Tech Talk: Huawei Nova Plus

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One of the things I love most is documenting my travels, as I’m sure you may have noticed if you’ve been following my adventures on this website these past couple of years. Whether it’s through photographs, videos or via social media, I love sharing with everyone some of my travel finds, activities, encounters, etc. Because I’m always on the go, I don’t always bring along my camera so having a reliable phone that I can use not only as a means of communication but also as my main camera is a huge plus. I was therefore incredibly excited to take the Nova Plus on my most recent road trip up the California coast.

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Big Sur, California shot with the Huawei Nova Plus.

Huawei‘s latest release, the Nova Plus smartphone, an incredible device that features some of the best technology currently on the market at a low price point.

One of my favorite features on the Nova Plus is the exceptional 16-megapixel rear camera that allow for some of the highest definition photo and video captures. The photos and videos produced with the phone are sharp and vibrant.  The phone’s long battery life enables you to take thousands of photos and countless videos without having to run and charge the device. Furthermore, the phone’s internal photo editing parameters and software, allows me to edit my photos directly on the phone without having to pass them through other app before sharing.

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The Nova Plus shoots perfect contrast on gloomy days in San Francisco.

It also allows you to shoot in 4K, which has become the new industry standard for videos. Moreover, the internal OIS image stabilization system allows for pristine photos and videos. Plus, the camera allows for wide-aperture photography and quick photo taking, so you don’t ever miss out on any action, which is a huge deal for me since I’m always being so active. The camera also fares incredibly well in low light settings.

Additionally, the phone’s 5.5inch display screen and 1920×1080 resolution screen allows for great viewing capacity. The phone’s size and curved edges also makes it easy to hold in the palm of your hand when taking photos. Plus, the new 2.5D glass material allows for a greater sense of depth and most importantly improved scratch resistance, which is a must when traveling non-stop.

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The vibrant colours of a sunset shot with the Nova Plus.

The Nova Plus’ high-performance 14nm processor allows me to upload and share the content that I shot while on the road at very high speeds, without consuming ridiculous amounts of power.

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Each photo shot with the phone is so crisp, almost making you feel like you’re there!

All in all, it has been a great asset to have with me on the road these past couple of weeks. I’m thoroughly impressed by the content quality that I have been able to produce with the Nova Plus. I will be sharing a few videos in the coming weeks all shot with the new Nova Plus. Stay tuned!

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For more information on the Huawei Nova Plus, go here.

5 Questions With: Julie Clark of Province Apothecary

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Photo credit: Marie Wakani

I love learning from other women. Julie Clark, the founder of the Toronto brand Province Apothecary is someone who shares her green beauty and wellness knowledge via her amazing line of organic and natural skincare products. She recently opened up a new shop in the Little Portugal neighborhood of Toronto, where her clients will now be able to access her entire line of vegan and cruelty free products. She shares with us today her inspiration behind her line and her summer go-tos!

1) Where does your passion for green beauty originate from?

I have suffered from eczema for my entire life, i was sick and tired of using terrible products for my skin that in the end never healed it0 just made it worse. I thought there must be something better out there and so i started this skincare journey and started learning about the power or pure organic plant ingredients.

2) Why did you want to start Province Apothecary?

It started it for self healing reasons- to help my eczema that I had had for 28 years. I have accomplished my goal and now am able to heal my skin with our organic plant based products. I also now much more about skin then I ever expected and I love sharing this knowledge with our clients and customers on a daily basis. I had no idea how to treat my skin before I started on this journey and I had so much to learn!

3) What would you say separates your line from others?

The fact that I am an aromatherapist and holistic aesthetician. I see clients on a daily basis and give them amazing, relaxing, custom organic facials! I love connecting with them and truly understanding their needs and their skins needs. It so amazing to help them find the right routine for them and see their skin improve + glow after only a few weeks!

4) What are some of the benefits of using handmade & organic beauty products vs. general drugstore products or bigger brands?

They are better for your whole body and the whole plant! You also get more powerful products that are made with pure, organic plant ingredients- not petroleum by-products and commercial grade ingredients. 

5) What are your top 3 product recommendation for the summer?

