Friday, July 30, 2010

Foto Friday



Hola Bloggies:

It’s Friday again!!! I don’t know about you but the second half of my week seemed to just zoom by – which suits me just fine!

I was looking at the calendar the other day and realized that we’re only three months away from our wedding. EEEK!!!! That’s super exciting and yet a little stressful at the same time. The dress, the honeymoon, the invitations, the ceremony, the guests . . . there are so many details to with which to preoccupy myself. Thankfully, our wedding invitations will go out this following week. It’s later than we hoped it to be but we were pretty specific about what we wanted and we had to wait for certain materials to be sourced. Once the invites are out I’ll be sure to blog about our whole wedding invitation suite – we’re really quite thrilled with how it turned out!

In the meantime, I thought today’s Foto Friday should feature a glimpse of our honeymoon destination – Guanajuato, Mexico. It’s not what people envision when they think of Mexico and that’s exactly what we wanted. Something off the beaten (North American) tourist path. Somewhere that allowed us to live out our “sitting in a cafe in a beautiful historical city” visions. Guanajuato turned out to be perfect.

Question: What are your plans for this weekend? It’s a long weekend here in Canada so I’m sure I’ll get up to some chelaxing (chilling + relaxing)!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

High Altitude Roasting

Hola Bloggies:

I know I keep on mentioning this but it’s still sweltering up here in the Rocky Mountains. In fact it’s almost 10PM and it’s only now starting to get bearable. All I know is, I have heaps of respect for those of you that live in the South.

My guess is that although I was born in the tropics I forgot to live in crazy heat somewhere along the way! smile_regular

Monday it was over 100 degrees by the time I left work (over 40C). I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking so I went to the grocery store to buy a deli sub for dinner. That’s when one of my co-workers called wanting to know if we were still on for our standing Monday night doggy hike. Truth be told I was stunned to no end. I couldn’t imagine Daisy out in that heat. To compromise we decided to head out to one of the local lakes (a particularly gorgeous one at the base of the Rocky Mountains) for a picnic dinner and hike.

the steeples

Lovely, no?


The lake is spring fed so it’s particularly frigid. Particularly where it gets deeper. This despite the intense Rocky Mountain sun.


Don’t believe me? Ask my soaking wet puppy!


Dinner featured some G2 Gatorade (I’m a big fan of Gatorade in hot weather since I tend to become easily dehydrated).


More deli sandwiches made by my local Safeway.


Some wonderful British Columbia grown cherries.

les bleus

I also added one of the new Kashi granola bars (courtesy of a coupon I received for a free box).

a trio

The bars had pretty decent nutritionals.


caloric stuff

At first glance I was impressed.

aerial kashi

side-view kashi

back kashi

And as far as the taste I have to say my mouth was pretty happy. My chocolate raspberry bar was not too sweet and certainly not salty. I also enjoyed the fact that it tasted like it had a layer of raspberry jam between the chocolate and the granola bar itself. Overall I was pleased.

The Fiancé however felt something was missing. He deemed it “healthy tasting.” Which is his way of saying that his taste-buds weren’t fooled by the chocolate layer.

Our friend clearly voiced her opinion when she blurted out “Chocolate!?!? THIS is chocolate!?!?” Apparently she wasn’t fooled either.

The problem I had with the bars was when I noticed that buried at the end of the ingredient list was peanut flour. I was sad. Never before have I needed to worry about peanuts with Kashi. And here they went and made a bar with peanut flour. Given that I’m allergic to peanuts I won’t be buying these bars again.

Miraculously I didn’t get sick from the bars – which leads me to believe that the peanut flour content is negligible at best. Likely why it’s right at the end of the ingredient list. Still, I won’t be risking my health in the future.


I honestly don’t understand why Kashi would stipulate on the package that the bars contained dates and raspberries and somehow neglect to mention peanuts. Fail Kashi. FAIL.

After dinner we splashed around the lake where I snapped some more pictures of the surroundings.



As the evening cooled we made our way to another lake where we went on our regular hike. It was hot. Brutally hot. And the sun was blistering.

lake two

Still, we lasted about an hour and a half before heading home. Not bad.

I had grand hopes of going for a three mile run after my hike. Ha! I ended up with heat stroke and passed out from my crazy migraine. Clearly, I should have taken my outdoor activities a little lighter, given the weather. Noted.

