Whoa, time flew by since my last check in! I feel like we have been so busy, and yet I don’t have too much to report. Stupid Calgary weather has our daily events all screwed up. Too much rain and hail and thunder and lightening AND I DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT.

But, things could be worse so I can’t complain. I thought I’d start the week off by sharing some great [and random] goodies! In no particular order…

  1. WeeNation. I’ve share past boxes we’ve received from them here and here. We got yet another one not too long ago and it was a good one!


It included a Love Child Organics bag of Love Ducks (Wes is obsessed), Barbeque Sauce after sun lotion, Jax & Lennon bloomies, and a couple of other great items! The box was a summer theme and did not disappoint. Wes has outgrown bibs and the stroller wraps aren’t his jam so I’ll be either gifting those or saving them for future babies.


I highly urge you to check our Wee Nation if you haven’t already. They curate some of the best monthly boxes depending on your babes age (and time of the year), plus they find some great small Canadian shops to incorporate in each box! I really love that. And I love that there is often a goodie for mom in it each month as well. This box had a bath bomb that I can’t wait to use.




^^Moccs from Posh Panda ^^



I love whenever we receive one of these boxes in the mail because it is something that Wes and I can open together and he will usually take each item out and run around with it….because he can haha.



Be sure to also check Wee Nation out on Instagram (they have a code to get `10% off!)

2. Love With Food. I hadn’t heard of this snack subscription box before, but was super excited to try it when we were offered a box!


Love With Food has a really great premise behind their subscription boxes: not only are they providing a variety of samples of good snacks, but they are also looking for quality ingredients AND donate a meal to feed a hungry child for every box purchased.


I was more than pleasantly surprised when I opened our box. We have had it for just under a week and I’ve already eaten just about everything in it! There’s a great variety of sweet/savory plus there are gluten free options (and a strictly gluten free box available as well!)


Love With Food’s promise with each box:

  • No artificial flavoring, coloring, or MSG
  • No trans fats and hydrogenated oils
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • Snacks are natural, organic or gluten-free

Wes has even shared some of these snacks with me! I gotta admit, I loved them all and look forward to my next box.



The people at Love With Food are offering all of YOU a beyond sweet deal–> use code NUTCASE40 and receive 40% off your first box. WHAT A STEAL. Moral of the story: you get good snacks, help feed the hungry AND get a heck of a discount. Plus, they ship everywhere so this doesn’t exclude anyone!

3. Bubbles & Balms. Oh man, you guys. This is my GO TO shop for soaps. They offer a variety of other skin care products as well which I’ve reviewed here and here, but my consistent order is always at least a half dozen or so soaps. There is absolutely nothing better than an all natural product that smells amazing AND is made locally by a duo that love what they do.


I bought a ton of their bath bombs to gift my girlfriend at her bridal shower and already regret not snagging a couple for myself as well. Bath bombs are THE bomb.

4. Beachbody. I’ve been rotating through my programs lately and still loving the daily challenge. This month is a KILLER month as far as promotions go: two of my FAVES are on sale plus a bunch of others: Country Heat, Cize, PiYo, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and 22 Minute Hard Corps. If you’re looking for some great home-workout programs to add to your workout routine, I’d love to chat with you more to see what would be the best fit for you.


Please message me if you’d like more info! I live by these workouts and I think my post-baby body is a pretty good testament to how effective these programs can be.

5. Invivo Wines. I got a bottle of their Pinot Noir a couple of weeks ago and was more than eager to pair it with a delicious dinner at home with Tyler.


There’s something about Pinot Noir that gets my juices flowing, because I almost *almost* want to swear off beer completely and just stick to the vino once I take a few sips of this stuff. It has the BEST aroma and pairs well with just about any dish. And I gotta admit, we polished off the bottle faster than we expected, which called for an early evening. But boy was it worth it!


I had never heard of Invivo, but was impressed with their fact sheet:


Turns out, 4th Spot Kitchen and Bar carries Invivo too! It sparked my fancy so we headed out there for dinner the other day.


I got a beer…whoops!





6. VIANDJAX. This is a small shop for baby/littles clothing that’s based out of Strathmore, AB. Wes was lucky enough to become a brand rep for this shop and we received a pair of moccs for Wes to test out. He absolutely loved the laces (a little too much which prevented him from just leaving them alone and actually WALKING) and I’m excited to pair them with upcoming fall outfits for him.




Unfortunately, Wes took a nasty spill on the concrete just before these photos (hence the bribery of chocolate chip cookies) and you may notice the big ol’ bruise that was forming on his forehead.



^^Romper from Archer and Antlers^^



viandjax shop is currently closed, but make sure to follow them on Instagram for upcoming updates and their fall launch! PS: Aren’t the moccs just so darn adorable?! I can’t stand it.

Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks for making it through the whole post!

