• Jul28

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    Pride doughnut, Lucky's Doughnuts
    [Photo courtesy of Lucky’s Doughnuts]

    In celebration of Pride, Lucky’s Doughnuts has teamed up with HIV/AIDS charity A Loving Spoonful to create the $5 Sprinkled with Pride charity doughnut.

    Created by Lucky’s Doughnuts’ Colter Jones, the Sprinkled with Pride doughnut is a vanilla cream-filled “Long John” with a chocolate glaze that’s covered in a rainbow of sprinkles to represent the rainbow flag of the LGBTQ community.  
     
    The limited-run Sprinkled with Pride doughnut will be available at Sunday’s Pride Parade at the Denman Street BMO Branch (958 Denman Street) from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.
     
    The Sprinkled with Pride doughnut is also available at both Lucky’s Doughnuts locations (2198 West 4th in Kitsilano, 7 am to 7 pm and 2902 Main Street in Mount Pleasant, 7 am to 10 pm) throughout Sunday, August 2.
     
    All proceeds from the sale of the $5 Sprinkled with Pride doughnut will benefit A Loving Spoonful’s meal programs for people living with HIV/AIDS.
     
    This is Lucky’s Doughnuts second partnership with a Loving Spoonful. Lucky’s joined forces with the charity in March in order to create the hugely successful Dining Out For Life doughnut raising much-needed funds for the organization’s healthy meal delivery programs.

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  • Jul28

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    LEAGUE app screen shot

    LEAGUE, an online personal health platform, recently launched in Toronto, Canada. Attracting top preventative healthcare professionals, LEAGUE gives health-conscious consumers the ability to transform their personal health and wellness journey.

    This dedicated platform allows access to top health professionals in your neighborhood while benefiting from the convenience of mobile scheduling, payments and invoices.

    Professionals and members stay connected with secure, private messaging and share their expertise and experiences in the LEAGUE community.

    LEAGUE devices

    The LEAGUE app is also available for both iPhone and Android-powered smart phones, making it the single destination for people to stay healthy — every day.

    Created by former Kobo founder Michael Serbinis, LEAGUE’s goal is “to fundamentally change how people think about health”. Serbinis also added, “We envision a future where health will be highly personalized, ‘always-on,’ and focused on prevention — helping you live well every day. Our mission is to empower people to act every day, by connecting with the health professionals, services, and care that is right for them.”

    LEAGUE app screen shot

    Dr. Elaine Chin, Personalized Medicine Physician and founder of Executive Health Care, also spoke favourably about the rapidly-expanding platform: “We need to rally the silent majority of preventative healthcare professionals onto a platform where consumers can work with them to fundamentally transform how they manage and improve their health and wellbeing. LEAGUE will be this catalyst for change.”

    LEAGUE-approved professionals offer a broad spectrum of preventative health and wellness services including nutrition, acupuncture, massage therapy, personal training, physiotherapy, diabetes screening, chiropractic medicine, mental health services, meditation and integrative medicine.

    LEAGUE app screen shot

    Health professionals can join online and services can be discovered and booked in mere seconds while payments and invoicing are seamlessly automated in a mobile experience.

    Far beyond discovery and booking services, LEAGUE’s personal health platform offers users a way to stay connected and engaged with their professionals with secure 1:1 messaging, personal health data sharing, and an engaging community where health-focused information can be shared and discussed.

    LEAGUE screenshots

    LEAGUE users will be able to track their services and create a personal health record incorporating biometrics, wearable and app data as well as share it with healthcare providers who can provide meaningful, actionable insights based on LEAGUE’s data-rich platform. LEAGUE is definitely the game-changer in personal health management.

    Now available across Canada, LEAGUE is actively seeking leading health professionals to join its community and start growing their businesses with like-minded clients focused on their health. In addition to its Canadian presence, LEAGUE will soon expand into the US and later this year, internationally.

    The company is also exploring partnerships with insurers, employers, institutions and will soon launch APIs for third-party developers. Those interested in working with LEAGUE can email partners@joinleague.com. This article features sponsored content and will compliment an event recap that I’ll post tomorrow so that our audience can learn more about LEAGUE.

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  • Jul27

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    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-1

    Now represented in 191 countries and in over 34,000 cities, Airbnb is literally all over the map — land and sea. My husband and I were one of the handful of lucky people invited to experience a very unique Airbnb accommodation, aboard a gorgeous yacht owned by Mark Sager. Mark’s no stranger to hosting guests through Airbnb, the de facto online accomodation listing service for travellers.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-5 Airbnb Yacht Cruise-3

    Another one of Mark’s properties (in Chesterman Beach, Tofino) wasn’t being used throughout the year so he decided to turn it into an Airbnb accommodation, allowing others to enjoy the beautiful Vancouver Island town, a paradise for surfers and beachcombers alike.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-8

    He’s made amazing friends via bookings from around the globe and can testify that each and every guest has left his properties spotless upon check out.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-6

    Aboard the Oriana, our street shoes were left at the dock as slippers (or bare feet) gave us the immediate comfort of making ourselves at home.

