Take a load off during your holiday shopping! #AvionVIP

When you talk to someone about shopping at the mall during the Christmas season, they immediately cringe.

Shopping madness

Just the thought of going to a shopping centre during the holidays makes my heart race! And you know that there’s no avoiding hitting up these places when you have several people to buy for.

The roads nearby are busy, the parking lot is a literal traffic jam with eager shoppers vying for a spot, let alone a good one. Once inside the mall, you need your GPS fired up just to navigate through the milling shoppers.Personally, after an hour or so of this, and I need a break from the chaos!

RBC Avion Holiday Boutique

Thankfully, if you are an RBC Avion member (Avioner), you can escape the insanity when you’ve just about had enough.

The RBC Avion Holiday Boutique has been set up in select shopping centres so that Avioners can step out of the hustle and bustle, take their coat off, have a warm beverage and snack, not have to worry about wrapping their parcels and just take some time to put their feet up and recharge their batteries so they can dive back in and finish up their shopping.

Complimentary services

The complimentary services that Avioners can receive when they visit the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique are:

*Valet parking
*Coat and parcel check
*VIP lounge and café
*Concierge services
*Gift wrapping service

RBC Avion Holiday Boutique

Having to not find a parking spot was fantastic! We just pulled up to the valet booth, and the nice chap happily parked our van for us. While visiting the RBC Holiday Boutique, we were treated to complimentary Starbucks coffee and mint hot chocolate and an assortment of yummy cookies, apples and candy canes to nibble on.

Candy cane fiend

More candy canes!

Our little guy picked out a couple of Christmas themed story books that were available to read and we were able to sit back and relax and unwind. They even have a Twitter contest that you can participate in to win some awesome prizes!

Compliments of RBC Avion Holiday Boutique

Fingers crossed, I WIN this beauty!

Fingers crossed, I WIN this beauty!

The RBC Avion Holiday Boutique is for Avion cardholders but the public can enjoy the valet parking, coat & parcel check and gift wrapping services for a pre-set fee (all coat & parcel check and gift wrapping fees are donated to charity).

You can visit the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique at Coquitlam Centre from November 22nd-December 31st. Click here for location and mall hours.

Coquitlam Centre

Do you go Christmas Shopping with a predetermined list, or do you like to browse around until something catches your fancy?

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Looking for an alternative to the big box store’s toys this Christmas? #KaboodlesToyStore

Ask any kid what they want for Christmas and you’ll know exactly what they want…


Give them clothes and you’ll see the disappointment on their faces, or worse…a tantrum equivalent to a nuclear meltdown!


Kaboodles Toy Store, a Vancouver institution with four locations in Vancouver and Victoria, carries toys for every kid on your Christmas Shopping List.

Our kiddos fight over who gets to use the Mini Etch A Sketch, and bath time was so much fun when we tossed in the Sprudel and watched it fizz and dissolve in the water, then VOILA! a surprise popped out!

Mini Etch A Sketch

Bath Sprudel

Lee Richmond, the owner of Kaboodles, has been in the toy biz for over 30 years. Each year, Lee and her team travel extensively to toy fairs around the world in search of the most fun toys, which they test personally – with enthusiasm : )

This year, Kaboodles is launching a Vancouver-wide Toy Drive to support families who can’t afford gifts for their children. At every Kaboodles’ location, people can donate a gift to the Kaboodles Toy Drive, and all gifts collected will be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau who will pass them on to families in need.

Kaboodles Toy Drive

If you’re stuck for ideas for the kiddos on your Christmas Shopping List, check out Lee’s Top Ten Toys and Stocking Stuffers for 2014:

Top Ten Toys for 2014:

1. Keva Planks: Simple planks, amazing possibilities. Using wooden planks, you can defy gravity and create your dream city: http://www.kevaplanks.com

2. Laser Pegs: Newly redesigned Laser Pegs are better than ever! This is the ULTIMATE construction toy that LIGHTS UP- Perfect for any builder: http://www.laserpegs.com

3. Corolle Dolls: Calin Yang is the ideal first baby doll for the littlest mommies ages 18 months and up. This adorable 12-inch baby doll is just the right size to cradle: http://www.kaboodlestoystore.com/toycategory/dolls/

4. Wrebbit 3D Puzzles: Push yourself Further into the 3 dimensional world with the original 3D Puzzle from Wrebbit! Perfect for any puzzle expert: http://www.wrebbit3d.com

5. Zingo: Zingo brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo: http://www.zingobingo.com

6. Litehawk Motorcycle: Fully functioning R/C motorcycle racing is hotly anticipated: http://www.litehawk.ca/apex/

7. Jenga: The classic block-stacking, stack-crashing game of JENGA!

8. Davinici Trebuchet: Locally designed and created. Have fun assembling the ingenious design and then test it by flinging the soft clay balls (included) over an amazing 15 feet: http://www.pathfindersdesignandtechnology.com

