Category Archives: Health & Beauty

My Bachelorette – A Day at Spa Utopia and An Overnight at The Pan Pacific Hotel

Checking out the Pan Pacific Club Floor Rooms With My Ladies

It’s been so much about the wedding lately that I still have to catch up on writing about lots of adventures I had before the big day. I was sick with a terrible flu just before what was supposed to be the girls weekend at Whistler, so had to cancel that journey, and we had to rethink how to celebrate my last days of being single (not that I was heading into some sort of terrible married life or anything!). Thanks to the Pan Pacific Hotel I had a gift cert for a night’s stay, so Tess and I booked one of the newly renovated rooms on the Pacific Club floor, which had plenty of room to invite a few other pals for pre-dinner wine sipping and appies in our room.

The Pan Pacific Hotel bills the club floors as a “hotel within a hotel”, as they have access to the Pacific Club Lounge, complete with stunning views, a private check-in and check-out, personalized concierge services, complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres, an honour bar and many other amenities!

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The rooms are modern and spacious, ours had a King bed and a pull out couch, a little bar and sink area where we laid out our wine, some cheese and crackers we brought from home and also a couple of the the tasty bites from the lounge’s complimentary appie selection. They are designed with an elegant feel with hues of blues and grey, with warm sandy tones against a dark maple.  Wish we could have stayed longer, but I actually was eager to get home to Michael in the morning. I miss that man when I’m away, big sap, I know.

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We met up at Spa Utopia, the spa conveniently located right in the hotel, in the early afternoon to fully prepare and pamper for the evening ahead. I signed up for the Skin Regimen Body Scrub,  an anti-aging body treatment the is designed to oxygenate and nourish the skin, stimulate circulation and collagen production. The scrub left my skin velvety smooth and it definitely feeling tighter. I need all the anti-aging I can get these days. The treatment was so relaxing I almost fell asleep several times.

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I also got a blow out and a make up application and I really felt my best when I was done. The hairdresser was so quick taming my unruly curls (I really hate when I have to sit still forever) and the make up artist really did some magical things with contouring and accentuating my eyes. Why can’t have these ladies visit me daily? Some of my friends got pedi’s and others also went for the massage I did and were equally pleased. I wish I’d arrived earlier to thoroughly enjoy the lounge, steam room and pools, but I was rushing through life once again so missed this. Make sure you don’t! They even serve wine after your treatment.

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Looks it’s me with Rosana, Nanci and Maria!

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We headed up to our room at the Pan Pacific Hotel for some pre-dinner fun and then out to Hy’s Steakhouse for dinner, meeting up with a few more ladies. Great food and service here, I hope we weren’t too loud as there were a few of us and we were seated in the middle of the room! Yikes.Hy's

I had to have the steak tartare, as it’s one of the best in the city and love the wine list here, going for a bottle of the La Frenz Chardonnay, right from the Naramata Bench.

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I got back to the room a little before Tess and unfortunately star-fished the bed, so thank god for the couch, as I can’t be moved apparently! We had a nice breakfast before checking out even met some interesting people over coffee in the lounge. A most excellent adventure indeed.

CONTEST CLOSED Cheers to Mother’s Health – Mother’s Day Gifts and A Giveaway

Mother’s Day Gifts For a Healthy Mom

Why not give Mom something that will keep her healthy and make her happy this Mother’s Day? Sure chocolates and flowers are nice, but if you really love your mother you’d do the right thing and keep her future wellness in mind. Here’s some suggestions for Mother’s Day Gifts that are sure to please and a giveaway brought to you by Philips!

Scroll down for the Airfryer Giveaway. CONGRATS to Anastasia!

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Philips Sonicare Toothbrush

Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? Certainly your mother would! The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean’s advanced technology removes 10X more plaque than a manual toothbrush, whitens teeth in just one week and improves gum health in only two weeks. It comes in a variety of beautiful colours including rose gold, amethyst and pink!

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InspiredHealth Cookbook

InspireHealth and Vacay.ca have teamed with Fresh Air Publishing to create a cookbook focused on providing healthy recipes and expert nutritional resources for all Canadians.Twenty amazing chefs from across Canada contributed to this gem! Proceeds will be used to fund InspireHealth’s initiative of providing top level supportive cancer care for Canadians. Purchase.

philips airfryer

Philips Airfryer

Philips just released their newest Philips Airfryer, now 20% smaller, a perfect fit for your mother’s kitchen counter top. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the cooking chamber in thus healthy Airfryer as it fries, bakes, roasts and grills with little to no oil. A perfect solution for fast, tasty and healthy meals and snacks! $299 at Best Buy.

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Hydrafacial MD™ at Alfa Renaissance Skin Care Center

I’m addicted to these facials and just booked my third at Alfa Renaissance Skin Care Center. The HydraFacial MD™ takes less than 30 minutes and delivers long-term skin health and instant, noticeable results with no downtime or irritation. The HydraFacial MD® treatment removes dead skin cells and extracts impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing serums. Your mother will leave glowing!

best buy vitamix

Vitamix A3300 1.89L 1500-Watt Stand Blender 

Mom will be thrilled to receive a Vitamix, I know because I just gave my mother one! This new fab blender makes short work of smoothies, soups, peanut butter, and even grinds grain. It comes with Variable Speed Control and Pulse blending, and also features a programmable timer, touchscreen controls, and hardened laser-cut blades. Enroll her in a Vitamix Cooking Course at Cook Culture s she’ll really  get the most out of this kitchen staple. I just took one and have so many more ideas of how to use this awesome machine. $699

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Apothekari Bamboo Lemongrass Foaming Body Polish

Mom’s deserve great skin, and I’ve been using Apothekari these past months and love it. Why not spoil her with the Apothekari Bamboo Lemongrass Foaming Body Polish that revitalizes and invigorates skin with walnut shell powder, powdered bamboo and a light, refreshing essential oil blend of lemongrass, mimosa, and litsea. Apothekari.

