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Prepping for the Holidays River Market Style



New Westminster River Market - Photo Credit:

New Westminster River Market – Photo Credit:

The River Market in New Westminster is known for a variety of culinary delights, and specialty foods, and restaurants. There are always an abundance of food choices at the market whether that is shopping for local ingredients at Donald’s Market for a delicious Sunday dinner to picking up specialty items to try from the many food vendors. All this food amidst the backdrop of the Fraser River waterfront. Sounds like a fun food experience, right?

VIDEO: A New Westminster River Market Shopping Experience

In addition to the fabulous food finds, there are a variety of retailers who share the market space. Recently we were invited to do some holiday shopping for an opportunity to discover some of these retail shops.

First stop: The Paddlewheeler Liquor Store. My mission was to find something new in a local red wine. Drew gave me a couple of suggestions and I decided on the Rebel Red by Vintage Ink (Okanagan). The Rebel Red is a blend of Merlot and Shiraz, silky and full bodied with notes of strawberry, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and spice. Sounds like holiday to me. Looking forward to gifting this bottle as a hostess gift ( or perhaps enjoying it myself)!


Checking out the selection of wines at the Paddlewheeler Liquor Store


Bulleit Bourbon’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the Rebel Red from Vintage Ink.

Daman opted for Bulleit Bourbon’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Perfect for warming up on a cold winter night.

Schnoo and the Pachooch was our next destination. I was impressed with the array of educational and classic toys that the owner, Alicia had stocked in her store. Having just had my first child, I was interested in a toy that was fun and developmental (do I sound like a first-time mom?). Can’t go wrong with Melissa and Doug so I chose the Musical Farmyard Cube that will be good for 6-18 months of developmental play. I hope my daughter agrees!


Melissa and Doug’s Musical Farmyard Cube from Schnoo and Pachooch.

While I was pregnant I noticed a few stores carrying Baltic Amber teething necklaces for baby. The healing properties of the Amber is said to have a soothing effect on baby. I was interested in trying this out so when I saw a display at Schnoo and Pachooch I couldn’t resist to pick one up.


Baltic Amber necklace for baby from Schnoo and Pachooch,

Located on the top floor of the market was New West Craft, sponsored by the Arts Council of New Westminster. Every two weeks the vendors rotate so if you enjoy local crafters markets you can get a taste of that as well. There was a ton of variety, from jewelry, handmade leather goods, children’s and adult clothing and food items. I couldn’t resist to pick up a t-shirt for my daughter from Sweet Life Apparel and Gifts. The vendor is a mom with two little ones who started off as a baker and has ventured into a t-shirt business. FYI she also sells adult sizes in some of her t-shirt styles so I picked one up for myself. These days I appreciate a fun and cozy shirt to wear when I am chilling at home.


‘Team No Sleep’ children’s and adult tshirts from The Sweet Life.

We met Robin from Bunches and Blooms a couple years ago when we were shopping at the market. At that time, he was in a smaller space in the market but now has a great spacious area to display all the beautiful plants and flowers along his own unique creations. We love plants so it was a treat to pick up something new. With Robin’s suggestions we decided on a lush Norfolk Pine. I’m looking forward to glamming up Norfolk with some tiny ornaments.


Robin from Bunches and Blooms shows us one of his many floral creations.



Norfolk Pine – a great indoor plant that is quite low maintenance for care.

My next stop was the Great Wall Tea Co. I was looking for the experts’ suggestions on teas that would be great to have on hand for holiday guests. They were more than helpful to give me options and let me smell the wonderful loose teas. I could have stayed there for an hour trying to decide but I was really happy with my choices: a classic Cream of Earl Grey, Almond Biscotti (herbal option) and a blend of rosehips, mint, and chamomile called Waterfront. FYI the shop also has a tea bar so you can enjoy a tea of your choice while you shop.


Visiting the Great Wall Tea Co.


It truly is a great wall of tea! A local photographer shot each photo of  each specific tea in a cup. The images were then used to decorate the lids of the tea canisters.


The final tea choices. Love the packaging.

