CONTEST: Me Before You Advanced Movie Screening

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Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today we have an exciting contest for all you local Vancouverites!

We have partnered up with the fabulous ladies at Shedoesthecity.com and are giving away tickets to a special advanced screening of the much-anticipated film, Me Before You before it hits theatres on June 3rd.

Based on the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is an incredibly romantic story that has women all around the world talking. If you have read the book, you will absolutely LOVE the movie! We think it’s going to be the best romantic film since The Notebook!

Synopsis (taken from the official movie website):
Louisa “Lou” Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet. Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined.

CONTEST:

The screening will take place on Wednesday May 25th at Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas at 7:00pm.

We have 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway. If you live in Vancouver and would like to attend, head on over to our twitter page to enter. Be sure to follow us on twitter AND retweet our contest tweet! Winners will be notified on Sunday, May 22.

Natasha & Laura xo

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2016

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What tastes better during the cold, snowy, (rainy for us West Coasters) dreary, winter months then a mug of delicious, creamy hot chocolate? It’s honestly the best winter drink ever!

Natasha and I have been to Vancouver’s Annual Hot Chocolate Festival before so we wanted to try at least a couple of the creations this year. We would love to have tried them all but with 59 hot chocolate flavours in total, we settled on just 4 cafes we’ve not yet been to.

Vancouver launched the first Hot Chocolate Festival 6 years ago. At the time it was the first city-wide Hot Chocolate Festival of its kind in the world. Pretty cool!

It has since grown and gained much popularity around the city. It is a month long event with 25 various cafes, bakeries, pastry shops and chocolatiers around Vancouver who create signature hot chocolate flavours. These are not your ordinary run of the mill kind of flavours by no means. This year there was everything from, dark chocolate with squash and almond milk to milk chocolate with banana and hazelnut. Creativity at it’s finest.

What’s really awesome about this festival is that it is a fundraiser for the Vancouver Downtown EastSide Women’s job training program.

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GEM CHOCOLATES

This Kerrisdale chocolatier is known for their hand made, natural, preservative-free award winning chocolates. Which by the way are devine.

This hot chocolate creation ‘Give Yourself To The Dark Side‘ was one of the most anticipated at the Festival this year. For obvious reason with the movie recently released. The adorable (and delicious) Darth Vader dark chocolate along with a cup of their creamy dark hot chocolate was the perfect match. The hot chocolate was light, smooth, not too sweet or heavy. I also tried their unbelievable Pecan Pie chocolates and the flavour made me literally giddy with happiness. Seriously. Happy.

Each week Gem Chocolates made a different flavour along with a new cinematic theme to their hot chocolate drink.

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49th PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS

One of the most popular cafe’s in Vancouver, known for their superior coffee quality, we were really excited to try one of their hot chocolate creations this year. I’m not gonna lie, the fact that they make the BEST homemade donuts from scratch right in their store may or may not be the reason I was completely stoked to go! Okay. It was totally a big plus!
They offered a few different hot chocolate choices but we went with the classic ‘Hot Chocolate And A Doughnut‘ combo. I mean really. How could I not? It’s like a match made in heaven.
Honestly heaven. I’m not even ashamed to say we also bought additional doughnuts to take home. Nope. Not ashamed.

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TERRA BREADS

Don’t let the name of this cafe fool you. This is definitely not just a bread making bakery. Although if you want crazy delicious artison baked breads of numerous styles then this is the place to go. But it’s so much more. They serve everything from freshly baked breads, salads, soups, sandwiches, specialty espressos and fantastic rustic baked pastries. I didn’t want to leave until I tried one of everything. Ha! I wish! Lets just say we will be frequenting Terra Breads more often.

We went with the intention to just have a hot chocolate. But once we got inside we couldn’t resist ordering one of their signature rustic roasted turkey & asiago sandwiches as well. Oh my it was superb!

Then we chose the ‘Honey Buns‘ hot chocolate which is a Cocoa Barry Chocolate Dark Venezuela single origin hot chocolate with chili honey, cinnamon and Bourbon vanilla bean.
Served with cinnamon sugar brioche. It definitely had a kick to it with the chili spice. Looking at other peoples photos of the same drink afterwards we do think that they may have added a tad too much of the chili spice to ours.

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CHOCOLATE ARTS

Located in Kitsilano, this chocolate shop specializes in fine hand crafted chocolates using the very best quality of ingredients. With the finest chocolate from France, and locally sourced BC fruits they create a range of delicious chocolate flavours that represent the West Coast.
The hot chocolate we chose at this location was ‘The Creamsicle‘. A creamy white chocolate and vanilla hot chocolate.
Served with blood-orange sorbet that you dip into the hot chocolate. Blended together it was like a magical warm cocoa-creamsicle. Dreamy. It was served with a macaron.

The festival is on until this Sunday which is Valentine’s Day. Going for a warm hot chocolate is a perfect way to end a romantic date!

Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura, photos by Natasha)

Event: Moustaches for Movember

B1IamTDIMAAfG5zMovember is here! Yes, the month previously known as ‘November‘ is now known as ‘Movember‘. November is a month solely dedicated to raising awareness and funds for men’s health. Specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. It is a month long commitment where men proudly grow stylish moustaches and essentially become live walking, talking billboards creating visual awareness towards the fight against men’s cancers.

Originating in 2004 in Melbourne, The Movember Foundation Charity has spread world-wide. This year official fundraising campaigns will be held in 21 countries and 5 continents around the world.

Natasha and I were beyond honoured to attend the Moustaches For Movember event held at Holt Renfrew Tuesday evening. This cause is near and dear to our hearts. Cancer affects our family as it unfortunately does for so many families. So we were happy to participate in any way we could. Even if just to help spread awareness, getting the word out is paramount.

