Last weekend, we took a toddler-free trip to the Sunshine Coast to stay at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. This was our first time taking two nights (three days) away from Aiden; in the past we’ve spent one night in Vancouver and one night in Whistler. We had been to Rockwater once before, several years before we had Aiden, and had fond memories of how peaceful and relaxing it was.
It took us about 3 hours from our house to reach the resort, including ferry wait and crossing, which is quite reasonable for a Vancouver getaway. You need to drive about 45 minutes from the ferry terminal to the resort, located near Halfmoon Bay. The resort offers access to many outdoor activities as well as the on-site spa services. Our goal in going to Rockwater was to relax completely – we didn’t want to play tourists this trip, we just wanted to relax. And that we did!
Our tenthouse suite
We stayed in one of the luxurious tenthouse suites. Far from what you’d imagine of anything that has the word ‘tent’ in it, the tenthouse suites offer all the high-end luxuries of resort hotels (king bed, soaker tub, fireplace, heated floors) and then some (check out this view). You won’t find such privacy or stunning views at any other hotel!
My views, though, mostly consisted of this:
I spent a rather embarrassing amount of time in that tub – and I read 2 books over the course of 3 days, so that should tell you a little something about just how chilled out we were during our stay. It was fantastic to rest my pregnant self in the tub or nestled in a pile of pillows on the bed next to the fire. So nice!
The view from our tenthouse balcony
Each tenthouse offers its own breathtaking vista of Secret Cove. Whether you’re enjoying the view from your bed or your deck, it’s easy to forget there are other tenthouses near you. Our first night we had a major wind storm, which did disturb our rest a little bit – quite noisy, as you can imagine, from within a tent. Our next night was perfectly restful (though I am apparently incapable of sleeping in anymore).
Ianiv spent some time when it wasn’t raining to enjoy the deck (I was in the bath, of course) and take some photos. At night, he spent some time stargazing as well – it was breathtaking! It’s easy to forget how much of the night sky we miss seeing when we live in the city – I only wish we could have taken a photo of that to share with you!
We ordered room service one morning from our tenthouse and took our other breakfast, and both dinners, in the Rockwater restaurant. Review forthcoming.
Check out all our photos from our stay here.
Disclosure: we were given a discount for our stay at Rockwater, though our choice to stay here and our review were not swayed by this.
This past weekend, I went with Nicola to the Modern Mama brunch held at the Brock House for Pregnancy Awareness Month. I didn’t attend any pregnancy events with my first pregnancy, so it was all new to me, in a way. It’s different being pregnant with people you know, that’s for sure!
Check out our complimentary portrait – I also won a newborn photoshoot with the same photographer.
Modern Mama hosts events for to-be or new families on topics ranging from fashion to parenting. For example, they are just about to host an event on sleep featuring the same sleep consultant we used with Aiden.
Despite the fact that I’m not a new mama, and this is not my first pregnancy, I did manage to learn some new things from the set of speakers that were on hand for the brunch. I learned, for example, that belly support after birth does have a more-than-just-aesthetic purpose (thx FitnessDoula). Go figure!
Disclosure: I was invited to the Modern Mama event but was not asked to write a post. I also have a continued working relationship with the sleep consultant featured in their next event.
Fresh Produce, a retailer known across the US in stores such as Macy’s, recently expanded their online store to ship to 200 countries, including Canada. I was approached to try a few of their outfits, to review how their clothes fit in with my lifestyle as an active mama. The clothes are marketed as breezy, colourful and comfortable, and though not all of the clothes are my style, there are some great classic basics and colourful items to add to your wardrobe.
Here’s me modelling the Wrap Me Up Dress in one photo, and the Knit Coastal Wrap Cardigan over a Cami and Basic Leggings. I was able to size myself perfectly, which was not bad for my first attempt at online shopping for clothes! The pictures don’t do the outfits justice, especially the first one (should have previewed that before asking my husband to upload it!), so follow the above links.
The dress is great, though I’ve never worn a dress with sleeves before. As a wrap dress, I love that the interior is stitched closed so that I don’t need to pin the bust (a major issue for me and most wrap dresses). The cardigan drapes nicely down the front and drew several compliments. The leggings stayed up, which is more than I can say for other brands, even though I tend to not wear the full length leggings like these. I look forward to getting a lot of use out of these clothes to mix & match with my current wardrobe.
Although I didn’t get it, one of my favourite items of theirs is this skirt/dress, as I think the pattern is great and I love outfits that are multi-functional like this. I have one skirt/dress that I just love and I loved that it was great for when I was pregnant with Aiden as well.
Disclosure: I was sent these outfits for review, though my opinions are my own.
A couple of weeks ago, Jessica and I indulged our love of chocolate at the new Rogers Chocolate store in The Village at Park Royal. This is the 8th retail store for Rogers Chocolates in BC, and it’s quite an impressive store: both with an old-timey and sophisticated feel. The Village is definitely becoming the place to go to treat yourself!
See more photos here
Now, if only The Village had an awesome kids toy / baby stuff store, we’d be set!
Disclosure: We were invited to the opening, but the opinions of this review are my own.
I was recently given the Black & Decker Convection Countertop Oven along with 19 other Canadian bloggers as part of the Black & Decker Ultimate Sandwich contest for Mom Central Canada. We were asked to use this awesome new convection oven to come up with a delicious sandwich recipe. I wanted to try to make my favourite kind of sandwich – a torta!
A typical Mexican torta is served on a crusty roll and is served hot. Some aspects of the sandwich may be deep fried or covered in butter. We try to be health conscious in our family, so I challenged myself to come up with my favourite torta (the Milanesa, a breaded and fried chicken or steak) in a healthy way. The convection oven allowed me to make a breaded cutlet that was crispy – not soggy – and delicious!
Healthy Torta Milanesa
This recipe features warm fresh bread filled with a breaded cutlet, melted cheese, black beans and avocado. The flavours are accentuated by the adobo sauce and a splash of lime juice. Great to adapt to any taste and welcomes additions of shredded lettuce, spicy pickled carrots or tomatillo salsa. Makes a great stand-alone meal or main to go with a black bean soup.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/8 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- salt & pepper
- 2 chicken, veal or steak cutlets
- 1 can refried black beans
- 1 avocado sliced thinly (or mashed, if you prefer to spread it)
- 2 bake @ home buns (substitute crusty french rolls or panini bread if needed)
- Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced or your favourite smokey hot sauce
- lime juice, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 and bake rolls for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. If you have pre-baked buns, skip this step.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs. In another small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, parsley and a dash of salt & pepper
- Line oven tray with tinfoil or parchment paper, for easy clean up. If your cutlets are thick, prepare them by using a meat tenderizer between plastic wrap or lightly score the outside. Dip the cutlets into the egg mixture to coat, then in the bread crumbs. Place breaded cutlets on tray (fits 2 cutlets)
- Bake cutlets for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. Use thermometer to verify cooking time, depending on thickness of cutlets.
- Meanwhile, slice your buns most of the way through and lay flat. On one side, generously apply black beans.
- Place cooked cutlet on opposite side of bun and add cheese. Return to baking tray for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Remove sandwiches from oven. Add sliced avocado, or spread mashed avocado over the beans. Add adobo sauce and chopped chipotle peppers, to taste. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice.
For additional photos, please visit my Flickr set.
Disclosure: I created this post as part of the Black & Decker Ultimate Sandwich contest as part of a Mom Central Canada program. I received a Convection Countertop Oven Courtesy of Applica Canada Corporation, exclusive licensee of Black & Decker Home. The opinions on this blog are my own.