Friday, September 4, 2009

Movies on the Square/Movies in the Park

Friday, September 4, 2009
Where: Churchill Square/Varying Locations Around the Province
Phone #: Civic Events Office - 780-944-7740/N/A
Website: or

Remember that scene in the movie The Wedding Planner when everyone goes to the park and watches a movie outdoors. I don't know about you but I thought that was the coolest event ever! So when Carly told me that they do that here in Edmonton I was uber excited to go! We've been talking about it since spring; planning to go and then post about it, and then the first 2 dates came and Carly was away. Then the second 2 dates came and I was away. Then finally last week the stars aligned in our favour and we made it out to a Movie in the Park event in Sherwood Park!

The event was hosted by ATB financial and held at Festival Place, and included popcorn and a drink as well as activities and prizes for the kids before the movie started. The movie was UP! Great movie! Full of laughs and heart as all Disney movies should be. Even if you don't get a chance to catch it in the square I highly recommend seeing it. The movie was played on a giant inflatable screen and everyone came and set up their folding chairs on the lawn in front of it. The kicker of the night - we got a little hungry just before the movie started so we called and had a pizza delivered to the park! And the best part for the cheap chicks? The whole event was FREE (with the exception of the pizza)!

From my research it looks like the outdoor movies come in two varieties. Movie on the Square held at Churchill Square right here in the city, and Movie in the Park which has held various events around the province. The next scheduled events are being held by Movie on the Square Friday September 4th and Saturday September 5th. The movies start at 8pm but they recommend that you "come early to grab a seat and some snacks, and enjoy pre-movie entertainment including a fabulous balloon artist, dancing, prizes and much more!" Events begin an hour in advance. So grab your lawn chairs and a blanket if it's cool and head out to see Kung Fu Panda tonight or UP! tomorrow night - pizza optional.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

News for This Month

Thursday, July 30, 2009
It's the weekend for Heritage Festival! It's really what sets August and this year, we can thank the weather because it's supposed to be super sunny! $25 you get 30 tickets, not bad!

No plans on a Friday night? Why not come out for a wine tasting? It's been featured on City TV and it's organic! For $10, it will give you admission and a glass of wine! Check it out here!

After wine tasting, come over because they're playing Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa tonight and Kung Fu Panda tomorrow at 9:30 pm at Sir Winston Churchill Square! It's totally free so come grab a seat & some snacks, there will be dancing, prizes and stuff! Check out Movie on the Square.

Next week is Edmonton Folk Music Festival at Gallagher Park! Come check it out!

I know this is early, but for those planning, the next buffet at Padmanadi is going to be on August 12 from noon to 10 pm.

Wow, with all the festivals, I'm not sure how we are keeping track! From August 13-23, come over to the Fringe and check out all the plays they have! You may even get to go to some for free :)

Feeling a little blue that summer might be over soon? Check out the Labatt Blues Festival at Hawrelak Park on August 21-23!

And just incase you're not festivaled out yet by the end of August, you might want to check out the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival that weekend too! (August 21-23) Cheer on your favoriate team or just hang and enjoy a drink or two!

What? There's more? Yup! If you can cram more into that weekend, come out and check out the Tattoo and Arts Festival at the Shaw Conference Centre. Maybe if you're feeling brave, you can get inked there!

The Italian Centre is having their official Grand Re-opening on Sunday, August 23 from 11 am to 4 pm. They've renovated so come out and check out the new digs in little Italy!

Sugarbowl - Cinnamon Buns

We know we know, we haven't been quite consistent with the once a week post! We deeply apologize! With summer and all...well, you know how it is! We'll try to make it up to you these coming weeks, so please bear with us!

Where: Sugarbowl
Location: 10922 88 Ave
Phone #: 780-433-8369

I've never been a big fan of desserts, so while cinnamon buns are great (the icing is the best part, right?), they're definately not my favorite. We always go to Cinnabons (is that what it's called?) and buy like a dozen huge ones, end up freezing them, and they never really taste the same. Plus Bryan always end up finishing them before I even get to have 2!

Amanda, Bryan, and I went to the Sugarbowl one day quite by accident. We were supposed to go to the High Level Diner for brunch. We got to the Diner and brunch was over! Grumbling while walking back to the car, we were contemplating where they would serve brunch at 2 in the afternoon on a Sunday. And there it was - the Sugarbowl! Never heard of it, never tried it, so what the heck, we were hungry!

The first thing they told us was that the cinnamon buns were sold out. Amanda eyed the table next to us and said, "they must've gotten the last one! Look at how big it is! We have to come back!"

Not long after that, I read in a local magazine that these cinnamon buns are one of the must haves here in Edmonton. Needless to say, Cheap Chicks needed to go and investigate!

Sugarbowl is in a convenient location - close to Whyte Ave and close to the University. The atmostphere inside is super laid back with more varieties of beer than I could count - but that's for another post!

We went there bright and early one day, incase these cinnamon buns were going to be sold out again. The prices were right up our alley - they were only $3.50 each or $2.50 for half (but why bother? For $1 more, you can just get the whole one and pack half home!). When the cinnamon bun came, it didn't disappoint! It was HUGE! Like two-fist size! Unlike other cinnamon buns we've had, these ones had no icing. I was already a little worried - no icing? Really?

One bite into it, and I knew I could never go back to the way things were. These cinnamon buns were fresh and hot right from the oven! They were crispy on the outside coated with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar, and super soft and a little bit gooey on the inside. Love butter? It just melts so nicely along the edges and add that extra yummy goodness to what's already perfection.

I have been raving about these cinnamon buns to my friends ever since. Just the other day, someone asked me if I held shares in this restaurant! For the record, I don't. I just really really love them!

With a cup of coffee, the total came to about $6 each with plenty to take home to enjoy later. Don't worry, a few seconds in the microwave or warm up in the oven, it's just as good as fresh! Not bad for a complete breakfast! You also have the option to add a fruit salad for those who feel guilty afterwards. But really, starve afterwards if you must, but set aside a morning to have one! I swear once you try these, you'll say goodbye to the old ones and never look back!

