Who doesn't feel cozier with a candle lit and their home smelling delicious? With scents like Chai and even Cereal (smells like Froot Loops) it's no wonder why I was smitten with Mala at first sniff. Over the past few weeks I've been lucky enough to get to know the maker behind Mala more and it's safe to say that knowing Melody has made me even more of a Mala fan. Melody is down to earth, hard-working and is genuinely passionate about sustainability and the type of maker that makes supporting local easy!
I had a chance to catch up with her earlier this month to chat with her about Mala, self-care and sustainability! (Plus we're doing a giveaway!)
Learning to enjoy cooking took me longer than I care to admit and there was a time in my life that if it required more than 5 ingredients to make I wasn’t going to attempt it. I ate like a college student for years after graduating college and it’s a miracle that I survived that long eating mostly prepackaged processed foods.
When I decided to learn how to cook it was a lot of trial and error with a plentra of bland dishes that I suffered through plus it was a major hit on my wallet because I was buying all the spices I needed, even if it’s only for one recipe - there is still a bottle of Herbes de Provence that I literally used one half of a teaspoon of in my cabinet. I also do not cook meat because; a) I get a bit squeamish touching raw meat, b) I am confident in my cooking abilities, but not enough that I feel comfortable cooking something that has to be cooked perfectly to avoid illness, and c) I’m cheap and meat is expensive.
These meal prep boxes seemed like a good idea in theory and ultra-trendy on the ‘gram for someone who might not be the best cook and doesn’t want to spend their time grocery shopping or looking to minimize on their food waste by having all the ingredients perfectly portioned out.
“But do you really get your money’s worth? How easy is it really?”
Well, I spent my own sweet coin on one of those meal prep boxes solely to review it and to attempt to answer any questions you may have. I also did this because I wanted to see if Hello Fresh could teach me how to cook meat.
There was a time in my life, not too long ago, where if anyone asked me if I wanted to go to barre I would have assumed that they were asking if I wanted to go to the bar. While both bar hopping and barre class will leave you sore the next day, one of them is the good kind of sore and not the hangover kind of sore.
So what is barre class? It seems to be one of those fitness trends that seem to be ultra-popular, primarily with women. It fires up your muscles with a combination of moves based of ballet and utilizes a ballet barre for some of its' signature moves.
While douchey gym bros may disregard it as a "girly" workout trust me when I say, barre is not for those looking to take it easy. Also, let's stop assuming because something is feminine/popular with women it means it's not as hard, yeah?
I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I turned into one of those anomalies that enjoys working out. Trust me, it surprises me too. Prior to moving to Vancouver 5ish years ago I had almost no fitness routine. I had a gym membership and worked out fairly often (ish), but I had no idea what I was doing and only went because I told myself it was good for me. My workouts back then were not well balanced and I would show up at the gym to do whatever I felt like doing that day. Elliptical for an hour? Sure, why not? Free weights when I have no idea what I'm doing and don't know anything about form? Yeah, okay.
Then I moved to Vancouver and was a broke post secondary student so I stopped working out all together. "Das esspensive," I told myself and I also lack the motivation needed to work out on my own. It has only been within the last two years that I decided to make fitness a priority for me again and found that studio classes were the most motivational way for me to work out because; a) group workouts are always more motivating, b) it fosters a community and c) I am cheap AF and will refuse to miss a class because I am not paying a cancellation fee.
Lagree West is one of those fitness studios associated with a high price tag, a monstrosity of a contraption you use to work out, wireless headphones and giving your muscles that uncontrollable shake. Lagree West does offer "promo" pricing for their first timers (I use the term "promo" loosely because $20 a class is still a hefty price) so me being the frugal fitness fanatic that I am decided to try it out.
"How hard can a 40 minute workout class be?" I told myself. Famous last words, trust me.
Okay, I get it. This contraption looks like a super high-tech stand up tanning bed, but I swear it’s so much better than that. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was invited to check out the Solius machine located at BioPro Pharmacy (the first to launch) so I came ready with a list of questions because I’m a dork and I don’t want to just know something works I want to know how it works.
First and foremost, let’s dive into what Solius, the company is a Seattle based company aimed at making the benefits of light therapy more accessible, especially as it pertains to vitamin D production. They chose to launch their product in Vancouver because of Vancouver’s likelihood of prioritizing health and wellness as well as the fact that Vancouver has a similar climate to Seattle. While it may seem trivial to some, the sun is essential to our health and peace of mind, hence why many people are affected by seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression associated with colder months and often linked to a lack of light.
"But what does it do?"
Well, in short it helps your body produce vitamin D via emitting UVB rays. Think of all the benefits you get from the sun without the scary stuff. UVB without the infamous UVA. Ever heard of happy lamps? Being in a Solius is like being inside a happy lamp but WAY more effective.