Brekkie Cafe

Episode 54

Today I’m sharing my ReView of Brekkie Cafe, located at 120 120 Westpark Way SW. Brekkie Cafe boasts – A Glorious Break in Your Day! It’s a beautiful Cafe high ceilings, lots of windows and light. The food is fresh, wholesome and beautifully displayed on the plates.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

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This is a great place to check out for breakfast, there’s a bit of a wait to get in but it’s worth it. The service is pretty good, you can tell people like to be there. They are happy and the people in this place range from father daughter duos, to families, to first dates. It’s got a good vibe in there.

Our Order

We order the avocado toast to start, which comes out in colours of purple and green. London Fogs to drink and I order the breakfast sandwich, Jeff orders either the lobster Benny or the Wild Mushroom Benny, London goes for the French toast that you heard at the top of the show! All the food is positioned just right on the plate. Theirs pride here and you can feel it and it’s noticeable.

No wait is no longer available Jeff tells me, if you’re not familiar with the ‘no wait’ app – which provides you a spot in line when you are on route to a restaurant or want to get in ahead of the crowds you could put your name in this app for your favourite dining spot – called no wait. You can monitor your position in line and it gives you a time when to be at the restaurant. It was bought out by Yelp for $40 million dollars.

Ambiance

When you sit in this place it has super high ceilings, there’s benches and tables and chairs, there’s plants everywhere as well as stacks of fresh bananas, avocados displays on teired platters. There’s a giant shelf made out of orange pipe and wooden planks. with plants and decorations – this shelf is separating the restaurant from one side to the other. But it’s open yet has a purpose. the charts are kind of retro in a mint green shade. The table too are retro with a aluminum trim around the sides. The cutlery is wrapped in linen napkins, don’t you just love a real napkin instead of the paper kind.

Great shelf separating the space, still open and full of nice decor.

I just love their brekkie logo, its the word BREKKIE spelled out in capital letters kind of a block style of bring and then the CA-FE is stacked at the end. Since this place is located in a strip mall kind of setting, there’s a few doors to go in but like most places- both doors to not open. One of the doors has a great saying in white vinyl “I’m not a swinger BUT the other door is with an arrow pointing to the other door.

door at BREKKIE CaFe, so funny!
Love the logo at BREKKIE CaFe, nicely done!

We notice the owner is sitting in one of the tables. He’s wearing chef whites prepared with papers and his planning journal.

Thanks for listening to my review today, of the BREKKIE cafe . Check out my website for pictures of BREKKIE Cafe and did you know you can text me to my email @ValerieMoss.ca.

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Instagram @ValerieJMoss

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If there’s a place you’d like me to ReView let me know…maybe I can meet you there and we can ReView it over a glass of wine and your favourite menu item. Talk to you next Tuesday.

The Best Bread

Episode 53

Today I’m going to share my bread recipe. This is what I like about my ‘variety’ show, it allows me the platform to share stories about WhatEver-WhenEver and provides you with randomness of information.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

5 years ago Subway made headlines, not for their great tasting sandwiches, not for their over 33,000 locations beating McDonalds by over 1000 but for the chemical used in their bread. Their staple ingredient, the mere platform that everything at Subway relies and lies upon – their bread. This bread contains very bad ingredients. Referring to this ingredient by the tag-name of “yoga-mat”. The chemical name is azodicarbonamide or ADA which btw is contained in over 500 recipes and not just bread. In the plastics industry ADA is the chemical foaming agent. It is mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles, something like champagne for plastics. The results are materials that are strong, light, spongy and malleable – like a yoga-mat.

This got me thinking, I did some research on a loaf of bread in any grocery store and I was pretty educated on the amount of chemicals in the everyday bread we buy in a grocery store and most of them contained azodibarbonamide – not just Subway!

So, I decided right then and there that I would start making my own bread. Jeff was on board. Who doesn’t like a fresh loaf of bread smelling good and tasting even better. We even have a song ‘jam bun jam bun’ and it goes to the jingle of old Cops shows. bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do…I digress.

Bread Machine

Cuisinart Bread Machine, a staple for making bread in my house!

We purchased a bread machine as I knew better then to try and time rising. This bread machine isn’t anything fancy, it’s the Cuisinart Bread Machine. You can purchase it on Amazon for about $160 and if you’re a prime member shipping is free. I bought ours about 5 years ago at Home Outfitters – for $200 but according to their website all stores are closing and they have huge sales so you might be able to pick one up from there for a good price.

Since I’ve had this bread maker I’ve made 2 loaves a bread a week, sometimes more but this is pretty typical. That’s over 520 loaves of break with this same machine.

You must put the ingredients into the bread maker or your mixing bowl in this order and this recipe is for a medium size of loaf. I found this to be the best size for the bread machine.

French Bread Ingredients – Standard White

Water, Table Salt, Bread Flour, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Amaranth Flour
Water, Table Salt, Bread Flour, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Amaranth Flour (maybe)
  • (x1) Cup, (x1)TBsp of water – room temp (I actually use the water from the Keurig holding tank)
  • (x3) 1/4 teaspoons white table salt
  • (x2) Cups, (x1) 1/3 Cup, (x1) TBsp of Bread Flour – I use bread flour as it’s seems to rise the best and taste the best. You can use all purpose but it’s not as good, in this picture on my site I’m showing a small bag of Amaranth flour, I will sometimes add a Tbsp of this within the cup measurement of the bread flour just adds a different element.
  • make a well in the flour to add your yeast
  • (x2) Teaspoons of Dry Active Yeast

Then set your Cuisinart bread machine to menu 5 – French Bread, and in 3:15mins you’ll have warm hot-made bread.

ReView of the Cuisinart Bread Machine

Since I’ve had this bread machine for so long I love it, it does what it needs to do and is very reliable. It’s noisy as it mixes away, beeps to add ingredients and to take the paddle out. It’s looks good on the counter and it has these great rubber feet that secure it while it does it’s mixing. It has 15 menu options, you can even make jams.

Taking the paddle out is such a nice treat if you can get to it. I usually make the bread when I’m away from the house or overnight as it’s noisy so I can’t take the paddle out. Leaving this metal flipper inside the bread when the bread is done baking, while removing the bread the paddle keeps a chunk of the bread so there’s a slight hole in the middle – doesn’t change the flavour.