Haskap Berry Sangria

Hi friends and happy Monday to ya! I thought I’d start the week off with a cocktail recipe. Yesterday, Tyler and I wanted a cocktail (because that’s what you crave amidst home renovations and a cranky baby) so I rummaged … Continue reading

Winemaker’s Dinner- Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

Happy Winesday Wednesday! I know it has been a while since I have posted in this series and most of it is due to not really having anything to talk about! If I don’t have any new wines, beers, or experiences to share with you, then I have nothing to post! Luckily, I have a pretty rad topic this week and I’m really excited to share it 🙂

Last week, I was given the opportunity to attend the Grupo Penaflor Winemaker Dinner which took place at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse in downtown Calgary.

Grupo Penaflor is ‘one of the top 10 wine producers in the world, Grupo Peñaflor is owned by the Bemberg family who pride themselves on their honest, ethical and responsible conduct, and their high quality, award-winning, and also great value, wines.’

I had never been to this restaurant before, and I was excited to check it out! Hey, anything that has steak in the name is a winner in my book! We had a slightly different dinner than the norm of what is served, but it was all to perfectly pair with the wines we were there to taste.

While known for the interactive “Rodizio” dining experience, Pampa chef and owner Joao Dachery also excels in dishes from the different regions of the country. We will be treated to an indulgent plated six-course meal, and hear from Juan Ignacio about the six superb wines that complement it.

I arrived at 6pm and was greeted with a welcome wine. It did NOT disappoint. I tried the white wine that was also being offered, but much more preferred the red as I waited for the dinner to begin.


It was a pretty odd feeling at first for me to be there by myself, but I knew once the wine got flowing it would be a lot more interactive with the other guests in attendance. PS: I didn’t drink the entirety of all my servings because I was driving home. And I managed to drink about 3 liters of water as well over the course of my almost 4 hours there.

The inside of the restaurant is big and open. I would love to come here again to enjoy the ‘normal’ dining experience and sample wines from their menu.


Never-ending meat? Yes please.

Back to the evening’s menu:


We were going to be treated to six courses. SIX.

Cheese bread was being passed around the reception area and although I didn’t want to spoil my dinner, I had to test one out. I could have eaten a plate full of those alone.


Just before 7pm, we were welcomed into the private dining room that was set up beautifully. All of the wine were on display and the large windows along one wall let in a lot of light. (Plus, we were able to make passersby jealous with all the wine and food)




The tables were arranged in a square and each side was a designated team for a variety of wine-related games. Winners were to receive a special treat at the end of the meal, and my team was quick to start on winning!

After a brief introduction by the organizers of the experience and another by the wine representative, we started with the first course: small bites of beef carpaccio, mango chutney prawns on papa toast, and a twist on the classic empanada. I opted out of the prawn.

It was paired with OPI Chardonnay that was so light and tasty I would have never guessed it was a chardonnay! Notes on this wine: The grapes for this are harvested far from the coastline. Typically, vineyards are located along the coast and this particular vineyard is so inland that it does not get the ocean breeze or any other normal factors you’d see in a coastal wine.




At this point, I either wanted a whole plate of this to myself or for the second course to come out immediately because I was HUNGRY. I have the hardest time with patience when it comes to multiple-course meals.

Our second course didn’t sound as appetizing to me from reading the menu, but holy moly was it ever delicious: mini marinated leg of lamb skewers with Pampa mint sauce and coconut milk mashed potato. It was paired with Don David Malbec which ended up being my favorite wine of the evening. Notes on this wine: The presenter talked about how this was from the highest vineyard in the world located in the northernmost part of Argentina. The atmosphere then gives it a completely different tasting profile than other malbecs. SO GOOD.




Also, I am definitely making mashed potatoes with coconut milk from now on. Mind= blown.

The organizer gave us another tidbit on wine with food: chew on herbs to get a completely different taste out of your wine! We all then chewed on the rosemary spring from this dish and agreed the wine came off so different…much more delicious!

Our third course was my favorite from the evening. (hint: because there’s bacon involved): chicken thighs wrapped with bacon and charcoal roasted with arugula, warm red wine vinegar and potato polenta. This was paired with PAZ Cab Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc. It was my second favorite wine of the evening and also complemented the dish well. Notes on the wine: PAZ means ‘peace’ and the winemaker created this with the intention of drinkers enjoying the wine with good company. (Check!) It tasted of blackberries and very herbaceous.




We were treated to 2 oz of each wine for the evening and I found it entertaining to watch the woman go around the table with multiple bottles to pour! Several attendees lucked out with a top up, but I politely declined since I was driving.


The fourth dish was my least favorite, only because I am not a seafood fan. There were some great flavors in the other parts of the serving, but I savored my wine instead. We had: sausage with calamari, chickpeas, and croutons. It was paired with Ciclos which is a 50/50 blend of Malbec and Merlot. It was my least favorite wine but I am attributing that to it being paired with my least favorite dish.




