Halloween Costume DIY: How to Make the Katy Perry Cupcake Bra

*This post was originally published nine years ago (!!!), however with Halloween just around the corner I thought it would be fun to bring it back from the archives! (Also, I’m still kind of proud of myself that I managed to pull this off & wear it in public.) I’ve updated the cover photo to show I I re-wore the costume a few years ago. 

Here are a few things that make me happy: dancing, writing & making art projects. Its been a long time since I’ve made anything & even longer since I’ve really dressed up for Halloween (last year’s black American Apparel body con dress, fish-net tights, bun & red lipstick combo that I tried to pass off as “I’m a Robert Palmer back-up dancer” doesn’t count).

Then, late last week I was bit by the crafting bug after reading about some of the scary festivals from around the world in a recent article published by Betway.

 

 

I was lying in bed watching Katy Perry’s “California Girls” video (again) and drooling over how adorable Katy looks partying in candy land, when I had a brain wave: “I WANT A CUPCAKE BRA! I NEED TO MAKE THAT! I’M GOING TO DO IT FOR HALLOWEEN!”. So, that’s what I did and I have the photos to prove it.

INTRODUCING: How to live your own “Teenage Dream” a step by step tutorial. 

1. My biggest challenge was figuring out how to make the cupcake boobs. I don’t even bake, so I knew this was going to be interesting. On Friday afternoon, I bought some modelling clay, plastic bowls and sprinkles.

 
2. I shaped the wet clay around the bowls and then let them sit to dry. On Saturday morning I woke up early and ran into the kitchen to check on the boobs. Bad news! The boobs still weren’t dry and the parts that were dry were brittle and cracking. They also weighed about 5 lbs each. If I strapped these babies onto my chest I would surely topple over.
 
 
3. I ran to my tool box and pulled out a jar of Polyfilla. I grabbed two new bowls & covered them in white goop. The best part about Polyfilla is that it  has the same texture and consistency as icing. It’s also super lightweight.
 
 
While I waited for the “icing” to dry I took a trip down to the Gaybourhood to buy myself a blue wig and some eyelash glue.

4. When I came home, the Poly Filla had hardened nicely which meant…SPRINKLE TIME! I used crazy-glue to attach each sprinkle individually. This was a tedious process but I couldn’t really figure out a better way to attach them without damaging the icing.
 
 
5. With the sprinkles done, it was time to glue on the “cherries”. On the way home from the wig store, I stopped by Sugar Mountain , a local specialty candy store. I grabbed a bunch of different berry candies that I thought might work & a few extra for the road (I love gummy candy).
 

6. I ended up going with the raspberry organic juice berries. They were softer and less pointy than the Swedish Berries. I crazy glued them on…and voila! CANDY NIPPLES!
 
 
 

7. The trickiest part of this whole process was figuring out how to attach the cupcakes onto the bra. Originally I was just going to crazy glue them on but then I realized I didn’t want to wreck a perfectly good bra. Instead, I crazy glued some strips of blue ribbon onto the back of the plates and sewed the edges onto the bra. There has to be a better way to do this. I just didn’t figure it out in time.
 
 
Annnnnnd, Voila! The finished product! Caaaaaliffffforrrrrrrrrrrniiiiiiiaaaaaa!


The rest of the costume consisted of a pair of denim daisy dukes cut from an old pair of skinny Levis (I was originally going to spray them with glue glitter but decided not to just in case I wanted to wear them again – don’t judge!) , candy jewellery and a pair of pink glittery high heels (a drag queen somewhere is jealous.)

FYI. Adding on this much extra boob is…an experience. If you forget you’re wearing them and turn suddenly, there is a good chance you’ll knock someone’s drink out of their hand (true story) and forget about trying to hug your friends! Overall the costume held up well and the only major set-back was when I realized I’d lost one of my candy nipples mid-through the night.