We also use a bread box to store our newly fresh, cooled loaf in. Did you know you’re not supposed to store bread in the fridge? This makes the bread dry out and stale faster. It’s best to store bread in room temperature. So I found this box, it’s a teal tin bread box on Amazon for about $35. as it’s the perfect size for the exact loaves I make. When purchasing a bread box for your bread be cognizant of the size, they typically come very large-long and shallow, it’s weird. So just a heads up.

Thanks for hanging out with me today. Bread is a girls best friend, we eat it as a comfort food, men like big manly sandwiches – who doesn’t really. Bread some in so many shapes and sizes, with so many ingredients. But as a daily staple in my house anyway, we love our simple 4 ingredient bread recipe, we know there’s no ‘yoga-mat’ chemical in it and it’s pretty wholesome, yes we could argue and get into the gluten factor and the processing of the flour however…lets stick with this fresh white bread slathered in true organic salted butter.

My auntie Cher told a story about her gramma making loafs and loafs of bread – likely because they had so many kids…she had these giant arms (like the hugest ‘hi helens’) and she’s snap those loaves into this brisk twist and put them onto the large butchers block French country table for rising. Auntie said that you didn’t get near her gramma’s arms while she was making bread or you might have a ‘cuff’ upside the body by getting into her work space, such a cute memory.

My daughter, London growing up with fresh bread in the house is so funny, mum can you buy these store buns they are so yummy! ugh isn’t this such as life..grass is greener somewhere else.

Una Pizzaria + Wine: ReView

Episode 50

Welcome back to another episode of Valerie’s Variety podcast and this week we are ReViewing a newish local hotspot, Una Pizza and Wine, based off a Californian style of cuisine…enjoy the episode.

Una Pizzaria Review, this is actually the second time we’ve been to this pizza place, it’s located at 618 – 17 Avenue SW – which is a trendy area in Calgary’s southwest. Doesn’t it just have a good sound to it. Take a listen

when you walk into this place it’s busy. The place is long and rectangular with the open bar situated in the middle of the restaurant along one side. You need to walk the whole length of the restaurant to get to the washroom. To do this you’ll bump into people and other people will need to move out of your way it’s that tight.

Order wine to start…

Pinot Noir for Jeff and a sweeter Blend for me..

as we review the menu – which btw it’s an amazing menu…hear us debate this.

Una Pizzaria Menu

When you’re a pescatarian (only eat veggies and seafood) in a beef province it’s always hard to stop the waiter when he goes through the specials on the menu beef this and that – said with a sense of pride lol. meat balls etc, take a listen most people would think this sounds amazing and don’t get me wrong when we ate meat and beef several years ago we would have been all over this! Plus we are on the OMAD eating style one meal a day, so once we break our fast we want to eat everything, we are ravenous and need all of the food at once. hmm this sounds good hey?

Insert 7:18

You can do a half and half pizza here but the way it goes is like this, one kid of pizza and half can have some of the first kind removed, like half without mushrooms for example.

Una has a few kinds of sauces you can drizzle on top – and this we loved when we were here the first time so we made sure to not miss out this time: spicy honey, hot and plain honey that is locally sourced and there’s one even with truffle oil

Isn’t that funny we could not remember the pizza we had last time, was it this or was it that? LOL but we remembered we loved it,

Insert 9:06

ATMOSPHERE

One thing you notice immediately is, it’s super warm in there, like warm and humid, like foods been cooking all day – it’s cozy and has a good vibe.  It’s loud and bustling it’s busy, people are constantly lining up to get in, we used the no-wait app and likely we got a table right away when we were en route driving over but the wait can be long like an hour or more. This was 6 o’clock on a Friday night and it was already full with a waiting line of hungry lookers.

While waiting for our supper we just sat in this nest of a place . there was some interesting art on the walls…then we had a thought?

Insert 29:27

supper arrived along with all of the tasty honey drizzle options on the side  yummy insert 32:04 sauces here

We enjoyed, added another glass of wine then decided to review the dessert menu. Turns out This was a good thought. The desserts especially mine key lime pie was relish.London ordered their house made Carmel popcorn. It was very tasty!

Wasn’t this where the old Wicked Wedge pizza was?

Una Pizza Decor

Do you remember wicked wedge?

Insert 44:35

I do  when I first moved to calgary barely 19  I packed up my car with my BF at the time and our dog and moved to Calgary  we lived just up from this very place on 5 street and 19 avenue  we frequented wicked wedge.

Insert 58:00

So we asked our waiter Johnny….he attested to this yes indeed this was the previous home of Wicked Wedge so cool hey? The pizza joint lives on! 1:26

Dessert Time

Insert 1:07 or 1:11 ordering dessert

Dessert? Ummm yes please. We ordered the key lime pie – this didn’t disappoint. Jeff ordered the rubbed cheesecake which was served in a small sealer style of jar. And London wanted only the popcorn that was on the menu. Our waiter Johnny obliged and brought us a small snack sampler bag to take home. Insert 1:19 here gift Thanks Johnny! Our dessert arrived  yummy!

and did we enjoy our dessert? Insert 1:24

We pay our bill. Johnny our waiter spots me recording and then I check to see if he’s okay with this. He again obliged. Such a curious and good sport

insert 1:07

The Washroom

On the way out I stopped into the rest room  first there is a ladies – busy a men’s – I avoided and then a unisex washroom  I went in here it’s small and tight BUT a great ‘feeling?’ If I can say this about a public washroom. Take a listen…so cool hey?

Also next door they have a ‘by the slice’ option so if you’re feeling a little peckish and you’re in a hurry or walking by stop in and snag a triangle. But wait while there stop and take a minute to walk past the individual slice counter keep walking into the back and you’re going to come upon a place called Frenchie. And it’s a seductive speakeasy place to sit and drink wine by the glass. Pre-Prohibition era cladded in tapestry seating for only about a dozen. People dressed to impressed and enjoying their evening. It’s adorable in there.

Want to meet me for a glass of wine?

