Jennyfleur Moving Sale

Jennyfleur Final Party

A message from the Yaletown retailer, Jennyfleur:

“After 3 years in our Yaletown Location at 1058 Mainland Street #110 – we have decided that it is time to move on at the end of this month. We have not found another location that is suitable for us yet, so for now we will remain online. You may see us in the future “popping up”.. we haven’t disappeared – all our instagram, twitter, facebook phone number will all still remain and we will be accessible.”

Items in store are currently on sale so you can pop in any time this week to take advantage of great discounts, even on newly arrived styles.

Best of luck to these ladies on finding a new location!

12th Annual Whistler Writers and Readers Festival

whistler readers and writers

The Whistler Writers and Readers Festival is coming into it’s 12th year, but my own sojourn up to Whistler for the October 18-20 weekend will be a first. Though undoubtedly popular, the Whistler fest is the quieter nearby relative to the Vancouver Writer’s Festival – and if there’s anything that will get my bags packed and out of the big city, it’s a quaint little festival in a small town.

The evening reading events are sure to be a hit on both nights, but after so many years of the CBC keeping me company on country roads I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Jian Ghomeshi interview Will Ferguson on Saturday evening. Accompanied by live music and wine, the event should be a great cap-off to a day of engaging, hands-on workshops.

I’m signed up for two workshops on Saturday morning, including History to Story: Writing Historical Fiction with Ania Szado, and Memoir Writing with Jane Silcott (now sold out). Post-workshop summaries will follow after the festival, but in the meantime there are still tickets left for most events!

See you in the Village!

Bare Essentials: Vancouver Facial Bar


I recently had the opportunity to visit the freshly opened Bare Essentials, a skincare and facial bar that has adopted an “on-the-go” service philosophy that so many niche Vancouver salons have succeeded upon (Blo Hair, Bombay Brow Bar, Noir Lash Lounge, I could go on..)

When I arrived for my appointment I had prepared myself to forgo my most favourite spa rituals: this facial meant business, as I was promised to be in and out within a span of about 30 minutes. I did not expect lavish treatment or relaxation, and as I walked into the open concept storefront my expectation appeared to redeem itself when I eyed the reclining bed in front of the window.


However, my prejudgements ended there. After filling out a questionnaire, my “skintender” was quick and efficient in her analysis of my skin and the treatment we were going to pursue. I was relaxed for the entire 3o minutes, and glad that a gentle conversation was maintained throughout the treatment – I was fully aware of all her actions, but still took a time out with my eyes closed.  A short temple and facial massage added a nice element of that “lavish” quality I love in traditional spas.

After the treatment you can get a list of recommended Dermalogica products for your skin if you opt for it, but I appreciated that I wasn’t forced into a sales pitch or felt pressure to buy – had I been in a hurry, I may have wanted to simply pay and go.

When I did walk out the door I felt refreshed and energized, and my face felt fantastic. I wore my own bare skin around the city all day, and with glowing pride.

A 30 min facial at Bare Essentials is $45 and they exclusively use Dermalogica products.

790 Richards Street, Vancouver, (604) 428-0091

Pioneer Poetry

saskatchewan, 2012

leaving the station, saskatchewan 2012

Have recently begun researching a book project and in my readings came across this poem, written around 1914 by railroader-turned-writer Cy Warman.

I thought it was too lovely not to share, plus I have a bit of a fascination with the nostalgia of trains. Apparently Cy often recited his poems aloud to his railroading friends so I imagine the escalating rhythm and sound of a locomotive in transit when I read this.


Oft, when I feel my engine swerve,
As o’er strange rails we fare,
I strain my eyes around the curve
For what awaits us there.
When swift and free she carries me
Through yards unknown at night,
I look along the line to see
That all the lamps are white

The blue light marks the crippled car,
The green light signals slow;
The red light is a danger light,
The white light, “Let her go.”
Again the open fields we roam,
And, when the night is fair,
I look up in the starry dome
And wonder what’s up there.

For who can speak for those who dwell
Behind the curving sky?
No man has ever lived to tell
Just what it means to die.
Swift toward life’s terminal I trend,
The run seems short to-night;
God only knows what’s at the end –
I hope the lamps are white.

Veet Hair Removal Giveaway

Veet is pretty much a no-brainer.  Such a no-brainer that when a friend of mine suggested I hold a waxing ‘party’ for this contest – because waxing used to be so difficult in the past that you literally needed assistance – I laughed her off and explained that I was pretty pro now.

Since I am a total fan of 1) Veet, and, 2) Poetry, I decided to launch this little Twitter contest so you can win a $100 Veet gift basket of your very own.

Blogger Contest_Giveaway

Here’s the deal:

Tweet me (@tpotratz) with a short poem containing the word “hair” and #veetcontest, and you’re entered to win.

Here’s some inspirational entries so far:

  • Thick hair = more flare = more snare = more care (…required)
  • I just want to share, I truly love my hair, if I didn’t care, my head would soon be bare
  • Spring’s twilight ebbs by, Summer raises sunny head, hair sprouts must now fall
  • Roses are red / Boxes are square / Please help me, Veet® / Deal with this hair!
  • Of all the hair in the world to shave .. To see Russell Brand bald would be my fave !!

I’ll be choosing a winner this week so get that paper to pen and be spring-ready with this awesome prize pack!


How-To: Gatsby Fashion Theme Party

Two weekends in a row at Hastings Racecourse, the most recent of which was a birthday party with a Great Gatsby theme!  I spent hours scouring through Value Village for the perfect get-up – and though it was harder than I expected to find a 1920′s style dress, I discovered a few helpful tips.

gatsby2Gatsby theme girls at Hastings Racecourse

The great thing about the 1920′s is this was the first era where women took a bit more control of their wardrobes and began to rotate more comfortable clothes into their style, such as trousers and shorter skirts.  So as I was searching the thrift stores, I was keeping an eye out for high-quality, high-waisted ladies trousers that I could pair with a fancy silk blouse and cloche hat.  I was also looking for knife-pleated skirts, shift dresses, or anything with a bit fullness around the bottom of the hemline that would be appropriate for that famous flapper-style dancing.


When I came across this lace dress (Suzy Shier, so modern) I was at the end of my rope but resolved to try it on anyway and ‘make it work.’  Only then did I realize how perfect the cap sleeves where, and from there I was off.  I found the white shoes that were the perfect shape with black detailing…now I just needed an abundance of white accessories to even out the look.  Strings upon strings of pearls later, plus a white handbag, and I was set.  You can go a long way with a more modern dress if you accessorize appropriately.

gatsby kiss1920′s finger wave hair

Youtube helped me with my hair (a finger wave is surprisingly easy to do – and I don’t even own any gel at home, I used a curling cream instead) and I aimed to keep my makeup super simple.  I didn’t want to have to reapply all day so I opted for the Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge.  It’s a long-lasting, waterproof lip colour and that you can wear matte or glossy, and for me it literally lasted all day with minimal fuss or reapplication.  (I filled in my entire lip with with the Pomegranate Pink Aqua Lip pen first, then applied the rouge on top.)

One final tip if you’re in a pinch and need some Gatsby-inspired accessories – many of the girls found everything they needed at the Party Bazaar in Vancouver.

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