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Silk Road Tea Wellness Tea Gift Box

My Mom loves Silk Road Tea and so do I, maybe I’ll send her this one! Contains a selection of expertly blending teas to soothe, comfort and uplift, packaged in an signature, eco-friendly red gift box.
The 6 tea assortment contains: Lullaby Tea (soothing sleep tea), BeauTEAful Skincare Tea (for a healthy complexion), Quench (electrolyte rich, replenishing tea) and Happy (uplifting, stress-reliever), Winter Warrior (cold & flu fighter) and Allergy & Hay Fever Defense. All teas come in 40 cup tea tin size. Purchase.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! Winner must pick up in Vancouver (Kitsilano).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wedding Registry at Best Buy

What’s The Best Gift – Best Buy

What to buy for the bride and groom who have everything? We’ve asked for Best Buy Gift Certificates and think this is a very smart idea. We don’t feel comfortable asking for straight out cash (it’s not for everyone) and rather than do a registry, we simply included the following on the invite “While it’s not necessary to bring a gift, we are working on renovations and replacing our kitchen appliances and would appreciate a gift card to Best Buy. ”  They’ve also got a great online registry here – Best Buy Wedding Registry should you go that route and if you need ideas, start with their Starter Registry. Oh the things you can get at this store; everything from speakers to dishwashers and everything in between.

So what’s on our “registry”. We have some needs that must be met. First up some new kitchen gadgets (when a food writer is marrying a chef, that’s kind of a given) and then some luggage for all those trips we’ve got planned! Here’s our favourite Best Buy items on our shopping list right now.

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KitchenAid Food Processor – 11-Cup – Onyx Black $269.99

We used to have one of these and it’s our favourite processor because it does all sorts of cool tricks.  The large bowl is super handy and makes short work of slicing veggies, grinding nuts, kneading dough, and more.  It has a variety of options for speed and the ExactSlice system with an external lever that lets you switch from thick to thin with a simple slide of the lever is very handy. More info.

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KitchenAid Spiralizer Plus with Peel, Core and Slice Stand Mixer Attachment

Spiralizing is all the rage and I’ve been making zucchini noodles and more with my hand held one, so it’s time to kick it up a notch with the real deal. This one peels, cores, and slices and attaches to our stand mixer.  5 blades that allow for 9 combinations of slicing, peeling, coring, and spiralizing and it works with all KitchenAid stand mixers and includes a 2 spiraling blade, 2 slicing blades, and 1 peeling blade. $219.99. More info.

best buy vitamix

Vitamix A3300 1.89L 1500-Watt Stand Blender – Pearl Grey Metallic $649.99

Vitamix has just released this new fab sleek, stylish, and feature-packed, blender that makes short work of smoothies, soups, peanut butter, and even grinds grain. It comes with Variable Speed Control and Pulse blending, and also features a programmable timer, touchscreen controls, and hardened laser-cut blades. Be sure to take a Vitamix Cooking Course at Cook Culture to get the most out of this kitchen staple. I just took one and have so many more ideas of how to use this awesome machine. More info.

best buy vitamix dry goods

Vitamix 32 oz. Dry Grains Container $195.95

In addition to the container it comes with, we do need this dry grains container from to help prepare homemade breads and cereals. Sporting a 32oz. capacity with clearly marked measurements, this container grinds whole grains into fresh flours, mixes batter, and even simulates the kneading process to prepare dough for baking. Homemade bread here we come! More info.

best buy breville smart oven

Breville Smart Oven Air Convection Toaster Oven 1 Cu. Ft. – Stainless Steel $599.99 

Yes we have an oven and a microwave, but we often have something in both, so we do need this excellent addition to the kitchen. You can bake cookies, proof dough, or even airfry your favourite meals in this air convection toaster oven. This countertop oven can roast a large roast, air-fry crispy French Fries & snacks and dehydrate a wide range of healthy foods.  More info.

best buy samsonite

Samsonite Pinsky 21.5″ Hard Side 4-Wheeled Carry-On Luggage – Pink $169.99

Of course we need new luggage in a variety of sizes and I adore this Samsonite Pinsky luggage. It’s lightweight and strong, and has a push-button locking handle, and four 360-degree spinner wheels. Fully lined interiors and zippered compartments will keep my belongings secure. More info.

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Swiss Gear Tannensee 3-Piece Hard Side 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage Set – Chili $399.99

We both need our own set for longer trips, so this one’s for Michael. Since it’s red we won’t miss it coming off the luggage carousal and it has expandable design so he can add any gifts or things such as growlers and beer that he tends to want to take home. Each luggage is equipped with 4 spinner wheels and a retractable handle, so we can zip around hotels, airports, and city sidewalks. More info.best buy samsonite2

Samsonite Tech Series 3-Piece Hard Side 4-Wheeled Luggage Set – Green – Online Only $599.99

I have to have green so these ultra-durable hard-sided luggage pieces are perfect and as I am away a lot, the fact that they are put through rigorous tests to ensure long-lasting strength and reliability is key. They’re each equipped with 4 spinner wheels, a must for any traveler and a locking handle. More info.

We’re super excited to add to our kitchen and will, of course, be posting our culinary and travel adventures with these new items that we may just be lucky enough to pick up one or two of if those gift certs materialize!