Oh, and we just found out today that they have increased their limit to 3 cinnamon buns per person, so buy one for yourself, one for your spouse, and one for your friends just because you love them that much!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beginners Yoga

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Where: From Within Wellness Centre
Location: #126, 6104-172 St.
Price: $5/class if you pre-register or $10 for drop in

The first time Carly suggested I go to yoga I turned her down flat. For those of you who don't know me...I am not bendy. Never have been. Once my massage therapist told me that I was the least flexible person he had ever met and he understood why I was having problems with my back. I wanted to tell him that I knew why I was having problems too. It might have something to do with the giant Ford F350 that rammed into my friend's tiny Geo Metro while we were in it, but I held my tongue. Then one day Carly achieved the seemingly unachievable, she convinced me to try yoga! The clincher for me was that I had just moved here and Carly was the only person I knew, but a big factor in my decision was that she found us a class for beginners!

I was a little nervous for my first class not knowing what to expect. We arrived a little late so we hurried into the studio and set up our mats just in time. We started in a seated position with some basic relaxation and breathing, and then moved onto the hard stuff, which to my disbelief wasn't as hard as I expected! I was doing yoga! And the part the that I was most worried about, that people would know I can't touch my toes, didn't even phase me because no one was looking. Everyone, including myself, was so busy breathing correctly and working through the pose that no one had time to see what other people were doing.

Over the weeks that followed I definitely felt my flexibility improve with each class, my back bothered me less frequently, maybe my massage therapist was onto something, and I just felt better overall!

The cons - From Within Wellness is WAY on the west side.
The pros - $5 per class is virtually unheard of for yoga!
Overall review - If you are thinking of taking up yoga and have never done it before I highly recommend making the trip out. I know that if I had gone to a regular class and had a bad experience I wouldn't have gone back, but I definitely found this class manageable and challenging at the same time. The instructor was hard enough on us that I felt there was further for me to go and easy enough on us that I didn't feel like I would never be able to do it.

From Within Wellness also offers other yoga classes as well as belly dancing classes, massage, and even yoga training. Also From Within has recently undergone a renovation, so please go check out their new facility and report back to us with your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

News for This Week

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
*One of my friends has a cupcake stand at the St. Albert Farmer's Market this Saturday, June 27 from 10 am to 3 pm. She will have 4 kinds of cupcakes (her icing is the best in town!) and 4 kinds of cookies (yummy chewy goodness!). Her company is called Buttercupcakes - check her out! Let her know you found her through here...maybe you'll get a free sample!

*They're offering an incredible discount for manicure/pedicures this weekend and next weekend! $20 for manicure, and $25 for pedicure. Check out her schedule here.

*My friend's dad is an artist, and him along with a few others has an exibition at the Centre d'arts visuels de l'Alberta. They have acrylics, watercolors, and mixed media & drawings. Go check it out, it's free!

*The Audrey Ochoa Trio will be performing at Sobey's (downtown) on Friday and the Wafer Thin Mints will be performing on Saturday. Go for a buck a shuck and a bucket of 4 beers for $12!

*It's Edmonton International Jazz Festival Week! Click here for their schedule! On Saturday they have a free event called Jazz in the Park, and you know Cheap Chicks love free!

*This is a bit of a shameless plug - but my husband and I are putting on an Abundance Game on Sunday, June 28 at 1 pm at our place for $2! Click here to register.

*The next buffet at Padmanadi is on Canada Day on July 1! Come out at lunch or at dinner for the most delicious vegetarian food you've ever had!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wecan Food Basket Society

Friday, June 19, 2009
First, I must apologize for not posting last week. It was a crazy week with business ventures, meetings, and conferences. I am sorry! I am going to make it up with this post and some news to watch out for this weekend! Please forgive me!

Location: Various throughout Edmonton
Price: $12 for meat, $8 for produce, or $20 for both

As much as Cheap Chicks like to go out and eat, sometimes a nice home-cooked meal is just as good if not better than restaurants. With Dan's Paella (best in town!) and Bryan's lasagna and famous Caesar salad (recipe available if requested!), it's a wonder sometimes why we leave home!

The Cheap Chicks, along with 10 others are pushing ourselves for the next 18 weeks with the Transformation Challenge! With that it means more fresh-cooked meals at home and less processed food at restaurants. With the economy the way it is, grocery cost is the only thing not going down. So Cheap Chicks went out and found you Wecan Food!

The Wecan Food Basket Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable and fresh food across Edmonton. You can buy fresh meat and produce each month for more than 25% lower than retail price!

The great thing about this program is that it's opened to EVERYONE because they believe that we all have a right to proper nutrition at an affordable price.

For a $5 annual membership fee, it allows you to place as many orders as you want. They have 3 options they provide: a fresh meat order for $12, fresh produce (includes both vegetables and fruit) for $8, or a complete order of both for $20. There is no limit as to how many orders you place! So whether you're a small or big family, we can always use fresh food!

WeCan has locations all through Edmonton, including surrounding areas like Leduc, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Drayton Valley, and Wetaskiwin. You place your order at the location closest to you by the first Friday of each month, and you get to pick up your order the third Thursday or Friday that month! This is perfect for some of us who may not budget all that great and still get fresh food before end of the month!

We got our first order in June, and I definately think we got our $20 worth! We got one whole pineapple, a bag of green apples, a bag of bananas, a cumcumber, a cauliflower, and a bag of potatoes. We also got 3 chicken thighs, half a kilogram of ground beef, and just over a kilogram of a pork roast. I know if we were to get this at the grocery store, we would be paying over $30! Not to mention this is good quality food!

Without the wonderful volunteers that put in many many hours each month, we would not be able to have affordable fresh food! They're always looking for more help and I encourage you to explore their website!

Don't have a Dan or a Bryan in the house? Have no fear! Check out this cool blog for fresh food recipe ideas! I'm sure you could use one or two!

Have you placed orders with them before? What was your experience like?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Tidbit

Friday, June 12, 2009
Just some quick reminders of what's coming up! Enjoy :)

*If you want to check out Sobey's Live Music, Lionel Rault Trio is playing tonight downtown. Grab a glass of wine, order a dozen oysters and enjoy the music!

