts, or hazelnuts when folding in the Nutella with the whip cream.

Homemade nutella ice-cream

I hope you enjoy…

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx