5 Fave Reasons Why I Love Spud

I originally starting looking into juicing and eating organic late last year, while working at a local chiropractic office. Around the time I was learning all about CSA programs, which stands for ‘Community Supported Agriculture’. They connect local farms and produce suppliers with people living in the community, and the end result is a win-win for everyone. Farmers get local support for their businesses, and you get fresh & local produce at a great price. We have a few fantastic CSA programs in the Fraser Valley, but unfortunately, they are not year round. In addition, you usually have to sign up for at least $20 a week during their open season for the entire season. We eat fresh produce, but since it’s just the two of us, I knew a majority of the weekly package would end up wasted.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I discovered Spud (which actually stands for Sustainable Produce, Urban Delivery) through my sister on Facebook. They operate based on the CSA model, and offer harvest boxes that vary depending on selection, season and what is available locally. I love this! It’s a bit of a surprise what will be included each week (although you can check online if you ever want to know), and new ingredients are helpful in keeping me on my veggie toes! Interested in learning more? Read on for my 5 fave reasons why I’m hooked.

They’re Organic

Spud2In the past, I haven’t made much effort in eating organic. Sure, I stock up on organic and GMO free goodies when I head south of the border to Trader Joe’s, but I’ve never made the effort to only shop organic when doing my regular grocery shopping. Within the past year or so, I’ve taken steps towards a more natural approach to my health, and am beginning to reconsider the benefits of switching to organic. My naturopath strongly advised it, but I always though it was more hassle than good. Since she’s served me well in giving up prescription medications (and I now swear by Rhodiola), I owed it to her to give it a try. I love how Spud is organic, and makes it very easy for me to shop organic.

They’re Local (As Much As Possible)

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 6.38.34 PMWoohoo – look at all those local vendors! This is just a screenshot of their vendors page, but I encourage you to check out the entire list right here. A few of my favourite? Happy Planet Foods (from Richmond), Anita’s Organic (from Chilliwack) and Avalon Dairy (from Burnaby). Plus all the local farmers of course!

They Make Juicing Easy

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 6.48.38 PMI’m a huge fan of juicing – but not a huge fan of deciding what to buy to put in my juice. I tend to stick to carrots, apples and oranges because I know for certain that those mixed together will still taste good!  On my first Spud order, I selected the Juicing for Kids Box – just because it looked safe to mix all the ingredients together if I wanted too. Don’t judge!

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It gave me a selection of items that I probably wouldn’t have purchased on my own, and I’ve already experimented with adding celery and kale into my morning juices. In fact, it is because of this juicing box (in combination with the Organic Fruit for the Week Box), that I attempted by very first mean green juice. I’m happy to report it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be!

They Have Free Samples

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When placing orders on Spud, there’s a section on their website for free samples! When they have samples to offer, you can select up to 5 in one order – and they’ll toss them right in with everything else! Pretty cool, right? This week, I’m getting a new kind of tea to try. Which is great because my husband is currently depleting our tea supply in record leaps.

They Deliver

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This is hands down, the best part. I know, some of you may think I’m just lazy for having my fruits and veggies delivered to me from a company that operates out of Vancouver. But here’s my reasoning:

  • They deliver to Chilliwack 1x week, so I know I’m getting yummy produce every Wednesday.
  • It’s guaranteed organic. If I’m zipping into the store, you can be sure I don’t have time to search for organic & GMO free options.
  • It feels kind of like Christmas – and I like that! There’s nothing better than arriving home to find goodies on your doorstep. All of a sudden good-for-you greens are a lot more welcome in your household.
  • They package things well. Like really well. My milk came in an insulated bag with an extra freezer pack, and you can tell that my goods were packaged with care. It made my heart happy knowing Spud values great customer service.
  • Delivery is free if you order $70+, only $3.50 if you order between $40 – $69.99.
  • If you are still judging me, I dare you to try it. Just once. You may never go back.

