Vancouver - Editors' Diary
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 27th, 2013
Jessica and Ben Mulroney, parents to twin boys and newborn baby Ivy, are familiar with sleepless nights, changing diapers, and a lack of me time. We chatted to them about their favourite baby gear, how they get their kids to sleep, and what baby advice to avoid.
Vitamin Daily: Aside from good diapers, what product/toy/accessory has been a lifesaver during the newborn months?
Ben Mulroney: We were given a gift when Ivy was born, by a company called 4 Moms, and it is called the mamaRoo.
Jessica Mulroney: It is a moving chair, an computerized chair that has different simulations of motions on a chair. The nice thing about it is that you don't actually have to rock the chair on your own, you can do other things while the baby is rocked happily in the chair.
Vitamin Daily: What do you do if/when you have some downtime?
Ben: Sleep. Especially in the first couple of months, when the baby's schedule is all over the place. When the baby has downtime, you have downtime. If that means for you to go to the gym, or to get a couple of errands done, whatever allows you to maintain a semblance of real life, and to remind yourself that you aren't just a parent and that you have another life out there.
Vitamin Daily: What are some tips to getting your baby to sleep through the night?
Ben: Rule number one, never wake a sleeping child. A lot of people try to force a schedule, but if the baby needs to sleep, let them sleep.
Jessica: A little bit more of a controversial one, that we sometimes tried, is not to always pick the baby up when the baby is crying. When they go to bed, they might be a bit cranky, but it doesn't mean that they're not tired. So try to understand the different cries that your baby has, because if you do, you can usually figure out if it is that important to go and cuddle them.
Vitamin Daily: You are quite a public family. How do you find a balance between having privacy with your family, but also publicly sharing your stories with other Canadian families?
Ben: I like sharing stories of family. I'm proud of being a dad, I'm proud of being a husband. I like seeing pictures of other people's families and I know that people like seeing photos of our kids. Every parent has to decide for themselves where that line is drawn, and I have friends who are a little more private, so if I have a photo of my kids with their kids, I will ask their permission if I can share it. Sometimes they will say yes, and sometimes they will say no. For me, I have always been in the public eye, so I have this innate feeling of what is truly private and what are those things we like to share.
Vitamin Daily: Can you share some valuable tips for some families expecting their first baby?
Ben: Never accept advice that begins with "never" or "always" - except this piece of advice. People who tell you "always do this" or "never do that" don't know what they are talking about. They don't appreciate that every child is different, and that every parent has different priorities.
Jessica: Align yourself with products that you trust and depend on. Ben and I have trusted Pampers diapers since the beginning, it kept the children dry, and there was no leakage. And that is a very important thing when you are sleep training your child.
Read about Jessica and Ben's parenting expereinces on www.mypampersjourney.ca.
October 25th, 2013
On a recent Saturday morning, I found myself in need of a few things (art supplies for my toddler, contact solution and milk, in no particular order). Not wanting to spend a gorgeous fall day hopping from store-to-store, I decided to hit the store. Target, of course.
Where to begin? I started in the craft aisle, where I found washable markers, sketching paper and some sweet foam cutouts in fall shapes, which will definitely come in handy on the next rainy day.
Next stop: Groceries. Yes I came for milk (which they had plenty of), but these fluffy orange cupcakes somehow made it into my cart as well. I also spotted my new lunchtime obsession, Happy Planet organic soups.
I’m a sucker for Halloween everything, and the range of costumes in every age, shape and size (including a huge selection of dog costumes!) is definitely worth a second visit. Till then, I picked up this cute pumpkin – just $1 – for trick or treating.
And of course a few fashion pieces caught my eye, including on-trend wedge sneakers and this plaid coat. Canadiana personified.
OK, my cart officially runneth over.
I zipped through the checkout with my Target REDcard (which knocked 5% off all of my purchases) and made my way home to unpack.
Will wonders never cease… I actually remembered the contact solution!
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October 24th, 2013
The 9th annual Taste of Yaletown is on now until October 27th, giving Vancouverites the perfect excuse to go out and try a (or several) new restaurants.