This wasn’t the easiest costume and it wasn’t the cheapest (at $34.95, the wig was the biggest investment) but I had so much fun making and wearing it that I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night.

When the DJ played “California Girls” I jumped up on one of the dancing platforms, grabbed my boobs and sprayed the crowd with whipped cream.

I’m totally kidding. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Maybe next year.

What are you dressing up as this Halloween?

7 Things That Help Me Recover After a Busy Travel Schedule

 

 

Somewhere over the course of 2018, I evolved from being a sex and relationship writer to also writing about travel. I travelled more than I ever could have imagined over the past year (guys, I was not planning on taking 20+ flights). Over the course of a month and a half, I went to New York City –> Puerto Vallarta –> New York City –> St Lucia –> New York City –> Home –> San Francisco –> Home. As much as I enjoyed all this travel, by the time Christmas rolled around I was exhausted. Travelling that much in such a short time took a toll on my body in unexpected ways —  both internally and externally.

My skin was dehydrated (I looked and felt haggard), my hands were parched (dry, cracking knuckles are not a good look) and my usually rock hard nails were splitting and breaking off at a shocking rate (the product of lugging & pulling suitcases through airports). I was also exhausted and wanted nothing more than to curl up at home with a book.

(THESE ARE THE THINGS INSTAGRAM DOESN’T SHOW YOU)

Luckily, the Universe conspired and hooked me up with some helpful products to help get me back to feeling like myself.

So, if you’re feeling worn out, beaten down or just want to add a little something-something to your daily routine, here are a few things that worked for me (PS. all products are clean, natural and CANADIAN which makes me so, so happy!)

Sproos Collagen

Did you know that our body stops producing collagen after the age of 25? Neither did I. Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein  – it’s found in our skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, digestive systems and tendons. Sadly, our body’s natural ability to produce collagen wanes with age, which can lead to chronic health issues like joint pain, digestive issues, low mood and dull, dry skin. It was actually another travel writer I met in St Lucia that suggested I add a collagen supplement to my diet.

While the folks at Sproos sent me a bunch of different flavoured collagen supplements to try, it’s actually the grass fed collagen powder that I prefer. Because it’s unflavoured, I can just add it in to my usual morning smoothie. After taking it for awhile, I noticed that my skin seemed healthier and less dry.

Sibu Sea Buckthorn (Omega 7 supplements)

I’m a big fan of treating dry skin from the inside out, so I was excited when the team at Sibu offered to send me a selection of their Sea Berry Therapy products to try. Sea buckthorn is a superfood found abundantly in the Himalayas that has been proven for centuries to aid in general health and anti-aging. The ancient Greeks would actually feed it to their horses, noticing their animals’ hides becoming more glossy and lustrous (thanks to the rich concentration of omega-7). Hey, if it’s good enough for ancient Greek horses, it’s good enough for me!

While I tried the Omega 7 support capsules and Sea-Berry seed skin oil, it was actually the Omega 7 Pure liquid supplement that I enjoyed the most. Omega-7 Pure is 100% pureed Sea Berries (Sea Buckthorn), and nothing else…no water, no preservatives, no artificial anything. It tastes like a super thick, fragrant yet sour juice (think: extra tart cranberry). It’s not the easiest to drink, but I found one shot a day gave me a boost and helped rehabilitate my dehydrated skin. So, maybe those ancient Greeks were onto something?


1’Luxe Hand and Body Lotions

Created by Sina Zere and Brandon O’Neill, the 1Lux Beauty collection is made up of clean, chic  body and lip care products that are all zero-tox and designed for harsh Canadian winters (think: ultra moisturizing). 

I was very generously gifted the entire 1’Luxe line. So far the products I’ve tried and fallen in love with include the Velvet Mitts Hand and Nail Cream and The Velvet Drops Botanical Body Lotion. Super moisturizing without feeling greasy, I’m not sure what else to say about these two except they actually work. They both smell amazing (like almonds and a hint of vanilla) and the hand cream has made my troublesome iguana hands look & feel more human.

