Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Free Sweet Potato Fries @ A&W (May 24)

In an effort to push their new sweet potato fries, A&W Canada is offering a sample sized portion of these delicious snacks for free this "Fry-day", May 24th from 11am onwards. It might be the perfect treat during your lunch break! While quantities last.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

$100 Summer Cash Giveaway - Bloggers Wanted


This giveaway is hosted by Empowered Mommy along with their blogging friends.

It's Summer Time! We are giving away $100 Cash to one lucky winner. Wipe the sweat!

Blogger Opportunity:

- Participation is free with announcement post or $5 without announcement post.

- Get 1 free link (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) on rafflecopter if you agree to promote the giveaway.

- Host pages, secret word, comments to your blog post available for $11 each. Grab your places now and get those Alexa numbers down! Limited places - first come first serve basis!

- Extra links $2 each (No referral links allowed)

- Co-host spots available for $20 - get a link back to your blog on each giveaway post as well as 3 free additional links.

Referral prize: Those who refers the most bloggers to sign up gets a link back of their blog on each giveaway post for free! All payments received goes towards the giveaway.

Questions goes to:

Sign ups: May 7, 2013 to June 7, 2013
Giveaway dates: June 9, 2013 to July 9, 2013


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lego Store 1-Year Anniversary Celebration (May 17-19)

The Lego Store at Oakridge Centre is celebating their 1-year anniversary this weekend! A Lego Master Builder will be at the mall to construct 8-foot tall model of Yoda complete out of Lego bricks, and you can help! You'll receive a free Lego Star Wars certificate of achievement for helping out (while supplies last). There will also be exclusive anniversary giveaways with in-store purchase.

The event will be happening at the West Galleria on the follow dates and times:
Friday, May 17 - 11am to 7pm
Saturday, May 18 - 10am to 6pm
Sunday, May 19 - 11am to 6pm.

Free Samsung Galaxy Tab with New Account at TD Bank

Banks have been increasingly offering better promotions to try and get new customers, and TD Bank is the latest to have an attractive offer. From now until July 19, 2013, you can receive a Samsung Galaxy 7" Tab (wifi) for absolutely free when you open up a Select Services account or an Infinity account. Both are unlimited transaction chequing accounts, with monthly fees waived if you have a minimum balance in the account (balance varies between accounts).

Opening an account is easy enough, but of course it's never quite that simple. The next step is to complete 2 of the following 3 by August 30, 2013.

- Complete one recurring, eligible Direct Deposit
- Complete one bill payment (via EasyWeb or the TD Mobile app)
- Complete a Pre-Authorized Debit transaction

For those looking for some benefit of opening a new bank account, this is it. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is worth $199 and is a great little device (or possibly a perfect gift for the upcoming Father's Day?). TD Bank had previously offered an iPod with new accounts, so a Tab is so much better.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Vancouver Bloggers & Brands Conference #BloggersBrandsYVR

Last week the Bloggers and Brands Conference was held at the Vancity Theatre in downtown Vancouver. This was the first blogger conference I have been to, so I was excited to see what it was all about, meet fellow bloggers and learn more about blogging. The focus of the conference was to connect bloggers who want to work with brands, whether the have experience or not. Some sponsors were on site to talk about what they look for in bloggers, and there was definitely a lot for me to learn.

We started off with a yummy breakfast and time to network. Everyone spoke with the four sponsors at the event, met new bloggers and caught up with ones they already knew.

Telus was the title sponsor of the event, and they provided delicious sweets to everyone. There was a candy bar and macarons from Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe. A little bit of sugar to start the day? Always good! Telus also gave out adorable red panda or cheetah plush critters. It was hard to choose between the two, but I brought home a red panda. They also had a contest for a brand new HTC One smart phone, which the Food Gays won, lucky them!

The other brands at the event were Canadian Beef, Microsoft and Canadian Chicken Farmers of Canada. Everyone had some swag to give out, which was a pleasant surprise.

I had a nice chat with Heather Travis (the lady on the left), who manages the Canadian Beef twitter accounts @LoveCDNbeef and @CanadianBeef.
Microsoft was offering to make Wordpress blogs into a Windows 8 app for free.
Chicken Farmers of Canada (@chickenfarmers and @ChickenDotCa) are also quite active on social media. 
Jill Schnarr, the VP of Community Affairs at Telus kicked off the presentations. She went through how Telus puts corporate social reponsibility on the top of their list. Telus really believes that we should "Give where we live" and they have become a leader in social reponsibility, donating millions of dollars to charities and volunteering their time to local communities since 2000. Telus also believes in the best customer service, and is very active on their social media sites. I have used the Telus customer support on Twitter before, and I can honestly say that there is always someone on the other side to answer your question and try their best to help you.