Wedding Prep – 1 Week Countown

Wedding Planning Just Got Real – The Imperfect Bride’s Guide to A Near Perfect Wedding –  Part 2

The last wedding check in was at eight weeks to go, and I really did mean to update this at least a few times, but, as mentioned I am far from perfect, and suddenly we are just one week away! But we are actually feeling pretty organized right now, just moments ago I just finalized the cake flavours and we are currently chill-laxing in our hotel room at Walnut Beach Resort before heading out to another event as part of the Osoyoos Oyster Festival. We are on our pre-wedding honeymoon of sorts and couldn’t be happier! Pictured above we are at Watermark Resort for their BBQ party…..and now you know why I get my hair done professionally so often #frizz!

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Last we reported in at the 8-9 month check list stage and had the following to do’s:

Wedding license (now done), Michael’s wedding band (check), then shoes (Fluevog), music (playlist in progress), welcome baskets (have all ingredients) , plan rehearsal dinner (a few details left here), and next day brunch (must still book a table), welcome gifts and wedding favours (must be really important to me as I listed twice!) , jewelry (THANKS Elsa Corsi Designs), underwear (Diane’s Lingerie of course), keep the fitness and diet routine going (nailed it and won the weight loss competition with the help of I-remove, trainer Kate McNulty, nutritionist Ashley Freeman and my Dailey Method Classes, have to keep it up this week of course, so ran yesterday, did yoga today and have a cycle class for tomorrow), and maintain skincare and general self-care (been working with Alfa Renaissance and using Apothekari skin care).

I also celebrated my Bachelorette in style at the Pan Pacific Hotel on the club floor, went to Spa Utopia and Hy’s Encore for dinner and Michael took a less formal approach and did the Regal Beagle. We do have slightly different tastes.

We’ll now pick up at the 6-7 months task list!

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Explore wedding day hair and makeup styles – Meeting with Mary-Ann Morley this Thursday for a hair trial. Had some fun with make up at Spa Utopia this past weekend, so will stick with that look-ish.

Meet with officiant to discuss plans for ceremony – Thursday too….busy day!

Reserve rentals: chairs, linens, lighting, décor, etc. – Using Avalon Rentals and confirmed numbers on Friday and just need to add a few more to that. Also borrowed some antique tea cups and saucers and using my mothers china for the dessert table.

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Choose cake style and schedule tastings – Using Whisk Cakes

Decide on groomsmen attire – No official groomsmen but my Dad is walking me down the aisle and I’m confident he’ll be stylish. Bow tie in check.

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Hire ceremony musicians – Michael is creating a play list and we’ve bought a JBL Extreme speaker from Best Buy.

Book transportation to and from venues – Very close by so people can drive.

Purchase wedding bands – Mine purchased a while ago and we got Michael’s a couple weeks ago.

Order Thank You Cards – Have a nice selection of these!

4-5 months The finishing touches…

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Choose flowers for: wedding party, attendants, venues, cake, etc. Mom has this organized. We have picked and dried hydrangeas an baby’s breath and ordered white roses and greenery as well.

Schedule dress fittings – Just did one fitting on Wednesday and lace just needs a bit of cinching in. Please let it zip up and allow me to breath. Gotta sweat it out on Friday a.m. for sure!

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Book honeymoon flights and hotels – We are at the Manteo for a week after for our official honeymoon, thanks to my sister and bro-in-law who have a place there.

Book room for wedding night – Manteo is booked. Michael checking in the night before.

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Order wedding cake – Whisk Cakes Kelowna!

Plan welcome baskets for out-of-town guests – They’ll be wine, jam, chocolate and olive oil.

Finalize wedding guest list – Just did today!

Assemble rehearsal dinner guest list – Done, mainly family.

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Book rehearsal dinner venue – My parents house for a BBQ. It’s gorgeous there, and we are amazing cooks, right? So why wouldn’t we?

Order Rehearsal Dinner Invitations – Who does this? REALLY??

3 months You’re getting close!

Finalize honeymoon plans and ensure all documents are in order – Double checked on hotel reservation.

Plan ceremony and reception seating – It’s a stand up reception and will be quick and easy. Please no RAIN!!!

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Experiment with hair and veil with stylist – Thursday!

Finalize readers and readings – Who, what? Please nothing too formal for us, this will be a very casual affair.

Purchase: toasting flutes, serving pieces, guestbook, flower basket and ring bearer pillow – Flutes that we are using for bubble are ordered, we own serving pieces, no thanks on the guest book, we have flower arrangements ordered and rings don’t belong on pillows we have boxes.

Finalize reception menu – We will BBQ some great locally raised meat and make some great salads and dessert. Figuring out this week.

Order Menu Cards – It will be obvious what you are eating. If you don’t know what pork, couscous, salad and flatbread is, you’re likely not our friends or family.

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Order Wedding Favors – We are delivering the favours in the welcome baskets and have sourced only the best of olive oil for this (of course).

2 months Crunch Time

Mail Wedding Invitations – That was called an email and it was done a while ago. Digital is where it’s at kids.

Develop system for organizing RSVPs – Thank you Microsoft Excel.

Begin writing vows – We have to say something, of course, I know, and it’s in my head percolating right now.

Review ceremony details with officiant – Thursday.

Lay out the content for Wedding Programs – There are no programs, it’s not that tricky of a day, but we have the schedule.

Apply for marriage license: order 2-3 extra – Done at London Drugs and it took all of 2 minutes. We don’t need extra paper though.

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Finalize seating arrangements – It’s fluid seating. We are not telling people where to sit as they are adults (mostly) and can figure that out.

Write out honeymoon itinerary for family at home – They know where we are.