OeB ReView

OeB Calgary ReView

Episode 49

We love to go for Breakfast but recently we changed out eating style to the new fan dangled OMAD regime (one meal a day) this has proved to be most fruitful, I was the heaviest I’d ever been and Jeff was in the market for a new waistline also…full disclosure we both had experienced a strange sensation in our bodies on the exact same day – separately. He felt a sort of intense surge of sugar after eating a cookie at a local artisan market and I had the same sensation after eating a free granola bar at a conference I was attending. So after we compared stories we decided to do some investigating on inulin influx and it’s complications within the body- ending up with the OMaD eating lifestyle.

I digress, we once in a while will splurge and eat breakfast, this has always been a favourite of ours so now it’s a little more of a luxury when we get to go…

We went to OeB (stands for Over Easy Breakfast) in Bridgeland. This place has become a staple in Calgary boasting 3 giant locations that never disappoint.

London is choosing 1 scrambled egg, sausage, and a piece of toast – which as her momma I help steer her onto something I think she will a) eat and b) like, we are sitting up at the bar facing the window, it’s a sunny day and we’re feeling good in this place. We’ve been to other OeB locations and our menu choice remains the same – Jeff orders the lobster scramble ‘box’ and I order the don’t even go there crepe. – sometimes they are out of Lobster…Jeff is very particular and strict with his answers…from ‘nothing else’ to 8:30

We’re deciding our meals insert 5:00

It’s got a good buzz in this place. We order 6:47 London fog 7:14 we order 7:17

Reminiscing

A side story, years ago OeB was located on Edmonton Trail, my sister and I were going for breakfast wanted the Diner Delux but it was busy. We were walking up Edm Trail and passed this place (OeB) there was people waiting all over the place, inside and out. It was a nice sunny day in the summer. We went into see what the wait was like…they said approx 90 minutes – serious all these people were waiting for 90 minutes? or more?

We put our name on the list. This place must be good, they had a ‘free’ coffee station and offered this to us while we waited. We helped ourselves and went for a walk to enjoy peoples gardens. While walking with our hot coffees we passed a cafe just up the street from OeB and walked up the front stairs to peek inside. There was no one inside, the doors were open and inviting but no one in there Finally, a lady came around the corner and said, ‘ you cannot bring your coffees in here!’ not hi, not nothing…hmmm do you think they just lost a customer, yep! we were going to eat there but not with this comment. Here’s the place up the street (less than a block away) has people waiting for 1 and a half hours and giving away free coffee and this place….well they are no longer in business. Hmm a little lesson, don’t be so quick to judge.

14:19

Anytime we are in Bridgeland we always remember a house we fell in love with when we decided to take the plunge, sell our home in Chestermere and move into the city. This place in Bridgeland will always hold a spot in our minds…we always drive by to check it out. Do you live in Bridgeland, do you love it here…

MealTime

16:25 our meal arrives it’s served on gorgeous plateware – kind of a ceramic feel. Mine is always perfectly coiffed with a long crepe, elegantly place line of piped whipped cream (the real kind) and a neat sprinkle of pistachios. Inside it’s filled with bananas that are perfectly ripe, a sort-of custard that isn’t too sweet and other fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, there a tiny picture of warmed maple syrup on the side.

Jeff’s is tucked into a chinese style of paper take out box and from the bottom up it’s complete with yummy potato wedges and fried veggies, then a bit of green, then a couple of poached eggs on top with lobster and hollandaise sauce. It’s always stunningly hot and smells so savoury (btw as I write this my mouth is watering and I want to open my ‘no wait’ app and get in line). I enjoy several of his potato wedges – it’s our deal we make. He doesn’t even want to try mine and honestly I’m good with this lol.

Jeff’s came as the other Lobster scramble and not the one in a box, so they changed it for him, and very promptly. As we sit and 20:40 enjoy our food, the buzz in the place makes it all the more enjoyable. London’s loving her meal and so are we.

29:00

Jeff debates if he should save his or take it home, they are large meals and very yummy, there isn’t typically enough to take home and when you’re there you likely eat more than we should 🙂

29:00 Scarborough area in Calgary is a good location for us, it’s quaint and beautiful, lots of character. Typically after breakfast on a Sunday we will go for a drive and check out houses, what’s for sale in areas that we love and how much these homes are going for.

35:00 we’re checking out the plates lol always looking for cool plates and they are available on Amazon

35:50 oh shit that was good. 36:10 I recognized the waitress from the Edm Trail location and she was filling us in on the other new locations that have opened since the original one closed. How friendly is she? They needed more space. Mission location is bigger – I think we should check this out! We’ve since visited the mission location which is huge by the way…and very beautiful.

39:00 let’s drive by that house – the house I mentioned earlier lol we are so predictable.? Dessert? LOL we could barely finish our meal…as we were sitting we see people coming in with these cute little baskets, they are a lightweight bamboo wood with some straw in the bottom. At OeB they sell eggs…yes farm style eggs you can buy from OeB and I’ve thought about it many times coming in but never have done this egg service, have you?

If you don’t believe my word for this meal, check out these reviews, once I combed through the Local Guide comments.- which are all good btw…here’s what other people have to say:

ReViews

about a month ago: The food was fantastic. I had scallops and eggs with bacon and spinach. Everything cooked to perfection. I would highly recommend this cozy spot.

2 weeks ago: Filling breakfast spot. Decent menu selection, my omelet was good and the pancakes were incredibly delicious.

about 2 months ago: Yes sometimes the wait is long but if you use the No Wait app its super convenient and so worth it. Super happy every time I come here! I think I’ve tried all of their “box’d” items and all of their bennies. Now I’m moving on to the other items 😉 Service is always quick in terms of how busy they are. They are always happy to serve us even if its quite close to when they close up for the day. I know a lot of places would tell people they wouldn’t serve. Everything has always came to our table as specified to our server.

Till next Tuesday, let me know if you’ve tried this place out any of their locations and what you thought of it?

Tenshi Sushi

A sushi restaurant we absolutely love it called Tenshi Sushi…it’s small, very small only about 6 tables located in this little spot in Kensington at 304 – 10 Street NW. London and I and Jeff just love sushi…this restaurant isn’t much to look at but the food is so good, the atmosphere is okay, a bit tight to the table next to you and it’s not the most cozy environment – the restaurant is very chilly…especially as our weather that’s been severely cold for many weeks…but this doesn’t stop us from taking in a good meal here – take a listen to our experience

As we debate the menu, this place is located on 10 street NW tucked in from the corner between mainly midtown bar and the Roasterie. So after you get you sushi fix, stop into the Roasterie and get a Grogg Coffee (tastes like a warm coffee crisp chocolate bar) and go for a walk down Kensington District, it’s alive with people and stores, and shoppers. Enjoy walking through and peeking into the stores to see what’s going on. It’s quaint and enjoyable as your stroll.

