Timberline Country Christmas, December 2-20, 2015

Have you ever watched one of those Christmas specials on TV that take place on a ranch and thought that it would be pretty amazing to experience a Country Christmas?

Well you wish has come true!

Timberline Ranch in Maple Ridge is having their second annual Country Christmas and you’re invited!

Timberline Country Christmas

Running from December 2-20, take the whole family out to enjoy a Christmas experience that the kiddos will love!

Enjoy a wagon ride, a pony ride, visit the petting zoo, grab a snack at the bakery, vote for your favourite Christmas tree decorated by a local business, play in Snowville and decorate your own ornament!

You will need to make an online reservation to this event, so please click on this link to reserve your spot.

Timberline Ranch

{{Promo codes}} Keeping holiday traditions alive. #Minted

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that we receive fewer and fewer Christmas cards…

This could mean one of two things:

1)Friends don’t consider us friends any more (I’d hate for this to be true).

or…

2)People just aren’t sending cards out anymore.

Image credit: Bluemountain.com

Image credit: Bluemountain.com

At Christmas time, when I was a little girl, I remember my Mom sitting down at the kitchen table with a stack of Christmas cards and her worn out address book. She would write out her cards for hours and then have to lick, what seemed to be a thousand stamps.

Ever since my husband and I started dating, we have sent our friends and family Christmas cards. We would take a trip to the States, usually just after Halloween, and while we were there, we’d scour book stores and card shops to find the perfect cards to reflect our personality. It was becoming a tedious endeavour and the selections just weren’t us.

This year, I checked out minted.com.

Minted

The selection of photo and non-photo cards are amazing! You can personalize your cards with text and images to make them extra special. Each card style can be customized with decorative edging, backing and colour styles.

We found the perfect style that reflects us and am looking forward to sending them out!

Minted Christmas cards

You can even have your envelopes come pre-addressed right from Minted, so all you need to do is stick on your stamps and put them in the mail. That certainly saves time and let’s you get on with more festive activities with the kiddos!

Minted

A little bit about Minted:

  • Minted is a design marketplace of independent artists from around the globe.
  • This year, all holiday cards are available with matching envelope designs and recipient addressing, FREE for a limited time. Save time and make your holiday card beautiful from the inside out.
    2015 holiday card trends: Take it from our community of independent artists—hand-drawn patterns, dark grey with metallic, geometric, and bold color palettes are what’s on-trend for this season. Among this year’s top trends are real foil-pressed holiday cards in gold, silver and rose gold, available exclusively at Minted; also new are photo letterpress holiday cards featuring the luxurious look and feel of letterpress paired with unique inks and neon colors.
  • Minted is known for its high-quality paper and printing.
  • Minted’s Signature paper is thick and luxurious with a creamy cotton texture, and has been optimized for photo printing. You can also choose 100% recycled paper, Pearlescent paper which adds a subtle shimmer, DoubleThick paper or even TripleThick paper. Minted also offers 9 unique die-cut shapes. A variety of backer options allow you to add additional photos, text, and customization options to your holiday card.
  • Love your holiday card so much that you want to make it a permanent fixture of your home? Introducing new Holiday Keepsake Art. Create a gallery wall of holiday memories with a framed keepsake made of this year’s holiday card.
  • Minted’s assortment of stationery, art and home decor is constantly expanding as Minted grows its artist community and hosts ongoing challenges.

Minted

Get started on creating your own beautiful Christmas cards by clicking on this link!

{{PROMOTION}}

For a limited time, Minted has provided a few PROMO CODES for Raincity Parent readers to take advantage of! Don’t hesitate, they won’t last long!

Free Foil Event (20% off all foil) (code: FOIL) valid 11/10-11/16

15% off holiday cards $150+, 10% off $100+ (code: JOY) valid 11/10-11/16

15% off holiday cards (code: CHEER15) vaild 11/17-11/24

Get a grip with #FlyGrip! 

I use my cell phone to take all of my photos…

Phone pic

I ALWAYS have it with me and it’s got WiFi, so I can email or upload my pictures immediately if I choose to.

But sometimes I have fumble fingers and my phone manages to escape my grip and gravity takes over, sending it hurtling to the ground.

Cracked Phone Screen

I’m sure you’re familiar with a cracked or totally shattered screen and sometimes those special cases that are supposed to prevent these disasters just can’t handle the impact of a hard surface.

Phone in rice

Have you ever escaped from the kids, locked yourself in the bathroom and brought along your phone so you had some reading material? Have you ever accidentally dropped your phone in the toilet?! GHAH! Now you need to put your phone in a bag of rice for a few days and hopefully it’ll suck out all the moisture and save your “best friend”. But the germs remain…

Why go through all the trouble and just keep a better grip on your phone?

FlyGrip

Fly Grip is an ingenious tool that allows you to keep hold of your phone whether you’re typing or taking a photo. It also can be used as a kickstand in both orientations.

Available in a variety of colours and designs, you can hang onto phone and accessorize to suit your mood.

Visit the FlyGrip website to order yours now!

