Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shopping for our Beloved Canine Baby #ILoveMyk9 and #CBias

There's something you need to about me. I love making gift baskets. I make them for bridal showers, baby showers, welcoming new babies, Christmas, and for other occasions. There's something so fun about gathering up amazing (and useful/practical) little items and arranging them creatively in a decorative basket (or other vessel like a bowl, storage box, etc) for the recipient to enjoy. To me, gift baskets show that the giver has put considerable thought into making the gift.

This is true of not only gifts for my human loved ones, but for my canine baby as well.

We were going to put together a Doggie Gift Basket for a friend's new puppy. Dog treats are a fabulous incentive for puppy training. However, my toddler was adamant about giving the gift basket to our own "puppy". Though Chance is no longer a puppy in years, he's still our beloved canine baby.

Since we had to drive my brother to the airport in Sudbury, we decided to make a day trip out of it and head to Walmart to pick up the dog treats for the doggie basket. The drive from the Island to Sudbury is over 2 hrs each way. We made a few stops along the way.

"Is we goin' shoppin'?!?!" She gets a little excited at the prospect of going shopping. *sigh*
 Driving off-Island to get to the mainland.
 Crossing the Swing Bridge

We needed to make a few stops along the way. First stop was to get Hubby's new work boots. He goes through a new pair EACH year! At $200 a pop, it gets pretty pricey. This said, good footwear is not something to skimp on.
More driving. See the paper mill in Espanola? Little One calls the town "Stinky-nola".
 We had a few items to buy at Walmart. This was our niece's first time at the new Walmart in Sudbury.
Since it was Boxing Week, we were lucky to catch all the Boxing Week sales. Some prices were reduced to 50% and even 70% off the original price!
Hubby wanted to get a few items at Walmart, since he says the prices seem to be better there for many of the items he needs. He picked up some jump drives for the computer and stuff for the vehicle.

My mission was to get some doggie treats. You can't see the look of confusion on my face in this photo, but it's definitely there! I always get so disoriented in busy places. Funny, since I'm from the city! Island living has definitely made me more aware of crowds and I've learned that I don't like busy, bustling places with lots of traffic anymore. Ha!

Follow the signs...
"Is we makin' a dog basket for Chancey, Mommy?"
AHA! Here we go! Walmart has a huge selection of dog treats!

I was really impressed with the selection of Milk-Bone® treats Walmart carries. The selection was huge!

Chance loves his Pup-peroni treats!  
 Not only were there lots of Milk-Bone® treats, but there were tons of Pup-peroni treats as well! The prices and selection were great! The only thing was that we couldn't find any Milo's Kitchen items at all! We searched and searched...and searched! We still didn't find any.

Promoting good oral care is important for me. I want everyone in our family to have healthy teeth and gums...even our canine baby. Whenever I get Chance treats, I try to make sure they're good for his teeth. I read the ingredients to make sure they include things that are helpful in maintaining good health. 


 A doggy also needs something to play with :)  Chance loves his "stuffies". He's pretty gentle on his stuffed animals. Somehow it seemed so wrong to give him Lamb Chop to chew on! It's just too cute!

 Our niece found something that looked like it was already dead.
Little One found "Cheese". Having never been introduced to the likes of Sponge Bob (thank goodness!), she thought it was cheese.

 Check out time wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Walmart is always busy on the best of days, and since this was Boxing Week, there were tons of people out shopping. We got all the things we needed and the crowds weren't too bad. It was an enjoyable experience. The only thing I'd like to see for next time would be some Milo's Kitchen treats.

I'm just so happy we were able to get most of the items on our list! You can view all the photos of our excursion by viewing my 
Google+ album.

Just a few other photos from our family day out :)


A little farewell dinner at Osaka Sushi. 

 I don't want TheGodfather to go back to Toronto, Mommy!

So hard to say goodbye :(

Disclosure - This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions on this blog are honest and my own.  #ILoveMyk9 and #CBias

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#CBias and #EqualCanada - The Search for Equal Continues

 My husband wanted to take me to a new place for my birthday.  Little did I know, he and my friends had planned a surprise birthday party for me.  Spruce Glen Bakery and Café is a new coffee shop on Manitoulin Island.  They are currently closed on weekends in the Winter months, so I had no idea that we’d be heading there.  My friend’s father and his wife own the café and agreed to open it for my birthday.  

Many of my favourite people were there to celebrate my birthday. My Dad even showed up, when he told me in the morning that he was going fishing! Everyone was in on the surprise party. 
It totally took me by surprise!  
Spruce Glen is a quaint and cozy spot for a nice cup of gourmet  coffee, specialty tea, and a bite to eat.  The owners start their day very early in the morning to make sure all the baking is fresh for their customers.

I had a Soy Chai Latte, my husband had an Americano, and Little One had *gasp* a Jones Soda.  We don’t usually give her soda, but it was a treat. There were tons of scrumptious baked goods to feast on. Spruce Glen, though a new establishment, has already built a reputation for having delectible freshly baked breads, flat breads, turnovers, and other pastries.
While we were there, I took the opportunity to check whether Spruce Glen Bakery Café offered Equal Sweetener. I looked, and only found sugar and one other sweetener.  This was the third time I set out to find Equal and I guess the third time was not the charm. 

My father uses low calorie sweeteners for health reasons. It's nice for him to have alternatives to sugar when he's out and about.
I asked the owner if he carried Equal and if he would consider it. He said it was not something they really thought of and that they served the other sweetener because it seemed to be the one most people wanted.
Because this is a new establishment, they do not have any comment cards or online comment section to fill out. They don’t have a website yet, but they do  have a Facebook page. I was not able to fill out a comment card, but I did have a chance to talk to the owner.
Here's the owner with his adorable granddaughter.

Much to my dismay, I have to report that no Equal sweetener was found at this location. Overall, the experience was amazing. Perhaps a few options to choose from in the sweetener area would be a good idea later down the road. This is a very new venue, and they are doing a smashing job! Also, comment cards would be a good idea. Mainly so I can tell them over and over how great their coffee shop/bakery is!

If you find yourself on Manitoulin Island, please stop by Spruce Glen.  Their coffees, teas and treats are fabulous and the service is always great.

Phone: (705) 859-3638

For more information about Equal Sweetener, please visit:  the Equal website, @EqualCanada twitter page and Equal Canada on Facebook.

Disclosure - This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own.