London is next to me against the wall, Jeff’s across from us with his back to the door – each time the door opens and closes it’s breezy. He ordered the 21 the miso soup, it’s super good and cozy tasting. Hit the spot.

Honey Plum tuna | Miso Soup | Shrimp Tempura | California roll | Mackerel | salmon | tea | small sushi rice on the side – can’t wait for this yummy!

We can hear all the people around us having a great time chatting it up, because the place is so small it’s loud. They have music playing in the background yes, but it’s not really adding to the atmosphere… the staff tho is so nice and friendly, and happy visiting with the tables helping them decide what to try and how to review the menu.

Are you a Sushi Fan?

Like my family? The theory, the California roll was created in Canada by Japanese-born chef Hidekazu Tojo, a resident of Vancouver since 1971. Tojo insists he is the innovator of the “inside-out” sushi, and it got the name “California roll” because it was popular with patrons from Los Angeles. The original type of sushi was first developed in Southeast Asia a huge region. To south China before being introduced to Japan in the 8th century (year 701). Originally, fish was salted and wrapped in fermented rice – that was it!

It’s interesting as I listen back to these recordings and hear what we are talking about and catching up on, like this episode. We sometimes want to switch things up in our house and refresh today it’s our cups, glasses and plates lol. Do you ever want to do this – pillows perhaps in your living area? We have a set a nice dishes that we’ve always kept for formal dinners like ThanksGiving and Christmas. I’m up for a change to revive of an area, they are beautiful so – we swapped them out!

We’re discussing our trip, one of my goals this year is to take a big trip – Portugal is what we have in our minds, we’re looking forward to trying the seafood, wines and take in the history and culture. Hispeed trains and tapas! Tapas was invented in the Moss house and now restaurants are copying us!

Like Jeff mentioned, it’s a bit cold in the restaurant..as we wait for our food we debate other sushi restaurants and what we like about them. What’s your favourite place to get sushi at in Calgary – Kinjo? Pointe Sushi (a future episode) One of our all time favourite and one of our first frequented sushi places is Maruju on Centre. What about you – any favourites let me know as we’re always up for trying out a new place. If you do check out Tenshi, let me know what you think and what your review would be…

Here’s some of Tenshi Sushi reviews out of the 182 on google:

From 3 days ago: Small, authentic feeling place. Great service, food, and prices. Our waiter was very attentive and kind. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and will definitely be back.

From 2 weeks ago: Delicious and unique! Would totally go back. If you love sushi and cool, authentic atmospheres, then check out Tenshi!

From a month ago: Very small restaurant. Only 8 tables. Little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Kensington with some high quality sushi at reasonable prices.

From 9 months ago: I’ve been coming to this place for about a year now and service and food is always excellent! For this cute little restaurant in Kensington, for 1-2 people there’s never usually a wait and service is prompt. This is one of the only sushi restaurant that serves raw oysters and portion sizes are great for sushi in Calgary. Take out never takes too long so it’s great if you wanted to grab a couple rolls and head down to the river for a picnic. Will definitely try more of the hot items with more people as I’m addicted to sushi!!

TmTs: Thank you, Valerie

Episode 45

Welcome back to another TmT episode of Valerie’s Variety Podcast, if you haven’t listened to last weeks episode this is a follow-up.

London and I spent a day at Colour Me Mine in Kensington, I did this post and shared our experience because we had a really great time. We love going there and it was an honest ReView of this incredible experience. Barring the ‘rude’ lady, that decided to air her feelings about kids in a room full of kids united with their families. This place didn’t disappoint, we had a great time and have a cherished piece of hand painted pottery to mark our day!

I shared our experience through their online contact form and JJ the owner of this particular Colour Me Mine location. The response was so great I could barely read it without tearing up. As you know I like to spread positive experiences…if you’ve been pondering to go here with your bestie – here’s the environment and the owners goal for this place:

Hello Valerie,Wow, that’s so sweet of you!  I loved it!  You brought a tear to my eye, it truly makes what we do so worth it when we hear back from the very people we do it for and it truly touched my heart.  I love what I do, never feel like I’m working really! Most favourite parts are the kiln reveals and seeing smiles while painting and of course at pick up!  I’m so happy you enjoy your experiences.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the good vibes.  We aim to please and are happy to do so!  Our customers are amazing and we are happy to provide a creative outlet to allow imaginations to sore.  I’m disappointed about the comments of the pick up client (especially being a mother to 3 myself) (I had no idea that was said) however we never truly know the experiences of others and what would have caused her to say such things.  I apologize on her behalf and hope you only feel/hear positive energy when at Color Me Mine.I would like to personally meet you hopefully someday soon and thank you in person,Look forward to seeing you soon,Take care and much gratitude! <3Best,JJ

Talk to you next Tuesday!

Colour Me Mine

Family Day Monday

episode 44

London and I on Family Day spent the day together painting art at Colour Me Mine in Kensington. This isn’t the first time we’ve done this adventure and it won’t be the last time. She picked out a cup to paint and I eventually insert4:17 here picked a vase for my plant area in my studio. insert 38:38 be careful you don’t break anything.

As you can here there’s lovlie jazz music in the background. We haven’t been here for a number of months – maybe even a year or more and this place has been enhanced. It being Family day…there was so many people in, all of the tables were full.  They were having a celebration in the party room area at the back.

Colour Me Mine – paint day

If you’re not familiar with this place – think creative. You can choose and items off the shelf like, plates, platters, bowls, ornaments, mugs, cups, tea cups, decorations like a little dog ornament or a giant dragon to paint. On the bottom of your object there’s a price on a sticker This amount includes all of the things you will require to get your painting – crafting object completed. These things include paint, brushes, water, designs, examples, a bit of a lesson, plus the kiln for the end. One stop shop. This particular location…is my favourite I’ve been to a few thoroughout the city but this one is the best one. as the two of us sit there with our treasures that likely add up to $80 for the two pieces, yes it isn’t cheap but you have a keepsake at the end that you’ve painted and love – you picked that pink, you wrote that love note, it was by you.

