Fiamma Burger - Bellingham's premier all-natural burger joint

Beef burger topped with proscuitto ham, fried egg, cheddar-jack, shoe string potatoes, and smoky sauce.

Nuff said.

B"HAM" Burger

We have been a few times and will definitely be back again. The food is great and we love the atmosphere.

If you find yourself in Bellingham take the time to grab a bite at Fiamma - 1309 Railroad Ave, Bellingham WA


Wow...we haven't blogged since August!

Needless to say, we have been busy. Very busy.

We took a week long vacation to California with Chantelle's family back in mid-October and have been non-stop ever since.

Original Animal Magnet has done better than either of us could have predicted. We've had nearly 200 orders in the last 30 days...and have had over 700 orders since we launched it in February 2012.

That said, TODAY is the last day to get your order in if you would like it in time for Christmas!

All orders placed after today will be shipped in January 2013.

To all of our customers - THANK YOU for your orders. We are working furiously this week to get them all out within the next day or two to ensure they all arrive in time for Christmas.

And to all of our readers - hopefully we will have more time in the New Year to blog more often!


Mark & Chantelle
Original Animal Magnet


Celebration of Light - Photography from night 1

The Celebration of Light is an annual fireworks competition in Vancouver. Three nights, three countries, and countless oohs, ahhs, and explosions. Over 300,000 people gather at English Bay (and other areas nearby) to watch this amazing display of fire in the sky.

This is not your average fireworks show...far from it. Actually, my guess is that you have never seen a show quite like it. I beleive it is the biggest barge fireworks competition in the on the Planet. Each show is beautifully timed to music and lasts for apx 30 mins.

The Celebration of Light (formerly known as the Symphony of Fire) has been happening for the past 22 years and is truely a summer staple for all Vancouverites.

Here are some amazing photos from Night 1 (Vietnam - July 28th)

There are 2 shows left this summer...tonight (August 1st), and Saturday August 4th. Fireworks start at 10pm sharp.


Pizza & Patios, a match made in Heaven

You cannot go wrong with homemade pizza enjoyed on a rooftop patio with great friends.

Seeing as it was a mid-week meal and I knew I would not have time to make my own dough (a few hour process as you have to let it sit to rise a few times), I decided to "cheat" a little and try out the fresh dough in Whole Foods. It made fresh in store, never frozen, and is the same dough they use for their pizzas. It is literally a ball of dough in a clear plastic tub and you can find it in the refrigerator section near the meal salads. The key is to let it come to room temp before you roll it out and lightly flour your board and roller to prevent it from sticking. I like to roll mine out pretty thin and could care less if it resembles a perfect circle or not :)

For the toppings...

Pizza One
Prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh arugula, olive oil, reduced balsamic, tomato sauce...
  -Roll out your dough
  -Brush on a skim of tomato sauce (I like just a skim, personal preference)
  -Add some grated mozzarella
  -Top with prosciutto (have your deli slice it on the thinnest setting when you buy it)
  -Bake on a preheated pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven at 500C for 8-12 mins
  -Top with a handful of fresh arugula, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and reduced balsamic

Pizza Two
Italian sausage, mixed mushrooms, shallot, roasted garlic, buffalo mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce...
  -Saute the italian sausage (cut into small chunks), sliced mushrooms (I used crimini, shiitake, and enoki), half of a shallot, and a few cloves of garlic (all sliced into slivers) in a pan with olive oil and cook until all is browned and the sausage is cooked through (8-10 mins)
  -Roll out your dough
  -Brush on a skim of tomato sauce (I like just a skim, personal preference)
  -Squeeze the water moisture out of the buffalo mozzarella, tear into chunks and add
  -Top with sausage/mushroom/onion/garlic mixture
  -Bake on a preheated pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven at 500C for 8-12 mins

*You will notice that there are no tomatos on either of these pizzas. I prefer to slice fresh tomato and serve it on the side for people to add on to of their own slice rather than bake it on the pizza. When you bake the tomato it can make the pizza soggy.

*A pizza stone is a round, flat ceramic stone that you use in place of a sheet pan for cooking pizza. They're cheap and work great for getting you a nice crisp not-at-all-soggy bottom crust. Highly recommended.

