Sunday, June 30, 2013

International Delight Iced Coffee - BzzAgent Product Review

International Delight has introduced three flavours of their new, ready-to-drink beverage, just in time for the summer! The iced coffee comes in three flavours: Mocha, Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato. Being a mocha lover, that's the one I opted to try first. I was pretty impressed with the taste - there is a distinct flavour of coffee and the perfect amount of sweetness, very similar to the bottled Frappucino drinks you can find at Starbucks. I didn't add any ice into my tumbler, as I found the coffee was cold enough when coming straight out of the fridge.

The iced coffee comes in a 1.89L carton with a price point of between $4-5, which is a very good deal if you consider that's how much it costs to buy a comparable iced coffee drink in a coffee shop! I know I will be enjoying the rest of the flavours throughout the summer! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The product mentioned above has been given free of charge from BzzAgent for review. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.

Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move - $9.99

For fans of puzzle games, Nintendo is offering Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move for the bargain price of $9.99, available exclusively on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS. Given that most Nintendo DS games run anywhere from $24.99-$39.99, $9.99 is a great deal for hours of entertainment! I have played the previous game, Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Lan Mayhem, and it's definitely a lot of fun. This new game, released May 9, 2013, has over 180 puzzles, four unique game modes, the option of creating and sharing your own puzzles, as well as downloading new ones to play. Find out how to purchase the game here.

Free Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail Album for Samsung Users

Attention Jay-Z fans and Samsung users! Samsung is giving away one million digital copies of Jay-Z's new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, to Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and Galaxy Note II users on July 4th, 72 hours before it is available to everyone else!

Download the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" app through the Android Google Play Store and if you are one of the one million users selected, the album will appear in your app on July 4th. There is also exclusive content available in the app, including videos and song lyrics.

Nintendo Cross-Canada Tour (Jun 8 - Sept 2)

Nintendo is taking the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS on a cross Canada tour this summer. It's your chance to play some of Nintendo's newest games including New Super Mario Bros. U, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, LEGO City: Undercover, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and also some titles that will be released later this year (Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, Game & Wario and Pikmin 3). There will be a photo booth for you to take fun photos to share with your friends, and also even win some fun prizes including tshirts, candy and photo frames when you spin the prize wheel.

The Nintendo tour will be in Vancouver August 24-25, 31-September 2 at The Fair at the PNE from 10:30am to 11pm.  

146 Bonus Scene Points on Canada Day

In Celebration of Canada’s 146th Birthday, Cinepelx is offering 146 bonus Scene Points when you see any movie on Canada Day!

Hidden Gems in Monsters University

Fans of Disney Pixar’s feature films love to scour the screen in search of the Hidden Gems the filmmakers sneak into each film: WALL•E’s explorations uncover a Mike Wazowski antenna ball, paying homage to Monsters, Inc., and in Up, the classic Luxo Jr. ball can be seen in the girl’s bedroom as Carl Fredricksen’s house flies by her window. Disney*Pixar’s MONSTERS UNIVERSITY features a few such gems, three of which are revealed here:
A113 – The School of Scaring classroom number is A113, which refers to the former classroom of John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton at CalArts. The number makes an appearance in every Pixar feature film.
Pizza Planet – The Pizza Planet truck is in the driveway of the JOX fraternity house when Mike is riding Archie the Scare Pig down Greek Row. The Pizza Planet truck, which first made an appearance in "Toy Story," has made a cameo in nearly every Pixar feature film.
Luxo – The Pixar Luxo ball is in graffiti on the wall behind Claire Wheeler and Brock Pearson during their introduction to the Scare Games’ first challenge. Pixar Animation Studio’s groundbreaking short film “Luxo Jr.” was the first computer animated short film released by Pixar during its first year as a studio in 1986.

Steveston Salmon Festival (July 1)

The Steveston Salmon Festival is happening again this year, with a parade at 10am kicking it off. There will be a food fair, live music and demonstrations, craft fairs, art, kid's activities and much more. One of the more popular things is the Salmon BBQ ($15 a plate) and it often sells out, so don't hesitate! More details about the festival can be found here.

James Bond 50 Blu-ray Collection $129.99 (June 30 - July 2)

Both Best Buy and Futureshop is having a 2-day Canada Day sale online, starting today at 2pm PST. While not all the items on sale have been released for the public to see, one of the preview items is the 22-disc blu-ray James Bond 50th Anniversary Collection, on sale for only $129.99 (regular $199.99). This collector's set was previously hard to find after the initial release date, but looks like it's back in stock. I bought the set for about $153 in June online for Father's Day, so this is a pretty good price.

