Fitness and New Years Resolutions

Fitness is something that I never gave much thought to when I was growing up. I was always part of some sort of team, be it soccer, volleyball, partners tennis or even ultimate frisbee. Team sports felt more like fun activities with friends than strenuous work-outs.

Now being a 25 year old that no longer participates in team activities, I’ve realized my metabolism doesn’t appreciate the eat what you want when you want and don’t exercise diet. I don’t know if you’re like me, but it really takes me a lot to get motivated. At times I would tell myself ‘oh yea, I’m gunna start working out this week, run at least twice!’. However when it came down to it I would never actually exercise because I had nothing keeping me accountable.

This year was the first year I made New Years resolutions with 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. It was the first time I critically looked at what I wanted to accomplish and where I wanted to be in the future. One of those goals was to start a fitness program that kept me accountable. So I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) the first week of January. The program gives you a weekly timetable of when you need to be exercising as well as different circuit exercises to perform 3 times a week. Not only is this great to keep you on a routine, it also makes you feel guilty if you miss a circuit or a day of cardio so you keep doing it! I am now on the last week of the 12 week program and feel great. I have gained muscle which is a pretty cool feeling when you can feel your muscles contracting when you run or exercise. I feel stronger and healthy and I have incorporated working out into my lifestyle. It is something that will be around for awhile (hopefully!).

Here are my week 11 progress shots. When I started this I definitely thought I would have a 6 pack by the end of 3 months, but as my friend Ray likes to remind me, fitness is a marathon not a sprint and I am happy with the results I am seeing so far.


FullSizeRender (1)

With the BBG it is recommended to follow a meal plan to cut out all the bad things for you including alcohol. I don’t agree with this. I agree that eventually you should tweak your diet, but I firmly believe that if you are changing too many things (diet and exercise) at the same time, you wont follow through with your goal. These past three months I haven’t changed my diet (maybe I would have a 6 pack by now if I didn’t eat that donut and ice cream bar yesterday!!) I have found this very effective as it has kept me doing the exercises as my lifestyle did not change drastically. Now that I have my exercise routine (experts say it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit) I will be able to introduce a healthier diet with cutting out sugars adding healthier carbs and more protein.These next 3 months I am hoping to see the most change as now I have set a foundation.

quinoa fruit salad

Now on to my favorite work out gear! Because Kayla recommends taking progress shots in the morning, and I work out at night, unfortunately none of my work out clothes are featured – but Joe Fresh work out gear is the best!

Here are some of my favorites:

3A (1)baseball3A

Baseball tee | Active Pants | Pink Sports Bra

xx Andrea

Vancouver Staycation

One of my favourite parts of going on vacation is enjoying the amenities and all the little luxuries that come with staying in a nice hotel. But who says you need to wait for a vacation to enjoy some five star fun? Last weekend Andrea and I planned a little ‘staycation’ right in our own city and it was SO FUN. lobby-2 We booked a suite at the Four Seasons and spent the afternoon indulging in an amazing inner peace massage in the hotels RedCedar room. Then we lounged around the room in robes (our fav) while sipping on champagne before we headed to Blo Blow Dry Bar in the hotel lobby to get our hair did for a big night out. bedroom-2   blo-2 The service at the Four Seasons was de-luxe, as you can imagine, and no one gave us grief even though we called the concierge about 100 times with all sorts of odd requests. During this visit we didn’t get a chance to eat at Yew, their in-house spot for amazing seafood and drinks, but we were able to catch lunch there a few weeks ago and it was outstanding! Andrea recommends the scallop salad and I recommend the cashew cream pasta available on their vegan lunch menu. After we were primped and polished we had a few friends up to our room where we enjoyed even more champagne before we headed out in celebration of our friends birthday. We took down the dance floor at the Met (our friends random hipster choice) but honestly they played AMAZING early 2000’s music! I was sweating profusely and completely ruined my blow out getting down to R Kellys Ignition. Naturally.


The next morning was brunch at our favourite Cafe Medina and that wrapped up a glorious little staycation right in Vancouver!