*We have a few more hours to fundraise for Homeless for a Night! Please help us by clicking here.

*Tomorrow (June 13) is the opening day for the St. Alberts Farmer's market! Come early for toonie pancakes, or show up at noon for free pulled-pork sandwich. For more info, click here.

*On Sunday (June 14), there's going to be a Vegetarian Food Fair organized by the Buddha's Light International Association. There will be more than 50 different vegetarian dishes from different countries! $20 a person, you can find more details here.

*Amanda just wrote a new post about a vegetarian buffet on Wednesday June 17, don't miss it!

*We wrote about Bellyfit a couple of weeks ago. Haven't tried it yet? Your first class is always free! Click here for the summer schedule.

*Are you dying to sweat it out after reading my post on Moksha Yoga? Only a few more weeks left to take advantage of the $5 community classes! See here for the schedule.

Padmanadi's Father's Day Buffet

Location: 10626-97th Street, Edmonton, Alberta
Date/Time: Wednesday June17th, noon-10pm
Price: $15

When we were in our late teens Carly once decided she was going to be a vegetarian. She wasn't sure why; she just decided. For any of you who know of her love for rare steak (and by rare I mean seared on the outside and practically raw on the inside) this may come as a shock. It certainly did for me! I said "What?! Ok..." I played the supportive friend. Her mother on the other hand did not. "What?! Are you crazy? Well you are going to have feed yourself because I am not going to cook anything special for you. I don't know how to cook vegetarian food!" Carly's vegetarian endeavour lasted about 3 days. Maybe she would have been more successful if she had found a restaurant like Padmanadi to eat at.

Padmanadi is an entirely vegan restaurant located in China town. They offer "a blend of Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisine". In addition to regular service, every month they have a buffet dinner and Carly and I went for our first Padmanadi buffet experience a few months ago. When we got there the line up was out the door! Buffets work on a first come first served basis and they are extremely popular so be prepared to wait. That night we didn't have to wait too long though. A table was ready for us within 15-20 minutes. The restaurant was not super large and it was packed! At times throughout the night the buffet line up wound from the buffet at the back of the restaurant to the front door. When we first got there though it wasn't too bad so we dropped our stuff at the table and got in line. The buffet looked great. There was steamed rice, a couple noodle dishes, some stir-fried veggies, and 3 or 4 "meat" dishes. We loaded up and went to sit down.

For those of you who have never tried mock meat before be prepared. It's not going to be exactly like chicken or pork or whatever is being imitated, but its close enough that I marvel at it every time I have it. It's something you really have to try for yourself, and it's not everybody's cup of tea. A verbal description though just doesn't do it justice. The point is however, meat or no meat, the food is delicious! My favorites are the ginger beef (I think it's supposed to be beef) and the yellow curry which is ALWAYS way to spicy for me but I have two helpings anyways!

For more information about Padmanadi and its story check out their website above. The restaurant is run by Kasim Kasim, the owner, and his family (if they have time ask them the story about their names), and you can really feel that the restaurant is a family business! The walls are covered with photos of the family and customers and you can really tell that Padmanadi and the owners have touched people beyond just serving them good food.

Padmanadi's next buffet is Wednesday, June 17 in honor of Father's Day. So if you haven't tried vegetarian cuisine come out for the experience, and if you already enjoy vegetarian cuisine just come out for the delicious food! Carly and I plan to be there as usual! We are aiming for three helpings - wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moksha Yoga

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Location: 14927 111 Ave
Price: varies
Phone: 780-481-3070

I've always been a big fan of yoga, but when the idea of hot yoga was brought up, I thought, "are you crazy?" I pictured this sauna with a bunch of really sweaty people smelling like dead rats (as my mom would describe the worst smell in the world). Not to mention just how do they propose I do the downward facing dog in 40 degree-heat? I can barely walk when it's above 25! I was intrigued bythe idea, but they say curiousity killed the cat, and I didn't want to take the chance.

I'm a sucker though. Let's face it, if everyone is doing it, chances are, I will eventually jump on the boat too. So when my friends Lisa & Candice called at 6 pm one evening and invited me to try it out, I internally struggled and wanted so desperately to say no, but I wanted so badly to fit in that I agreed!

Getting to the place was pretty easy, and there was plenty of parking. We got there a few minutes early and there was a long line up already!

For newcomers, they have a special deal where you can get a one-week unlimited pass for $20. For returning students (and at the time, I wasn't sure why anyone would want to return), it's $16 drop in rate with various prices available if you want to buy in class cards in packs of 5, 10, 20, or 50 (you mean people come back 50 times?!).

The place was a lot more modern than I anticipated. I'm not sure what I was expecting - the idea of sweat and stuff, I guess I was imagining a damp, dark, and just a hole in a wall. I was definately proven wrong! Maybe hot yoga wouldn't be so bad afterall!

Going into this super packed room, you could instantly feel the heat. The lights were down and they ask that you respect the silence. I put my yoga mat down and just laid there enjoying the solitude. I had a good feeling about this. I almost fell asleep waiting for class to begin!

It just so happened that the first time I went for hot yoga, we had an instructor that enjoyed taking poses to the next level! We were holding poses for a few seconds longer and we were doing just one more set each 40 degrees, it was as if I was run over by a truck...10 times. I was DRIPPING sweat from places I never even knew had sweat glands! When they told me to bring a towel, I thought it was for afterwards, but my towel was soaked 10 minutes into class!

Was I more flexible? I didn't notice! I was so immersed by the fact that my ENTIRE body was like a human waterfall. I made it half way and I had to rest (thank goodness I wasn't the only beginner there at the time!), and I drank my whole bottle of water by the end of class. I thought I would be more self conscious about how I looked and stuff, but really, there was just no room for that at all! I was not only distracted by the neverending flow of liquid coming out of my body, but I was also trying really hard to concentrate on all the different poses. There was just not a moment where I could even glance around to see how everyone was doing.