To see more deals during the sale, check out Best Buy and Futureshop.

Celebrate Canada Day at Canada Place (July 1)

Canada Day celebrations will be happening on July 1st at Canada Place, with fun for the whole family. Music and entertainment, crafts, games and activities will be going on from 10am to 6pm. There will also be a parade in the evening, from 6 to 7pm! The weather will be beautiful (maybe a little too hot?) so it's a nice time to get out and get in on the fun! To end off the night, there will be fireworks! There will be two barges on the water, one in the Burrard Inlet and one off the shore of Dundarave in West Vancouver. The show starts at 10:30. Make sure to go early enough to get a good viewing spot.

More information on the Canada Day celebrations can be found here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dragon Boat Festival (Jun 21-23)

The 25th anniversary of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival is this weekend, happening at False Creek from June 21 to 23. Admission to the festival is free and there will be plenty of on-site activities for racers and non-racers alike. There will be an opening ceremony on Friday evening and races will start early Saturday morning and continue on throughout the day. The festival schedule can be found here.

Toys R Us Play Day (Jun 22)

Visit your local Toys R Us for Play Day this Saturday, June 22 from 11am to 1pm. There will be fun activities and giveaways. Building activities include: - Lego Stealth Starfighter - Klutz craft station _ NBA Pop-a-Shot - Design a Thomas and Friends Cargo Car - Create a name plate with Scrabble Letters Activities may vary by store, and only while quantities last, so make sure to go early!

National Aboriginal Day Celebration (Jun 23)

The third annual National Aboriginal Day Celebration is happening this Sunday, June 23 at Canada Place. From 11am to 5pm, there will be plenty of Aboriginal stage performances and activities, including drumming and dance workshops, storytelling, artisan demonstrations and face painting. For more details visit Canada Place's website.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Charity Gala

The annual Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Charity Gala happened last Saturday night, with funds raised going towards The Canadian Cancer Society. The gala was in full swing shortly after the doors opened. There were fifteen restaurant sponsors, that included HY's Steakhouse, Joe Fortes, JOEY Restaurant, Nu Greek, Provence Marinaside & Mediterranean Grill, Raincity Grill, Soirette, HousexGuest, Hart House, Establishment, Federico's Supper Club, C Restaurant, Terra Breads, Bosa Foods and Caffe Artigiano. They all provided wonderfully delicious food in bite sizes that had everyone going back for more! Belvedere Vodka was also a primary drink sponsor, and the bar tenders were having fun pouring drinks for guests through the ice sculpture! 

A new meaning to ice cold drinks!

Clockwise from top left: Salmon C Stix, Tuna Belly Tartar with seaweed potato chip, Sauteed Jumbo Prawns with Garlic, Hy's Meatballs, Black Truffle Sac Cottini Pasta Chip, Rabbit Rillette.
Clockwise from top left: Mushroom Crostini, Tuna Chopsticks, AAA Beef Steak Salad, Smoked Tomato Gazpacho, Crab Tarts, African Peanut Soup.
Macarons, Scallop Ceviche, Prawn Cocktail, Red Velvet Mousse.
Huge 3L and 1.5L bottles of Belvedere Vodka.
Miss World Canada and Mr Canada also made an appearance at the Gala.

There was a silent auction going on throughout the night, with many wonderful items up for grabs donated by various sponsors. This was the first year they used cell phones to place in bids, and I think it made it a lot easier (and addictive!) putting in your bids. I certainly was bidding on a number of things!

A live auction, led by "Auctiontainer" Letitia Frye, had people bidding on everything from cakes and guitars to trips and a 20-person suite for The Legends of the Summer JT/Jay-Z Tour!

The gorgeous cakes in the dessert auction from (left to right) Ganache Patisserie, Faubourg, Gretchen's Here and Now, Le Gateau Bakshop, Thomas Haas.
Kid Carson led a game of Heads and Tails, with the winner walking away with a beautiful Franck Muller watch, donated by Rodeo Jewellers, valued at over $16,000. In order to participate, you had to purchase a pair of gold sunglasses for $20. Kid Carson flipped a coin, and whoever chose heads/tails got to stay in the game, until there was only one person left standing.