We pick our colours and find some paint brushes – some of them can be well used, get some water for ringing and dilution…a sponge for dabbing or maybe even sponge painting. and these small sample sw=queeze containers that you can use to freehand draw on your masterpiece. they have all kinds of goodies to use, stencils, sponges, crackle paint, pencils, examples…

insert 37:57 here

Flashback

As a side story we came here one time with our friends from our previous life over at KidsU, her name is Penny and her twin boys are Aidan and Noah. They adored London and called her Lundi – so cute!. Anyway, when we were their painting London was likely 4 or maybe 5 but I don’t think she was that old. Aidan and London went to the washroom to wash their hands…they locked the door and couldn’t get it opened. Aidan was freaking out and so was London, we had to get a pen, take the inside part out and push it though the lock to release the door knob – remember doing this when we were kids? What a memory to keep.

London painted a cut with a small raised plaque area and she decided immediately to paint a camera area within this small spot. Jeff gave her the idea to paint a cup or a glass for his bathroom sink. This place was full. insert 9:30.

London and I just sat and played painted while Jeff had to work…insert 9:55 here and enjoying our work insert 27:12 here. Some people we playing with glass fusion it’s a technique where you take glass pieces and put a special epoxy onto the background piece and fuse square/shapes in and on different colours. I haven’t tried it but it looks so interesting, and possibly like you might get a cut by the end of the day.

insert 42: I love that about you

When you sit and look around there’s a whole room full of people who are doing the same thing, using the same brushes, having as much fun with all sorts of different ideas in their minds. picking paint colours and trying to remember. insert 27: here the paint colour that you’ve chosen. insert note here about colour:  1:02:43 – 1:05…choosing colour background can you grab me one more…insert 1:07

Insert note here 33:57 – 36:44 – hear that chime that was the rude lady leaving.

As you can hear all the families sitting around us..This younger women came into this place picking up items for someone, she made an announcement like ” if I wanted to be around kids I would have had kids of my own”… with all of us families sitting around in this place, she openly comments about this – on Family Day?

insert 40:53 here for the convo between us- this totally sat with us and the other table with the mom, dad and kids beside each other united as a family. and again at 47:30 – 47:50yes this impacted us and London couldn’t wait to tell her dad

The atmosphere feels good in there, you can almost feel palpable creative energy all around us…and then this women comes in. What makes a person speak out like this? Why would she feel so much resentment to feel proud to make this sort of derogatory announcement? I reflect on this moment now as I write this and feel bad for her. I feel sad for her having this type of outlook. She was someone kid once – was her previous life as a child not one to want to remember?

insert door chimes at 22:20

There’s were families all around us, all kinds of nationalities, enjoying each others company. Older children like 16 or more and younger kids like 4 years old…they have a coffee bar and donuts insert donut note here 1:06:04 and good music playing, plus a piano 1:07:57

Sitting and painting in quiet just with our thoughts and sharing them as they come to mind, but all the while enjoying each others company and thoughts about our works of art. our masterpieces. insert 1:25:26 to 1:25:31…

Our creations…pre-kiln

From Google Reviews

Here’s some of the reviews on google I wanted to share about this experience just to validate my feeling more:

insert 40:27 friendly to 40:41 the lady working in the store is even commenting on the people and how they’ve grown over the last year

  • From a month ago: It’s honestly so much fun. So many different types of things to paint and enough paints to be totally free to get as creative as you want.
    The gentleman working was so friendly and helpful and just a great energy to have around.
    Love that they’re trying to focus on being more environmentally conscious too.
  • insert note: 41:25 here From a month ago: Color Me Mine is such a great family-run business. The staff are very helpful and the owner went out of his way to find the pottery I wanted to paint. They play smooth jazz, which is totally relaxing, and serve a great range of teas, coffees, soft drinks and snacks. It is open late at night, which makes it ideal for an alternative meet-up with friends to a bar or movie theatre. The pottery appears expensive but the price includes the paint and firing in the kiln (I believe some other similar businesses charge an entry fee). Your item is usually ready for pick up after five days. It has a friendly atmosphere and you don’t feel rushed at all. I would recommend. A great experience all-in!
  • From about a month ago: I love this colour me mine. I have been to a few in the city and had a great experience at all but this is my favourite one. JJ is the kindest lady I have ever met and so enjoy being in her studio! The way she is kids it’s so amazing! I go here about twice month and always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed!
  • From about a month ago: Color me mine Kensington is the best experience for painting ceramics. It has a very nice ambience and atmosphere. And the workers who own it are very kind and ready to help any customer.
  • From about 3 months ago: We had just the best time here today. The staff is very nice and very helpful. My daughter is absolutely obsessed now and we will be planning her bday party here! I highly recommend it!

Background was recorded by me, sorry about the undertone of singing…London enjoys her idea of a donut, the donut wasn’t that good…in the end after all this waiting, I like to still and finish this spot and that, trying to get every last line painted and crease taken care of. I always like to initial my piece on the bottom with a date – I encourage London to do this also as it just makes the moment all that more captured..

So, I want to encourage you to go out one day with your kids in tow or a friend and just enjoy the day away being in bliss with each other…this place warms the creative sole. I’ve done this with many friends…some no longer around anymore (RIP my dear friend Christi) and others who want to go back because it left a lasting impression on them.

insert 1:38 here what would you choose……be prepared to spend a good chunk of time, like a couple of hours you can bring a snack, coffee or tea if you want and I think they are also licensed so a glass of wine – but double check this. If you want some company invite me I’d go with you…

insert 1:48 here

I can be done, and be sad the day is over I say, well, it’s a nice time, we have a piece of cherished pottery painted by my daughter and me with good spirits and energy added to the mix..so yes I’d say we are artists!

Thanks for listening to this show today, means a lot to share these moments with you

See you next Tuesday.

Vets To Go Review

Tig

Welcome back to another episode (vvp43) of Valerie’s Variety Podcast and this week we are discussing a recent experience we had with Vets To Go.

