Conscientious Halloween Treats

By DTO Staff

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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…

Go Green This Halloween

 
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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.

COSTUMES

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!

CANDY

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:


6 Fun Things To Do In The Mission

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

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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)


#ReToy -ing is the hottest new trend

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

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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!


Some great places to find used toys, books and clothing:


For more go green ideas, hit up -GreenOkanagan.com!-


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Fall Bucket List (free printable)

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 :)

 
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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!


Local Alcohol That Pairs Well With Back-to-School

By DTO Team

SPONSORED BY BIRCH HILL STUDIO

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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.

 
Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

 

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.

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our  Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition!  Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition! Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal


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.

 
Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five,  BNA ! We love this beer.

Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five, BNA! We love this beer.

 

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”).

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years.  Perseus  wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years. Perseus wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .


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.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

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 👇