The lucky winner!
Franck Muller timepiece.
The rest of the evening was dedicated to music, first with Canadian pop and R&B star Rosette. The crowd loved her performance, and she even did some covers of other well known songs, which people sang along to.

Colin James, another Canadian superstar, hit the stage next and played for the rest of the evening. Everyone started getting up and dancing by this point, and it was just a ton of fun!

The Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Gala was a smash, with such great food, drinks and entertainment! I had a great time (and won a silent auction item!) and I certainly hope a lot of funds were raised from the evening. The Canadian Cancer Society funds innovative research that focuses on cancer prevention and life beyond cancer, so even were not able to attend the gala, please consider donating to this worthy cause!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

$10 Starbucks Giftcard for $5

Groupon is once again offering a $10 Starbucks e-gift card for only $5. This is one of the most popular Groupon deals ever, so make sure you act fast! This is perfect for getting ice cold frappucinos in the upcoming hot summer days!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Car Free Day (Jun 16)

It's Car Free Day this Sunday, June 16th where several neighbourhoods will have the streets blocked off for an outdoor block party. The event is free and promotes less cars = more community. There is plenty of fun for the family, so take your dad out (it's Father's Day!) and enjoy the sun!

The parties are happening in these areas:

- Main Street, Broadway to 30th, noon-7:00 p.m.
- Commercial Drive, Venables to North Grandview Hwy/Central Valley Greenway Bike Lane, noon-7:00 p.m.
- Denman Street, Davie to Robson, noon-6:00 p.m.
- Kitsilano block parties for local residents, noon-6:00 p.m. (June 15th & 16th)
- Semlin Street, Adanac to Venables, noon-6:00 p.m. (June 15th)

Vancouver Canucks Year-End Blowout Sale (Jun 15-16)

Vancouver Canucks fans! Get official Canucks equipment and apparel at the annual year-end blowout sale, happening at the Rogers Arena Team Store (enter via Gate 7). Sale prices range from 20 to 70% off. For those that subscribe to the Canucks newsletter, make sure to print out the email they sent for exclusive early access on Saturday morning (from 10-11am). The store will be open to the general public from 11am-6pm on Saturday, and 12-5pm on Sunday.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Les Miserables Opens in Vancouver

[Photo credit: Kyle Froman]
Les Miserables is one of the most popular shows in the world, celebrating it's 25th anniversary, and it's not hard to see why. It was the opening night in Vancouver yesterday, and I very excited to finally see it on stage.

Based on Victor Hugo's story of love and revolution, this musical brings you back to 1815 where Jean Valjean has just been released on parole from 19 years of hard labour for stealing bread to feed his family. He is greeted with suspicion everywhere he goes, until a kindly priest shows him an act of kindness that causes him to break his parole and start his life anew. Years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and a mayor. He rescues Cosette, the daughter of Fantine, a worker in his factory, and raises her as if she were his own daughter. In Paris, 1932, Cosette has grown up and fallen in love with student Marius, who is a member of a revolution. Valjean gets caught up in the revolution and helps them make their last stand at a street barricade. Throughout the years, Jean Valjean has relentlessly been pursued by inspector Javert, who believes only in justice and following the law.

[Photo credit: Deen van Meer]
There were strong performances by Peter Lockyer as Jean Valjean, Andrew Varela as Javert and Briana Carlson-Goodman as Eponine. Genevieve Leclerc as Fantine had a weak start as she sang "I Dreamed a Dream", with the orchestra drowning her out, though her voice did get stronger near the end of the song.

[Photo credit: Deen van Meer]
The innkeepers Master and Madame Thénardier (Timothy Gulan and Shawna M. Hamic) never failed to steal the scene with their antics. Their theme, "Master's of the House" is catchy and provides some fun before the darker scenes in the latter half of the musical.

[Photo credit: Kyle Froman]
The scene with Eponine and Marius as they sing "A Little Fall of Rain" will bring tears to your eyes. Briana Carlson-Goodman definitely did a great job and sang with such emotion.

The ensemble puts on a solid performance, with many powerful and emotional numbers. The costumes, set and stage design were great as well, and transported you back to early 19th century France. Les Miserables is definitely a production you have to see on stage!