Surprisingly, the room didn't feel unsanitary nor did it smell like dead rats. It was super spacious and could easily fit 40 people (but we squeeze in 50 at max!). They have cork studio floors which were super comfortable to walk on, and they use radiant heating panels to save up to 40% energy! Even their cleaning products are environmentally friendly.

Did I go back? Why yes, I did! I thought for $20, I may as well make use of my unlimited pass! Even though I didn't fall in love with hot yoga the first night, I definately grew to love it in the past few months. In fact, now going to both hot and regular yoga, I do notice that I am more flexible during hot yoga. Sure, during the tree pose, my foot would keep slipping off my sweaty leg, but overall, I do notice how much further I can stretch myself in the heat, and I always feel so refreshed and awake afterwards. Yoga instructors varies at Moksha yoga, but they really are all super fantastic. One thing I absolutely love about yoga is that all the instructors are so zen and peaceful, and it really calms the busiest minds.

Couple things to note: Please don't make a last-minute decision to go to hot yoga like I did. If you're going to go, plan it out and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. Eat light before class. Trust me, I didn't do this and I thought my head was going to split in half and I thought I was going to pass out! Freeze a bottle of water the night before and bring it to class, you'll be thankful for something cool to drink at 40 degrees. And when you feel tired, it's okay to take a break and go into child pose. It took me a couple of months to get through the entire class without a break.

At $16/class, this normally wouldn't be something I would recommend as affordable. But what's awesome about this place is that they offer "Karma Classes" on Friday nights at 9 pm for a minimum of $5 donation with all proceeds going to a different charity every month! What's more, for the month of June, they have in-training instructors and offering "community classes" on Wednesday at 9:30 am and Fridays at 6:30 am. It's hard to find regular yoga at that price, let alone hot yoga!

They offer change rooms with shower stalls. They provide soap and a place to leave your stuff. Their tap water is also filtered and cold incase you run out of water. Mat rentals are also available, check the website for more details.

If you're going to be sweating this summer anyway, why not sweat it out at Moksha yoga? The owner Angie is an awesome and positive person who always greets you with a smile! If you're feeling a little restless lately, I promise you a little dose of sweat will give you the experience you'll never forget!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lazia's Tiramisu

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Lazia Tiramisu
Location: North, Downtown

I can’t say that I have ever much cared for tiramisu…that was until Carly made me try the tiramisu at Famoso! Ever since then I have been addicted to tiramisu. Completely forgetting my previous distaste for what I considered a foamy dessert and going out in search of other mouth watering versions to delight my palate.

The next stop on our tiramisu hunt took us to Lazia in the north end. First impressions of the restaurant were good. It was trendy but inviting. We decided to sit in the lounge as we were also there to catch the hockey game – our beloved Canucks were playing in the first round of the playoffs against the Blues…ahhh the good old days when they were winning! There’s always next year ‘nucks!

Lazia had lots of dessert options to choose from. Including crème brulé which is always a crowd pleaser. We were having a hard time deciding so the waitress suggested that we head over to the cooler on the restaurant side and take a look at the desserts. This was a nice touch and made the selection process easier. The dessert cooler was a dessert lover’s heaven. Lazia’s desserts, including the tiramisu, are all individually sized so you get an individual little cake instead of a slice from a large cake – delightful! We made our choices and headed back to our table where drinks had already been served.

Strike one against Lazia. The coffee came in glasses which always look nice but unfortunately let out the heat so the coffee gets cold quickly. I didn’t get a single hot sip of coffee all night. Then the main event – the tiramisu – arrived. It was adorable! A miniature version of a large cake; it was almost too cute to eat, but that didn’t hold us back for long. We each took a bite and as usual turned to look at each other. This tiramisu didn’t evoke the same reaction as the Sorrentino’s tiramisu so we were off to a good start. Unfortunately though my first bite was all mascarpone cheese so I couldn’t really tell much. I went back for a second bite and was pleasantly surprised. It was not the foamy whippy tasteless tiramisu of my past but I can’t say that it was comparable to the tiramisu of my dreams from Famoso. It was a solid attempt though. It was light and airy but there was something missing in the combination of coffee and liqueur. The cake was composed of a layer of chocolate cake on the bottom then a layer of mascarpone topped by a layer of ladies fingers all wrapped up in more mascarpone. I personally found the cake layer to be a bit heavy for the lightness that is required for tiramisu but since it was only one layer it was passable. A warning however, I made the mistake of trying the chocolate cake layer by itself and got a nasty surprise. It was drenched in really strong coffee and was not sweet at all. It was obviously not meant to be eaten by itself. If for whatever reason you find yourself with the bottom layer alone to eat do yourself a favour and grab some mascarpone from the side or something. Trust me on this one!

All in all Lazia ranks #2 on tiramisu hunt knocking Sorrentino’s into the third position. Famoso still ranks #1 for us based on both price and flavour.

NB – This is not related to our tiramisu research but a friend of ours ordered some sort of mango mousse concoction that turned out to be one of the worst desserts I have ever tried. Whoever decided to call that dense bit of creaminess mousse has obviously never tried real mousse. If anyone happens to go to Lazia because of this post I don’t want it to be my fault that they end up ordering this unfortunate attempt at dessert. So be warned.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sobeys Live Music

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Location: Sobeys Downtown: 10404 Jasper Ave ; Sobeys College Plaza: 8225 112 St
Price: Free!
Date/Time: Every Friday/Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm

Amanda wrote last week about how getting older has left us needing to exercise. Unfortunately, metabolism isn't the only thing that age has taken away from us! Back in the day, we could go clubbing every Friday and Saturday, drinking 2 nights in a row just meant sleeping it off on Sunday, and the loud constant rings in our ears normally disappeared after a quick snooze. Late twenties hit and we're left pondering how to spend our weekends so we're home by midnight to avoid further break down of our aging bodies. (Dramatic, I know. I'm not sure how we'll handle the 30's)

I was glancing through the newspaper one day for things to do, and I did a double take when I read "Come to Sobeys for Live Music every Friday and Saturday starting in May". Sobeys? The grocery store?