9. Snap Circuits: Award winning Snap Circuits kits offer children the opportunity to experiment in a variety of ways, building amazing creations that lead to electrifying results: http://www.snapcircuits.net

10. Dressups: Cast BEAUTIFUL icy spells just like Elsa with this amazing SNOW QUEEN gown from Great Pretenders: http://www.dressups.com

Stocking Stuffers

Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for 2014

1. Finger Puppets: Put on a magical play with beautifully designed characters from Folkmanis: http://www.folkmanis.com/Content/17.htm

2. Storey cubes: Rory’s story cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play for all ages: http://www.storycubes.com

3. Piggy Paint: Paint all your fingers and toes with this natural, water based, hypo allergenic polish. Available in all sorts of fun colors: http://www.piggypaint.com

4. Tea Duckie: Add whimsy and mirth to your teacup with the tea duckie tea infuser. Any tea lover will enjoy!

5. Frozen: Warm up an Olaf plush with a warm hug or enjoy mouth watering jellybeans inspired by all your favourite Frozen characters. Perfect for any Frozen fan.

6. Sprudels: Just add Children! Sprudels make any bath a good time. Each bath bomb makes your bath water a different colour and comes with a special sponge toy: http://www.loottrading.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=59_34

7. Retro Classics: No Stocking is complete without a blast from the past. Classics like Slinkys, Etch-a-Sketch, magic worms, Jacobs Ladder, whoopee cushions, silly putty, and Kaleidoscopes are a Christmas morning must have!

8. Grown your own Yeti: Create your own winter creature with this magic grow Yeti! Add the materials and construct your Yeti, then watch as he starts to grow in a few hours.

9. Lego Minifigs: Don’t forget about all those Lego collectors out there. Minifigs are the perfect stocking stuffer for any Lego addict and perfect for ALL ages.

10. Jean Tattoos: Add some style to any pair of jeans with wash off tattoos: http://peaceablekingdom.com/Products/Peace-and-Love-Jean-Tats__JT4.aspx

Stop by Kaboodles’ Point Grey location this Friday, November 28th for the Point Grey Shopping Night! You’re guaranteed to not leave empty handed! Even visiting celebrities can’t miss shopping at Kaboodles Toy Store

Firing up the Christmas spirit with the kids! #BobsAndLolo #Santa #LTC

This morning we surprised the kiddos with a Meet & Greet with Bobs & Lolo followed by a performance, a Santa Claus Parade and photos with the jolly ‘ol guy himself!

Bobs and Lolo

Thanks to Kerry over at Crunchy Carpets, we were honoured to meet Bobs & Lolo, receive a signed copy of their new album “Wave Your Antlers” and have a picture taken with these two lovelies!

After attempting some more photos of the kids with Frosty and Rudolph…

Zero co-operation!

Zero co-operation!

Bobs & Lolo performed some of their fun-filled songs for the throngs of kiddos in the audience.

Santa arrived and a musical parade made it’s way around Lougheed Town Centre!

We were so fortunate to skip to the front of the line to have a photo taken with Santa (thanks again Kerry!) The kiddos were so excited to FINALLY get to see Santa, that when it was their turn for a visit…they both clammed up and became star-struck.

We got the shot after several “Yoo hoo!’s”. It’s pretty fun trying to get both kids looking in the same direction, getting them to smile and sit still for thirty seconds.

Santa's fan added a little movement to the photo. Including little Dude's Alfalfa hair do ;)

Santa’s fan added a little movement to the photo. Including little Dude’s Alfalfa hair do 😉

The Santa display was changed up this year. The kid-favourite train ride provided by the Burnaby Central Railway, has not returned. Santa is seated inside a quaint little cottage, which we were advised, makes for a quieter environment for the aging Santa. The new blue theme looks classical and serene. I quite like the new set up.

Photo credit: a Lougheed Town Centre

Photo credit: a Lougheed Town Centre

The kids had a great time and we plan to make many more visits to Santa over the holidays!

Pampering and Gymnastics, All-In-One! #VancouverTumblebus #UltimateMobileSpa

Two fantastic companies that I have promoted before, Vancouver Tumblebus and Ultimate Mobile Spa, have joined forces and are now offering a package that combines the awesomeness of a mobile gymnasium and a mobile spa, for the holiday season!

Vancouver Tumblebus

Ultimate Mobile Spa

I have had the pleasure of enjoying both of these companies a few times and can’t say enough great things about them!

