Category Archives: GLV Spruces Up

Stops and Starts – Fitness Battles

Having just returned from a rather difficult, but rewarding class at The Dailey Method, I’m reflecting on my last few months of stops and starts in the endless battle for fitness and health so I can plan for success in 2016.

There’s also only ONE DAY LEFT to win the 3 month PLUS 1 month membership for a friend, to this excellent barre and cylce studio based in both Kitsilano and Dunbar, so if you haven’t entered, do so!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I was off to a good start, going every second day for the first month. My cardio was improving, I lost weight and I was far more flexible, I had some muscles I hadn’t felt for a while and I noticed daily tasks were easier. I was even drinking less so I could get to class in the morning feeling fresh and eating better. Then I got a cold and was sick for a few weeks. This is where I’ve often hit the wall before as I struggled to get back once I was better, but all that momentum I had was gone. Plus, it was now holiday season, with cocktails and wine flowing nightly and work getting even busier than usual. For 2016 I’m going to be reaching out for some help during these times as I can’t seem to battle alone. What’s your strategy? Who do you lean on when you need motivation? Suggestions welcome.

Today I went back and I feel 100% better for doing so. This program was truly making a difference when I was going frequently, but consistence is key as always; I noticed a drop in all the areas that I had improved since I last went. My 3 month membership runs out in less than a month, but I am going to renew and push forward as I know the program works. In 2016 I will be focusing on creating schedules and taking more time for myself, plus reaching out for added support.

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In case you may have missed it, I also have some extra motivation to look and feel better as I’ve got some planning to do for my upcoming wedding! Michael and I are tying the knot and rumour has it I may even wear a fancy dress.

Here’s to a fit and healthy New Year and thanks for tuning in and supporting this continued journey.

Fitness Fridays – The Dailey Method and Ice Breaker – GLV Spruces Up

Continuing GLV Spruces Up with The Dailey Method Studio

Well it’s been a week since I started Dailey Method Barre and Cycle Classes and I’ve now been five times and have the stickers to prove it! (I’m also in the photo above, but WAY, WAY in the back – I swear).

Keeping accountable is the way to go, as I’ve signed up for their 30 and 60 day contest to hit three classes a week! The prize is a $1000 Nordstrom GC, and YOU could still do the 30 day competition until the Dec. 11 start date. ALSO – Don’t forget the amazing giveaway I’ve got going for a 3 month pass to The Dailey Method AND a 1 month pass for a friend = one great prize worth over $900 dollars! ENTER HERE.

I did two Barre and three dailey method (cycle spin and floor work) classes and can’t say I loved every minute of them, because there were some damn difficult times out there, but I was always glad I’d done the class and am feeling way better physically and mood-wise.

I’ve discovered a few things. 1) Even a couple drinks the night before make it HARDER (duh) 2) If my belly gets any bigger I won’t be able to squeeze between the bikes to get to mine, so either I have to arrive early to get the outside bike or keep this fitness thing going 3) I can actually do some ab work and not completely die 4) 40 mins on the cylce sometimes feels like a lifetime 5) Nicer workout clothes make me stronger (I swear!) and 6) I can always keep going, but I sometimes have to go at my own pace and rest a LITTLE!

ice breaker

This week I’ve found I perform far better in a nice breathable top (see item 5) ) and I’ve managed to wash and dry my favourite once (laundry not being my forte) so I’ve had two good days in this crazy good purple one from Ice Breaker.  They’ve got it in XL which is where I am at right now. Some of the other workout clothes I admire don’t quite fit….YET!

So my next class is Sunday (October 25) at 10:00 a.m. in Kitsilano on 4th just west of Burrard and there’s still some spots left as of now. I tell ya if I can do this, YOU CAN. Friends please come sweat with me, I promise there’s a towel in it for ya and a coffee after.

AND enter the giveaway for a chance of 3 months of your own.

CONTEST CLOSED! Commit to Fit – Four Weeks with Carl From Subway

Congrats to Pam and to all that partcipated in the Commit to Fit journey. We have another giveaway and fitness challenge for ourselves and you coming up TUESDAY!

As you may have noticed on twitter, we are participating in Carl’s Crew Commit to Fit, sponsored by Subway Canada for four weeks and will have some tips, insight and a contest for you to come along on what is always a never ending journey! AND a $150 GC to Subway Canada; that’s many many many subs or salads!