Janice Croze, from, gave the next presentation about how to monetize your blog. She is a very successful blogger, as she has started early, and believes in helping others. Her site started off as a database to help moms find what they needed about parenting. Janice had a lot of good information about what your blog needs before it's PR ready.

Next there was a panel with Katie Drechsel, Manager Communications at TELUS and Heather Travis, Director Public Relations of Canada Beef, who let us know what brands look for in bloggers. The best advice was to engage them in conversation and build up a relationship with the brand.

For the last panel, four successful mom bloggers answered questions everyone had about their experience and the road they took to get where they are now. Michelle Sutter of PoweredyMom, Eschelle Westwood of Mumfication, Kerry Sauriol of Crunchy Carpets, and Julie Nowell of 3chickensandaboat all had a lot to say - it is possible to make a living out of blogging, but you can't be afraid to put in the work!

I learned a lot of useful things that I will apply to my blog (which has been way overdue for a facelift) and I was glad I attended the conference. I made some new friends as well! The Bloggers and Brands Conference is making it's away across Canada, so check out their site to see where they are next!

Vancouver International Children's Festival (May 27 - Jun 2) *Giveaway* #VanKidsFest

The Vancouver International Children's Festival is back May 27 to June 2, 2013 on Granville Island. A celebration of performing arts geared towards younger audiences, there will be musical performances, theatre, acrobatics, storytelling, puppet shows, and more, for kids young and old! One of my favourite children's musical duo is Bobs & Lolo, and I'm excited to see them on the performance list this year. Schedules differ daily, so make sure to check out the VICF website before heading to the festival. Your show ticket also includes access to over 15 interactive arts activities. There will be facepainting, sock puppets, origami, shadow puppetry, music making and circus skills, just to name a few.

Ticket prices start at $15 for children and $25 for adults and also include access to on-site activities.


Can't make it to the shows, but want to take part in the activities? VICF has generously offered one of my readers a Family 4-Pack of Activity Wristbands, good for access to the world of Art Granville Island activity zone (ARV $32). The giveaway is open to Lower Mainland residents. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Celebration of National Sustainable Seafood Day #SeafoodDay

In celebration of proposed National Sustainable Seafood Day, chefs from around Canada gathered at The Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver to show their support and declare their commitment to choosing ocean-friendly seafood year-round. Hosted by Vancouver's Ocean Wise program, SeaChoice and YEW Restaurant's Executive Chef, Ned Bell, the chefs prepared ocean-friendly seafood tasting for guests. It was definitely seafood heaven for anyone, as there was everything from oysters and mussels to tuna and scallops! It was also nice to see how many restaurants have gone Ocean Wise. Special guest Dr. David Suzuki gave an inspirational speech about how important it is to be sustainable so that we still have something in the future. Have a look at what the chefs whipped up below!

Chef Ned Bell prepared Ahi Tuna Tacos, but I scarfed it down before I got a photo!
Chef Barton Seaver serves up Fanny Bay oysters with Merguez sausage.
Bottoms up!
Black Tiger Prawns in an ice bowl!
Chef Quang Dang prepares Albacore tuna tartar with black sesame and Thai basil.

Sardine Rillettes with preserved lemon, picked ramps and capers, prepared by Frank Pabst of Bluewater Cafe + Raw Bar.

Luma Lobster Burgers by Chef Jason Bangerter.
The Lobster Burgers were definitely a hit with the crowd, judging by the line up for it!
This was the first time I've tried caviar, and I was pretty excited about it. Hearing the story of how caviar is collected is very interesting as well. Northern Divine raises their sturgeon for thirteen years before the eggs are harvested! It is quite the commitment. The caviar has a salty taste as it is placed on your tongue, and as your burst the eggs on the roof of your mouth, there is a nutty and buttery taste.