Fly Grip

Sleeping in the car, just became WAY more amazing!! {{Giveaway}} #SlumberSling

You’ve got everyone all packed into the “family mobile” and you’re off on your next journey to wherever…

Errand running, out and about for the day around town, or the epic road trip that will more than likely consist of multiple stops for potty breaks, snack attacks, the retrieving of “misplaced” toys, shoes, binkies or blankies, or, changing the DVD for the gazzillionth time.

Hopefully this will include an interlude of quietness from the backseat when the mites drift off into a nice slumber, so Mum and Dad can have a moments peace or, Heaven forbid, listen to some grown-up tunage!

I honestly don’t know how kids can sleep so soundly hunched over in their car seats! Necks craned over and heads rolling around at every curve. Clearly, their made of rubber!

Enter Slumber Sling!

Sleepy Dude

These fantastic straps to help keep your kiddos heads in the “upright and locked position” during those unexpected slumber sessions that can sneak up on them. They come in several cute designs, fit around car seats and are suitable for the bigger kids too. I think that for our next road trip, I might use one for myself too so I don’t end up with a sore neck myself!

Slumber Sling has passed safety requirements in a professional crash test. It is hand made from organic cotton in the USA. Click here to purchase yours today.

Slumber Sling

{{GIVEAWAY!!!!}}

Ash & Alys Babes has given Raincity Parent one of their fantastic Slumber Slings to giveaway to one lucky reader!!!

Slumber Sling Foxy Dots

Enter via the Rafflecopter link below. Contest open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stationary, artwork and decor…oh my! {PROMO CODE} #Minted

We are in the process of upgrading the “nursery” into a big kids room.

What was the neutral colorscheme that we chose for our little ones pre-arrival…has now served it’s purpose and needs to be refreshed.

The kidlets are room sharing and hubby is building them a bunkbed to accommodate the size of their room. We’re going to let them choose their new bedding and we’ll add some personal touches to make their “bed space”, their own. This will also be a fantastic improvement for our storage problem…

No more toys in the livingroom, WOO HOO!

I just ordered some sweet artwork for the kidlets from Minted. The pieces really reflect their personalities!

  
I also ordered a lovely piece for Mommy and Daddy. 

  
Just a little reminder to never go to bed angry.

Minted is a fantastic website that offers a vast array of art, decor, business cards, stationary and paperie for any occasion.

Their online order system is a breeze and their shipping is prompt.

I definitely plan to get some more items from Minted again in the future!

From now until July 13th, 2015, use promo code “RAINCITY10” at the Checkout, and you will receive 10% off your ‘art prints’ order!

  

What’s for dinner? Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce #Kid-friendly

The weather’s warming up, so eating heavy meals isn’t very desirable.

Our daughter’s on a rice kick right now and I felt like fish, so here’s what I made:

Broiled tilapia with coconut- curry sauce

Broiled Tilapia With Thai Coconut- Curry Sauce

courtesy of Food.com

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped green onion

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons red curry paste

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk (I used regular)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets

3 cups hot cooked basmati rice

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Directions:

Preheat broiler.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Add peppers and onions; cook 1 minute.

Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute.

Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (but do not boil).

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Brush fish with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (I just use parchment paper).

Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.

Broiled tilapia with coconut-curry sauce

I was so pleased with this recipe! The coconut-curry sauce was mild enough for the kids and oh-so tasty, that we really enjoyed it! I served it up with a side of rice, sauteed zucchini and some of our favourite kale salad. Perfect for a weeknight dinner. This sauce could be used with shrimp or chicken as well.

Quality under duds and casual wear that are comfy and ethical. {20% DISCOUNT CODE} #UNDERABLES 

I love to wear clothes that are comfy and casual.

In fact, if I could wear pajamas all day, I would do it!

UNDERABLES

I recently discovered UNDERABLES. They are an online boutique specializing in sleepwear, intimates and cozy apparel that are hand-picked by them, just for you and your family. They buy from quality suppliers that use sustainable materials and have ethical practices for the farmers and the workers that produce these products.

You can shop for underwear, pajamas, and loungewear available for both kids and grown ups. All orders are shipped from Vancouver, BC.

Our daughter loves the Goat-Milk tartan pants that we got her! They are comfy, and can been worn as play clothes or pj’s. They are very functional clothing!

Goat-Milk leggings (back)

 

Goat-Milk leggings (front)

Some of the brands available from UNDERABLES are:

Goat-Milk

Goat-Milk

Moi

Moi

Punjammies

Punjammies™

nosweet

nosweet

Alpine Baby

Alpine Baby Co.

ALAS

ALAS

There are so many great pieces available for the whole family! I definitely plan on ordering some more clothing from UNDERABLES for my family!

You can visit UNDERABLES website here or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

Until June 30th, UNDERABLES is offering all Raincity Parent readers a 20% discount on your entire purchase! Please enter promo code “RCP20” at checkout online to recieve your discount!

UNDERABLES

 

What’s for dinner? Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

We went grocery shopping the other day and as we scanned over the assortment of burger patties, I spied an AMAZING deal on bone-in pre-cooked ham!

A big ol hunk of ham for less than $10!

I never did check to see why it was such a deal…none of us got sick, so that’s a good sign 😊 We baked it up and had a lovely dinner with some garlic smashers mixed with carrots and a lovely heap of kale salad.