Commit to Fit is about taking weekly challenges to move in the right direction of physical and mental health by making small changes. Week one’s challenge – tackle those pieces of “unfinished business” that we all keep putting on the back-burner and that cause us stress and anxiety over time. Can you identify with this? I so can….I have to catch up on some financial work, get my home in better order, get out and move daily and much much more!

commit to fit

This challenge lasts all month, so pick one thing a week and get it done! For me 1) taxes 2) daily exercise 3) organize wine.  Yes, organizing wine is a priority and is hard for me because it is hiding everywhere in my apartment and much of it has to go as it’s WAY past expiration date. At any given moment I am about to be crushed to death by a bookcase full of wine and cookbooks falling on me. This is a problem, even if it sounds like it’s not. Oh hoarding issues, you trouble me.

Create a list of three things you’ve been putting off that you’d like to tackle in the next month. The goal is to have all three checked off by the end of this round of the program!

Be sure to follow @SUBWAYCarl on twitter to stay up to date on with weekly challenges and #MondayMotivation videos. Opt in to receive the weekly challenge emails by signing up on the SUBWAY® Canada Facebook Page.  The Carl’s Crew worksheet will be attached to weekly emails and is below to help you track your progress and tasks.

carl's crew worksheet final

Week two Carl is focused on increasing our core strength. Our abs help to support our entire body so it’s important that we take care of them. Hold a one-minute plank (or more, if you’re up to it!) five days of the week. This is hard for me and made me realize how much I need yoga and more core work!

Looks like week three is to try a new vegetarian meal (easy for me) and week four is a push up challenge (not sure how that will go). Then we’ll be on our own to keep the commit to fit going! Or will we???

Now the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Selfology Spa Does Exceptional Hair

“The Best You in The Best World” is the mantra of Selfology Spa, located conveniently near my Kitsilano home at 16th and Granville. I certainly do feel so much better each time I visit. Aren’t we all working on being our best, even if we forget to think of ourselves and our mental and physical health some of the time? So many things pull and tug me away from being my best!

I’ve been spoiled at Selfology Spa in the past and would return their weekly, or more, if I could. I’ve had an amazing Seaflora facial and lymphatic detox massage, a firming and slimming facial and scalp massage, and an renewing seaweed body wrap. The last time I was in I was envious of the hair clients, as they left with their shiny and colourful new hair! Since mine has been straight black for far too long, I decided to go in for a change.

There are a number of hair stylists, including Mia (check her work out on facebook) and the lovely Kei who took care of me for the many hours it took to transform my look into something pretty darn spectacular.

Selfology goes behind a hair style, by combining Hair Art , Hair Wellness, and wholeperson Spa wellness; they remind us to think of the scalp as the other skin we might be ignoring.  The focus of this spa  is to be a Cultural, Natural, Holistic, and Artful place.

two tarts

The Café next to the spa (Two Tarts) is a healthy and delicious way to fuel up and they’ll happily feed you should you need a snack. Being the best, after all, starts with what you do, and do not, put in your body.


After we went over my goals and what I am capable of keeping up once I leave the spa/salon. I reclined in the massage chairs for a scalp treatment and shampoo.


My transformation included a cut, colour and then straightening treatment. Afterwards Jessica, the spa owner, also did my make up.

I think the before and after pretty much tells you how talented this crew is! It’s been a month since I’ve been in (I’ve been in a writing funk – more about that another time).


I’ve now just retouched the roots and my hairs still looking fab! Thanks Kei, Peter and Jessica for all the encouragement along my journey. If you are smart, you’ll also make them part of yours!

Fitness Friday – Jawbone Fitness Tracker UP24

If you are a bit of a tech geek like me, you’ll get addicted to the Jawbone Fitness and Sleep Tracker. This attractive looking wristband tracks not only exercise, but calories burned, and hours slept and can even track your food intake should you care to enter it, which I actually don’t. It also has a “Smart Coach” which offers “Idle Alerts”, so if you set it to go off every hour you are inactive, or whatever time you choose, it will buzz and you can choose to ignore it, or take a lap around the room, fold some laundry, or do whatever it is you do to remain active. The band tracks hours slept and quality of sleep, measuring how often you wake up, how long it takes you to fall asleep and hours of light and deep sleep. Smart Coach learns your habits and gives you personalized suggestions to help you get to bed on time. Smart Alarm™ silently wakes you up at the optimal moment in your sleep cycle—so you feel refreshed.
I’ve had this for a few months now and am thoroughly addicted to getting my steps in, try much harder, and often succeed, at getting enough sleep and pay more attention to how long I sit idle. I’ve lost 10 lbs and counting and much of this I attribute to the constant yellow reminder on my wrist. Plus my alarm is kind now, just a small vibration on my wrist lets me ease out of slumber land! This is one fitness technology you should not do without.
It all syncs with an app on your IOS or Android for on the go tracking.