I’m currently in PEI and can not live without:
Our rescue balm- I use it 10 times a day to keep my hands hydrated (this is where I have eczema) – every time I wash my hands I apply it. Also, it’s the best lip balm!
Our eczema balm- I am extremely sensitive to the sun and get heat rashes constantly. Every night I will apply the eczema  balm to any sun rash and wake up with normal, healthy skin!
Our toner- It’s hot here and one of my favourite things to do is keep the toner in the fridge and spritz myself whenever I’m in the kitchen- or need a cool down. Rosewater is so rich in phytonutrients and it is one of the most cooling hydrosols. 

Fit Summer

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July is here and it’s the perfect time to get your fitness in gear. It’s the perfect month to try new outdoor workouts and change your fitness routine.

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Growing up, I spent most of my summers going to the pool every day and biking around but as soon as I hit adolescence and with having to work a summer job, my fitness level dropped significantly.

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Last year was the first year in my adult life that I really kept my fitness level up, whether it’d be with running, partaking in races, swimming, surfing, biking, etc. This summer I’ve decided to push it one notch further.

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This weekend I’ll be racing my 5th race of the season already, something I would have never thought possible just a year ago. I’m excited for Spartan Race on Saturday and already can’t wait to plan the next one right after that.

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In between races, I’ve been keeping active by biking every day, running several times a week, doing a variety of fitness classes, swimming, etc. How are you staying fit this summer?

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Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearing: Hyba Combo Medium-Impact Sports Bra (get it here), Hyba Combo Compression Short (get it here).

This post was written in collaboration with Hyba but all opinions are my own.

Fusing Flavours with Canola

_JCH2561I had the pleasure of taking part in a great interactive workshop last week in Toronto. I love cooking and love knowing where my food comes from so I couldn’t refuse this invitation. The workshop organized by Canola Eat Well, gave us the opportunity to cook with one of Toronto’s top chefs, Dailo‘s Chef Nick Liu. He taught us how to make some of his famous wontons, which were inspired by his grand-ma’s recipe. It was great to get some of his cooking tips and also get him to show us the steps of the recipe.

_JCH2356_JCH2555_JCH2637_JCH2685We also learned a whole lot about cooking with canola oil. Some of the Canadian farmers that produce canola were present to teach us about how they harvest the seed, how to differentiate good from bad seeds, etc. It was great to get their perspective and find out exactly what the process behind making canola oil is all about.

_JCH2970_JCH2977_JCH3002_JCH3003I truly believe in the importance of knowing where our food comes from and educating ourselves on what we eat. Talking to the farmers themselves taught me a lot about the product and got me excited to try cooking with canola oil at home.

_JCH2227_JCH3148_JCH3123_JCH3218We finished off the evening with a great and important discussion about educating the new generation of kids on food and ingredients. I always try to share any knowledge that I have learned about food, eating healthy and buying local as much as possible so it was great to be surrounded by a room full of like-minded individuals.

_JCH3257_JCH3345For more information on Canola Eat Well, please go here.

All photos by: Jeffrey Chan

5 Things to do in Detroit

FullSizeRender(16)FullSizeRender(20)FullSizeRender(14)1) Start at the Detroit Historical Museum – This “pay what you want” museum is the best way to get started when you first arrive in the Detroit. You will learn so much about its creation, history, downfall and current resurgence. The museum is separated into different exhibitions that cover the automobile industry, to the creation of Motown, to some of the city’s greatest athletes and moments in sports. The museum is fun, interactive and teaches you a whole lot about the city, past and present.

FullSizeRender(2)FullSizeRender(3)FullSizeRender(4)FullSizeRender(1)2) Grab a drink at UFO Factory – This was hands down my favorite place we went to the entire time we were in Detroit. The reason being: it was a no frills, no hype, just laid back bar located in Corktown. The name drew me in immediately and to find out that the space was even cooler indoors, I was beyond stoked. You can order some great diner-style food from Laika Dog, with classic bar drinks while also picking songs out on the jukebox. The UFO Factory is also a great place to see live music.

FullSizeRender(17)FullSizeRender(18)FullSizeRender(19)3) Midtown & Corktown – These are two areas of the city that have been changing a lot over the past couple of years. Midtown is located along the east and west side of Woodward Avenue and north of downtown. Corktown is located just west of downtown Detroit, it is the oldest extant neighborhood in the city. Both areas of town are packed with beautiful lofts, little shops, restaurants, fitness studios and more. They are both a great place for an afternoon stroll, to grab a coffee or even get a workout in. You can also feel a real sense of community in both of the neighborhoods.

