Friday, July 27, 2012

Starbucks' New Refreshers Beverages Very Berry Hibiscus

Starbucks released their own new line of summer refresher drink: Very Berry Hibiscus.

I didn't really care for the two raspberries put inside the drinks.
However, the drink tastes pretty good with both berry and hibiscus tastes.

It does have caffeine inside the drink...not sure why.
Maybe they assumed that people always needed to get high when they go to Starbucks.

(even when they are on summer breaks....haha)

Starbucks Very Bery Hibiscus Refresher Beverage
I still wished they can do more.
It was good but I did not need the caffeine or the berries...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trader Joe's Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies

Last week, we bought the Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies from Trader Joe's.

You can tell from the name and pictures....It is Cheetos in the Jalapeno taste.

For those not familiar with Cheetos:
(Apparently, the official Cheetos brand has a jalapeno taste product, too.)

Trader Joe's Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies
Here is a picture of the crunchies:
Trader Joe's Jalapeno cheese 2
I have to say it tastes pretty good for 2 dollars.  It makes a good choice of night snack.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Target: Kids' Paul Frank Under Pants

We always love Target's Paul Frank line of fashion especially for kids.

We bought a pack of underwear for my kids:

Target Paul Frank underpants 1
Target Paul Frank underpants 2
They have different design for each one, and they are very cute!!

Silver Lake in Everett, Washington, USA

I forgot to post the pictures of my last trip to Washington State.
We went to Silver Lake Park.
I was surprised at the sand beach and the nice large children's playground!
Silver Lake Park Everett June 2012
The water is amazingly crystal clear:
Silver Lake Park water clear
This is different than the lakes around Vancouver.  The water is so clear.
I don't mean that Vancouver water is dirty...but the lake here is unusually clean.

Silver Lake Park playground
The playground is quite large with apparatus for both older kids and young kids.
silver lake kids ride

It also has two seater rides....not sure what this is...dolphin??

Overall, it was not busy because it was a week day I guess.
We had a lot of fun here.  I wanted to check other beaches out because they have a lot of nature and beaches in Washington State.

However, the kids were grumpy, so we did not go further.
sigh....sometimes, they grow up too fast, sometimes, they don't grow up fast enough.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Product Review: Country Oven Onion Hamburger Buns

The large economy of the United States allows it to have all kind of selections for all products.
Not only for clothing and cheese, but also for bread and hamburger buns.

Here is the Country Oven Onion Hamburger Buns I bought last weekend:

Country Oven Onion Hamburger Buns
It does have tastes and scents of onions. 
With cheese and beef patty, it can be a great tasting, unique burger to enjoy.
Here is a picture for the burgers my wife made:

Country Oven Onion Hamburger
The best thing is that the supermarkets have good deals for the loaves.
For example, two loaves for 4 dollars.

It is hard to get deals of the same choices in Canada.
In the states, you have different kinds of bread such as potato bread, rye bread, butter milk bread.
We only have white bread and grain breads....not much selections.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Product Review: Animal Planet Pet Stairs

Previously, we had a 3-step-doggie steps for our chihuahuas.

However, it was still not tall enough for our small dogs.
To climb up to our bed (they sleep on human beds....don`t ask me why.)

Anyways, they needed a 4-step pet stairs, and we finally found one after all these years.
It is a perfectly built, strong, wooden set of stairs.
(It is foldable and you do not have to assemble it.)

chihuahua with animal planet pet stairs
My chihuahua was happy to get it.
It does take some time for him to get used to it.
Animal Planet Pet Stairs
4 steps doggie pet stairs chihuahua animal planet

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Canada Day July 2012 in Coquitlam, BC (Free Cupcakes)

This year, we decided to go to Coquitlam for Canada Day celebrations.

I have heard that they were are holding a well organized celebration around a lake park area near Coquitlam Town Centre.
Indeed, it was well planned and had entertainment for the whole family!

They had lots of food including restaurant vendors and kids play areas.
Here are pictures of some wild birds from a preservation society:

Coquitlam eagle
coquitlam owl
They also had lots and lots of free Canada Day cupcakes donated by a local cupcake company:
Free cupcakes for everyone in coquitlam bc canada
We waited around for 10 minutes with 40 other people and when it opens up around noon.
We all got our free cupcakes!!
lots of free cupcakes in canada day celebration 2012
Here is a close up photo for the free Canada Day cupcake:
canada day cupcake 2012
My kids love this company's cupcakes! 

Mr. Mike's 5 dollar burger
The local restaurant, Mr. Mike's, actually sold a big 5 dollar burger that was wonderful!!
It tastes like a 15 dollar burger and beats lots of other restaurant and fastfood chains' burgers.
It was amazing!! yummy!!

We also tried the Russian House Restaurant's Mushroom Wrap.
It was okay.  However, the food was over priced with the wraps going at 4 dollars....

We also got coupons from a local kids' company called "Koko's".

Overall, the weather wasn't the best but we will go back for more celebrations till the kids are big.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Product Review: Trader Joe's Dessert: Gone Bananas!

I love Trader Joe's, and I looooove their desserts.
Their desserts and cakes are usually reasonable priced and well made.
(Just my opinion because it depends on your taste and the dessert item.)

Today, I found another new item in the frozen dessert section:  Gone Bananas!!