Les Miserables is playing daily at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver now through June 23rd. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster. More information about the musical can be obtained at Broadway Across Canada.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3 Special Offer: Save When You Pre-Order Games at Futureshop/Best Buy

With the new consoles and games being revealed at E3 this week, Best Buy and Futureshop have some great offers to save when you pre-order three games or more.

At Best Buy:

Get 4800 Reward Zone bonus points when you pre-order 3 select games online ($60 value)

At Futureshop:

Get from $6.80 to $20 off each game when you pre-order 3 select games (depends on the price of the games)

Both are comparable offers, but Futureshop has the better deal if you are planning on getting only one or two games. Best Buy has the better offer if you are buying the cheaper games (ie $39.99 for Nintendo DS), though their selection is not as large.

Both of these offers are good until June 13, 2013.

Happy gaming!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Chef Matthew Stowe Wins Title of Top Chef Canada #topchefcanada

I was invited to the Top Chef Canada finale viewing party at Cactus Club Cafe Coal Harbour tonight where Cactus Club's own Chef Matthew Stowe was celebrating, among other celebrity chefs and people from the Vancouver food scene. Invited guests had time to mingle and munch on appetizers before sitting down to view the finale and taste dishes that Chef Stowe had prepared for the judges from this past season of Top Chef Canada.

Located on Coal Harbour, this new location of Cactus Club Cafe has a gorgeous view of the water, and is right across from the Jack Poole Plaza where the Olympic Cauldron from the Vancouver 2012 Winter Olympics stands.

Watermelon Margarita: fresh squeezed watermelon juice, Cuervo Gold tequila and a splash of citrus. A new drink at Cactus Club for the summer, it is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer's day!
Various appetizers and dishes that Cactus Club offers: (clockwise from top left corner) Rob's goat cheese flatbread, ceviche, shortribs, chicken, tuna sushi cone, tuna tataki.
Chef Matthew Stowe with Cactus Restaurants president and founder, Richard Jaffray.
As soon as Top Chef Canada started airing, everyone was watching with rapt attention while enjoying these delicious creations by Matt Stowe.

Curry cauliflower soup with dried apricots, currants, and toasted almonds.
Maple leaf slider - maple pork patty, bacon and rickards beer jam, fresh apple slaw and challah bun.
Roasted banana and coconut tapioca with tropical fruits and a macadamia nut crumble.
Everyone was focused on the televisions, at the edge of their seats.
Richard Jaffray with Chef Stowe and his family, waiting to hear who won the title of Top Chef Canada.
And the winner is Matthew Stowe!!!

A very popular man tonight, Chef Matthew Stowe had a second to spare for a photo with me.
There were of course some amazing people at the event as well. It was lovely to see everyone!

Clockwise: The Food Gays, Fable's Trevor Bird with TCC's contestant Dan Hudson, Little Locavore, Follow Me Foodie, Cactus Club's executive chef Rob Feenie
It was a very exciting night for Chef Matthew Stowe and the Cactus Club restaurants, and everyone at the viewing party was extremely happy for his win. It was a fun night, the company was great and the food was delicious. Cactus Club sure knows how to throw a good party! Congratulations again to Chef Stowe!

Learn more about Top Chef Canada here, or follow Chef Matt Stowe on Twitter. Find out more about Cactus Club Cafe by following them on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

$30 Cineplex Gift Pack with purchase of $30 Gift Card (Jun 1 - Jul 31)

One of my favourite promotions at Cineplex is back again - they are offering a gift pack worth $30 with a purchase of a physical gift card worth $30 or more. These gift packs are very popular during Christmas time, and you more than get your money's worth. For the summer, the gift pack includes:

- BOGO Admission (including 3D, UltraAVX, VIP, IMAX)
- Free small popcorn
- $1 digital rental at
- Free admission to Cineplex Family Favourites movie
- 150 Scene points

While not as great for me as the Holiday gift pack, it's worth getting if you will be spending money at the concession anyways. Because this offer is very popular, make sure to pick up a gift card next time you're at the theatre!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Brightspot Sampler

Time to order P&G samplers again on! This time it is  through Target, and include Tide Pods, Downy Infusions, Vidal Sasson shampoo and conditioner, Scope Outlast, Venus ProSkin Razor and Crest Whitestrips(selection may vary). While supplies last, so hurry!

