Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ZUMBA - Is It Possible To Have Fun While Getting In Shape?


I had been meaning to get my act together for a while now when it comes to becoming a more active person. I work an office job that requires me to sit for almost eight hours a day and therefore my body is definitely lacking the physical activity I was once used to. I don't really tend to enjoy going to the gym by myself as I find it is very hard to keep motivated and to push myself. I have always preferred "social" workouts or classes in which people can interact with each other and feed off each other's energy.

I heard about Zumba at the beginning of the year from my cousin who recently moved to Vancouver from Mexico. Zumba is apparently all the rage in the U.S. and Latin America right now as it basically gets you in shape by dancing to merengue, cumbia, salsa, calypso and other high-energy types of music. I had visited the Zumba Vancouver website to learn more about it but until last night I hadn't actually ventured to try it.

According to Wikipedia, Zumba was created by Alberto "Beto" Perez in Colombia during the 1990s. The program combines latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. The Zumba workout provides fitness benefits because its routines feature interval training sessions with fast and slow rhythms and resistance training, which are intended to tone and sculpt the body while burning fat.


The class I attended is held every Tuesday at 6:15pm at the False Creek Community Centre in Granville Island and is lead by Zumba instructor Janet McLeish. Janet is a very charismatic woman who will push you to the next level while screaming, dancing, and most of all having fun. The Zumba class goes by really quickly when compared to a traditional workout and half of the time you are going to be laughing and dancing so at the end you will end up craving more. Having been born in Mexico where dancing is a crucial part of our culture, I thoroughly enjoyed this class as I felt like I was transported back to Latin America for 60 minutes. In my opinion, Zumba is the epitome of what a workout should be - fun, high-energy, and social.

I would highly recommend for you to try a Zumba class or to buy some DVDs to do it at home. If you are free on Tuesdays and you live in Vancouver come dance with us - you won't regret it!


To sign up for my class go to: https://pbregister.vancouver.ca/safari_activitybrowse.htm and then click on browse activities and enter the following activity number 41609.202FC

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The New iPhone 4 - Is It A Lemon?

Those of you who know me in person know exactly how long I have been waiting to update to the new iPhone 4. The new iPhone has some amazing features as previously discussed on this post, however it seems that now that it has been officially released problems have started to arise.

The first and biggest problem in my opinion is the fact that people are having reception issues when they hold the phone in a way that covers both of the external antennas. Carrier signals start to decrease and eventually calls may be dropped altogether. I have read over 40 pages of forum posts at macrumors in which people show links to videos and newspaper articles that either deny or ratify this problem. The problem is thoroughly explained in the following video:




To make things even more dramatic, Steve Jobs himself replied to an iPhone 4 user's e-mail in which he tells the user to simply "avoid holding the phone in that way" - This was first reported by Engadget and it has caused a tremendous amount of controversy in the mobile and tech communities as no phone should ever be designed in a way that hinders usability. Apple also claims that adding a silicone case or an official bumper will resolve the problem. This has worked for some users but not for all of them.




Another issue of the new iPhone 4 is the fact that some of the units show yellow blotches on the retina display. This may be due to the iPhones being shipped out prematurely and therefore not allowing the glue that secures the screen's glass to the phone to cure properly. Some users seem to support this theory by stating that such blotches disappear over time by simply continuing to use the phone.




Lastly, two other small problems have been reported. Some users have stated that their volume buttons work properly but that the buttons themselves have been reversed - this means the increase volume button would show a minus and the decrease volume button would show a plus. As stated by TiPb this would only be bothersome aesthetically and not functionally. The other "issue" is that the glass on the iPhone 4 has already been able to be scratched by some users even though Apple claims that it is stronger than ever before. To be honest, neither of these last two issues concern me at all since I would simply get my phone exchanged if it had the buttons issue and I would not likely scratch mine as I tend to be extremely careful with my phones and I always keep them in a case that protects them.






THE VERDICT

By now you must be wondering if I will even get the new iPhone 4 when it launches in Canada. The answer is: ABSOLUTELY! - It turns out that the antenna issue has been around since the first version of the iPhone came out! Take a look at the video below and pay attention to the date in which it was posted.




A lot of people don't realize that the reception issue is non iPhone specific and that even Android phones exhibit similar reception problems when held a certain way. I am also not too worried about these problems as I plan to buy a bumper case and I never really hold my phone in a way that would trigger such problem. I am in no way denying that there are issues with the iPhone 4 but to me the benefits greatly outweigh the problems. Please feel free to leave a comment below with your views on Apple's iPhone 4.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

iOS 4 in 10 minutes - TiPb video quick-start guide

For those of you who just installed the new iOS4 yesterday, here are some tips from our friends over at The iPhone Blog (TiPb) to make the most of it - I really enjoyed this video because it is concise and thorough. I hope you find it helpful too!



Happy iPhone 4 day tomorrow to all our visitors from the US! We will join in the fun next month - I CANNOT WAIT!

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

I AM DA CONGEE MAN!

My friends and I were bored at work so we decided to test the iPhone's video recording and we came up with this hysterical sketch in which a man orders congee at a restaurant. Be prepared for some crazy accents hahaha.