Since a place like Whyte Ave is no longer our best friend, we strolled over to Sobeys one Friday night to see what this is all about. Bryan and I were running a little late, so Amanda texted me:

7:30 pm from Amanda: U here yet
7:31 pm from Carly: Almost, 5 min away
7:34 pm from Amanda: There's no music
Carly: speechless

Bryan and I found a parking spot not too far away at a meter and when walked in to Sobeys, Amanda was right, there was no music. Were we at the wrong place? Were we misinformed? Were we too late?

Walking to the far end of the store - there it was - a coffee/drinks bar in the corner. Surprisingly, it was bright, warm, and inviting. They had a fireplace in the far wall along with a couple of really nice comfy chairs. There were a few tables - both low and high - along with some modern decoration. It seemed that the band was just taking a break, so we were relieved to know that we didn't miss the show entirely!

We quickly grabbed a spot at the bar. They serve a variety of food like sandwiches, fries, and salads. Along with that, they also serve coffee, tea, and fancy lattes. Price-wise, the food is reasonable. I settled for a glass of house red for $5 (one of their daily specials) while the boys got a bucket of beer (4 in a bucket) for $12. If you didn't want what's on their menu, you can always buy food from the grocery store (they have a fresh sushi bar!) and bring it in. It's super convenient! They also offer a buck a shuck every Thursday and Friday at Sobeys for their raw oysters. I had 10 one night and I must admit, they were so fresh and juicy I thought I was in heaven! It was super laid back, a perfect setting where you can read a magazine or newspaper, settle down and enjoy the music, or chat with your friends without it being too distracting. The audience ranged from kids to people our age to older retirees - they really catered to everyone!

So if you're looking for something a little more laid back to do on the weekend, why not check out the live music at Sobey's? It's always a local band (and at Cheap Chicks, we fully support local businesses!) and it's cheap! For $2 (a coffee), you can literally enjoy 4 hours of entertainment. Go buy a magazine and come sit by the fire, you'll feel right at home!

This week (May.22 and May 23), they're featuring Adurey Ochoa Trio (jazz) at the downtown location, and Dan Davis Trio (jazz) at the College Plaza location. Would love to hear how you feel about live music at a grocery store!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Some interesting tidbits for our fellow cheap chicks and dudes.

Sportcheck is having a friends and family sale Wed. May 20th and Thurs. May 21st. Visit the following link and print out the coupon to get the deal:

Also Tim Horton's is promoting their new iced coffees. Swing by participating stores on May 21st between 12pm-5pm and get a free small iced coffee!

Then on Sunday May 24th swing by Harvey's between 10:30am and 3pm to pick up a free original hamburger!

And don't forget that the next perogy dinner and bake sale is this Friday May 22nd at St. John's Cultural Centre. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bellyfit Excercise Classes

Monday, May 11, 2009
Location: Legends Training Centre, 10581 107 St.
Price: FREE!!!
Bring: Indoor running shoes, yoga mat, and water
Date/Time: Every Monday/Wednesday in May from 5-6pm
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Remember the days when you ate whatever you wanted and still remained the size of a twig? When what you considered exercise was walking to fridge to get dessert? Well I don’t know about you but those days are gone for me. I turned 28 and my metabolism decided to shut down. It was like – That’s it we’re done! You are too old for me! …It left me for a younger woman. Unfortunately it did not take my appetite with it. So after about 6 months of denial, while I waited in vain for my beloved metabolism to return to me with my boyfriend making helpful comments like “maybe you are thirsty not hungry?” and me shooting back daggers with my eyes, I sucked it up and got a gym membership! The first of my entire life. The news sent shockwaves through my family and friends!

The problem is I am a social exerciser. The treadmill is my nemesis. My boyfriend describes me on it as “you look like you are being tortured and about to die!” So with that in mind Carly and I started looking for activities to do together. The problem was what to do. It seems like everyday there is a new fitness craze out. I work from home and see infomercials for them all day long. Sometimes I am really convinced that in just 10 minutes a day my stomach CAN look like Janet Jackson’s - circa the wardrobe malfunction, but alas I am not willing to spend the three easy payments of $29.99. Even if I am really getting a value of $150.00 I just cannot bring myself to call within the next 5 minutes. But the other day Carly stumbled across something local and …FREE. For the cheap chicks free is like a homing beacon. We don’t pass up free and it looked intriguing so we decided to try it out…

It’s called Bellyfit. According to the website it’s a “fusion fitness experience for women that blends the power and wisdom of ancient cultures, with the research, technology and trends of the modern world.” It’s basically an exercise class that combines ethnic dances, yoga, pilates, and meditation, and its being offered for free for the month of May because the instructor Hannah Shears has just finished her training and is doing her practicum. Carly and I signed up for the Wednesday class. Unfortunately we got there a bit late. The class was just starting, so we quickly threw our stuff down and ran to the back of the room to start the cardio portion of the class. To be honest the setup was not the greatest. Legends training centre is a mixed martial arts centre and there was other training going on at the same time. It was a bit loud and a little hard to hear the instructor at times but if you watch the person in front of you it’s pretty easy to figure out what you are supposed to do. Also I have to admit that since Legends’ primary consumers are men I was a little self conscious of shaking it in front of a bunch of guys, but after a while I pretty much forgot about them. The good news... the class was a lot fun! Carly and I had more than a few giggles while “serving it up” and “shaking our stuff”! And the best part is that that seemed perfectly ok. Everyone was exercising and dancing and having a giggle! I also definitely broke a sweat but didn’t feel overly challenged or out of breath. The 2nd half of the class was more yoga/pilates inspired. It was a little more relaxing but not quite meditation. Class ended with a traditional yoga namaste which always makes me feel good. I don’t know why, it could all be in my head, but it’s just a nice ending to the class instead of everyone just getting up and leaving.

More good news…because the space at legends is so large Hannah has decided to open up the classes. So even if you are signed up for the Wednesday class you can feel free to come on Monday if you need to or you can even come for both classes if you really want to. So come out and give bellyfit a try. It’s free what have you got to lose? Carly and I will be there perfecting our shimmies!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Homeless for a Night

Sunday, May 3, 2009
Here in North America, we’re hearing about the recession every time we turn on the news, read the newspaper, or listen to the radio. We constantly focus on how much we lack and breed worry about our future. But if we take a step back to see how much we have, maybe we would feel more gratitude than fear.

