Jul 3, 2015

Not all of us have the space or time to throw 4th of July parties, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be celebrating come Saturday. Will you be a party goer instead of a party thrower this weekend? Don’t forget the hostess gift! If you want to skip the traditional bottle of wine and surprise your host with a unique, homemade gift, we have got you covered.

Think you shouldn’t DIY because there won’t be enough time? Think again. The gifts below are super easy to make and come together quickly. Check ‘em out and see which one your host will love most. 

Patriotic Planter – Don’t bring a bouquet, bring a real plant. And deck that plant out in the most patriotic planter you can. This sweet craft will add to any 4th of July party and thrive for years to come. If you’re worried about whether or not it will actually thrive because your host is not a “plant person”, put a cactus in your planter.

Image via Hands Occupied

Sensational Serving Spoons – We love the idea of bringing serving spoons. From burger and hotdog toppings to pasta, potato, and actual salads there is usually lots to serve up at any 4th of July get together. So let your host have a little fun with their utensils and surprise them with these ombre cuties. 

Image via Say Yes

Thoughtful Throw Pillow – This sweet burlap pillow would look perfect on the porch or in the house, and we’re sure it’ll be brought out for many Independence Days to come. It is the most complex craft on our list to make, so if you aren’t a comfortable sewer, we’d suggest giving one of the other projects a try. That said, if you’re happy using a thread, needle, and bobbin, this pillow really comes together nicely.

Creative Centerpiece – All you need is rice, food coloring, mason jars, and candles for this simple craft to take shape. These fun candles can be placed all around your host’s party and will add to the atmosphere and festivities. What could be better?

We hope these homemade gifts bring a smile to your host’s face and help make your 4th of July all the more special this year. 

Jun 30, 2015

Invented in Alberta, the Caesar is arguably one of Canada’s most patriotic drinks. You can certainly try to order it outside of the country, but it’s rare that the bartender is able to truly capture this Canadian concoction. Why the rest of the world fears Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish, we may never know, but one thing is for sure, the Bloody Mary doesn’t come anywhere close to as good – no matter how many slices of pizza it’s garnished with. 

And so, in honour of Canada Day and the imminent hangovers many of you face, we present the ultimate Caesar recipe. Drink up, proud Canadians, drink up.

  • Ice
  • Vodka
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Pickle juice (optional)
  • A pickle (optional)
  • Celery salt
  • Clamato
  • Garnish of your choice - most common are celery stalks and limes (optional)

Step 1: Rim your glass with celery salt.

Step 2: Add ice to you glass (we usually put in 4-6 cubes, depending on their size and the size of the glass).

Step 3: Pour a shot (or two, if you’re feeling bold) of vodka over the ice.

Step 4: Add several shakes of Worcestershire sauce. We’re talking 5-8 shakes; you want the colour of the beverage to be a nice, murky brown. (There’s no such thing as too much Worcestershire sauce, in our opinion).

Step 5: Add a bit of hot sauce (use your discretion on this; make it as spicy as you can handle).

Step 6: Add a forkful of horseradish.

Step 7: Add a dash of pepper (two or three twists of your mill).

Step 8: Stir.

Step 9: Add your pickle juice (approximately a shot, depending on how much you like pickles).

Step 10: Stir again.

Step 11: Fill the glass halfway with Clamato juice

Step 12: Add your pickle.

Step 13: Stir again.

Step 14: Fill the rest of the glass with Clamato.

Step 15: Stir again (no, really – it’s important to get all those flavours mixed together!) and garnish it 
if you’d like.

Step 16: Serve and enjoy.

We hope this delicious beverage finds its way into your Canada Day celebrations. Think your family recipe is better? Share a picture and your recipe with @HomeShows on Instagram and Twitter, and we’ll make sure to try it at our festivities. 

Jun 29, 2015

This Saturday is Independence Day and we can’t wait to celebrate! If you’re planning a 4th of July get together let us help you party in style. We’ve got some great ideas for food, drinks, dessert, and decor that are sure to wow your guests. Check ‘em out below and get ready to party like it’s 1776!


Glorious Garland – String these beautiful kites up all around your home. Hang them from doorways, across tables, along fences, or even just up on the wall. They’ll add a fun, rustic feel to any 4th of July party!

Image via Brit + Co

Playful Pinwheels – Not only are these fabulous decorations little ones can help with, they’ll look lovely dotted along your walkway or in a planter. Try making one today!

