Summer Breezes

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Summer” The word itself conveys warm breezes, lazy days basking in the sunshine on a local patio,sipping on a fruity cocktail, and the many, many Edmonton festivals to enjoy! Oh how we enjoy this shortest of seasons and its limitless possibilities. So many fun and interesting things for a mother-daughter duo to do! We have been busy gallivanting all over town and the surrounding area. The best part? We’re only halfway through!

3 Mother – Daughter Generations Enjoying Summer Together

Farmers’ Markets and Fruit Picking Galore!

All the local Farmers’ Markets have been bursting with fresh produce. August brings with it even more bountiful ripeness. We’ve been enjoying the fruits of our amazing farmers and growers’ labour. We’ve been to the Downtown Market on Saturdays and its’ new Sunday location (due to the LRT expansion, the Downtown Market will be permanently moving away from 104 street Saturdays and Sundays), the constantly growing 124 Street Grand Market’s two locations, and the brand new Bountiful Market in its’ bright indoor southside spot, and the Saint Albert Market just to name a few. (Please see upcoming events for a list of local Farmers’ Markets)

The new Bountiful Farmers’ Market

Last week we enjoyed a wonderful Saskatoon Berry picking and pie baking trip courtesy of Fifendekel’s. Ali had never baked a pie from scratch before. This was quite the fun experience. We were whisked away by Limousine and treated along the way to a variety of tasty Fifendekel sandwiches made with their house roasted beef, turkey and ham. These meats were served between slices of their daily-made, moist and flavourful sunflower seed bread. So yummy!

Ali with her Bucket of Saskatoons

We arrived at Alberta Country Orchards, which belongs to the Thiel’s Greenhouses family. There, we learned all about the different varieties of Saskatoons. Then we were let loose in the orchard to fill our individual buckets, and stomachs, with juicy purple berries. This berry can be used in so many different ways. We were spoiled with samples of Saskatoon ice cream and spread. So much deliciousness! Then we returned to Fifendekel where we got to use our berries and prepare homemade pies using their famous crust! We all got to take them home to bake them. Mmm!!!

Monique Reaching Top Berries

If you are interested in picking Saskatoons or any other fruit and vegetable, there are many farms and orchards offering you this experience. Alberta Open Farm Days is coming up soon. That’s a great opportunity to visit farms and pick your own produce. If you can’t make it for this, please see our upcoming events page for a list of local U-Picks.

**Country Orchards will have Saskatoons available for picking until August 21. Call Malcolm at (780) 974-3099 to book a time.

Saskatoon Berry Pie Oh My!

Picnics in the Park

Government Park

An activity we love to do together and as a family is going on picnics in one of our many local parks along the North Saskatchewan River. Our favourite location is at Government House Park just off Victoria Road. What we like about that specific location is that it has paved trails, lots of picnic tables, BBQ’s (bring your own wood/briquettes), benches and port-a-potties. Best thing about it too? It is right on the river front with lots of space to see the river from your picnic spot. It is a well used park. Lots of joggers, bicyclists and boaters to watch. On-leash dogs allowed.

A special trip to the Italian Centre Shop is always called for to find fresh breads, meats, veggies and fruits to pack along. And if we are lucky, we can pick up some tasty pastries too!

Patio Time!

Nothing like a sunny day to entice you to one of Edmonton’s lovely patios! We are always searching for a new location to share a bite to eat and relax. A lovely spot we like to go to is Little Brick. We took Monique’s mom, Mona (Ali’s Teta) for Brunch there on a Sunday. What a perfect location in Riverdale. They have a large fenced yard and deck where they serve brunch on the weekdays and weekends.

Viejas

We enjoyed Chai and Lattes. The brunch Menu is filled with your regular fare presented with a spin. Monique ordered the Viejas, a tasty bowl of crispy corn tortilla strips, Four Whistle Farms scrambled eggs, vegetables, cheese, crème fraîche & hot sauce.

Ali had the Eggs Benny – Gull Valley tomato, apple cider hollandaise sauce & 2 soft boiled Four Whistle Farms eggs on a toasted bun.

Eggs Benny
Gravlax Bagel

Mona had the gravlax bagel with house cured salmon, herb cream cheese, grainy dijon, pickled onions, mixed shoots served on a toasted bagel. All three were very tasty. Little Brick is a perfect spot for a quiet brunch. If you prefer to sit inside, they have two lovely rooms to accommodate you. They also have a cute little shop section displaying local products for you to take home. (For a list of local patios, visit our upcoming events page)

*Dogs are welcome on the patio too so you don’t have to leave Fido behind.

Day Trip to See the Dinos

Ali at the Royal Tyrell Museum

Day trips can be lots of fun. We took one recently down to Drumheller. We hadn’t been since Ali was a little girl and decided that it would be a nice day excursion. It is a longer drive day trip but is still doable. We chose to do it in one day and not stay overnight. It worked out great for us. We did the obligatory stop at the Royal Tyrell Museum which had, not surprisingly, remarkably changed over the years. We highly recommend a visit, even if there are no children with you. It was a totally different experience without kids. We got to stop and take our time to read all the interesting information and try some of the interactive exhibits. Give yourselves at least 2 to 2.5 hours to visit here.