CREDITS:

Michelle Angeles as the sexy waitress
Kevin Blacklock - hysterical laughter and cinematography
Angel Clemente - Da Congee Man

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Help Me Choose A Twitter Name :)




The poll is now closed. Thanks a lot to those who took the time to vote. @pixelatedmind it is!

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Toy Story 3 - The Toys Are Certainly Back!


When I heard that Pixar and Disney were adding a new volume to the Toy Story saga I wasn't overly excited. I thought the days of Woody and Buzz Lightyear were numbered and that newer and better things had come along since then. Boy was I wrong...

The magic of Pixar becomes evident right from the previews where a short animated film called Day & Night is featured. The message behind Day & Night is that we always fear those who are different from us. This may be a simple lesson but it is nonetheless an extremely true and often forgotten one. You must watch this short film to appreciate the true beauty behind it. It is amazing!

In Toy Story 3, all the classic characters are back only to find that Andy, the boy they always loved and admired, is all grown up and ready to go to college. The toys are scared of being abandoned by Andy and for that reason they embark on a crazy adventure that will have you laughing, shouting, holding on to your seat and crying... yes... I said it... I went to watch the movie with my best male friend and we both had tears running down our face by the end of the movie. I don't mean to be an extremist but Toy Story 3 is one of the best movies I have ever seen - and no... I'm not only talking about animated or 3-D movies.


A few new characters are also introduced in this new adventure. Amongst them are Ken and Barbie, who quickly became two of my personal favourites (no one beats the alien triplets though!). Their bubbly and over the top ditzy personality and romance is hysterical. I must say that I still can't be certain that Ken is attracted to Barbie because of her body and personality... I think it may have more to do with her clothes *hint hint* :)



I hope you have watched the previous Toy Story movies by now, but if you haven't... go get a copy of them here:


And don't forget to watch the newest one! You won't regret it!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Handy Advertisement... Literally

While at work today I was forwarded an e-mail that really blew me away. The e-mail showed an ad campaign by the mobile provider AT&T in which painted human hands are used to depict various cultures and landmarks. AT&T came up with this campaign to promote their worldwide mobile coverage and footprint.

What I didn't know at the time was that these ads were part of a campaign entitled "HANDS" and that the posters/prints were actually made in collaboration with the famous Italian body-paint artist Guido Daniele. I was also unaware of the fact that "HANDS" won "America's Favorite Magazine Ad" in a contest sponsored by Magazine Publishers of America.

It is inarguably a stunning campaign that proves once more that creativity and beauty are worth more than high budgets. Enjoy!



Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Teeth Whitening - Is It Worth It?

A few weeks ago I reviewed Aria Dental, the clinic of my new dentist Dr. Mehio. Since I was a new patient to his dental studio I qualified for the special price of $299.00 for Zoom whitening - something I couldn't pass by. My husband @guccisimo had gotten it done two days before our wedding almost three years ago now and the results were drastic. I had never gotten my teeth whitened before and for that reason I was feeling excited/worried/curious. Dr. Mehio answered all my questions before getting started with the procedure. He explained to me that the old Zoom whitening procedure used an acidic solution and that it could damage your teeth's enamel but that Zoom has since revised the procedure and there is now only one known side effect: teeth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening Simulation - Before and After

The process itself is quite straight-forward. First, the dentist makes sure you don't have any problems with your roots or that there are no cracks in your teeth. IF there are any issues, those specific teeth would be isolated and not become a part of the treatment. Once that has been checked, he/she would proceed to give you a mouth extender and fill your mouth with cotton to protect your gums and tongue. Second, the dentist then applies a coating to your teeth that will react with the Zoom light to whiten your teeth. Finally, you are exposed to the Zoom light for four periods of 15 minutes each. Some patients can only tolerate one or two periods as they may have teeth that are more prone to sensitivity. Personally, I did not feel anything until the third round of light. I could have stopped at three rounds but I wanted to see drastic results so I decided to continue all the way... and BOY was it worth it!! (you'll see pics below)

I won't deny that yesterday was a challenging day as my teeth were quite sore and I wasn't even sure I could eat. We went to Olympia on Denman Street (my favourite Greek restaurant) and I had a delicious roast lamb sitting in front of me - so in spite of the sensitivity the temptation was too great and I had to dig in. The funny thing is that the sensitivity you get from Zoom whitening doesn't seem to be affected by chewing as I originally would have thought. Instead, it's a feeling that just comes and goes regardless of what you do.

I am happy to report that this morning my teeth feel almost normal again. Dr. Mehio gave me a gel to help with the sensitivity and I also bought a toothpaste called Colgate Sensitive. Between the two my teeth are almost back to normal... WAIT... did I say normal... never mind... they are WHITE-as-snow-normal now hahaha. I couldn't be happier with the results. Yes, there was some pain along the way but it was very much worth it!