Good Things in Palm Springs

Last week I went to sunny Palm Springs for a bit of work and a bit of play. I was down here for the eTail conference but managed to sneak in a couple days poolside before all the festivities began. We stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa which I had stayed in once before almost ten years ago. (TEN YEARS AGO. I CAN SAY THAT. I AM SO OLD.) Anyway, it was just as beautiful as I remember. The staff and service is friendly, the pools and grounds are beautiful and clean, and the bars and restaurants right in the resort are excellent. I’m not a dessert person but I am still dreaming about the most amazing vanilla bean crème brûlée we had at the Rockwood Grill.

I love Palm Springs, there is something about it that is so stunning.. I think it is the palm trees against the striking mountain backdrop, and of course the desert heat doesn’t hurt. I was running around like a bat out of hell for the majority of the time I was down there and didn’t have a chance to use my good camera so I apologize for the cellphone pics, but here is a quick photo diary of my favorite parts of Palm Springs and also all my must have poolside vacation essentials.

squareone squaretwo

I live out of my Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack. I have featured it before and I will feature it again, it’s the perfect travel companion all the way from the airport to my lounge chair, it has the perfect set of features not the least of which are the little lined sunglasses holder at the top and the lined laptop sleeve to protect my MacBook. I would have for sure trashed many pairs of sunglasses if it weren’t for this backpacks clever design.

I LOVE Maui Babe Browning Lotion. If someone can tell me where to find it in Canada I will be eternally grateful. I’ve noticed my friend To Vogue or Bust is in Hawaii at the moment and I may have to hit her up for refill! I also always carry L’Oreal Ombrelle SPF 30 Lip Balm with me when I am in the sun to protect my lips.

I carry two pairs of Ray-Bans with me, wayfarers and aviators, one of those two styles will always complete any look. And of course my converse sneakers, which get more wear than any shoe I own, I personally think they go with anything from jeans and a tee-shirt to a silk dress. They are a casual preppy classic. An essential by any standards.

There are more California posts on the way.. I was having so much fun in the heat I couldn’t wait to come back so I booked a trip to go see my girlfriend Whitney in LA at the end of April. Can’t wait! Also, I’m very excited for Andrea to share her review on Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Workout plan which she has been crushing and is now on week eight! Lots of exciting stuff coming up on The Big Water.



Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Guide – For Her

It’s Valentines Day on Saturday and if you’re anything like me you will wait until… maybe tomorrow? to pick up something for your main squeeze. I’m habitually bad at buying gifts (I know I have said this before, but the point is so true it is worth reiterating) so I thought why not help out my fellow procrastinators with a gift edition part deux aimed at the ladies in your lives.

Gifts don’t have to be just for your significant other, or just for valentines day, these are items your Mom, bestie, sister, roommate, the list goes on.. is sure to love! I will be spending this Saturday, like women all over the city, with my boyfriend, his name is ‘my career’ and we will be crushing grape and crawling into bed early as I have a 7am flight the next morning heading to a conference for work. #truelove

Valentines Gifts for Her

This Jo Malone cologne in ‘Red Roses’ is the perfect Valentines day scent and the prettiest hue of blush pink. I am a huge fan of Jo Malone and wear the Lime Basil + Mandarin scent religiously.

There is nothing better than crisp cotton pyjamas, and this shorts set floral print pair from Plum Pretty Sugar is the perfect set as we creep closer to spring.

Chapters always has cute home stuff, specifically this gold painted stripe cushion, which hits two major wins on my current lust list, gold + stripes.

I love a good Essie polish and recently they have come out with a new Cashmere Matte line; I can’t wait to get my paws on this pale pink color, cleverly titled ‘just stitched.’

This Olive Oil was actually an idea from a girlfriend, she got this for her Mom for Christmas and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s a company called ‘Nudo Italia‘ and the way it works is you adopt a tree in Italy and the company regularly delivers to you the olive oil it produces! How cool is that?! You can also adopt a tea garden in India or receive honey when adopting a beehive in the UK. I love it.

Lastly I have pulled this adorable Flamingo Print available locally at The Cross in Vancouver, one of my favorite decor stores. I have a Flamingo obsession and I think this print would look so chic mounted in a gold frame in a white wash apartment.

Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration here! And when all else fails wine, chocolate and flowers. (But mostly wine.)



Sweet Things for your Sweetheart

Now for a complete change in pace from my last post which was directed towards all my single ladies, this one is for chicks who are looking to buy something for their boo. If you are like me, you are a terrible gifter. I have been dating my boyfriend for a little over three years and his last birthday (which was two months ago in December) was the first time in our courtship I haven’t been embarrassed to hand over whatever shamble of a gift I had thrown together. Even after countless hours brainstorming, seconding guessing, last minute ordering, looking for a better deal etc. I always end up so unsure of what to get that it inevitably becomes a last minute gift. So this gift guide is as much for me as you. Hopefully I will remember it next time I am stressing and before I order a Lynch Seahawks jersey off a shifty Chinese website for half the regular price and it shows up spelt ‘LINCH’. A similar situation did take place a couple years ago.

Fortunately for me, Scott and I aren’t huge gift buyers. We exchange birthday gifts, but usually plan trips for Christmas and nice dinner dates for anniversaries and Vday. For me personally, the best gift I can get from him is a card with a sweet note. That could also be because he has the emotional capacity of a kidney bean so anniversaries and Valentines are the only days he really feels the figurative barrel to his figurative temple to spit out something sweet. But I love him none the less and will be missing him and our dinner date next Friday as he is in Brussels until the spring.

So here are a few ideas for your main man:


1. I love Hershel backpacks. Scott and I actually both have camo print ones similar to this. They come with awesome features and are a local Vancouver company. Whether he’s a camper, a traveler, a student, whatever, he’s sure to get use out of this styley backpack.

2. Sperry Top-Siders may be a little bit too preppy for some guys. But I love them. With jeans or shorts, they are the perfect casual summer shoe. Also a little red for Valentines never hurts. These one’s are even on sale!

3. A portable speaker might seem boring but I actually use mine all the time. In my bathroom while I’m getting ready, in the basket of my bike while I’m seawall hustlin, at the beach, on the patio of my White Rock house, everywhere. I think they are just the best. This one is awesome, I actually got it for my Dad this Christmas. It plugs into your computer to charge and uses Bluetooth which is perfect when you want to be able to keep your cellphone on hand (AKA ALWAYS).

4. Apple TV. For the tech dork in all of us. Apple TV is awesome and if you need me to explain why GTFO.

5. Men’s shaving kit / travel case. Men’s accessories are so much sexier than women’s aren’t they? Our travel cases are hot pink and plasticy, even the top tier brands usual choose a vinyl type material, but men get leather. When men step up their game in the accessory department it makes a huge difference, I find those little details so refined and attractive. This Fossil Travel Kit in a rich cognac color is the perfect travel accessory the GQ aficionado in your man.

6. Socks. Not the six pack of champion tube socks your Grandmother gets your for Christmas (barf). These patterned socks are such a simple fun cheap gift, and they add an element of unique style to the otherwise fairly simple outfits that boys wear. A JCrew button down, good jeans and a pair of converse is really stepped up when you throw in a matching pair of polka dot socks. The BANNER sock from STANCE shown above, are the perfect example of a styley colored patterned sock that will boost your boys game (wait do you want that?). Joe Fresh has a few great picks on sale, also Urban Outfitters has a ton of awesome options and you can usually find a 3 for $20 deal.

7. We luuuhhhh coffee. I had always used a traditional coffee maker before meeting Scott who opened my eyes to this gem. These stovetop espresso coffee makers will blow your cute patterned socks off. It makes rich, strong and delicious coffee, you’ll never go back.

Of course I believe the  best gifts come from the heart, so whatever you choose to give your boo this Valentines, make sure it’s accompanied by a little love note, I think the loves in our lives appreciate that more than they let on. On the other hand if you are solo next Friday please refer to my last post and come find my girlfriends and I terrorizing the dance floors of London Pub and Fortune. You’ll be able to pick us out by the way we hunt in a pack and make our decisions according to the WWBD? principle. [What would Britney (circa 2007) do?] 

What are your Valentines day traditions? What are you gifting your significant other?


