Shopping and weekly lunches are great with my girlfriends, we not only exchange gossips and play catch up – we also learned all the good buys around town and on the internet. If I asked a girlfriend where to buy tv brackets they would have a few good suggestions for me and if I needed a good pair of ski pants, they would know where to find them if I cannot find them in town. I loved our weekly lunches and shopping spree, it’s something I looked forward to every week and although not everyone can attend the lunch together, I know I can count on them for just about anything. Don’t you just loved friends like that? now if you haven’t planned for weekly lunches and shopping sessions with your girlfriends, make this year the start of a new social calendar, it’s really good for the health.
If you are a food blogger and loved food as much as I do, you will know that Sandy’s Gifts Store is a gourmet/chef’s paradise . In this store, I found some really cool gifts over Christmas for my friends and family. Everything priced reasonably and wrapped and gift bagged personally by owners of the store – Sandy & Ken.
Everytime I walked into this store, everything in the store is eye candy to me. They are all so pretty and so beautifully stacked and everything so meticulously cleaned. The warmth of this store speaks volume, you really feel welcome, as if you coming home to visit.
Sandy Gifts store has gifts for every occasion and any occasion.
My favorites are kitchen gadgets and you cannot go wrong with these gifts.
For the corn lover like my daughter – Chloe, she would love to have this.
For a guy or boy – no problem – Sandy has them in boy’s color as well.
More kitchen gadget to make your food look pretty.
Yummy hot chocolate for Christmas/winter - with a bunch of marshmallows.
More treats for your loved ones – and don’t forget the variety of tea and specialty coffee at Sandy’s Gift store on Main Street, downtown Yarmouth, they may have moved but not far away from their original store. Friendly service and unique gifts – try Sandy’s.
I don’t know if it is just foodie and food bloggers who loved anything to do with food – but I do and whenever I see kitchen gadgets that I can use and they are lovely in color – I go ga-ga over them. I saw these at our local supermarket and fell in loved with them – they are great for making single portion of lasagne or even baked spaghetti. They come in oval shaped and round shaped – the round ones can probably be used to make Tiramisu or one can attempt to make baked onion soup in them.
Endless food and dishes I can think of to use these stoneware.
Baked rice anyone? They are very cheap too at Sobeys – less than $4 I think – love the colors.
While other people get diamond rings or a piece of new jewellry – I wanted a KitchenAid Cast Iron Pot for my Christmas this year – that I’ve been eyeing on it for years now but since it’s on sale I quickly rushed out to get one from Canadian Tire. Trust a food blogger to ask for an cast iron pot – instead of jewelry.
Yup they had the red color ones but I wanted the purple one – coz’ I’m that special – muahahhaha!!!
So PB paid for it – and we went on our merry way – on Christmas eve!
I’ve always wanted a cookie jar – but never bought them – because I didn’t really think they were practical. But this year – I had to buy it because it’s one of the things I had been longing for in my kitchen. I loved my very first Christmas cookie jar and I want to be able to bake lots of cookies with Chloe and her friends when they come visit. The cookie jar was a wee bit expensive – but what the heck ! it’s Christmas! and every home must have a cookie jar right?
Our old toaster of many, many years decided to give up on us finally – we’ve had the toaster since before I arrived in Canada – it was a white toaster and it never worked right for me. Normally, we would have to watch the toaster – so it won’t burned the toast. When we finally bought this one from our local mall – we wanted something that was better since we had a gift card from Zellers from the points we’ve collected for years. So basically, this toaster was free – hehe! This toaster can do defrosting, reheating as well as toasting your bagel (woohoo!) – thus far I do like that toaster – but it was a brand that I’m not familiar with – oh well – as long as it works eh.
I had actually seen this in one of our local store down on main street a few weeks ago – but i didn’t buy it immediately because Chloe doesn’t bring a cupcake or a muffin to school often. Then last Sunday we bought her some banana chocolate muffins for snacks for school and I asked myself – why was I so el cheapo and didn’t get her the cupcake on the go ? so PB brought me out to the gift shop – after sending chloe’s lunch and i bought a pink one for her. woohoo!!
So there – muffins or cupcakes can fit into the cupcake on the go holder and only for $3.99 + tax of course! the government wants their share (blood suckers!) They come in a few different colors – i think blue, yellow – and green.
So I finally broke down and bought a coffee machine. I chose this machine – mainly because I wanted to support our downtown business – so instead of buying it from Zellers or Walmart - I bought it from Sandy’s Gift store at downtown – Main Street. And like any downtown store – you can expect good service and they know exactly what they are selling and when stock are coming in.
The Keurig Coffee machine was $119 + tax (the government wants their share of course) but it comes with a sample box of coffee – of 18 different kind of coffee – and a cup of tea too. We had also bought a few sample cups to try.