Decide “Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue.” – We’re both old and we have the lovely Honda Accord Hybrid for 3 weeks, so it’s borrowed and blue. THANKS HONDA CANADA!

Book spa and beauty treatments for you and your bridal party – YUP Excel Salon for lashes and waxing and ??? for nails and ??? for colouring.

Purchase gifts for attendants – I will have something for my maid of honour and flower girl and boy. Not telling or I don’t know yet, not telling which either.

1 month Don’t Forget …

Call vendors to confirm date, times and location – Done

Confirm honeymoon reservations – Done

Pack for honeymoon – We’re packed for the whole 3 weeks we are up here.

Pick up wedding rings  – Long time ago

Pick up marriage license – Done

Final dress fitting (with shoes & undergarments) – Done

Write Thank You notes as gifts are received – No gifts yet, we’re not that popular.

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2 weeks Down to the wire.

Follow up with guests who have not RSVP’d – For those who haven’t by now, their loss.

Give final count to caterer – Just did today.

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Update registries – We have asked for Best Buy Gift Cards so we can purchase some kitchen appliances.

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Begin breaking in wedding shoes – Runs to bedroom, puts on shoes.

Make arrangements for the caring of pets and plants while on honeymoon – We have outdoor plants and are in Vancouver. The rain will take care of.

Send playlists to DJ/band/ceremony musicians – Michael and his playlist strikes again.

Get final haircut and color – Monday.

Delegate wedding day duties: gift table, guestbook, etc. – We do need something for cards me thinks. No thanks on the guest book…..more paper.

Delegate someone to return tuxes, rentals and tend to wedding dress – People rent things? Actually we bought Michael’s suit and Avalon picks up their rentals.

Send directions to wedding day limo/transportation driver – Everyone has directions, but I will send an email Monday to confirm all on Monday.

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1 week Relax, almost there!

Prepare final payments to vendors + cash tips for service personnel – Done

Give readers their scripts – Not doing scripts.

Give photographer and videographer your image and video requests – Need to come up with something-ish.

Lay out wedding clothes – I can’t do this yet, he’ll see the dress. Besides, it’s still at the dressmaker.

Prepare wedding day emergency kit – My purse always has an emergency kit and my Dad is a Doctor so our house is well stocked.

Get spa treatments for you and the bridal party – Thursday/Friday!

Day Before Can you believe it?

Deliver welcome baskets – Will do!

Get mani/pedi/massage – Booked

Attend wedding rehearsal – Of course!

Get to bed at a decent hour – We’ll try. Michael is at the hotel with and I am staying at my parents.

Wedding Day Enjoy your day!

Eat a good breakfast! Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready – On it! I’m also going for a run to relax.

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Give wedding rings and officiant fee to best man – We are paying ahead and recommend the same for sure and carrying our own rings.

Relax, smile, and soak in every incredible moment – Smile, laugh and celebrate we will!

We’ve got a few things to do, such as pick up a couple gifts, deliver baskets, wear in shoes and book the brunch, bu we’re on it and so far I’ve still got a groom! Now to get off to that cycle class to help ensure I can still get into that dress! See you at the altar.

The Dailey Method – Catching Up With Vancouver Studio Owner Jey Wyder

What Exactly Is This Dailey Method All About?

I’ve been working out at the Dailey Method since about September and I’m totally addicted to their Dailey Cycle Classes and go at least 2 or 3 times a week. The cycle class is 35-40 minutes cycling and then 20 minutes of floor exercises such as planking, bicep curls, sit ups and stretches and I love the combination. These classes are a huge reason I’ve dropped 35 lbs this past while and I love the way the exercises shape my body and the intensity of the cycle gets my heart rate way up!

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The Dailey Method opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver in the summer of 2010 and is is owned by local sisters Karen and Jey Wyder.  Along with the cycle classes they have Dailey Barre, Dailey Fusion, Dailey Interval, an others such as the French spine re-alignment technique, Eldoa,  MELT Method and LifeStretch. I’ve tried samples of them all, but prefer the cycle for the cardio blend. Something like a combination of pilates and yoga, with ballet and barre added in, their classes are an ever-evolving mix of movement and offer the benefits of these many different disciplines.

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From the website……

Each class begins with high rep movements in a very small range of motion, effectively toning, elongating, and isolating the muscles. They focus on the triceps, biceps, shoulders and chest, back, seat, and legs. After working each muscle group, they stretch, shaping and leaning out the muscles, and bringing balance through increased flexibility.  The Dailey Method studios are each led by Dailey Method Master Teachers, ensuring that no matter where your studio, you will experience the most efficient and effective group workout on the planet.

Recently I interviewed the owner, Jey Wyder, to find out a little more about the method here in Vancouver.

What is your fitness background?

Fitness has always been a part of our lifestyle, even before we took this on. Previously, we got our kickboxing yellow belts together and trained and completed a half marathon. I am Vancouver and Canada’s first certified master instructor of The Dailey Method! I was personally trained and certified by founder Jill Dailey, studied yoga and am a certified Pilates Mat instructor teaching throughout Vancouver prior to opening The Dailey Method. I am also certified as a Level 2 The MELT Method instructor and a Lifestretch instructor. Karen is also a trained instructor of The Dailey Method and Level 1 The MELT Method instructor.

Karen discovered The Dailey Method while she was in charge of US Operations for Lululemon and on a business trip in San Francisco. She knew I would love it and it became our dream to bring it to Vancouver. Our passion for fitness, love of working with people and Karen’s expertise in business all came together with this project! JW

Why did you decide to open the Kitsilano Dailey Method studio?