Fabulous Fans – When you’re unsure how to decorate for a party the best person to go to is Martha Stewart. We adore her paper fan decorations. They’re light and airy and are a unique take on the traditional bunting you’ll see throughout your neighborhood.

Image via Martha Stewart

Festive Flags – Light up your party in the most patriotic way! These luminaries are beautiful and simple to make.


Beautiful Bruschetta – Serving red, white, and blue food doesn’t mean you have to use artificial coloring. We are huge fans of these little snacks. Blackberries, strawberries, brie, and a balsamic honey glaze combine on your favorite pizza dough to create this delicious morsel. Your guests will be blown away!

Handsome Hotdogs – Hosting a BBQ to celebrate the 4th? Hotdogs are probably already on your menu, but let us suggest trying this amazing recipe. These bacon wrapped dogs are loaded with delicious toppings; we’re sure they’ll be a hit!

Lovely Lasagna – It may be easy to put a flag inspired cake together, but what about a lasagna? That’s right, we said lasagna. Surprise party goers with an equally delicious and patriotic dish.

Image via She Knows

Picturesque Pizza – Speaking of main courses than can be shaped like the American flag, you’ve got to cook up this bacon flag pizza! There’s no such thing as having too many American flag shaped dishes, and we’re sure folks will go nuts over this one!

Image via Tablespoon


Marvelous Mason Mezcal - How festive does this drink look? We’re loving the red, white, and blue. It’s just perfect for your 4th of July party! Now it is on the strong side, so do drink responsibly.

Image via Chilled Magazine

Powerful Punch – This super fun layered beverage is sure to be a favorite of the young and the young at heart. It is a little more complex to make (there’s science involved to help keep your colors separated), but we think the end result is just fantastic.

Image via No. 2 Pencil

Joyful Jell-O – Surprise friends and family with these little guys. The cherry in the center makes it almost look like a firework! What could be better for the 4th of July?

Image via Cincy Shopper

Special Sparkler – Here’s another red, white, and blue concoction! Mix lime soda, blueberries, and raspberries together with a Pop Rocks rim. It might be super sugary, but it’s also super festive – and there’s real fruit in it!

Image via Her Campus


Kool Krispies – Have a guest with a gluten allergy? They can still enjoy a patriotic dessert! These Rice Krispies treats may be gluten free but they’re full of fun!

Image via Love & Sugar

Perfect Pie – Is there anything more patriotic than apple pie? This lemon flag pie might be! Serve it up at your party and let your guests decide!

Image via Brit + Co

Superb Sandwiches – Celebrate Independence Day with the ultimate ice cream sandwich. There’s nothing like watching fireworks on a warm July day with friends and family enjoying a sweet, refreshing, treat.

Patriotic Popsicles – If you’re looking for a cool snack that will leave you feeling less guilty than those ice cream sandwiches, we’ve got just the thing: yogurt popsicles. All you need is raspberries, blueberries, and vanilla flavored Greek yogurt. They aren’t too bad for your beach body, but they’re still fun and festive.
We hope these ideas help you throw an epic 4th of July party! Make sure to share snaps of your celebration with @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram – we want to see your festivities! Happy Independence Day from all of us at Marketplace Events.

In keeping with the tradition of 4th of July sales, right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to the Marketplace Events Home Show nearest you. Take advantage of this sale on our Facebook page – and don’t’ forget to Like Us when you’re there!

Jun 26, 2015

July 1st is a mere days away and we know many of you can’t wait to celebrate the true north strong and free. If you’re planning a Canada Day party, we’ve got fun ideas for food, drinks, and decor that are sure to make this your best bash to date. Check ‘em out below and get ready to show friends and family that you bleed red and white.
Decor Ideas

Gorgeous Garland – We’re loving these sensational scallops. They’re easy to make, and although we don’t normally encourage tearing books apart for any reason, the finished product just looks so nice. String these guys up along your tables, doorways, fences – heck, string ‘em up everywhere!

Image via Simple As That

Pretty Paper – Having a BBQ or outdoor soiree? String paper lanterns and pom poms, (red and white ones, of course), around your yard to help set the mood. Not only are they perfectly patriotic, they’ll also light up your space.

Image via Sweet Lulu
Sweet Lulu used these pom poms as part of a holiday party, but they'll work perfectly next week too.