We have hot water for a shower, a stove to cook a full meal, heater that keeps us warm in the chilling winter, fan to keep us cool in the scorching summer, computer to connect us to the world, a cell phone to keep in touch with loved ones, a bed to lie on after a long hard day…

The list goes on.

While we’re complaining about how much money we don’t have, the government, or taxes; there are thousands of young people between the ages of 15-18 who are wondering how they’re going to get their next meal, where they’re going to sleep without getting killed, and who they can turn to for a little bit of love.

These teenagers are just like us - they have hopes and dreams, with fragile emotions, and an incredible drive to have a good life.

The Youth Emergency Shelter Society (YESS) is a place where these teenagers can turn to for care and compassion. This year, Canadian Western Bank is sponsoring an event called “Homeless for a Night” on June 12, 2009.

Hundreds of fundraisers will gather at the Telus Field sleeping under the stars and learn about teen homelessness. We will hear stories from past youths who have experienced the profound impact that YESS provided for them.

Cheap Chicks would like to invite you to be part of our team! In 2008, 220 people participated in this event. This year, Cheap Chicks would like to ask for your help to double that number!

Unlike most homeless youth, not only will we not be alone at “Homeless for a Night”, we will also be provided with a hearty dinner, great entertainment, a toasty bonfire, mats/cots/tents at bedtime, and a delicious hot breakfast in the morning. That’s right, it’s a luxury camping trip right here in Edmonton with every dollar raised going to YESS!

Cheap Chicks made a little deal with the Dudes. We are going to have guys vs. girls to see who can raise the most money and recruit the most people to come out and join us for this worthwhile cause. So ladies, our goal is to raise $2,500 with as many women joining us as possible. If each individual raises over $250 each, we will get to pitch a tent! Please click on the link below and register yourself by clicking on “Join Cheap Chicks For A Cause”.

We have 41 days to reach this goal. Cheap Chicks will make each of you a team t-shirt when we reach $2,500! There's nothing more affordable than this! There's no cost to registering and just a little bit of your time to raise some money for this event.

We realize that there are boys who read this blog. If you want to support us, great! If you want to take the boys side (Dudes for a Cause), you can find them here:

If you aren't able to make to this amazing event but would still like to donate, please donate to us individually:

Carly -
Amanda -

Here's to providing more homes,
Cheap Chicks

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sorrentino's Tiramisu

Monday, April 27, 2009
Location: Downtown, Little Italy, Sherwood Park, South, St. Albert, West (check website for more information)
Phone: 780-474-6494

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to embark on our new adventure to find the city's BEST tiramisu. It's kinda funny, since neither Amanda nor I liked tiramisu at all until we found the one at Famoso. Now everywhere we go, we look at the menu and get all disappointed when there's no tiramisu on the menu. This blog has literally changed us. ;)

It also seems we like to venture out to new places after yoga. I'm not sure if meditating tends to open us up to new things, but probably not. I think the tree pose exhausts us enough to get so hungry we'll settle for anything in sight.

So last Monday after our last yoga class, we were debating between a few restaurants. Then there it was - Sorrentino's right in front of us! It was as if it was just meant to be. We've been talking about going there for tiramisu forever, but just never found the right time to go.
We went to the one on the West end in Callingwood. Parking was a breeze. We scored pretty rock star parking in front of the restaurant. We walked in and were surprised at how busy the restaurant was. We took one look around and knew we didn't quite fit in with our yoga pants and runners.

Amanda was starving, which served her right because she didn't have dinner before yoga. We asked for the dinner menu, which at a glance, we can tell you right now was not Cheap Chicks material. So we won't blog too much about their food...but we can tell you this - their seafood pasta although good in value (for $18, you get tons of seafood), I would only order if you enjoy chewing on rubber and inhaling clams. There were a lot of clams. Clams. Enough said.

After dinner, we were so excited about the tiramisu! Sorrentinos has advertised that they make the best tiramisu in town. I was on the edge of my seat! I couldn't imagine it being better than Famoso. I was dreaming of the creaminess and the fluffiness of it all. I was dying for them to bring it out.

Not before we ordered coffee, of course. Their coffee wasn't horrible, but wasn't the best either. It had an interesting after taste. I don't know about these Italian coffees, they all need a lot of cream. At least for me.

Finally, the tiramisu came! It looked presentable (note the picture below, which took me literally 5 whole minutes to take because of my crappy camera which wouldn't focus for the life of me, and the crappy lighting. Finally, I had to get Amanda to hold it up with her goofy face so you can have a good look at it). Amanda and I dug our forks in and took our first bite....

It was followed by silence.

Then a weird face from both of us.

And then roaring laughter.

Amanda: This is terrible!
Carly: I've never had anything like it!
Amanda: How is it even tiramisu?
Carly: I think this is why we've never enjoyed it.
Amanda: It's dense! Ladyfingers aren't supposed to be dense! I think they used cake!
Carly: Where's the cheese? Oh, there it is (scraping a thin layer off). Wait, I think it's cream cheese.
Amanda: Let me try a strawberry.
Carly: What's wrong?
Amanda: (with a squinty eyes and scrunched up face) It's REALLY sour.
Carly: Argh, I can't eat this. This was the most disappointing outing ever. It's not creamy, it's not light. There's nothing good about it.
Amanda: It's just a cake...and they named it "tiramisu".

It could've just been an off night they had. Who knows? If you've had a different experience, we would love to hear it! The good news is that Sorrentino's tiramisu is ranked #2 on our list! With the dessert and coffee, our bill came to just over $14. Would you rather spend $14 here? Or $12 at Famoso? You decide.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Army and Navy's Legendary Shoe Sale

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Location: 137th Ave & 66th Street or 10411 82nd Ave (Whyte Ave)
Phone #: 780-456-1155 or 780-433-5503
Date/Time: Wed., April 22, Doors open at 8am

Amanda: When Carly suggested that we check out Army and Navy I thought "Seriously? I used to go there with my Grandmother when I was a kid!" and, while I love my grandmother, her fashion sense was not one of the traits I most admired about her, but Carly assured me that there were great deals to had especially with the annual shoe sale coming up. Being a bit of an Imelda Marcos in the shoe department myself I decided to see what Army and Navy had to offer and boy was I in for a surprise!