I also made a quick and easy cubed watermelon salad to serve with it...
  -Cut a quarter of a watermelon into apx 1" cubes and put into bowl
  -Cut half of an english cucumber into apx 1/2" cubes, add to bowl
  -Chiffonade (cut into thin strips) 3-4 mint leaves, add to bowl
  -Add some cubed feta (as much as you like), add to bowl
  -Drizzle with a bit of reduced balsamic
  -Mix well and serve cold

 all photos courtesy of our good friend and dinner guest Christie :)

With the Whole Foods fresh dough, you can bang out this meal in 30-40 mins, and it will definitely be one that you will want to make again and again.


Magic in a bottle: BB Cream

{via Chic and Unique}
I keep thinking about this product... which means it must be be something special.

Truth be told, I try a lot of products so when one repeatedly pops into your head.. well then you know it is good and worth buying.

A few months ago, in my Glymm box (your missing out if you don't get these), I received a mini pot of this magic cream. Honestly, I looked at the packaging and didn't give it a second look. It had a certain "dollar store" look and upon opening the lid, the color seemed waaaay to dark for my skin. Incidently, I had bought a friend a few months of the Glymm boxes and she texted about how she "absolutely loved the Magic Fini cream".

Hmmm. Well I definitely had to try it now.

And wow... you really should never judge a book by its cover. This foundation/BB cream is so soft and supple. It smooths over your skin and you can layer to get more coverage. Somehow it seems to work on everyones skin tone, even though it looks really dark in the pot. I have somewhat uneven skin and it seemed to just blend and vanish (in a good way) without catching up on any dry skin areas. In fact, as I was googling the product to find out where I could buy a full size pot, I came across a ton of amazing reviews claiming how good Magic Fini by M.Asam is.

This brand is from Germany and is based on the 'power of grapes' as they put it.

You can find it online to purchase at Cosmolane Boutique. It ships to Canada and is $38 for 30mL.

{via this blog}

{via this blog}


Let's Roll Custom Sushi Bar

There's a new sushi joint near the corner of Denman & Davie - Let's Roll Custom Sushi Bar

It's a unique concept...It's a sushi bar with all the protiens/veg/fruit/sauces/toppings/etc displayed in front of you. They let you totall customize your roll and put it together right in front of you.

1. Start by choosing your seaweed (traditional, or modern soy).

2. Then choose your rice (white, mixed grain, or green).

3. After that, choose two proteins (about 12 to choose from including tuna, salmon, prawn tempura, grilled beef, grilled chicken, etc)

4. Then choose two fruits/vegetables (a bunch to choose from including avocado, mango, pineapple, cucumber, peppers, asparagus, yam tempura, etc)

5&6. Once you have done that, they roll it all up for you and put it through a machine that slices it up perfectly. They then arrange it in a cool little round wood take-out box, wfter which you can choose two sauces (about 10 to choose from including spicy mayo, wasabi mayo, sweet chili, teryaki, miso, etc), as well as two toppings (lots to choose from including seaweed salad, green onions, tempura crunch, corn, potato chips, etc).

They are very generous with their portions of fillings, toppings, and sauces, and the service is also very freindly! And most importantly, they use high quality ingredients!

COST: You get 10 LARGE piece per roll, which is definately enough to fill you up...and they cost only $7.95 per roll!

It may take 5-10 mins, depending on if there is a line, to get your roll(s), but that's about normal for any sushi place that is not pre-made. It's a pretty small place, and I predict line ups out the door once the weather gets going.

They also sell a variety of side items (yam fries, pork gyoza, edamame, miso soup, etc) and fresh fruit smoothies. The take out boxes are very cool...and even though I have been about 4-5 times already I always forget to take a pic of the rolls themselves...must because I'm too excited to dig in!

Worth checking out the next time you are around Engligh Bay, and PERFECT for taking down to the beach, and great value for your money.


Local Eats & Local Treats: Nero Waffles

Nero Belgium Waffles {My Iphone}
If you have ever tried an authentic Belgium Waffle then you know exactly what I mean.