The Keurig Coffee Machine uses – what they called a K- Cup and it’s very simple to use – because chloe makes my coffee now. So if my 7 yrs old can press a few buttons and make me coffee everyday – so can you. So far I’ve tried a few of the K-cup and enjoyed most of them – and you will be getting some reviews on the flavor I’ve tried. The coffee machine has an auto off button and you don’t have to leave the machine on – if you are done with it. Making another cup of coffee is easy to heat – and it doesn’t take long to heat the water at all. Is it worth paying so much for the machine – I say yes! because now I can have hot chocolate or coffee anytime I want – I don’t have to think of going to Tim’s to get my coffee anymore – although I still go and get timbits for Chloe and a Cinnamon frosted bun for PB. Definitely worth buying if you have an office full of people who drinks coffee – or a household of more than 1 person drinking hot drinks.
So everyone is asking what I had for Chinese New Year’s day – well – I had Bak Kut Teh – because we had to open our store on that day – also there was a snow storm here during the first day of Chinese New Year. And the programmable cooker works like the old one – just that now I don’t have to be worried about overcooking the food. But what suxs about the programmable cooker is – it turns itself off – from “warm” after 14 hours – so if you can’t finish your food within the 14hrs – you have to re-program it – but most people won’t have any trouble as the entire family would eat it, wherelse – it’s only me and chloe eating the entire pot of Bak Kut Teh – so sometimes – it takes a few days.
And yes – you there is a safety lock on it – which means you can cook and carry it to somewhere else – if you are having a potluck.
Every year I tell PB we should host Christmas dinner at our place instead of his parents – that way – his mother gets a day’s rest – instead of having to prepare dinner for us. But every year we fail to do it – because we get so busy with the store – since Christmas is usually our busiest. This year – I starting early to prepare for Christmas – that way – maybe, just maybe we can really have Christmas at our home. I won’t be able to cook a big meal – but certain food I can get them already cooked in our local grocery store and buy them pre-prepared.
So I got some ideas from the internet and I’m getting some chair slipcover and accessorizing my dining chairs this Christmas. One of the examples I found is using a red ribbon and tying it over the dining chair with some christmas cones and ferns. Very stunning right? with a white slip cover over the chair. By doing this simple decorating – I don’t have to do a center piece and it sets the dining room in the right mood for Christmas. I love this idea so much ! and anyone can do it – and if you have a theme for the year – like blue or gold – you can use gold ornaments – or others – as you see fit.
We have been busy looking for dining chairs of late – but haven`t had any luck so far – finding the right ones at the right price. Have you seen my kitchen of late? Yes! it’s pretty small – an open concept kitchen as they called it – what was I thinking of when I bought this house?
I would have loved my bathroom sink to be like the ones back home pedestal sinks – why? easier to clean and a lot less dust trapped around it. If i had to choose another house again – my kitchen isn’t going to be an open concept one – and definitely need a bigger dining table and lots more chairs – so that I can host any dinner not just Christmas. Plus more than 1 bathroom – that’s for sure. So hard to host anything with just one bathroom! I need a guest bathroom and a master bathroom and a bathroom for Chloe.
So yes! would love to host Christmas dinner at my home this year – but I’ve to really make some changes – more chairs – change the sink in the bathroom and in my plans – is to add another bathroom in the basement. Oh did I say also a fireplace in the basement? Yes! I have so many things I wanna do for our house.
When you have a kid like I do – you want to give them the best – in terms of everything. Food is what we cannot go without and as parents, we want to feed our kids well – not just any kind of food but healthy ones. And every summer – we buy freezies and pops that are either premade with lots of sugar or ingredients that we are reluctant to let Chloe eat.
So I’ve decided to buy this Zoku Quick Pop Maker instead, it’s not only easy – it’s definitely something every parents would want. It’s so easy to make your own pop- your kids can even help with it. Use all the real and good ingredients and never have to worry about your kids having too much sugar in their body, plus it’s definitely good for diabetics like myself. A good investment at $49.95 – shipping was free too.
PB bought this Black & Decker steamer for me like 2 0r 3 Christmases ago – and this was the first time I’ve used it. Why? too busy to steam things to eat lah – other times – i just use a bigger pot, put in water – and another bowl and steam away. Why in the world i did not use this – i cannot understand it myself – because this must be the best thing I’ve had - i kid you not – it’s cheap – it’s easy to use and easy to wash too.
What prompted me to use the steamer? it’s these paus – that we had bought from Halifax a few week – a month ago. You see normally i use the pot method and the pau always turned out like horrid – all soggy and wet – not edible – so with these paus – i suddenly thought – why not. And this i’ll have to say – was the best decision I’ve made with the kitchen.
The paos turned out awesome – and i’ve been using it for steaming dumplings and other stuff – I’ll attempt to do steam fish really soon. Wish me luck! Oh – those were “tau sa” paos – if you were wondering.