Red Blends, the heavy hitters of the Okanagan, the ones we drink throughout the winter… they are voluptuous, rich, powerful, high in alcohol, and can require a lot of care. With heavy reds, there’s usually so much structure, tannin, and acid, so they need time to sit and open before they’re properly sampled and evaluated.Read More
The attributes of a Syrah are unique, complex, fruity, and delicious. It can be peppery, meaty (cured meats, bacon fat), fruity - lots of black fruit and even red fruit. It can be spicy, oaky, herbaceous, usually dry, full bodied, and great for cellaringRead More
SPONSORED BY: Green Okanagan
The cooler temperatures are here, and that means parents across the valley are pulling warm-weather apparel out of storage, getting rid of too-small items, and hitting the shops for new gear.
For those of us who are as concerned with the environment as we are with our wallets, it can be hard to know what to buy, especially when we don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Here are Do The Okanagan’s Green tips for kid shopping this winter…
1. Shop second-hand
There are financial benefits to buying preloved (cut your cost by 50-90%), BUT ALSO shopping second-hand is like giving the environment some much needed holiday time! Hey mother nature, you’ve been working overtime… grab yourself a bottle from our local wine list and put your feet up for an hour or two.
When a pair of boots or snowpants are passed down from child to child, it keeps that item out of the landfill, while foregoing buying a new product, which needs to be manufactured, packaged and shipped. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, it takes 2,700 liters of water to produce 1 t-shirt -ONE-. Just imagine all the other components and byproducts that happen before an item even arrives at your house.
So before you head out to buy a new coat, scour your local buy-and-sell groups, or hit up a second-hand store. Here are our fave brick-and-mortar stores that sell gently-used kids’ gear (see map below):
Little Plum Children’s Boutique - 3014 30th Ave VERNON
Salvation Army Thrift Stores - VERNON and KELOWNA
Value Village (three locations in VERNON, KELOWNA and WEST KELOWNA)
Second Tyme Around - 2000 Spall Rd KELOWNA
Once Upon a Child - 1780 Baron Rd KELOWNA
Play It Again Sports - 1778 Baron Rd KELOWNA
2. Shop locally made brands
There are so many amazing local clothing brands in the Okanagan, and giving them your business is a great way to not only support local brands, but also reduce the impact of shipping. Not sure where to start? We love:
Dolly Funkle - Hand-made clothing for babies, kids and the people who love them. Custom orders welcome.
Brok Boys - Local kids’ apparel company … with an increasing selection of adult clothing, too! brokboys.com
Nooks - Sustainably- and locally-made baby booties and apparel. nooksdesign.ca
Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel - Family-run company, producing ethically sourced and produced clothing. www.okanaganlifestyle.ca
Anchors and Arrows - Sustainable and fashion-forward clothing for the little humans in your life. www.facebook.com/AnchorsandArrowsurbanapparel
Nest and Nurture - Ethically-made garments for little people, hand-made piece-by-piece in West Kelowna. www.nestandnurture.ca
Crepe and Coral - Hand-made kids’ clothing, with functional and fashionable sweaters, bottoms and more. www.facebook.com/crepeandcoral
3. Buy items that can be recycled
Did you know that Kamik boots (like the ones pictured above) have a recycling program? Yep! Once the boots have been worn out, you can send them back to Kamik where they will be given new life! Learn more about Kamik’s Sustainability Program here.
Bonus: Their boot liners are made from recycled plastic (see our next post to learn about other products made from recycled materials). In the past five years, Kamik has reused, recycled and transformed 15 million plastic bottles. Yusss!!!
4. Buy Items made from recycled materials
The exterior of Parkland bags (like Isla’s backpack, pictured here) are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, and their leather diamonds are made from apples, so they are vegan. Lunch bags, totes, backpacks and more come in a variety of sizes and awesome patterns. Read Parkland’s amazing Recycle Story here. You can find Parkland products locally at:
5. buy Products made sustainably
We started buying Mini Mioche clothing for our kids when we lived near the company’s Distillery District store. We loved how their soft and comfy fabrics, as well as the fact that they are Canadian.