These waffles are so good. Really they should be outlawed. Especially because I have been trying to eat super healthy lately. But how could I resist the above?? And at least I shared it with the husband :)

This is a tiny little storefront and they have super cute wood paneling throughout the store. The owners are an adorable couple (at least they seemed like a who have recently moved here from Antwerp, Belgium (see map below). Their decor is rustic and original the point of even looking vintage. And I was so happy to see a shelf in the corner that featured one of my all-time favorite board games: SETTLERS OF CATAN. That is a whole 'nother subject and I will not digress today.

They serve two types: Liege and another type I didn't bother to try because the Liege looked AMAZING! ..and let me tell you it was.

Fluffy, and chewy, and sort of caramalized on top. So good!
And with the nutella served in the cute side bowl with banana and ice cream.

It is definitely worth trying... a bit pricey but worth it for homemade goodness served at Nero Waffles on Robson Street (near the McDonalds).  Actually, funny story about that. The husband wanted an ice cream cone from McD's and as I waited outside I was reading the Nero menu board. I actually went into McD's, grabbed him from the line-up, scolded him for wanting corporate junk and said he must eat waffles instead :)


Work in Progress

{Instagram via my Iphone : Pic of Mark working on our magnets}

This is proof that we often spend our evening and weekends painting little half It is a lot of fun though.. and I can definitely say that I am WAY more up-to-date on current movies and tv shows. And if you know me, I am always behind on movies.

Behind as in... 'I still haven't seen the last few Star Wars and Lord of Rings' kind of behind.

The embarrassing kind of

But all that is changing now that I paint animals every evening ;)

I'm not sure if these have become a standard everywhere, but in Canada we now have these little kiosks in Safeway (a supermarket) and 7-11. They are super handy, only $2 a night, and they even have new releases. Actually, now that I think of it, I remember seeing a kiosk like this in Seattle YEARS ago, so they are probably super common in the States. Anyways, now that all the movie rental stores have closed, it is handy to have these nearby when you want a better quality movie (not some sketchy download).

Enjoy your weekend :)


Tea with my ladies

{via my Iphone}

Last weekend I attended 'High Tea' at a beautiful new tea house called Adorabelle in Steveston. High Tea seems to be such a trend now. To be honest, I had never really heard of it until attending one at a Fairmont Hotel last year. It was a lot of fun... a bit stiff ...but sort of addicting at the same time.

You definitely get into the girly vibe and wear your most pretty spring dress. It was especially great because around twenty ladies/girls were invited, so there was a ton of laughter and new faces. We were split up at separate tables and I preffered this layout so that we were able to chat a bit more easily.

And really, the food. That's what it is all about right? Oh yah, and Tea. I LOVE devonshire cream. How was I never introduced to this before??? I feel like my parents failed in some way ;) The scones were all baked in house, and very lovely. There was also a lemony custard that I have never seen at other tea places. It was good, but not worth it compared to my sweet, sweet devonshire.

And look at how lovely they had our napkins folded pretty pink roses! The tea I chose was a glorious herbal robois flavour (I don't have much caffeine usually). And of course our hostesses left us with a parting gift of some yummy jelly bellies...because we weren't already spoiled enough.

I also snuck in a scary elevatore photo of me while I was rushing not to be late ;)


200 sales in our first 3 months!

It started with an idea, which we then turned into an ETSY SHOP, and just three months later we are extremely pleased with our 200th set sold!

A big THANK YOU to all of our customers who have purchased our animal magnets, as well as those who have featured us in their blog / treasury, or even just sent us some kind words - it is ALL very appreciated!

We have just recently launched a new set of animals that we have high hopes for - DOGS!

KEEP IN MIND we can do dogs in ANY colour you see in our shop!


Fish Tacos

With the beautiful sunny weather that we have been getting lately in Vancouver, it feels like summer is pretty much here. When I think of food and summer I think of outdoor dining and fresh local ingredients...and one of the dishes that I start craving are FISH TACOS. They're easy to make and are much healthier than the battered, deep fried, and heavy sour cream laden ones you get in restaurants (but just as tasty).