I don’t know what happened when I turned 26 but it was like overnight I went from being a 25 year old in a bar to a 90 year old in hell. Kids of legal drinking age look 12 years old and are the worst people in the world and trying to find somewhere to go with single girlfriends {WHO ARE SMART SUCCESSFUL BEAUTIFUL HILARIOUS THE LIST GOES ON} that contained men (I use the word “men” about as loosely as Justin Beiber uses any version of common sense) of any caliber, is impossible. I have the best boyfriend on earth so case closed for me. sorrynotsorry. But I legit feel for my single gurlz. My boyfriend is in Belgium for the next few months so I will be joining some chicks for what has been coined “VDAY BINGE DRINK GROUP HANG DANCE SESH 2014” and as you can see from the conversation below THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Where do you go in Vancouver? Where do you think the best place to meet people is? Should we give up on bars? Even though our dance skills have been honed for 26 years?

Warning: This conversation happened in a SAFE PLACE (re: Facebook chat) and has no filter so if you don’t like harsh language (or the harsh truth) you will not approve of the below content.

Hey all, takes us a hot minute to figure out good plans so I’m aggressively jumping the gun to force myself upon you this Valentine’s day. For those of you that will probably spend your day with PIETER – you’re included so you know you’re loved. And Wendy’s angel-boyfriend will probably send her a life size cut out of himself and 17 bouquets of flowers because he’s a total fucking gem. Conveniently, this sacred day of blacking out falls on a Friday (there is a god and he is rooting for us to get freaky) so let’s get some ideas going for a good ol’ girls night out

I dunno Alex, I was thinking about posting up with a bottle of red wine, myself and my instagram account, reliving my past relationships through social media whilst listening to Coldplay. But I mean, I could be swayed.

hahaha Alex crafts the best messages. IM IN.

haha yeah alex that was a fucking beaut. i like to THINK someone is rooting for us. i’m in.

If I can ditch PIETER, I’m toooootally in! It won’t be too difficult b/c We don’t celebrate holidays that revolve around that dreaded L-word. And I’m not talking about lesbian.

there’s nothing dreaded about the word lesbian

unless after 6 years of S’ing Pieter’s D you’re switching teams..
which is still cool.. but might be an awkward convo

Only for him, everyone else would get where I’m coming from

I’m beginning to become a fan of guest lists so we should make a week of decision on where we wanna go.
aka I’m cheap/broke

“unless after 6 years of S’ing Pieter’s D” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

where do hot dudes go on Valentines day? Can we make a Facebook survey or something?

we should just start slowly baiting all the hot men we know in that conversation
but oh wait…. i know none.

Dear man-babes of the internet: Where are you hiding this Friday the 14th of February? I want in.

yea that’s the trick…if we make it our facebook statuses we’ll just get a whole lotta “Seymours has been okay lately”…

which is a damn whore lie.

We could iron out our crop tops and hit up Portside?

I’ll have to top up the b-tox to iron out my face so I don’t look like the old bag I am

portside has great music but zero talent.
everyone is 12

true and true
i feel like that’s everywhere
are we old?


when we were at the pint i felt 100

i feel like London pub is decent for people who are over the age of consent.
We could also go balls to the wall and find somewhere new.
or do some sort of Alibi room –> London Pub mash up if we want to be good and pickled.

we could also stay in and play board games and drink a shit load of wine and eat a kilo of cinnamon hearts in matching pj’s but actually look more like –> this

those are ALMOST as good as my polar bears in raybans pjs I got for xmas.



I’m liking where this is going. But I agree, portside and pint are for the little ones.
London Pub is good!

I like London Pub!

Should we do dinner before blacking out?



yeah i really aggressively like all of this
london or bust
or really just fuck the pint and the portside. i’m also down for somewhere new.

food and booze and heart shaped everything, ma bitches.

I had a really good time at Charles Bar two weeks ago
London is a good second destination too since there’s never really a line

i feel like charles bar is all douche bags



but the music is deec, as is the food – if we wanted to start somewhere kinda trendy and mosy.

alex is fortune any good for men?

no guarantee on long term relationship qualities but you will find babes in plaid.
or if you wanna say “fuck dudes” and get real on a dance floor.
then yes.