Lately we’ve been struggling with our furry friend in the house. Our 17 year old cat Tig is going through some life changes.  I had googled aging signs in cats as I’ve definitely seen her showing some signs of aging like: moving more slowly, eating less hard food, I’ve inteofuced some wet food, sleeping a bit more than usual. Also not hearing and seeing as well. She’s always been very affectionate purring likes to sit on my lap – she’s my cat for sure.  Google noted a few things like eating less, showing signs of weight loss and honestly she has started to feel a little bit bonier lately.

My husband had suggested that maybe it’s time for a vet visit. It’s been a few years since I took her to the vet well maybe like 5 years. So yes it is indeed Time.

Some of the signs that we were up against are:

– howling in the night take a listen to this

– missing her litter box

– peeing on the carpet

– vomiting a bit more than usual

Hae you struggled with your cat and some of these issues. What have you done that has worked?

Tig Moss

On our daily commute we drive by a Vets to Go business so I thought I’d give them a try. We were driving out to the mountains while having this discussion about going to a vet and I thought about this option. I went into their website and filled in the forms- scheduled a visit right from my car! How easy was this? I also read a few reviews on this company and you know mostly it’s about home euthanasia putting your pet to sleep in the comfort of their home- BUT they do all sorts of vet service – mobile. Great concept hey?

This most welcoming Vet showed up At my home on time and with such a great attitude. Really put me at ease and no ‘white coat syndrome’ off the start anyway.  She proceeded to talk me through the process and how this works at home. She asked me for some background details. Take a listen.

We set up right in my kitchen on the island. The Vet Ask me to lay a towel out. And find the cat.

Then I couldn’t find Tig!  I went looking for her all over  11:09 upstairs downstairs I checked under the beds oh man! Shaking her treat dish  calling her name  where the heck was she?? I finally find her

The Vet proceeded to check her out and snuggle her up. I think Tig lost like 14 handfuls of fur while she was there.

“Did you know you’re so pretty she says to Tig”

She puts Tig into this grocery style of bin. You know like from Safeway hard sided bin that collapses with handles. It’s attached to a scale. Tig gets in here and we weigh her as a team!

She jumps out. Like any female didn’t want to see the weigh in results!!

Good explanation for the yowling hey?  She wants to look at our litter boxes.Ugh I wasn’t expecting this but here goes nothing! For her age she’s looking pretty good! That made me feel like I’m doing the right things

As a follow up to this CBD option, we’ve started using this since we had the Vet visit and we haven’t noticed any change in howling…but maybe it’s making Tig more comfortable and not so arthritic.

Can you hear my voice start to quiver…yep I’m that pet owner, nervous for the bad the news…

Character of the Vet

She good at changing the topic and making me feel at ease hey? What a nice person, so we proceed to setup and take blood from Tig who by the way became very feisty. But in the end is all worked out. And true to what the Vet said, Tig did stay around afteward and hang out with us – strange , she didn’t bolt up the stairs to hide. She stayed and was part of the remainder time. That’s all for my recording with the vet, I did bleep out her name to save her privacy as I didn’t ask her permission for this recording. However, I think if this is any indication of the kind of person she is – it bodes well to the type of people Vets to go hires.

Tig Moss

I had a wonderful experience with this service and do recommend it to anyone that requires vet service. The cost was $450 for the visit, the exam and the blood collection and diagnosis. That’s what I would have likely spent in an actual Veterinary office but without dragging Tig through the stress.

Thanks for listening to this show today.  and being part of my vet visit, it was a stressful time for both pet owner and pet. However doing it in my home with this most amazing vet made this a great experience, under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the yowling hasn’t stopped even with the introduction of the CBD oil. I have started to feed her later in the evening before I head to bed. The litter situation is interesting tho. Since we met with the Vet she suggested to open up the dome litter box so she can posture better in there based on her age this might be a little more difficult. We did this and then Tig never used her litter upstairs again, not once. Then she started peeing more downstairs UGH!. It’s been truly a trying time going through different options to figuring this out. So we picked up a new litter bin, and litter at the pet store – with their help on suggestions. And moved the litter into a new place in the house and she’s using it!!! Finally, not going downstairs at all, just using this one litter box and no accidents for the last several weeks. Her yowling in the middle of the night starting around 4am hasn’t stopped yet.

The background voice notes were recorded by me, Valerie Moss, the GarageBand loops I chose today are:

  • Cats Meow 01/02/03/04/05
  • Electro Beep Accent 01

The show is written and produced by me. See you next Tuesday.

Banff Mountain GetaWay – vvp41

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast About recent getaway to the mountains. One of my most favourite things is being outside when the weather is cold and brisk but the sun is lighting up the day. With barely a cloud in the sky and it’s so cold and crisp under your feet.

Lake Louise

First stop – Lake Louise, 2 hours north west of Calgary nice drive into the park. Once you pass Canmore of brown lands we were becoming suspicious to the rumours about the snow, but as soon as we passed the park gates Snow Snow Snow

Check out my site for some videos of our drive the day was amazing to travel the abundance of snow hanging on the fence stumps looking like mushroom tops was incredible –  this is snow. Also the Chinook arch was beaming with delight. A site to see if you’re not from around here our Chinook arches are a staple here in the mountains swinging our temperatures from minus 10 to plus 10 over night. Feels like spring when we’re in our coldest season.

Listening to the people enjoying the snow, skating on the majestic Emerald Lake, hiking, The mountains are encapsulating us from every direction. the sound, is solid. The 80 cms of snow or 31 inches absorbs the sounds. It’s really quite amazing, if you stop to listen when it snows it’s almost silent.

Me with my family, we enjoyed the scenery capturing a few memories, smiling at all the tourists, people skiing, kids digging into the snow, jumping. Dogs loving it up. Being with like minded people who appreciate a good picture in the freshest air.

Aren’t cameras fun…seeing all the people capturing this moment with loved ones, clicking their cameras big and small to get this moment, to savour this moment just like us.