Earth Luxe Quiet Night In Kit

As I mentioned above, over the holidays I was all about staying in and having quiet time (TBH, this is kind of my default mode as of late). I’ve made a conscious effort to make my bedroom feel as peaceful and spa-like as possible, and this Earth Luxe Quiet Night In Kit definitely helps.

While I’m not entirely sure if the salt lamp is actually doing anything, it looks cool and I *feel* like the air is fresher in my bedroom after I’ve left it on for a while. Also, the candle and handmade soap smell so incredible that I haven’t had the heart to actually use them. Instead, I keep them tucked away in my lingerie drawer where I periodically remove them (so I can press them up to my nose and inhale deeply because I’m a giant weirdo)

Saje Wellness Pocket Farmacy

This pocket pack of essential oil blends from the folks at Saje wellness is a godsend! As someone with anxiety, I enjoy this collection when I’m on the road and while at home. Gross airplane got you feeling icky, roll on some immune blend. Gluten making you feel gross? The Eater’s Digest (love the name) can help. Feeling restless before a flight or because you ended up in a janky AirBnB situation? I recommend using the Stress Release blend to help you sleep. You get the point! This adorable collection is chock full of useful essential oils and is perfect for people like me who are *just* dipping their toes into using oils.

What products do you use to recover after travelling and/or stressful life moments?

Disclaimer: I received all of the products above free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

10 Photos to Inspire a Stay at the SLS Baha Mar

Something I’ve learned over the past year: I’m not a fan of overly curated places and experiences, unless they’re curated exactly to my taste. Go figure, right? This was the overwhelming feeling I had when I set foot in the SLS Baha Mar, a resort in the Bahamas that I visited this past summer. From the tropical cool meets vintage luxury vibe of the lobby to the intimacy of the curated gallery wall of modern Bahamian art work behind the front desk, this hotel made me feel giddy from the moment I checked in.

When I came downstairs for dinner that night, Little Dragon’s Best Friends was playing. The next morning my new journo friends and I brunched while Anthony Hamilton’s Lucille played softly in the background. All I could think was, yes I am home.

The only other property that made me feel this way recently was the Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica. While I’ve written about both of these hotels for World Bride Magazine, I wanted to share a few details about why I love the SLS Baha Mar that didn’t necessarily make it into the article (like, the fact that this hotel smells really good, and all the monkeys and black stripes make me feel like the space was made just for me. That kind of stuff.)

1. The lobby looks like my dream living room…and it’s full of books.

I love it when hotels go the extra mile to ensure that their lobby doesn’t look cookie cutter. If the property actually gives me design inspiration that I want to apply to my own home — even better. When it comes to unique design touches, the SLS Baha Mar is no exception. The vibe in the lobby is part vintage Palm Springs, part Miami cool with a Bahamian twist.

And there’s books everywhere…annnd they’re not randomly selected books chosen for their spines (like my weird uncle has in his “study” that looks like the gloomy home library backdrop of a Sears portrait) but books I actually want to read — like that copy of Ibiza Bohemia that I was so tempted to swipe right off the table but didn’t because I’m an upstanding citizen.

2. Two separate pool options.

While I love a good pool party moment, I’m old and can’t party all day. I loved that the SLS had two separate pool areas: “Privilege” — an upscale, adults only all day pool party with international DJs that played a lot of Drake (I’m pretty sure I heard the entire Scorpion album one afternoon) and “Bungalow” a more chill, “grown folks” pool atmosphere that (much to my delight) played exclusively old-school 90’s R&B and Hip Hop.

3. Taco trucks on the beach.

El Jefe is a Mexican eatery housed in a pink retro Airstream trailer. When I saw it lining the boardwalk, I almost dropped down to my knees on the sand and praised Jesus. While the tacos didn’t quite live up to my overly high standards, the food was tasty and I appreciated the effort to move away from your typical resort nosh.