All Mini Mioche clothing is made Toronto using premium organic and sustainable fabrics made from non-GMO plants, and their fabrics are dyed ethically and locally using low impact dyes from natural sources. They don’t ship their product in plastic or polybags, and everything from their hang tags to shopping bags are made with recycled and recyclable materials. PLUS they run a donation and upcycle program in their stores, so gently-used Mini Mioche apparel can be donated to families in need. Learn more about this awesome company’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing here.
How do you shop with sustainability in mind? Share your tips in the comments section below!
You might also like…
By DTO Staff
Ahhh Halloween! One of the highlights of childhood, not just because you get to dress up in cotume, stay up past bedtime, and travel in a pack through your neighbourhood. Ask most kids, and the candy is the ultimate highlight.
But not everyone is thrilled with the ingredients in the candy that comes home in trick-or-treat bags. Luckily, there are some fantastic alternatives for parents looking for Halloween snacks with less sugar and more wholesome, clean ingredients.
SimplyProtein® kids bars, for example — which come in two flavours (Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Vanilla) — have 4 grams of protein, and only 2 grams of sugar per two bars. Plus, they are peanut-free, meaning they can be handed out as part of your teal pumpkin stash, and brought to school when Halloween is over!
Other awesome Halloween treat options:
Black Forest organic gummy packs are coloured and flavoured using real food ingredients like pear juice and carrot juice, and are organic, and gluten-free.
Annie’s Really Peely Fruit Tape is made from real fruit and real fruit juice, and is organic, gluten-free, and contains no artificial flavours, colours or high-fructose corn syrup.
Goldfish Crackers can be purchased in grab-and-go packs, and are a great alternative to sweet treats for Halloween. They are baked, and made with no artificial flavours or colours.
Smart Sweets - founded right here in B.C. - makes sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free gummies made with non-GMO ingredients, without artificial sweeteners.
Yum Earth natural lollipops are allergy-friendly, gluten-free, vegan, artificial dye-free, and come in eight awesome flavours. Plus, their ingredients are listed right on their website!
More HALLOWEEN on the Blog…
For most of us, when we think of Halloween, we remember dressing up in a ridiculous costume, and wandering the neighborhood with our friends to ring doorbells and receive treats. With the spooky season upon us, we thought we’d take a minute to offer up a few low-waste solutions to a typically trash-filled holiday.
We are fiends for dress-up; but, costumes found at retailers are often manufactured overseas, are of cheap quality, and usually only worn once.
This year, try DIY-ing your costume! Second-hand stores offer a plethora of creative costume fodder, and help keep your search closer to home.
Not only will you have a truly one-of-a-kind get-up, you’ll have bettered the planet in the meantime. How spooktacular!
As for the candy, we know it can be difficult to source waste-free treats. Most of the options come wrapped in single-use plastic packaging, and some can contain spooky palm oil (read more about the negative impacts the palm oil industry is having on our environment here). The frightening pollution that can come with candy creation and it’s packaging can be enough to make us want to lock our doors and turn off the lights on Halloween. Don’t panic! We have some tips and tricks to get you through:
Make your own treats - DIY candies will make every little ghost and ghoul light up. We do however, only recommend giving out DIY'ed treats to your family and friends. The reality is, when people see homemade candy in their pails, it is typically thrown out because it can be a safety hazard. Making treats can be awesome for those closest to you, but passing them out to others may result in them being thrown away. We recommend passing out packaged candy to ensure everyone is safe, but letting people know how they dispose of the waste effectively.
Seek out candy in waste-free wrapping - look for compostable options, cardboard, or paper
Purchase your items in bulk - that way, you can buy without packaging or at least with less packaging
Recycle your packaging as a last resort - this will help divert it from the landfill
Up-cycle - use an old pillowcase or tote bag to carry candy
Lucky for us, Recycle BC has a special program in the Okanagan that allows consumers to take back foil-lined, “flexible plastic packaging” including candy, chocolate and chip wrappers. How sweet is that ?! Start a bag for your candy wrappers to bring back to the Recycle BC depot or London Drugs nearest you.
We think the ultimate solution is to simply use less in the first place; but, we also understand that life happens and we’re excited to see the number of alternative waste-management options grow in the Valley.
Creep it real this Halloween by giving out low-waste treats and letting others know how they can reduce their impact!