$10 Credit WUS $20 or more on Viva Products at Best Buy (May 31-Jun 13)

Best Buy has just launched an online store of health and wellness, personal care and baby products. I found it a tad odd, since they are thought of as an electronics store, but I guess it's a good way to use any gift cards you have for the store on items you actually need and not just want! As a way to celebrate the launch, there is actually a great offer that is good until June 13th. Save $10 on your purchase of $20 or more using coupon code VIVA4ME. The discount will be applied  to the lowest priced item in your cart, up to a maximum value of $10. Shipping is also free for orders over $20. There is actually a lot of items to choose from and I was able to get a great deal using the coupon code!

Free Tassimo Brewer with Purchase of Tim Hortons Tassimo Variety Pack (Jun 12)

Tim Hortons has a great deal just in time for Father's Day! Purhase a Tim  Hortons Tassimo Variety Pack for $40 (plus tax) and receive a Tassimo Brewer for free! This offer starts on Wednesday, June 12th at 2pm in restaurants only and while supplies last. No refunds or exchanges. Find a participating location near you here.

Super Bonus Redemption Weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart (Jun 8-9)

It's bonus redemption weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart, and your points are worth a little extra this time. The redemption levels this week are:

20,000 points = $50 off
50,000 points = $110 off
95,000 points = $220 off

That's a lot of free stuff! As per usual during a bonus redemption weekend, nothing particularly stands out in the flyer. The Nintendo Wii Mini console or the Nintendo DSi are both $79.99 each, which is a fair price for those who are still looking for these consoles.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Whistler Children's Festival (Jul 13-14)

The Whistler Children's Festival, celebrating it's 30th year, is happening this summer on July 13 and 14 in the heart of town at the Whistler Olympic Plaza in Whistler Village. The two-day festival will include plenty of activities for the family, including workshops, animation and roving haracters, and a main stage with musical acts and other entertainment acts. Over 5,000 participants are expected with year. There are over 19 workshops to choose from and you will need to register online. For more details on the event, and to register, please visit the Whistler Children's Festival website.


 A Getaway for the grown-ups too! One lucky reader will win an amazing prize package that includes:

· 2 nights’ stay in Whistler for the Children’s Festival (for the nights of July 12th and 13th) for a family of 4
· $100 gift certificate to Araxi restaurant (for an amazing dinner!)
· $68 gift certificate for 4 hours of baby-sitting in Whistler, for up to 2 kids with Whistler   Babysitters
·  2 bath passes to the plush Scandinave Spa in Whistler

Enter in the Rafflecopter form below!

rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Xbox 360 Game Deals @ Walmart

Attention gamers! Walmart has some great deals on recent Xbox 360 games this week! You can pick from Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Gears of War Judgement or Assassin's Creed III for only $30 each! If you don't have a Walmart nearby, remember you can also price match at Best Buy or Futureshop.

Always Infinity - BzzAgent Review

I was selected to be a part of the Always Infinity BzzAgent Campaign and I was quite pleased as Always has always my pad of choice. My monthly friend isn't really something I usually post about on such a public place like my blog, so bear with me!

I received Always Infinity and Always Maxi pads to compare.

Always Maxi is on the left, and Always Infinity is on the right. You can always see that the Maxi pad is a lot thicker than the Infinity.

First I cut out the core of the pads - the Maxi pad made quite a mess as its core is made of a soft cottony material. The Always Infinity felt almost like a smooth rubbery material and was extremely thin, and looked more breathable than the Maxi pad.

Next I was supposed to put coloured water onto the pads. Since I didn't have blue food colouring, I had to use red. Looks a bit gross, sorry! I didn't bother with an eye dropper, and just poured 1.5 tablespoons of the water right on to the pads.

Guess which one locked in the moisture the best? That's right, the water soaked right through the Maxi pad (I did put a LOT of water on both pads!) while the paper underneath the Infinity pad stayed dry!

My thoughts on the Always Inifinity pads were that they were very slim and are very comfortable to use. The thin core is so absorbent that it works great for heavy flows. An interesting fact is that the Always Inifinity pads are made from space-age material! In comparison, the Always Maxi pad was like a giant layer of cotton and felt almost diaper like! I have actually been using Always Inifity pads with Flexi Wings since it came out on the market, and I can honestly say that it is the best pad I have tried, and I have tried all the other major brands.

Have you tried Always Infinity pads? What are your thoughts on them?

Disclaimer: The product mentioned above has been given free of charge from BzzAgent for review. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.