You know what’s amazing to me is people from all over the world are enjoying the same place as me – in my country, my backyard…I don’t know what they are saying but you can just imagine…this are is beautiful, take a picture of me over here…

From Ice Castles that you can stand in and have a drink in complete with bartender, take pictures peeking out through the windows – yes inside the ice castle. Surrounded by the most in credible 6 mountains. When you stand outside the hotel and looking from left to right the mountains are:

Fairview Mountain

Aberdeen (which kind of hides behind Fairview)

Lefroy

Victoria (the big one in the centre)

Whyte (with Mount Niblock connected to its right)

St. Piran

We walked all around this amazing place. Nestled within these mountains, this chateau and can’t you hear is so quiet with people just taking it all in around us. Taking family pictures. Savouring this experience.

What time is it? I don’t know I say…when I’m on vacation or holidays or away from my busy life I like to loose track of time…this helps me unwind and be in the moment, whenever and whatever I’m doing.

Dig out your boots, your snow pants, favourite warm mitts and toque head to the mountains, get that fresh air on you and in you. This my friends, heal souls and refreshes minds to undertake your next challenge. This is my happy place. What’s your happy place? Why how does it make you feel  is it a thing, a song, a person  share this with me.

Banff Park Lodge

Next Stop ….checking into the Hotel, we’ve always wanted to Stay at the Banff Park Lodge located on Lynx Street between Wolf Street and Caribou Street – see the theme here? It’s boasting many flags on the outside of the building. True to Banff’s style it’s rock and wood and feels good inside – at the time we were there it was still decorated like Christmas – the trees were as tall as the ceilings over 20′ – stunningly decorated . Although we booked our room online. Here’s our checking in experience.

Like all checkins you need to park your car and mosey up to the reception desk to check in…our gal was lovely….hair dryer to room..so funny.

Parking is underground, in a warm basement, daily parking is advisable, this was your car is safe..  why can’t we remember our licence plate lol…she would run out in the cold to get this detail – thank you lady!

insert here…isn’t that nice how she’s engaging to London, asking her questions, check out her accent, there’s a lot of Auzzie’s in Banff – why – likely because it feels like home 🙂

Thank you…this was we can sleep in then head to brunch yummy!

So Jeff comes back in from getting his licence plate and wants to ask about late check out – this is when you’ve been together as long as we have – on the same page…

hair dryer is cancelled

We were checking in earlier then typical time, but there wasn’t any other rooms available at this time for ready rooms…while Jeff and London were upstairs checking into the brunch and walking around… checking in is always a process…but it was a pleasant experience and they were very kind and accommodating for our requests and questions.

insert voice note – marking reservations…3 people at 12:30 – we are booked for brunch!

After we finished getting checked in, we got nestled into our hotel room, it was a standard room with two queen beds, nice balcony view, clean, small bar to put all of our medleys in to keep chilled on the one side with fridge, a good bathroom that’s been upgraded with finer fixtures. It’s roomy and clean. We freshen up and head out to explore the hotel. Find the pool and the dining area along with the bar that’s has a few patrons mingling and having food and drinks. It’s cozy and welcoming…a waiter greets us.

La Terrazza Dining Room

LaTerrazza dining room, is located within an atrium, still decorated cozily and quaintly for Christmas with small lights and evergreen bows. Located behind the bar off to the side, it’s quiet and intimate. We picked our table. Made our reservation enjoyed an appetizer and a glass of wine. We had the nachos.

The room was very inviting and after enjoying the nachos we wanted to stay and laiase the day away. The nachos were okay and definitely hit the spot but they weren’t the best nachos I have ever had…

We proceeded to go for a walk around Banff, it’s was snowing like crazy which is exactly what we were wishing for. being in the snow…it was also a bit cold but hey it’s the mountains in wintertime, this is what we expected and why people come here.

After the pool we got ready to go to dinner, as you heard we made reservations at La Terraza dining room, the menu sounded great and the ambiance was very fitting. Jeff enjoyed the lobster fettuccini and I tried their special ‘big fish’ served on rice with veggies. It was amazing – London just ate off our plates. I just love that she’s adventurous with food – are you kids, would they eat Lobster and a large flat fish with head and eyes still intact?

Crave Mountain Grill

The next morning we enjoyed brunch in their Crave restaurant Located upstairs with large windows to overlook the Banff mountains and areas.This brunch has been nominated for the ‘best brunch in Banff’ award a few times and this occasion didn’t disappoint. Our waitress was an auzzie and you could tell she loved her job.

Checking in for brunch beginning of voice note.

While we were waiting for our waitress a man came moseying into the restaurant, all the waiters and waitresses said hi to him, he was known to them and familiar. He seems pleasant enough making his way through the restaurant with his walker to assist him. A tall man with grey showing on his face and top of his head – once he removed his toque. Scooching through the tables gingerly placing his walker to not bump into anything. Once he got situated they bought him coffee etc.

Later I met him up at the buffet together, he asked me if I was enjoying Banff and I said yes I returned the question and he said yes for 60 years and the mountains were bigger back then…a local I suspected. Born and raised in Banff – how lucky!

As we enjoyed our brunch with all the fun trimmings of fish, meat, pastry bar, chocolate with fruit fountain and all kinds of salads and warm food time planned the rest of our day we were visiting with our waitress and she was so outgoing and a perfect match to our fine brunch establishment. Cheery and pleasant, good service too. New zealand north island…such a doll how friendly is she? She’s been here for 9 years. Don’t you just love listening to another accent makes it even more gregarious and connects you further to the people around you – you always learn something. Looking out the window was so beautiful, so much snow and the sun making it shimmer it was stunning.

Thanks for listening into our weekend getAway in the mountains, I wanted to share this experience with you as I mentioned earlier the mountains and the cold heals me. This is my place where I get rejuvenated. The sound of the snow, the being beside like-minded people, enjoying the quiet company of my family and being lucky enough to have this experience in my back yard.

If you’re from Calgary you likely ski or snowboard or trek up the mountains hiking. For me the mountains are a peaceful place. Listening to London enjoy the snow and Jeff snapping pictures of us and the environment is where we find our bliss moment.  As a side note, The brunch was excellent but a little pricey when you’re in Banff you’ll pay more for the experience and the atmosphere. We were surrounded in people on the ski hill and snowboarding throughout the days, people were giddy with the excitement of the snow, the most snow in over 10 years.

What’s your happy place or is it a person that you can snuggle up with? Find that place in your mind right now and just be there in that moment. I’ll wait….