I can throw us on a g-list for it anyway and if we decide we
wanna get weird we can go.

ps wendy…you really nailed it with the pajama option
i say we do that the next night

Sometimes I just want to get super fucking silly and go to Fortune so I can’t hear anyone talk and just sweaty dance with some hipsters. Is that so wrong? Regardless, I’m in for this. I don’t care where we go. I’m glad we’ve finally agreed that the pint is full of children. I’ll literally do whatever though. Inside, outside, dress up, PJs…

London Pub & Fortch are just a block away from each other so the opportunity to move around is good.

My entire fucking apartment is in boxes right now and some sort of electronic device is making a loud beeping sound from inside one of the boxes. I guess I just have to wait till whatever battery dies! FML. Moving day.
Alex is full of good ideas.

ugh, may the force be with you, Danielle

Thank you kindly

Sounds good guys! Let’s get a guest list and do pre drinks somewhere.

I love all of this and I am always down to get super loose and trap dance at fortune. We can pre drink and see what we are down for but let’s make a list! London Pub doesn’t do lists does it? DREAM STATE: Get ready / pre drinks – london pub 9-11 fortune 11-FOREVER
also I’m happy to host pre drinks

k. i’ll get us on that Fortune list.

yeah wend your little plansy sounds awesome. and im down to pre-ham whenever.
wherever** in fact wendaloo, i’ll probably come borrow an outfit. cool? thanks.

of course little boo

*Cat acting like DJ* pic

omg is this the part where we move to communicating solely by pics? Because that’s my fav part

*Cat looking like unicorn* pic

*Cat peeking out of paper bag* pic

*Bird with sunglasses on drinking a martini* pic


Is it Spring (Décor) Yet?

This time of year is super boring. I got back from Mexico a couple weeks ago, my tan is faded and the Christmas frenzy has long since passed (I haven’t taken my Christmas décor down yet, isn’t that ridiculous?) I’m actually so embarrassed and just text my roommate to plan a date to do it. I took my wreaths down so at least my neighbours think I have my life together. But I don’t. I just feel extremely unmotivated this time of year. I mean I COULD spend an evening tearing down the winter wonderland that is my home, OR I could turn on the Christmas tree lights, drink a bottle of Cono Sur Viognier (so cheap, so good), and catch up on episodes of modern family. IF YOU DON’T THINK THE LATTER SOUNDS WAY BETTER NEVER COME BACK TO THIS BLOG.

In search of motivation I am doing a couple fun things to spice up the worst time of the year ever. I have started a run club at my office and I am taking French lessons. The goal of both is to be overall a little sexier come spring. A girl can dreamAnyway, another thing I am really excited about, that fortunately is contingent upon getting my ass in gear and taking the garland off my headboard, is spring decorating. I’m excited for the days to start getting longer, the sun to fill my apartment later and to bring a ton of fresh color into my décor.

In a recent post I talked about my affinity for gold. The love is alive and well. In fact I would say I have renewed my vow to gold as I cruise pinterest and see how beautifully it transitions from the warm reds and browns of winter to the bright purples, oranges and greens of spring. I’ve got some strong influences guiding me for the upcoming season; via my friend Whitney‘s influence, I am really loving fun art deco style / chinoiserie inspired prints and anything that feels like it would look perfect poolside in Palm Springs. This site has the most amazing prints, I want custom calling cards and address labels immediately and I am OBSESSED with the custom lucite trays. I’m also craving bright cushions in fun prints, which is a carry over from last year. Cushions are such an easy way to add a splash of colour and really change the look and feel of a room for only a few bucks. In a frugal DIY attempt I made my own cushion covers last year but the material wasn’t perfect. So I am on the hunt! Where do you shop for well priced cushions / cushion covers? 




