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)

Holiday Shopping with GROUPON

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The tree is up, the house is decorated, baking has begun, stockings are hung by the chimney with care… now we need to finish the gift shopping.

Sometimes it can be so stressful trying to find that ‘perfect’ gift, while also keeping a budget in mind. We know we can’t be alone on this. It can become frustrating (and tiresome!) walking through the mall, store after store, driving here and driving there. If you’re anything like me, I go on the hope that something will jump out at me and it will magically be that most awesome gift! That strategy barely works for me. Ever.

This year Natasha and I decided to do some searching online for different and original gift ideas. Special gifts. We came across GROUPON online (after hearing about it for years from friends and family!) and it has completely changed our life! Okay… perhaps a little extreme. It has taken the stress out of gift shopping and really has added excitement to our ultimate shopping experience this season. Plus we get giddy at the deals we got while shopping some unbelievable, unique and special finds. Seriously, seriously giddy! 

The hardest part about shopping on Groupon is you keep finding fabulous finds for yourself!! It’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand.  Must. buy. for. loved. ones. Must buy for loved ones. Must buy… 😉

Here are some of the amazing gifts we found!…

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4 pairs of Crystal Earrings by Swarovski – $19.99 (Cdn) 

pjsSupersoft Sleepshirt by Victoria’s Secret – $29.99 reg $52 (Cdn)

mkSignature Wristlet by Michael Kors – $51.09 reg $68.11 (Cdn)

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Smartphone Battery Stick by Mota – $8.99 reg $49.99 (Cdn) / Stocking stuffer!

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Whistler Snowmobile Tour – $159 reg $318 (Cdn) / Perfect gift for him!

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24K Gold Plated Playing Cards – $19.99 reg $50 (Cdn) / For that game enthusiast.

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Auto Hair Curler by Proliss – $69.99 reg $200 (Cdn)

If you are going out to do your Christmas shopping in person this year, be sure to check for some fantastic coupons/offers from Groupon Coupons. They offer coupons from hundreds of fantastic stores. Online and in store. 

Have you ever shopped with Groupon Coupons? Let us know!

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Laura & Natasha xo

 

Get your Glow on this Holiday at Project Skin MD

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It’s the Holiday season. Let the bells ring! It’s our most favourite time of the year.
A time when we are extra busy with shopping, baking, entertaining, and parties. Oh my! 

It takes an awful lot of extra energy just getting it all done. You know what that means right? It can start to wear you out and then you can look, well, tired. Definitely not the ‘glowy holiday look‘ we’re aiming for. That’s where Project Skin MD saves the day. More like, saves the Holiday season. Even one treatment during the holidays can do your skin wonders. Let us tell ya. 

We had NEVER had a facial or any type of treatment done before. You know that saying, ‘Seeing is believing’? Well, that’s Natasha and I. We went to Project Skin MD a couple of weeks ago for a treatment called Dermaplaning with a customized glow facial treatment. We were shocked at the difference it made to our skin. Instantly. We definitely seen and now believe!

Dermaplaning is a mechanical exfoliation treatment that removes any dead skin, peach fuzz, while brightening and improving the skin’s texture. Currently this procedure is only offered in British Columbia exclusively at Project Skin MD

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For anyone who hasn’t had a facial treatment before, rest assured the service you receive here is bar none. They take their time with you, thoroughly go over every step of the process, answer all of your questions and concerns. There are no surprises and you are made to feel comfortable and relaxed during the whole procedure. 
Each treatment they perform is customized specifically to each clients needs. So you can feel confident that you are receiving exactly what will benefit you. 

Our Dermaplaning treatment took 1 1/2 hours and consisted of:

1. Cleanse
2. Skin Analysis
3. Exfoliation
4. Peel (if needed) – we both did!
5. Extractions (if required) – we both did! 
6. Serum Application 
7. Mask 
8. Neck & Shoulder Massage (oh-my-god… LOVE)
9. SPF Application
10. Mineral Make Up Application 

This treatment is the ultimate choice for an immediate skin boost. To get that glow on during the holiday season or for a pre-event outing any time of the year. It requires no needles, fillers, heat, suction or crystals so there is no down time. No lasting redness or healing time required. Your skin may have a slight redness immediately following treatment but doesn’t last long. Both of us didn’t experience any redness or irritation at all, which we were both honestly expecting to see. 

Regardless, if you were thinking of getting your skin re-energized and glowing for a special event, it would be recommended to do it at least the day before. When Nashina completed my treatment and handed me a mirror so I could look at my face I was completely in awe. I was shocked at the way it looked because I wasn’t expecting to actually see a big difference. Not right away. It was stunning and glowing. Quite beautiful if I do say so myself! 😉

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After your treatment you will receive a complimentary make up application. Glo Minerals make up is a natural mineral foundation that gives you an instant soft, even, and best of all, natural looking coverage. It literally feels like you have zero make up on. We left feeling and looking like a million bucks!

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We want to give a huge thank you to Dr. McGillivray, Vanessa and the team at Project Skin MD. Our experience was fabulous thanks to our amazing Medical Aesthesticians, Nashina (pictured above with me) and Gwen. They were exceptionally professional and made us feel completely comfortable. 

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We asked Vanessa, (Business Director at Project Skin MD) what facials she would recommend to achieve the perfect Holiday Glow this season.

 Top 3 Facials to get your Holiday Glow On at Project Skin MD:

1. DERMAPLANING (followed by a customized glow facial treatment) –
to remove any superficial dead skin, peach fuzz while brightening the skin and improve texture.
(1h30 for $220)

2. DERMAPEN MICRONEEDLING –
to naturally invite the skin to regenerate and stimulate new collagen without any laser energy.
($375 for full face, 75min appointment)

3. CLEAR + BRILLIANT
 preventative laser procedure that helps to lift up superficial sun damage, reduce pore size, stimulate collagen and refresh the overall complexion.
($350 for full face, 30min appointment)

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Voila! Two weeks after our facials at Project Skin MD and my skin is still glowing! Let the Holiday festivities begin.

Check out our previous post on the amazing skincare line SkinCeuticals, which can also be found at Project Skin MD.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura, photos by Natasha)