Thanks for listening. If you have a favourite story to tell me about your happy place let me know…these feel good stories are the best ones to share with each other as it spreads happiness and a warm feeling inside.

The intro and outdo is by London Moss, the music I chose for todays episode is through GarageBand and my personal voice note recordings. I hope you like these voice notes and having a glimpse into our personal experience with the sounds and banter within my family and our GetAway. Some of the music and GarageBand loops I choose for todays episode are:

  • Future Fresh Topper
  • Wolf Howl 02
  • Counterpoint Synth
  • kids Cheering
  • Jumping in the Pool

Activities for Kids and Parents – vvp40

Extra Curricular Activities from golf, to swimming, to basketball, cycling, to bowling and photography…What’s your preference? This week on Valerie’s Vareiety Podcast we are talking sports and extra curricular actives for your kids and maybe even you! I’m your host Valerie Moss…Enjoy the episode.

What do you have your kids in for extra curricular activities? From gymnastics, to soccer, hockey, swimming, golf – what’s you or your kids activity preference and why?

Gymnastics

London’s quite a small girl and has always been so we thought gymnastics would be good to build up those core mussels and balance in the younger years. She was in gymnastics for about 4 years with back to back sessions. Not competitive but still skill driven and building endurance, balance and passion for the sport. We took her to Flip Factory just off 4 street NE. She went consecutively with her friend Sophie until recently as plans change people moved life adjusts. We noticed many benefits of Gymnastics, for one it provided her the agility and 2 strength that has benefited her with her other sports.

Gymnastics is a good basis for any sport as it gets you familiar with your muscles, posture and power. When you are small, these things matter even more.

Karate

In Valerie’s Variety Podcast Episode 5 we caught a robber in our garage – we came upon him and chased him down the back alley – it was un-nerving and scary.  this lead to a renewed discussion about Karate for London. She’s so petit we wanted her to build confidence, strength and learn to defend herself.  We purged forward in getting London into karate, subsequent burglar noted event!

This is the second activity she is in…she’s committed to it, still a white belt but moved up from ‘chops’ and is purging forward to get her yellow belt, And since I take her every week, instead of sitting and facebooking, working or listening to podcasts I’ve decided to join in on this amazing sport. Yes at my age and being a female I wanted to show by example and get into shape also. plus maybe learn a skill or two, and hopefully defend myself along the way – honestly I hope I never need to put this to the test. Plus I think it’s something good that we can do togehter, she’s pretty proud of this – we’ll see how it unfolds.

Where and how much $

This particular class on Thursday nights held in Mount Pleasant Community Rec Centre is ran by a husband and wife team. They are incredible and made me feel at ease making this decision. Part of the acku All Canadian Karate Union (http://www.acku.org) practicing the Traditional Skokotan Karate in Alberta and British Columbia. What’s nice about belonging to this club is you can train at any of the facilities and training clubs around the city – it’s part of your monthly fees. And at $55/person or $95/family of two or more that’s a pretty good rate for 2 classes per week or as many as you can fit into your shedule…

Do you or would you take any classes with your kids? There’s a parent in this karate class that has two kids involved in it as well. One thing is, when you’re in class with your children you are separated, and as a result you are not the parent during class time. The Sensai has control as the instructor. So that’s a nice break also. But I do like being in this class with London, she has 7 months of experience into this than I do so she feels very knowledgeable and shows me things – I love it!

One of my clients believes that team sports is the only way to go. You need to be a team in life you need to keep your ‘bench’ full he would say. Growing up I wasn’t into sports but I worked from a young age, therefore I proved to be a good team player. What about you? We have friends/family that live through their kids sports, hockey and soccer plus baseball and golf. To me, that’s just a bit too much for these small people, alternatively if it works for you, then great!

Swimming

We signed her up for swimming to continue her lessons and master this life skill.  Swimming is a necessity of life and an important strength to have. We traded gymnastics for swimming.  Swimming has been a success! She passed her Swimmer 1 with flying colours, now onto Swimmer 2. We attend the Killarney Swimming Pool on Saturdays mid morning and the class is approx. 45 mins, take a listen.

Why Swimming

Spending summers at the lake, vacationing in places with oceans and pools and travels to hotels with pools has pushed us to ensure London has the training and skills to be a good, safe swimmer with confidence. Do your kids swim? Are you a swimmer? As we sit in the pool viewers area and watch the adults take lessons, we thought wow good on them for pushing their limits and learning something new. Learning a new skill and showing your vulnerability is a lessen in modesty. I wish them all the luck and courage to get through this.

A lession in trust

As a side story, there was this little munchkin being brought to class by her momma, she was resisting major big time. Jeff and I sat in the viewers corner watching. This timid girl was running back to the entry into the change rooms, peeking out to her momma and shaking her head no-way am I going! She then  would walk out to her momma and take the scene in again, pondering.  The mom eventually handed the child to the teacher.

…the child was continuously resisting – yelling out,”momma I have to tell you something…” momma please I just need to tell you something…oh man it just tested the parenting reactions, I was almost in tears ready to hear what she needed to tell her momma – whatever it might have been. Her momma was just sitting up the bench from me…respecting the teacher reassurances with her daughter. The teacher kindly but firmly brought the child into the water – with full resistance but just the first couple of times, then the fear facing child was settled in and as a result took her lesson.

Try something new

I encourage you to try something new, if I can start Karate at 41 what could you start. A language class, an art class, or join your kids lesson.? I did my research for this decision by asking the Sensai to help me. As a result, she and her daughter started at the same age as we are, this solidified my decision.  Anyway, good luck to you when you do decide to join a class and let me know what you decide.

In Closing

In closing, thanks for listening today on Sports and Extra curricular activities not just for our kids, but certainly, for us as well! Thank you, it sure means a lot that you’ve chosen this podcast as part of your favourites! I love that. Please take a second to rate me and tell a friend to spread the word.

The intro and outro is by London Moss, the music for this episode is Upbeat Hi-Hat Topper.  I recorded the background loops of swimming and karate.

The sound effects I chose today are:

  • Golf Hit
  • Jumping in the pool
  • Basketball dribbling
  • bicycle coasting
  • Bowling strike
  • camera shutter
  • record player scratching
  • Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish numbers

I wrote and produced this show plus design the cover art for this episode through Adobe Spark.