Friday, July 29, 2011

Handcraft for Parents and Kids: Itsy Bitsy Spider on Web

For parents with kids and wondering what handcrafts can be good entertaining decoration/toy, here is another fresh idea: Cute spiders on web. (see the picture below):

Itsy Bitsy Spider handcrafts with web cute handcrafts for parents and kids
It is really simple to make, and all the material you see from the picture can be found at local dollar stores or handcraft stores.  The spider head and legs are just colored furry balls and furry wires you can find in packs.  The web is just thick thread you can find in the stores.  Basically, any thick thread can be weaved into webs.

The cute round eyes can be found in a pack for a dollar in the dollar stores as well.  They are common for kids' handcrafts.  Now, I know that a spider should have 8 legs, so you can add more legs if you want.  (My wife chose to make only 6 legs.

We hang this on the wall and my kids love this.  Easy Itsy Bitsy Spider handcrafts!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Purina: Frosty Paws Dog Ice Cream

Summer is hot even for my two little chihuahuas.  I found a tub of doggie ice cream in Target.
It is made by Purina, called "Frosty Paws".  My dogs love ice cream, and they love this one.
I found this one at the ice cream section of Target store.  I was amazed that they actually have this product for dogs in Target.  It cost about 4.5 dollars plus tax.

purina frosty paws

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pier 1 Import Coquitlam Closed For Fire Alarm

Pier 1 Import had a very good coupon today, so we decided to drive to Coquitlam to take a look.
When we arrived, they already closed the store and ready to go home at 7 pm because they have a fire alarm.
There was no fire anywhere nearby!  The staff just wanted to go home....

They are supposed to open till 9 pm.  I think the staff just wants to go home early on a sunny day.
I understand that but this is not fair or customer friendly.  I guess they don't want the business...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Doesn't Extreme Couponing Work In Canada

Recently, the TLC program, "Extreme Couponing" has been very popular with people buying thousands of dollars of groceries, but with the use of coupons, reducing their bills to a few dollars.  There was one episode which the store actually paid 44 dollars back to the shopper!!!

This type of "Extreme Couponing" will never work in Canada.

-First of all, the program shows that many stores in US will double or triple the coupons with the use of membership cards at check out.  This will not happen in Canada.  I have not heard any store doing that and Canadian stores really avoids these couponing business.

-Coupon stacking for same product is not accepted anywhere in Canada with the exception of London Drugs and even they are getting really picky about terms, dates and conditions stated on the coupons.  Some Walmarts in BC won't even accept printed coupons (this is the exact opposite of what we see in the tv show.)

-Things are a lot more expensive in Canada for the same ordinary products.  However, the coupons only offers little discounts like 50 cents or 1 dollar.  You will hardly get things free never mind getting "paid" money back.  haha.  You wish!!!
These people with huge stock rooms or garages shows the camera that they get all the diaper (20 dollars) and detergents, deordorant, cans, medicines.  Okay, you can get small items free but you can never get diapers free in Canada.

-Do they really need those items which will last them 100 life times?  No.  It is a waste and they will expire anyways.  A couple was buying 150 packs of pain reliever because they actually "earn" money by taken those away. What happen if other people need to buy it urgently?

-I think if these people don't need the items, they should donate them.

I don't know how American grocery shops stay in business...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trader Joe's Scallop Bites

The other day, we saw this box of "Scallop Bites" in Trader Joe's on sale.

It looked really delicious so we bought this out of curiosity.

Trader Joe's Scallop Bites
The material is like quiche or baked goods.  They were very crispy after you put them in the oven.
Actually, this turned out quite good!!

KFC USA: Amazing American Pricing and A&W USA

Again, I am amazed at American pricing at their KFC when I visited in July 2011.
The KFC in Canada is sometimes set up with Taco Bell, but in the States, they come with A&W.
(funny combination if you are from Canada...the two restaurants have different images for us.)
KFC USA with A&W
I was also amazed by the different variety of menu items they offer and the volume.
(much better than Canada's)  They also have 5 dollar menu set which includes, 2 pieces of chicken, fries and a drink and a biscuit!!.  It would probably cost at least 7 dollars in Canada.
KFC USA 5 dollar set with fries and biscuit and drink
We were very full at the end.  (by the way, Canada cancelled all biscuit with combo ten years ago.) cheapo...

haha...I also liked this A&W root beer machine.  (and they have diet root beer!!)