Jawbone Up 24 Activity Wristband

  • Tracks steps, exercise, and overall calories burned
  • Observes hours slept and quality of sleep
  • Track your food, drink, calories, and nutrients
  • Use the UP App Food Score to determine if you’re eating right
  • Smart Coach communicates with you via vibrations
  • Smart Alarm offers a morning wakeup
  • Idle Alert gets you moving
  • Connect and share goals with friends and family
  • Compatible with most Bluetooth 4.0–enabled phones
  • Rechargeable battery

Aging Gracefully

Now that I’m in my 40’s, I have other issues than when I was I was oh so fresh and young. My skin was pretty good to me growing up, however, now if I stare too long in the mirror, I notice the skin on my face is a little, or perhaps, a lot less tight. I value myself more now on other things other than looks, thankfully, but still, if I can freshen up, I will.

Some may say “age gracefully”. But grace has never been my forte, so when I heard I could have a little “facelift” without actually going under the knife, I was all for it.

The procedure? The Non-invasive Lift

So what did I do? It’s called Ultherapy and it’s offered at Ideal Image in Vancouver on South Granville.  It’s the only non-invasive procedure FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, under the chin and on the eyebrow. It was billed and delivered as safe ultrasound without surgery.

How it works

Ultherapy uses ultrasound to transform the brow, chin, neck and chest. I went in and a certified nurse performed this ultrasound on my chin.  Is there a downside? Yes. It hurt a bit, almost like an elastic band snapping on your skin, and there  was bruising afterwards for a good week, but it was cover-able by makeup. Pain is forgettable though, and  six months later, I definitely had a tighter jawline and the photos below are my own and unaltered and prove it. Cost = approximately $2000 but varies depending on what you need.



Fitness Fridays Long Walks and Blue Sky

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Not sure how you did with your fitness goals over the holidays, but I am going to give myself a C+ in the category. I ended up pulling a muscle in my back, and got a throat infection, but I still got out for long walks almost everyday. Now that I am not hacking up a lung I am going to get to a class or two, but walking will always be a part of my routine; I did 11 km yesterday in fact.

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What I love about a long walk is the opportunity to check out sights along the way. Lately I’ve been walking down the end of West Broadway and up the hill to the top near Point Grey Academy.

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Disclaimer – this is not me. I paint my toenails.

I’ve also found the perfect pants for walking and lounging about the house. They’re actually quite presentable should you have to stop along the way for a refreshment as well, as this often happens with me. Check out Blue Sky Clothing on West 4th, or any of their five locations for their bamboo, cotton blend pants. I’ve got the “susan” pant, but I actually meant to buy the yoga one, but once I got the pant home it just worked. Also have a very comfy yoga top from the store and a dress as well. They all breath which is very important to me these days!

This coming week I have some classes booked, but I had to take a week and not beat myself up since my body was not cooperating. At least I found a way to do what I could am an resting up to get healthy! So C+ it is, but only for now.


Fitness Fridays Steve Nash Fitness And Diane’s Lingerie

Yes, you did read that headline correctly. We will be doing Fitness Fridays and Steve Nash Fitness World AND Diane’s Lingerie are an important part of this first post.

Each week I’ll be featuring something fun that will help me, and therefore possibly you, achieve my/your fitness goals. The first week I had to get myself some support, from both a personal trainer, and a bra.

keep calm and wear a bra that fits

Every day you need support whether your breasts are big or small. I’m currently on the larger size of the equation, so it was super important for me to have a bra that fits and really supports. How many times do you see someone running down the street and wonder if they might take out their eye because their boobies are flying around so much? I didn’t want to be that girl.

Lynda Barr, from Diane’s Lingerie, suggests two important points to remember when sports bra shopping:

  • Bra companies, versus athletic wear companies, have year of experience and research in making bras, & they bring this focus and experience to their sports bras versus a company.  Nike has experience in textiles but maybe not so much experience in making and fitting bras.
  • A bra fitter! The biggest mistake is not getting fit for the proper bra size. Majority of women are in the wrong bra size to begin with and they translate that into their sports bra purchase. They need to get fit by a professional bra fitter and ensure they are purchasing a bra that suits their fitness needs.