4. The food & drinks.

I already covered the food in my piece for WBM, but it needs to be said that this is the best food I’ve ever had at a resort. I was a big fan of Cleo Mediterráneo, which serves a delicious brunch spread and an amazing lamb dish that I’m still thinking about. Between Katsuya, Cleo Mediterráneo, the food trucks and a 24 hour Chinese noodle house which is located inside the adjacent casino, every one of my food cravings is covered under one roof.

PS. The drinks are creative, delicious and strong.

SLS-Baha-Mar-balcony

5. The guest rooms look like an upgraded version of my bedroom.

Actual conversation that I had with my friend:

Me: I’m in love with the guest rooms at SLS Baha Mar.

Him: That’s because they look like a slightly upgraded version of your actual bedroom.

It’s true. The rooms are airy and bright with some quirky touches. I want to move in, or at the very least use this hotel as major home design inspiration.

6. Stripes! Everywhere!

If you know me, you’re probably aware of my undying love for black and white stripes. I get it from my Mom who is rarely seen without one of her signature Breton striped shirts. Needless to say, the striped cabanas at the Bungalow make me very happy. See: the photo at the top of this post.

7. Monkeys! Everywhere!

Another fun fact: I love monkeys. I was born the year of the monkey and have always felt an affinity towards them. The SLS Baha Mar is sprinkled with playful monkey touches (the logo for SLS hotels is a playful crest that includes two monkeys). From the card holders at Cleo to the aptly named Monkey Bar, which features large scale irreverent portraits of monkeys dressed to the nines, there’s no shortage of cheekiness at the SLS Baha Mar.

However, it was the monkey bust that I nicknamed Paco Banane that really won me over. I was so smitten with Paco that the kind folks at the SLS managed to find me my very own monkey statue and shipped it to my home.

8. The people watching is golden.

The vibe at the Monkey Bar on a Saturday night is laid-back, hip and includes lots of local Bahamians. Along with plenty of attractive, stylish folks from around the island (so. many. good. looking. gentleman), expect to see professional sports players and the odd hip hop star thrown in for good measure. While our group was having pre-dinner drinks at The Monkey Bar, we noticed Killer Mike checking in. Later, someone spotted rapper N.O.R.E (Noreaga) hanging out by the pool. That evening, Nas was rumored to be on property having dinner. Hey, if it’s good enough for the locals and hip-hop royalty, it’s good enough for me!

9. The ocean.

I’ve traveled a lot over the past year, but the ocean here was something else. Perfectly calm and turquoise. It was a sight to behold.

10. It’s a balanced experience.

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a Bachelorette party, the SLS Baha Mar would be the kind of place I’d want to go. There’s nightlife but it’s not in your face and all the pastel colors create a vibe that is feminine without being prissy. Like Vegas, there’s a high concentration of world class restaurants and a casino, but without any of the things that make Vegas terrible. Instead, there’s a gorgeous beach. Oh, and the monkeys. We can’t forget the monkeys.

Tips For When You’re Literally Living in Your Mom’s Basement

 

We’ve heard the stats. There’s now more adults living at home than ever before.

(As I mentioned in a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post last year, a Pew Research study found that as of 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household. According to their research, this turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in millennials who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35, but also by larger economic issues.)

I am one of those adults.

A few years ago, my Mom helped me turn a ground level storage room into a bedroom and work area. I’ve since learned a little bit about subterranean living.

(Technically, my living space is “garden level.” My Mom always likes to remind me of this. However, I think a  lot of these tips apply to anyone who is living in a small and/or less than desirable living situation.)

Whether you’re living in Vancouver, Barrie or somewhere else in basement-living-land, these lessons and tips are for you.