My kids love the Tumblebus and it helps make for an epic afternoon nap for your littlest mites, and Ultimate Mobile Spa has provided their fantastic services to several of the Moms Nights In that I have hosted.

They are currently offering two packages to choose from:

Option 1

1 hour Tumblebus/ Spa for up to 12 kids for $399

*this includes, fun and fitness in their gym on wheels (zipline, monkey bars, balance bar, rock wall, trampoline and much more). Plus, a spa manicure (shaping the nails, buffing, polish application and choice of nail decal)

Or Option 2

2 hour Tumblebus/ Spa for up to 25 kids for $799

*this includes, fun and fitness in their gym on wheels (zipline, monkey bars, balance bar, rock wall, trampoline and much more). Plus, a spa manicure (shaping the nails, buffing, polish application and choice of nail decal)

The age range for the Tumblebus is 2-9 years old. And ALL ages can enjoy Princess Manicures, and Face Painting or Santa Clause (for an additional charge).

Please visit their websites www.vancouvertumblebus.com and www.ultimatemobilespa.com for more information.

To book one of the Ultimate Holiday Packages listed above, please call 604-710-3262 and mention that Raincity Parent sent you.

17th Annual #BrightNights at Stanley Park!

When the Christmas lights start popping up in our neighbourhood, our kids faces start lighting up just as bright!

Photo credit: Light Knights

Photo credit: Light Knights

The twinkling lights, animated ornaments, and if course the inflatables!

We love driving around town enjoying the displays that people have really put time and effort in. We live in a condo, so our contribution to the Christmas lights shows is minimal, but we do decorate our balcony to share the merriness of the season!

Back for it’s 17th year, Bright Nights in Stanley Park will be lighting up the forest with their magnificent Christmas light displays in support of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Over 800 fire fighters contribute more than 8,000 hours over the 3 month period of set-up, operations and tear down.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

The monies raised from the donations received at the entrance gate go directly to the Burn Fund. Also, the Burn Fund is encouraging the visitors to show their generosity by making a contribution to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Most needed items include: canned meat/fish; natural peanut butter; whole wheat pasta/rice; pasta sauce; canned fruits/vegetables; 100% fruit juices; low-sugar cereals; baby food, formula & diapers. www.foodbank.bc.ca

BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund


Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society

Event Dates:

November 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015

Event Times:

Mon-Thurs: 3pm – 10pm

Fri-Sun: 10am – 11pm

Matinees (before Dec 19) will be: Fri-Sun 10am-3pm

As of Dec 19: Open every day from 10am – 11pm

Closed Christmas Day, December 25, 2014

Free Parking!

Donations accepted at the front gate benefit the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund

Suggested donation is $4 per person

Bright Nights Train

Train Pricing

Adult (18 – 64 years) $11.00
Child and youth (3 – 17 years) $8.00
Small child (2 years and under) Free
Senior (65 years and over) $8.00
Matinee (All ages) $6.00
Includes taxes, subject to fees

To buy your tickets for the train, please click here!

A Whole New Holiday Shopping Experience! #CoquitlamCentre #AvionVIP


I’m so excited to check out the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique coming to Coquitlam Centre this holiday season!

With Christmas almost a month away, everyone is starting to get in gear and get some Christmas shopping done.

Coquitlam Centre

I’ll be heading to Coquitlam Centre soon to check out this amazing experience to help me get into the Christmas shopping spirit.

Stay tuned for an update about my visit to the RBC Avion Boutique!

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

#GotCraft? Holiday Edition, December 13-14, 2014.


Do you LOVE handmade crafts?! Then you MUST attend Got Craft?!

Got Craft?

Back for it’s 16th show at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver, Got Craft? showcases independent, local vendors with a wide variety of curated handmade goods ranging from jewelry, clothing, ceramics, stationary, housewares, plush toys, local artists, and more.

Check out returning favourites like Mellifera Bees and Love My Local. In addition, vendors like The Beautiful Project greeting cards and Cabin + Cub jewelry are exclusive to Got Craft? this year.

New to the show this year is local-minded, wildflower inspired Rogue Florist, ethically fashionable Heidi the Artist, and Make More Happy , which features beautiful, locally designed, knit clothing.

Rogue Florist

Rogue Florist


Heidi the Artist

Heidi the Artist


Make More Happy

Make More Happy

Got Craft? has partnered with West Elm and West Elm Market, which will hold samplings of five Got Craft? vendors at their stores on November 29th and December 6th, 2014.

The first 50 people through the door each day will receive a swag bag full of goodies from vendors and sponsors. Got Craft? is happening Saturday and Sunday December 13 and 14, 2014 between 10am-5pm at the Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street in Vancouver, B.C. Admission is $3 at the door.