Bonus – You Get $20 Off Your First Order

The main reason I gave Spud a try a few weeks ago, was due to their $20 in free groceries promotion. It seemed like a no-brainer. Sign up, enter in your referral code (thanks to my sister), put $50 of groceries in your cart and pay $30. Sweet! It’s a good promo on their part because I’m sure most people who give it a try get hooked. There’s no catch, you can order as much or as little as you’d like every week, and you can skip weeks that you don’t need anything at all.

Want to give it a try? Here’s my promo code to get you started on the free grocery deal! Just follow this link and make sure the referral code field says CRVAN-MOLSHB – and you’re on your way!

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated or provided any free products in exchange for this article. I simply love Spud and wanted to share the news about this great product. I will, however, receive $20 towards my next order if any of my readers use the referral code: CRVAN-MOLSHB (thank you!!). 

Wedding Wednesday: Using Bunting as Wedding Decor

When Jess and I were planning our wedding, I was lucky enough to have been given free reign for decor decisions (as is usually the case, I’m told). I had long since loved the idea of bunting, in all shapes and forms, and knew that they would certainly be making an appearance on our big day. There are so many different ways to make this trend part of your event that it’s important to decide on a few of your favourites, in order to prevent over-doing it. If you love this trend as much as I do, here are a ideas of how to use the different kinds of bunting.

Doily Bunting

There’s just something about doily bunting that looks so beautiful and whimsical. Whether it’s the white lace on the white trim, or how it allows colours to and light to shine though, this style of bunting can be the perfect touch to many types of events. If you happen to have a large stash of crocheted or lace doilies hanging around your house – this just might be the perfect way to use them! If not, I would suggest starting your search very early on in your planning process. Although I loved the look of doily bunting, I was already having a difficult time finding enough doilies for each of my tables. I couldn’t image trying to find enough to complete any decent sized string of them sewn to biased tape!

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After scouring Craigslist & local thrift shops for months, I concluded for my own wedding, the crocheted and lace doilies would have to be confined to the tables. We compromised by stocking up on a few packages of paper doilies from the local craft store and strung them along with our engagement photos to greet our guests as they entered into hall! We also made quite a few feet of ‘half doily’ bunting, where we cut the doilies in have, and strung the straight edge with twine (no clothespins necessary) to decorate the front of the stage. I personally loved how they reminded me of snowflakes (which I love).

DSC_0162Cake Topper Bunting

Another great bunting trend is to utilize mini-bunting attached on your cake or dessert table! I’ve seen mini bunting used to spell out the bride’s new last name, words such as love, or just used for an extra pop of colour. Although I had already found my dream cake toppers by Red Light Studio, this style didn’t work for my own wedding, but I just loved the idea!

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One of the greatest ways to add colour to any wedding or event, in my opinion, is simple paper bunting! This is the style that we ended up using extensively throughout our wedding – and we loved how it really emphasized the ombre of blues, mints and greens that we wanted to display throughout! If you are creating these for an upcoming event of your own, the easiest way to ensure your paper colours coordinate is to purchase a paper pack. These can be purchased for around $20 at Michaels (if you bring your coupon!), and come in all sorts of colour combinations. When putting together your bunting, don’t be afraid to mix in other patterns that might not match your colour scheme perfectly. They add dimension, and I promise it will look beautiful when they are all hung!

BuntingCollage3Burlap Lettering Bunting

And lastly, the best bunting option for words and lettering – burlap! This type of bunting is so much fun because the possibilities really are endless! The key to this look is tightly weaved burlap. Without it, your lettering will not appear solid as the paint will just drip right through to whatever you are painting on (wood, drop sheet, your floor!). Lucky for you (warning – shameless plug is about to occur) AllyBeth Design Co. makes these! Allison and I hand cut flags from our tight weave burlap, sew each flag individually (so it moves freely on the twine) and hand-paint all lettering to create the banner of your dreams. The best part? We really don’t charge that much to do it! We’re still getting our online store all set up, but feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at shan(dot)molnar(at)gmail.com to place your order! We take payment via PayPal, and can even ship it to you for $3 extra.