ACS_0065-1

1. Surround yourself with things you love. Just don’t go overboard.

For me this means books, books, books and more books, plus a few carefully chosen tchotkes that I’ve collected over the years. If I’m having a bad day – and even when I’m not – it’s nice to look around and see things that bring me joy. With that said, I’ve learned that it’s important to reel in the collecting, unless you actually want to feel like you’re living in a literal bookshelf (hey, maybe that’s your thing though! No judgement!) Personally, I prefer a more minimal space so I’ve had to learn how to balance the desire for “things” with keeping the space as open as possible.

ACS_0069

2. Color is your friend.

I used to think that the only way to do small space living was by being as neutral and monochromatic as possible. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy a nice pop of color here and there. Experiment and find what makes you happy. (FYI these Mexican pompoms (above) give me life and are perfect for brightening up a room – whether that’s room is in Cambridge, Ontario or Tulum, Mexico)

3. Warm bedding is key.

Winters on the west coast are damp. Heck, summers can feel pretty damp too. This innate chilliness is intensified when you’re sleeping in a basement or ground level space. But it’s nothing that a warm duvet can’t fix. I prefer natural duck down, but there’s lots of synthetic options that are great too. PS. Sheepskin throws are also great for adding a cozy vibe to your space.

ACS_0068-1

4. Indulge in a few luxury touches.

Sure, you’re likely living with your family to save money but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a little luxury. No, I’m not suggesting that you go out and drop your last five grand on a Cartier serving tray. I’m just saying that adding a few touches that make your space feel special (whatever that looks like to you) is good for your mental health. I’m a big fan of art that brings back good memories (like my Jaguar print by Emma Ruben that I brought back from Tulum) and the gold & mirrored accessories I found at Target.

style sneakers(1)

5. Edit your possessions ruthlessly.

My space is small — especially my closet — so I’ve had to adopt a “one in, one out policy” when it comes to new possessions. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it has to be in your space. If you have access to storage, pack away everything that’s not essential. Yup, that’s my actual messy closet and yes, I do buy striped t-shirts in bulk. Thanks for asking!

6. Never go to bed angry.

I don’t know what your situation is, but if you interact with your family on a daily basis this rule is golden. Living with other people isn’t easy. If you can let it go (sometimes it’s just not worth the argument), do it. Otherwise, talk it out and apologize if necessary.

7. There ain’t no shame in your game.

Okay, that’s only partly true. I’m super self-conscious about the fact that I live at home (especially after spending so many years living on my own) but most people are really supportive when I tell them. Sure, dating while living at home can be a bit awkward at times, but it’s not that big a deal. This is just temporary. If anyone you’re dating has a problem with your living situation, they’re not right for you anyways.

What are some of your favorite tips for living in a basement or small space?

20 Things To Do on a Weekend Getaway to Vancouver

 

As someone who spent over a decade living in a major metropolis, people always ask me, “how do you survive living on the island?” First off, let’s get a few things straight: Victoria isn’t a big city but it’s not super small either. We’ve got bars. We’ve got coffee shops. We’ve got more marijuana dispensaries than is humanly necessary. While the shopping is somewhat limited, you can still mostly get what you need (unless what you need is a Zara store. I mean, come on Victoria). With that said, living on an island comes with limitations and the desire to “get off the island” can get strong. So, when that question comes up, I always answer: “regular trips to Vancouver!”

I’ve spent large chunks of time in Vancouver since I was child and like to think I have a decent handle on the city. After posting a bunch of photos from my recent trip two weeks ago, a friend commented, “I should get you to plan my next weekend in Vancouver! I never know what to do once I’m there.” So, I’ve decided to  do just that.

Here’s some of my favourite things to do and eat in Vancouver, as seen through the lens of someone who visits the city regularly.

1. Eat at Guu Izakaya.

“You want me to eat at a place called Guu?” is what most people ask. I always tell them, “yes, yes a thousand times yes!” If you haven’t experienced Izakaya (Japanese tapas) before, Guu should be your first stop. Luckily, there are a bunch of locations around the city, each with a slightly different menu. One thing I have to order at every one I visit is their Tuna Takaki. It’s simply the best I’ve ever had.

