When I was younger, I had no idea how lucky I was to be Canadian. Having travelled to different places around the world with my family while growing up, I always felt like back home was ‘boring’ and even as a little girl I had big dreams to move to New York City as soon as possible.

When I was 20, that move to the Big Apple happened when I got an internship at Teen Vogue Magazine. Yes, a position that ‘a million girls would kill for’ and it was mine! While I still have a lot of love for New York, it didn’t take long for me to see and feel the differences between living in Canada and living in the United States. Even as a young, bright-eyed girl at the start of her career, I knew that living in the U.S. wasn’t for me.

Next, I tried moving over to the United Kingdom where I lived and worked for two years. London, I thought, would be where I might feel more at home, but I was wrong, and the novelty of living across the pond quickly wore off.

When I decided to move back home after my work/travel visa ended, I had never felt more patriotic. I also vowed to never take what makes Canada so great for granted ever again. To this day I feel so happy and settled back in my hometown of Toronto and I now have a deeper understanding of the importance of celebrating our wonderful country.

Canada’s 150 birthday celebration is going to be one of the biggest yet, and I’m so glad that it’s a celebration that will last all year long. Of course, Canada Day on July 1st will be extra special, so I plan to join in on the festivities by hosting a fun summer BBQ with some of my closest friends and family.

Themed parties are definitely my favourite type of party to host, and as you can probably imagine, I’m pretty ecstatic about getting to work with the #Canada150 theme for my upcoming BBQ party!

This year not only marks Canada’s special birthday, but also Sobeys 110th anniversary. In honour of these two celebrations, Sobeys has created some fun and new limited-edition ‘Celebrate Canada’ products that are available at Sobeys right now. Not only are these perfectly on theme to make hosting your own #Canada150 BBQ super easy, but they’re delicious too! Seriously, I’ve tried all of them.

Here are the 6 key products you need to throw an epic #Canada150 BBQ party and #CelebrateSummer without breaking a sweat.

1. Celebrate Canada Angus Beef Burgers

No need to waste time mixing and shaping your own burger patties when you’re short on time. Besides, Sensations by Compliments has created the most amazing Maple-Leaf Shaped Angus Beef Burgers as part of their line up of ‘Celebrate Canada’ products. I’m happy to report that after cooking these up I can confirm they’re not just for show, they also taste DELICIOUS! Try brushing them with the new Spirited Mickie Mustard and Hops ‘Gold Rush’ Barbecue Sauce for extra juicy tastiness.

2. Canada 150 Celebration Fruit and Veggie Platters

Chopped fruit and veggie platters can be a total lifesaver when you’ve got guests coming over and you’re short on time. I couldn’t help but swoon over the maple-leaf shaped platters that are currently available as part of the Canada 150 Celebration products at Sobeys. I mean, HOW CUTE!? And you don’t even have to take them out of the tray to serve in style!

3. Compliments Lemonade

I talk often about my love for serving ‘family style’ when hosting groups of people, because encouraging people to serve themselves frees up a lot of time for you, the host. I love having a big batch of cold lemonade on hand during summer parties for a light refreshment that guests can choose to enjoy on its own or mixed with something of their choice. But let’s be real here, squeezing one million lemons is totally out of the question when you’re short on time so do yourself a favour and grab a big ol’ jug of quality pre-made lemonade like the Compliments Lemonade from Sobeys. To make it fancy and “party ready” simply pour the lemonade into a large, ice-filled pitcher and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and round lemon slices. EASY!

4. Celebrate Canada Birthday Cookies

Sweets aren’t only reserved for dessert time at my parties, and I always like to have a little sweet something added into the mix when I host a party. Not only are the Celebrate Canada Birthday Cookies by Compliments super yummy, but they add to the party theme and decor too! LOVE!

5. Canada 150 Maple Ice Cream Bars

Although I always like to dream of being the ‘hostess with the mostess’ who whips up a dessert from scratch, I rarely have time to make anything and normally turn to something easy like ice cream. You better believe I grabbed multiple boxes of these Compliments Canada 150 Maple Ice Cream Bars for everyone to enjoy, and ensure there would be a few extra to enjoy afterwards too. YUM!

6. Sensations Cold Brew Coffee

No matter what time your party is taking place, you should always have coffee on hand. I’m a super fan of cold brew coffee and very excited about the new Sensations Cold Brew Coffee that’s available in Sobeys stores now. Not only do the cartons feature an adorable moose and beaver on the front packaging, but the coffee is good too! Serve this over ice for your guests to enjoy throughout your party. You can also try creating Maple Ice Cream Floats by putting your maple popsicles into a glass of cold brew for TASTY treat!

Once you’ve got these products the rest is really up to you in terms of how much or how little you add in for your BBQ party. Since I was short on time, I grabbed a few extra pre-made salads and dips from Sobeys to add into the mix, and picked up some paper plates and napkins while in store to make the post-party clean up that much easier.

Other than that, add some red into your outfit and you’re good to go! To explore more from the #Sobeys110 and #Canada150 selection please visit Celebrate.Sobeys.com

Enjoy!

xo

@GracieCarroll

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