We tried the new kid on the block, West Oak (they're only 5 months old!)'s 3-course dinner for $35. We loved the relaxed atmosphere and welcoming service. We're also quite intrigued by their #SocialBrunch.
First course options: Cauliflower truffle soup or beet and goat cheese salad. Some of the leaves for the salad are grown right in the restaurant!
Second course: We tried the Roast Chicken and Sablefish. The third option is a Seafood pasta. The chicken was hearty and comforting during these crisp fall days.
And for the third and final course: COOKIES. How can you beat that?
A hearty 3 course tasting menu for $35, is well worth it (just for the cookies).
For more info on The Taste of Yaletown — http://yaletowninfo.com/events/taste-of-yaletown
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October 23rd, 2013
Christmas, already? We entered what felt like Santa's workshop last night in Vancouver. With Christmas music playing, we donned our aprons and created a chocolate Santa hat at BETA5 chocolates.
Part of BETA5's holiday collection, the Santa Hats are filled with chocolate-coved sun-dried cherry pebbles, macron almond pebbles and raisins.
Once the very hard work was finished, we taste tested BETA5's handcrafted, one of a kind chocolates, that really looked more like pieces of art.
Fascinating flavour combinations (sweet potato caramel on the left, candied black olive and white chocolate on the right) kept our eyes and tastebuds on overdrive.
Oh, and the absolute must try? Salted caramel cream puff(s).
BETA5 chocoloates — http://beta5.myshopify.com/
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October 22nd, 2013
More like Italian for delicious. Q4 Restaurant Group co-owners Patrick Corsi and Alex Tsakumis closed Q4 al Centro and re-opened with a new concept Tappo (meaning "cork" in Italian) Restobar in late September. Chef Bradford Ellis took us through the menu of casual small plates as well as wood stove forno oven pizzas.
Menu Highlights: Mozzarella cheesy poofs | $5 Bacon wrapped dates | $5 Sweet and salty cashews | $5 Roasted root salad | $9 - Beets, candied walnut, parsnip chips, goats cheese Burrata Trio | $16 Tasting plate Tappo Meatballs | $11 Veal, beef, pork, San Marzano, fresh burrata Serano Ham Pizzetta | $15 Taleggio, fennel confit
Located in close proximity to Vancouver's sports and entertainment district, in L’Hermitage Hotel, Tappo's the place for pre-event meals and post-event bites. Boasting downtown's largest luxury screens you won't miss a Canucks or Whitecaps or Lions game.
Tappo restobar — 780 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604.687.4444, www.tapporestobar.com
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October 21st, 2013
100 VIPs, patients and media gathered last week to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Project Skin MD and the launch of the Project Skin MD Magazine. With a variety of services for the face body, and even men, it's no surprise that Project Skin MD is Vancouver's top dermatology, laser and anti-aging clinic in Vancouver.
Vanessa Grutman, Business Director Project Skin MD
Dr. Lauren Donaldson Bramley, Family Physician and Anti-Aging Specialist
Dr. William McGillivray, Medical Director, Project Skin MD
Guests enjoyed a complimentary skin treatment (I personally had the Clarisonic exfoliation and Vitamin C Firming Mask) and enjoyed nibbles from Hawksworth Restaurant and sipped wines from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella.
Photos taken by Pascale Gadbois from Gadbois Photography
Project Skin 1495 West 11th Ave
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 18th, 2013
We participated in Habitat for Humanity's Upcycle challenge: Unhinged! Our mission: repurpose a plain white door sourced from the Vancouver ReStore.
Our concept? Vitamin Daily is all about the living the good life in every way, from fashion to food to design. The montage aesthetic is a natural fit for our frenetic interests and reflects a few of our favourite things right now: texture, colour and boldness. We hope it finds a happy home and opens the door to some interesting dinner party conversation!
You can view the piece in person this weekend the Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver booth at the Vancouver Home + Design Show — www.vancouverhomeanddesignshow.com
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