IMG_0069Will you be incorporating any form of bunting at any upcoming events of yours? What is your favourite style?

much love and grace,

shannon

Contest Roundup – Valentine’s Edition

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Actually, for the hubby and I – it is our Valentine’s Day! Since he will be working graveyards this Friday (darn shift work), we can to arrange an alternate day to express our special lovey doveys to each other.

In celebration of the love day though, there are so many great contests floating out there this week! Wishing you all the best on any of the ones you enter!

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And this one is just too cute to pass up!

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Just click on the links above to be taken directly to the contest page. Follow their prompts for how to enter – don’t forget to do the bonus prompts for the bonus entries!

Good luck to everyone!

much love & more love,

shannon

My January In Pictures

Happy February, my friends!

This past January seemed like our busiest January yet! It was so great to wind down from the holidays, take a little vacation, work on a few art projects and make new cute banners for mine and Allison’s little design company adventure.

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I started my Project Life adventure on January 1st! Since I sometimes feel like we don’t have very much going on, I’m always afraid that I’ll get to the end of the week and not have anything to document. As a result, I’ve been taking way too many selfies and snapping photos of just about everything! When it comes time to print my weekly pictures, I always have lots of gooders to choose from, even if they are just of us! Because really, it’s the story that counts.

Jan2

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We launched a few new things over at AllyBeth Design Co! We brought in a few different styles of super cute party bags (and straws), but couldn’t help but use a few for our own packaging. We had lots of pick-ups – and were so excited to see our cute wares find their way into happy new homes! Allison launched her ruffled streamers, and we’ve already had a large order for an upcoming wedding! These are sewn together (with two colours, or three) to create just under 70ft of ruffley, colourful goodness!

Jan 3

Although we didn’t make any new years resolutions to eat healthy – we did a fairly good job in preparing & eating the majority of our meals and snacks at home. I find that we feel so much better and have more energy when we are nourishing ourselves with fresh fruits, veggies and meals made from scratch (as apposed to processed meal options) – and so I’ve been making the best of efforts to do so! Except for ice cream of course, that’s kind of our downfall (plus, how cool is this Ron Burgundy B&J?!)

Jan4

We had what seemed like lots of visits with little baby Madilyn, but somehow they just didn’t seem like enough! We actually haven’t been out to visit the McMillan family in over a week (possibly 2!) and it seems like it has been far too long. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again this little girl has stolen my whole heart. Who know it would be such a rewarding challenge trying to make a little person laugh. xoxo.

Jan5

The McMolnar Clan went to our 2nd Annual Robbie Burns Dinner! We discovered our local Robbie Burns Dinner (at the Abbotsford Eagles Club) last year, when I took Jess to hear the band that I wanted to play at our wedding. I discovered Piper Down during a wedding I had worked at with Crave Catering, and immediately fell in love with them. Since we had never considered hiring a band at all, the suggestion hit Jess a little out of left field. So when they contacted me to let me know about the local event they would be playing, we jumped on the opportunity to visit them. We had so much fun at our first dance, that we vowed to make it an annual thing and attend in 2014 for both the dinner and the dance. We had a blast and my brother-in-law Daryl even managed to get up with the band for a performance of his own. I guess that’s what happens when you start off with pitchers of Guinness!

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January also seen a few acting opportunities, including one audition for the BC Children’s Hospital and a ‘shopper’ role for the Pattison Group. I was painfully reminded that you either need change or a credit card to park in downtown Vancouver, and I was so thankful that I allowed myself an extra half our before my audition time – it took almost that whole half hour for me to pay for parking! The selfie on the left was taken after I did a coconut oil treatment for my hair the night before (funny enough, the night our hot water tank stopped working) but oh – my – goodness. If you haven’t tried a coconut oil treatment on your hair yet, do it now!  I couldn’t stop touching my hair for the next three days.

Of course, we we went to Seattle as well, but you can see all those beautiful photos on this post!

