Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eat Healthier with the Updated Carrotlines App!

This past month, my coworkers and I decided it would be "Fit February" - time to be more active and get fit! Part of living a healthy lifestyle is to make good choices in your diet, so when I heard the Vancouver-based developers of the mobile app Carrotlines had rebooted their app, I thought it would be the perfect time to (re)introduce it to you.

CarrotLines has recently partnered up with Tommy Europe, the host of The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp and The Bulging Brides to add a fitness element to the app. There are exercise tips and even workout videos that gives you ideas on how to stay active along with eating healthy.

59% of Canadians don't fully understand everything listed on nutrition labels. The CarrotLines app makes it easy, as it is designed to help you decipher what a nutrition label on a food package really means. You can design your own nutrition profile based on your dietary needs or preferences (gluten-free, vegan, low-fat, non-GMO, etc) and then use the app to scan the barcode of a food item to see how close it fits your chosen dietary profile.

Many people are health-conscious nowadays, so the "Healthy Picks" feature is great for discovering new products you may not have heard of. You can browse a list of items based on an attribute, as mentioned above, such as "Made in Canada", organic, peanut-free, or dairy free. Their database contains over 40,000 products which you can also browse through before you even step foot into the grocery store! You can learn more about each product through the app as well.

There are also plenty of deals, offers and even healthy recipes in the app, and best of all, it's absolutely free!

The app is currently available on iTunes, with plans to roll out the app for the Android OS later this year. Carrotlines is also doing a HUGE giveaway with over $4,000 in prizes to celebrate the relaunch of their app. You will be automatically entered to win when you download the app. For more information, visit Carrotlines

$200 Have It Your Way #Giveaway

Have It Your Way Giveaway Button 

Welcome to the Bloggy $200 Have It Your Way Giveaway!

This wonderful event is brought to you by

This is a great giveaway to win anything you want up to $200! Don't miss out!

 About the Giveaway:
  • One lucky winner will get ANYTHING they want valued up to $200! You got it if you win get anything you want and we will order it for you. Kindle, Gift Cards, Paypal Cash, Gas Cards, Toys for the Kids, Handbag for Mom, Jewelry, ANYTHING!
  • This fabulous giveaway will begin on 2/16/13 at 12:01am EST and run until 03/17/13 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Must be 18+ to enter
  • Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!
Special thanks to Emperola.com for helping Jenn's Blah Blah Blog make this event possible: Emperola.com lists daily updated giveaways, contest, sweepstakes, promos and deals. Enter your email here for a chance to win $500 in cash. If you host a contest or a giveaway submit your listing at Emperola for free.
One Lucky Person Wins ANYTHING valued up to $200. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Disclosure: I am not responsible for shipping prize to winner, nor did I accept any type of payment for this event. This even is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media network. Winner needs to know that if they choose item that requires shipping payment it must be included in the $200. See Rafflecopter for full disclosure or contact Jenn at jennsblahblahblog@hotmail.com.

West Coast Women's Show (Mar 1-3)

The West Coast Women's Show is coming March 1-3, at the PNE Forum in Vancouver. It's a great women's event with plenty of exhibitors and speakers. Tony O, the DJ from Ellen will also be there on Saturday! Tickets are $10 for adults, or $8 if you purchase it at London Drugs. For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, check out the West Coast Women's Show site.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Year of the Snake Chinatown Parade

Last week was the Year of the Snake Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown and I was among the crowds watching. The parade was well over two hours long, with lots of music, dancing and my favorite - lion dancing! 

Year of the Snake!
So fierce!
My favourite lion - the purple and silver combo is so pretty!
After the parade, the lion dancing continued on on Pender St for the businesses. Shops will hang a head of lettuce in their storefront doorway, sometimes with a lucky red pocket attached, and a lion will dance in front of their store, and "eat" the lettuce. The lion then throws the lettuce back out of their mouth towards the store, and this will bring them good luck and good business for the year. The word lettuce in Cantonese sounds very similar to "live/thriving + money", which is why this happens. It's definitely a lot of fun to watch and follow the lion dancing down the streets.