Just go to Diane’s and you need not worry!


Off to Diane’s Lingerie on Granville I went then and I tried on several bras and found the Air Control Sports Bra which is an awesome colour and fits great! No, that’s not me above. I’m not that brave.


Off to Steve Nash where I’ve been a member since 1987. I’ve had a seriously lacking attendance record of late, and while I do have a background in fitness (I once was an aerobic instructor way back when), there’s all sorts of new moves and far more effective routines to get and stay in shape now. And again, no, not me above. Yet!

Booked in with Kayla at the Cambie location, got all my measurements done and weighed in (yikes!), and she set up a routine I can do a couple times a week and trained me up on it all within the hour. I’ll check back with her in a month.

Circuit 1 is 3 X 10 per leg step ups, 3 X 25 pushups (knees for know), 3 X 15 kettlebell deadlifts.

Circuit 2 is 3 X 12 high rows, 3 X 10 per leg reverse lunges and 3 X 10 Kettlebell presses.

I finished it up with a 30 minutes aggressive walking/jogging on a treadmill and that was it for the session. Each week I’m going to attempt to try something different and share with you. How about some indoor cycling for week 2?

Wantable Monthly Sets

IMG_5524I’ve been ordering things online lately (shameful, I know) and came across Wantable, a monthly box of either beauty, accessories, or intimate apparel that is picked specifically for you after you answer a series of questions pertaining to your style and personality.

I was reluctant to hand over my shopping choices to what appeared to be a computer generated set of outcomes, but once I received the selections was super impressed. I would never have picked up these items on my own, but once I played around with them and created some outfits I received endless compliments, which are always encouraged and appreciated!

Apparently there is a pretty talented team behind these beauty and fashion picks and the items they select are far from merely computer generated. They focus on sourcing quality boutique items and use the customer profile from the questions you answer to select the best set for the month. No box is ever the same. Cost is $40 a month for a single box or $36 for subscription = DEAL!


In my box I received 2 sets of earings, one sparkly and one more folky, a very cool necklace that so wasn’t me (until I put it on), and a light scarf, perfect for summer. If you don’t like anything simply return it without a hassle.

Here’s me attempting a selfie. Not the expert yet, but you get the idea!

I’ve already signed up for another box and am eagerly anticipating it’s arrival.


#GLVSprucesUp Checking In


Last week I announced that I was going to run the Sea Wheeze half marathon in August and I managed to sign up today for the event before it was full. I had been walking a lot in the fall so I only have to transition over to running to make this happen.

I jumped on the scale last Monday, vowed to eat better, drink less and add a km to my walking routine this week, meaning one walk would be 5 km with 1 km full on run for 3 of my walking sessions and the other days long walks of 8ish km.

As you may or may not know I write about food, wine and beer, so I’ve got a little bit of challenge when it comes to food choices, that being I have far too many temptations in front of me. I figured I can still do some of my eating if I curb the eating on other days and upped my exercise and still loose weight.

frogWell maybe it was the Chinese New Year’s dinner, the Granville Island food event, the indulgent afternoon tea, the slab of sour dough bread that I smothered in butter and accidentally ate late one night, the rich Sunday brunch or the Friday and Saturday night drinks, but this week I did not loose the weight I expected – what a surprise.

After all I had a whole day juice cleanse, ate a lot of salad, and did cut back my alcohol. I actually thought before I typed the list of above weekly indulgences that I had done pretty well! Proof that you can’t really fool yourself or your body, you actually have to put in the work.

Before I throw myself into traffic I am going to try to do something I don’t usually and instead of feeling guilty I will focus on the positive and what I learned this week. Firstly I have to congratulate myself on beginning running and sticking to a juice cleanse for a whole day (don’t laugh, baby steps), eating more veggie-based meals and drinking less. Then I have to remind myself that I really am going to have to drastically change my habits if I am going to get to where I want at a speed slower than a crawl.

Getting_back_on_track_eat_clean_fitness.jpgFocus for this week is to track my eating daily and really focus on far more healthy meals with more nutrition and less calories on the plate.  Unfortunately I already had to have a chicken wrap today that I thought wouldn’t be quite that greasy and I accidentally finished it (research) and will have to try some dessert later (I promised to write about it) so today’s goal can only be fit a salad in and only have one small bite of the ten desserts I have been sent to try; seriously. I’ll report back next week. After all being aware is the first step.