Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canada Day Party Food Ideas, Eh!

With Canada Day just a few days away, it's time to stock up on the red and white (and Canadian inspired) food items you'll be serving at  your party.  Below are a few fun food ideas to try:


  • Mini Babybel cheese (the original) - Just open the wax slightly to expose the cheese, this way you'll get the red and white showing.  You can also cut a maple leaf shape out of the wax and place on top of the cheese.  Serve with crackers.
  • Red peppers and cauliflower - Serve with some ranch dip.
  • Ketchup/Spicy Doritos and Regular/Salt and Vinegar chips or Tortilla chips with salsa 
  • Tomato bruschetta 
  • Pigs in blankets (sausage in puff pastry) - Serve with ketchup.
  • Mini sandwiches with strawberry jam and cream cheese

Main Course

  • Buffalo chicken wings (with ranch or blue cheese dressing) 
  • Open face burger with a tomato and mayo Canada flag design on the bun 
  • Chicken with roasted pepper and maple barbecue sauce on a white kaiser bun
  • Fettuccine with alfredo sauce in one bowl, and spaghetti with tomato sauce in another 
  • Macaroni and cheese with a ketchup maple leaf design on top


  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Vanilla cake - Use strawberries to create the Canadian flag
  • Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
  • Strawberry and raspberry trifle
  • Vanilla ice cream with freshly chopped strawberries - You can also serve vanilla ice cream with red/maple leaf sprinkles on top.
  • Red and white jello
  • White chocolate dipped strawberries


For drinks serve red and white wine, red punch, white punch, Coca Cola (in the can), Sprite (in a pitcher), cranberry/strawberry/raspberry juice, and milk.  Red and white cocktails are a great idea as well.

Vesna :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Gift That Makes Perfect "Scents"

Are you still contemplating what to buy for dad on Father's Day?  Guess my gift idea with these hints: he probably wears it everyday, runs out of it quickly, and can use a variety to choose from.  You guessed it - cologne!  You can never go wrong with this gift.  Below is my list of top ten scent-sational men's cologne:

10.  1 Million (Paco Rabanne)

9.   Dolce & Gabbana 
      (Dolce & Gabbana)

8.   Allure (Chanel)

7.   Blue Jeans (Versace)

6.   Polo Black (Ralph Lauren)

5.   Curve (Liz Claiborne)

4.   Hugo No. 6 (Hugo Boss)

3.   Paul Smith (Paul Smith)

2.   Fierce (Abercrombie & Fitch)

1.   Acqua Di Gio (Giorgio Armani)

Vesna :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is less than a week away!  If you haven't already bought something, it's time to consider what to get your dad.  Below are some unique gift ideas - click on the gift name/link to view images, prices, and where to purchase.  

Personalized Gifts

Beverage Gifts

BBQ Gifts

Hot Sauce Gifts

Food Gifts

Miscellaneous Gifts

Experience Gifts

More Father's Day ideas to come...

Vesna :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Top Ten Cocktails

Weather forecasters are predicting a hotter than usual summer.  It's a perfect time to sit back, relax, and have a refreshing drink!  Below is our top ten list of cocktails to enjoy this sizzling season.


  • According to the book, "400 Blender Cocktails: Sensational Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Recipes," when adding ice to your cocktail, the drink becomes diluted by up to 40%.  Slushy drinks, therefore, require strongly flavoured ingredients to create a great final taste.  Undiluted frozen concentrates (lemonade, orange, and mango), and frozen fruit with less ice are use to get a full fruity flavour.
  • Shaken Cocktails - Use this technique with flavourful or thick mixers (i.e. cream liquers, fruit juice, simple syrup, sour mix, egg, or other dairy).  The strained drink starts cloudy and fizzy, then tapers off and becomes clear.  Using a shaker makes your drink as cold as can be, and also dilutes it so it's not too strong.
  • Stirred Cocktails - Use this technique with strong distilled spirits or considerably light mixers.  It's a more gentle way of mixing cocktails
Below are some essential gadgets for the home bar according to thebar.com.


Jigger - Properly measuring the ingredients for your cocktails ensures a balanced taste. Most jiggers (or measuring glasses) have a half ounce measure on one side and a two ounce measure on the other.

Shaker - The Boston shaker (with pint glass) is the shaker of choice for professional bartenders. A standard cocktail shaker works just as well for your home bar, plus, it looks stylish.

Hawthorne Strainer - You'll typically use a Hawthorne strainer with a Boston shaker. It keeps ice in the shaker while allowing fruit pulp to pass through.

Cutting Board and Knife - Prepare garnishes before you start serving, but keep a small cutting board and knife handy if you start to run out.

Bar Spoon - For layering or stirring. It's also handy for pulling cherries and olives from jars.

Muddler - For mashing fruit or mint leaves into the bottom of a glass.

Corkscrew - If you plan on serving wine - a winged corkscrew makes opening bottles a breeze.