FullSizeRenderIMG_9699FullSizeRender(29)FullSizeRender(22)FullSizeRender(23)FullSizeRender(21)4) Visit the Eastern Market – This may be a classic on everyone’s list who goes to Detroit but the Saturday market is the best place to meet the most locals. You really can get a feel for the city, when you walk around throughout the market and the entire area. Signs like “Detroit Hutles Harder” or shops like Everybody Vs. Detroit showcase not only Detroiters’ strength but also their pride. So many people in Detroit wear apparel with the letter “D” or wear some of their local sports teams’ jerseys, logos, etc. The market has been encouraging local food producers and artisans for the past 125 years.

FullSizeRender(10)FullSizeRender(12)FullSizeRender(11)FullSizeRender(13)5) Don’t be afraid to explore – Detroit is full of really unique neighborhoods, but you have to be willing to explore to find some of the coolest things the city has to offer. Not every neighborhood is located side by side and sometimes, appearances can be deceiving. What may look like an abandonned, or not so great neighborhood can potentially have a lot to offer. Just by being curious and spending time driving around the city, I found so many great gems. The Heidelberg Project or even the Michigan Building, the former theatre turned into a parking lot are just some of the amazing things I saw during the weekend. The city is really a photographer’s dream. Though there is still a lot of rebuilding and growth to take place before the city can really thrive again, from the looks of it, thanks to some creative young entrepreneurs, the city really seems to be on an upswing and it couldn’t make me happier. There truly is something magical about Detroit!

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Top 3 Summer Workouts – Big Hit Studios

PAM_0036If you’re looking for a great way to get your daily frustrations out while also getting a full-body workout in, make sure you take a class at Big Hit Studios. Their Sudbury St. studio in Toronto has been one of my favorites since the beginning of the new year.

PAM_0019Led by a brilliant team of trainers, including my personal favorite Karina Vottchal (she’s a badass lady that will get sweating and out breath in a few seconds!), their mix of kickboxing, crossboxing, powerboxing and coreboxing classes will make you stronger and get you toned. I like their classes because they’re a great mix of cardio and technique. Don’t be surprised if the trainers ask you to do a few burpees or push-ups, even with your gloves on!

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If you don’t live in Toronto, fret not! Big Hit Studios also has an additional space located in Oakville. For more info on Big Hit Studios, go here.

PAM_0292Notes from the hairstylist:

Braids on braids
“A small twist on these boxer braids, instead of the usual two boxer braids, I decided to do six individual braids. I braided each one the length of Mel’s hair, and then took three on each side and braided those together, to make them look like two long individual braids.”

Photos: Pam Lau
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardin

What I’m wearing: Nike Free TR 6 Women’s Training Shoe (get it here), Nike Pro Hypercool Limitless Women’s Training Capris (get it here), Nike Flow Graphic Women’s Training Tank (get it here), Nike Pro Fierce Women’s Sports Bra (get it here).

Top 3 Summer Workouts – SPOKEHAÜS

PAM_0693Opened just a few months ago, Spokehaüs has without a doubt become one of my favorite places to sweat in the city. Located on Dan Leckie Way, this modern and cool cycle studio has built a great community of spin enthusiats in just a few months.

PAM_0666The classes and instructors always offer fresh and cool new playlists to ride along to. Not one class is the same but no matter what class you take, you always end up sweating your butt off. It’s probably one of the only places in the city that will get me up on a Saturday or Sunday morning just because of how great I feel once I leave the studio.

PAM_0682In addition to regular classes, the studio is doing more and more events. They had their first ever HIGHRIDE a few weeks ago, a special riding event with glow sticks, candy and serious beats. They’ll be doing these kinds of events once a month, so stay tuned for future HIGHRIDES!

The 45 minutes of riding will go by in a flash and will have you feeling great all day!

PAM_0597Great gear and a proper riding hairstyle are two musts for me when I ride. The last thing I want is hair in my face when I’m sweating profusely.