Question: What do you do to cool off in the midst of the summer?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lazy Sunday + A Brutally Honest Review - POM

Hola Bloggies:

How was your weekend loves? We spent our Saturday largely doing wedding stuff and other random chores, which of course meant that we felt fully entitled to relax on Sunday. Woohoo for lazy Sundays!

It was crazy hot here in the Rocky Mountains combine that with the intense sun and it was blistering up in the casa. To seek some relief we decided to back some cherries and blueberries, water, a massive sub for sharing (bought at our local Safeway on the way out of town) and head out to a local lake. This was the first time we attempted to do anything like this since getting Daisy. Little did we know how difficult it would be for us to find a lake that would allow us to bring our puppy to the shore. smile_sad

We tried multiple parks and no luck. So eventually we ended up heading down a forest service road and finding a remote lake in the mountains. A pristine mountain lake with no rules? Bonus!

kayaks on the shore

The weather up at the lake turned out to be much cooler than down in the city, mostly by virtue of a subtle but continuous breeze.

cherries and blueberries

I purchased the cherries at the local farmer’s market on Saturday. While it would be cheaper to purchase them at a grocery store (where they would likely come from Washington State) I chose to buy produce grown in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.


The sandwich was something we had to purchase since I never keep the necessary ingredients at home. I know most people consider bread a stable but I seldom keep any around; mostly because if it’s there I’ll eat it all a lot.

the long shot

It wasn’t the healthiest option but it did the job. I picked off the salami and had two small pieces. Plenty to keep me full. I don’t know about you but I just don’t get very hungry in the crazy hot weather.

Once we finished our meal we walked around the lake and went for a dip in the water. It was so refreshing and perfect for a lazy Sunday!

A little bit later in the evening we headed out to see Inception. It was kind of trippy and a bit of the Matrix meets James Bond. Overall it was really good and made you question reality. That’s basically my measure of a good movie – does it leave you thinking afterwards? This one sure did!



POM Coupons 

Some time ago I received coupons for free bottles of POM from their very gracious manufacturers. I kind of heart me some POM so I was thrilled at the opportunity to officially review the product for the blog.

The Deets 

I still remember the first time I heard about pomegranate juice, it was while I was talking to some Persian friends in High School. I was told Iranians swore by the health benefits of pomegranates. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what would be so great about those small little seeds. And how in the world did they manage to get juice out of those things anyways!?!?

Back then I wasn’t really interested in healthy living so it wasn’t until some years had passed that I learned the Persians had a good thing going! POM juice is made up of 100% pomegranate juice; which means it’s absolutely jammed pack with antioxidants. Current research seems to indicate that antioxidants help to prevent oxidization in our bodies and as such may help protect us from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (amongst others).

Many people turn to red wine for its antioxidant content. Indeed, there’s this whole school of thought that attributes the health of the French, despite their diets high in indulgences, to their red wine consumption; this is known as the French Paradox. Well it turns out that POM contains a higher antioxidant count then even red wine!

POM kiwi

For my review I took two of the coupons I was sent and used them to purchase two flavours I had never tried.

First up was POM Kiwi. I wasn’t sure how the kiwi would stand up against the pomegranates. Overall I would say that the kiwi gave the POM a slightly increased tanginess which was distinctly different from the usual POM taste. The flavour of the kiwi was distinctly prominent.

POM mango

The next flavour I tried was the POM with mango. Also a first for me. This flavour seemed to lessen the usual tartness of the POM juice but overall it seemed to get lost in the juice. I would recommend this flavour to those that find POM juice a little too tart in its original flavour.

the ingredients

Now I’m not going to pretend that POM juice is cheap – that it is not. But like organic produce or free-range products, I consider POM an investment in my health. Whenever possible I keep a bottled on hand. And I figure since it’s so jammed pack with antioxidants, a little can go a long way. While I know a lot of people drink their POM juice in shot glass portions I tend to make mocktails out of POM Wonderful.

Start out with your POM flavour of choice and a bit of club soda. Don’t forget a lovely glass.

the pour

Pour a bit of POM juice into the bottom of your glass. I was generous with my pour.

POM  cocktail

Top the rest off with club soda and enjoy your delicious drink. If you’re feeling particularly fancy pants, feel free to add a slice of lime to your glass or maybe some raspberries. And if you’re having a party, don’t forget to add a splash of vodka.