How was your January’s? Did you kick off 2014 with an incredibly good start?

much love,

Shannon

5 Fun Valentine’s Day Gifts (for him!)

Man Crates

Man Crate

I first heard about Man Crates from my good friend Kristi Ferguson, over at I Love That! These gift baskets for men come with no frills & no fluff, leaving plenty of room for things men love. Best part about these way-cool gifts? They actually come in a sealed crate – and a mini crow bar to open them!

Available crate selection includes Whiskey Lovers, Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit, Grill Masters (and many more) & range in price from $80 – $130. Smaller ‘Ammo Tin’ packages are also available for those on a budget.

The Nordic Mug – David’s Tea

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Even though he probably wouldn’t willingly admit it, my husband loves his morning tea. He’s constantly stealing my David’s tea mug (since the tea strainer fits in it so perfectly). I love how they now have a selection of mugs that are also man-friendly!

Beer Tasting Glass Sets

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Did you know certain beers are only meant to be enjoyed from certain glass styles? Neither did I, until I started learning more about (the wonderful world of) craft beers! Treat the beer-loving-man in your life to a glass set especially for him!

4 Piece Libbey Beer Glass Set from Walmart.ca | 8 Piece Beer Tasting Set from Red Envelope

Message In a Bottle Flash Drive

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This message in a bottle USB drive is just too cute! Fill with photos of the two of you, tie with a ribbon (or add a note) and voila! Gift complete. These can be ordered from Uncommon Goods – and there’s still time to ship before V-Day!

Deluxe Fragrance Sampler Set For Men

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Sometimes it can be a little difficult picking out a new scent for your man, so why not give him a selection to choose from instead! This sample pack from Sephora contains 5 travel-size bottles of their best selling refined (and bold!) scents. A great way to give the gift of a sexy new scent, without all the stress of choosing!

Do you normally exchange gifts with your loved one on Valentine’s Day? This year, my husband will be working graveyards on the love day, so we’ll be celebrating a little earlier in the week. I’m looking forward to a dinner out (and and perhaps a few tulips to dress up my office)!

xoxo,

Shannon

Hey Seattle!

A few weeks ago, Jess and I spent an extended weekend in Seattle, to celebrate my birthday. Although my birthday is in December, things tend to get a little crazy hectic (I’m a boxing day baby), so we usually celebrate it a few weeks later. Jess likes the extra time to prepare, and I like the excuse to sneak away for a little R&R.

We had so much fun exploring, reconnecting and (of course!) eating. Here are a few photos from our little trip.

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We stopped at RAM Sports Bar & Brewery for a little snack once we got to Tulalip and ate the yummiest Mozza Sticks I ever did taste. They’re located in the parking lot area of the Premium Outlets, and it’s a great alternative to eating at the outlet food court. We promise. Plus, we also promise you won’t be disappointed in their ice teas.

Side Note: They are extremely sports-barry. So be prepared to lose focus, due to the fact there were over 20 televisions visible from our very seat.

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Whenever we travel this far south of the border, we always (always) make sure to spend at least one night at the Tulalip Resort & Casino. We are part of their rewards club, and usually take advantage of the different email specials they send out a few times a year. I don’t think we’ve ever paid full price for a room here, but would have no problem paying it if we had too. This place is totally worth it.

The bathrooms are plenty big (plus there’s a cozy vanity on the opposite site) and their showers have three spray nozzles. It’s like your very own water massager (and it feels amazing). We normally visit the T-Spa during our stay as well, and this visit I tried out the River Rock Pedicure. A hot stone massage for my feet & legs? Yes please!

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Pike Place Market is a favourite of ours, and we love any opportunity that allows us to put yummy food into our bellies. I have a weak spot for Beecher’s Cheese, and was so disheartened to find that they were sold out of their award winning mac n’ cheese! I suppose it might have something to do with us visiting on the weekend of the big game. Oh well, I know there is always next year!