We chose to check out the newest location of the Canadian owned chain in Londonderry Mall. Parking at the mall was extremely easy; definitely no hassles there! Walking into the store we were very pleasantly surprised. This was not the same Army and Navy that Amanda remembers visiting with her Grandmother! Moving to the shoe section of the store we were even more pleasantly surprised. This section is set up much like any discount chain shoe section. Shoes are sorted according to style and size. Walking through the aisles of shoes some pretty well known names started to jump out. Guess, Nine West, Rocket Dog, Baby Phat, and Dereon just to name a few, and the prices seemed to range from about $20 for a pair of flats to $70 for a pair of Arturo Chiang knee high leather boots. The day we went there there was a sale on Guess sandals; $40 a pair. The Cheap Chicks were in shoe heaven!

As it says in the title the shoe sale is fabled to be legendary. Shoes start at about $9 and go up from there, but seriously where can you get adult shoes for $9 anymore? And there seem to be some pretty big labels expected. Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade, BCBG, Walter Steiger, and more! Apparently there are line ups the morning of waiting for the store to open, and the rush to the shoes once the doors open is akin to the running of the bulls - get out of the way or be trampled! This is the kind of sale movies are made of including women fighting over the last pair and shoe vultures lurking in the aisles just waiting to pick up any tantalizing morsel that may be put down even for a second to try on a second pair. So guard any of your finds with your life! In dire situations we condone taking your significant other along to guard your shoe collection while you go back into the fray for more.

A warning to the faint of heart. Like any discount store this kind of shopping is not fun and relaxing. Shoe sale or not, this is do it yourself shopping. You have to be willing to go through the aisles and take in all that is being offered. Then on top of that you hope they have it in your size, but on those occasions when the stars in shoe heaven align in your favor there is nothing as rewarding as finding your shoes at a discount! This is a do not miss for shoe lovers everywhere and with new styles being released daily we recommend going back for more! Remember Amanda's motto: life's too short; buy the shoes!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Famoso's Tiramisu

Sunday, April 12, 2009
Location: 11750 Jasper Avenue or 14123 23 Ave
Phone: 780-732-0700 or 780-436-8799
Time: Tues to Sat 11am to 11pm, Mon 11am to 9pm, Sun 12pm to 9pm

One of our friends invited Carly out to Famoso about a year ago, and ever since, pizza had a new meaning. Even Amanda, who isn't a big pizza fan loves Famoso because of its authentic Italian taste! Although Famoso is famous for it's wood-oven fresh made pizza with ingredients right from Italy, Cheap Chicks decided to blog about something that tastes good, and fits our budget! Both of us weren't tiramisu fans, but after one bite of it at Famoso, we are now in search of the city's best tiramisu! So here's our first review - stay tuned for more!

There's plenty of parking at the Famoso parking lot. You do share with patrons at On the Rocks and Liquor Depot. But if you can't find parking there, there's also some meter parking on the street. Rest assured that you don't have to park a mile away to work up a bigger appetite!

Famoso is normally "seat yourself" style, but during peak time, you will have to put your name down and wait on the list. We have never had to wait longer than 15 minutes. And it's definately worthwhile!

Famoso isn't a big restaurant, which gives it a cozy feel. The aroma of fresh pizza is enough to make you drool all over. They have menus on the table, and once you choose what you want, you just go up to the register and order. Once the food is ready, they'll bring it to you. Meanwhile, you can help yourself with cutlery, water, and parmesan cheese/chilli on the side table.

We went to the downtown Famoso one night after Yoga to have a coffee and shared a tiramisu. Their coffee comes in a huge mug (and we mean HUGE!). We normally take 2-3 creams in our coffee, but in this mug, we both took at least 6! We recommend that you ask for it 3/4 filled (or even half), then 2-3 creams should be just right. They have vanilla flavored sugar on the side, which makes for a perfect cup of coffee.

One bite into the tiramisu, and you know this one stands out from the rest. The flavor, fluffiness, and creaminess come together in a perfect balance. The whole bite will just melt in your mouth. It was by far the best tiramisu we've had so far, but we've heard that other places claim they carry the best, so our search continues...

If you're looking for a light and yummy treat to complete your meal, then head over to Famoso! For 2 coffees, one tiramisu to share, it's only $10! It's perfect to go with a friend, on a date, or just to go!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crankpots Ceramic Studio

Saturday, April 4, 2009
Location: 10702 82 Ave.
Phone #: 780-414-1005
Time: Mon.-Fri. 10am-9pm, Sat. 10am-6pm, Sun. 12pm-5pm

A couple months ago we were planning a girls weekend and trying to think of daytime activities that everyone would enjoy. Should we go to a spa, or the farmer's market, or just out for lunch? Carly eventually came up with the idea of Crankpots! We thought Crankpots would give us the opportunity to combine girl bonding time and creativity; plus none of us had been before so we thought we'd check it out on Saturday!

Carly : We drove in circles around Whyte Ave. a few times before we found a parking spot "a mile" away. (Amanda: aka - 2 blocks)

Walking into the studio it was an opposite experience to the perogy dinner. There were children everywhere. Amanda: and I mean EVERYWHERE! (Carly: there was a little corner left for us.)

Being Crankpot virgins we appreciated not having to wait long before one of the staff members approached us to offer assistance. We learned that there was a $10 studio fee to use the space (unlimited time) and a $3 glazing/firing fee. Before we were allowed to touch any of the pieces she sent us to wash our hands. This is to prevent the transfer of oils from your hands to the pieces which will ruin your piece after it's fired.

Browsing through the pieces we tried to find ones that were practical and fit our budget. While a figurine for $7 fit the cheap chicks budget we could make better use of a $70 platter. It took us almost an hour to decide on an $18 bowl and a $20 plate (Amanda: TOO many kids in the way!)

