Qoola Frozen Yogurt {Giveaway}

20140828_182255With the start of September it feels like summer has come to an end. Kids are headed back to school, some starting for the first time in preschool and kindergarten others facing their last year of high school. Other are waiting to get to go back to school here in BC. Wouldn’t it be great to get to go for a special treat as a family to celebrate the start of school, and the end of summer this month? How about going for some Qoola frozen yogurt?

Qoola very kindly sent me a gift card, and I was also given one in my congrats bag from Vancouver Mom from the Top Vancouver Blogger Event. We have really gotten to enjoy some great frozen yogurt treats from Qoola this summer. In case you don’t know what Qoola is, it is a frozen yogurt bar where you get to build your own frozen yogurt.

Our local Qoola location has multiple frozen yogurt flavours to select from, and I was so happy to see that there were also dairy and sugar free options. Qoola also prides itself on being GMO free, and organic. The frozen yogurt is made with 100% Canadian milk from a farm in Ontario.

When you go in you get a bowl (there is even a waffle cone bowl option) that you fill with your chosen frozen yogurt flavour(s). I warn you the bowls can be deceiving so make sure your eyes are not bigger than your tummy. I do wish that Qoola had a smaller bowl option for little kids because the one that is provided is too big for little hands to hold onto. Next you go to the toppings bar and you can select from all sorts of fresh fruit, sprinkles, and other goodies to mix in. Yes there is cookie dough! Then it’s over to the counter to have your container weighed. The cost for your frozen yogurt is done by weight, we have found that each time we have gone out bowl comes in around $6-$8 for what we share between the three of us in our family.

The staff at our location have always been great about answering all of our questions, helping us get a sample before we commit to a new frozen yogurt flavour, and even offering to toss out our garbage for us so that we are not dealing with full hands and a toddler. I really enjoy going here, and it is a very special treat to go and get as a family. It’s like the ultimate build your own sundae, but with frozen yogurt!

Qoola has very kindly provided a $25 gift card for one lucky Discovering Parenthood reader. Qoola has locations in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Would you like to win this gift card? Be sure to enter! Good luck everyone!

Enter at the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Taking a step back in time: Fort Langley

fort3We took a step back in time recently and checked out the fort in Fort Langley. Jason’s parent’s were down, and his brother was also in town so it worked well for us all to meet here. It had been years since I had gone through so I was excited to go check it out. The others all arrived there earlier than we had because we didn’t decide to go until Evie was down for a nap. We waited til she woke up and rushed out the door to head over there; on a bad day of traffic it takes us maybe 20 minutes to get to the Fort Langley area.

We have walked around the Fort Langley area before, I love it down there because there are so many great stores in the area; including an antique store where you just never know what you will find. We had about 2 hours to get to wander through before closing, and it was the perfect amount of time with a toddler. If your kids are a bit older than Evie be sure to have them pick up one of the Xplorers booklets up from the trade shop window. I noticed soon after entering the fort that there are different places marked with an X, at these stations you can get an embossed stamp in your booklet. If your kid(s) complete the whole booklet and return it to the trade shop window they will receive a certificate and a souvenir. Next time we go I want to do this with Evie, the embossed stamp markings are beautiful, and the booklet itself makes a great little keepsake from visiting here. I also just learned that you can go geocaching in the fort!

In case you may not know, Fort Langley is where The Hudson’s Bay Company established a small trading post. This little place grew, and played a roll in influencing history. I really enjoy seeing all the staff members wandering around in their period costumes. My favourite place in the fort to visit is the black smith building. Be sure to watch the black smith at work, but bring something to barter with. If you have something that catches the black smiths eye, you will get to trade for the item they are making. I’ve seen everything from nails, and wall hooks, to metal icicles for the Christmas tree be made in here.

The different sets of stairs leading up to the fort wall kept Evie entertained, and us in work out mode following her. It also provides a great little get away from any noise if the fort is busy and you just need a little spot for a few minutes of down time. Another highlight of visiting here were all the animals. There are goats, sheep, bunnies, and chickens. There is also a garden and flower patch tucked next to this spot of the fort. Since Evie is such an animal lover she was happy to hang out and look at all the different farm animals for awhile.

I am really hoping to go back to the fort this winter to see what is is like with all of the Christmas decorations. I can only imagine what it looks like when you get to step back in time to the holiday season there.