2. Shop at a Japanese dollar store.

If you’ve never experienced a Japanese dollar store, you’re in luck because Vancouver has quite a few! I’ve recently fallen in love with the newly opened Miniso chain, which is more upscale and a great source for cosmetics, housewares & sheet masks, but Yokoyaya (International Village) and Daiso (in Richmond) are also worth checking out.

3. Stay at the Burrard Hotel.

Described as “Melrose Place without the murder” The Burrard Hotel is my go-to for when I’m not staying at my sister’s place. The decor is delightfully retro and the palm tree filled courtyard makes you feel like you’re somewhere much further south. Joe the Intern likes their selection of art by Dina Goldstein that’s scattered throughout the hotel.

4. Look at pretty things at Nordstrom.

Nordstrom used to be a novelty reserved for trips to the States, but now there’s stores in Canada. The downtown Vancouver location is stunning and a great source of inspiration if you’re like me and you love looking at & touching pretty things. The selection is curated to suit an Asian market, which I find generally means more whimsical, adventurous pieces. There’s also a bar. Inside the store. You know, because.

5. Eat a Japadog.

If you’re in Vancouver and you’ve never experienced a Japanese style hotdog, you need to visit Japadog. They have carts throughout downtown as well as a storefront restaurant on Robson street. It’s a Vancouver institution and likely one of the best street meats you’ll ever consume. My favourite is the Kurobuta Terimayo. If I’m going to send my body into a gluten spiral, this is my first stop. (American friends: they now have two locations in LA!)

6. Go bro-watching at the Cactus Club.

I think it’s accurate to say that a lot of people here have a love/hate relationship with the Cactus Club. Going to one is a bit like hooking up with an ex that has a “meh” personality but is hot and surprisingly good in bed. The Cactus Club is a chain restaurant that always makes you feel a bit like you’re stepping into an Entourage episode, but you stay because they’re in all the best locations (like overlooking the water in Coal Harbor or English Bay) and the food is actually quite excellent.

“I got 99 problems, but this beach ain’t one” – English Bay Cactus Club Cafe #beach #vancouver #patio

A post shared by Cactus Club Cafe (@cactusclubcafe) on

7. Go on a Vancouver Foodie Tour.

Want to experience some of the best food Vancouver has to offer in one afternoon? I seriously recommend booking a Vancouver Foodie Tour. A few summers ago, The Secret Agent and I went on the Guilty Pleasures Gourmet tour and it was amazing. Not only are you going to eat some delicious things, you’ll also get a great overview of the city’s culture.

8. Go for drinks at Long Table Distillery or The Keefer Bar.

Head to the Long Table Distillery for a few drinks before you head out for the night. This small tucked away micro-distillery has a cool, industrial-style tasting room for handcrafted spirits and some of the best craft cocktails I’ve tasted. Craving more cocktails? Check out The Keefer Bar in Chinatown. I still haven’t been there yet, but reliable sources say it’s amazing.

9. Swim in the pools at Kitsilano or Second Beach.

Vancouver public pools > your public pools. Vancouver is home to several excellent public pools like Kitsilano (which is saltwater!) and Second Beach in Stanley Park. Both spots have scenic waterfront views that rival any hotel pool in the city.

10. Eat something deliciously greasy at Hons.

By now you’ve probably figured out that Vancouver is a hub for amazing Asian food. Is Hon’s the best Chinese food in the city? Probably not. But it’s kind of an institution and it serves damn tasty Cantonese comfort food. Think perfectly fried and just a little bit smoky rice noodles with beef, crispy fresh Gai-Lan with oyster sauce and plates of bbq pork all served by staff in matching T-shirts.

11. Have sushi at Shiro.

If you’re walking along a street in Vancouver and you don’t pass at least a handful of sushi restaurants before you reach your destination, be concerned. Very, very concerned. There’s just so. much. sushi. here. Shiro is my favourite in the city though.