Marvelous Masons – Bring your table together with a beautiful mason jar centrepiece. It’s simple to create, and its rustic style will go well with most table settings. 
Drink Recipes

Leafy Libation - The Leafs already drive you to drink, so why not sip something deliciously strong? This maple leaf cocktail will hopefully help you forget that it’s been 45 years since the boys brought home the cup. But seriously, this tasty cocktail is the perfect mix of bourbon, maple syrup, lemon, and cinnamon; it’s sure to keep the party going.

Terrific Tom Collins – You’ve got to try this twist on the classic Tom Collins. Some raspberries and lemon simple syrup turn this drink delightfully sour. Plus they also make it a festive red and white!

Image via Kleinworth & Co

Brilliant “Beertail” – You might think mixing beer and liquor is a bad idea (there’s even a rhyme about it!) but this drink is the exception. Technically the recipe calls for a liqueur, but it might still seem a little off putting. Seriously though, forget about what you learned in college and try this delicious beverage. Crisp watermelon, refreshing wheat beer, and sour liqueur come together to create something amazing. 

Image via Chow

Festive Food 

Playful Poutine – There are few things more stereotypically Canadian than poutine. Other nations may fear the fry, gravy, curd combo, but they’re wrong. Embrace our international food identity and serve this awesome snack at your party.

Image via Canadian Living

Holy Hotdog – Building on the amazingness that is poutine, you’ve got to try this hotdog. Cheese curds, maple mayo, and apple slices all top this dog! Like poutine, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it: this odd mix is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Plus it’ll have everyone at your party talking!

Image via Chatelaine

Crafty Cheesecake – Mini cheesecake bars that are shaped like the Canadian flag? This is the ultimate Canada Day dessert! 

We hope these ideas help you throw a killer Canada Day party! Make sure to share snaps of your celebration with @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram – we want to see your festivities! Happy Canada Day from all of us at Marketplace Events. 

Jun 23, 2015

Summer has officially started and that means lounging season is upon us. There are few things as enjoyable as being out in the sun during July and August. Whether you’re reading a good book or hanging out with friends, relaxing by the pool is one of everyone’s favorite summer activities.

So we’ve got to ask: where would you prefer to catch some rays? Check out our selection of picture perfect pools below and tell us which one is your favorite. Do you prefer Option A’s natural beauty? Or would you rather spend your summer in Option B’s modern-meets-bohemian style? 


Image via Peach Time


Our Choice:

Honestly, we were really torn here. Both pools are exceptional spots to spend your summers, so it was very hard for us to choose a winner. But we had to choose, and so we did. Option A ultimately won our vote because it’s all natural. Plants filter and clean the water, which means no more chlorine (you’re welcome, hair) and that the pool fits more cohesively with the landscape. Although Option B is stunning, with two great seating areas and beautiful vegetation, it can’t trump a natural pool. Don’t agree? Share your opinion with @HomeShows on Twitter  - we’d love to know what you think!

Here’s something we can all agree on: saving money is great!  Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to the latest Marketplace Events Home Shows. Visit our Facebook page to learn more, and don’t forget to Like Us while you’re there!

Jun 19, 2015

If you are one of the many who prefer to spend the warmer months outdoors (either in a tent or cottage), we’ve got just what you need to make this the best summer ever! Check out our top 10 life hacks for the great outdoors and get ready to spend time in the woods the smart way.

Duct Tape Tip – Having duct tape on your trip? Good idea. Bringing the whole, bulky roll? Bad idea. Instead, try wrapping some around a water bottle, that way you can have what you need without touting along any unnecessary tape.
Sleep Smart – Many go on outdoor adventures to help find inner peace, so bringing your yoga mat camping makes sense. Plus, not only is it good for your soul, it’s also good for your body. Use it as a sleeping mat to help make the cold hard ground a little more comfortable. Namaste.

Perfect Portable Stove – Starting a fire can be hard, so why not bring your own portable stove camping? All you need is a soda can, a knife, scissors, and lighter fluid. It’s a little complex to make, but it’s very lightweight and inexpensive.

Image via eHow

Clever Clove Concoction – Keep mosquitoes and flies away with this odd creation: cloves and lemons. For whatever reason bugs do not like the scent these two things create, so they're a great all-natural bug repellent. 
Terrific Toilet Paper - Camping may not be the cleanest activity, but you can still keep the important things, like toilet paper, fairly sanitary. Instead of passing rolls from person to person as one needs to use them, consider creating a contraption like the one pictured below. It lets you hang your toilet paper when you need it, and keeps it sealed and secure when you don’t.  