Farmed Caviar from Northern Divine.
Cured sturgeon with Creme Fraiche, Green Onions and Northern Divine Caviar.
Cowboy Breakfast - Salmon with eggs, beans and pancakes.
Sablefish a la "Helen 2" - tracp caught BC Sablefish with sunchokes, smoked maple bannock, and corn sprout "salad", prepared by Chef Benedict Genaille of Thompson Rivers University.
Szechuan scallops with Szechuan chili sauce and fagara spice, prepared by Chef Robert Wong of The Original Szechuan Chong Qing Restaurant. They are the first Chinese restaurant to become Ocean Wise, and hopefully not the last! 
Chef Chris Whittaker of Forage Restaurant prepares Salish Mussels.
Salish Mussels with forages greens, pickled hop shoots and ruby ale dressing.
Chef Robert Clark's creation of Spot Prawn Tacos - BC spot Prawns with lemon, lime, avocado, Japanese mayo, chipotle and tomato.
Co-host of the night, Chef Ned Bell of Yew Restaurant. It's up to cooks and restaurants to make the choice to go sustainable.
Special guest David Suzuki gives a speech - "We are all fish".
Dr. Suzuki, someone I am in awe of - I didn't know what to say when I met him!
Me with the president and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. John Nightingale, Chef Ned Bell and Mashed Thoughts.
Seafood Day was definitely a hit, with all proceeds going towards Ocean Wise and SeaChoice programs. Learn more about the chefs that participated here. You can be Ocean Wise as well, by educating yourself on what seafood choices are sustainable and which restaurants are Ocean Wise partners. Another way to help is to sign this petition in support of National Sustainable Seafood Day.

New Wild Boar Chocolate Bars from Hagensborg Chocolates

Burnaby based company, Hagensborg Chocolate, has recently debuted two new Wild Boar chocolate bars. The Wild Boar line, previously with only three bars, are single origin chocolate bars that uses the finest European ingredients. Single Origin chocolate is a smooth, rich and delicious chocolate with no additives - just the flavour of the cocoa beans from the country where it was grown.

The new bars featuring Italy and Indonesia, while not Single Origin, blend different flavours together to create a new twist on a typical chocolate bar.Hagensborg Chocolate prides themselves in working with suppliers with ethical and sustainable practices, ensuring fair trade practices by working with small farmers. Ingredients in the Wild Boar bars are 85% organic and come from small farming communities.

The first Wild Boar bar I tried was the 39% cocoa, featuring Italy, containing toasted almonds sprinkled with olive oil, Ritrovo rare black truffle and salt. The truffle comes from a small Italian farming community, while the almonds are California roasted. The mold of the chocolate bar itself is adorable, with bites taken out of it, and the words "Chomp, gobble, munch, burp" printed above a picture of a boar. The chocolate was very creamy and I could immediately detect a hint of truffle as the chocolate melted in my mouth. There was a lingering taste of the truffle after the chocolate was gone, which was very pleasant. I'm definitely putting the Italy Wild Boar bar on my favourite list! 

The second bar was 71% cocoa, featuring Indonesia. This dark chocolate bar contains spiced cashews imported from Indonesia (also sourced from a small farming community there), spiced with garlic, chilies and lime. I'm a big fan of dark chocolate so I was excited to try this bar! The slightly spiced ingredients combined with the dark chocolate was a taste explosion in my mouth!

With Mother's Day coming up, some Hagensborg Chocolates might be the perfect gift, no? Make sure to check out Hagensborg Chocolate in stores, follow them on Twitter or Facebook for a full selection of their chocolate bars, and other upcoming deals or their blog for more information on their suppliers.

Disclaimer: The items in this post have been provided free of charge from the company or PR firm for review. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Savvy Shopping, Deals & Reviews and have not been influenced in any other way.

Superhero Cupcakes by Geek Sweets

Geek Sweets was at one of my local comic book shops on the weekend for Free Comic Book Day, and they were selling adorable superhero cupcakes! Just thought I'd share some photos:

#FCBD Haul 2013

I ventured out to my local comic book shops yesterday (and dragged J along as well) and made out like a bandit! How many comics did you get?

BOGO Poutine @ New York Fries

Buy any size poutine at New York Fries and receive the same size poutine for free when you print out this coupon and also make a $2 cash donation to the Coast to Coast Against Childhood Cancer Foundation. This offer is valid until May 12, 2013.

iPad Mini $310 at Walmart (May 3-9)

Walmart is having a sale on the iPad Mini for only $310 (reg $329), just in time for Mother's Day. While not exactly a doorcrasher, it is rare that Apple tablets get discounted from retail value.

Other deals worth mentioning is the Nintendo Wii Mini for $87 (reg $99), and Nintendo Selects for the Wii at only $14 each (reg $20).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Vancouver Canucks Round 1 Playoff Tickets 50% Off

Playoffs are here, and tickets are either hard to come by or prices are through the roof! But don't fret - a new promo code has been released for 50% off round 1 Canucks tickets. Use code ROUND1STAFF when purchasing your ticket on Ticketmaster. I believe the code works only for lower bowl seats. Go Canucks!

50% off Starbucks Frappuccino 3-5pm (May 3-12)

You know it's summer time is coming when Starbucks has the 50% off any Frappuccino beverage promotion! Starting this Friday, May 3rd through May 12th, any size and flavour of Frappuccinos will be half off from 3 to 5pm! Yum!