Overall Review? I absolutely LOVE POM juice! It’s one of my go-to healthy food splurges and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my readers. If you don’t do it for the taste then at least do it for your health.

And here’s the GIVEAWAY part – I have two coupons for free POM juice to give away to one lucky reader. To enter all you have to do is comment on this entry. Contest closes on Friday, July 30th 2010 at 8AM PST. Best of luck bloggies!

Question: Have you ever tried POM juice? Did you like it?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cranbrook Sushi – Crazy Good Value in the Rockies

Hola Bloggies:

Lately, it seems the Fiancé and I have made it our mission to try all the sushi restaurants in the Canadian Rockies. Don’t worry . . . there aren’t too many so we should be able to manage just fine. smile_wink

For tonight’s dinner we ended up heading to a place called Cranbrook Sushi; a very recent addition to the market. And while this particular restaurant may be in a non-descript strip mall they’ve done a great job remodelling the interior.

cranbrook sushi 


While we perused the menu we were offered complimentary hot or cold green tea. This may not seem like a big deal except that many sushi places in the Canadian Rockies will charge almost $3 for tea.

Truthfully we were somewhat overwhelmed by their awesome menu. The sushi rolls were exceedingly cheap (with most rolls under $5) and the cooked food selection looked amazing. In an attempt to sample the menu I chose one of their set dinners while the Fiancé decided to order rolls.

set dinner


We ended up massively over ordering. This was mostly due to an assumption that given the price the rolls would be very small. Not so amigos. Next time (because there will definitely be a next time) we will order considerably less.



The first thing that came out of the kitchen was a complimentary rice and yam chowder. It was very delicate in taste and beautifully presented. A really nice touch!

rollie rollie

rollie  up close

The shrimp rolled in green stuff is a dish the restaurant calls Rollie Rollie. Essentially, a deep fried prawn covered with your choice of noodles. The Fiancé chose cha soba (gree tea flavoured soba noodles) and proclaimed the dish to be really good. Not too greasy and a good value appetizer.


Another complimentary dish. This time miso soup. I like complimentary. It’s a good price!

From there on in the food just seemed to come out in waves. By the end I was scared every time the waitress came out of the kitchen. I was afraid the dish would be for our table. Usually it was. Eeeek!

I’ll let the pictures tell the tale.

set dinner 


black cod = YUM

That would be the box part of my set menu. I tried a bit of everything and while the tempura was light and crispy and the miso soup was good, the fish really stole the show! I loved the gunkan (a boat shaped sushi roll) and the nigiri sushi. My gunkan had some chopped raw salmon, a bottom of rice, and a little layer of spicy sauce in between. While my nigiri sushi was perfectly fresh and delicate. Then there was the grilled black cod; a small piece but just enough to make me ooh and aaaah.

sukiyaki dish 


Next came the sukiyaki which is basically a combination of meat, broth, veggies, and tofu cooked at your table. I loved the earthenware containers that concealed the little canister that cooked the ingredients. Excellent presentation.

egg sauce and rice

Traditionally the sukiyaki meat is passed through a fresh cracked egg and then eaten beside either rice or noodle. I shared this portion of my meal the Fiancé. We both loved the flavours of the meat. It was another highlight of an already great meal.


Just when I thought the meal was finally over the waitress brought out a cone roll. Apparently it was part of my meal. I was going to say I couldn’t possibly finish anything else and then I realized it was a chopped scallop temaki (cone sushi). Since it wasn’t that big I sacrificed myself and finished the meal. Ha!

spicy tuna

spicy chopped chopped scallop roll

Cranbrook roll 

The Fiancé who had a selection of their rolls proclaimed them to be great albeit too much food. But that’s our fault and not the restaurant. In retrospect we would stay away from the Cranbrook roll (pictured above) given that it’s way too much food and eats like a meal. Instead, we would stick to one or two small rolls.

Overall we were really happy with our experience at Cranbrook Sushi. The service was excellent and the food fantastic bang for your buck. Next time we would order only one or two dishes rather than a wider selection. Bottom line? I would definitely recommend Cranbrook Sushi to anyone passing by the East Kootenay region of the Canadian Rockies.


Question? Have you ever accidentally over-ordered at a restaurant?