Our fifth course: rump steak with manioc flour and chimichurri. Whoa, this dish was so different to me and I LOVED it. The chimichurri had a good amount of heat to it and the ‘flour’ as explained by the chef, was intended to create texture. I really enjoyed this and the spice made for the corresponding wine to go down pretty easy. Notes on the wine: We were served Unanime which was a bordeaux blend comprised of 3 different varietals. It had lots of tannins which played so well with the steak.




For dessert we had passionfruit mousse with blueberry malbec reduction. Usually, I only want to have a chocolate inspired dessert, but I later discovered that this was the perfect ending to a meal paired with the variety of accompanying Argentinian wines. I appreciated that it was only a small plate, too. I could have eaten my weight in this!


Somewhere between courses 2 and 3, our team managed to complete one of the games and were pleasantly treated with shots of some sort of liqueur. I couldn’t hear exactly what it was, but it had been frozen in a block of ice for 2 days and is expertly poured from 6 feet in the air. I barely touched my lips to this because I didn’t need any more alcohol, and found not only was it of a syrupy consistency, but it tasted like toasted bananas…I think. Either way, it was a fun experience to watch how it was served!




I left the meal happily stuffed. Is there really anything else that needs to be said? The experience was so nice and I am intrigued to return to Pampa another time with Tyler to get the typical dining experience.

Have you been to Pampa? Tried any of the wines mentioned above?


There should be a day between Sunday and Monday called Sleepday. I feel wiped from the past week and just want to curl up under the covers and doze off for a good long while. Weird since I am still averaging 8+ hours of sleep each night. So, a rather quick recap of the weekend:

Friday: Pancakes. Duh, I know. I love them so much. This week they’ll probably be green because I’ve got a huge container of spinach sitting in the fridge. Hope they turn out ok!


After quickly squeezing in a workout, walk with the dogs and a shower, I met up with Jen for an afternoon industry tasting session of Winefest.

It was a pretty neat session since it was FAR less crowded than normal. We were able to chat with many of the vendors and learned a few things. And drank wine. Mmm, wine.

Saturday: I didn’t sleep a wink the night before, so the morning was a rough go. (More from the lack of sleep than from the wine. I feel so grown up?) Tyler made a delicious breakfast and I ended up napping on the couch..then being a couch potato for most of the rest of the day.


Remember when I thought I killed my computer? We ordered a replacement before determining the existing still worked. So- we sold the old computer and I got to open the new one! Even though it’s exactly the same, it’s a bit exciting. Although now my pictures are all backed up on a separate hard drive and I’m dreading having to sort through them eventually.


And my child loves cheese.


I gave Wes a quick bath while Tyler brought his mom back to the airport then quickly hopped in the car to head to Winefest AGAIN.


This time, I met up with Susie and opted to try more of the white wines. This tasting was open to the public, so there was a lot of interesting people watching! I wound up eating more than drinking (maybe 1 full glass total?) and was home by 10:30. I have to remember that I’m no good at staying out late anymore! It was still a lot of fun 🙂


Sunday: With Wes being on a 1-nap-a-day kick, he has been going down a lot earlier each night, but also stirring a bit earlier in the morning. I got him out of his crib at 7:15am and he actually fell asleep on me for an additional hour! I would have loved the extra sleep myself, but I sat there and soaked up the giant baby cuddles.


Tyler requested waffles for breakfast which I was all to happy to make! They had to be vegan waffles because we ran out of eggs. It took a lot of willpower for me to not eat any of the leftovers and store them in the freezer for a future last minute breakfast.

A good order of operations: make breakfast BEFORE scrubbing every inch of your bathroom clean. Man alive do bathroom gets gross or what? I was on hands and knees getting behind the toilet and everything. Nasty.



After Wes’s nap, we opted to head down to the Foothills Hospital Home Lottery home.We bought a few tickets for it this year, and needed to check out our potential new home 😉 This is the first year that we actually really liked it! Every room was pretty darn awesome.

Since the house is on an island, we had to take a shuttle. Wes was a trooper the entire time!



Before dinner, I was about to take the dogs for a walk and noticed Layla’s tags were missing from her collar. I ended up taking them on the same route as the day before to see if they had fallen off anywhere, but no luck. I took them for another walk after dinner to just unwind and go at a decent pace since it was them dark and no sense trying to look for the tags then.

Ok, I’ve done about 300 loads of laundry today, most of the house is clean, and I’m wiped. Hope you had a great weekend!

Winesday Wednesday 11/4/15

Hey there, friends! Happy Winesday Wednesday. Again this week I have nothing new to share- it’s lame.


As far as alcohol consumption goes- I had a few Angry Orchards on Friday night, a Pyramid Apricot on Saturday, and……..nope that’s it.’

My friend Ashley sent me a pic of something she enjoyed last week:



OK SO- I’m planning on putting together a wine/beer lover’s Christmas Wish List. If you know of any cool gadgets or products that should be included in the list, please email them to me! I’m going to try to get something posted in the next couple of weeks. (email: jennifer(dot)L(dot)Linton(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks