Healthy Families BC

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 1:05pm PDT
Comments 330

Healthy Families BC, an initiative from the Province of British Columbia, has launched a campaign recently to promote health and wellness in BC families.

Healthy Families BCWith the kids heading back to school and the rain inevitably moving in, their website hopes to provide resources and education when it comes to staying active and eating right at work, at school, and in the community.

Healthy Families is a readily accessible resource to help families eat healthy and live well. They host online communities on Twitter @healthyfamilybc, YouTube, and on Facebook to help BC citizens make informed and positive lifestyle choices.

Healthy Families BC offers everything from stories on nutrition from registered dietitians to healthy recipes. Check out their Healthy Eating, Healthy Start, Healthy Communities, and Healthy Lifestyles guides.

Growing up, our summertime activities came after breakfast when we’d wave goodbye to our mother and “go out and play” in the yard until the streetlights came on at dusk. Biking, rollerblading, yard games (like ‘Kick the Can’), badminton, frisbee, tag (especially of the ‘freeze’ or ‘cartoon’ variety), and more kept us going for hours. We’d also go camping as a family and that always included long hikes (although my mother always stayed behind in the car, on the lookout for bears).

Lex and Eth

To help raise awareness for this initiative, Healthy Families BC has offered up a $250 Lululemon gift card to one of my readers so they can get active, in style. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post about how you (and/or the kids) keep active once the school year starts. Organized sports, family outings, etc. (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win a $250 Lululemon gift card from @HealthyFamilyBC & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries received (with the Twitter text and comments on this post) next Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 11:00am. The contest is open to all residents of BC.

    Update The winner is Ginger Gervais (@mumofthreebc)!

    From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

    Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 — 10:56am PDT
    Comments 2

    Walking home from the beach the other day I was stopped in my tracks by something large, orange, and dry on the path in front of me. Looking up from the ground, the fallen maple leaf was soon joined by a smaller counterpart that not quite completed its change from green to yellow. It floated down to the mulch-covered path and I crossed over each in my flip flops, knowing I wouldn’t be able to wear them for much longer.

    Autumn in the Park
    Don’t fret, this image of mine is from November

    The Rules of Vancouver clearly state that when it rains, you don’t complain about it being wet. And, when the sun shines, you don’t complain about the heat. However I have to admit, fall is my favourite season. While I’m sad to see the beach days dwindle and outdoor festivities pack up, I’m just as excited for scarves, cool walks through the park with hot drinks, and the turkey-filled holidays we get to spend with family.

    The fall equinox won’t be upon us until September 23rd so for the next 3 weeks there’s still for summer sun to shine on the West Coast.

    This week’s collection from the Miss604 Flickr Poolonce again highlights the good times we’ve seen throughout August in Vancouver.

    Photo credit: Larissa on Flickr

    Alfresco Vancouver #6 - Robson Square
    Photo credit: Maurice Li on Flickr

    view from second peak
    Photo credit: aloalo* on Flickr

    climbing down
    Photo credit: aloalo* on Flickr

    Photo credit: couloir on Flickr

    strathcona2 coeur-heart
    Photo credit: veronique_m, veroniue_m on Flickr

    Richmond Night Market
    Photo credit: on Flickr

    Hot Dog
    Photo credit: Matzuda on Flickr

    Vancouver Citizenship Exam Here be Dragons
    Photo credit: Tom Wiebe, Tom Wiebe on Flickr

    Photo credit: P Squared Pics on Flickr

    The bridge to the right path in life is never as easy as it looks
    Photo credit: Eyesplash on Flickr

    Orange Crush
    Photo credit: colink. on Flickr

    As always, please click-through on each image to see more from the photographers and feel free to add your photos to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

    Future Shop Student Athlete Bundle: Win a GoPro

    Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 2:48pm PDT
    Comments 203

    Future Shop is helping students gear up for Back to School with the latest computers, calculators, and educational gadgets. Returning to classrooms also means that as students work harder, they’ll also want to play harder. Future Shop has offered up a Student Athlete Bundle that I can give away to one lucky reader.

    GoPro LCD BacPac
    John’s model shown with LCD screen mounted. Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

    The bundle (valued at $500) includes:
    GoPro HD Helmet Hero Waterproof High-Definition Sports & Helmet Camera
    GoPro LCD BacPac
    GoPro Chest Mount
    GoPro Ride Hero X 2

    The small, rectangular, box-shaped camera — about half the size of a Rubik’s Cube — captures the most amazing HD photos and videos. Strap it to your chest, your helmet, your handlebars, your snowboard, skateboard, or your wrist to capture stunning imagery during your latest adventures.

    Advisory: There’s a little bit of adult language toward the end of this video.

    As with most camera-related technology, I first learned about the GoPro from our friend John Biehler. Here’s just a small sampling of what he’s been able to capture with the GoPro camera (with mounts and the LCD).

    Glacier Ice Hiking
    Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

    We’re lucky to live in Vancouver and have so many outdoor activities available to us, from hiking and biking trails to coves for kayaking and roads from Sea to Sky. Here’s how you can enter to win this Student Athlete Bundle from Future Shop:

    • Leave a comment on this post about where you’d try out the camera (1 entry)
    • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
    I entered to win a #GoPro Student Athlete Bundle from @FutureShopNews & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries next Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 11:00am. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter and win. Enjoy your adventures responsibly.

    Update The winner is Vanessa!

    Bloom Gala at VanDusen Botanical Garden

    Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 1:10pm PDT
    Comments 1

    On this day in history, August 30, 1975, VanDusen Botanical Garden opened to the public. Last fall I went to the garden for the first time, and I was by myself. Armed with a trail map and my camera, I captured the splashes of green, yellow, and fiery red that hung on branches all around and floated to the ground, crunching under my boots. It was a quiet, refreshing walk as the crisp fall air filled my lungs — and I can’t believe I haven’t been back since.

    VanDusen - Autumn

    A great time to visit again would be for the garden’s Bloom Gala, taking place September 15, 2011 in the brand new visitor centre. Honorary Chair, CTV New Anchor Tamara Taggart will join guests of the gala as they become the first to experience the new petal-shaped ‘living building’.

    VanDusen Botanical Garden VanDusen Botanical Garden
    VanDusen Botanical Garden VanDusen Botanical Garden
    Photos by Tjflex2 on Flickr

    There will be entertainment by Cool Jazz, the “floral creativity” of Thomas Hobbs, local cuisine from Edible Canada, Mark Anthony wines from BC, and unique auction items.

    Sino-Himalayan Waterfall at VanDusen Gardens
    IMG_3651 Floating Lotus Position
    Photos by Tyler Ingram on Flickr

    Tickets for the Bloom Gala are $195 and group sales are available. Proceeds will support the garden’s educational programs.

    Flower Road
    Photo credit: Junnn on Flickr

    The new visitor centre joins the restaurant and garden shop on the 55 acre grounds. According to organizers, the event is geared toward botanists, builders, gardeners, artists, birdwatchers, epicureans, golfers, landscapers, and more. Learn about sustainable gardening practices, conservation, and more while you support this urban oasis.

    VanDusen is located at 5251 Oak Street at West 37th in Vancouver. Find them on Facebook for additional and seasonal event information, and join them for their popular Festival of Lights this winter.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 — 12:17pm PDT
    Comments 4

    Located across from historic St. Ann’s Academy on Humbolt Street, I’ve stayed at Parkside Victoria twice in the last year and realized that I haven’t written a word about it. The hotel, that also has residences, is one of the capital city’s newest accommodations and has LEED® Platinum Certification on top of its designer touches and amenities.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    My first stay was in a 2-bedroom suite with my sister, my niece, and her friend. The girls loved the pool and went down every evening for a swim. My second stay was during a conference and I was on the harbour side of the hotel in a 1-bedroom suite.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    The common areas are peaceful and warm with playful koi swimming through indoor and outdoor streams, plenty of plant-life, and a lounge area where residents and hotel guests can use courtesy iPads. There’s also a theatre room with nightly movie features.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    The statues and some of the rare tropical plants you’ll find in the atrium were scooped up from Victoria’s now defunct Crystal Gardens so they tell an interesting story about one of the city’s legendary landmarks.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    A common rooftop garden area and a penthouse amenities room for residents look out over the city and upon the building’s green roofs.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Each suite has a balcony with patio furniture, WIFI, a living room space with a fireplace, dining room table, and two bathrooms.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    The only thing that I didn’t quite grasp was the lack of a door on the ensuite bathroom, attached to the main bedroom. There was a frosted half-wall so you couldn’t see the bathtub from the bed however the toilet wasn’t behind a door at all. If you’re in town for a romantic getaway, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to sit on the bed, warm by the fireplace, and look over to see your partner… right there.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    Options or work-arounds would be to use the sink and tub in that bathroom, then use the other bathroom in the suite (with a shower and a full-length door) for anything else. The resort is impressive in all other areas. From the large indoor swimming pool and spa, to granite, slate, and natural limestone counter tops, and textiles made from low or non-emitting, non-toxic recycled materials.

    Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa

    I believe the Parkside is best-suited for travelers that would like all of the touches of home and who don’t mind missing some regular hotel staples (like room service or a full-service restaurant although there is a cafe downstairs). Full kitchens are available in the suites and it is within walking distance of dozens of restaurants — from The Old Spaghetti Factory to the Sticky Wicket, Brown’s, or Vista 18.

    Other than the no-door issue in the master bathroom, I think the suites are comfortable, modern, and very spacious. Parkside is definitely another great hotel option in Victoria if you’d like a low-maintenance, high tech, no-fuss stay where you can cook your own meals in a home away from home.

    Follow @Parkside_Vic on Twitter for updates, Victoria event information, and events they host themselves such as “Yoga on the Roof”.

    Disclosure: My first stay was on a media visit and my second was during Social Media Camp. As a speaker, my room was covered by the conference.

    La Garufa International Tango Festival

    Monday, August 29th, 2011 — 1:35pm PDT
    Comments 28

    Next month dancers and musicians from around the world will spice up Vancouver during La Garufa International Tango Festival.

    Argentine tango is a social dance and musical genre that originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 1800s. Recently it was designated by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage and important to preserve.

    In the social tango, there is a special connection between partners as it is all based on improvised steps. It is a conversation between partner using the body instead of voice. Tango can be danced by people of all ages from 8 to 88. In fact, studies have shown that Argentine Tango can increase memory, multi-tasking skills, self-esteem, balance and motor coordination in seniors — and more fun than Suduko puzzles

    You can learn to dance, watch the pros, and enjoy live music at the festival from September 8 to 11, 2011.


    • Claudio Villagra & Romina Levin (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
    • Ruben & Sabrina Veliz (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
    • Gustavo Rosas & Gisela Natoli (Maestros from Buenos Aires)
    • Sexteto Milonguero (Buenos Aires)
    • Lorena Bouzas (DJ, Buenos Aires)
    • Meng Wang (DJ, Vancouver)


    • The quality and esthetics of the movement.
    • Forgotten steps and figures of the ’40s and ’50s.
    • Navigation on the dance floor. Walking, turns and traspies.
    • More Workshops

    Milongas (Where the tango is danced)

    • Opening night September 8, 2011 from 9:00pm: “Blue & White Night” with live music by Sexteto Milonguero & performances.
    • Wine Tasting Night September 9, 2011 from 9:00pm
    • La Noche De La Garufa September 10, 2011 from 9:00pm with an All‐Night Milonga from 1:00am to 5:00am A Media Luz, 2155 Commercial Drive @VancouverTango on Twitter.
    • More Milongas

    Tickets to hear, learn, watch, and be entertained by the artists start at $30 and are available online now. All events are at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive). I also have a special prize package to give away to a reader.

    The prize package
    2 tickets to “Introduction to Tango” with instructor Angel Coria at the Croatian Cultural Centre followed by admission for 2 to the opening night milonga featuring performances by Sexteto Milonguero and 3 dancers (just across the hall). I have been asked to note that it’s not just a concert. It will be a night of music and dance in which you can (and are encouraged to) participate. Dancers from around BC and the Pacific Northwest will be cheek-to-cheek at this opening night party.

    Whether you love to dance already, want to learn, or just want to get closer to that special someone, here’s how you can enter to win this prize:

  • Leave a comment on this post about why you want to learn to tango (or why you tango already) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win a tango prize pack from #LaGarufa International Tango Festival & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 10:00am.

    Update The winner is Reen!