    DJ at sea Airbnb group shot aboard The Oriana

    The Oriana sleeps eight and its nightly $10k price tag includes skipper, captain, chef and in our case, DJ and mixologist (Lauren Mote was in her element, mixing up alongside killer views).

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-7 Airbnb Yacht Cruise-4

    It took four years for Airbnb to reach one million bookings. Flash-forward to 2015, and that amount is reached DAILY! The company believes in local and authentic experiences no matter where you book, from an Australian penthouse to an Austrian igloo. Looking at their website, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular — as many accommodations as there are individual tastes and budgets.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-10

    With Airbnb, you can either choose to list your space or find one to book with their online search service. Want to spend a week in the eclectic and charming Parisian district of Le Marais? A one bed, one bath apartment can be yours for CDN $103 per night.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-2

    The site also includes 24/7 customer support, verified ID, and secure payment features.

    Airbnb Yacht Cruise-9

    Our evening at sea was made even more special with Vancouver’s idyllic scenery, particularly at sunset. I’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful locale to call home, but I’ll know where to look when we want a change of scenery! Find your perfect home away from home at Airbnb online. Unwatermarked photos by KK Law Photography. This is not a sponsored post. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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  • Jul25

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    2015 Deighton Cup-9

    Yesterday’s Seventh Annual Deighton Cup was packed with guests out for an afternoon of trackside glamour with cocktails in hand.

    2015 Deighton Cup-8 2015 Deighton Cup-11

    There’s nothing finer than an afternoon at the races — add craft cocktails, a picnic lunch, cigar lounge and champagne stage, and this party turns into the hit of the summer, with no shortage of lavish dresses, fascinators, fedoras and bow ties.

    2015 Deighton Cup-6 2015 Deighton Cup-12 2015 Deighton Cup-13

    The event also benefited Variety – The Children’s Charity, with five dollars from each ticket sale going towards a vital organization that helps create a better life for children with special needs.

    2015 Deighton Cup-1 2015 Deighton Cup-4 2015 Deighton Cup-3
    [Posing with the stilt couple, Veuve bubbly inside the VIP tent, Petite Puf cotton candy gals]

    Stilt walkers, unicyclists, cotton candy and fiery-orange Veuve Cliquot glassware added even more colour to the occasion.

    2015 Deighton Cup-2

    Deighton Cup is named after Vancouver saloon owner John “Gassy Jack” Deighton.

    2015 Deighton Cup-7

    This year’s Deighton Cup was co-produced by Droski Turner and The Social Concierge and doubled in size from previous years to include reserved grandstand seating for an additional 1,500 Concourse-level guests trackside.

    2015 Deighton Cup-1

    In addition to placing your bets on the horses, a Cocktail Jockey Mixology Competition brought out Vancouver’s finest bartenders while the best-dressed woman (Belle Du Jour) and man (Gallant Sartorialist) were crowned in the Style Stakes.

    2015 Deighton Cup-15

    More of my photos from the day can be found here.

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  • Jul24

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    Discover Boating-3
    [Heading out of the marina, Granville Island]

    Those of you that know me personally will know that one of my favourite sayings is “Any day on a boat is a good day!” With our current dry, sunny weather, getting onto the water is a fabulous way to de-stress and enjoy our city’s scenic beauty.

    Discover Boating-4

    Away from the bustling city construction and water-shortage woes, it was time to get our sea legs in action with Discover Boating, a Canadian organization (with an informative online presence) whose aim is to educate the public on boat selection, water safety, and just how affordable a boat purchase can be (and no, not that yacht in the photo below, though it did make for a lovely photo op earlier this week as we were invited to lunch and learn at sea).

    Discover Boating-8

    There’s often a stigma attached to boating, that it’s a luxury sport for millionaires. We learned that there’s many ways to finance a boat purchase; timeshares can be a great option to get out onto the water on a regular basis while minding your budget.

    Discover Boating-1

    Discover Boating is managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) on behalf of the North American recreational boating industry. As mentioned earlier, they focus on increasing participation and creating public interest in boating by targeting its well-being benefits, affordability and accessibility, helping educate potential boaters as well as offering ways to experience the boating lifestyle.

    Discover Boating-5

    You can also use the online boat selector tool to choose just the right pleasure craft for your adventures, based on activity, number of passengers, boat length, price range, type of engine (from outboards to sailing) and whether it’s trailerable (or needs storing at a marina).