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We learned pretty quickly that the upcoming football game would determine whether the Seattle Seahawks or the San Francisco 49’ers would progress to the Superbowl. We also (finally) found out what all the 12’s meant all around town. Since Seahawk fans are known to be the rowdiest in the league, and there are 11 men on the field at the time, these enthusiastic fans are known as the 12th man on the team. Pretty cool, right?

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Since we’ve always heard great reviews about The Crab Pot (but had never been), eating a meal here was one of our main Seattle goals this trip. It’s located right down on the water (near the Maritime Museum & Great Wheel) inside a little strip mall type thing. If all you see is an outdoor cafe type thing called the Crab Pot, don’t panic! This is just their lunch & quick eats cafe. I was seriously disappointed for a moment or two, before we realized you had to head inside the little mall to get to the main restaurant. Warning – they don’t take reservations, and sometimes the wait can be quite long. We had to wait an hour and a half (!!!), so we headed off to Ivar’s Seafood Bar a few blocks down and enjoyed a few drinks during their happy hour. It was a win/win, and we were back to The Crab Pot in time for our table to be ready.

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As the pictures show, it’s a super classy establishment. Ha ha! They bring you bibs, shell crackers and a wooden slab as a plate – and then dump whichever crab pot you’ve chosen onto the table in front of you. Everything was so good, and surprisingly enough, we managed to eat every last piece of it all.

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We stayed at the Alexis Hotel in downtown Seattle Saturday night, and did a little Irish pub hopping after dinner that night. A big thank you to the concierge at the hotel, for providing us with excellent suggestions & free appetizer passes!

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We also found this really cool Scale Electric race car shop in Seattle (for my dear dad), called Red Devil Raceway. Although we were only there to pick up a new car, it was so neat to watch racers of all ages stop in to race & tinker with the cars to enhance performance!

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On Sunday, we visited the Fremont Street Market and the Antique Village Mall. I found some really cool treasures, but I really just wanted to take their entire pyrex collection home with me. I’m currently feeling remorse for not doing just that.

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Finally, we ate at (and loved) the Portage Bay Cafe! We tried to get here the last time we visited, but the wait was just too long. This time, it was only about 20 minutes and we were thrilled with the menu options and the fresh fruit bar! They make almost all of their offerings in-house (including their bread and sausage) and offer gluten-free options on many of the menu items.

Since we go to Seattle at least once a year, here are a few of our favourites from last time as well: Claim Jumper (in Lynwood, on the way), DragonFish (their happy hour is one to be reckoned with) and The Great Wheel (so much fun)!

We’ll see you next year, Seattle!

much love,

shannon xoxo

Contest Roundup (includes a $1200 PayPal Giveaway!)

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It’s the beginning of a new week again and I’m thinking the possibility of $1200 is a great way to start it off! Almost all of the contests I’ve entered recently have used the app Rafflecopter, which connects directly to your Facebook account. Entering is super easy – just follow the prompts for entries (such as commenting on the page, liking on Facebook, etc) and you instantly have multiple entries in the draw. Plus, since it grabs all of your contact information, you don’t have to go around typing your name and email into every. single. box.

If you’re in a bit of a lucky mood, I recommend entering a few of these neat contests that I found this week!

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  • Handmade Nursing or Babywearing Necklace via Tom Bjorn Designs – So cute!
  • Microsoft Home & Office 2013 Giveaway via Appfound – Such a crucial office requirement that everyone should have!
  • $50 M&M Meats Gift Card via Yee Whittle Things – I can never understand how long it takes me to decide what to purchase, every time I enter this store.
  • $500 Target Canada Gift Card via Brunch Time Baker – Um, yes please!
  • Lug Messenger Bag & Wallet from Mommy Moment   – Both my sister & I have Lug travel/gym bags – and love them to pieces. I feel they just might change your life.

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And finally!

Just click on the links above to be taken directly to the contest page. Follow their prompts for how to enter – don’t forget to do the bonus prompts for the bonus entries!

Good luck to everyone!

much love,

shannon

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