12. Treat yourself to dinner at Wildebeest.

If you’re looking to go for a higher-end meal and like things meaty, hit up Wildebeest in Gastown. I can be a bit of a scene on the weekends, but I’ve had some of my favourite meals from the past five years at this restaurant. I also recommend Pidgin (Asian/French fusion) which is right around the corner.

Our Smoked Boar Belly is one of many #happyhour reasons to leave work early. 5-6pm every day! #treatyoself

A post shared by Wildebeest (@wildebeestyvr) on

13. Take the Skytrain to Aberdeen Centre.

If you’re in the mood to be transported somewhere totally different, take a quick skytrain ride to the Aberdeen Centre – a large Asian shopping mall just outside the city in Richmond. You’ll find stores like Hong Kong’s Giordano that aren’t available elsewhere in Canada. Hint: stop at the food court for lunch and/or some delicious Asian desserts.

14. Enjoy a decadent meal during Dine Out Vancouver.

If you’re like me and love fine dining and are also budget conscious, Dine Out – a yearly event where high-end restaurants offer prix-fixe menus at a reduced cost – is probably going to be your jam. This past winter, a friend and I took advantage & had a wonderful meal at Yew.

15. Shop at Front & Company on Main.

Located on a the hip Main St street, Front and Company features a mix of previously worn name brand & designer items and new pieces. It’s also where I go to sell items from my wardrobe  – and let’s face it – where I get a huge chunk of my clothes. Most of my profits usually end up going back into the store because I almost always find something gorgeous to buy every time I visit.

16. Eat some Pupusas on Commercial Drive.

Commercial Drive (“The Drive”) is probably the area of the city that most reminds me of Toronto – in the best way possible. Old school Italian businesses press up against hip bars, vintage shops and Indian take-out. While you’re there, make sure to try some pupusas (delicious El Salvadorean corn patties stuffed with melted cheese, beans & meats) at Rinconcito Salvadoreno.

17. Look for treasures at Community Thrift & Vintage in Gastown.

Cobblestone lined Gastown is now home to a lot of trendy bars, restaurants and shops, but tucked away amongst the hip high-end sneaker shops and furniture stores, you can still find a bargain at one of two Community Thrift & Vintage stores. Not only are the stores super cute and well curated, they’re part of a social enterprise initiative that provides supportive, employment opportunities to women living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

18. Grab a drink in the “Gayborhood” and wander around the West End & English Bay.

Davie Village (aka the “gaybourhood”) is a vibrant neighborhood located in the West End of downtown and is the heart of the city’s gay community. I love this area – especially in the the summer and around Pride weekend when the night life (and day life) spills out on to the street. Imbibe at one of the many eateries, bars or lounges and then head for a romantic stroll around English Bay (one of the best views in the city).

Hanging out in English Bay aka “fake California.”

A post shared by Simone Paget (@simone_paget) on

19. Discover discount designer duds at the consignment stores of South Granville.

Adjacent to some of Vancouver’s wealthiest neighbourhoods lies South Granville. This hood is home to stores like Anthropologie, James Perse, Max Mara and others. It’s also where the rich folks go to dump their wardrobes. My favourite place for scoring deals is Turnabout. Think lots of lightly used high-end to mid-range designer pieces for fair prices. Tip: if $30 Alice and Olivia dresses are your thing, head to the basement. That’s where you can find the clearance racks and deepest discounts.

20. Eat tacos at Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop.

These are the best tacos I’ve found outside of L.A. There’s now a location on the island so I don’t make a point of eating there when I’m Vancouver anymore, but it’s good. Oh so good. There’s a couple of locations around the city, the newest being in the financial district. Try the chicken tinga taco. It’s mouthwatering.

Vancouver friends, where are some of your favourite spots in the city?!

Latest pins

Follow on Pinterest