The lion eating the lettuce.
More lion dancing on the street.
Because the lettuce is hung very high up in front of the shops, the lion dancers have to get on each other's shoulders to reach.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Free McDonalds Coffee (Feb 25 - Mar 3)

McDonalds is once again offering free coffee for a week. Pop by your local McDonalds and get a free small brewed coffee.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Zoomer Show (Feb 23-24)

The Zoomer Show will be happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 23 and 24th. It is a consumer show and lifestyle expo for men and women over the age of 45. There will over a hundred exhibitors, performances, demonstrations, and even a pet zone! The first 600 visitors each day will receive a Babra Streisand Release Me CD, Il Divo's greatest hits CD or a movie DVD. Tickets start at $8, but if you receive the Vancouver Courier newspaper, bring the ad in and you can get a pair of tickets for $10.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wellness Show (Feb 15-17)

It's time for the 21st annual Wellness Show this weekend, taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre from February 15 to 17th. There will be plenty of demos, seminars, displays and vendors on site to make it an interesting and fun event to go to. Purchase your tickets online and save!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Year of the Snake - Celebration at International Village (Feb 15-17)

There will be a three-day long celebration of the Year of the Snake at International Village, showcasing many vendor booths on both levels of the mall. There are performances on the mainstage, a kids corner, and hourly draw prizes to be won! Go on February 15 for the opening ceremony and a Lion Dance, which is always exciting to watch! Admission is free, so take the whole family! For more details, visit their website here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Free Cookie @ Subway

Subway is offering a free cookie on Valentines day to sweeten your day! Claim your coupon on their Facebook page and bring it into stores on February 14th. The coupon will be sent to your email.

Buy One Combo Get One Free @ New York Fries

Purchase one hot dog, small fries and drink combo and get the second one for free at New York Fries! Click here to download your coupon.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Year of the Snake with Vancouver Mint (Feb 8-10)

This weekend, head on down to the Vancouver Mint on Granville St to celebrate the Year of the Snake by striking your own snake medallion (limit 2 per person, while quantities last). Be among the first 88 visitors to the store daily and you will also receive a free gift. Visit their website for more details.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Flight Centre's Travel Expo 2013 (Feb 9)

For those looking for deals on vacations, you'll want to visit the Vancouver Travel Expo happening on Saturday, February 9th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, from 10am to 5pm. There will be plenty of presentations, trip deals and even giveaways.

National Hockey Card Day 2013 (Feb 9)

It's National Hockey Card day this Saturday, February 9th, presented by Upper Deck and the NHL, NHLPA and Hockey Canada. Hockey card collectors can visit participating stores to receive a free packet of cards. Fans in Canada can also visit Toys R Us and London Drugs to receive one of five National Hockey Card Day blow-up cards of Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Bobby Orr, Joe Sakic and Jaden Schwartz for free!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Learning about Canadian Beef at Safeway!

I was invited to be a part of the Love Your Local Safeway and Canadian Beef campaign and being a fan of both, I was really excited to take part. I met with the Safeway meat merchandiser, Mike Peet, where he answered all the questions I had about Canadian beef. I actually learned a lot of interesting facts about beef, and I'll post some of the more interesting ones below.

Q: Where do the beef come from?
A: The beef is only from Canada and comes from Alberta.

Q: How often does Safeway get beef shipments?
A: Depending on where the Safeway is located and the traffic to the store, shipments come 3-4 times a week.

Q: Why do you want to age beef?
A: When you age meat, enzymes break down, make it softer. Triple A beef at Safeway is aged a minimum of 14 days, and restaurants will age their meats as well.

Q: How long does the beef last in the store?
A: The beef found in the fridge section at Safeway is good for 10 days after receiving it in the store. The triple A beef in the glass case is good for 14 days.

Q: How do you know if beef is fresh? Can you tell by the colour of it?
A: The colour of beef actually is not a very reliable indicator of freshness. Beef is actually a deep purple colour but turns red when it is exposed to oxygen. Ground beef can also have a brown colour, but this is because of a small amout of oxygen present. The beef should be safe to eat up to the best before date.

