Friday, 8 April 2016

New Life in Port Moody

We have moved to beautiful Port Moody. I find there are two reactions when I tell people this. 1)... but it's so far... 2) Oh I know someone who lives in Port Moody! You have to go to Cafe Divano!!

So, it's actually not that far. It's between Burnaby and Coquitlam, and it usually takes us between 30 and 50 minutes to drive downtown, depending on the situation on Hastings Street. We wanted to buy, and for everything that we wanted, Downtown and North Vancouver are just too expensive. Our next favorite place was port Moody. The two villages in the main part are very nice; you really have everything that you need. The Coquitlam Center is a five minute drive away (think Sephora); the mountains, lakes and beaches are stunning and most importantly, we could afford two bedrooms! Of course, I won't say exactly where we are living, but it's close to an Italian bakery, so that's all that matters.

A few nice things to see in and around Port Moody (Mostly just food at this point) - we still have many places to discover:

1) Casa del Pane
Full of lots of Italian delicacies, pastries, breads... Almost like being in Italy, almost.

2) Rocky Point Park
Seems like everyone and their uncle loves it here. It's similar to Horseshoe Bay... with more grass and less ferries.

3) Rosa's Italian
It's just outside of the main area on Clark Street. We had to wait 45 minutes for a table, which is always a good indicator. We shared the meatballs to start and a lasagna for the main course. We became sparking water snobs when we went to Italy last year, so we also shared a bottle of that. Wild things. The walls are full of celebrities that have eaten there. I will say, however, that Michale Buble seems to be the most prominent photo on the wall, So... yeah. Sorry Bubble.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Acne & Lush Products

I've been using Dermalogica products for about the past year and a half; however, I'm coming to the end of most of them and basically it's time for a change! Dermalogica's Ultra Calming line was a saving grace a year or so ago when I started getting adult acne. My skin was so sore and dry just as a result of having acne, and also due to the harsh creams that my doctor had been recommending me. 

I was using a combination of azelaic acid in the evening and Benzaclin in the morning. Azelaic is... for want of a better word, a right bitch! I would lay in bed some nights in tears as it stung my face. Looking back, I must have been putting too much on. It also brings everything to a head (a very ugly, pussy, white head) which at the time seemed like the right thing to do, but I'm sure my skin got so bad because of it. Benzalcin was better as it was drying and made me feel less inflamed, but trying to put makeup on top of it was a complete disaster! I completely lost interest in makeup at that point as the last thing I wanted to do was draw any attention to my face. 

Fast-forward to October 2015 and it's time for a change! I do really love Dermalogica, but I can't afford to be spending hundreds of dollars every couple of months; I also didn't really like two other lines that I tried (Powerbright & AGE Smart). Powerbright makes my face incredibly itchy and Age Smart is too heavy and makes me break out. 

My 'acne' (I hate that word! Such an anxiety trigger!) is considerably better than a year ago; however, I still deal with breakouts daily. I do think acne is caused from within and whether it be genetics, hormones, food, allergies, stress - it's all connected so there's no point singling out one thing and then trying to fix that. 

By cutting out most of the foods that can cause inflammation such as gluten, dairy and grains, I have seen a big improvement. I also try to eat a more keto-based diet (high fat :-0, moderate protein and low carbohydrates). Fats like avocados, coconut oil, grass-fed meats etc.

Along with diet... which actually is the main purpose of this post! I will also be using some new products. I have been feeling very attracted to Lush for three reasons. 1. They don't test on animals 2. I have read lots of good reviews 3. They are really well priced and they smell good. Okay, that's fours reasons. 

A full blown Lush addiction has ensued. 

I bought a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliant, mask, a serum and 2 samples to also try out. 

1. Bûche de Noël Facial Cleanser (I hated this at first, but you take a small chunk, mix it with water to make a paste and the gently cleanse the face. This one has really grown on me. I leave it on for 5 minutes or so to let the magical ingredients have some time to work! I still use the Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser if my skin feels particularly irritated. It's important not to over exfoliate your skin. 

2. Cup O' Coffee Fresh Face Mask (Smells nice. Actually, I'd quite like to eat it. I think you could probably DIY this one.)

3. Magical Moringa Moisturizer (Really matifying for oily areas like the forehead and nose, but too drying for the lower parts of my face where I have spots).

4. Cosmetic Warrior Mask (Keep it in the fridge! After using it, the redness on my lower face was really lessened!)

5. Full of Grace Serum (So lovely!)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Campbell River again.

One of my favourite posts that I've done was of visiting Nanette in Campbell River last year. Once again, Jose and I made our way up there and had another lovely weekend.

We arrived to the ferry terminal only to find out that the next ferry was full, and so we had to wait for another two hours. Poor José, that's all I can say! It was hot, I was hungry and I hate waiting. Some seriously hangryness!

Once we got to Nanette's, we were all hungry and so opened the wine and enjoyed a very nutritious dinner!

Saturday morning, coffee and bread.

Nanette was very kind and arranged for us to go horse riding. I loved watching José trying to move in rhythm with the trotting horse - highly entertaining!

I have a thing with animal noses...

I know this picture is blurry, but it truly shows my joy at feeding the horse an apple. The way that they gobble it up is just so funny. Actually, the horse looks quite terrified of me. 

This is the horse that Nanette rides at her lessons, he is for big people, and Nanette made sure José and I had 'little people horses' haha. Nanette has such a way of saying things!

In the evening, we all grouped together and made this lovely pie called the 'Very Full Pie' that we found in an Ottolenghi cookbook.  

We spent the rest of the evening lazing around drinking wine, eating chocolate, reading and then we watched a movie. 

On Sunday morning, we went to a cabin resort called the Dolphins Resort. To me, the name sounds a bit tacky, a bit... Acapulco 1980s... however it is rustic and cozy and the views are incredible. They should think about a new name. Breakfast was great, I had the salmony benny, Nanette had crepes and Jose an avocado moose benny with a carrot cake pancake on the side. 

Of course, I had to make a boob joke at this point of the breakfast. 

I had never ever seen a tree like this before. 

We found this wedding site and thought we would get our rehearsal out the way! Just kidding, we just pretended to get married on the beach. 

I wonder which flower company this is? 

As we were driving alone, we came across a small farm with a pumpkin field. 

In my next life, I'd like to a sunflower. 

I really feel like we got the last of the summer sun, it was actually really hot all weekend. We slept lots, ate lots and laughed lots and I think we came back to Vancouver feel revitalized and refreshed. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A catch up.

It has been a month since my last post... why? Busy, lazy, busy, lazy... that's about it! We had some friends from England visiting a lot in August (Lovely to have you Fiona and Glyn!), and then Rocky was unwell so it has been an eventful couple of weeks!

Starting off with the Squamish Music Festival, which was my present to José for his birthday. I bought Sunday passes as the thought of camping in fields of puke wasn't really appealing. It was a boiling hot day, there isn't much shade! Luckily, I bought my SPF 60 and a big floppy hat, so as you can imagine I definitely didn't fit in. We enjoyed the day and I'm glad we got to see the Arctic Monkey's (Although they didn't play When the Sun Goes Down!!! I love that song and I was pretty gutted they left it out). Also, Eminem was quite good, even though I'm not a big fan, it's hard to not keep watching. We also saw the Temper Trap. 

We also had a little gathering for Jose's birthday at The Distillery in Yaletown. The food is really good, they have excellent Gin and Tonics and I personally love the Italian music playing in the background. I really recommend this place for a couple of drinks.

We had dinner at the restaurant that Antony works at in Horseshoes Bay called Olive and Anchor. It is the nicest little place, especially at night time with all the twinkly lights and the view of the marine. I always have the same thing, Chicken Tikka Masala with brown rice, although it is much lighter and fresher than a typical Indian style dish. 

The chocolate molten cake is also rather yummy. Usually we always share dessert so we can still have something sweet after dinner, but half the guilt! I think this picture looks a bit Christmasy to me. 

Next, we had some birthday drinks (more?) with Akira and Andrew. José and Andrew have very close birthdays, so it was a joint thing. We went to the Score on Davie as they wanted to order this monster of a drink. It's a huge caesar with a chicken on top... yes, a massive chicken, hotdog, burger, onion rings, brownie and who knows what else. I have never seen anything like it, and to be honest I felt quite guilty having it at our table, but the boys were loving it. Lots of chatting, laughing, card games and the most enthusiastic server I've ever seen!

Lauren and Martine Cheek, our very good friends from England came to see Rachel as a surprise. Dad and I picked them up and then nearly sent Rachel into early labour as they surprised them at Trattoria at Park Royal. It was so lovely having them here and I want to say thank you so much for helping us out with Rocky. x

We had an engagement dinner for Billy and Rachel at Bridges on Granville Island. Very slow service, but we had great company and lovely view so who cares!

I forced José to eat an oyster. I think the Devil Wears Prada Miranda pursed lips illustrate how he feels about it. 

Last week, there was a huge rainbow and the sky changed colour so many times, it was quite amazing. 

After about a year, I have finally got back to the Hunger Games. I am on book 2 and I find myself reading it everywhere I can. I quite like this bookmark too! I think it was a present from a Russian student!

Martine got this perfumer first from Anthropologie called Dogwood Blossom by Royal Apothic. I can't even begin to describe how much I like this scent. It is about $20 for this size, and it has titular flower, tobacco flower, amber, ginger, cocoa, honey, tonka bean and teakwood. It is sort of smokey/cigarette smelling, which sounds horrible, but it's totally not and I'm completely addicted to it. It is on sale now for $9!