We took the Dinosaur Trail and made a few stops along the way to check out many local must see attractions. Some natural such as the Hoodoos and the Horse Thief Canyon, and some man-made, such as the Atlas Mines Suspension Bridge and the World’s Largest Dinosaur. You must take the time to see the Hoodoos and the Canyon. They may not look like much from the road, but once you are out of the car and up close to them, they are breathtaking. If you want to visit a canyon and go down into it but have mobility issues, we recommend you go to Horseshoe Canyon instead. It has more easily accessible trails.

Picture 1 – Mother-Daughter Badlands Fun. Picture 2 – Hoodoos.

Of course we had to stop for lunch… We discovered a cute diner, Bernie and the Boys Bistro. Their fries and hamburgers were INCREDIBLE! Definitely worth searching them out. We were hungry and they more than satisfied our burger cravings. The beef patties are freshly ground and the toppings are more than generous. We also HAD to have milkshakes. Take it from us, you too HAVE to have a shake when you stop there. We will make it a point to stop there again next time we are in that part of Alberta!

Bernie and the Boys Bistro Burgers

Shopping!!!

The “As Old As Time” Mother-Daughter activity. One we have perfected to an art. We love shopping almost as much as going out to local food haunts. Our next shopping outing will be on August 15 to the Wild Rumpus on Whyte! Over 60 Whyte Avenue participating businesses will be offering in-store deals and promotions. Bonus: The Fringe starts that evening!! Keep an eye out for Monique and Ali and be sure to say “Hi” if you see us!

Don’t forget to check our Upcoming Events and Activities page for more things to do in the Edmonton area!

Do you have any recommendations you would like to suggest for a mother -daughter outing or activity? Please contact us via our CONTACT page and we will try to check these out.

Note: The majority of our outings and food are paid for by ourselves. If we are a business’ guests or receive an item on the house, we mention it.

Hurray for the Month of May!

May is finally here and we can put all that snow behind us and concentrate on important things, like Mother’s Day! This is one of Monique’s favourite days of the year. A day when it is actually supposed to be all about her, not that all the other days aren’t, but we digress. Mother’s Day can be a stressful time for many children as they try to come up with a great gift that is, let’s be honest here, better than their sibling’s gift. A gift that will impress mom without breaking the bank. After many years, Monique finally told Ali what gift she loves receiving best, an experience. What is an experience? It is the gift of time spent doing something with your child or children. One where created memories will last a lifetime. In this blog, we will share with you a couple of outings that made lasting memories for us. You can treat your mother to one of these for Mother’s Day or just hang out together on any other day of the year.

A Mother And Daughter Who Plant Together, Stay Together

Rows upon rows of beautiful Begonias at Thiel’s Greenhouses

In the little town of Bruderheim you can find a quaint little greenhouse that grew and blossomed into a magnificent location worthy of a roadtrip. Less than an hour away from Edmonton is Thiel’s Greenhouses. They have over 500 unique plants and use biocontrol methods to control pests. Biocontrol, Nadine Stielow one of Thiel’s owners, tells us, is where you use good bugs to get read of bad bugs. This is much better for our environment. What brought us out to Thiel’s? A Planting Party! Monique has a deep love of nature and gardening and was thrilled to be able to share this with Ali. Hoping that some of her green thumb would rub off on Ali.

New friends: Mom Shelley and her 3 daughters, Lysette, Alann and Alyssa

What is a Planting Party? A party where you and your friends get to choose and plant gorgeous flowers, herbs, vegetables, whatever your heart desires! Nadine invited us a couple of weeks ago to experience one. There were two other groups there having parties too. We were not surprised to find out that another of the groups was also made up of a mom, Shelley and her daughters Lysette, Alann and Alyssa. These ladies are experienced at this, they brought along all the fixings for Mimosas and snacks. They were so sweet and offered us a sparkling drink to toast the afternoon with them.

What fun we had finding out about different plants and which would be the best choice for different locations. Ali and Monique both live in downtown condos but that was not a problem. Nadine and her staff helped us choose which herbs and flowering plants were best suited for our balconies. We got to pick and plant them in pots and planters we brought from home and a few that Thiel’s gave us.

Monique holding up a Hydroponics tray of butter lettuce and Swiss chard. Look at those roots!

We also really enjoyed touring Thiel’s and learning about the greenhouse, its new hydroponics system which grows incredible fresh vegetables that you can purchase to take home and eat. We had never ever seen such beautiful and perfect lettuce heads before!

Of course we couldn’t leave without checking out the lovely gifts section they have by the till. Such unique items. Monique ended up buying a beautiful teapot filled with succulents. We both left relaxed and happy with a trunk filled with herb, flowers and vegetables planters. And armfuls of unusual varieties of lettuce. Thank you to Nadine and Thiel’s for inviting us as their special guests to experience a planting party and for all the lovely plants you sent home with us!

