Monthly Archives: December 2010

Granville Island and Making Fresh Fruit Sauce

I went to Granville Island yesterday for a stroll and to pick up some fresh fruits.  The trip was fruitful (haha) and we took home some Okanagan apples and pears, Manhattan clam chowder and a tub of fresh oysters.

The apple stand in the Granville Island Market

All their apples are unwaxed.

We picked up a bag of Auroras and soft pears for a total of $5.  We are going to use these to make Apple and Pear sauce for Little Patch.

Here’s how:

1) Wash, peel and core the apples and pears.
2) Cut into small chunks and place in pan.
3) Add a bit of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Let cool and serve or store.

My neighbour recommended adding a dash of cinnamon to the apples and the kids will go crazy for that stuff.

To defrost, run under warm water or place in hot water as you would to heat a milk bottle.

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Translink – Bus Etiquette

Image from Translink

Translink has an article on Etiquette on Transit which I think if you haven’t read it yet, should.  A lot of times when I take transit (haha), there are always a handful of people that does not follow one or more of these very simple etiquette.

Here are a few more etiquette tips that I would like to add.  Read the rest of this entry

Gift Wrapping Tricks to Make Your Gift Look Awesome

It’s been 2 years since I’ve stopped exchanging gifts with acquaintances and doing the whole gift wrapping thing to save paper.  I used to be a superstar when it came to wrapping gifts, so good that my gifts to my friends was a show stealer.  haha… But that also takes a lot of effort and time and a whole lot of paper being wasted for a night’s worth of oohing and ahhing.  Not worth it.

Since I’ve stopped the gift wrapping, there were rolls and rolls of wrapping paper that ‘s been sitting around doing nothing so I gave away some.  This year, I’ve got presents to wrap because of babies and kids’ and as long the parents are responsible with the ripped wrap (reuse or recycle), a gift with some wrapping would totally make a child’s day.

Here are some tips on how you can make your gift LTA (“Look Totally Awesome” haha).  Read the rest of this entry

Best Gifts to the Not-The-Best-Person

There are many lists out there for the gift ideas for children.  How about children of parents you don’t like? Parents that annoy the heck out of you… or parents that you just want to punch out (oh admit it, you must know someone like that) but you don’t because you’r enot setting a good example to your children.

You can take this as “Gifts Not Recommended for Parents” or gifts for parents you don’t like.  I think I will get more ideas if I write under the latter context though.

Oil Pastels – these are like crayons, but they are not as children friendly.  They are oily and it’s a real pain to get it off the walls, leather couches, and carpets when smudged.

Playdoh – self explanatory.   Good bye walls and carpets.

Felt Markers – Good bye walls and tabletops!

Electronic Toys w/o the Batteries but require lots of the big expensive batteries

A Pet – it’s a gift that keeps on giving… until it dies.

Candy – kids bouncing off the oil pastel decorated walls.

First half of a movie, don’t bother burning the second half, they can find it themselves.

This is just some humour, I hope parents won’t actually give these items with these intentions. 😉

Holiday Gift-Giving without Giving a Gift

My husband and I don’t exchange presents with each other or our family and friends.   It’s not that we don’t buy stuff for anyone, but we buy gifts when we see something that is useful for our friends.  But that’s not limited to the twelve month of the year or birthdays.

I actually love the surprise element of receiving presents but I don’t expect or want any gifts because if I want something, I buy it myself (I’m very impatient!).  And we don’t expect family or friends to get it for us.  I’m also trying to have less materials in the house and try to practice the 3 Rs Reduce (working on that right now), Reuse and Recycle (got that down pat).

Here are some things that we sometimes do in lieu of buying impersonal gifts (ie. giftcards, chipping in a set amount to get something – afterall, a gift shouldn’t be limited to “$20 per person”):

make a donation in their name.  The money goes to a charity and your friend can get a tax break too.  Remember to get a donation receipt and put it in the birthday card or holiday card.

give your time.  Offer to take a friend somewhere if s/he doesn’t drive.  Or if you go to the movies, you can treat. Offer to babysit so your friends can have a date night.

frozen home cooked meal.  Make your friend’s favourite dish and prepare it so that it’s freezer ready.

do a favour for them.  It may be something you don’t expect.  Maybe your friend needs help planning a shower or a party or chase a debt for them… who knows?  What’s important is that you will take that task off their hands (assuming that you are capable of completing it).

The point is, there are a lot more creative and meaningful ideas rather than a $50 gift card.

Oprah and Ellen’s Christmas Giveaways

Every year, Oprah and Ellen give away tons of stuff to their audiences in December.  This stuff are sponsored by the companies so it’s not costing the shows a penny.   The audience in the shows are usually women.  I can’t help but think housewives since I assume these tapings are done during work hours on weekdays.  So housewives who can afford to not work… receiving these awesome prizes like trips, electronics, etc.

I don’t live in the states and I’m not familiar with rules for being on the show but I remember trying to score tickets to Oprah and their rule is that if you are free, and they pick you, you get to go.

As I was watching the audience jumping for joy at the Australia trip giveaway on Oprah, my first thought were people that actually need the free trip to Australia.  Perhaps people who have a dying relative in Australia but cannot afford to go while 300 others who probably doesn’t need the trip or very well afford to get one are getting the freebie trip.  It makes me sad.

I’m hoping that these shows actually select their audience for these fantastic giveaways.  Maybe these people give back to the community in some way and deserve to get these prizes.

Btw, I absolutely love Ellen. She seems really nice and genuine about it, or that she’s really good at faking it.  Either way, I think she’s fantastic.

Here’s a clip from Conan about Oprah’s favourite things… haha Enjoy!

Canadian Shoppers Can Write Target Off Their Nice List!

He probably provides better customer service

As a frequent cross border shopper, Target is one of my stops before coming home.  However, Patch recently registered for an account at TBS Shipping so that we can buy from american stores that doesn’t ship to Canada.  Target was one of the first sites I went to buy stuff.

Read the rest of this entry