I like giving a little gift of luxury so Jolene’s Natural Handmade Soap was my next destination. All handmade with natural ingredients to stimulate the senses and heal. I was impressed to learn that Jolene cures her soaps in the vending space so you can see what she is working on at the moment. There were so many soaps to choose from here that I really had to zone in – I decided on one of her newest, Detox, along with Gentlemen, and Rose Petal.


Eco friendly soaps by Jolene. She also carries soap making accessories for the DIYers!


More of Jolene’s creations. Every soap is unique.


Some local bling.

Overall, it was a fun day of shopping at the market and I was impressed with the unique finds and local goods. There is something special about having a local shopping experience that makes you feel that you getting something unique for your money while supporting the community. We were already fans of the local shopping experience and it’s nice to know that we have that just over the bridge.

Happy Holidays!

Fatima was born and raised in Surrey. She is a yoga fanatic and loves aromatherapy. Her professional experiences are in Community Development, Communications/Marketing, & Human Resources. Fatima has been an active volunteer within the community for several years. With a passion for the creative and a love for the entrepreneurial spirit, Fatima is excited to bring something new to our city.


Add some “Pizzazz” to your holiday shopping list



As we find ourselves closer to another potential lockdown, now more than ever, our local businesses need our support. With the holiday season coming up, a great way to support our local businesses and retailers is to keep it local.

If any of you are looking for clothing items, such as fleece zip-ups and cardigans, for those on your Stockings for Seniors wish list, or otherwise, a great place to find them is from local retailer, Pizzazz, located in City Central Shopping Centre (across from the old Bed Bath & Beyond, as you turn the corner).

Owners, Anita and Jack, have been part of the Surrey retail community for over 30 years (spending 9 years at Guildford Mall and 22 years at City Centre). In addition to a variety of clothing for men, women and children, they have a great selection of affordable zip-up fleece jackets; found these to be a popular request from the tags at Guildford London Drugs. With their help, I was able to stretch my budget to make sure I was able to cover all the items on the wish lists.

Anita also helped me choose a beautiful cardigan that I’m really excited to include in my stocking – it feels so soft and cozy, and looks so stylish. I highly recommend visiting them if you’re needing some clothing options to include in your stockings!

If you’re still looking for a stocking tag, Guildford London Drugs has some left, as does Scott 72 London Drugs – more details of the London Drugs Stockings for Seniors program here.

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How to Find a Quality Online Dispensary in Canada



When cannabis was legalized in Canada in November 2018, the process of buying cannabis was revolutionized overnight. Gone are the days of waiting around in the sub-zero winter evenings for an unreliable dealer to turn up with an even more unreliable quality of weed.

Today, we do not even have to leave the comfort of our own homes to get our hands on some high-grade – all that is required is for us to join an online dispensary, place an order and our product will arrive at our front door in just a couple of days. Or at least this is the way that it is supposed to happen.

In reality, everyone who orders cannabis from online dispensaries should take care to do their due diligence on the company that they entrust with their order before parting with their cash. With so many online cannabis stores large and small out there today, the quality of service and products on offer can be variable, to say the least.

To help you in the tricky task of spotting a quality online dispensary, we have put together this failsafe list of the tell-tale signs to look out for before placing your order.

1. Selection

One of the most important things to look for in an online dispensary is the selection of products it has in stock. Once you have ordered some weed or other cannabis products and you are happy with the prompt service and the quality of what you have been sent, it is convenient to carry on ordering from the same dispensary in future. The only reason why you might not do this is because of a lack of selection.

Look for a dispensary that has a wide range of different flowers that you can try out. If you like to experiment, you should also make sure it has a range of shatter, hash and other products that you may want to try in the future.

2. Price

Shop around a few other dispensaries checking prices as you go before you commit to buying. You will want to make sure that your dispensary is not expensive in comparison with other stores. While it is not necessarily bad to pay a little more for. However, beware of dispensaries that look suspiciously cheap; this probably means that the quality of its products is suspect.