Community is a huge part of this business and when we saw how thrilled the Dunbar community was to have The Dailey Method accessible to them – we wanted to share that in Kits – which, in our opinion, is Vancouver’s fitness mecca. 🙂

What changes have you seen in the fitness world since you opened your first studio?

We have seen more boutique fitness studios and barre studios pop up since we first opened. We have also noticed cycle studios becoming a huge trend.

How are you adapting your classes to the new fitness knowledge that comes out?

Our classes are an ever-evolving mix of movement responding to what exercise science is discovering. We help clients find their neutral spine and pelvis and train their core muscles around this. Our core engagement exercises emphasize our quest for ultimate alignment, learning to stabilize the muscles closest to the spine, improving the natural, functional spine position.

In response to the newest findings about fascia we have developed our Beyond the Barre offerings that enhance client’s workout through restorative, self care classes that address the fascia for life long optimal performance and overall well being. Our Beyond the Barre classes are: The MELT Method, ELDOA, Lifestretch and Yoga. We have also added classes over the years such as Dailey Interval, Dailey Fusion and Dailey Cycle to bring cardiovascular benefits to our client’s workouts.

What is your favourite part about owning The Dailey Method?

Working with each other has been the thrill of a lifetime. And then to be able to get to know and enhance our communities has been the ultimate gift.

What class do you recommend for beginners?

It depends how much of a beginner – Dailey Barre is appropriate for all levels as modifications are offered. Dailey Basics is designed for Beginners or for clients who like a more focused workout. Dailey Gentle is for those who are recovering from surgery, illness or injury and for seniors and new practitioners to provide relief from disabilities and chronic conditions – eg arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal issues.

I totally recommend you check this studio out, and can’t wait to my current cold is better so I can get back in there! The first month is only $79 and and after that it’s $225 for unlimited classes and it’s oh so worth it!

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BMISmart Weight Loss Challenge

My BMISmart Journey to Better Health

For those who’ve been following me of late, you may have noticed a lot more posts on health, fitness and good food on Good Life Vancouver and on our social media accounts. AND you may have noticed pictures of me where I appear, slightly smaller, AND that’s because I am, and it’s thanks to BMISmart.

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Since January 18th I have had the good fortune to have been selected to participate in a Weight Loss Challenge, sponsored by BMI Smart, that included using their weight loss supplement, I-REMOVE. I’ve been taking I-REMOVE since then and their representatives kindly set us up with both an awesome nutritionist, Ashley Freeman, and a very nice, but certainly tough, trainer, Kate McNulty. We also met this superb women who became like a sister to us, Amber B., who, along with the winner from the Utah Challenge, Amy E., were are biggest cheerleaders along the way. Amber had our back so many times and virtually held our hands along this path! BMISmart is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with taking the supplements, because they know it’s a life long habit changes, and not just a quick fix, that will bring you success.

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Here’s Kate and I at the Wellness Show where she was showcasing her Vidadish portion control dish. Isn’t she cute? Yes she is, but she is also very tough and knows how to maximize your time in the gym!

How it works – I-REMOVE Reduce Fat absorption

I-REMOVE includes the patented Litramine Fat Binder — a proprietary blend of enriched cactus prickly pear and acacia-based fibre complex, scientifically demonstrated to reduce dietary fat absorption. The binding properties of Litramine Fat Binder attract fat molecules and increase their elimination by up to 28.39%, promoting weight loss with results up to three times more effective than dieting and exercise alone.

For an incentive they are choosing two winners at the end of the 12 weeks, who will become brand ambassadors, receive $1,000 cash and wardrobe valued at $500 as well as more I-REMOVE to use for the rest of the year. If you know me, I play to win, so I am busy keeping my eye on the prize, while also enjoying the real prize, which has been a healthier, happier, and smaller me! To win it’s not all about the weight, the criteria include body fat and weight statistics (and those have been dropping too, along with weight), ability to motivate and share (and you know I love to share), strong screen presence (ahem), use of the product (why on earth would I even miss a dose?), participation in weekly fitness and nutrition (made almost all the meetings, there were a couple schedule conflicts because, you know, life), ability to attend the final photo shoot (that’s NEXT WEEK and I’ve already got an outfit planned, actually two!), and agreement to allow images to be used for marketing (of course I agree, I’m darn proud of my results).

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It’s been an interesting 10 weeks, that is for certain as I’ve learned so much more than how to portion properly, or how to hold a squat for a lot longer, just samples of the things I thought might be the most important.  The whole process involved a group of women, some of whom I’ve really gotten to know, and as the weeks went on, I began cheering so much more for them as well as my self, because I have really become happier and have learned more empathy for myself and, in turn, have the ability to empathize with others, especially those in my situation. We’ve sweated together, shared our nutritional challenges, taken funny pictures and really let our guard down around each other. This became so much more than a competition I wanted to win; I now want us all to win and I know the other ladies wish so too.

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We’ve shared ups and downs on social media, shredded tears on group calls, met up for additional bonding over yoga and smoothies and truly supported each other along the way. Do I still want to win? Well, of course I do, but I feel there’s so much more than the cash that is driving me, as I am learning I’m inspiring my friends and those around me and although the journey isn’t easy, this system works and I’m here as proof! I have so many good things to share that I know will help people change their attitude and therefore their health. I’m learning a ton of self-love and I want others to feel their worth too!

Amber fom the BMISmart team is so nice that she even made a video of the first part of my journey.

We’re now in week 10 and I’m a little scared the journey is coming to the end, but I also know that this is not the end of anything. I’ve got new habits and new attitudes and I know I’ll be seeing these ladies again as we are now like sorority sisters (or something like it)! We’ve been through so much together, and learned to lean on each other and I know we’ll want to keep track of how much further we will all be going!