Q: How long can you keep beef in the freezer?
A: 2-3 months for ground beef and 6-12 months for steaks and roasts. Use a vaccum seal if possible, or push all the air out of any bags you put them into.

Q: What are the most popular cuts of meat?
A: It really depends on the time of year!

Safeway has plenty of cuts of Canadian beef to choose from, and there are different sales each week.
Triple A beef in the meat display - pricer than in the regular meat section because these are the best cuts that are hand picked and aged for at least 14 days to ensure tenderness.
There are plenty of interesting facts and beef recipes that you can find over at www.beefinfo.org.

I personally enjoy cooking with ground beef because it is so versatile and you can pretty much put it into anything to add a bit of protein to your dish. I decided I try my hand at my my own hamburgers. I never really tried before because I always thought it was hard, and why not just pop on over to the nearest McDonalds? Of course, once I started to make it myself, I realized it was actually really easy, and the fast too!

What you need:
- Ground beef
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 mushrooms, diced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup crushed crackers
- salt (to taste)

1. Mix up all the ingredients in a bowl (the fastest way is to use your hands!).
2. Form a meat patty. You can make it any size you want, but you want to make sure the beef cooks all the way through, so don't make it too thick!
3. Place patties onto frying pan and cook until done (10-15 minutes).

With one package of ground beef, I was able to make six medium sized patties. The smell of the hamburger patties cooking made my mouth water, and it was definitely very tasty! You can mix it up by adding other ingredients to the patty as well - cheese, bell peppers, green onions - the options are limitless! 

My family had burgers for dinner, and I got to eat it for lunch as well the next day. Now that I realize how easy it is to make your own burgers, I think I might do so more often!

$2 Breakfast Sandwich @ Starbucks

From now until February 10th, get a breakfast sandwich or wrap for only $2 with the purchase of any beverage at Starbucks. Yum!

Free Short Stack of Pancakes @ IHOP (Feb 5)

As part of National Pancake Day, IHOP is offering a free short stack of pancakes to all diners from 7am to 10pm. They are raising money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, so the pancakes will be by donation. It's for a great cause, and a yummy breakfast!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Dine Out Vancouver 2013 - Forage

I really with the Dine Out Vancouver Festival went on for longer, so I can try more restaurants! The last one I went to this year was Forage, on Robson St. I had a really hard time choosing my dishes because everything sounded so good. Everyone at my table ended up ordering (mostly) different things so we got to see how all the dishes looked - delicious of course.

Very cool lights at each table.
BC spot prawn and seafood chower with a soft-poached egg and pork hock.
Gelderman Farms pork belly with crackling, celeriac pomme puree, ambrosia apple and braised cabbage.
Pacific Provider salmon with red wine and balsam fir cure, kelp pasta and roasted squash puree.
Foraged and cultivated mushroom wheat berry "cassoulet", confit celeriac and savoury biscuit.
Summer berry preserve frozen parfait, meyer lemon gel and toasted meringue.
Organic chocolate and raspberry cake with Agassiz hazelnut macaroon and raspberry caramel.
 Forage on Urbanspoon

Dine Out Vancouver 2013 - Bistro 101

I really enjoyed Bistro 101 the first time I went there, I decided to go back for the Dine Out Vancouver Festival. J and I decided to take the parents along since we knew they would enjoy the seafood options! The food was, once again, delicious and presented beautifully. And for only $18, you can't go wrong!

Five different types of bread! So fresh, so delicious!
Flavoured butter - sundried tomato, parmesan, herbs.
An amuse bouche - scallop on toast.
West Coast Seafood Cake - with fennel and arugula salad and mustard seed cream.
Yukon Gold Clam Chowder with homemade naan stick.
BC Scallop with apple cider infused beet puree and micro kale salad.
Steelhead Trout en Croute with eggplant ragout and braised winter greens.
Pan-roasted Duck Breast with rosemary gnocchi.
Pilsner Braised Boneless Short Rib with caramelized roots and pearl onions.
Chocolate Cardamom Truffle Cake.
Torrone Semifreddo with rum syrup.
Poached Pear and Amaretto Tart with Candied Ginger Ice Cream.

Bistro 101 on Urbanspoon