Peppermint Bark, A Sweet Festive Treat

, ,

Winter Get Away: Where to Travel This Season

by Emma Tyrchniewicz

With the colder weather encroaching on Vancouver, now is the time to look for a winter vacation to get away from the rain and cold of the city.

Though this time of year sees a rise in popularity in tropical destinations, an untapped wealth of fun and adventure lies just across the Atlantic. Portugal is a rarely discussed European destination that is usually passed up for more popular locations like Italy, Spain, and France. Portugal, however, embodies the old world vibe of Europe without drawing in huge crowds, leaving its cities authentic and creating a lasting and real experience for travellers.

Start inland to experience the culture and history of the country in cities like Porto, where there is no shortage of public art, medieval architecture, colourful buildings, and incredible cuisine. Lisbon, its capital. is also a must-see. Softly playing music will lead you down its winding streets to cafes and restaurants with affordable and authentic food, while its museums are full of wonderful artwork and cultural artifacts.

If you’re looking for a beach vacation, you won’t have to go far, with cities like Ericeira and Algarve known for their scenic beaches, warm weather, trendy social scene, and delicious seafood. The best part of this undiscovered trove is that the prices don’t mimic the rest of Europe’s inflated rate. Since this destination is still relatively unknown you can travel the country for much cheaper than other countries in Europe, and fall/winter is the perfect time to travel, when the crowds of the summer are gone but the weather is still warm. Indulge your senses and your appetite this season with a trip to historic and beautiful Portugal!

Three Holiday Markets You Can’t Miss This Season

The Holidays are just around the corner. (We know, where did the time go?) Here at VFW we love our local Vancouver entrepreneurs. So, we’ve put together our top three Holiday Markets in the Vancouver area. Check them out and maybe this year you can put a little local love under the Christmas Tree.

Fall for Local Holiday Market

Entrance Fee: $3 Online – $5 at the door
When: December 9 – 10
Where: The Pipe Shop Venue
115 Victory Ship Way

First on our list is the Fall for Local Holiday Market. They’re passionate about small business and curate modern pop-up markets all throughout the year that collaborate with local vendors. The FFL Holiday market is really pulling out all the stops this Christmas season. In addition to access to 85 independent vendors your ticket will include, free coffee provided by Waves,  the access to a free gift wrapping station, a DIY station with Fioraio Floral Design, and on top of all of this the first 50 attendees will receive a free tote. FFL makes it easy to support your local businesses this season. Find out more about Fall for Local here!

Vancouver Christmas Market

Entrance Fee: $8
When: November 22nd – December 24th
Where: Jack Poole Plaza (1055 Canada Place)

Second on our list is the Vancouver Christmas Market. This community staple is stocked full with events from November 22nd through December 24th (that’s right you crazy last minute shoppers). Nestled between the city skyline and the waterside mountain view, it’s possibly the most photogenic market on this list. Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa at selected times everyday. There’s also a beautiful carousel featured right in the center of the market. There is an abundance of curated reputable vendors. You’ll be sure to find plenty of great and unique gifts for everyone on your list. So, whether you just want to walk around with a cup of coffee, a few gourmet snacks, and enjoy the lights, or shop till you drop. It’s a fresh alternative to commercial malls this season. Learn more about the Vancouver Christmas Market at their website.

Crafty Affaire Holiday Market

Entrance Fee: $2
When: December 16th
Where: Croatian Cultural Centre

Located at the Croatian Cultural Centre this is the place for Local Handmade Holiday Shopping. Due to such high demand this year they are adding an extra room to the cultural centre to accommodate more vendors. This means more opportunities for you to find unique gifts and stocking stuffers this season. As usual there are also plenty of food vendors to keep you satiated during your shopping. Get more information about Crafty Affaire’s Holiday Market here!

Words by Deanna Rule

Images courtesy of Vancouver Christmas Market, Crafty Affaire & Fall for Local


7 Must-Haves Winter Workout Clothes

By: Reg Lok Von, Blogger at Valeio: Nourish Through Movement

Winter doesn’t mean you have to bundle up like Michelin Man on your run or hike – it just means we can go shopping for warmer workout wear! I have rounded up 8 pieces bound to keep you warm and chic on your outdoor adventures.


As the temperature drops, your body takes more time to warm up and stay warm. That racerback tank is no longer cutting it on those early morning runs. I like to layer a breathable long sleeve over my tank so I have the option to remove it and tie it around my waist when it gets hot.


October in Vancouver can get pretty cold and quick. Adding a thermal layer over your tech T or tank helps keep you warm. Some have a mock neck, which will also help retain body heat during breaks. My girls wear them during soccer practice and game days. Adding a vest or fleece zip up will also keep the core warm. Thumb holes also help to keep hands warm on those early morning runs when there is a bite in the air.

If you find it harder to keep your lower extremities warm, look for leggings that are made of a thicker material. There are also brushed leggings, which have an extra fleecy layer on the inside. They help retain body heat but still allow the sweat to dissipate.


As rainfall increases (and possibly snow), it is probably a good idea to invest in a good waterproof outer layer. Who wants to be cold AND wet after a sweaty bootcamp class or a long hike? Don’t forget a toque and gloves made from breathable materials.


I’m all about the layers. Although the outdoor workouts usually come to a halt this month, I still get that chill as the body cools. To avoid this, I layer! Following strength workout, I’ll throw on a thicker top with sleeves like a terry cloth crew neck. Who says you can’t look chic and stay dry in athletic wear?

To keep warm when you leave the gym, I like to throw on an insulated coat.