Ice Bucket - Bartending requires mountains of ice, no matter how small the party. The right bucket keeps ice from melting and is especially handy if you're bartending outside.

Blender - If you already have a blender, make sure it's able to crush ice.

Bottle Stoppers - Especially useful for maintaining the bouquet in wine.

Julep Strainer - A smaller strainer that's handy if you're straining into narrower glasses.

GLASSWARE - Try chilling your glassware in the freezer, or by filling with ice cubes, before use. Always hold glassware by the base or stem to avoid leaving finger marks.

Martini Glass - Also known as a cocktail glass, its chic neck lets your guests hold the glass without warming the drink.

Old Fashioned Glass or Rocks Glass - A short glass with a heavy base for drinks served on ice. It's the quintessential tumbler for enjoying whiskey.

Highball Glass - Similar to a rocks glass, but taller. It's typically used for drinks that have larger amounts of mixer, such as a Scotch & Soda. A highball glass is also known as a collins glass.

Wine Glass - Grasping the long stem keeps chilled wines from getting warm. The bowl shape of the glass converges the wine's flavors or the "bouquet." Red wine glasses typically have a larger bowl than white wine glasses.

Champagne Flute - The narrow shape helps retain champagne's carbonation.

Snifter - Usually used for serving brandy, the bulbous shape helps hold aroma.

Margarita Glass - The best way to serve Margaritas or other frozen drinks. The wide rim is perfect for salting.

Pint Glass - Improves beer's drinkability and is useful for serving low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. A must-have if you're using a Boston shaker.

Shot Glass - Thick-walled glass for serving shots or spirits.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Michael Jackson Tribute Party

The glittery glove Michael Jackson wore for his "moonwalk" during the Motown 25 television special, sold for $350,000 only months after the singer passed in 2009.  Now Michael's famous "Thriller" jacket is up for auction and is expected to sell for at least $200,000 - $400,000.  Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, tells CNN, “It is truly the most iconic piece of pop culture history.  You see the jacket and you know what it [is] immediately and who it belonged to.”  Julien’s Auctions calls the red and black calf leather jacket with winged shoulders one of the most recognizable and famous garments of the 20th century, an item that “sparked a 1980s fashion craze like none other.”

Now, you may not be able to own Michael's legendary jacket, but maybe you can find something in your closet that's similar.  And maybe, you can invite some friends over, who also found similar clothing.  And maybe you can serve some food and drinks.  And maybe you can call this a party to honour the King of Pop - a Michael Jackson Tribute Party!

  • Send out invitations with a still of Michael Jackson doing his signature moonwalk move.  You can also send out invitations in the shape of a fedora or glittery glove, or a red and black jacket that opens and reveals the details of the party.  Make sure to let your guests know to dress like Michael, or in 1980's attire. 

  • Start by decorating with MJ's favourite colours: red and black.  Hang red and black balloons and streamers.  Sprinkle star-shaped confetti on tables in these colours.  
  • Drape red and black blankets over sofas and love seats.  
  • Set up a chair (preferrably a wing-back chair), as a throne for the King of Pop.  Make sure it's quite comfortable and covered in red velvet with a soft fluffy pillow.  Have your guests take turns sitting there.  You can even do a contest for best-dressed, and whoever wins, gets to sit in the throne for the rest of the night.  
  • Hang Michael Jackson posters and/or photographs up in the party room.  
  • Display album/tape/or CD covers on a table.
  • Hang black and white fedoras and glittery gloves on walls and on tables.

Dress the Part
  • You can either raid your closet or purchase a costume.  There are a number of items you can try and get your hands on - a red leather jacket, a gold-plated military-style jacket, a glittery jacket, a white t-shirt with black tight pants (short pants that fall around the ankle - a.k.a. floods), suspenders, black penny logan mocs, sequin baggy socks, a glittery glove, Ray-Bans, and MJ's favourite accessory, a black fedora.
  • Don't feel tied to the Michael look if you can't get a hold of the clothing.  Go for '80's attire and be a MJ fan instead.  Wear a leather or jean jacket, neon, off-the-shoulder shirt, rolled sleeves, sleeveless shirt, long shirt, crop top, tight stone-washed jeans, 3/4 length leggings, leg warmers, scrunch socks, exercise gear, super-tight mini, coloured pantyhose with rips, spandex, parachute pants, lace top, lace skirt, lace gloves, high-top shoes, and stiletto heels.  Don't forget  to include, piercings, hoop earrings, safety pins, big hair bows, brimmed hats, bright make-up (especially blue eyeshadow), black eyeliner for women and men, mascara, coloured glitter, feathered hair, super-teased hair, side ponytails, platinum blonde hair colour, stick-up bangs, mohawk, long hair, frizzy with bangs, layered, slightly teased, and curly.
  • If you want, you can provide your guests with some of Michael's signature items.  Purchase some inexpensive silver glittery gloves, black fedoras, Ray-Ban-style sunglasses, and sequin baggy socks - hand them to guests as they come in.