So wish us all luck for the next ten days and for next Thursday for when the winners will be announced. I certainly hope you think I’m worthy and I know I’ll be inspiring others whether I become an official ambassador or not!

Most important lessons I’ve learned:

Don’t weigh yourself any more than once a week! The scale does not determine your value or your health. Muscle weighs more than fat. Rely on your clothes and how they feel.

Losing weight is even harder when you’re older. #WERK

Don’t let trying to be perfect get in the way of being very damn good.

Switch up your exercise and do those short pushes of intense workouts and make them damn hard and work!

You can’t just eat a little more and exercise it off (unfortunately) = food is REALLY KEY!!!!

All sugars aren’t equal.

Empathy for myself and for others!

Group support is gold! Both in this group and when I go for my long runs! I need support so very much more now and I am relying on other people more in a very good way.

AND despite going in to this really wanting to win, I care a lot more about everyone else in this group being happy than I ever thought and winning matters WAY LESS. Although I still do want to win as I really feel I have a great message to share!

bmismart

As they say in yoga…..NAMASTE! AND as I say DON’T BE AFRAID TO SWEAT!

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Alfa Renaissance and the HydraFacial MD Treatment

Start Fresh With a HydraFacial

When you are choosing a skin care provider, especially when it involves procedures on the most visible and sensitive part of your body, your face, it’s essential that you choose someone very reputable and a clinic that explains everything to you extremely thoroughly.

There’s a lot of “deals” out there and some are very worthwhile, but a lot of them are merely a hook to get you into more and are the clinics rush so they can fit more clients in to cover their costs. I’ve had a few of these experiences, so when it came to planning on a spring skin regime in preparation for my wedding I wanted to deal with someone who could see the whole picture, and not just the short term fix that could ultimately cause longer term problems.

hydrafacial

I met with Eva from Alfa Renaissance, conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, to discuss my concerns, and the goal of looking the freshest for April 29th, for our wedding day. Originally I thought that laser would serve me best, as I want to reduce the redness in my face from rosacea and broken capillaries, and I’d been for one treatment already elsewhere. After we met, she explained it would take longer that a couple treatments to get the results I wanted, and there were better ways of putting my best face forward. IPL Photo Rejeneration isn’t recommended once spring hits as if you do go in the sun your skin can react negatively, so we decided to put this off to the fall. Alfa Renaissance recommended firstly a HydraFacial to start with a clean base and then a few skin Tightening and Clear Lift Treatments as the best way to get the maximum results.

My first treatment, the HydraFacial MD, is good for all skin types,  improves overall skin health, and is also excellent for remedying Fine Lines and Wrinkles, and improving Elasticity & Firmness, Skin Tone Evenness & Vibrancy, Skin Texture, Brown Spots, and treating Oily/Congested, Enlarged Pores, and Signs of Aging.

hydrafacial treatment delhi

It’s a unique multi-step treatment that first cleanses, then evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells and then replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid. Thanks to the devices’ superior delivery system, these performing ingredients are able to more effectively reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles for results you can see and feel instantly.

Step one is Exfoliation with a serum removing dead skin cells to uncover healthy skin, then a Peel with a serum, that is a mixture of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids delivers the benefits of a peel without post-peel flaking. Step three is Extraction and four deliver a dermabuilder, skin re-builder to minimize fine lines, and improve skin tone evenness and texture. Finally a serum is delivered to nourish and protect skin with Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid.

The procedure is pain free and you feel a slight suction of your face, and I was a bit red afterwards, but my skin calmed down within an hour or so. The next day I looked healthier, and was even told I was glowing. This can be done as often as once a month, so we’ll be getting another treatment in before the wedding as a refresher.

Alfa Renaissance has a number specials on right now for HydraFacials, IPL and skin tightening, so I’ll report back once I’ve tried a few more treatments. Wedding countdown is on!

Wedding Prep – No Pressure Eight Week Countdown

Wedding Prep Just Got Real – The Imperfect Bride’s Guide to a Near Perfect Wedding

If you follow me you may have noted that we are getting married this year, as I have mentioned perhaps a few too many times? It creeps into all aspects of our lives, but Michael and I don’t mind it at all as we are really looking forward to this celebration and both of us vowed not to get (too) stressed out, try to make everything perfect or go over the top. Our budget isn’t huge and we’re spending most of it on our shoes. Well almost of all it, food and drinks are really, really important too!

Suddenly though it’s just two months away and while there’s heaps of sites that give you the 9 months to 1 day count down, we’ve really just started to do all the wedding things and we are really quite confident we will be okay. Attitude is everything, right? Fortunately our wedding date, April 29, isn’t in prime wedding season, we did have the venue and caterer confirmed, and I’m blessed with a very organized and caring mother and father who are helping coordinate in Kelowna, where we are tying the knot.

I thought it’d be fun to share some of the trials and tribulations of the next few weeks and give some thanks to those who are helping us along the way. We can’t do anything alone, it take a village, as they say, or at least a small tribe, which we are so lucky to have. Think of this as the “Imperfect Bride’s Guide to a Near-Perfect Wedding”.

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What follows is a 12 month rundown of where we should be according to the experts, it’s been a good checklist for us and will be for you, should you be lucky enough to need! This week we’ll review months twelve to seven, and follow up next week with the rest and where we’re at. Thanks to MagnetStreet for this pretty thorough list.

12 months to go! You’ll need…..

The Date – April 29th, 2017, yep got that.

Budget – Roughly figured something out, being the whiz financial planner I am, and it’s going to be kept in check by keeping guest number down. We’ll look damn good, that’s for sure. Again, it’s the shoes.

