Calgary - Editors' Diary
December 5th, 2013
We celebrated all things sparkly at the opening of DeBeers first Vancouver store.
Diamonds for breakfast - what can be better than that?
1088 Alberni Street Vancouver. http://www.debeers.com/
Photos by Johann Wall
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November 27th, 2013
On a recent Thursday night I dropped into Fierce Girl’s fitness studio to get a good butt kicking and to work my butt off — literally. I was greeted by a friendly staff and an ultra-feminine, chic décor that made me feel welcome and gave me a little extra motivation to actually want to work out.
Even the change rooms were pretty and comfortable with beauty and hair products for a quick touch-up after a workout.
Fierce Girl is all about the ladies and classes are designed to make you feel strong, sexy and lean. With classes ranging from pole dancing and yoga to TRX and Zumba all women, from the casual fitness dabbler to the spinning queen, will find something to appeal to them. Being of the casual fitness class type I decided to go for the Bars and Bands class because who doesn’t want the strength, grace and poise of a dancer?
While I wasn’t the most poised during class I was hyper-aware of my posture thanks to the constant reminders to keep my belly button pulled in and my shoulders back. My instructor, Elina, was very hands on, helping to correct my posture and making sure I was doing the moves right. The class combines small movements so it didn’t necessarily feel like I was doing a ton of work but after a few reps my muscles start to shake. And trust me, after this class, muscles I didn’t even know I had or thought could be worked out felt the burn.
I also discovered that Fierce Girl hosts birthday parties, bachelorettes and girly gatherings, so the ladies can get together and have a private pole dancing, burlesque, coyote ugly or disco diva class. They will also bring in hairstylists and make-up artists to get you glammed up before hitting the town. Bonus, you can have a few martinis for a little bit of liquid courage before working it out on the pole.
When I left class I was satisfyingly sore and swear I was walking a little taller. — Sara Samson
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November 20th, 2013
The first time a Snackbox landed on the Vitamin Daily doorstep, our Editor-in-chief, Sarah Bancroft, was working the midnight oil and got first crack at it (we heard raves about the chocolate-covered kale…).
So it became clear, when the Snackbox arrives, only one rule applies: you snooze, you lose. With a monthly shipment stocked with favourites and tasty new treats, “dibs” has become an important word around the office. This month, this is what we are digging (and digging into).
Kind Bars: We love how easy-to-find and tasty these bars are (and we’re in good company – Gwyneth Paltrow has raved about them as well! This month’s selection is dark chocolate cherry cashew (a definite anti-oxidant booster). Like all of its bars, this is all natural, gluten-free, non-GMO and packed with protein and fibre.
King Island Coconut Milk: Our managing editor Maria is a coconut water fiend, and this takes it to the next level. Combing the rehydration benefits of young green cocnut with the delicious, dairy-free milk from brown coconuts, this is an afternoon treat that hits the sweet tooth spot.
GimMe Organic Seaweed Snack: Our Western Sales Manager Samira was first to the box, and first to get her mitts on the Gimme Organic Seaweed Snack. Grown in a protected bay in Korea, this brand has 50+ years of organic certification.
Mary’s Gone Crackers Chocolate Chip Cookie: Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free. That’s what we call a guilt-free trip to Cookietown.
Home Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: A girl can never have too many cookies, especially when they are all natural, kosher and made with gluten free oat flour.
Brothers All-Natural Pear Fruit Crisps: Just because our fruit dehydrator is tucked back (ok, way back) in the cupboard doesn’t mean we love dried fruit any less. This baby packs 1 ½ pears in every package, just throw it in your purse and go!
Nature’s Path Q’ia Superfood Cereal – Cranberry Vanilla: This super cereal is packed with superfoods like chia, hemp and buckwheat (which makes for a super morning). Just 2 tablespoons of cereal added to your smoothie or stirred into your breakfast yogurt pack a powerful punch.
Brookside Dark Chocolate Fruit: A little bit of chocolate a day is just dandy – especially when it’s smooth dark chocolate and covers a fruit juice piece made with acaia, blueberry and other select fruit juices. It would be downright irresponsible not to eat them.
Rocket Food Appleberry Oatmeal: Oatmeal does a body good, but not when it’s loaded with sugars. That’s why we love this wholesome snack that’s free from the top 10 allergens. The most important meal of the day, done.
Dan-D Pak Macadamia Sea Salt: The crunchy, salty taste of macadamia nuts is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. And the fact that these little ones are full of brain boosting essential fatty acids makes snacking on them pretty smart.