PAM_0608Notes from the hairstylist:

A Spinning Topknot
“Take your topknot to a new level. I added two dutch braids, tied Mel’s hair into a high ponytail and instead of leaving it loose, I put it into a topknot so that it wouldn’t be in her way while she’s giving it her all in class. Putting all of your hair up helps with not having so many knots, tangle, and keeps the frizz down too 😉 I also just wrapped the ends of her dutch braids around the topknot to make it look pretty. Why not have pretty hair while you workout?!”

Photos: Pam Lau
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardin

What I’m wearing: Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Capris (get them here), Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Tank Top (get it here), Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes (get them here).

Get Lost

FullSizeRender(2)This summer, I want to get lost: Lost in a new country, in a new scenery, in a new adventure. Summer is when I feel most alive. I cannot wait to explore some beautiful new locations near and far away from home.

I’m obsessed with the Tuck Shop Trading Co‘s x Bather Trunk Co. first ever swimwear collection. This GET LOST bathing suit is the perfect addition to my summer travels. The line was inspired by vintage maps that both designers are fascinated by. They worked with both Bather Trunk Co’s Kyle Kaminsky and Bathing Belle’s Danica Salajko on the design of this swimwear line (they designed some similar swim trunks for men as well!).

Who’s ready to get lost with me this summer?

You can support these local Toronto brands and designers by checking them out here.

t2t1t5t4Photos & hair by: Cabello by Carolina

What I’m wearing: Tuck Shop Trading Co’s x Bather Trunk Co. GET LOST Bathing Suit (get it here), TOMS Traveler sunglasses (get them here).

Fine Tune Pilates

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Last Friday, I had the chance to stop by Fine Tune Pilates in Toronto for a one-on-one session with the studio’s founder Brittany.

Fine Tune Pilates is a small and convivial space located in Roncesvalles, where private or semi-private sessions are given. The little studio is bright and has all the necessary equipment for a variety of exercises.

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The initial session with Brittany is much more than just a pilates class. The lovely instructor also gives you a postural assessment and suggests different exercises based on your skill level, specific needs, etc.

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Unlike other pilates studios, getting this one-on-one session with Brittany taught me so much about how I move my body and the proper form I should be adopting when doing pilates exercises. Additionally, she made me notice a lot of things about my posture and different muscles. I also used some equipment for the very first time such as the Wunda Chair and also different blocks and balls. I left the session having learned a whole lot about my body.

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Brittany works with a variety of clients. She helps on fitness with people like myself or works on pre and post-natal exercises and also helps with rehabilitating injuries. The amazing thing about working with her is that all of her classes are specifically designed for you.

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It was a true delight spending an hour with this lovely and talented redhead. For more information on Fine Tune Pilates, go here.

Chef’s Plate

IMG_6421I love cooking and I love food. Cooking is very meditative for me. It’s one of the only times during the day that I am not in front of a screen and that I devote 100% of my attention to. Cooking also clears my mind and is super relaxing.

That said, having a busy schedule and traveling a lot, it’s sometimes hard to find new and interesting things to cook, let alone have the time to go get all the ingredients for a specific recipe and to make something completely from scratch.

FullSizeRender(1)Rather than resorting to already pre-made meals or takeout, I tried out Chef’s Plate for the first time. How does it work? You pick an item off their menu that you’d like to make and they deliver all the fresh ingredients needed to make it and the recipe straight to your door.

What drew me to Chef’s Plate is that they only provide you with the best and freshest ingredients. They work with local family-run farms so that you cook farm to table style. Additionally, if you’re someone that wants to make a dish with meat, they offer locally raised meat without antibiotics and the fish they offer is sustainably sourced. And added bonus, all of their recipes are balanced and nutritious.

FullSizeRender(3)I was happy to find some vegetarian options available for those wanting to cook without meat.

FullSizeRender(2)FullSizeRender(4)I made the Hand-Pulled Mediterranean Pizza for dinner this week and it was a hit! I came home to a cute box filled with all the ingredients necessary for the recipe. Additionally, the recipe card was very clear, indicated its level of difficulty, the approximate time it would take to make and also the amount of calories per serving. It was quick and simple to make and the outcome was delicious!

FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(6)So if you’re looking for new recipes to make and don’t have quite enough time to get everything yourself, Chef’s Plate has got you covered. Check their website for more information: http://www.chefsplate.com/.