Wedding Style –  Country vintage. If you’ve not heard of that, I’ve decided it’s a thing so it will be. We will have lots of flowers, some colourful pastels and nothing too flashy.

Wedding Party – We’re doing a small one so just us! I know my family and my gals are with me even if they’re not right by my side.

Website – I made one and then it didn’t really make sense so decided no for now, no, might change my mind eventually and do one for pictures. Probably on GLV.

Ring and wedding insurance – Ring, yes, but wedding no. The venues don’t require a deposit so not much at stake there.

Guest list – Difficult, but done. Keeping it small!

spierheadwinerypatio

VenueSpierhead Winery in Kelwona for reception with a big thank you to Marina and Bill Knutson.  They don’t usually do weddings, but are making an exception as she’s a fellow Dame and we promise not to make a mess. Mom and Dad’s for reception and a million thanks to them.

Wedding Pros – Photographer, Christine McAvoy, and caterer, Chef Ross Derrick owner of the Table at Codfather’s, booked. I am doing most of the planning along with my mother who will handle decorating as she does have such great taste and talent. Music is up in the air, but likely just a play list that Michael is coordinating and a good speaker system. I told you we’re not getting too FANCY!

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Wedding dress and veil – Dress yes, and it’s a secret to Michael, those close know I can’t help but showing them a photo. The veil I am still questioning, likely bird cage. Love the look above. Funny that my gal Maria was weighing in at the time of the screenshot!

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Pinterest – Of course Pinterest is massively populated with all sorts of wild ideas.

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Engagement photos – Didn’t do anything official, and we don’t feel we missed anything.

Save the date – Did verbally for most.

10-11 Months to go

Bridal party attire – As mentioned, it’s just us so we don’t have a party, but you can be sure we will have a PARTY!

Reserve ceremony and reception  –  Spierhead Winery notified and Mom and Dad are aware the backyard is where it’s at.

Wedding caterer and photographer booked – Christine McAvoy, Chef Ross Derrick

underwear

Wedding dress, veil and undergarments to buy – Well dress is booked, but I’ve never needed underwear 10 months ahead of time. Really?

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Fitness Routine – You know the bride is fully on this. I have been going to Dailey Method religiously, out for runs and workouts with Kate McNulty too.

Skin Care/Beauty Routine – Working with Alfa Renaissance Spa and using Apothekari Skin Care for soothing and skin tightening; more about that soon. Michael went for an initial 2 months to go facial at Alfa Renaissance too, and will do one more a week before.

manteo

8-9 mos

Hotels – Well we did kind of screw this up as main hotel we wanted was booked out, so that could have been handled better, by BOOKING OFF rooms and getting the invite out earlier! We are at the Manteo and many next door at the Eldorado (actually where we got engaged), more budget-minded can stay at the Sierra.

Gift Registry – More on the soon, but we don’t need much.

Wedding Invitations – Emailed. Hey, I’m in digital marketing so why would I waste paper?

Honeymoon – We are doing a pre-wedding Okanagan vacation and staying up there the week after. Heading to the Osoyoos Oysterfest to relax the weekend before.

Well that’s enough for you now, if you’ve hung in there til now you are either a friend or planning your own wedding, so thank you and good luck! I’ll review the 7 month tasks next week and keep you up to date of where we’re at along with getting into the nitty gritty of a few of the important things! For those into these wedding-things. I didn’t think I’d be so excited myself, but I am truly thrilled and enjoying the journey.

Our to do’s for now?

  • #1!!! Wedding license, then Michael’s wedding band, then shoes (almost #1), music, , welcome baskets, plan rehearsal dinner, and next day brunch, welcome gifts and wedding favours , jewelry (and apparently underwear), keep the fitness and diet routine going, along with skincare and general self-care. Lots to think of, but we’re on it!

More soon and be sure to plan and marry well!

India Rose On 2017 Makeup and Bridal Makeup Trends

India Rose Educates Clients on Makeup That Works

India Rose Cosmeticary is a Vancouver-based makeup boutique offering luxury beauty products, makeup services and lessons.  Founded by makeup artist India Daykin, India Rose specializes in the ritualistic side of beauty regimes, ensuring each client’s experience is tailor-made to their needs.  Located 4850 Mackenzie St. in Vancouver it’s worth checking out.

India Rose

We caught up with India to ask her a few questions about make up and since I have a wedding coming up, bridal make up in particular. She also did a natural look for me while we chatted and I left glowing!

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What is your educational background in make up?

I completed the Freelance Makeup Program at Blanche Macdonald

When and why did you decide to go the make-up route career wise?

I’ve always been a beauty junkie, but what solidified my desire to pursue makeup as a career was when I went to makeup school. I was also attending UBC at the time, where I completed a BA in Art History, and I knew that I loved working with makeup so much more than anything else I was studying.

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What do you hope to create with your store?

My original, general goal for my store was that I simply wanted to create somewhere that I wanted to shop. As it has evolved over the past (almost!) year, I now know that I want it to become a place where I can educate people about what they’re putting onto and into their bodies and hopefully have people leaving feeling like they’ve done something good for themselves.

I’m doing a wedding countdown, getting married in 2 months, so what sort of skin care, treatments would you recommend?

With 2 months to go, I would say that now is not the time to start doing anything super crazy. Stick with your regular routine and make sure that you’re cleansing and moisturizing properly each day. At home, you could incorporate a sheet mask or a fruit enzyme exfoliating mask once a week. If you can, I’d try to get a couple of facials– first, one that focuses on purifying and renewal and then closer to, an oxygen facial to get your skin glowing.

What are the newest trends in skin care and make up.