Angie’s Kettle Corn: If you want to get your co-workers in to your office, and quickly, open a bag of kettle corn. Bring it out at the next meeting and you’ll have everyone’s full attention.
Discover the experience of opening a curated box of the most delicious snacks on the planet. Each Snackbox contains a mixture of sweet, savoury, chewy, and crunchy snacks. All snacks are nutritionist-approved and taste great.
Join Snackbox today at www.getsnackbox.com
Use code VITAMINDAILY and get $15 Off your First Box
Code expires Dec 15 2013. Valid for new customers only.
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November 15th, 2013
Like the old story goes: small town girl is discovered in a mall in her hometown of Nebraska and grows up to be on of the most successful models... ever.
Well, maybe we don't all know that story, but in the case of Ashley Graham, it's all true.
For the first time ever, this gorgeous femme has teamed up with Canadian brand Addition Elle and created a 14-piece lingerie collection.
“I was looking to create pieces that I would want to see in my own closet. More of my style, vintage, luxurious. Whether it was the size of the bow or the type of crystal - every little detail was selected carefully and thoughtfully”
The collaboration has been in the works for over a year now (did you know there are 16 separate pieces that make up a bra?) and there will be two more capsule collections to look forward to!
We love how Addition Elle has created an inclusive environment across their 123 Canadian retail stores (that are more like one-stop-shop mini department stores). Emphasizing the importance of the customer experience and feeling comfortable (and sexy) in her lingerie.
So comfortable in fact, one woman was comfortable enough to walk through the store in just her bra and comfortable enough to be filmed by Ashley’s husband! (Don't be alarmed, he's a director of photography.)
Ashley, a long-time lingerie model, shared a few of her fit tips.
Tips for fits:
- You want to use the first claps and move it back as the bra wears
- If you’re spilling over go down a size in the band and up in the cut
- To test your bra fit, place two fingers at the back of your bra and pull. if it goes beyond 2 inches its too big
Follow Ashley on Twitter @theashleygraham and shop her lingerie collection at Addition Elle now.
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November 15th, 2013
The Isabel Marant for H&M collection is finally here and, when it comes to shopping this hot designer collaboration, the competition is extreme. Here are a few tips to avoid walking away empty handed:
#1 Grab First, Think Later
After lining up in the cold and earning my numbered wristband (#124, despite having arrived at the 7pm pre-shop event for 6:45pm), I felt seriously motivated to lay down my credit card. What's worse, I spent the 45 minute wait surrounded by women hoping to scoop the very same leather pants and oversized coats as me - according to overheard conversation, that is - so as I neared the front of the line, panic set in. Groups of 30 were permitted to shop the designated racks together and as I made my way, suddenly I found myself grabbing pants in multiple sizes, boxes of jewelry without even seeing the contents, and novelty items that I wasn't even in the market for.
When it comes to shopping, the competitive beast comes out, but everyone else is doing it, so snatch what you can and then find reason in a dark corner of the men's section once you've been dismissed from your 10 minute allotment amongst the Marant. There's also zero shame in buying and returning.
#2 Look Outside Your Designation
Speaking of the men's section, that happens to be where I scooped up a great sweater. And then I hit up the kids section and found a fiddler cap. What? I have a small head and like my knits oversized, so why not benefit from the two designated sections that were still rich with merchandise rather than fight the quick fingers and cut-eye in womenswear?
#3 Scope Out The Cash Register
My favourite item came to me as I was pulling out my wallet and a sales associate walked out from behind the register holding a rack's worth of discarded merch. Many shoppers intend to purchase with single price tags in mind, but once those items add up, the total requires a rethink. As a result, pieces pile up behind the cash desk, waiting to be run back on to the floor and it's fair game to get in there and see what's for grabs.—Laura Lanktree
November 7th, 2013
Down on the corner of Bay and Wellington, there's a man smashing desks with a sledge hammer. No need to sound the alarm, however: Toronto-based artist Justin Broadbent is deconstructing the office staple to promote Microsoft's new Office 365 platform.
In order to push the software's "work from anywhere" cloud features, the tech company commissioned Broadbent to bring his hands-on approach to their #ditchthedesk campaign. As a multi-disciplinary artist whose breadth of work runs from creating Metric's Juno Award winning album art to curating AGO's Massive party two years running, Broadbent is perhaps best known for his freestyle installation pieces.