3. Positive Reviews

The best way to check whether a dispensary is legit is to do some digging. Trusted online dispensary review sites like Dispensary Guide are a great start, a review of Herb Approach can be found here. Look the company up on business review sites like Trustpilot, Google Reviews and Yell to see what people think about its products and services.

Scour online communities like Reddit and Facebook where you will likely find pages dedicated to conversations about online weed dispensaries. Do some research, it’s worth it.

4. Quick Customer Service

Customer service probably will not be at the forefront of your mind when choosing an online weed dispensary, but perhaps it should be. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get in touch when you make a mistake with an order, or your order is not delivered when it is supposed to be.

A good way to verify that a dispensary operates a tight ship when it comes to customer service is to send out a feeler email before you order. If you receive a prompt reply, it is probably a good indication that your order will be in good hands should something not go as planned.

5. New-User Coupon Code

With so much competition in the world of cannabis dispensaries, those that care will give new customers a coupon that you can redeem on your first order. Some of the better ones will even give you a free gift of 1-3.5 grams of marijuana or $25 credit to spend in-store. You can usually find these coupons on the homepage of the website or in the form of a pop-up notice when you come to place your order.

The Low-down

Buying weed online for the first time can be a pretty daunting prospect. It is hard to be sure that you will be looked after well by a dispensary if you have no prior experience of dealing with them. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can look out for so that you are not completely out on a limb before you place your order. Checking for the presence of the five signs listed above will go some way to making sure that you find a quality dispensary with which to form a long and fruitful relationship.

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The Top 3 Types of Kitchen Lighting that You Need



The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any home and needs to be well decorated. Well, most Millennials enjoy having well-furnished kitchens in their homes, but usually forget good lighting in there is one of the crucial matters to take into consideration.

Besides, having flashy and classic faucets and great drainage system, you need some lighting that is beaming on these attractive décor to make the kitchen glitter and brighter. If you lack balanced lighting in your kitchen, be sure that you will have crawling and creeping insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, fruit flies, and playing mantis in those unlit corners of your kitchen.

Having some balanced lighting in your kitchen will eventually enhance accomplishing your daily tasks. To enable this, you need to think of 3 types of lighting that will need to be fixed in your kitchen to make it more appealing:

1. Ambient

This will be the main source of lighting that will be fixed on the ceiling. You need to put it in various designs that will make your kitchen attractive. You can combine it with recessed lighting, chandeliers, flush mounts, and pendant lights. You should fix ambient lighting directly to the place where you want it much. Some options for ambient lighting include:

  • Recessed down lighting – this gives you a more accurate and customized lighting schemes in your kitchen besides the main ambient on your ceiling. In order to splash the light throughout your kitchen, you need to fix them along the counters. If they get too bright, think of adding some dimmers. You can get these recessed lightings in any modern lighting store in your local area.
  • Flush mount lighting – this is great for those who have a small kitchen and you don’t do a lot of activities in it. Flush mount enables you to do more light designs in your kitchen.

2. Task

Well, sometimes, ambient lighting usually removes some shadows in your kitchen and you might not see spices or rad your menu clearly. In that case, you need task lighting in place, especially around the working surfaces and cabinetry. Some great options that you can easily find in any modern lighting store include:

  • Strip lights – they are great for illuminating most of the cabinet interiors including lower cabinets in your kitchen that don’t get sufficient lighting. They are great in illuminating your counters too.
  • Puck lights – they are usually oval and round in shape and very great for mood lighting. They are great in illuminating all the countertops in your kitchen.

3. Accent

These are purposely for decorating your kitchen which is usually passed around ambient and task lighting. They can grace your kitchen and make it look more modernized. Some of the options that you can get in your nearest modern lighting store include:

  • Toe kick lights – they are usually in the form of a rope used to illuminate your pathways in the kitchen.
  • Recessed – they can be used to illuminate open shelves and maybe if you have glass cabinets, they can serve the purpose.
  • Over cabinet – they are usually placed in between the ceiling and the cabinet. They are great in lighting décor in your kitchen.


One of the places that need good lighting is the island which depends on its use. If it’s where tasks take place, try recessed down lighting and hanging lights. For hang out purposes use mini-pendants. All these can be found in your nearest modern lighting store. Just ensure your kitchen is well-lit.

