Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boxing Day Deals: Hallmark Christmas Ornaments

Hallmark makes excellent Christmas ornaments and their prices are not cheap.  They are typically 20 to 35 Canadian dollars and are not usually on sale.  As a collector of ornaments (I collect useless things I might say), I decided to line up for their boxing day sale for 40% off.  Their ornaments are so well made that the prices don't go much lower.  I got a few for my collection this year, and it was definitely worth lining up at 8am along with 20 other ornament fans.
They have many many series of ornaments every year.  Barbie series, Disney Princess series, Mickey series, Hero series, Snoopy Series, Winne the Pooh series....etc, you name it, they have it.
Here are two barbies I got for this year.
To collect all of them every year will require a few thousand dollars in the budget, which is not possible for average citizens.
I also got these funny super heroes ornament.  The Mickey Mouse and Snoopy ornaments were also really detailed crafted.  (way more details than the super heroes above.)

I would definitely consider  buying them next year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Gift: Tassimo Coffee Machine

Recently, Tassimo machines has been popular and I bought one for my wife for Christmas present.
I have wondered about what it does and my wife is a coffee drinker, so I thought we should try it.
It operates from a product called, "T-Disc".  It does not require beans or filters and makes one cup from one disc.
It has several models and we bought the one in the upper pictures.
I am not a "pro" coffee drinker, so I don't know the difference in taste, but I do notice that the coffee tastes more refined.  The downside is the cost of buying the T-disc because one disc only makes one cup and one pack of t-disc gives you 8 or 16 cups, depending on the package.  Nabob packages cost around 6 dollars and Starbucks cost around 9 to 12 dollars.

There are also several European brands, which are not imported to Canada (too bad because we only have Nabob or Starbucks to choose from).

There are Swiss, German, Italian and French coffee makers which are not sold...not sure if we can order them online but I sure want to try them out.

Baby Gift: Diaper Cake

One nice co-worker and her husband visited us and brought us a few nice and thoughtful baby gifts.  One of the things I really appreciated is the diaper cake they made.
My wife has heard of the diaper cake but never thought that someone would make it for us.
I really appreciate every little thing we receive because it is the thought that counts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wii Mario All-Star 25 Year Anniversary Edition

This game is for people around 25 to 40 who are parents born in the first generation of the video game era. 
I find the original Mario games nostalgic, and I love the character designed, so I decided that I had to get this game.
It turns out that he did not like the older versions.  I guess the new one has better graphics, more tricks, multiplayer options, etc, which were not in the older versions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Restaurant: Joey Restaurant

We had a chance to go to a restaurant called, "Joey Restaurant".  It is a chain restaurant similar to Earls or Cactus Club, and we have never been there before.  It is before my second baby's 1 month celebration, so we decided to order some dishes that we don't usually order.
First, we actually ordered two cocktails:  Bellini and Mojito.  I loved the Bellini.

Then, we order 3 mini burgers with fries.  For some reason, the food seemed lukewarm.
Then, we ordered a 9 ounce sirloin steak.  It was delicious, but again, the plate wasn't warm and the steak, too.  I kind of miss the Asian style of fresh steak on the steak plate.  Those are really "freshly made".
Next, we ordered Kobe Beef Meatball Spaghetti.  The food was great, but the meatballs were hard.
After waiting for more than 25 minutes, the dessert, chocolate cake with warm chocolate filling had arrived.
It has cranberry sauce on the side and ice cream.  This one was delicious.
The service was very friendly in this place but the food need to be warmer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vancouver Christmas Market

We went to the Vancouver Christmas Market this week.  It is in its first year with local and European (mostly German) vendors importing Christmas decoration, food and souvenirs.
They have unique European stands selling German beers and lager, sausage hotdogs, pork, decorations, toys...etc.  The second picture shows a stand that sells cooked apple with different flavors.  I have never seen that before.  The decorations were expensive because they are handcrafted and imported.  The price ranged from 20 dollars for a small wooden ornaments to 40 dollars for a big egg shaped ornaments.
The themed toys or handcrafted decorations are 50 to 300 dollars.  Pricey because they are imports from Czech, Poland and Germany.  Some are from vendors of US and are overpriced.
The German sausage hotdog was sooooooo good and better than the ones I tried before.
We also tried the pretzels.  Yummy...I want to eat it again.
Too bad they don't offer German dinners there...