Familiar elements like spray paint, cats, and the number 81 are peppered throughout the orange Office 365 platform, but the artist's main intention is to tear down used office desks and transform the wood and parts into sculptures. Not without a touch of irony, Broadbent is doing what he does best by poking fun at the idea of an artist taking over white collar run Bay Street. A spray painted "Bank -> see" points to the towering RBC building behind the installation, while "Oooh Gary you make some fine art" decorates the opposing wall.
Is it time for the suits to embrace an artist lifestyle and get up out of their desk chairs, then? Judging by the crowds gathered to see Broadbent bounce around with a paint brush, the idea certainly seems intriguing.
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October 30th, 2013
One of the best ways to start a Monday, hands down, is tasting the iconic Veuve Clicquot sparking wines.
Since 1977 the French champagne house has created beautiful blends. Chef de Caves, or Cellar Master, Dominique Demarville shared his wisdom, and many years experience, as he walked us through the different sparking wines.
The 2004 La Grande Dame has a distinct brioche taste, with hints of sweet and spicy. These flavours are more coming in the vintages and are developed over time. Champagne flutes are wonderful for quick sips and cheers, however this glass is new on the market and is perfect for spending some time with your wine.
Save those corks. Each cork is labeled with specific code, and we have the trick to decipher them: supplier / year / semester (jul aug batch).
Key takeaways for the smart buyer:
2012 was a great year for the Meunier (aka the wedding wine who's flavour balances out the bolder pinot noir and chardonnays)
Blends are put through a meticulous blind taste test by 8 discerning palates and are judged based on finesse and elegance, body structure, and ageing potential.
Ideal temperatures for serving: 8 degree's for the Yellow Label and 12 degrees for la Grand Dame.
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October 19th, 2013
Kids are more likely to eat food that they help prepare, so we are always on the hunt for balanced meals that they can help make. They love getting their hands dirty, but since they’re unable to prepare sophisticated meals - Pillsbury presents an opportunity to involve children in the making of simple and delicious creations.
Time is also of the essence, and little ones tend to have pretty short attention spans, so we turned to Pillsbury Crescents for a fun and easy way to prepare a balanced meal that the kids actually want to eat.
First we needed a team of chefs: Viktor eats anything you put in front of him and Matilda has slightly more refined tastes (read: she is extremely picky). Then we gathered the ingredients – which were simple and straightforward. Pillsbury crescents (we used the Grande ones but the classics or multigrain work, too), grilled chicken breast, bbq sauce, grated cheese, and an egg. (Find the recipe here.)
Viktor stirred the barbeque sauce into the shredded chicken breast.
We laid out the pastry (and if your kids decide to treat it like playdough, never fear, you can easily flatten it out again with a rolling pin).
Then we pilled the chicken mixture onto the dough, and topped it off with cheese.
Roll up the crescents (perfection doesn’t make them taste any better…) and paint them with beaten eggs.
Cook for 12-15 minutes and serve with carrot sticks, kale chips, and a handful of grapes.
The result? A fun dinner for two.
And the leftovers? None of the crescents, but a few of the vegetables, which the kids decided to share with their horses.
Easy, quick, fun, and balanced. The kids loved it, and so did the horses. Mealtime success.
October 11th, 2013
It was a hotly anticipated Gastown store opening, and one that did not disappoint.
Cavalier Jewellers, co-founded by Keith Seabrook and Dane Stevens, not only supports local independent designers but is also the only jewellery store in Canada that stipulates a portion of anything sold goes toward a local cause, such as Face of Today and the ALS Society of BC.
By the number of people that showed up at last Thursday's party — hosted by FASHION's western editor and Vitamin Daily alumnist Joy Pecknold — it's clear that Cavalier has already gained fans in and around the neighbourhood (either that, or they all wanted to hear Blondtron's DJ set).
Oh, and those engraved pieces by Broken Promises? Those will be ours very soon.
October 11th, 2013
If statement baubles are your go-to accessory, then Alan Anderson should be at the top of your jeweller list.
The Toronto-based designer came into town last Thursday to host a trunk show at the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Pacific Rim to present his latest collection.
More than 100 pieces of his signature handcrafted designs were laid out for guests to try, each one of us feeling like Old Hollywood screen stars as we draped and clasped on necklaces and bracelets made of vintage crystals and fine gemstone.
Looking dapper in his green bow tie, man-of-the-hour Alan milled about the room, helping ladies (and some gents, like clothing designer Jason Matlo) find their perfect piece.
Crystals and jewels, oh my!