HALLOWEEN ON THE BLOG:
You may have heard of it or seen it perched atop the hill beside UBCO's campus. Aberdeen Hall is a co-ed, non-denominational independent school in Kelowna. But there’s so much more to Aberdeen than meets the eye.Read More
Little Plum has a public bathroom, change table, free diapers and wipes, big comfy chair for nursing and feeding, free toddler crafts twice a week, plus activities out front such as bubbles and sidewalk chalk!
As Summer disappeared, those delicious summer sippers have been muscled out by the ever so sexy and delicious Pinot Noirs. In my opinion, Fall is the best time to be drinking Pinot. So bundle up, find your favourite patio and savor a glass before old man winter arrives.Read More
By KRISTEN THOMPSON
Looking to spend a lovely fall day in Kelowna? We spent a sunny, crisp Sunday in the Mission (part Lower, part Upper) with no plans whatsoever, seeing where the day took us. And man, did we have a great day! Follow along on our adventure, and check out these six great Mission-area spots:
1. Barn Owl Brewing
What: We started our Mission adventure by fuelling up at Kelowna’s newest (don’t quote me on that) brewery, Barn Owl Brewing. The kids were thrilled with the snack options (Munch Mix and pepperoni sticks?! YES!). The renovated heritage barn features an incredible, spacious upstairs with cozy seating, board games and even shuffle board. Plus there’s a patio!
FYI: Open 7 days a week. You can order in pizza from DunnEnzies across the street!
Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)
2. Don O Ray Farms
What: The kids have been begging us to get pumpkins, and since we’d never been to Don-O-Ray Farms before, this seemed like the perfect spot to stop. Right on Benvoulin, this family-run farm features a market with fresh produce and local groceries (we picked up fall veggies, butter chicken, and samosas!). In the fall, there are fresh-from-the-field pumpkins and decorative gourds. There’s also petting zoo and hedge maze as part of the Don O Ray Farm Adventure, but these attractions are seasonal.
FYI: The farm will be hosting a drop-in fall photoshoot event on Sunday, Oct. 22! More info here
Where: 3443 Benvoulin Road KELOWNA (see map below)
3. Summerhill Pyramid Winery
What: Summerhill Pyramid Winery has been one of our family’s favourite spots since moving to Kelowna. The views are spectacular, there are games for the kids out front, the restaurant serves delicious, locally-sourced food, and we love their wine. Bonus: They’re passionate about organic and biodynamic farming.
FYI: Summerhill uses no animal byproducts in its wine-making, and is therefore vegan friendly. More info here.
Where: 4870 Chute Lake Road, KELOWNA (see map below)
What: Hands down, Quilchena Park is our kids’ favourite playground in Kelowna. This amazing spot up in beautiful Kettle Valley has tons of play structures, is appropriate for toddlers all the way up to big kids, and has a giant tube slide! In the summer, the splash pad is a perfect way to keep cool.
FYI: We wrote more about this awesome park here.
Where: 5636 Jasper Way, KELOWNA (see map below)
5. DunnEnzies Pizza
What: Pizza! On the patio! We’ve always loved DunnEnzies, and their Lower Mission location has an amazing outdoor patio underneath a lovely mature tree, overlooking a grassy lawn. We ordered breakfast pizza and tacos (all of which was delicious), and the kids loved playing in the grassy area.
FYI: Mission location is dog-friendly. You can also find DunnEnzies downtown, at Landmark, and at the Airport Village. More info here.
Where: 4638 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)
6. It’s a Bakery
What: Our Mission adventure came full circle with a trip to It’s a Bakery (next door to Barn Owl Brewing) for an afternoon pick-me-up: A sweet treat for the kids, and caffeine for the grownups. They’ve got lots of house-made breads and sweets, as well as grab-and-go lunch items, but we were particularly excited about all the pumpkin spiced options (we blogged about it here).
FYI: Learn more about It’s a Bakery by checking out their website.
Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)
Get out and enjoy a fall hike with your kids with this fun, free scavenger hunt, perfect for Okanagan trails.Read More
Chardonnay... The KING of white grapes! Our Okanagan Chardonnays are done in many different styles, from unoaked to oaked. For our Chardonnay blind tasting we used the picnic area at Spearhead. It was a perfect day to taste wine.Read More
By SAFFRON QUIST
SPONSORED BY: Green Okanagan
It was recently my kiddo’s birthday. I always cringe when I watch the pile of garbage hit the curb after a kid’s -or any- party. I’m often the crazy lady picking through trash bags rescuing as much as I can from the dump.