So here I am left with a whole bunch of leftover cooked ham to use up, so a-Pinterest-browsing I did go.

Here’s what I made:

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

adapted from SkinnyMom.com

Ingredients:

Casserole:
1 lb cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded

4 cups cubed cooked ham (you could also used deli ham slices)

10 thinly sliced Swiss cheese (you could also used 2 cups of grated Swiss)

Sauce:

4 Tbsp light butter

4 Tbsp flour

3¼ cups milk

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp black pepper

Topping:

¼ cup butter

1½ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1½ tsp garlic powder

1½ tsp parsley

¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Line the bottom of the baking dish with shredded chicken. Next, sprinkle ham over the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.

For the sauce: Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Continue to whisk mixture while slowly adding milk — stir until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, whisk continuously.

Time Saving Tip: To make the thickening process go faster, heat milk in the microwave until it boils (about 2-3 minutes). Then slowly add to sauce pan, whisking as you pour.

Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, paprika and pepper. Bring sauce to a low simmer again, whisk continuously. Once it has reached desired thickness, remove from heat and pour sauce evenly over the casserole.

For the topping: In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in Panko breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and pepper. Sprinkle topping mixture over the top of the casserole. Lightly mist top of casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Serve with rice, noodles or mashed potatoes with a healthy serving of veg. Yum, yum yum-o!

Go ahead…let them get wet! #MyMayu {Giveaway}

If you have a toddler at home, especially a boy…you will understand.

We live in a rain forest! No, not like the Amazon, but along the coast of British Columbia. We lovingly call Raincouver our home and sometimes refer to it as the “Wet Coast”.

Wet grass

It’s all good! We love the rain and how it keeps our landscape lush and allows us to have the fortune of being at the beach and in the mountains all in one day. People flock from other countries to come pay us a visit and quite often, they fall in love with it as much as we do, so they decide to plant their roots here as well.

With our abundance of rain, comes…yep you guessed it, PUDDLES! A kid’s natural playground and a parents aid in accumulating laundry.

Rain boots are mandatory in our life and having an extra pair or two definitely come in handy for varying degrees of wet.

Tall rainboots that come to your knees are the best tool for splashing in big puddles and stomping around in little streams, but when you have a toddler…it can be fairly difficult sometimes to keep those bad boys on. They just seem to slip off, no matter how many layers of socks you have on.

We recently discovered MyMayu. These AMAZING boots not only keep our little Dude’s feet and pant legs dry, but the drawstrings at the tops and ankles, make it diffucult for him to pull them off in the van and when he gets carried (this won’t last much longer, he’s getting too heavy), they won’t slip off!

Standing in the grass

MyMayu boots are available in Play Boots (which we have) and also Explorer Boots.

Play Boots are light-weight and ideal for shallow puddles or urban walks. They have soft soles that are good for all seasons and are easily cleaned and dried so your little ones can get back out exploring right away. These boots are also great for playing in sand boxes! No more sand in their shoes and if something sharp is buried underneath, their little feet are protected.

Play boots

Explorer Boots are made with waterproof materials and the seams are sealed, allowing your kiddos to go all out in the biggest, deepest puddles that they can find! Also soft-soled, with drawstrings at the ankles and knees to keep from falling off and water to get in over top.

Liners are also available for the boots to add extra warmth during the colder days outside and if your child requires orthotics, these boots will accommodate them.

Yellow boots

Pair these fantastic boots with a Muddy Buddy and your kiddos will be virtually water-proof!

MyMayu is a Canadian company with products made fairly in Mexico. The materials contain no BPA or PVC and are vegan. The soles can be recycled!

MyMayu

 

Wanna WIN a pair of Play Boots for your kiddo? Of course you do!

MyMayu is giving away one pair of Muddy Munchkins or Big Kid Play Boots to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) only and runs from May 29 – June 12, 2015. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s for dinner? Orzo with Shrimp, Asparagus and Feta

Another busy week for us, so quick dinners are ALWAYS my go-to!

I’m adding more healthy choices and I just can’t help myself in trying out new dishes. Kid-friendly is an absolute must as well as incorporating as many veggies as possible. We are introducing our kids to veggies that some may not consider “kid-approved”, but you’d be surprised at what they start enjoying!

Here’s what I made:

 

Photo credit: Serious Eats (we were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture)

 
Orzo with Shrimp, Asparagus and Feta

adapted from Serious Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the pasta
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 2 tbsp fresh juice from 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • Directions:
  • Fill the skillet 2/3rds of the way with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook according package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside, transfer to a bowl, and toss with a little vegetable or canola oil.
  • Wipe out skillet and return to medium high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and stir to coat the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is tender but retains a crisp bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the asparagus to the sides of the pan and add the shrimp. Cook, turning shrimp occasionally, until pink and opaque, about 4 minutes total.
  • Add the orzo back to the pan, stirring to combine, along with the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and feta. Toss to combine, allow orzo to heat through, season to taste with more salt and pepper as desired, and serve immediately.
  • We all enjoyed this one-pan meal and clean up was super quick and easy.