Crave More with President’s Choice Part 2

In case you missed it, last week I had the chance to go to Toronto with President’s Choice on a press trip. I wrote about the first part of my trip on Tuesday in this post: Crave More with President’s Choice Part 1. Now today I’m back to finish telling you about my trip!

When we left on Tuesday, I had just arrived at the Maple Leaf Garden Loblaw store. We had, had a hint of what the mystery new marketing campaign was going to be from that day’s Globe & Mail (see the link in the part 1 post), but still didn’t know exactly what to expect. We got our first clues when we entered the party…

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Once inside we were greeted with drinks and food (I mean, what is a President’s Choice party if there isn’t any food!?)

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There was delicious food being prepared all over, which was good since I was hungry!

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All of the food was made simply using President’s Choice products, to show that beautiful and flavourful food can come right from your own kitchen, and that it doesn’t have to take hours to make a delicious meal. Here is just a sampling of what they had to offer:

baconchicken

pumpkinpasta

I somehow managed to end up with two samples of the pumpkin triangoli which was amazing! I had purchased this product myself last year and clearly didn’t prepare it well because it was not tasty at all (sob!) but this was fantastic. I questioned them on how they prepared it so I could give it another go when I got home. ;)

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Nothing makes a room full of food bloggers happier than plate after plate of food to try ;) Well except maybe dessert…

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It was also very nice to be somewhere, where we were expected to be taking photos of everything we ate instead of having to do the “sneaky blogger” to get pictures!

Merry Pic

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Of course we weren’t there just to eat and tweet, and soon it was time for the mystery to be unveiled.

Uwe

After a brief presentation and history on the PC brand – for instance, did you know that the PC Organics line is the largest organic line in Canada? Or that they put nutrition labels on their products before it was required by law? Or that the Decadent cookie has been around since 1988 and is Canada’s #1 cookie? As the trendsetter for food/grocery in Canada,  PC decided that it was time to make a shift, which is where CRAVE MORETM comes into play.

PC CraveMore 3

“In an age when curiosity and scrutiny surround the purchase and enjoyment of food, President’s Choice® will remain Canada’s most thoughtful and engaged food brand,” said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman and President, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Today’s customer craves more distinct and exotic flavours. They crave more knowledge about what is healthy and what is not. They crave information about where their food comes from and how it is made. And they are engaging every day in passionate conversations about food quality, taste and trust.”

Crave More Mantra

And I may or may not have forced anyone that has come to my house since I returned to watch this commercial. The marketer in me (in case you don’t know, I studied marketing in College) is pretty excited about how awesome the new commercials and ads look!

As someone who loves food and is really curious about ingredients, where things are coming from, and why I’m really excited that Loblaw is taking this new direction and I think you will be too! It’s not just about craving more information, it’s also about craving higher quality food, and to that end they are voluntarily removing all artificial flavours and colours from the President’s Choice line. Two huge thumbs up from me on that!

But discovery goes even further with the launch of the newly redesigned website which will help users explore new food trends and will host online food-related discussions on its new online community at http://discoveries.presidentschoice.ca. I’ve joined and if you are interested in food you should too!

After the official unveiling of Crave MoreTM we were treated to a cooking demo

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which really showed how quickly you can make a gourmet meal, without a lot of effort. Seriously how good does that look?

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And don’t worry, I had some – it was every bit as good as it looks!

Monica and I hung around chatting with the others for quite a while, but since I had to get up a 5:00am to catch my flight back home, we didn’t stay too late. Before leaving though, we had to check out the store below because I heard they have a cheese mall!

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Basically the entire store was about 100x fancier (and bigger) than our local Superstore. It was really amazing.

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Not a very good shot of the cheese mall, but just look at the wheels of cheese! This was the stuff they stored up high. It was a cheese lovers dream world. In other words, I wanted to live there.

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Then it was back to the hotel with our goodies bags (boxes)

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inside

and truffles :D

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which I ate while trying to figure out how on earth I was going to take everything back in my carry-on…

Then bright and early it was time to head back to the airport and then home, but not before a stop at the airport Starbucks!

starbucks

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And just like that I was back home by noon on Friday. It seems like anytime I got to Toronto it’s on a whirlwind quick trip, but I was happy to have had the chance to do a bit of sightseeing this time!

Disclosure: I would like to thank Loblaw/President’s Choice for sending me on this trip. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for me, and I am so very honoured that I was asked. I know it can sometimes be hard to tell if a blogger is being sincere when they talk about brands or products, but you can rest assured that I only work with brands that I really do love, and that all opinions expressed in this or any other post are 100% my own.

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DIY Arm Sleeves

I’ll let you in on a not so well kept secret. I’m always cold. I’ve got these long old gangly arms that are always making me cold.

Last year when I was getting ready to head to San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Marathon I threw a pair of knee socks in my suit case “just in case”.

Just in case what you ask? Just in case I needed to whip up a pair of arm sleeves for the day of the race.

(sorry for the blurry pic. Thats what you get in the middle of the dang night)

sanfarnsuzi

The night before the race I decided that as chilly as it had been in San Fran the previous two mornings, I was indeed going to want something on my arms so I whipped out my knee socks and fashioned myself these sweet arm sleeves.

They were so dead easy to make, it took less than a minute to complete the project, but I’ve had so many compliments on them, and people asking me wear they could get a pair I decided I needed to share my secret with y’all.

To make your own pair of sweet arm sleeves you buy a pair of knee socks (I got mine at Ardene for $3.33 + tax). You cut out the toes and the heel. That’s it. No sewing, no gluing, no nuthin’. Just a pair of succours and couple cuts.

Arm Sleeves

Initially I was going to cut them straight across at the ankle, but then I realized if I cut the heel and the toes I could use the heel hole as a thumbhole, and almost have a pair of fingerless gloves as well as arm sleeves!

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When I get warm I fold the top back slightly to expose more of my hand (this also makes a great place to tuck a kleenex or too. You know, if you need a kleenex sorting place ;)

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And then you can also fold up to your wrist if you get even warmer…

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The thing I really love about these is they were super cheap so if I get warm enough that I don’t want arm sleeves, I can take them off and toss them mid-race without feeling bad about throwing away a bunch of money (which I would feel if I bought a pair of those expensive arm sleeves!).

I’m really pretty smitten with these things.

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And bonus – it makes it much easier for me to find myself in random race photos, and for people to spot me on course and cheer me on (which is something I always appreciate!).

So next time you find yourself facing a race on a cool day, grab a pair of cheap knee socks and whip yourself up some sweet arm sleeves. I’m thinking about busying few more pairs so I can have a lovely collection of arm sleeves to choose from!

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