Image via Fast Code Design

Speak Easy – And when you’re done with the roll, make sure to hang on to the tube! Don’t bring your fancy portable speakers into the woods with you only to have them dirtied or damaged, (plus the batteries always run out anyways). Instead, cut some strategic holes in a toilet paper roll and you’ve
got yourself the ultimate disposable speaker. 

Watch Yourself – Should you ever find yourself lost in the woods, this is great to know. Although you do need an analog watch for it to work. So just make sure to bring an analog watch with you on your next outdoor adventure!

Image via Lifehacker
Lifehacker says: "Hold a watch with 12:00 at the left. Move your arm so the hour hand points at the sun. The spot halfway between the hour hand and the 12 is south."

Savvy Soap Slip – Showering/washing at a campsite or cottage is often a little tricky. The bathrooms tend to be less clean than you’re used to, or there might not be a bathroom and so you’re trying to clean yourself in a lake. All of these seem a bit counter-intuitive, but not if you have the right supplies, like a soap pouch! Instead of bringing soap and a washcloth, sew your soap into a washcloth. This seriously lessens the potential for you to drop your soap and washcloth, is simpler to pack and keep track of, and is a super fun sewing project.

Image via Whimsy Love

Solar Powerful - Flashlight batteries die and gas lighting is so 1910, so light up your camp or cottage the smart way. Making a solar lantern is easy to do and such a clever idea. Bringing lanterns with you that will light up as the sun sets, so you’re not hunting around for them in dark, is genius. Plus there’s no risk of their batteries dying because they’re solar powered. These are a definite must pack for your next trip.

Image via Camp Wander
The folks at Camp Wander suggest putting some emergency items inside your lanterns to make sure you don't lose them.

The S’more You Know – We saved the most important hack for last: how to make the best s'mores. If you thought they were great already you might want to sit down for this. Instead of using the traditional graham cracker, try chocolate chip cookies and get ready to have your mind blown. 

Image via Cooking Classy

We hope these simple hacks help you and your loved ones have more fun on your outdoor escapes, and that everyone has a safe and fantastic summer!

And remember, the early bird gets the worm, so make sure you buy your Home Shows tickets early! Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets to a Marketplace Events Home Show happening near you. Visit our Facebook page to learn more and get your discounted tickets.

Jun 16, 2015

Can you believe Father’s Day is this Sunday? We’ve been sharing Father’s Day gift ideas for a few weeks to help you prepare for the special day, but we know they might not work for everyone. If you aren’t a DIY-er, but would like to surprise Dad with something homemade this year, why not cook him a delicious breakfast? We’ve compiled a list of simple, Dad-friendly breakfast recipes that are sure to delight. Check ‘em out below and show Dad how much you care by making his morning.

Perfect Pancakes – Using a squeeze bottle filled with pancake batter to spell out DAD? This is one super cute idea! It’s easy to do and such a fun way to show Dad this day is all about him.

Image via Betty Crocker

Egg-cellent Egg Cups – If you think these breakfast bites look delicious, you’re right. If you think they’re hard to make, you’re wrong. Throw a little black forest ham in a muffin pan, crack an egg in it, bake, and you’re good to go.

Cool Cake – If your Dad loves bacon and beer, (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then he’ll love this cake! Vanilla cake mix and frosting, beer, bacon, and a waffle iron come together to create this towering treat.

Image via Brit + Co

Wicked Wookiee – Is your Dad is a big fan of Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie? Freak out he will when you surprise him with this delightful donut.

Mighty Mix – Can’t decide what to cook for Dad? Try making a whole platter! With a hearty mix of smoked salmon, eggs, bacon, prosciutto, English muffins, and more you can’t go wrong!

Image via AO Life

Breakfast Burrito – Burritos are normally a mix of rice, beans, veggies, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, and while they can be eaten for breakfast, they’re usually saved for a later meal. However, this wonderful wrap is perfect for breakfast. Eggs, steak, cheese, and hot sauce are the perfect morning combo. We’re sure your Dad will eat it up.

Image via Food Network

Playful Pizza – This is another type of food that’s usually reserved for a later meal (unless you’ve had a particularly long night). Again, some minor substitutions have turned it into a delicious breakfast feast that your Dad will flip for. He won’t be able to resist a slice!

We hope these delicious breakfast ideas help get your Father’s Day off to a great start. Do you normally cook up something different for your Dad? Make sure to share your Father’s Day traditions with @HomeShows on Twitter and Instagram – we’d love to see how your family celebrates. From our family to yours, Happy Father’s Day.