    It’s helpful to know in advance what you’ll need to pack on your boat (some items required by law). From regulation personal flotation devices (PFDs) to suntan lotion, from an anchor to paddles, take the time before you leave shore to make sure not to forget the basics!

    Discover Boating-7

    Discover Boating’s site also provides good tips on buying a pre-owned boat and what to consider when going that route.

    Discover Boating-6

    More than anything though, the afternoon was about sheer FUN – the kind of fun that causes tousled hair, gets you laughing out loud with friends, and gives pause for thought at how lucky we are to have some awesome waterways in our backyard.

    For all things boating, stop by the Discover Boating website.

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  • Jul23

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    Royal Dinette-1

    Take fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, a unique approach to cocktails, and beautiful, eye-catching interior design, and you’ll arrive at Royal Dinette, a new restaurant with Chef/Owner David Gunawan at the helm.

    Royal Dinette-2

    Gunawan’s worked internationally, from Seattle to Chicago, before opening Kitsilano’s Farmer’s Apprentice a couple of years back, and more recently, sister restaurant Grapes & Soda (read our Grapes & Soda feature here).

    Taiwan-born Head Chef Jack Chen left Farmer’s Apprentice a month ago to start Royal Dinette, having moved to Vancouver with his family at an early age and getting his first inspiration into cooking via his mother, a talented home cook. Chen’s worked locally at Bishop’s, L’Abattoir, and Pear Tree.

    Royal Dinette-7

    Bar Manager Wendy McGuinness has over 12 years of mixology experience working at esteemed Vancouver eateries Chambar and Blue Water Cafe. She’s worked with the best in the field and has competed internationally. As Royal Dinette’s all about pairing food with wine, craft cocktails, and local brews, the drink list also includes classics and house-made creations alike.

    Royal Dinette-6

    Reds, white, and bubbly wines are both local and international in origin, about a dozen sold by the glass, the rest by bottle. For a special occasion, a magnum of Billiot Grand Cru Brut champagne will set you back $250.

    Fennel, vadouvan, chickpeas, mint, yogurt
    [Fennel, vadouvan, chickpeas, mint, yogurt]

    Royal Dinette offers a two or three-course lunch ($25, $30 respectively), five-course dinner ($65 per person), and after-dinner drinks, cheeses, and desserts. The menu is small but well-curated to please most appetites and dietary preferences.

    Radish, country blue, pecan streusel, sprouted grains
    [Radish, country blue, pecan streusel, sprouted grains]

    Ricotta Agnolotti, summer squash, speck, morels
    [Ricotta Agnolotti, summer squash, speck, morels]

    Last night’s preview dinner showcased the restaurant’s creative farm-to-table menu that changes seasonally. We enjoyed sharing plates of salads, luscious naturally-leavened breads from local bakery Beyond Bread with crispy pork butter and herbed olive oil, organic chicken with grilled zucchini and their fabulous made-in-house agnolotti.

    Royal Dinette-5

    As you enter the restaurant (a partnership between Gunawan and the Donnelly Group), my eyes were immediately drawn to a pale yellow pole with a ring of deer head coat hooks, an insect-like series of lamps that grace the clean, white walls and mirrored side room, and a rack of pasty drying on the wall in back below shelving containing preserved vegetables (reminiscent of Grapes & Soda).

    Royal Dinette-3

    In the main room, a row of ball lighting with brass fixtures and an extensive wall showcasing their wines anchors one side of the restaurant while a long counter and open kitchen showcase the chef action in the opposite part of the 70-seat eatery.

    Royal Dinette-4 Royal Dinette-8
    [Front-and-center action as plates are prepped at the counter]

    On a side note, Beyond Beige Interior Design, Milltown Contracting and Glasfurd & Walker’s design collaboration also spread into the washrooms.

    Organic chicken, zucchini, Chrysanthemum jus
    [Organic chicken, zucchini, Chrysanthemum jus]

    Combining butcher block, stainless steel and emperador dark marble, Royal Dinette’s a thoughtfully-presented approach to casual dining with all eyes on a talented culinary and bar team.

    Royal Dinette, Vancouver
    [Interior photo courtesy of Royal Dinette]

    Royal Dinette is located at 905 Dunsmuir Street below Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar and is now open for weekday lunch, happy hour, dinner, late-night drinks and nibbles.

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  • Jul22

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    Aston Hill Tea-British Properties-3

    “When sleeping women wake, mountains will move.”

    That was the message behind acclaimed communication expert and author of Capture the Spotlight’s Narges Nirumvala, CEO of ExecutiveSpeak, invited to speak at one of Aston Hill’s ultra-luxurious homes in West Vancouver’s British Pacific Properties.