Local Sightseeing BC: Steveston Village in Richmond, BC

I haven't been to Steveston for 15 years, so I decided to bring my wife there for a walk on a nice Monday.
The weather was gorgeous but there was no fisherman's market on the dock because it was not a weekend.
They only come out on a weekend and hundreds of visitors will come out to buy fish from the boats.

Restaurants beside Steveston dock bc
From the dock, you can see all the fishing boats and on the side, there is a cannery that people can see how they made cans.  In the weekend, you can only find parking in designated paid parking lots, but in the weekdays, there are street parking near the dock.  It is easy to walk around this village because it has only a 3 block radius.
Steveston, richmond bc salmon prawn fish and chips
We went to Salmon City, a restaurant by the dock for Salmon fish and chips and prawn fish and chips.
The portions are absolutely huge with lots of fries.  We had to pack them up and eat them the next meal.
The price is around 15 for two pieces of Salmon which is standard for restaurant fish and chips.  I know there are cheaper places but not near any docks.

orange cranberry scone
We also passed by a local coffee shop and bought their orange cranberry scone.
In the weekdays, this feels like a nice retirement fishing village.  The mood is very slow and relaxing and quiet.
It does not feel like a busy waterfront like downtown beaches or Kitsilano.
octopus, scallop sashimi, baby clams, oysters
We also found a local Japanese seafood store, which sells all kinds of seafood and sashimi including octopus, scallops and fresh oysters. (you cannot usually find it in other places.)
We enjoyed a really nice sunny relaxing walk around the town....being a local British Columbia tourist.
We enjoyed a good big seafood dinner that day as well!!

Restaurant Review: Burger Heaven

Two weeks ago, during a cold summer day, we went to Burger Heaven again in New Westminster, BC.
(Summer arrived really late this year at the end of July.  When I went in late June, it was freezing.)

Burger Heaven usually gives out coupons in the newspaper but not as good as before.
The coupon before is buy 1 get 1 free for entree.  Now, the condition is buy 1 get 1 free with two drinks.
Heck, restaurant drinks are expensive, so that is pure profit, they are not losing money and it is not really discount.
Anyways, we enjoyed the food and the wonderful burgers before, so we went again.
This time, we ordered Teriyaki chicken burger and beef mozzarella mushroom burger.
Their service really depends on the person and time.  If you get a guy to serve you, you can be more polite than the guy.  I remember 4 years ago, we really got friendly service from other waitresses.

Their burger and sauces are absolutely amazing. 

Burger Heaven in New Westminster: Teriyaki burger and beef mushroom
The sauces are better than many other restaurants I tasted including White spot (just bad burgers.)
If we are buying a 10 to 15 dollar burger, we want good burgers, not A&W level burgers.

We went home colder than we began that day because we sat outside and coughing. haha

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2011 BC Scandinavian Festival in Burnaby

The Scandinavian Festival this year invited Japan as guest country for 2011.
In this event, 5 Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark) and 1 guest country will display their culture and put on various performances from their culture and country.
For example, Japanese dance group performed a Japanese Taiko dance (It is actually Okinawan.)  Now, don't ask me what is the difference between Okinawan culture and Japanese culture.  It is a long topic.  The difference has historical and geographical reasons.  It is historically heavily influence by Japan, so now it is more like a regional culture within the Japanese culture.
We both love the Okinawan dance music!  It gave very traditional tribal beats and moved our senses.
Okinawa: The History of an Island People
Japanese Okinawan drum dance
They also had a Viking Village section displaying how people lived 1000 years ago in that region.
It is interesting to see but with two small babies, we weren't getting any learning done.
In each nation's section, they had shop vendor which sells food, merchandizes, handcrafts....
They also had kids toys and free flags and pins.

Viking tents scandinavian festival
hand made kids safe paint toy train
I bought a hand made safe dye toy train.  Well, I guess I had to trust the old couple that this is really safe.
They don't have this kind of hand crafted toys, so we were glad that they had them.

viking keychain and pins
I also got some pins and a viking keychain for souvenirs. Just a part of my big junk collections.
Maybe I will go there next year as well...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Toys R Us Canada: 2011 Father's Day Lego Car Event

Toys R Us Canada held a Lego event for Father's Day this year as they held one for the Mother's Day.

This time, fathers get to make Lego racing cars with their sons and daughters at this event.
We went with our kids in June. (this post is late.)
The instructions for this car was very easy as it is a small car and took only 3 minutes to build.
(Unlike the mother's day was very complex.)