At our house, I try to do the max: compostable single-use plates that actually go in a compost bin, we usually don’t do disposable decor or balloons (this year was an exception because we had an old stash squirreled away), and in previous years we’ve asked for RESP contributions instead of gifts. Even Solla’s dress is second (actually third) hand!
Buuuuut… kids hit a certain age where RESP contributions totally suck and toys become an expectation.
Kid’s toys are SO HARD on our garbage crisis! The amount of plastic, wood, metal, batteries, dyes, scents… required to create the toy itself -and then the packaging (oh and sometimes we carry it out in a plastic bag) makes me want to barf and cry at the same time -similar to when I drink too much tequila and with the same level of regret.
Every time a new toy is created, there’s an enormous use of resources and then waste created in manufacturing, shipping, and merchandising. Just think of what it takes alone to keep the lights on at Toys R Us (sorry Toys R Us). And then the toy breaks or the batteries die, and we toss it… eventually eating it in our seafood dinner.
According to Huffington Post the toy industry in the US accounted for over $18 billion in sales in 2017. That a lot of F-ING toys!
So, in my under-qualified opinion, I think we’re doing our kiddos a huge favour by teaching them mindfulness. Where these things come from, where they end up, and the global affect that it has. Also, that presents are not the most important part of the party.
ReToy-ing is the hottest new trend! We know because we’re starting it! #retoy
This year, I asked our friends to go through their kid’s toys and wrap up something they were no longer playing with -or purchase something used. Let’s face it, there’s a heap of stuff in your house that you (or grandma) think is super rad but your kiddo is totally over.
I can say with certainty, that Solla did not miss that toxic plastic smell or the copious amounts of packaging that comes off brand new stuff. And she scored some amazing things!.. probably even better things than had our friends hit up Walmart.
So we challenge you to give the planet a giant hug, fuel your kid with knowledge, and join us in the retoy movement. Especially with Christmas right around the corner! Use the hashtag #retoy and tag us on social media @dotheokanagan!
Have you heard of the Myra Canyon Trestles trail? It’s an amazing cycle-friendly trail that that was once part of the Kettle Valley railway system. Appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. We love it!Read More
It’s Pumpkin Spice season! From lattes and hot chocolates, to perogies and donuts, we’ve got the best spots to indulge your pumpkin-loving sweet tooth around the Central Okanagan this fall!
Gluten-free Pronuts from Blooming In Health
What: Blooming in Health makes gluten-free, stevia-sweetened and high-protein treats (with vegan options), and their fall-flavour “pronuts” looks amazing! I mean, c’mon: Pumpkin churro, pumpkin cheescake, mini pumpkin caramel pronuts, and pumpkin pumpkin churro caramel?! YES PLEASE!
Where: Visit their site for all their Kelowna area retail locations HERE.
Pumpkin latte at Davison Orchards Cafe
Pumpkin Swirl Brownie at Nature’s Fare
What: These pumpkin swirl brownies are available at Nature’s Fare, and have us drooling onto our keyboard. Note: They’re not plant-based or made without gluten, but we’ll take them anyway!
Where: 1876 Cooper Rd, KELOWNA
Pumpkin-spiced drinks at Kootenay Coffee Company
Pumpkin Spice Blondies and Lattes at Whisk Cake Company
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies at Hot Bread Shoppe
What: Artisan bakery and gift shop in Vernon, specializing in exquisite breads and baked goods made from scratch with simple, healthy ingredients, love, and gratitude.
Where: 2901 31 St, VERNON. Visit here for more
Pumpkin everything at It’s A Bakery
What: There’s so much pumpkin goodness at It’s a Bakery, it’s hard to choose. From pumpkin biscotti and pumpkin cheesecake, to pumpkin brulee latte and even a pumpkin matcha latte, this great little bakery in the Lower Mission (beside Barn Owl Brewery) is the perfect spot to stop and grab a seasonal treat.
Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA
Fall is upon us! *twirls with hands in air as leaves fall all around* And we want you to get outside and enjoy the best of the Okanagan this season. So we’ve made the ultimate Fall-in-the-Okanagan Bucket List (scroll down a bit to print this off at home), featuring our favourite things to do in September and October! (Made in collaboration with The Local Gift Card).
Check any of these items off, and tag us in your pictures! Have fun! And enjoy your fall :)
FALL BUCKET LIST ON THE BLOG
We’ve been crossing off some of the ideas in our September Bucket List, and blogging about it. Check it out, and let us know if you get the chance to try any of these awesome activities!
The Troll Grandfather is an epic theatre adventure of a 9-year old girl who, after discovering her grandfather is a troll, sets out on a dangerous journey to learn more about her family and past.Read More
Planning a trip to the IPE? We’ve got the best insider’s tips and tricks, for fair-goers of all ages! Have fun!Read More
By DTO Team
SPONSORED BY BIRCH HILL STUDIO
We made it!
Week one of back-to-school is In. The. Bag. If you had illusions of pulling out meticulously-organized freezer meals for school lunches, and instead threw six cheese strings in a bag - you’re not alone. If your kid had to remind you for three straight days that he needed indoor shoes - you’re not alone. If you dropped your child off at school wearing the exact same clothes you wore to bed the previous night, then you are my twin, and come find me so we can high-five.
The first week back can be madness, but there’s nothing more rewarding on a Friday evening post-bedtime than pouring a glass of something … refreshing. But, what pairs best with I’m-watching-Netflix-on-a-pile-of-dirty-clothes? Or, I-was-late-for-pick-up-four-times-this-week? Read on. And treat yourself, dear back-to-school parent. *clink*
BROKEN LADDER CIDER
Pairs well with cold Annie’s (white cheddar, obvs, because orange cheddar tastes like poison), which your children didn’t finish, so you might as well eat it - amiright? With its crisp, sweet finish and easy-to-hold can, Broken Ladder cider is also the perfect end-of-the-first-week-of-back-to-school drink for parents who only lost 25% of their minds this week.
BENCH 1775 VIOGNIER
Pairs well with a dinner of cold cereal with a side of guilt. Cold cereal because you didn’t actually get the back-to-school grocery shopping, and guilt because your kid was late for the first day of school because you couldn’t find your car keys or your wallet. Kick back, throw your feet up on top of that pile of laundry teetering aggressively on your living room ottoman, turn on Netflix, and enjoy a cold, crisp glass of Viognier.
BNA BREWING EARL PALE
Yuuuummm. This beer pairs well with absolutely nothing, because it’s so dang good. But on a Friday after the first week of school, we recommend pairing this delicious local masterpiece with the Dairy Queen you convinced your spouse to go out and get for you because the salad you had for dinner just isn’t cutting it. Ideal for parents who plan on staying up til midnight next Tuesday to finish their child’s “About My Family” collage, vowing that this is the last time you do your kid’s work for them.
PERSEUS WINERY CAB MERLOT
This delicious red (one Kristen’s faves) pairs well with an evening devoted to getting grass stains out of brand-new leggings, and foolishly hot glue gunning Girl Guide badges on a sash because you can’t be bothered to find the sewing kit. This rich, medium-bodied wine features notes of black cherry with hints of cocoa, with a spicy finish. (Full disclosure - that last part came straight from the website. Kristen’s tasting notes are usually something like: “winey” or “tastes like grapes” or “yes, pour me some more”).
OKANAGAN SPIRITS BOURBON
This drink will punch you right in the taste buds, in all the best ways. Pairs well with the pizza and cinnamon stix you secretly ordered after the kids were in bed. (Hot tip: Bury that pizza box under a pile of older recycling, so your kids don’t see it the next morning and ask questions you are not prepared to answer). Pour over ice with a little maple syrup and you’ve got yourself a big-girl (or guy) drink.
What’s your drink of choice? Tell us in the comment box below!
Check out all things Back to School including great local products and deals 👇
Ah Riesling … the most misunderstood grape! Rieslings are serious Summer sippers. Perfect for patios, parks, beaches, anywhere it’s hot and the wine is kept cool. We were at Arrowleaf for our most recent Battle of the Okanagan blind wine tasting. Read up on which ones were our faves!Read More
Enter to win a family pack!Read More