The key is having your dressing and salsa fresca done first so when your fish is ready you can eat right away while it's still hot. I'll show you how easy they are...

What you'll need
Fresh fish (I like halibut)
Corn (or flour) tortillas
Undressed coleslaw (cut your own, or buy in a bag)
Ripe avocado
Salt & pepper

For the salsa fresca
White onion
Fresh squeezed lime juice

For the dressing
Plain 2% greek yogurt
Low salt taco seasoning
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Chipotle pepper in adobo (optional)
Low fat sour cream (optional)

1) Take your fish out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter to take the chill off in preparation of cooking.

2) Make your salsa fresca by finely dicing and combining some tomato, white onion, garlic, and cilantro. Add fresh squeezed lime juice, season with salt & pepper, and you're set. (Ratio of ingredients is up to your own taste). Also, cut up your avocado and set aside so it's ready to go when your fish is done and you start building your tacos. [TIP - to change the flavour profile completely try using a mango salsa in place of this tomato salsa fresca...both versions are delicious]

3) Make your dressing by combining a few good dollops of yogurt with a sprinkle of the taco seasoning, and a bit of fresh lime juice. To take it to another level add a bit of low fat sour cream and a minced chipotle pepper in adobo (Spicy! you can skip the pepper itself and just use the sauce if you don't want it too hot). Dress your coleslaw with enough of this so that it is lightly coated but not drenched. If you have left over dressing feel free to drizzle it directly on top of your tacos when you're building them as well.

4) Place a non stick skillet on medium heat and warm a bit of olive oil or coconut oil. Pat your fish dry, season with salt & pepper, and pan sear until cooked through (about 3-5 mins per side depending on the thickness of the fish). OPTIONAL: To add a bit of crunch to your fish, try crushing up some potato chips and rolling your fish in the crumbs before cooking them.

5) Warm your tortillas, pour yourself a beer or a refreshing crisp glass of white wine, build your tacos, enjoy! Serve with a side summer salad for a complete meal.


Most beautiful cake ever...

I am absolutely in LOVE with this cake. Something about the simplicity, yet boldness of the coral. LOVE IT! And the fine smattering of dots on each layer.....


Back from Mexico.....and BUSY!

After an amazing week in Mexico (Mayan Riviera to be precise), we are now back, re-opened our Etsy shop, and sales have been great!

Our blue Moose-Camel-Tiger-Rhino set was featured on an Etsy email this week. This is the third Etsy email we have been featured in since we launched our Original Animal Magnet shop just a few months ago. We have also been featured on the Etsy front page on multiple occasions as well!

Check out all of our listings at:

The response so far since we opened this shop has been great (and worth all the hard work). Our cheeky animal magnets make a perfect gift, or a perfect addition to your very own fridge/office/kid's room/etc!

4 piece Dino - T-Rex and Bronto

8 piece Farm - Dog, Goat, Sheep, and Pig

6 piece Horses

All of our sets now come gift ready in drawstring muslin bags, stamped in ink with our logo.

We have some exciting plans in the works. Sets of DOGS and SEALIFE are on their way, so stay tuned!

TWITTER: @thesewecovet


Chartreuse is the color of Spring

One of the things I love most about Etsy (if you havent been to this site must go now!) is when other members showcase your item in a Treasury. Basically, the collect 16 of their favorite items, that look beautiful together, and create a special grouping. Others can then browse these treasuries and click on any items they might like or want to buy.

Today we were featured in Chartreuse Pop by TheFineFeather...and let me tell you...was I ever blown away. She definitely has an eye for design as you can see below. Such a gorgeous color composition.

Thanks for featuring our Chartreuse Dinos!!


Wordless Wednesday - March 21st







Animal Magnets - Our newest Etsy Shop featured on Etsy Front Page!!!

Woo is Friday. Definitely one of my favorite days. A few years ago, I actually purposed to not love the weekend so much. I figured it didn't make sense to rush the week and just live for weekends.