2011 father's day event toys r us Lego racing car
The only special parts you have to obtain are the tires parts...
It is nice that they have this type of free events to promote their stores and products.
Of course, most people would end up buying things for the kids but the kids also take away a small free Lego.

My son could not wait around for the events to start but he did enjoy building this car...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trader Joe's Calbee Snack Salad Snapea Crisps

Japanese people love "mame", meaning peas and beans.
For breakfast, they have "natto", or "sticky soy beans".
For snack, they have "edamame", a kind of refresh pea, which you just peel the skin and eat what is inside.
They also have all kinds of snack peas.
In the weekend, we found a kind of "mame" in Trader Joe's and we were surprised.
We bought it and tried it at home.  It became one of my wife's favorite snack!!

Trader Joe's Snapea Crisps baked original by Calbee
I think it is like a baked "chips" type of snack that simulate the taste and shape of a "mame" or "peas".
This is a good snack if you like Oriental snacks and peas and Trader Joe's are close by.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2011 Strawberry U-Pick in Richmond, BC

Because of the cold bad weather of the spring in BC, the strawberry crop is 6 weeks late this year and is still ripening.  I saw the news saying that the strawberry might be very sweet this year, so we went to W&A Farm in Richmond, BC right away to see if it is true.

6 pounds of strawberries BC local
It was really true!!  The strawberries were sooooo sweet!  My son and my wife love strawberry and really enjoyed them.  They were indeed sweet and we U-picked them.

The funny thing is that my co-worker went after I went and said the batch was sour.
Strange...maybe the earlier batch were better?  Therefore, my co-workers don't believe me now. haha

I wonder how the blueberries will be this year...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

McDonald's Canada: McRib Combo

So, McDonald's is promoting their McRib combo.  Of course, we went to try it.
They taste it not bad with a long, larger size than their usual burger.
The meat also taste a little better, but not sure if it is real "rib meat".

McDonald's McRib Combo
However, is it really worth 8 dollars for this combo....not really.
McDonald's Canada is still over charging us by almost 50 percent comparing to the states.
If I am paying 8 dollars for McDonald's, I might as well go to a restaurant to make sure I get better quality food.

McDonald's USA: Jalapeno Cheddar McChicken and Vanilla Shake

I love the Jalapeno Cheddar McChicken in the States and so we tried it again.

McCafe Vanilla shake, Jalapeno McChicken, Sweet Chili sauce
We also loved their vanilla shake and all the sauces, which are available in america.
Vanilla shake is not as sweet as the chocolate shake and taste refreshing.

We don't have much choices in Canada for sauces,but apparently, they have more than 12 choices in sauces.
(makes me jealous)
The sweet chili is so far my favorite.  I have to try the others as well.

Trader Joe's Blueberry and Pomegranate Green Tea

We tried Trader Joe's new Blueberry and Pomegranate Green Tea.
It is pretty good with a graceful taste of blueberry and pomegranate.
I think it is particularly good if you are not used to the traditional green tea.

blueberry pomegranate green tea and chunky salsa and tapenade
We also bought chunky salsa and their tapenade.
Both of them are fantastic and delicious.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Restaurant: Q4 Ristorante in Vancouver

We went to a nice Italian Restaurant in Vancouver near the Kitsilano area.
It was our first time going to a good Italian restaurant.  It was hard to enjoy the whole meal with a baby because we have to take turns holding the baby.  However, we did enjoy the delicious food!
(This was for Mother's Day dinner for my wife.  I didn't have a chance to upload till now.)

First, we had carpaccio carciofi.
As described on the menu: Shaved beef tenderloin with a lemon and artichoke aioli garnished with asiago chips.  This is an absolutely amazing dish for us.

Then, we had an Italiano Pizza.
As described in the menu:  Parma prosciutto, local arugula and shaved parmigiano reggiano

The ham is just too delicious.  I really enjoyed the pizza.  I would have enjoyed more if the baby wasn't hyper active. haha.

Then, we tried Capellini con Gamberi...Angel hair noodle with shrimp.
As described in the menu:  Angel hair pasta with prawns, wild boar bacon, cherry tomatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme and parsley topped with cranberries.

This was the one of the best Italian noodle I have tried.  It was nothing I have tried before.  (of course, I don't dine out for Italian that much.)

At last, we ordered to try their tiramisu cake:

I thought it would be a ordered in or prepared tiramisu cake they have but it wasn't.
It was made and nice decorated by hand.  I had to say I was impressed.

This was a high end restaurant with great service.  I would try again if I had a chance.