Some of the adorable plant holders available for purchase at Thiel’s

To book your own planting party or any other event at Thiel’s contact them at info@thielsgreenhouse.ca.

A Hidden Gem in Downtown Edmonton

Whenever either one of us travels, a “must visit” location in any city is an art gallery. We have been to the Louvre, the Tate Modern and New York’s Gugenheim just to name a few famous ones. But we also love to hunt for the lesser known ones. Every city around the world has some hidden gems that only locals know about. We decided to start looking for those in our own backyard (like the planting theme here?). While searching, we came across the Alberta Craft Gallery. The Alberta Craft Gallery is part of the Alberta Craft Council and has two locations, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary.

The Alberta Craft Council’s Edmonton Feature Craft Gallery.

The day we visited the Edmonton Gallery, they had an exhibit titled “Portraits“. It featured the works of 35 Canadian Fine Craft artists sharing stories through their art.

There were traditional weaving, metal works, works on glass, and porcelain figurines just to name a few. Some were life-size, some made us laugh like Red Deer’s Brian McArthur‘s “Self-Portrait” wearing a dunce hat, balancing a spoon on his nose. And some, like MacArthur’s clay sculpture titled “Jim Marshall” made us stop in our tracts to admire the detail of this piece, portraying an artist and his life works. Marshall was an artist who creates brick murals all around North America. This sculpture included “bricks” intertwined with Marshall’s body with a scene from his hometown on his back.

The Edmonton location of the Alberta Craft Council has two galleries, the Feature Gallery which holds 3 special exhibits per year, and Discovery Gallery which ” is dedicated to showing new works by established and emerging fine craft artists as well as small group exhibitions .” It has about 7 different exhibits per year.

Fun Fact: “The Alberta Craft Council operates the only public galleries in the province dedicated to exhibiting Craft and is Edmonton’s second largest public gallery.”

The current exhibit in the Discovery Gallery is “Art in Ubiquity – Edmonton Weavers’ Guild“. It is on until June 8th, 2019. The exhibit in the Feature Gallery “Cultivate – Instigate” will run from May 11 until August 31st 2019 and is “about the influential creatives at the forefront of post- secondary craft education in Alberta.” We highly recommend the Alberta Craft Council’s galleries. It is truly unique. Best part? It’s free!

The Alberta Craft Gallery – Edmonton Location:
10186 – 106 Street

Gallery Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Closed Sunday and Statutory Holidays

Once Upon A Time, There Was This Little Café . . .

Life keeps us busy. Work, volunteering, chores, friends. We lead our own separate ones. When we get together, we love catching up on what each other has been up to. We both have different interests, love to eat, and discover new places. So when we meet over coffee or lunch, we like to take the other to one of the special cafés we have discovered. Monique has been raving for a year about Wilfred’s, this adorable Oliver neighbourhood café and bistro-bar located in one of the old Molson’s Brewery historical buildings in the new Brewery District.

As soon as you walk into Wilfred’s, you know you are somewhere special. A place that feels like you just walked into one of your childhood books. Painted and decorated in peachy-pink and coppery hues, it is bright and ethereal. On the walls are scenes taken out from what looks like pages out of Babar and Madeline. We are huge fans of those stories and enjoyed admiring them while the aromas of homemade Chai mingled with herbs floated from the kitchen, welcoming us. Right away you start to relax and anticipate the arrival of the menu.

The staff was so friendly and helpful. Explaining to us their creative food and drink menus. They try to use as much local ingredients as possible. The chef and owners create their own syrups and freshly press their juices and smoothies daily.

Ali ordered a coffee and Barley Risotto ($15.00). Monique chose the Grilled Cheese ($16) and the Chai Latte with Oat Milk. The Risotto was so tasty and perfectly prepared with roasted squash & sweet onion, cremini mushrooms, kale & pumpkin seeds. Ali was quite happy with her choice and highly recommends it. The Grilled Cheese was deliciously cheesy, filled with Gruyere and Parmesan cheese between slices of buttered sourdough bread and was served with a yummy deli pickle and house fries. Unfortunately, when the sandwich cools down, the bread gets hard and the crusts are too tough to eat as they cut into your mouth. Monique’s suggestion: Eat the crust first. The menu choices were all very tempting. They offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free items.

Hours of Operation:

Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner is served Wednesday to Sunday from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. They are located at 10429 121 St NW Edmonton, in the parking lot next to Loblaw’s City Market. Note: The restaurant is not easily accessible to the disabled.

Don’t forget to check our Upcoming Events and Activities page for more things to do in the Edmonton area!

Do you have any recommendations you would like to suggest for a mother -daughter outing or activity? Please contact us via our CONTACT page and we will try to check these out.

Note: The majority of our outings and food are paid for by ourselves. If we are a business’ guests or receive an item on the house, we mention it.