Maninder Dhaliwal, the event’s lead organizer has definitely succeeded in hosting Canada’s largest Movember event to date! Held at the beautiful Holt Renfrew Vancouver, the event was complete with a VIP Reception, bubbly, cocktails and hordeuves. Eighteen leading men from Vancouver modeled ties for auction and there was plenty of shopping and mingling. The event was entirely created and executed by volunteers, proving that when people come together they can accomplish anything! Incredibly inspiring. All proceeds of the event were donated to Movember Canada.

IMG_9218gf2Archimallows was at the event serving his handmade, roasted marshmallows. We tried the strawberry and pumpkin spice marshmallows and they were delicious!

IMG_9217g3IMG_9223g3IMG_9224422Emcee of the evening was local television host, the beautiful Fiona Forbes. 

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Some of the silk ties from Holt Renfrew that the male models sported for auction at the event. All of the moustache designs were created and hand silkscreened by local illustrator, Chenoa Gao. All proceeds were donated to Movember Canada.

IMG_9232g72Tommy Europe (Former CFLer / Host of Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp) & Tom Gierasimczuk (Publisher, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living) kicked off the fashion show.

moustachesMichael Eckford (Host, CKNW radio) & Todd Talbot (Host, Love It or List It). Both found creative ways to go down the escalator. Love it. 😉

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mfmvan45Jeremy Szafron (TV Host/Producer) & Ryan Steele (The Amazing Race Canada).

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All of you Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, please check out Movember Canada Prostate Cancer Canada to find out how you can get involved! These websites have so much information and are very helpful.

To make a donation, click here!

Laura & Natasha xo

West Coast Women’s Show 2014

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This past Saturday we were invited to attend the 14th Annual West Coast Women’s Show in Abbotsford, BC. This 3 day event is a fun jam packed ‘Ultimate Girls Weekend’ featuring shows, seminars, shopping, food, fashion, wine, health and fitness. We attended the show on Saturday only and were excited to see the beautiful soap opera star, Michelle Stafford of The Young And The Restless/General Hospital speak. She took the main stage and answered questions from her fans… for everyone who wants to know if she’s ever going back to The Young And The Restless – “No, not ever!” I can’t even tell you how many times someone would ask or make a comment about her leaving The Young And The Restless. She was so gracious and down to earth. It was great getting to talk to her after the show! After being fans through the years we will certainly be tuning in to see an episode or so of General Hospital just to see her work.

You can check out her website/blog MichelleStafford.com Doin It As A Single Chick‘, where she talks about everything from being a single mom, dating, decor, health and fitness.

wcws3IMG_857495There was a lot of shopping to be done at the West Coast Women’s Show! Everything from specialty foods & handmade jewelry to home decor and kitchen supplies. The show featured a lot of local vendors from Vancouver, BC which we loved.

We don’t know about you but we never get tired of beautiful hand made natural soaps and body products! We had to stop at The Good Suds Soap Co. booth. This Pitt Meadows based company makes quality soaps and body products that are natural and made with no parabens, detergents, sulfates or chemicals. We picked up some lovely lip balms. Our lip product collection really is out of control now… 

WCWS2The Blushface Paper Goods booth (pictured left) featured these popular slogan mugs along with greeting cards, art prints and stationary galore! They were definitely one of my favourite booths at the show this weekend. Everything was so adorable! Check out her site here to view all of the mugs available.

(Pictured right) And who can resist this tower of macarons from Sweet Thea Cakes (based out of Langley, BC)!
We are suckers for macarons so of course we bought a box to try them out. Their raspberry macarons were my favourite.

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On our list of must-do things during the event was to attend an ‘All You Need Is Cheese‘ seminar. This was a complimentary event sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and it was awesome! We got to sample and learn about 6 very different Canadian cheeses that were fabulous. A big thank you to David ”The Cheese Guy‘. He was a great host and very entertaining. He made learning about cheese so much fun!

IMG_8597IMG_8601firefightersWe were somewhat timid about this particular event… but the curiosity of seeing some handsome firefighters on stage seemed to overrule that. It seems we have saved the best event for last… the Vancouver Firefighters’ performing for charity. It wasn’t your tacky strip style dancing as one would expect (and we feared of!) to see in the typical ‘Ladies Night’ bar scene. Rather it was done in a fun, sometimes bashful, good spirit for a great cause kind of attitude. Each firefighter bravely took the stage and did his own little fun number. We have to give them credit, they all did an amazing job! 

They were there raising money promoting and selling their Hall Of Fame 2015 Calender which you can purchase at Save On Foods and London Drugs.
Twelve firefighters featured from various Vancouver and Lower Mainland cities raise money for many charities including, BCPFFA Burn Fund, CKNW Orphan Fund, Children’s Hospital, and Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society.

After seeing their great effort at the show we were intrigued to do some additional research on the fundraising that the firefighters actually do. We were totally impressed with the charitable work they all do on their own time and in their communities. It’s extremely humbling and inspiring! You can read about some of it here.

So we encourage everyone to go out and purchase your firefighters calender for 2015. It’s for a great cause (and it’s not so bad to look at!) 😉

IMG_8668g4We have never attended this event before but we really enjoyed it. It’s the perfect place to have fun with the girls, score some great deals and get in a little pre-Christmas shopping as well! There were so many things to see and do & shops to discover. Some events and seminars we just didn’t have enough time to experience. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.

Have you been to the West Coast Women’s Show before? We’d love to hear from you!

Laura & Natasha xo