    Aston Hill Tea-British Properties-1

    After we were whisked away from busy Waterfront Station, driven across Lions Gate Bridge and brought high above the city (and treated to decadent treats, tea, bubbly and a light lunch curated by To Die For’s Erin Ireland), Narges spoke passionately in honour of women, driving home the fact that mindset is the most powerful thing we possess.
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  • Jul21

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    5th Annual BC Beer Awards-10

    Save the date! The Sixth Annual BC Beer Awards & Festival, one of the most anticipated beer tasting festivals in the Lower Mainland, is set to return to Vancouver on Saturday, October 24 at the Croatian Cultural Centre.
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  • Jul20

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    ProClip USA iPhone holder-4

    ProClip USA recently sent me a car phone holder for our VW Jetta, suitable for an iPhone 5/5s (with a small to medium case attached). The US-based company sells products designed and produced in Sweden with a good range of device holders to suit just about every mobile device, GPS, PDA and payment terminal in addition to height-customizable pedestal device mounts.
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  • Jul17

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    Nathan Schmidt, Robert Klein, Ian Butcher, Benedict Campbell
    [Nathan Schmidt, Robert Klein, Ian Butcher, Benedict Campbell]

    There was much ado surrounding the world premiere of C.C. Humphrey’s novel-turned-play, Shakespeare’s Rebel. The book, packed with political intrigue, plenty of sword fights, debauchery and of course, love, has received generally positive reviews prior to its adaptation as a play at this year’s Bard on the Beach. However, this grandiose story might be too ambitious to be crammed into 2.5 hours and there was much ado about too much
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  • Jul16

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    Tour guides
    [Michael and Brent of Taste Vancouver Food Tours]

    A while back, Vancouverscape reviewed Taste Vancouver’s Gastown Food Tour. Since then, owner Jewel Taylor has added an excursion that cruises through culturally-diverse and vibrant Commercial Drive. 

    Having close connections to this community helps explain why she’s the only food tour company in town offering culinary treks along this street. Dubbed the Little Italy Food Tour, guests are treated to ample samplings of Italian favourites that include cheese, wine, pasta, pizza and of course, cannoli! 
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  • Jul15

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    Oceanwise 2 book launch-2
    [Hot off the press!]

    A sequel to the best-­selling The Ocean Wise Cookbook, Ocean Wise Cookbook 2 is a ­new collection of recipes for cooking with sustainable seafood. Created in partnership with world-renowned Vancouver Aquarium, this book is an updated guide to how a conscious consumer can make ocean­friendly buying choices and turn them into delicious meals.

    This book contains 170 recipes from some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants. Canadian chefs care strongly about protecting sea life for the next generation and have supported the project by providing some of their favourite recipes for preparing fish and seafood.
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  • Jul14

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    Montreal Hôtel Le Crystal

    Hôtel Le Crystal is the perfect city oasis both in style and comfort. The hotel and onsite restaurant, La Coupole, have been in business for eight years, offering visitors a high-end lodging and dining experience in Montreal.

    The hotel’s located on Rue Montagne just below St. Catherine Street in the Quartier du Musée, filled with both high-end and chain stores (comparable to Vancouver’s Robson Street), numerous cafés and restaurants as well as relatively easy metro access. One of the two nearby metro stations, Lucien L’Allier is currently undergoing renovation so I’d advise walking to Avenue Stanley and catching the Peel metro instead.
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  • Jul14

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    Bacon Caesar: Bacon-infused vodka, clamato

    We always enjoy a French-inspired meal at Tableau Bar and Bistro, a spot that’s become a Coal Harbour fixture for delicious dining, late night drinks and brunch.

    Tableau Bar and Bistro brunch-3

    Due to high demand, the bistro recently decided to open its doors for brunch on Saturdays as well, and invited us out to enjoy a fancy late-morning feast on their covered street side patio.
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  • Jul13

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    2014 Diner en Blanc Vancouver-4

    Vancouver will play host to Le Dîner en Blanc for the fourth straight year. On Tuesday, August 25, the annual secret affair promises another unforgettable evening of elegance, beauty and magic, when it takes over an undisclosed public space whose location is only revealed minutes prior to the commencement of the event.
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  • Jul13

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    Les Mis cast

    The Arts Club Theatre Company closes out its 51st season with a barnburner revival of Les Misérables (colloquially known as Les Miz or Les Mis), the multi-award winning Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg musical based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo.

    The basic story, set in early 19th century France, is well known. Jean Valjean (Kieran Martin Murphy) is released from prison after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Inspired by an act of mercy by a kindly bishop, Valjean decides to break his parole and start life over as an honest man but is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert (Warren Kimmel).
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