For makeup, I’d say full, fluffy brows; letting your freckles show– or creating fake ones; fresh, dewy skin with a natural highlight rather than a glittery one. The past few years have been very glam, with heavy cream foundation, contouring, bold, perfect brows, winged liner, bright highlight, etc. I think things are still staying pretty glam, but in a fresher, more paired-down way. Softer eye makeup, lighter face makeup, less harsh lines.

For skincare, I think that people are looking toward what they’re putting into their bodies to help their skin just as much as they’re looking at what they put on their face.  Whether that means taking a look at what’s in your diet that could be negatively impacting your skin and making adjustments, or taking herbal supplements to help insure that your skin is getting the nourishment it needs. There is a definite movement toward a more holistic approach to skincare so that you can literally be glowing from within. In terms of actual skincare, face masks, whether they’re sheet masks, homemade masks etc, are still huge. They’re a fun and relaxing way to help your skin get an added dose of whatever it is it’s needing that day or week. People are also moving away from classic face moisturizer and either beefing it up, or replacing it entirely, with face oil. Face oils are surprisingly versatile– there is one for every skin type, even oily.

 What are some make up tips for Brides?

Always opt for lashes! Doesn’t matter if they’re full strip, or little individual clusters. Lashes photograph great and can make you feel very glamorous and attractive without a heavy, smokey eye or piles of face makeup. If you aren’t comfortable wearing fake lashes, consider getting a half or full set of lash extensions.

Do you have a few favourite wedding makeup artists in Vancouver or do you do makeup?

I do wedding makeup! My portfolio is linked on my website. However, I really admire Katie Elwood’s work.

What are some mistakes you have seen with wedding make up and how to avoid?

I think the biggest mistake that people can make with wedding makeup is doing anything too trendy. You don’t want to look back at your wedding photos twenty years from now and cringe over how heavy your contour was. Bridal makeup, to me, is all about enhancing what you’ve got and looking like the most beautiful version of yourself. That being said, if a smokey eye and a sculpted contour is part of what makes you feel like you, by all means go for it. It would be weird to go from that every day and then to show up on your wedding day with only a little bit of clear lip gloss. Do what makes you feel your best.

India Rose

Stop Bouncing Around – Get The Right Sports Bra With Diane’s Lingerie

Diane’s Lingerie Gift With Purchase – Anita Panty & Sports Bag with Any Anita Sports Bra until January 28, 2017

Diane’s Lingerie has been my go to for bras every since I discovered them a few years ago. The bra fitter is an expert and checks to  guarantee you’ve got the right fit. Don’t be shy, the health of your breasts is at stake here, and a good bra can make the difference in looking just okay in an outfit, or looking spectacular.

Diane's Lingerie

I just bought an excellent supportive day to day lacy bra (Melody by Empreinte) before Christmas and it’s made a world of difference.  I know boobs as I’m well beyond a C-cup and need support while torpedoing through the day at top speed and when heading out on the town in a fitting garment, or even a loose one. Proper bras not only put breasts in the right place, but also prevent stretching of connective breast tissue and restrict movement that can cause back, shoulder & neck pain.

It’s even more important to wear a well-fitting, high quality sports bra as our bodies and breasts move far more when we’re active. I’m moving lots lately and needed to update mine, so don’t forget that they don’t last forever. Our breasts are made up of fatty tissue surrounded by skin and fragile ligaments. Ligaments can be broken down over time and they won’t bounce back and good bras prevent this. You also need fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and generally support your body, all which will enhance your workout routine.

Diane's Lingerie

There are a number of great bras at Diane’s Lingerie and I just picked up the Anita Momentum Sports Bra. Bonus deal, until January 28 you’ll also receive a free sports bag and panties. AND they super lovely looking too, in fact mine is bright red! Sorry no pictures, but I’m training pretty hard right now, so you never know, I might do some modeling later in the year (ah…right). Do make sure you go expecting to spend a little time trying on a few and don’t be shy when it comes to receiving help from the consultant. They know their stuff here and I guarantee they have seen so many breasts they won’t be judging anything but the bras fit!

Diane's Lingerie

Anita Extreme Control Sports Bra $105 32-40B-G / 42D-F

  • Three-section, tailored cups with a crescent-shaped support at the side create a very attractive shape and provide firm support for the bust. The perfect interaction of high-function piqué fabric with functional toweling keeps skin wonderfully dry.
  • High-function, Atmos piqué fabric, which quickly absorbs moisture and actively transports it away from the body
  • Ergonomically-styled support straps, padded throughout
  • Breathable mesh back
  • Seamless, microfiber toweling inner cups for extra support and pleasant comfort; does not chafe the breast

Diane's Lingerie

Anita Momentum Sports Bra $125 32-36B-H

  • High-intensity sports bra.
  • The unique function combined with aesthetic design of this bra won the “Red Dot Award”.
  • Seamlessly pre-shaped cups provide perfect support through to the large sizes.
  • Inner lining made of hydrophilic toweling. 
  • High cut cup panel for extra support. 
  • Breathable net back. 
  • Moisture is quickly absorbed and actively transported away from the body. 
  • Padded shoulder straps. 

Diane's Lingerie

Anita Air Control Sports Bra 5533 $110
32-40A-G

  • This ultra-lightweight sports bra fits like a second skin – it can hardly be felt but provides excellent support.
  • The breathable, air-permeable net sections make wearing the “air control” sports bra an airy, light experience.
  • Cups are made of extremely light, breathable net fabric which is double layered for extra support and includes a side support between the net cups. These cups minimize movement of the breast. They are powerful but as light as a feather.
  • Ergonomically shaped shoulder straps are positioned closer to the center at the back of the bra for enhanced support.
  • Breathable net back.