For those of you who don’t know, that is a reference to a relatively inappropriate Rhianna song, but it has been stuck in my head for the past few days as I have been spoiled rotten this past week for my 26th birthday. Yes. 26. I am unwed, childless, I rent, I’m 26 and still make a HUGE deal out of my birthday. Every year I think it will be a quiet event as I get older and wiser, but I LOVE birthdays, and every year, without fail, I end up making such a big deal about the count down to my ‘big day’ I by default intimidate everyone around me into pulling out all the stops. This year was no different and as a result this post is kind of a multi-review/story telling/gloating? kind of post, about what a lucky chick I am. Let’s start at the beginning…


Because my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, and the following weekend (this weekend) is thanksgiving, I decided to have my birthday party the Saturday prior. The Friday night before I went to visit my mom at our vacation house, where she gifted me a new DSLR camera as my birthday gift from my family, which is how I am able to supply all these lovely pics!

Saturday night arrived and my girlfriends Katie and Kristen came over, locked me in my bathroom while I was curling my hair, and did up my kitchen with balloons, candy, candles, cupcakes, champagne and a few of my fav snacks. It was SO cute and so sweet!



We drank champagne, had a great dance party and headed to my friend Sharans where we were surprised by tons of friends with more decorations and champagne, organized by my awesome brother. After that we danced the night away at Portside and wound up eating french fries at Seigels Bagels at some unearthly hour. It was perfect.

The following morning my friend Kelly took me to brunch at Abigails Party. It was the perfect morning after cure. Abigails is bar-none my favorite place to brunch in the Kitsilano / West-side area, but they also have an amazing prohibition inspired cocktail list if you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink in the evening. I highly recommend it! If you are going for brunch, get there early, it is a popular spot for good reason and almost always a bit of a wait!


After that it was pretty much business as usual until my actual birthday on Wednesday, where I was feeling the love all over again. My team decorated my desk and covered it in confetti and candy, my brother bought me coffee and came by with flowers, and my boyfriend, who is currently in Belgium, had the most amazing bouquet delivered to me. My very sweet girlfriend Denise took me to lunch at my favorite sushi place, Kita no Donburi then there was cheesecake in the afternoon (purchased at Trees Coffee – which makes the best cheesecake EVER as well as the most amazing spinach and feta scones) and after work everyone stuck around for a few drinks in our office lounge. The moral of the story is I have some amazing people in my life and I don’t need to eat any candy or cake for the next year!


 my decorated desk and fluers from my bro


Denise enjoying tea at Kita no Donburi


a birthday delivery from the best boyfriend on earth


drinks with Nikki and Andrea

At the end of the day I headed home and enjoyed champagne with a few good girlfriends and received a couple sweet gifts including The Man Repeller novel from my roommate Arielle which I am so excited to read!

It was a great few days, and I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend in White Rock with my family at our vacation house!


my apartment looking vibrant with birthday flowers!

What do you look forward to on your birthday?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Autumn at the Empire

Fall posts have been coming out the wazoo this week and I thought I would add my two-cents. I am OBSESSED with fall. It is bar-none my favorite season ergo I have some pretty strong opinions on how to do it right. Over the course of the next week I will share my fav decor, food, fashion and fun-things-to-do fall musts.


In the words of Colin Nissan: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Thank you, Whitney, for this essay. It is perfect.) There is nothing that drums up the nostalgic feeling of cozy autumns past more than the scents + colors + music of fall (and tastes but that’s for another post).

autumn at the empire

This Votivo Aromatic Candle in Smoke on the Water is the perfect fall scent. I have this burning from Sept 1st – Dec 1st without fail.

Next, Japanese Lanterns Physalis. These come on long sparse branches and last FOREVER (literally they dry out and you can save them for a second, even third, season) they are cheap and add the perfect orange hit of fall to your home. I have my apothecary jars half way filled with pine cones and topped with dried japenese lanterns from autumns past.

Lastly music. I have pictured here an old National Album. The acoustic haunting sounds of the National, Bon Iver, City and Color and many of the like are the perfect fall pairing for me. You can listen to my full autumn playlist on songza here. You’ll also find some Metric, Anya Maria, Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse on there. You’ll hear this in the background of ritualistic games nights with my girlfriends at The Empire (which is how we have referred to our apartment for the last 3 years) where we will be drinking (too much) red wine, eating vegan chili and playing board games on dark and rainy westcoast autumn evenings. Nothing better.

So what are your favorite fall things for the home?