As well, there will be local food carts to enjoy!

Got Craft?

Facebook: Facebook.com/GotCraft
Twitter: @LFieldsShoppe
Instagram: Instagram.com/lfieldsshoppe

For more information visit www.gotcraft.com

Surprise the Littles with a personal message from Santa this holiday season! {Promo Code} #PNP

PNP Santa

What kid wouldn’t love a personalized message from Santa Claus?!

Our kidlets have had personal messages from Santa for the past couple of years and are always surprised and delighted that Santa has messaged them directly and somehow knows so much about them!

Portable North Pole is back for it’s seventh holiday season and they are more magical than ever!

Portable North Pole

Portable North Pole (PNP) creates the world’s most engaging, personalized Santa video messages. PNP is an enchanted portal that brings Santa Claus into every home around the world to delight children and families. Their Verdict Machine is now powered by a pedaling elf who will keep the kids entertained while they wait to learn if they’re made the Naughty or Nice list this year, and their new Classic video includes funny footage of the elves as they get in trouble while doing their daily chores.

Elf riding a bike

They now have a mobile version available that is both Android and Apple friendly, so you can share the magic of Santa and his elves while you’re on the go.

The PNP experience is now FREE FOR EVERYONE, with an optional upgrade. Plus in the true spirit of giving, the PNP team has pledged to donate 5% of all web sales to Children’s Hospital foundations across the world.

PNP has generously provided all Raincity Parents readers 20% off any paid products when you use promo code BLG20BKP.

Visit Portable North Pole now and start creating your children’s own personal Christmas greeting from Santa himself!

Portable North Pole

My Quest for Happiness…Days 4 & 5 #100DaysOfGratitude #YMCCommunity

We have finally been able to take a holiday this year…

Great Blue Heron

Hubby had been SOOOO busy with work this year, that it had been nearly impossible for us to get away as a family unit rather than the kids and I heading to Gramma’s for a nice visit while Daddy travels for work.

Doing things as a family is so important to us. The nice thing is, that we have made a huge effort to go offline more than we ever have. It’s so pretty refreshing feeling just focussing on your little unit instead of keeping tabs on the rest of the world.

So here’s what I’ve been grateful for for the past two days:

1) the portable DVD player

*we got through two movies along the first leg of our journey and the DVD player kept the kids occupied the entire way.

2) portable snacks

*kept the bellies of the weelets happy along the way in between food stops.

3) wine sold in grocery stores

*by the time we arrived at our first destination on our holiday, it was pretty close to beddy-bye time and we needed to get some milk for the kiddos to have before bed, so one quick stop at the convenience store and we were set with bedtime bevvies for the kids and Mommy and Daddy.

4) hotels that have a complimentary breakfast

*pre-made breakfast is always appreciated when travelling with kidlets and FREE makes it oh-so much nicer.

5) warm Autumn days

*it was such a nice day today, that even the kids enjoyed our 2 hour walk around town with no complaints. (Visiting two playgrounds probably helped too)

6) my husband holding my hand

*nothing makes a girl feel more loved, than when her chosen holds her hand in public AND even plants a big wet kiss on her while the kids are enjoying playing in the playground.

Aaaarrrr, me matey!  A random pirate ship fir the kiddos.

Aaaarrrr, me matey!
A random pirate ship for the kiddos.

My Quest for Happiness…Day 3 #100DaysOfGratitude #YMCCommunity

This morning I woke up with a million things going through my mind…

Wide awake in bed

As most Moms do, my To-Do List was being written as I lay in bed, an hour before I really need to get up. My body was still tired, but my brain was saying, “Up and at ’em, sister!” Funny enough, I actually felt rested.

My back has been bothering me for the past several days, so my regular working out has been way-layed and the Halloween candy bowl keeps whispering to me, “You must eat me so the kids don’t!” I’ve been pretty religious about pitching a handful or so of the naughty snacks everyday, so the misery will end sooner.

As soon as I’m feeling 90% better! I will be activating my GoodLife Fitness membership and get this ass in gear. We have a tropical vaycay planned for Easter and I’d like my tan lines not to include a line where my shorts end.

Photo credit: Girl Next Door Fashion

Photo credit: Girl Next Door Fashion

So for today’s gratitude, I give you these:

1) I am grateful for my comfy bed.

*it is here that my body is most comfortable and I get my best thinking done.

2) I am grateful for my motivation to get exercise and be fit.

*the members of my Facebook Fitness Group would call me a hypocrite if I only posted motivation for others without committing to it myself.

3) I am grateful for laundry detergent.

* you make my world right again by eliminating the funky stank that permeates my workout gear.

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.