From the picture, you can see the box is very cute with a monkey and well designed! is only 2 dollars!!!!

After you take it out of the box....

The chocolate is crunchy and tasty.
After you take a bite, the cold fresh banana filling will come out.
The sweetness of the banana is just right and it melts in your mouth!

For 2 dollars, I would buy it again and eat it with my kids!

Product Review: Pink Coach Wallet

We bought a pink Coach wallet during our trip to Seattle last week.

The color is bright pink with the new Coach's "C" design imprinted on the leather.

It has a bright, fashionable look that you can't go wrong with it.
(Unless you prefer the classic patterns)

Pink Coach Wallet 2012
The format of this pink Coach wallet is a standard double fold wallet:

Pink Coach wallet 2012 inside look
 Here is a inside look of the wallet.  You can fit as many cards as you desire.
(Well, convenient if you have lots of membership cards but will make wallet bulkier.)

You can fit at least 14 membership cards and credit cards into the slots.
Also, it has 3 separate compartments for bills or receipts for people who utilize them.
It is handy also when you want to separate the types of currency you hold while travelling.

Pink Coach wallet 2012 inside look 2

In the middle, there is also a section for coins.
It makes it very convenient during shopping because you can take out all the bills and coins at once.

I think this kind of wallet is handy for all ladies who carry medium size handbags.
It keeps every financial item organized and easily accessible.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Complaint About Canadian Medical System

So the story begins...
My younger son is absolutely hyperactive, and he often feels invincible.
During the usual marathon session of jumping everywhere, he fell from the sofa and bump his head.
Immediately, his head was bruised and became a big bump on his forehead.
We were worried and decided to bring him to the doctor or hospital for a check up.
(hoping for a X-ray...yah, like you are going to get it in Canada.  Free medical care means no care.)

So...Burnaby Hospital has an Urgent Child Care Unit for years for any emergencies for kids.
It was advertised that we can walk in anytime and it is open at night and weekends.
Great!  I thought this is a great service, and we could use that.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:45pm, and it was quiet (except for the emergency room).
The reception directed us to the 5th floor, and  we arrived at the big empty rooms with 3 smaller rooms.
The doctor was at the backroom and there was not a single patient.  You can hear a pin drop.
I said, "excuse me". The doctor came out. Great! I started explaining and showing her my son.
Then, she told me that the unit is no longer a walk in clinic. (Just changed recently...)
She said that I have to get a referral (most clinics are closed after 6) or go to the emergency department.
Or, she said, go to another clinic 25 minutes away...

I thought, "okay, so, this is not "Urgent" Child Care Unit at all!!!!
If it is urgent, why would people go get a referral and then come here?

We went down to the emergency, and there was a 4 hour wait...ridiculous.
I thought:  I am not gonna wait that long.  I am driving to another clinic.
So we found the clinic that the doctor was referring to and waited for another 20 minutes.

This time, a student doctor showed up and took a look at my son.
She pressed the bump head (ouch) and said there is no broken bones.
She told my son to walk around and said that he walks well with balance and has lots of energy.

"He is fine", she said.
We were relieve.  But hold on...
In other places in the world, the doctors will make sure by using x-ray and other equipment just to check.
In Canada, we have "free" care, so to save money, testing at all. can you say it is 100 percent okay?

I guess most of cases, the patients are okay.  You have to trust the doctors.

I am still amazed that the hospital is paying 150000 dollars a year at least for a doctor to sit around...

Review: Extended Stay Hotel Everett

I wanted to save money this time, so I bid on and ended up with Extended Stay Hotel in Everett.

I got it for exactly 50 dollars plus taxes, so it is super cheap for high season pricing.

When we entered the room, it had an old smell, so I am not sure how often they clean the room.

However, the room is spacious.  The rooms are designed for people's long term stay.
(Not for family because they don't have two beds.  I asked for a room with an extra sofa bed.)

Because it is cheap, the mattress is old and not comfortable.
The sofa bed is even worse, you can feel the springs and it has basically no back support.
After two nights, we had back ache for the whole week.  Not good.

Extended Stay Everett 1
I like their kitchen though.  It has everything from utensils to microwave to fridge.

Extended Stay Everett 2 Kitchen
It has an oven and even free internet.  I guess I can't complaint for 50 dollars.
They even have free muffins and bagels for breakfast!

Bathroom Extended Stay Everett 3
The bathroom is super spacious with separate rooms for toilette and the sink.
It also has iron and ironing board, etc.

Overall, the facilities are there but I need the mattress!!
It is important for families like us!
(maybe not for young couples but for families with kids, you need good beds...)

Is it worth 50 dollars?  Yes, it is worth over 50 dollars....
The place is convenient near malls and staff are friendly.
However, I think I will try other places next time.

Second Seattle Zoo Trip June 2012

Well, we wanted to have a early summer get away, so we went to Seattle Zoo again!

I think it is a good zoo with good clean facilities and way better than our expensive Vancouver Zoo.

This time, the weather is sunny (luckily) and warm.
Most animals came out and enjoyed the sunshine!

Here is the African Giraffe:

Seattle Zoo Giraffe June 2012
Seattle Zoo Monkey June 2012
We had a good time, and the kids enjoyed the carousel as usual.