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How to Find the Right Commercial Racking Company for Your Warehouse



Commercial racking is one of those things that will keep you on toes until the job is done. However, you should know that there are so many pallet racking companies around and the most important thing is to find one that works best for you. During your search for pallet racking services, you need to keep an extra eye out for con artists.

Know that there are so many of them online and the worst part is that some are too good to detect. Even if they don’t collect money from you, they are capable of using wicked ways to access data in your computer. You avoid all this you should;

Create a list

There are so many companies that install pallet racks in commercial buildings, and you can get them online. From your list, you need to start crossing out companies that are not favoring you. Remember that some of the things that you want in a company that installs pallet is, to spend as less money for the services as possible. However, you might not want to go for the cheapest commercial pallet rack installation. That is because you may not have the opportunity to have exactly what you paid for.

Ask for recommendations

There are many commercial pallet racks installed in warehouses, and you can begin your search from there. Take your time to see some of the available options out there. The good thing with that is, you will have the chance to see the real work, and if you are impressed, you can quickly ask for a referral. There are also people who know the best commercial pallet services maybe because they use the facilities regularly or they know. The only problem is, without asking around, you will never know.

No need to rush

If the best service is what you are looking for, then you need to invest enough time to identify the perfect match for you. The problem with many people is that they are in a rush to get their pallet racks installed. What they fail to understand is that they are putting themselves at high risk of falling into the hands of con artists. That is because cyber criminals know how to strategically position themselves so that you get to9 them first by ensuring that they have the best prices and website design. In a rush, you can quickly lose money to such.

Proof of work is your deal maker

Nothing beats real evidence of quality commercial pallet racking. If you are comfortable working with a particular company, you need to ask to see some of their best works that are close to what you need. This is a way of reassuring yourself that you have indeed made the right choice.


If you need to get the perfect commercial pallet racking services, it is good to be prepared with a reasonable amount of cash. As much as you may wish to spend as less as possible for your pallet racks, you don’t want substandard racks that can ruin your business in a matter of seconds.

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Astronomy gadgets you should know about



Getting a present for someone who likes stargazing can be a rather challenging feat. Besides, the broad array of products available out there can leave any prospective buyer feeling a bit baffled. The fact is that such gadgets and devices are rather simple to select, but it all depends on the purpose you have in your mind.

The obvious answer to the question “What should I get for my friend who’s into astronomy?” is a brand new telescope. Sure, there’s a variety of other science equipment you may want to consider, but nothing beats a telescope, or even a new extra if your buddy already owns one. Computerized models are particularly popular nowadays as they eliminate the hassle of having to set the telescope in the right position as per the moment in time when the user watches the sky.

A Tiny1 astronomy camera might be another gadget you may want to check out, and that’s because it is one of the most compact and user-friendly choices out there. It is very small and can be used with practically any telescope available for sale these days. All you will have to do is attach it to the lens and start recording or taking shots of celestial objects.

The camera even comes with built-in WiFi, so the user can also share his or her pictures to social media right off the bat. By the same token, you could opt for a smartphone adapter so that you can use it as a camera or viewer. Many universal models are reasonably priced.

Since we are addressing the subject of actual things, you can purchase if you are into astronomy, probably one of the best gifts you can offer to a stargazing aficionado would be an Astronomy magazine subscription. Every number is packed with high-quality images of celestial objects and loaded with fascinating articles on the life of planets and stars.

With the many technological advances made in the past years, you don’t even need to get a telescope to take a peek at your favourite star. There are mobile apps such as the SkyView Lite, which is available for iOS devices for free, and which can bring stargazing closer to anyone who does not own a telescope. Once you’ve installed the app, all you’ll have to do is point it in the direction of the object you’re interested in seeing.

It’s one of the most popular apps in this line, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s easy to use and by far the best educational application for those who haven’t even learned how to use a telescope yet. Moreover, it’s free, so there’s virtually no reason a smartphone user might want to forego installing and checking it out.

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