Has anyone else ever been to the fort? Do you have a favourite thing in there when you go?
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Wrapping up the Summer

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This post is simply going to be photo over load as I look back on some of my favourite moments from this summer. Today is the last day of August, and we are hoping that the kids will be heading back to school, and that I will be heading back to work this week. It has been a great summer filled with friends, family, fun moments, many memories, and so much more. I started the summer off with a bucket list that I did in fact manage to get everything crossed off on, and then some! I think I may make a list of things I really hope to do as a family for this fall.

It seems like we are already saying goodbye to warm summer days, this morning was filled with a chill in the air and I had to grab a sweater as I came downstairs. Didn’t help my hubby left all the windows open. I’m ready for warm clothing, scarves, and walks among leaves of many colours.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer too. Remember we still have a little over 20 days to enjoy summer before it is official over. If you still have something on your list of things you hoped to do with your family get to it!

10421287_10152550420081303_3468484021169677908_nOur week at Anvil Island volunteering at the summer camp there.

lunchWe went to the beach several times.

10517976_10152588855106303_2114281711911525570_nSwimming lessons were lots of fun this year.

10413314_10152584825046303_8203069764494495307_nEvie got to enjoy boating several times. I have a major water baby on my hands.

10407726_10152631725971303_8610695735229995620_nOur mini vacation to Painted Boat and going hiking.

IMG_5590-1We went berry picking twice and got loads of strawberries and blue berries.

datewithmommyEvie and I have enjoyed several mom and daughter outings.

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10556236_10152664754691303_6186509068810010079_nJason finally got a hair cut NOT done by me, and I donated all my hair to Wigs for Kids BC.

IMG_9890Our few days away in the Okanagan after my surgery. We joined my family “camping”.

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West Coast Creative at 4Cats Kerrisdale

4cats1Once again I got to feel like an artist for a night thanks to West Coast Creative. They put together a fantastic night once again for all us fellow bloggers. You can read about my first experience at their premier event over here.

This time we all gathered at 4Cats Kerrisdale. I managed to get a bit lost on the way out there, and was thankful there was plenty of parking on the street as I arrived a smidgen late. I missed out on seeing the sheep from Counting Sheep Coffee outside. Deland of Counting Sheep was there to tell us all about the coffee. I have done a review on it, be sure to check it out if you love your coffee but can’t have any past noon! Inside I could smell the amazing appetizers Milestones had prepared for us on location. I am now really looking forward to when Milestones opens up it’s newest location in Surrey. You honestly cannot go wrong with any of the appetizers, I highly recommend the wings or the pizza! We also got to hear from Sky of Mandala Sky. She makes beautiful clothing pieces, and we learned how she made her dreams come true of starting her own business.

4cats2Soon we were getting to work on our paintings. Simone of 4Cats guided us through all the steps to create our own Van Gogh inspired art piece. We went from a blank canvas to flowers in a vase in no time at all. I really loved the environment here, and was thrilled to learn there is a 4Cats location just up the road from my home. I’m keeping it in mind as a possible location for a birthday party when my daughter get’s older. They have a room that you can splatter paint in! Can you imagine? Little kids all in a room, wearing their smocks, and getting to just have at it with paint! That would have been my happy place when I was a kid. My piece of art is now sitting in our spare room, but I think it’s going to make it’s way onto my daughter’s bedroom walls.

4cats3The evening with West Coast Creative is always wonderful. I love getting together with fellow bloggers, many of whom have become good friends. I am already looking forward to the next event, and I know many bloggers who are also intrigued to know when the next event will be after having seen all my photos from the night on my instagram. Check out my friend Andria’s post about her experience at her first West Coast Creative night.

The ladies behind West Coast Creative spoiled us with an incredible gift bag too that we got to take home. It was filled with items from:

I’m considering stenciling my daughter’s wall with the gorgeous stencil I received, and I can’t wait to try the chalk paint. We were treated to lots of fun items, and I cannot thank the companies and West Coast Creative enough. Until the next event, I realized I need to take some time to do more art. Which is something I have always enjoyed. Thank you for bringing back my artistic side.

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Results are in

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Today I got the call I thought I’d be waiting weeks for. I was certain it be bad news when they called me back so soon. My doctor wanted to get the results to me right away.

Not cancer!

What a joy to hear those words. My long weekend is starting out on a very positive note. I am over joyed, and so thankful for the love,  support,  and prayers from my family and friends.

Having gone through this part of a journey so many find themselves on, my heart is with all of those who are facing cancers headon. Please be proactive if you suspect anything. Go to your doctor!