  • Serve some of Michael Jackson's favourite foods.  For an entree choose Mexican, exotic, spicy & vegetarian, sushi, pizza, chicken, or fish.  For snacks and desserts choose glazed doughnuts, sunflower seeds, vanilla icecream with cookie pieces, popcorn, M&M's, and fresh fruits.
  • Serve Michael Jackson cake, cupcakes, and cookies.  Have them shaped like his glove, fedora, shoes, jacket, his silhouette, song titles, etc.


  • Serve Michael's favourite drinks: mineral water (Evian, Perrier), fruit juice (orange), vegetable juice (carrot), Gatorade (during concerts)
  • Have other drinks on hand as well - both alcoholic and non.



  • Michael Jackson Trivia - Ask a variety of questions regarding Michael's music, film, relationships, and other personal facts.  The person who guesses the most correct answers wins a prize.  Make the prize a Michael Jackson CD, poster, book, music video DVD, etc.
  • Guess that MJ Song - Play the first 5 to 10 seconds of an MJ song.  Whoever guesses the most correct answers wins a prize.
  • Monopoly - This was Michael's favourite boardgame, a classic that's always fun to play.   


  • Have a Michael Jackson concert.  Set up a mock stage and learn some of his dance moves.  You can either lip-sync or sing the songs yourself.  Tell your guests to join in the fun - make it MJ karaoke!
  • Collect money for charity.  Michael donated tens of millions of dollars to animal and children's charities.  Have a money box/jar set up so your guests can contribute some money to a children's charity or hospital, or an animal charity.

Vesna :)

* Michael Jackson facts provided by: www.freewebs.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fabulous Father's Day Party Ideas

Father's Day is on it's way!  I know with the terrific weather we've been having lately, people are busy running around taking their kids to sporting events, going for lots of walks, taking trips to cottages or camping, and going swimming.  There is just no time for party planning.  I'll try and make it easier for you and share some of my unique ideas for throwing a fun and eventful Father's Day get-together.

  • Father's Day is usually a family get-together so invitations are not necessary, but if you wanted to make it a little fun, buy a few inexpensive neckties and write down where the party is being held, what time, and to RSVP.  Place it in an envelope and mail it off.

  • Choose where you want to host your Father's Day party - indoors or outdoors.  If you choose outdoors, make sure that you have a back-up plan if it rains.  Outdoor barbecue parties are most desirable as you can enjoy the beautiful weather and play some fun games or sports. 

  • Place Adirondack/Muskoka chairs around the yard to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Decorate your table by using a red and white checkered picnic style tablecloth.  Another option is to use a black, red, or blue paisley tablecloth. 
  • For a centerpiece, place 3 beer mug candles, or a plant (just leaves and greens), in the middle of the table.

  • Use paisley bandanas as napkins (try red if your tablecloth is black and vice versa, and yellow if your tablecloth is blue, and vice versa).
  • Place napkins on top of white plates in a loose triangular, cone, or necktie/bow tie shape.  You can also buy a tie for each dad and place it on top of their plates - have them put on their tie before dinner.

  • If you can, try and get a hold of cutlery with wooden handles for an outdoorsy feel.
  • Scatter beer bottle caps all around the table.  You can even put a bunch of them in a glass bowl as a centerpiece.
  • Set up a table with antique-framed photos of all the father's in your family - try and go as far back as you can (great, great, great grandfathers).  Dig up old photos of you and your dad and post them on a bristol board.  Write funny captions under each for a good laugh.
  • Have an area where you display old Father's Day cards and old crafts your dad has kept over the years (you'll probably have to get your mom to send them to you).

  • Set up a beer sampling station.  Get a variety of beers from around the world and keep them in a cooler next to the station.     
  • Have water, soda, juices, milk, etc. in a separate cooler; have coolers and liquors in a separate cooler or table.

    • Barbecued food is a favourite for this occasion.  Serve burgers, hotdogs, sausages, chicken skewers, shrimp, etc.  

    • My personal favourite - beer can chicken!  Chicken can be quite bland, but grilling the bird this way gives an abundance of flavour!  The beer keeps the chicken moist, while the skin crispens.  Simply, sprinkle the meat with season salt, pour out half the beer and place the can in the beer can chicken roaster.  Sit the chicken on top of the roaster and grill for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until chicken is 165°F and the skin is golden and crispy).  

      • Before you sit down to eat, work up an appetite by playing some fun outdoor games your dad likes.  Play some baseball or football, or just toss the ball around if you don't have enough players.  Same goes for basketball, play a game or just shoot some hoops.  Volleyball, badminton, soccer, bocci, and horseshoes are some other fun ideas.  After lunch/dinner, go for a short family stroll around the neighborhood, or visit a park if there are young kids at your party.

      Visit our website for more ideas, click here!

      Vesna :)