Really, live is short enough already; so you have to enjoy the whole week (not just Sat/Sun). I am pleased to report that my plan worked and eventually I found everyday to be

But, I still have some loooong weeks where that weekend is like a shining oasis in the desert ;)

I am very excited to report that our newest Etsy shop ( many do I have now!) has made it onto the FRONT PAGE not once...but TWICE. We have been open less than a month, and have had an amazing 30+ sales, two front pages, and featured in the Etsy emailer that is sent to thousands of people. This is such a blessing, and it feels so good to have craft hobbies on the side of my 'real' job.

For March, I am going to try and share photos of what we are currently working on. Our magnets are so fun and quirky. We are really hoping we can start selling them as unique farm wedding favors or birthday favors. Of course, I think the majority of people are getting them as office or home fridge/magnet board gifts. Either way, they are a great conversation piece and I think they always make people giggle.

Our chartreuse Dinosaurs
This awesome blue set was on the front page too!
For those horse lovers.


Workout Plan

Working out is always a challenge (for me at least!).

Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself..I actually love getting outside, being in the fresh air...but I find that during the winter months I get caught up in projects that keep me on the computer, or crafting, or inside with friends. Going to the Gym is generally NOT my idea of a good time and I would SO rather be outside running, hiking, get the point :) Living in Vancouver is conducive to all of these things. Thank goodness! But it gets dark sooooooo early in the winter months and when you are getting home after work, the last thing you feel like is going out in the pitch black.

So, here is the great idea.
A wonderful coworker decided to create a FIT club so we could monitor and encourage each other. So far I am loving the idea and even though it is quite new...I think it is helping to hold ourselves accountable. One of the members has done some amazing feats. Think climbing Mt. Kiliminjaro (sp?) and running marathons. At the last meeting she showed me  her chart for running. Obviously I have seen game plans, etc. (they are wonderful) for running 10K, half marathon, etc. etc. But her plan mapped out her two months training period and left in time for breaks and even an extra week for unplanned sickness. The really IMPORTANT PART is... she had identical boxes underneath each days workout to record what she actually ended up doing. This is such a great way to not over glorify one or two workouts that suddenly become four workouts in your mind. If you are busy as I is easy to think.."Oh yah..I totally worked out every day last week". Also, you could take it to another step and tally up the total km's ran or time spent for each week. This allows you to flip your schedule around a bit if you get busy one day and make up for it the next.

The pic above is of my very crude chalkboard version. But don't judge :) because I am learning to do things now instead of waiting until the day I have time to make a perfect chart. Some of my letters stand for Yoga, Running, boring Gym and Dancing (I use my Xbox dance game and let me tell you how hard a workout that can be...crazy time).


Wordless Wednesday


Commonly Mispronounced Food Words

The time has stop avoiding items on a menu because you are not sure how to pronounce them, or to stop sounding like a doofus when you do try to order something and completely hack the pronounciation.

Here are a few commonly mispronounced food-related words that you should know how to say with confidence...

QUINOA:  keen-wah
A tall crop plant of the goosefoot family, cultivated in Peru and Chile for its small, ivory-coloured seed, which is used as a food staple. Extremely good for you, and easy to make!

ACAI:  ah-sigh-ee
The deep purple, edible berry of a Central and South American palm tree.

CHARCUTERIE:  shar-koo-tuh-ree
The art of preparing various meats, in particular pork, in order to present them in the most diverse ways. In other words, a presentation of awesomeness. These meat plates have become popular menu items over the past few years.

PRIX-FIXE:  pree-feeks
A french phrase meaning "a fixed price" for a whole meal. You are seeing more and more restaurants in North America using this term.

CAIPIRINHA:  kai-pee-reen-ya
Brazil's national cocktail, made with rum, sugar, and lime. After a few of these you can throw pronounciation out the window.

GEWURZTRAMINER:  geh-voorts-truh-mee-nur
An aromatic, pink-skinned wine grape.

VIOGNER:  vi-ohn-yay
A floral white wine grape.

SANGIOVESE:  san-geeo-vehs-eh
A red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove".

Check out a full wine pronounciation list HERE.

Don't stop at food...make sure you are nor mispronouncing words on a regular basis. Check out the 100 most often mispronounced words and phrases HERE.

Chime in! - If you have any words to add to the list, please do so in the comment box below.


Wordless Wednesday


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