May 242011

Kerrisdale Play Palace Bouncer  Kerrisdale Play Palace Bouncer  Kerrisdale Play Palace Bouncer  

I’m happy to say that, my beloved Play Palace is open for business. Every year around May, they remove the ice from the Kerrisdale Arena and start inflating…some FUN!

This venue is the perfect place to beat the heat (or get out of the rain…depending on how the summer goes). This year, a new array of bouncy fun has been added to the menu. No longer do kids have to jump on equipment that is skilfully held together by the almighty duct tape. Four new pieces of bouncy equipment “light” up the space. An obstacle course with slide, a pirate-themed bouncer with slide, a super duper slide structure with a central staircase and 4 slides, plus a very cute bouncer for the preschool area…another pirate theme (I guess there was a sale on pirates…what’s a princess to do?). The changes are fantastic.

I wonder if they will rotate any of the older items into the line-up (supposedly, they’re still in storage). The only item I will miss is the big, yellow, tube-like apparatus. Kids would climb up a tube, enter a transparent “bubble” and slide out the other side. Now that’s fun and unique (and reminiscent of a gerbil habitat I had as a kid). If bouncers don’t do it for your child, direct them toward the foosball tables, PlasmaCars or playhouses.

After an energetic play session, you can head to one of the Little Tike plastic picnic tables near the entrance to eat your packed lunch or…do what I do…walk out the front door and veer left 20 paces and go to McDonalds…shameful but true.

If you are thinking of making the Play Palace part of your routine, consider purchasing a “10 ticket strip“. It will save you $8 on 10 visits for a preschooler.

Thank you Play Palace and my very, very fair son thanks you too…we’ll be seeing you a lot in August!

Play Palace Drop-in Schedule
Open 7 days per week between May 2-September 1, 2011

All Statutory Holidays – July 1 (Canada Day) & Aug 1 (BC Day)
Open from 9:30-1:30pm only for all ages play

Kerrisdale Cyclone Taylor Arena
5670 East Boulevard Vancouver, BC
(Corner of East Boulevard and 41st, behind McDonalds)
Phone: 604-257-8121

May 212011

Easter Bunny Cut-Out Cake

Last Easter, I made my first cut-out cake (a mommy right of passage). I feel like I just earned my baking badge. Wheeeeeeeeeeee! I used a coconut cream cake recipe and found the standard bunny cake template online (which I redrew in illustrator so I could print at 100% –I need things to be idiot proof).

The cake was really simple to “build” and decorate (especially if you bake the cake Ideas for how to decorate your bunny day and decorate it the next). This type of cake improves in the fridge over night. Either way, you should give it a try. The kids (aged 3 and under) were in awe, while the adults just plain dove in. I wish all recipes could be as successful, which brings me to my annual Easter time baking flop.

Yes, a combination of hyper multi-tasking coupled with sleep deprivation resulted in some beautiful, garbage-worthy cookies.

Upon completion of these gems, I was horrified to learn that I had read the recipe wrong and added a whole package of cream cheese instead of the 3 oz the recipe called for…Oh the humanity….it was a crying shame! I vow to make these beauties again. Hopefully next year the taste will match the look.

May 152011

Brunch Menu at the Whip Eggs Benny at the Whip

I’d been to the Whip over 10 years ago. Back then, it was known as a decent brunch spot with bad service (which is probably the reason I never returned). It had the kind of service that makes you feel like you’re intruding when you interrupt a riveting “inter-server” conversation to ask for a cup of coffee. The servers then greet your friendly, upbeat banter with a blank stare while they unceremoniously dump a plate of food in front of you. On this memorable first visit, I had Eggs Benny and sat outside on a narrow patio hugging the sidewalk.

Fast forward 10 years, I bravely entered the Whip once again but this time with a rambunctious toddler and a grumpy, starving husband. Heaven help us. The first thing I noticed is that people were friendly (shock of all shocks). Still artsy and alternative (with a bit of Goth, some bleached blond, and a plethora of tattoos thrown in for good measure) but “oh, so, friendly”. It felt strange to receive this warm welcome. Let’s face it, when you enter most restaurants with a toddler you get the cold shoulder but not this place….at least, not this time. The girls chatted with Caden. We asked to move to a bigger table (which was no problem). The food came fast and it was really good. My hubby devoured his….and I savoured my Eggs Benny (which definitely tasted better than the last time). It is nice to know that there are funky, little joints out there that make you feel welcome…kids or no kids.  I think I shall return…and this time I won’t wait 10 years!

The Whip Restaurant and Gallery
209 East 6th Avenue (at Main Street)
Phone: 604 874 4687