Teeth Whitening - Actual Results (DO NOT LAUGH AT MY FACES!! HAHAHA)

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

El Centro - The Center of Vancouver's Taco Universe


As most of you know I was born in Mexico City and moved to Vancouver in 1999. It was definitely a huge culture shock at the time and while I love being a Canadian citizen and enjoying the benefits of a peaceful and violence-free life, there are a lot of things I still miss about Mexico.  The main three things I crave are the warmth of the people, the amazing weather, and the outstanding food.

Mexico has one of the richest and most extensive food cultures in the world. Our lives revolve around eating with our friends and relatives and spending hours discussing controversial topics and laughing and singing over a meal. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was made in Mexico and that's mostly because people there are proud to spend two days in the kitchen to prepare something for you - it's the way they show their love.

Due to my adoration of Mexican food, I'm always on the hunt for high-quality Mexican spots in Vancouver. Tacos are my weakness and even though I have been to the highly praised La Taqueria and really enjoyed it, I was also happy to discover El Centro while walking around downtown Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. El Centro is a small and quaint restaurant with a nice patio facing the highly fashionable and trendy street of Robson. The staff are extremely friendly and the main waiter is as yummy-looking as the food itself - you'll see!

The food and drinks are well-priced and delicious. When I visit El Centro I just tend to get one order of each taco variety - chicken, al pastor, beef asada, and cochinita. The flavours of the tacos are rich and authentic just like in Mexico. Each taco order is served with two fresh tortillas so that you get two tacos for each kind of filling - a great deal for $2.50 each! The famous Don Guacamoles would charge you an arm and a leg for similar portions - I have nothing against their food but their prices are simply ridiculous.  I have had also ordered the pork torta at El Centro and even though it was good I would probably recommend to go to Las Tortas instead if you are craving authentic Mexican torta subs.


Overall due to El Centro's food, location, service & music I would highly recommend giving it a try next time you are looking for a nice Mexican meal downtown.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

iPhone4 - My New Obsession


On June 7, 2010 Apple's CEO Steve Jobs gave a keynote at the WWDC to release the new iOS4 (iPhone Operating System 4) and the new and greatly improved iPhone 4. Millions of people (myself included) had been waiting for a very long time to see what Apple had come up with this time around and I must say I am not disappointed.

The new iPhone 4 will be available for pre-order in the U.S. on June 15 and for sale on June 24. Unfortunately for us Canadians, the iPhone won't get here until "sometime" in July. That announcement is my biggest disappointment at this time. How did Canada not make the cut for countries that would be getting the iPhone in June? (US, UK, Germany, Japan and France). Canada has a huge cell phone market with more than three different providers selling the iPhone (Bell, Telus and Rogers) but for some reason that simply wasn't good enough. Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

Some of the main new features on the iPhone4 include:

  • FaceTime - video conferencing on Wi-Fi connection between iPhone 4 users
  • Retina Display - four times the pixel count of previous iPhone models
  • Multitasking - say goodbye to having to close an application to navigate elsewhere
  • HD Video Recording & Editing
  • 5-Megapixel Camera with LED Flash - no more blurry pics in the dark!
  • Brand new design available in black or white -  I am planning to get the 32GB white iPhone 4 with a pink or blue bumper (undecided).  

Personally since the iPhone4 was announced I have been on the hunt for more information of exactly when it will be released in Canada and a great website to get updates on Canadian mobile news is: http://www.mobilesyrup.com

I have also contacted Telus (my current provider) and they have told me that for those of you who are migrating from a BlackBerry to an iPhone you may be required to switch your plan in order to join their new 3G network.

I am amazed at the number of people I've recently talked to who are willing to do just about anything to get the new iPhone4 (maybe I have a lot of techie friends hahaha). I will keep you up to date with any more information I find out about the iPhone but for now all we can do is hold our breath and wait a month to play with our new toys! See y'all at the line-ups on release date!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Eatery: My Restaurant Self

Eatery

I have been to The Eatery many times before but for some reason I had never really taken the time to talk about it until now. To me this little restaurant is the epitome of cool. It is located in the trendy Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano where yogis and hipsters forget about their differences and go out for drinks instead.

I am certain that if you have never been to The Eatery before you will be shocked the first time you enter the restaurant. The decor is beyond over the top and fun with glow-in-the-dark vinyl toys and giant superheroes and octopi hanging from the ceiling. Astro Boy, Marilyn Monroe and Dick Tracy also reside on the restaurant's walls. As if this were not exhilarating enough, you can count on your senses also being stimulated by amazing electro beats from @darrenwoodhead and delicious and creative sushi rolls from the kitchen. My favourite roll is by far "The Beautiful" - scallop, avocado and mayo topped with smoked salmon - 2-DIE-FOR!~ - but I am also in love with the Pork or Chicken Katsu Curries - AMAZINGLY YUMMY.

I swear I must have been Japanese in another lifetime as I am strongly drawn towards Japanese culture, cartoons, toys, and above all FOOD! I am a huge sushi fan and as such I will never decline an offer to eat it. As a matter of fact I realized yesterday that I were to be a restaurant I would want to be The Eatery. If you have never made it to this gem, what on earth are you waiting for?? It's transit accessible and the staff are beyond friendly. Come on! Leave the house already and have a Sake Margarita on me :)



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