Now it was time to get creative! The studio offers a variety of books and stencils to assist you; however, cheap chicks recommend that you walk in with an idea in mind otherwise you risk spending the next 2 hours choosing what to paint. In actuality it only took us an hour and a half!

The rest was a breeze! Whether you are artsy or not it's impossible not to have fun! Looking through the finished pieces even the simplest designs turned out well. Just pick your colors and paint away! We were so busy painting, chatting, and laughing that the next thing we knew the store was closing. If you haven't finished your piece have no fear! They do let you come back to finish without recharging you. When you're done you turn in your piece for firing. If you have a time limit keep in mind that it takes 8 days for them to finish your piece.

In total we spent $36 for 4 hours of fun, but what makes this a Cheap Chicks pick is Crankpots' Happy Hour which saves you the $10 studio fee during the following times:

10am-4pm Tuesday to Thursday
4pm-9pm on Wednesday (Students Only with valid ID)
All day Monday and Friday

This would bring our total to $26, but for $5 more you can also go on Tuesday or Thursday from 4pm-9pm and paint at the kids rate.

Crankpots also offers other deals on in studio parties as well as a paint at home option. Contact them for more information.

Overall this is a great idea for a girls weekend, staggette, birthday party or even a date! Throw in a meal and you can have a whole day of fun for under $40! As Martha would say - "'s a good thing."

NOTE: Unfortunately for Carly a small accident sent her bowl to Crankpot heaven. A new one is being reincarnated as we speak (at no charge). Our thoughts are with her during this time of need.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Perogy Dinner and Bake Sale

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Location: St. John Cultural Centre - 10611 110 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Price: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Children under 10 - Cash Only
Phone Number: 780-425-9692
Date/Time: One Friday Per Month from 5 pm to 7 pm
Next Dinner: Friday, April 3, 2009

The first time we decided to go to a perogy dinner we were bursting with excitement! Would it be a plated dinner? Would it be a buffet? Would we only get perogies? We were sure in for a treat!

Parking wasn't exactly the easiest to find, but being on residential streets, we were able to find a spot just a block away. The first thing we noticed walking into the cultural centre hall was the age group of the majority of people there. Have you ever walked into a bar and felt like the oldest person there? That was not how we felt! We were surrounded by "babas" and "dids"*!

It wasn't fine dining by any means. There were about 20 round tables in the hall, and it's first come first serve. When we arrived around 5:30, the place was already pretty packed! We found a lady who was nice enough to share the table with us.

There was a bar at the front offering alcoholic beverages, but we were too excited about the food to order any. If you're looking to drink, they range from $4.75 and up.

The mystery was solved. There was a food station at the entrance of the hall. We lined up and picked up our utensils, plates, and napkins. We walked down the line and started piling our plates! We started with a Caesar Salad, Borscht, 2 kinds of perogies - cottage cheese and cheddar, and sausages with sourkraut. At the side table, there was sour cream and fake bacon bits. The best part though, was the giant tub of butter with onions.

Even though it was a buffet, we couldn't help but load our plates as much as we could. And then, the moment came - the first bite of perogy. The mix of sour cream, butter, onions, and bacon bits was good! We could instantly tell the difference between these perogies and store-bought brands. These were definately baba made! Apparently, they have perogy making gatherings! Babas come together and wrap each perogy with lots of baba love. No wonder they tasted so delicious!

The Caesar salad was pretty tasty, especially for a buffet. If you get there early enough, it actually has real bacon bits on it! (Try to get there right at 5) The soup does vary each month, and it's individually packaged for easy serving. The extra dish is normally a meat dish, and can range from sausages to pork loin to fish.

After a dozen perogies, we felt like we were carrying a 5 lb baby. But there was more! You get coffee or tea, and dessert to end your meal. But dessert goes fast! If you want chocolate pudding vs vanilla pudding, make sure you don't wait until the very end.

There's always a bake sale at the back of the hall. Their cinnamon buns come in a package of 6 - again, homemade and fresh, for only $4! You can also get frozen perogies and cabbage rolls. You can pick up a price sheet when you enter the hall.

Amanda's thoughts: Vancouver doesn't seem to have as large a Ukrainian community as Edmonton so, even though I have always loved perogies, I had never really tasted authentic Ukrainian food. These perogies made me wonder how I was able to eat to store bought perogies for so long! The atmosphere is a bit a lacking though so I recommend bringing some friends with you to bump up the fun quotient. The food will more than make up for it!

Carly's thoughts: I'm not a big fan of perogies, but when I tasted these, I was in love! Personally, my favorite was the cottage cheese. I find it really cheesy, and you can actually taste the filling rather than just dough. One hint on the butter and onions - make sure you drain the onions or you're left with a plate with a pool of butter! This dinner is not for the faint of heart, make sure you come with a big appetite and loose pants for comfort!

Overall, $12 is a great deal for getting a salad, soup, entree, dessert, and coffee or tea (a 4-course meal). We have heard of other perogy dinners, but a lot of them are plated rather than buffet, for the same price. If you are looking for a satisfying meal on a Friday night, come check it out!

We'll be there this Friday, so look for us! Trust us, you'll know which table belongs to us!

*babas & dids mean grandmas and grandpas in Ukranian


We (Amanda and Carly) have always loved to eat. In fact, we've always joked that food was the tie that binds our friendship. When Amanda moved from Vancouver to Edmonton to join Carly in this freezer, it was only natural that we bonded over food in Edmonton.

Eating in Edmonton feels different than Vancouver. There are more smaller restaurants to enjoy but you have to go looking for them. In the span of 4 months, we realized that there are so many out there that a lot of people don't know about.

We pondered over writing a blog strictly about food, but quickly realized that we've come to find a lot of places to do different things both during the week and on the weekends.

Imagine eating as much and going out as often as we do, it's definately not easy on the wallets! We started to look for deals and now we want to share our finds!

We hope you enjoy this blog and will spread the word to your family and friends. Edmonton is really a diamond in the rough!